Archives

LAVENDER, Lavender, Lavender

An in-depth discussion of Lavender and all its forms and terroir differences and the effects of environment on scent and benefits.

INTRODUCTION ~ So much has been said about Lavender that it is somewhat taxing to try and find new information that can be used by consumers to assist and support one’s health. Lavender is a very common plant but in that commonness, lies the problem. Some folks think all Lavender is the same Lavender and forget to realize that there are many species and many varieties of each species and even many chemotypes (chemical types) of each species and that terroir* also make it a most complicated plant.

* [terroir = This is a French word originally applied to wine but that can easily be applied to the factors that affect an essential oil. The essential oil reflects the expression of the earth, or the particular planting site (its ecology), in the resultant essential oil.  Terroir is a factor of soil, shade, wind, water, rain and terrain.  Terroir is how a particular region’s climate, soils and aspect (terrain) affect the smell and organoleptic quality of an essential oil. One of the mystiques of essential oils is the variation available.]

 

COMMON NAME/LATIN BINOMIAL ~ Lavender comes in many species and many varieties and many chemotypes from many countries. Lavandula angustifolia is the species of choice, however, Lavandula x intermedia (Lavandin) is the one that is mostly in use for oil extraction and that is grown in vast quantities in both France and Bulgaria as well as other countries. When grown in the correct terroir, it has a chemistry very similar to L. angustifolia.

            Family ~ Lamiaceae or Labiatae. This family of plants contains a variety of trees, shrubs and herbs, that has been long-recognized for their medicinal and culinary quality with many used as flavorings, cosmetics, medicine, and for scent. This family includes Basil, Lavender, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Patchouli, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, and much more.

            Other Common Name/Naming Information ~ Lavandula (common name lavender) is a genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Lavender is such a common name that all varieties are called Lavender.
A common name is just that ‘common’ and in no way, does it tell you anything about the plant. It is always best to know the Latin binomial (its proper name) and well as its common (everyday) name. The Latin binomial tells you something about the plant itself — as an example the genus name Lavandula is from the Latin word lavo (to wash) from its ancient use in soaps and the species name angustifolia means “narrow-leaved” as the leaves of this species are narrow. Latifolia means “wide-leaved”. [go to my book 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, chapter 2 called “Plant Names Mean Something” to find out more.

L. angustifolia has most of the common names and some of these names are garden Lavender or Lavender vera or common Lavender.

Lavandula stoechas is called stickadore or Arabian Lavender;

Lavandula latifolia is Lavender spica is and called Lavender flowers, male Lavender or Aspic.

Lavandula flores’ is the pharmaceutical name for Lavender or its oil.

Depending upon to whom you have spoken, will depend on what specific plant they are talking about.

See below the Species and Varieties of Lavender for the common names of other species and varieties of the Lavender.

 

SPECIES AND VARIETIES OF LAVENDER ~ There are 47 known species and endless varieties of each of these species as well as a variety of chemotypes of each. Each species is special and most interesting and if you spend some time learning about them, you will be better educated on how to use them and Lavender in general. Here are some of the best known and most used for herbal medicine or aromatic essential oil.

            Lavandula angustifolia with many varieties that are distilled including favorites like Munstead, Hidcote, Jean Davis, Lady, and Vera to name just a few. So-called ‘English Lavender’ alone has over 40 different named varieties of plants with the broadest range of color choices available from white Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia alba), to pink (Lavandula angustifolia rosea), then to the deepest royal purple (Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote) spanning the full Lavender color spectrum ….
            Lavandula dentata also one of the many so-called French Lavender but this one actually originated in Spain. It is an ornamental plant whose EO can be used in perfumery or as an herbal treatment for a stomach ache.

             Lavandula latifolia also called Lavandula spica, spike lavender, broad lavender or Portuguese Lavender. This is one of the parents of L. x. intermedia as it is rather easy to grow and will hybridize in the wild.

            Lavandula x intermedia also called Dutch Lavender is a sterile hybrid plant, a combination of L. latifolia and L. angustifolia. It was designed to grow quickly and produce lots of essential oil. Depending on its terroir, it can produce an EO that is quite an equal to the true Lavender or it can produce an EO that is very high in camphor. When distilled at low elevation it often contains large quantities of camphor and cineol; when grown and distilled at high elevation or in cool moderate climates, its scent can be favorably compared to a sweet true Lavender.
            In California, this hybrid more often than not produces a good quality oil that is low in camphor but may be high in borneol (which can degrade to camphor) or cineol. Several varieties are common such as Grosso and in the U.S., one called ‘Provence’.

                  Lavandula stoechas, also called French Lavender or Italian Lavender and works well to make herbal wreaths and in dried arrangements. It is considered a noxious weed in parts of Australia and Spain.
Lavandula viridis,
also called green or yellow Lavender. Produces heavily and can be distilled for a fine pine-scented hydrosol and an EO that can be used as an anti-fungal.

COUNTRIES OF ORIGINS ~ Lavender is native to the Old World and is found from Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, Europe across to northern and eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, southwest Asia to southeast India. Common names are given to various species of Lavender no matter where they grow or why they grow there. English Lavender does not necessarily mean Lavender raised in England – it actually does not mean much of anything and that goes for the other country names given to the various species; it is best to learn your plants first by their correct Latin binomial, then variety, then chemotype (chemistry) and then country where it was grown. If you do this then you will actually know something about the plant.
Tasmania is a very large island south of Australia and grows Lavandula angustifolia with a scent that is unique to the place and that can be described as spicy and floral. The main growing area is on the north side of Tasmania and is the Bridestowe Lavender Estate. This Lavender farm located in Nabowla, Tasmania, Australia is believed to be the largest commercial plantation of Lavandula angustifolia in the world.
Kashmir, India produces Lavender, much of it organically grown at an altitude of 5000 feet and more. Kashmir Lavender is a most treasured lavender. Its yield is 1.3% – 1.7% and chemistry is about Linalool 31% and Linalyl acetate is 44%.

 

HARVEST LOCATION ~ Eden Botanicals has many types of Lavenders and they come from many areas of the world including areas in Spain, Sicily, Bulgaria, France and Italy; some of which have organically grown plants and I have also studied and added the essential oils of Lavender from Tasmania, the United States, Croatia and Nepal and other places.
The terroir (see definition above) of Lavender and Lavandin is very important. It might grow just about anywhere but location is very important to its quality as an herb or for production of the essential oil. In very hot areas it may produce abundant growth but the quality of the oil may be lacking while in high elevation the quantity of growth may be lacking but the quality of the oil be readily apparent.
In the past I have had an essential oil kit that included Lavenders from six different areas to demonstrate to the user how important terroir is to the scent and use of a plant. The kit was called “A Flight of Lavenders”. It was a “training kit developed to introduce you to the different odors of our lovely Lavenders. They are all organically grown Lavandula angustifolia.  Inhale and waft the scent from each of the bottles and write down your impressions of the scent.  There are dozens of Lavender odors, each one separate and different from the last.  Only a Lavender oil with considerable camphor is considered a poor-quality oil.  The Croatian Lavender was the most camphoraceous in scent character.”
The Lavender EO I included were Bulgarian Lavender –The traditional soft, floral scent; Maillette Lavender from France — A floral, fruity odor; Portugal Lavender which was green and floral; California Lavender — Woody with a delicious floral back note, it contains borneol, an immune-stimulant; Croatian Lavender is herbaceous/camphoraceous and used in massage; and Tasmanian Lavender – sweet and spicy. I also included a sample of Lavender Hydrosol from California and Lavender Hydrosol from Tasmania. These demonstrate 6 of the 7 main scent characters used to describe odor: floral, fruity, (not citrus), green/vegetative, woody, herbaceous/camphoraceous and spicy.
Of course, there are more to try.

ENDANGERED OR NOT ~ NO it is not endangered. However, natural products such as “Lavender and other aromatic and medicinal plants along with their extracts have been used throughout history and form part of our common heritage. Their benefits have been proven over thousands of years. Today, under European regulations, these natural products have been placed in the same category as man-made chemical products and as such they are subject to restrictions which in practice make it impossible to continue their use. The only ones to benefit from this situation are the chemical industries who will have free reign to substitute their synthesized chemical products for the natural products. This will be detrimental to consumers’ health and at the cost of the disappearance of rural and agricultural lands. If you feel this is possible there are petitions that are available that will help to contribute to the preservation of natural products, those who cultivate them, and the environment in which they are cultivated.” — http://www.lavande-aop.fr/en/PDO-lavender/petition-avaaz

 

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ A highly aromatic small evergreen shrub found in dry sunny soil or grassy slopes amongst rocks, in exposed (usually parched), hot rocky environments, often on calcareous soils (Plants for a Future 2012); it is also found in gardens and urban areas.  “An herbaceous bushy plant reaching a height of four feet. A woody plant with spike-shaped leaves of light grayish green.  They have a downy look, the flowers appearing in various shades of white to mauve to violet-lavender, which are tightly paced around a singular stem” Essential Aromatherapy, p. 142.
Lavandula x intermedia is a cross of two plants, Lavandula angustifolia, a Lavender species with narrow leaves, and Lavandula latifolia, a Lavender species with wide leaves.  The ‘x’ means it is a cross and non-fertile, it does not produce seeds.  There are many varieties of Lavandula x intermedia.

There is extreme variation in this plant and its species due to the influence of terroir. This is why you must try out more than one to experience the variety of scent that exists in the plant. More about the growth and ecology of Lavender is at http://www.botanical-online.com/english/lavenderculture.htm

 

PORTION OF PLANT USED IN DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, EXTRACTION METHODS AND YIELDS ~ Only the flower buds contain the essential oil of Lavender, and from this the characteristic scent and flavor of lavender is derived. So, when you harvest, cut only the flower tops and not the stems to get the best representation of the scent. Commercial farms cut the top third of the plant and that includes the stem because it is easier and prunes the plant at the same time; so, it is economical and no need to come back and cut the stems. However, for the home user, take only the flower tops for distillation or for drying.

An acre of true Lavender (L. angustifolia) produces from 300 to 1,800 pounds of dried flowers (12 to 15 pounds of essential oil – about 2 gallons). An acre of one of the Lavandin cultivars (L. x intermedia) yields from 3,500 to 4,500 pounds of dried flowers per acre (53 to 67 pounds of essential oil).

Yield is 1.4 – 1.6% for L. angustifolia and more for L. x intermedia.

 

 

ORGANOLEPTIC CHARACTERISTICS ~

  • Color …………………. Most Lavender is colorless to a light yellow. Some with high amounts of camphor are brownish. Absolutes are brown.
  • Clarity ………………. Clear
  • Viscosity ………….  Non-viscous for the steam-distilled and semi-viscous for the absolutes.
  • Intensity of odor. The intensity varies depending on the elevation and chemistry. Lavender can be of very low intensity (strength) like a 1-2 and sometimes exceed 5-6 or more when it is high in camphor.

Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment ~ Lavender and Lavandin represent a plethora of odors from the sweet soft floral scent of the high elevation Lavender to the hot camphor scent from inland desert areas; Lavender has every scent you can imagine. One of my most favorite is the spicy floral scent of Tasmanian Lavandula angustifolia. I am also partial to the very soft, floral odor of Lavender absolute. There are other Lavenders I like and it behooves you to get a sampling of this essential oil from various areas or terroirs and find the one that you prefer. You may wish to try the Lavender Sampler Pack from Eden Botanicals. It is a kit of 10 different Lavenders from various areas. You may like one for skin care, another for inhalation and then an entirely different one for perfume. Pictured below are 14 of my favorite Lavender oils.

Various Lavenders from L. x intermedia to L. angustifolia and from 7 different terroirs.
Eden Botanicals supplied Lavender absolute, Lavandula angustifolia organic from Bulgaria and France, L. angustifolia high elevation, organic from Italy and high-elevation organic from Italy, L. angustifolia Maillette from France and a wild type, L. stoechas ssp. Luisieri from Spain, L. x intermedia Grosso organic from Spain and L. x. intermedia sumian from Sicily, L. angustifolia from Tasmania (Natural Extracts) and L. angustifolia Blend from Prima Fleur.

 

Left nostril = the scent AND Right nostril = the intensity

Left side nostril smells the scent; right side nostril smells the intensity. So, smell on the left side, then smell on the right and then waft back and forth under the nose to get the entire scent experience.

“It has been demonstrated that sensory perception has an impact on aging in species that are unconnected by millions of years through evolution. This suggests that comparable effects might be seen in human beings as well. For human beings, it might not be the smell…. it might be our perception of danger or food. In this case, a smart program where we control our perceptions might form the foundation of an easy yet powerful program to prevent disease and promote healthy aging.” from AntiAging Forum

 

GENERAL PROPERTIES and HOW TO USE ~

How to Start Using Lavender oil: If you have never smelled or used or applied Lavender oil the easiest method to learn about what it does is to rub 1-2 drops of Lavender Essential Oil in your cupped palms, inhale the scent, and then listen and feel what that is like. Does it affect your brain to calm the mind? Does it have any mental effects on you at all?  You can also rub it on the feet, temples, wrists (or anywhere) and get an effect. After you find out the effects, and you like them, then you can add a drop or two of Lavender to your own products and understand these effects on the skin. There are many ways to use Lavender oils, some are: Aromatherapy oil, Bath gels, creams, lotions, shampoos and herbally as the whole dried flower in extracts, infusions, lotions, teas, tinctures.
This is also the way to start using any essential oil — open bottle and inhale lightly. Write down what you feel.

 

General Properties and Uses: Lavender is analgesic and sedative (calming, sedating) and antiseptic (antibiotic, anti-infective, anti-parasite) and anti-inflammatory.
Lavandin is antitussive, nerve tonic, hypotensive, antidepressant, and respiratory tonic and by application an antibacterial.

 

Properties of Lavender/Lavandin (by AP=application, IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation):

            AP = Application: Antiseptic, analgesic, Muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, cicatrize, cytophylactic, antispasmodic, antiparasitic, anti-infectious, antivenomous, and antibiotic.

            IN = Inhalation: Sedative, tonic, analgesic (pain relief), calmative, antitussive (cough suppress), decongestant, antidepressant, and restorative (makes you feel better).

            IG = Ingestion:  antivenomous, antitoxic, diuretic. We suggest that you do not take the EO internally.

 

Physical Uses of Lavender & How used (IG or AP): Externally applied for burns, cuts, grazes, inflammatory conditions, arthritis, cramps, ulcers and skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, sunburn, rashes, acne, insect bites, infections, and for hair and skin care. Lavender is a common ingredient in soaps, shampoos, and sachets for scenting clothes.

            Application/ Skincare: Lavender is an indispensable plant whose herb, essential oil and hydrosol are used in skin care and cosmetics. It is ubiquitous in high end products as well as in low-end ones. However, there are few of these many offerings that actually use a true uncut totally natural Lavender or Lavandin. These oils are separated by their chemistry — if they are high in linalyl acetate and linalool they are soothing and sedating. The esters (linalyl acetate) are usually very soothing to the skin while the alcohols (linalool) are sedating to the mind.

Externally, a few drops in a hot footbath is used for fatigue, or neuralgia. A hot compress relieves toothache, sprain and rheumatism. Lavender oil can be rubbed on the temples for a nervous headache.

Emotional Uses of Lavender (AP or IN):        Inhaled for headaches, migraine, insomnia, depression, anxiety, nervous tension, panic, hysteria, comfort during childbirth, and for mental pain of dysmenorrhea (AP & IN).

Energetic/Emotional Use ~ Lavender may have earned its name of ‘to wash’ because it is frequently used in baths to help purify the body and spirit. If grown with care and attention, it is one of the purest and most highly evolved scents.

                     Uses: The oil and spirit/tincture are good when taken internally for all sorts of pains in the head and for the brain, as a restorative and tonic against faints, weakness, giddiness, spasms, colic, vertigo —and with oil of Rosemary for loss of memory or for anti-aging. Lavender relieves melancholy and raises the spirits.

                       Stress Formula for the Work Place is a combination of Lavender, Geranium, Bergamot, Spearmint. Use twice as much Lavender as you do the other oils, something like this: 10 drops Lavender and 5 drops each of Bergamot, Geranium and Spearmint.  Succuss the blend and then take a sniff. Adjust the ingredients to your liking. You can use this as an inhalant or in a skin care product for a fragrant ingredient blend that also soothes the skin.

 

Spiritual Qualities of Plants, especially Lavender ~ Organic refers to the method of growing without the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, sprays or products using sound healthy agricultural methods. Organically grown is better for you, better for the animals and best for the planet. If you want to incorporate the spiritual qualities of plants they must be organically grown and you should use the ones that are locally sourced and better yet those that you have grown yourself with love and intent. For plants to have a spiritual quality there has to have been the intent to grow the best. If you do have a plant that you have grown with intent and wish to use it in your inner/spiritual work, think how to use it, work on the method of using and then go ahead and use it. In other words, be spiritual to use spiritually. I have a book called Ritual, How to” that outlines ways in which you can use plant in a wholesome, intent way.

 

DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION ~ You can put Lavender or Lavandin into a diffuser. Just remember that when you diffuse, keep in mind that you should have a purpose in mind for the desired results and diffuse with purpose and intent and for short periods of time — 5 minutes out of 15 as an example. Make sure your diffuser has an on-off cycle so that the air does not become saturated around you. If you want to be calm, Lavender mixes well with Bergamot or Chamomile, if you want a calm stimulation try Lavender with Jasmine. There are hundreds of combinations that one can try with Lavender, just be moderate in your use.

 

            My Favorite Use of Lavender Oil ~ I have never been as fond of Lavender oil as I have been of its complementary opposite, Rosemary. They are like the yin and yang of essential oils. Where Rosemary is stimulating, Lavender is calming and when Rosemary wakes up your skin, Lavender soothes it.  I will choose Rosemary over Lavender every time except when it is time to sleep. Then I use sweet Lavender hydrosol as a spray for the pillow case and inhale the scent of a combination of Bergamot and Lavender to sleep. Umm! Peaceful quiet sleep is the best on lovely linen sheets, feather pillows and with the sweet scents of Lavender and Bergamot.
 

PERFUMERY AND BLENDING ~ Lavender blends with well with most other essential oils especially other Mediterranean oils like Marjoram, Thyme, conifers of all types and in perfumery the citrus scents of Lemon and Bergamot, other florals such as Jasmine, Osmanthus and herbal florals like Rose Geranium. As Eden Botanicals says, “In aromatherapy, Lavender is one of (if not) the most commonly used essential oil due to its general availability, modest price, versatility and universally pleasant scent. Lavender has been an integral part of fine fragrances for centuries – it is a middle to top note, can be used as a perfume modifier, and can also help mask unpleasant aromas of oils you want to use in blends.”
In perfumery is where you want to get the benefits of the Lavender scent, use the lovely Lavender absolute. It is soft and floral and more like the best of the best Lavender scent. It works exceedingly well in floral perfumes and adds a rich deep soft floral note to them.

courtesy of Eden Botanicals

 

BLENDING – WITH PERFUME FORMULA ~

 Perfume of a 1000 Flowers
10 drops Lavender absolute
5 drops each of Bergamot, Jasmine abs, Rose abs, Neroli, Tuberose and Vanilla
5 drops of Rose Geranium and Ylang-Ylang complete
Make a synergy using succussion.
Age the blend 2-4 weeks.
Dilute with an equal amount of 95% neutral grape spirits.
Shake again. Age again.
Label your container.
Use Sparingly.

 

            HOW TO EXTRACT SCENT from Lavender: There are many methods that one can use to ‘get’ the scent out of a plant and these have been detailed in several books including my own Herbal Body Book.         One method is as follows:  Fill a large jar with flowers of the Lavender (and some Calendula).   Small flowers should be chosen, and they should all be stripped of their stalks and leaves to leave room for as many flowers as possible. Now fill with a light Olive oil, fill it up slowly. As the oil is absorbed into the flowers, you may need to add a bit more so that the flowers are always slightly covered with oil. Leave them to macerate for twenty-four hours in the oil, then pour the entire contents of the whole jar into a double boiler and heat the oil until is almost boiling. Let it cool and then strain. You will need a strainer lined with silk (or panty hose). Let the oil drip through without a lot of squeezing.  If you want the end result to be a one flower oil then you must start and finish with the same flower. This formula yields an infused or macerated oil.

There is an art to the extraction of scent from flowers and this art is much older than distillation. Distillation is generally used for the herbaceous plants but home-methods will yield a good quality infused oil if care is taken.

 

HYDROSOL OF LAVENDER

HYDROSOL ~ There are umpteen uses of Lavender hydrosol. They can depend on the variety or the chemotype that was distilled. Lavender is a true all-around product — use it in baths, in skin care, in skin products, as a facial or body spray, use the sweeter Lavender hydrosols for baby or elder care, carry in your car for a refreshing spray while you drive or to clean the baby’s skin after you change a diaper. There are extensive files at the “Hydrosols – Herbs&Aromatherapy” Facebook page if you want specific uses. And every book that discusses hydrosols also has many uses for Lavender hydrosol. Try my book, 375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols.

          Hydrosol of Lavender can be gargled for hoarseness, added to teas for flavor. The hydrosol is an antiseptic for swabbing pimples, wounds, acne, or sores. The hydrosol is used as a wash for puffy eyes, bruises, bites, and other minor external sores or blemishes to normalize the sebaceous glands and reduce puffiness, and as a hair rinse to reduce oiliness.

Lavender hydrosol is sprayed on the face for skin care, to relieve eyestrain, for cooling and soothing the temper.  It works just as well on seniors or for babies.

 

Jeanne Rose Lavender Hydrosol Recipe for the Skin:  Lavender Hydrosol ~ Use a true high-altitude Lavender to distil as that will have the chemistry Lavender is known for. Lavender hydrosol is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can be used on all skin types. Perfect for use as a daily toner and light astringent, especially for acne-prone, troubled skin. It is pure and therapeutic.    Aromatic note: True Lavender hydrosol, unlike other hydrosols, should not have a camphor-type scent. This is because Lavender generally does not have as many aromatic particles that are water soluble, so the scent is earthy, sweet, and herbal.

Dilute hydrosols by at least 50-75% for children 6 and older;

Dilute further for ages under 6 or avoid altogether.

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 are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, and by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh to extract as much cellular water of the plant as possible.

 The perfect choice for a culinary experience — L. angustifolia Avice Hill to flavor a dessert
Courtesy of Evening Light Farms

CULINARY USES of Lavender ~ If you are using Lavender flowers and stalks in your cooking, please understand that whatever the chemistry is of that particular plant is what you will be eating. If your Lavender has a strong camphor odor then your food will also have that odor. It is best to use a ‘sweet’ culinary type Lavender that has little to no camphor/borneol odor, that is high in linalool and linalyl acetate instead.  Beware of plants that come from very hot or desert like areas as they will probably be very high in camphor. Smell the flower and stalk first before you use it in your grill.

The most unpleasant taste is a delicious steak or vegetable kebob that was speared onto a high camphor Lavender stalk or even a salad with camphoraceous Lavender flowers. Buy your culinary Lavender from Evening Light Farms — they grow particular types for particular culinary uses.
               You can infuse ‘sweet’ Lavender flowers in white wine for 24 hours, strain the flowers out and then drink the wine. You can make Lavender wine using grapes, yeast. Lavender buds and the fermentation process. See page 209-218 of The Herbal Guide to Food by Jeanne Rose.

 

HERBAL USES OF LAVENDER ~ A tea brewed from the tops is excellent to drink to relieve a headache caused from excess fatigue or exhaustion or for a slight stimulation to wake you up. Fomentation of Lavender in bags can be used as an analgesic to relieve pain or as a therapeutic mask for the face.

The dried plant is added to baths and facial steaming herbs to stimulate the complexion, cleanse the skin, and act as an aromatic astringent; it can be mixed with any other herb, especially Rosemary, Comfrey and Rose. It is commonly use in potpourris and sachets.

My Herbs & Things, Herbal Body Book and Herbal Guide to Food have many uses for Lavender herb. Read them for the formulas.

 

CHEMICAL COMPONENTS ~ To smell like Lavender your sample should exhibit high levels of the alcohol linalool and the ester linalyl acetate. Lavender should have linalool and linalyl acetate in it in a proportion of 2:1 or about 40:20. It should contain little to no Camphor.  If your Lavender has high quantities of camphor in it, then you have either the wrong plants or the wrong earth.  The essential oil is the expression of the earth in the plant.  Camphor can be in Spanish Lavenders and spike Lavenders but fine Lavender will have a soft and soothing scent.

Linalool is an alcohol like the alcohol in wine. The essential oil alcohols here are monoterpenols.  They are bactericides, anti-infectious, antiviral, stimulating to the skin to heal, good general tonics and free of hazards.

Linalyl acetate is an ester. Esters are somewhat fruity in scent, are gentle in action, soothing to the skin, anti-inflammatory, effective on skin rashes and other skin problems.  They can both calm and uplift and combined with the tonic virtues of alcohols are very balancing, especially to the nervous system.

Comparison of Main Components ~ There are many GC/MS available for Lavender and its derivatives.
Over the years, I have had many samples analyzed. Some years ago, I had 12 samples of California-grown Lavender analyzed and put together in a chart. This chart is available from me, if you wish to see it, just e-mail me, aromaticplant@yahoo.com
Lavender oil gland

HISTORICAL USES ~ Lavender is involved with the history of Photography. The first permanent photograph was an image produced in 1825 by the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. His photographs were produced on a polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea. Bitumen hardens with exposure to light. Niépce also experimented with silver chloride, which darkens when exposed to light, but eventually looked to the bitumen, which he used in his first successful attempt at capturing nature photographically. He dissolved the bitumen in Lavender oil, a solvent often used in varnishes, and coated the sheet of pewter with this light capturing mixture. He placed the sheet inside a camera obscura to capture the picture, and eight hours later removed it and washed it with Lavender oil to remove the unexposed bitumen.

Nicéphore Niépce’s earliest surviving photograph of a scene from nature, circa 1826, “View from the Window at Le Gras,” Saint-Loup-de-Varennes (France). The photograph was found to have been taken in 1825.

 

INTERESTING INFORMATION ~ The history of Lavender is long and varied and should include a bit about René Maurice Gattefossé who determined some interesting uses of the essential oil. He was born in 1881 and used essences (aromatic oils) during WWI as well as in skincare. He wrote a cosmetics manual and a Perfumery magazine in 1908 and he used Lavender oil for healing. In his words, “The external application of small quantities of essences rapidly stops the spread of gangrenous sores. In my personal experience, after a laboratory explosion covered me with burning substances which I extinguished by rolling on a grassy lawn, both my hands were covered with a rapidly developing gas gangrene. Just one rinse with lavender essence stopped “the gasification of the tissue”. This treatment was followed by profuse sweating, and healing began the next day (July 1910).” He wrote a book of his experiences, published in 1937, which I had the honor to translate in 1990 which later was made available to the public. Gattefossé died in 1950.

 

Prior to 1930, L. x intermedia or Lavandin was not available. Now, most of what people know and experience in France as “Lavender oil” is really Lavandula x intermedia. The discovery of this new variety of Lavandin was told by Pierre Grosso himself to Christiane Meunier in May 1985 and is reported in her book Lavandes & Lavandins (pp. 69-70). Mariuccia, Pierre Grosso’s sister, gives other details in Maritano’s book.

“Pierre began to cultivate Lavandin from his arrival in France, at the beginning of the thirties. Probably at the beginning of the fifties, he found an old abandoned Lavender field at Caseneuve (a township in Provence).  Here, among dead plants, there was just one still living, a beautiful Lavandin plant. He collected it, took some cuttings and in April the following year planted them out. He then began to produce and sell this new Lavender. People bought the Lavandin of the Grosso farm because it grew quickly and proved to be resistant to dèpèrissement, a progressive drying disease of plants, transmitted by insects. At the beginning of the seventies, Pierre Grosso decided to register his new variety at the Syndicat of Sault. From 1972-1975 the Lavandin ‘Grosso’ began to be planted in preference to the variety ‘Abrialii’. Now it represents about three quarters of the cultivated Lavender in Provence and is one of the best-known cultivars all over the world. Pierre’s Lavender farm went on to produce two or three million cuttings a year, prepared by French and Spanish female workers.”

 

KEY USE ~ Lavender is called ‘the Oil of First Thought’ because it is the first one anyone thinks about to use in just about any situation while Lavandin is called the ‘the Oil of Second Thought’ since you can use it if you don’t have Lavender.

 

SCIENTIFIC DATA ~ There are many articles regarding Lavender on the scientific websites. When you do your searches look for a website that is NOT selling you something. Look for ‘science’ in the title or look for the Journal of Essential Oil Research. Here is one about Lavender and the Nervous System https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/ . And look for specifics like Lavender and Fungus infection.

                                                        What is Lavender 40/42?
            This is a standardized oil with the same aroma every time you buy it. The numbers in Lavender 40/42 indicate the linalyl acetate + linalool content; in this case, they indicate the product contains 40%-42% of linalyl acetate and linalool. Lavender 40/42 is generally a blend of various lavenders in order to get a consistent scent from batch to batch, with processors adding linalyl acetate to cover the smell of camphor or borneol components of a given lavender. Properties: Because this oil is standardized it has a consistent aroma from lot to lot. It is low in therapeutic qualities. Benefits: We do not recommend using lavender 40/42 for therapeutic uses. It is an okay oil for perfume and fragrance applications, because it will have a consistent aroma for each batch that you make. Of Interest: To standardize this oil different lavender oils are blended together. A nature identical linalyl acetate is then added to the blend to create an aroma that is the same every time. Lavender 40/42 is actually a blend of various lavenders and ingredients and is thus a manufactured oil, not truly from an actual plant.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FORMULAS~ Lavender Luxuries

SKIN CARE USING HERBS AND ESSENTIAL OILS

There are many books giving many recipes for making skin-care treatments including my own The Herbal Body Book (See Table 1) as well as Kitchen Cosmetics.  Use these for reference.  Read these books very carefully and practice making your own body-care products. Lavender is a well-known addition to any skin-care or beauty products. Lavandula angustifolia, the ‘true’ Lavender, with its high ester content is best in formulas for acne that is either pustular or dry, reddened or couperose skin, devitalized (skin with no life) skin, inflamed or irritated skin, oily skin, skin that is fully of water (edema) but dry and fatty and for wrinkles.

Lavender that is higher in camphor or borneol, Lavandula latifolia, the ‘Spike’ Lavender or certain chemotypes of Lavender can be used specifically for acne and dry acne. Know your Lavender, especially it is good to know what type of Lavender that you are using when you make a skin-care formula.

Refer to Table 1 of The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations and Table 1 of The Herbal Body Book for your choice of essential oils.  Get the book from 41`5-564-6785 or www.jeannerose.net

 

SIMPLE SCRUB as a cleanser or soap substitute ~ 1 T Oatmeal added to 1 T warm honey + 1 drop Lavender oil. Apply to moistened skin.

 

FACIAL OIL FOR SKIN ~ Make your blend of therapeutic essential oils using Table 1 of the Herbal Body Book or the chapter on Blending of the Aromatherapy Studies Course.  Add 4-6 drops of your EO. mixture to 1 oz. of herbal infused vegetable oil.  Particularly recommended is Lavender Infused Oil with your added essential Oils. Or use Olive oil for normal skin, Hazelnut oil for oily skin and Sunflower oil for dry skin.  Bottle, label and use.  Make only one ounce of facial oil at a time because as you treat your skin condition, it will change and so will your choice of essential oils.

 

STEAMING YOUR SKIN AS A CLEANSING ALTERNATIVE ~ Any mixture of herbs and essential oils will work.  But for simplicity sake use Lavender flower, Chamomile flowers, Rosebuds and Comfrey leaf.  Infuse 1 T of each in one cup of water, then heat this water just to boiling.  Remove the pot to a table and place face over pot and let the steam do its work.  Use only 1 drop of your choice of essential oil per steam.  See the Herbal Body Book and The Aromatherapy Book.

GENTLE MASKS for Stimulation ~ These were discussed at length in The Herbal Body Book and many examples are given.  The easiest mask and the most therapeutic besides the ones mentioned in the required readings is to simply take the simplest store-bought mask and make it therapeutic by adding high-quality Lavender oils and a bit of herbal Lavender infusion or hydrosol. Use no more than 1-2 drops essential oil per mask.  You may also use 1 t. clay + 1 t. hydrosol + a touch of Lavender/Chamomile essential oil.

 

HOT OIL TREATMENTS FOR SKIN AND HAIR ~ add 1 drop Lavender oil + 1 drop of Rosemary oil to 1 teaspoon Jojoba oil and rub into the scalp for a gentle treatment. Wear a hair cap or wrap your head in a hot towel until the towel cools. The wash hair as usual immediately or the next day. You can also make a Rosemary infused oil with Jojoba or Olive oil and to ½ oz. of this add 20 drops or more of Lavender oil. Rosemary and Lavender EO work well together.

 

SHAMPOO ~ Shampoo can be easily made from herbs, soap and essential oils.  However, if you don’t wish to do this, make herbal shampoo the easy way.  Make an herbal infusion using 1 oz. of mixed Lavender flowers to 2 cups of water.  Strain and add 1/2 cup of this floral infusion to 1 oz. of store-bought shampoo.  Add 3 drops of essential oil of Lavender.  Shampoo hair.  Dry by using a Linen or silk towel and rubbing the hair with the towel.  This will give a gloss to the hair.  With the rest of your Lavender herbal infusion you can steam your skin or add it to your aromatic Lavender bath or use as a hair rinse. The excess can be refrigerated or used in your bath.

BATHING ~ Bathing with Lavender herb and essential oil is an important part of any aromatherapist personal skin treatment.  Without a bath once a week for soaking and contemplating and herbal immersing, one’s personal cleansing ritual is not complete.  A shower is great for the morning hurry but in the evening, a bath is a spiritual and physical necessity.    I generally add Spikenard or Lavender/Chamomile EO. to a bath. Other bath treatments can be made with any number of herbal and essential oil ingredients.  Salt scrub baths made up of 1 oz. Sea Salt + 1 oz. Hazel nut oil + 5 drops Lavender essential oil is used as externally to exfoliate for dead skin cells.  A shower or soak follows the salt scrub (see The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations).

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A BLUE LAVENDER TOMATO TALE with a Formula Attached.

            When I first started working with Artemisia arborescens, nobody else much knew about it but I knew it produced a gorgeous dark indigo-blue oil. I had a large bag of the cuttings from my garden and my friend at the Alameda Distillery offered to distill it in his smallest still. I warned him about the blue oil that would be released from the plant – but he was undeterred. So, we went through the distillation process, got some beautiful opaque indigo-blue oil and lots of interesting hydrosol. Later when they distilled some grapes for the eau de vie, it came out blue as well. They were shocked but agreed that it was still tasty.

They called me about how to clean these azulene molecules from the still and I suggested running a load of Lavender. Thus, was Blue Lavender born. When Eatwell.com made the same error some years later of running the Blue Artemis first, and then their Lavender they also got a lovely blue-colored Lavender oil. But in this case, they sold the blue-Lavender oil to fascinated customers and then began to make it into a healing salve.

The A. arborescens has an amazing healing EO that is used for serious skin disease. Unlike the Moroccan plant, West coast Artemisia arborescens does not contain thujone but it does contain camphor. This camphor in the Blue Artemis treats skin conditions such as skin tags while azulene is used as an anti-inflammatory for conditions like Rosacea. It is used externally. And when distilled prior to anything else, it leaves some of its healing qualities behinds that become incorporated into the final product. So, Lavender is often used to clean out the still from the blue azulene particles and then also lends itself to the healing qualities of the resultant oil, called Blue Lavender. The Lavender softens the strong herbal scent of the blue Artemis and is calming as well.

Eatwell.com makes a gorgeous healing salve of this oil.

 

SOME SPECIES OF LAVENDER

Courtesy of Evening Light Farms

Lavandula angustifolia with many varieties that are distilled including favorites like Munstead, Hidcote, Jean Davis, Lady, and Vera to name just a few. So-called English Lavender alone has over 40 different named varieties of plants with the broadest range of color choices available from white Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Arctic Snow), to pink (Lavandula angustifolia rosea), then to the deepest royal purple (Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote) spanning the full Lavender color spectrum.

French Lavender, Lavandula dentata, leaves are grayish green with a beautiful serrated edge which is why the name Lavandula dentata. The plants do very well in dried flower arrangements and can be distilled for a pale green, yellow oil. This oil on analysis has up to 40% cineol. Cineol is what makes Eucalyptus and Rosemary therapeutic. So, think of this oil as a sweet version of Eucalyptus and you will know how to use it. AND
Lavandula stoechas, the flower spikes have been used as tea internally for headaches, irritability, feverish colds and nausea, and the infusion externally used for wounds, rheumatic pain and as an insect repellent. Hydrosol can be used as a wound wash. The essential oil is used commercially in air fresheners and insecticides. The EO contains up to 40% pulegone.

Lavandula viridis oil vs. fungus, Lavender oil from green Lavender can knock out drug-resistant fungi called dermatophytes, lab-dish tests show. Distilled from the Iberian shrub Lavandula viridis L’Hérit, the oil inhibited dermatophytes by attacking their cell membranes. It also proved promising against Candida fungi. Dermatophytes cause athletes’ foot, ringworm and nail infections, while Candida causes yeast infections. Researchers at the University of Coimbra in Portugal report the results in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The active ingredient in the lavender oil appears to be an organic compound called alpha-pinene, they note. More tests are planned. —Nathan Seppa AND
Lavandula x intermedia, a variety of Lavandin, is the very commonly seen and known plant grown in vast quantities in France and in the United States and has many chemotypes. Few of these chemotypes are suitable for EO use or for using the stems or flowers in cooking. In too many cases this plant is very high in camphor. That in itself is not necessarily bad, but in many cases, renders this oil unfit for fine skin care or emotional care.

~ ~ ~

CONTRAINDICATIONS: There do not seem to be any contraindications for the use of Lavender plant nor for the essential oil in perfumery or aromatherapy. There are no known scientific reports of interactions between Lavender and conventional medications. However, because Lavender promotes relaxation, it may make the effects of central nervous (CNS) depressants stronger.  There are some distillers and practitioners who have developed sensitivity to the scent and use of Lavender and are unable to be near it or to smell it without negative consequences.

 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 in 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©

References:
Coombs, Allen J. Dictionary of Plant Names. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 1995.
Geuter, Maria. Herbs in Nutrition. New York. BioDynamic Agricultural Assn. 1962.
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.
Meunier, Christiane. Lavandes & Lavandins. Édisud. Aix-en-Provence. 1992
Nickell’s, J.M. Botanical Ready Reference
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne. Lavender, Lavender, Lavender. Sequim, WA. Sequim Lavender Growers Assn. 2003.
Rose, Jeanne. Natural Botanical Perfumery. San Francisco, Ca. 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California.
Worwood, Susan. Essential Aromatherapy. New World Library, San Rafael, CA. 1995.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/
http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/lavender
http://www.botanical-online.com/english/lavenderculture.htm
other books referenced are numerous.

Biography: Jeanne Rose has been teaching aromatherapy since 1972. Jeanne has written 25 books on herbs and aromatherapy and has two home-study courses; Aromatherapy and Herbal Studies Course and the Aromatherapy Studies Course, Practitioner.  For contact information on these courses and the books see:  www.jeannerose.net/

  

Lavender Limerick
Lavender, Lavender, Lavender
It will soothe your psyche and make you Purr
I don’t like it it’s true
It’s all so new.
But I use it on all my friends with fur—JeanneRose2015

 

A single lovely Lavender flower stalk.

 

 

~ JR ~

VETIVER PLANT/VETIVERT EO PROFILE

Synopsis:  An ambitious discussion of the essential oil of the grass Vetivert from the rootlets, its uses, growth, description, organoleptic qualities and uses of the essential oil.
A Vetivert basket and Vetivert essential oils from three countries. Courtesy Eden Botanicals.

 

VETIVER ROOTS OF A FRAGRANT PLANT

 Jeanne Rose

 

Common Name/Latin Binomial: Vetiver or Vetivert is Chrysopogon zizanioides. Vetiver is the plant and Vetivert is the essential oil of the plant.

            Other Common Name/Naming Information: On the basis of similar genetic analysis of related genera such as Chrysopogon and Sorghum, a new taxonomy was proposed by Veldkamp, who combined Chrysopogon zizanioides and Vetiveria zizanioides under the unique denomination Chrysopogon zizanioides L. Roberty. the former term, Vetiveria zizanioides, however, is still widely used in the current literature.

Vetiver belongs to the same part of the grass family as maize, sorghum, sugarcane, and lemongrass. Its botanic name, Vetiveria zizanioides (Linn) Nash, has had a checkered history—at least 11 other names in 4 different genera have been employed in the past. The generic name comes from “vetiver,” a Tamil word meaning “root that is dug up.” The specific name zizanioides (often misspelled zizanoides) was given first by the great Swedish taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus in 1771. It means “by the riverside”, and reflects the fact that the plant is commonly found along waterways in India.” — https://www.nap.edu/read/2077/chapter/7

            Family: From the grass family Poaceae. Poaceae or Gramineae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. The term Poaceae is derived from the Ancient Greek for fodder

 

Essential Oil Plants of the Grass Family ~ Gramineae (Poaceae).

Chrysopogon zizanioides is commonly known as Vetiver, a bunch grass whose roots are used.
Cymbopogon citratus West Indian Lemongrass;

Cymbopogon flexuosus is East Indian Lemongrass

Cymbopogon martini var. motia is Palmarosa grass, syn. Andropogon martini or Cymbopogon martinii.

Cymbopogon martinii var. sofia is Gingergrass

Cymbopogon nardus is Citronella grass.

 

Countries of Origins: Haiti, Java, Brazil, China, Madagascar, Japan and La Réunion and India for the Khus variety.

Eden Botanicals Harvest Location: Haiti and Sri Lanka with both organically-grown and cultivated types grown.

 

Endangered or Not: The annual world trade in Vetivert oil is estimated to be approximately 250 tons with Brazil, China, Haiti, India, Japan, Java, and Reunion being the main producers. Europe, India, Japan, and the United States are the main consumers.

The plant does not seem to be endangered although there is fear that consumers will mistakenly order the fertile plant over the internet and introduce it to a place where it may overrun.

 

General description of Plant habitat and growth: There are about 50 species of Chrysopogon of which only one is used in aromatherapy and that species zizanioides has two main types, a fertile one and a sterile one. This is a perennial grass with very fragrant long rhizomatous roots, growing to six feet high.

“It is important to realize that Vetiver comes in two types—this is a crucial point because only one of them is suitable for use around the world. If the wrong one is planted, it may spread and produce problems for farmers.

A wild type from North India known as Khus or Vetiver. This is the original undomesticated species. It flowers regularly, sets fertile seed, and is known as a “colonizer.” Its rooting tends to be shallow, especially in the damp ground it seems to prefer. If loosed on the world, it might become a weed.

A “domesticated” type from South India. This is the Vetiver that has existed under cultivation for centuries and is widely distributed throughout the tropics. It is probably a man-made selection from the wild type. It is nonflowering, does not seed (or at least is non-spreading), and must be replicated by vegetative propagation. It is the only safe type to use for erosion control.” — https://www.nap.edu/read/2077/chapter/7

It southern cultivar is a densely tufted, perennial grass that is considered sterile outside its natural habitat.  It flowers but sets no seeds. It is a lawn grass in the tropics, however, when eaten the sharp calluses on the lemma can pierce an animals stomach. (The Lemma is a morphological term used in botany and refers to a part of the spikelet of grasses (Poaceae). It is the lowermost of two chaff-like bracts enclosing the grass floret. It often bears a long bristle called an awn, and may be similar in form to the glumes – chaffy bracts at the base of each spikelet.

Vetiver can grow up to (5 ft.) high and form clumps as wide. The stems are tall and the leaves are long, thin, and rather rigid. The flowers are brownish-purple. Unlike most grasses, which form horizontally spreading, mat-like root systems, vetiver’s roots grow downward, 7 ft. to 13 ft. in depth.

 

Vetiver is the best plant in the world to stop erosion and repair damaged land from erosion. Once permanent Vetiver rows are established the roots should never be dug up. The aromatic roots have been used since ancient times in India. The fragrant, insect-repelling roots yield oil, which is valuable in the perfume industry. Traditionally, these roots were woven into mats, fans and fragrant screens, while the tops of the grass were used for thatch, mulch, handicraft, fodder and animal bedding.

Vetivert roots http://haitireconstruction.ning.com/page/growing-vetiver-for-essential

 

Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields:   The roots of Vetiver are picked, washed, comminuted (chopped), dried, and macerated (soaked) in the distillation water, before being steam distilled.  Yield: 0.5%.

The quality of the oil depends on the age of the roots and the length of distillation ~ from 12-36 hours. Distillation studies on vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) in northern India during 1987 to 1991, demonstrated that maximum oil content was associated with freshly harvested roots and that extractable oil decreased with delays in harvest and storage period.

 

Organoleptic Characteristics:

  • Color …………………. Depending on source, it is honey colored to a caramel brown
  • Clarity ………………… The lighter the color the more it is clear, the darker then semi-opaque
  • Viscosity ……………. Viscous to very viscous and thick like molasses
  • Intensity of odor … 4-6 (often the darker the color the more intense is the odor)

The guide to gauge the Intensity of odor ~ On a scale of 1-10, Lemon is on the low end about 2, while Peppermint is about 7-8. There are Lavenders that run the gamut from 1-9. However, Vetivert is often not very intense and softens with use in a perfume.

  • Taste ……………………. A burning bitter aromatic flavor, a smoky scent that rises up the throat.

5 Vetivert oils ~ courtesy Eden Botanicals and Prima Fleur

 

Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment: In general, the odor of this EO is very distinctive, yet when compared with one another there are definite differences. The newer samples of Vetivert are lighter in color and the lighter the color the less intense and less complex is the odor. As you can see from the above illustration, color varies from pale yellow to very dark brown. Color is removed from the oil because perfume makers do not like color. Personally, I prefer the deep rich intense scent of the original Vetivert types with the rich dark color for my perfumery classes.

Vetivert when double-distilled has an earthy, green tenacious character with sweet wood quality. During re-distillation, a small fraction of the constituents is removed, thus removing some of the therapeutic quality and other Vetivert oils are recommended when therapy is required.

Vetivert oil is a viscous amber-colored oil with a characteristic rooty, precious-woody odor of great tenacity. It is olfactorily dominated by a complex mixture of oxygenated sesquiterpenes. Has a persistent green-woody note and can be soft, woody-fruity when used with Patchouli, Sandalwood, Jasmine.

Vetivert double-distilled from Haiti is a light-colored EO, clear, medium viscosity and the scent is woody, green and slightly fruity odor, with less definable complexity. Because of its lack of color, it is often preferred in a perfume.

Vetivert organically grown from Haiti is a clear oil with a nice yellow color. It is strongly herbaceous and earth with a woody and even spicy note.

I am very fond of the Vetivert from Java with its deep brown color, semi-opaque, and viscous. The scent is woody, green with a floral and herbal back note. This very complex oil will indeed make your perfumes brown but upon dilution the scent smoothens out. It is wonderful with Rose or jasmine and Patchouly to make deep rich grounding odors that are sometimes

Solubility ……………………… 1-2 volumes of 80% alcohol
Specific Gravity ……………. 0.984 – 1.035 @ 25° C
Optical Rotation …………. Varies from +14° to + 37°
Refractive Index at 20° … 1.515 1.530

 

Chemical Components: There is great variety in the GC/MS of Vetivert but the one that I have seen is Vetiverol up to 50%, Vetivol up to 10%, terpenes like Vetivene up to 20%, and phenols up to 11%, Furfural, and Sesquiterpenes.

Two main chemotypes of the C. zizanioides species can be found: the ‘typical’ vetiver that is widespread all over the world and especially in Haiti, Java, Brazil, China, Madagascar, Japan and La Réunion. This produces an essential oil containing mainly zizaane, vetivane, eremophilane and eudesmane derivatives. The essential oils prepared industrially for the perfumery world market come exclusively from this variety.

On the other hand, ‘Khus’ oil another chemotype, is distinguished from the typical C. zizanioides by high amounts of cadinane derivatives, such as khusinol and especially khusilal. Khus oil is also devoid of the vetivones, characteristic of the ‘typical’ samples.

*

General Properties: (by IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation or AP=application):
Application:  Fixative in perfumery, stimulant, humectant, antiseptic, tonic, immuno-stimulant, emmenagogue, antispasmodic, sedative, and antiparasitic.
Ingestion:  It is not taken internally.
Inhalation:  Stimulant, immuno-stimulant, calmative, some think it has emmenagogue properties, sedative, and nervine.

 

Application:  Vetivert is used as a fixative in perfumery. When used in massage oil it is good for the circulation. It is used in lotions for aching joints, arthritis, or rheumatism.  It is a circulatory tonic and it can alleviate menstrual problems.  Specifically, it is said to promote and regulate menstrual flow and alleviates cramping.

 

            Application/ Skincare:   It is moisturizing and humectant for dry skin.  So, it is used in skin care on dry, irritated, mature, or aging skin.  Vetivert EO is useful in lotions to assist in skin hydration, if used with Lemon oil to help even out the color of the skin, and when used regularly will help to reveal smoother, better-looking complexion. The EO is useful in anti-aging creams and lotions, especially with Frankincense EO.

 

Exfoliation,
a recipe for the skin

Exfoliation is just like peeling the skin off an onion.  Dead cells are removed with scrubs, masks, or acid peels, revealing the younger, smoother layer of skin beneath. Exfoliate with ground coffee, ground almonds, ground walnuts, ground oats or a combination of these with hydrosols to hydrate and essential oils to treat. Essential oils should be gentle such as Owyhee, Roman Chamomile, Sandalwood, Rose, and Vetivert.

I am particularly fond of ¼ cup ground Almonds with enough Roman Chamomile or Rose hydrosol to moisten and a drop of Vetivert. Mix together, apply to clean moist face and gently massage in with circular motions. Let it sit while you shower and then gently rinse off.

*

Pain Release Formula
Mix together 20 drops Grapefruit – white, + 10 drops Rosewood + 5 drops Vetivert.
Shake vigorously and apply by massage to any painful spots on your body.

*

Perfumery ~ Vetiver grass roots contain an essential oil and used with other tropical odors is considered a high-class perfume. Copper plate inscriptions have been found that list the perfume (probably as a maceration) as one of the articles used by royalty. Vetivert oil is one of the ingredients in Chanel No. 5. The famous French perfume was introduced in 1921 and is still in production. Vetivert oil is contained in 90% of all western perfumes and its greatest use is in modern perfume creations. Vetivert oil is estimated to be approximately 250 tons per year in world trade.  The herb has been known in India since ancient times.

 

Diffuse/Diffusion: Vetivert can be diffused if you mix it with other essential oils, specifically those that are less viscous such as the Lavenders or citrus odors. It makes a very warm grounding odor that helps calm a household.

 

Emotional/Energetic Use: In folklore, Vetivert oil is used to increase financial abundance. In more common ritual, inhaling the oil is said to protect the body from menacing energies, including physical illness. Vetiver is employed in massage and aromatherapy for its grounding influence, to calm the central nervous system of one who feels “uprooted.”

 

Emotional Uses (AP or IN):   

Inhalation: “The scent is calming and sedating, used for comforting and for people who feel ‘uprooted’ or without stability.  It affects the parathyroid glands” —  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, p. 147.  It also alleviates stress, tension, and nervous tension.

Vetivert is also a good grounding oil for those who focus on intellectual activities to the exclusion of the physical, the herb added to the bath for an exceptional stress-relieving soak, and to inhale in the case of shock due to, for example, an accident, loss of employment, bereavement, separation, or divorce.

 

Ritual Formula – Send All Evil Away
Make a formula 20 drops Rosewood + 10 drops Palmarosa + 3 drops Vetivert.
Mix it together and use by inhalation or add to 70 drops (2 ml +) of a carrier oil.
Apply to wrists with intention and inhale.

 

Key Use: Oil of Depression and the immune system or Oil of Tranquility.

Depending on the country where used, this plant when distilled is used in perfumery and if dried used as potpourri and bug repellent.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Tomato Tales with Vetivert EO & Jeanne Rose’s experience

            I collected the oil of this plant for 30 years, from various company lists. Didn’t like the odor so kept the oil and let it gracefully age on my shelves. This is one of the major essential oils that can age gracefully for many years. I have stock from 1983 and after. I have stock from a company now long gone that has added synthetics. Why this was the case, I do not know as it is a relatively inexpensive essential oil.

For all these years, I was not that fond of Vetivert essential oil although I really loved the Vetiver fans and fragrant baskets that were made with the roots. I tried to like the scent but was not successful using it in perfumes or blends. It took my friend, Marianne Griffeth, of Prima Fleur Botanicals, to teach me to love it via her ability to make successful and fragrant blends using Vetivert. Her blends were always warm and delicious smelling ~ she talked about it so much that I began to try to use Vetivert oil. I have been getting better and better and am now truly loving the scent. I like to use the less intense oils that I have obtained from Eden Botanicals but also love the deep, dark Vetivert I get from Prima Fleur Botanicals.

Recently, I took 1 tablespoon of plain unscented cleansing cream and added 1-drop of Vetivert oil and massaged on my clean face and then let it sit for a few hours before I washed it off with warm water. This was a very pleasant experience and my face looked dewy soft.

 

Blends Best with: Cassie, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove, Chocolate Absolute, Coffee Bean, Frankincense, Galbanum, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, OakmossPatchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Tobacco Absolute, Violet Leaf, Ylang Ylang and citrus and other rich long-lived scents.

 

            Blending with formula ~ When making perfumes, always mix your oils together and then shake them via succussion [Succussion – to fling up from below] to make a synergy.  Let them age.  Add more oil if needed.  Age. Then add the carrier. Alcohol is not usually added to a Chypre type scent.

These are made with a top note, heart or body note and base or fixative note plus bridges if needed.

*

Chypre #3 ~ Vetivert
Top Note – 8 drops Clary Sage flower
Heart Note – 3 drops Cypress berry + 3 drops Grapefruit peel + 2 drops Petitgrain leaf
+ 2 drops Petitgrain leaf
Base Note – 4 drops Vetivert root + 2 drops Oakmoss
Fixative Note – 1 drop Labdanum resin

Mix these essential oils together, let them age for a few weeks. Smell, adjust ingredients if necessary. Dilute with oil, or alcohol and age again before using.

*

Gayathri India Perfume – 8-15-12
Bergamot peel – 40 (dark green)
Vanilla abs – 20
Balsam of Tolu – 10 (pre-dilute 50•50 with grape spirits)
Vetivert roots – 5

Mix – wait – add Cane or Grape spirits – wait – filter if necessary – wait – Use.

*

Dark Chocolate Truffle Perfume
Mix in any combination, start with 5 drops of each, smell, analyze
and add more or less of whatever you like.
Cocoa (Chocolate) Abs
Tobacco Abs
Vetivert EO
Vanilla Abs

 

Basket made of Vetiver roots

 

HERBAL USES: Varieties of this plant are grown throughout the tropics and used to thatch roofs or as a terracing plant. The roots of this grass acquire a soft almost sandalwood like odor when dried.  If these plants are kept moist and laid about the house, they help to keep bugs and moths out. And these dried roots are one of the best fixatives for dry potpourri as they blend well with Rose scent. Theses roots can be used in bath herbs, powdered for sachet or drunk as a tonic or stimulant tea. — Herbs & Things, Jeanne Rose’s Herbal, p. 112.

            Sometimes the roots are cleaned and used for brushes, for window screens (when wetted, will cool the house as the wind blows through), fans, mats and baskets and the chemical constituents of zizanol and epizizanol are insect repellents.

 

HYDROSOL: To date I have not had the opportunity to try a Vetiver 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 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.

Historical Uses: Historically used in perfumery while the herb is woven or used in mats to fragrance the air.

 Interesting Information: One type is called Khus-Khus.  The roots are used to make fragrant fans and screens, which give off a refreshing, clean scent when dampened.  “The roots are interwoven with flower matting, window coverings, etc. giving rooms a fragrance and deterring insects.  The oil is used in chypre (green, earthy) and oriental type perfumes, and soaps, toiletries, etc.  Growing the plant protects against soil erosion” essential aromatherapy, p. 170.

Key Use: Depression and the immune system. Oil of Tranquility.

 Contraindications: There do not seem to be any contraindications for the use of Vetiver plant in its use as blinds nor for the essential oil in perfumery or aromatherapy.

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 in 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.
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
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©

 

FORMULAS

 

*

Herbal Rejuvenating Parchment Skin Bath

Mix together equal parts of Patchouli leaves (upon which you have sprayed a bit of Patchouli oil), Vetivert roots, Linden flowers, and Comfrey leaf. Mix this all together. For a great bath, use at least 4 oz.by volume of the mixture. Add to a quart of water, and simmer gently for 10 minutes, then pour the liquid into your bath and the herbal matter into a gauze bag. Tie off the bag and throw into the tub. The Patchouli is rejuvenating for the senses, the Vetiver is a tonic stimulant and beneficial to healthy skin tone, and the Comfrey regenerates aging skin.

This is a great combination for men. —from Jeanne Rose Herbal Body Book, p. 301.

 

*

Orange Chypre Potpourri (dried herbs).

Chypre (sheepre) scents were invented in France and used in the 16th and 17th Century and were made up of various herbal powders and resins.  See Red Chypre as an example of that time.  And they are non-alcoholic perfumes that contain a variety of oils and resins.  The true traditional formula was one composed of Oakmoss, Labdanum, Jasmine, Patchouli and Bergamot with animal notes of civet and musk with Vetivert often added. These are often composed on the contrasts between Bergamot and Oakmoss and will often include Patchouli and citrus odors.  These scents are good on brunettes and for most men except those men who are very fair, pale or blonde. Aromatics Elixir, MaGriffe and Paloma Picasso are examples of Chypre scent for women.

Potpourris and Sachets are usually made of three main ingredients: (not EO) the main plant for its scent and color; the essential scent in EO Perfumes, the blender plant scent and the fixative plant scent, which are usually resins and base notes.

Scent your basic herbs and resins with their own essential oil and age before using them in the final construction.

Remember that Potpourri ingredients are generally left in whole form so that the form of the plants is still identifiable (with fixative ingredients in powder form) while Sachet ingredients are all comminuted and/or powdered form.
8 oz. Orange flowers WH (whole)
4 oz. Spearmint WH
3 oz. Coriander seeds, crushed
2 oz. Calamus CS (cut & sifted)
2 oz. Vetiver roots CS
1 oz. Oakmoss CS
1 oz. Benzoin resin, crushed
Add some cotton balls or tips of Q-tips scented with Bergamot and Vetivert oil.

Mix this all together and age in a covered light-proof container. Occasionally, open the top of the container and let the lovely potpourri scent the room.

 

References
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Published by Krieger.
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
http://haitireconstruction.ning.com/page/growing-vetiver-for-essential
http://www.bojensen.net/EssentialOilsEng/EssentialOils.htm
https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_chzi.pdf
https://www.nap.edu/read/2077/chapter/7
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. Herbs & Things. San Francisco, CA. 2009
Rose, Jeanne. Natural Botanical Perfumery Workbook.  Available at http://www.jeannerose.net/books.html
Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Body Book. Frog, Ltd. Berkeley, CA. 2000
Shaath, Nadima • Healing Civilizations; The Search for Therapeutic Essential Oils & Nutrients • Cameron+Co . 2017
Wikipedia on growth and morphology
http://www.vetiver.org/UP_Vetiver.htm

Abstracts/Scientific Data:
Evaluation of vetiver oil and seven insect-active essential oils against the Formosan subterranean termite. PubMed • Zhu, B C; Henderson, etc.
Modification of sleep-waking and electroencephalogram induced by vetiver essential oil inhalation
PubMed Central • Cheaha, Dania etc.
Constituents of south Indian vetiver oils. PubMed • Mallavarapu, Gopal Rao; etc.
Evaluation of DEET and eight essential oils for repellency against nymphs of the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae), Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)
Vetiver being harvested in China

 

 

 

 

 

~ JR ~

 

~ Lemongrass ~ EO PROFILE & Herbal Use

Synopsis: An ambitious discussion of the essential oil of the grass oil Lemongrass with the uses, growth, description, organoleptic qualities and herbal uses of the plant.

 

ESSENTIAL OIL PROFILE ~ Lemongrass
Cymbopogon species

By Jeanne Rose ~ June 2017

 

ESSENTIAL OIL PROFILE ~ Name of Oil: Lemongrass – 2 species

 LATIN BINOMIAL/BOTANICAL FAMILY: Lemon grass West Indian (Cymbopogon citratus) and Cymbopogon flexuosus is East Indian Lemongrass.

FAMILY: Lemongrass GRASS is a genus of the Gramineae (Poaceae) family of grasses. The name Cymbopogon is derived from the Greek words “kymbe” (boat) and “pogon” (beard), referring to the flower spike arrangement.  PRONUNCIATION ~ (sim-bo-pO’ gon)

NAMING ~ Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf DC or Augustin-Pyramus deCandolle, a Swiss botanist named many plants.

 

THE GRASSES THAT ARE STEAM-DISTILLED FOR THE ESSENTIAL OIL INCLUDE:

Chrysopogon zizanioides is commonly known as Vetiver, a bunch grass whose roots are used. Synonym is   Vetiveria) zizanioides) Vetivert (Chrysopogon zizanioides)

Cymbopogon nardus is Citronella grass.

Cymbopogon citratus West Indian Lemongrass;

Cymbopogon flexuosus is East Indian Lemongrass

Cymbopogon martini var. motia is Palmarosa grass, syn. Andropogon martini or Cymbopogon martinii.

Cymbopogon martinii var. sofia is Gingergrass

Cymbopogon nardus is Citronella grass.

 

COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN: Africa: north, Macronesia, west tropical, west-central tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, middle Atlantic Ocean, and western Indian ocean. Asia-temperate: China and eastern Asia. Asia-tropical: India, Indo-China, Malesia, and Papuasia. Australasia: Australia. Pacific: southwestern, south-central, northwestern, and north-central. North America: Mexico. South America: Mesoamericana, Caribbean, northern South America, western South America, Brazil, and southern South America.

Eden Botanicals source is India for the organically-grown and Nepal for the wild-crafted.

GROWTH: Cultigen from Asia can be cultivated in Florida, flowers are rare. The culms (stems) of this dense, clump-forming grass have been used in cooking and herbal medicine for centuries. West Indian Lemongrass, C. citratus is a genus of the Gramineae (Poaceae) family of grasses. Some species (particularly the Cymbopogon citratus), are commonly cultivated as culinary and medicinal herbs because of their scent, resembling that of lemons (Citrus limon) while C. flexuosus, the East Indian species is mostly used for aromatherapy or medicine.

 

PORTION OF PLANT USED IN DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, EXTRACTION METHODS & YIELD:

  1. citratus Steam distillation of fresh or partly dried leaves. Yield: 1.8-2.2%.
  2. flexuosus Steam distillation of fresh or partly dried leaves. Yield: 1.03%

 

Seasonal variation was found to be very effective on the yield of Lemongrass oil and its constituents. Citral percentage was maximum in winter season (November-December) and minimum during the rainy season (July-August). Oil was found to be the highest (1.03%) during pre-monsoon (March-June) and onset of monsoon.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus (Steud.) Wats) is a perennial, multi-cut aromatic grass, which yields an essential oil used in perfumery and pharmaceutical industries and Vitamin A, has a long initial lag phase. To utilize the crop growth resources more efficiently during this phase, studies were made to explore the possibility of intercropping food legumes with Lemongrass. An experiment conducted during 1992–93 revealed that the food legumes like blackgram (Vigna mungo (L) Hepper), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp) or soybean (Glycine max (L) Merr.) could be intercropped in the initial stages of Lemongrass to get extra yields over and above that of Lemongrass, without affecting the yield of Lemongrass.” — http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1439-037X.1998.tb00364.x/abstract

ORGANOLEPTIC QUALITIES OF LEMONGRASS

HISTORY AND INTERESTING FACTS: Studies indicate that Cymbopogon citratus possesses various pharmacological activities such as anti-amoebic, antibacterial, antidiarrheal, anti-filarial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Various other effects like antimalarial, anti-mutagenicity, anti-mycobacterial, antioxidants, hypoglycemic and neurobehaviorial have also been studied. These results are very encouraging and indicate that this herb should be studied more extensively to confirm these results and reveal other potential therapeutic effects.

           C.flexuosus also called Cochin Grass or Malabar Grass (Malayalam: is a perennial grass native to India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand. … Lemongrass essential oil is produced by steam distillation of the freshly cut leaves, or can be extracted using alcohol.

Lemongrass oil (species not carefully indicated) is used as a pesticide and preservative, is put on the ancient palm-leaf manuscripts found in India as a preservative. It is used at the Oriental Research Institute Mysore, the French Institute of Pondicherry, the Association for the Preservation of the Saint Thomas Christian Heritage in Kerala, and many other manuscript collections in India. The oil also injects natural fluidity into the brittle palm leaves, and the hydrophobic nature of the oil keeps the manuscripts dry so the text is not lost to decay due to humidity. Lemongrass is also used in the synthesis of Vitamin A and as such can be considered a good source of the vitamin in a variety of products including a margarine type substance in India.

[The manufacture of synthetic Vitamin A from lemongrass oil owes its existence to the demand arising from the need of fortifying Vanaspati (synthetic margarine) by adding synthetic Vitamin A.]

CHEMISTRY ~ The quality of lemongrass oil is generally determined by the content of citral, the aldehyde responsible for the lemon odor. Some other constituents of the essential oils are -terpineol, myrcene, citronellol, methyl heptenone, dipentene, geraniol, limonene, nerol, and farnesol. West Indian oil differs from East Indian oil in that it is less soluble in 70 percent alcohol and has a slightly lower citral content.

Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus, is 75-85% citral and up to 25% myrcene. Because of the myrcene with its strongly green and vegetative note, this is not my favorite citrus odor or even one of my essential oils that I enjoy although a favorite of many.  Lemongrass used in a soap could be used for skin care, or a foot soap for athlete’s foot, also considered to help minimize perspiration and stinky sweat.

Citral, an aldehyde that is also part of the chemistry of citrus oils, always occurs as a mixture of its stereoisomer geranial and neral. (A stereo or optical isomer are identical mirror-image forms of a component, one occurring in d or dextro =right or clockwise form and the other l or laevo =left in counter-clockwise form. Think of looking at your hand and then in the mirror.)

“When given orally or by inhalation (citral), may possess prominent protective effects against bronchial asthma that is induced by inhalation of broncho-constrictors (1977). Like May Chang oil the essential oil may inhibit anaphylactic shock when inhaled, and has a relaxing effect on the tracheal muscle.”

         Citral has been shown to have an estrogenic effect causing prostatic hyperplasia (in rats), but Tisserand and Balacs referring to Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus (nees ex Steud.) J. F. Watson) say that a mild hormone-like (estrogenic) action may be assumed from the citral content but that as used in aromatherapy it is not known whether there will be an estrogenic or androgenic effect. …from Essential Oil Safety.

         Citral in Lemongrass can be extracted using alcohol.

 

PROPERTIES AND USAGE EO: C. citratus have antioxidant properties as well as being a wonderful addition to a skin care line for oily skin and hair. Cymbopogon citratus, Stapf (Lemon grass), the herb, is commonly used in teas, soups and curries. It is also suitable for poultry, fish and seafood.

Lemongrass is used in herbal teas and other nonalcoholic beverages in baked goods, and in confections. Oil from Lemongrass is widely used as a fragrance in perfumes and cosmetics, such as soaps and creams.

Citral, extracted from the oil, is used in flavoring soft drinks in scenting soaps and detergents, as a fragrance in perfumes and cosmetics, and as a mask for disagreeable odors in several industrial products. Citral is also used in the synthesis of ionone used in perfumes and cosmetics.  Lemongrass EO used in a soap could be used for skin care, or a foot soap for athlete’s foot, also considered to help minimize perspiration and stinky sweat.

As a medicinal plant, Lemongrass has been considered a carminative and insect repellent. The volatile oils may also have some pesticide and mutagenic activities.

Oil of West Indian lemongrass, C. citratus, acts as a central nervous system depressant. West Indian Lemongrass is reported to have antimicrobial activity. Oil of West Indian lemongrass acts as a central nervous system depressant.

Oil of East Indian lemongrass, C. flexuosus, has antifungal activity. It is believed to help with stress-related disorders, and has been shown to have antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Cymbopogon flexuosus completely inhibits all MRSA colony growth. Oil of East Indian Lemongrass has antifungal activity.

Power Up Your Tea Tree: Add 10% citral-type essential oil such as Lemongrass, Litsea cubeba or Backhousia citrata to 90% Tea Tree.  It doubles the power of the Tea Tree, lessens the irritating value of the citral EO and thus you can use less percentage, and a lower dosage, in a formula.

 

DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION: Lemongrass is very strong in citral and should always be mixed with other essential oil that has alcohol in it before you diffuse. Use oils such as Lavender, Tea Tree, Rose Geranium, Palmarosa or Rosemary. This will give you the cleansing air benefit of the Lemongrass and the attributes of the other essential oils such as calming for Lavender, cleansing the air of Tea Tree, balance of the Rose Geranium, the antifungal quality of the Palmarosa and the stimulation of the Rosemary. I urge you not to use Lemongrass in a diffuser in a child’s room.

Pleasant Room Diffuser Formula for Clean Air

Mix equal quantities of these essential oils. And use them in a spray bottle or diffuser.
Lavender, Lemon oil, Lemongrass, and Thyme CT. linalool essential oils
These are all good for purification and clean air.

 

BLENDING: Both types of Lemongrass blend well with many different oils. Remember if you want a stronger citrus scent, use C. citratus and if you want a more medicinal scent use C. flexuosus. Blends well with Atlas Cedar, Basil, Coriander Rose Geranium Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Palmarosa, Rosemary and Tea Tree.

 

 

 

 

HYDROSOL: Lemongrass hydrosol is useful in many types of skin care products from simple facial spray as a toner to being added to lotions or creams or body washes as a cleansing refreshing astringent. It is healing to the skin and works especially well in combination with other hydrosols from Lavender to Rosemary. Lemongrass has a very refreshing smell that adds to the products. It is especially pleasant as an after-shave spray.

 

Energetics-Emotional Use: Personally, I prefer the citratus type of Lemongrass as it has the most citrus forward scent. I find it to be rather sedating to my nerves and thus inhale the diluted scent when I have a stressful doctor’s appointment or nerve-wracking commute. Worwood mentions that it is an oil to help ‘one to focus’ – I assume on whatever the task is at hand.

 

Internal Usage in humans: Cooking with the herb: “Although the two species of Lemongrass can almost be used interchangeably, C. citratus is more relevant for cooking. In India, it is cultivated as a medical herb and for perfumes, but not used as a spice; in the rest of tropical Asia (Sri Lanka and even more Southeast Asia), it is an important culinary herb and spice.” The fresh taste of lemon grass is typical for Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka. The spice is most popular in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and on the Indonesian islands. In Thailand, finely ground fresh lemon grass is added to curry pastes. Its fine fragrance goes well with poultry, fish and sea food. Vietnamese cookery, being much less spiced, makes use of lemon grass in several ways. “C. citratus or Lemongrass is an herb much used in tea blends”. — from Jeanne Rose “The Herbal Guide to Food”, p. 81.

Lemon is much used in cooking but because of the citral content of Lemongrass, it is often substituted for Lemon. In this respect, Citral is equivalent to about fifteen times its volume of oil of lemon.

7.C. citratus from the market

HERBAL USES OF LEMONGRASS: This plant is basically a tropical grass. It is used herbally in bath herbs, facial herbs, and hair rinse herbs. It is used to normalize overactive oil glands and thus is useful for both dry and oily skin for dandruff and other related skin problems. Lemongrass herb in shampoos and hair rinses is very healing to the overactive sebaceous glands. It is aromatic, astringent and cleansing. There are plenty of recipes and formulas in my Herbal Body Book that can be used for dandruff, seborrhea, greasy skin. Herbs are wonderful to be mixed with the essential oil and the hydrosol.

SCALY SCALP RINSE ~ If your symptoms are dry scalp, over-oily hair, inflamed hair roots or overactive oil glands, it is possible that your synthetic diet and stressful life may be the cause. The cure can be as simple as a Lemongrass herbal rinse or even any of the herbal rinses for dandruff that are mentioned in The Herbal Body Book by Jeanne Rose. See pages 289-291.


OILY HAIR SHAMPOO ~ Get equal quantities of chopped Lemongrass, Lemon peel, Willow bark and Witch Hazel bark or leaves. Mix them together and store in a glass light-proof container (add a dark label to the glass to keep it light-proof). When needed take ½ oz. of the mixed herbs and bring to a boil with 1-quart of water. Turn heat off and infuse until cool enough to use. Split into 2 parts. Add half of this infusion to up to 1-oz. of your regular shampoo. Keep the balance for the hair rinse.
To Use: Now wet hair thoroughly and apply ½ of the Lemongrass shampoo and lather. Massage into the scalp. Rinse and do it again with the 2nd half of the shampoo. Rinse thoroughly and use the last of the Lemongrass infusion as a rinse for the hair. You may or may not need to use conditioner. If you need conditioner, you can use the last of the infusion with a tablespoon or your conditioner to get the right ‘feel’ to your hair.

SKIN CARE FORMULA:

FINE SKIN CARE OIL + OILY SKIN At 2%
4 drops – Lemongrass oil, either species
2 drops – Juniper CO2
1 drop – Vetivert
13 drops Olive oil or other carrier
Mix the essential oils and add to the Olive oil or other carrier of your choice such as an unscented creamy lotion. This would be dabbed on the problems areas, especially as a nighttime remedy.

Measured by weight – one formula was as follows.
Olive = 40.485
Vetivert – 27.71
Juniper CO2 – 27.67
Lemongrass 27.62
Beaker 27.54

 WHITEN AND LIGHTEN SKIN ~ A Formula by Jeanne Rose
Will help lighten the dark nether regions and elbows, knees, toes, knuckles.
You can also use up to 4% contents of hydroquinone, a substance used to lighten dark skin, Lemon juice
Herb Tea liquid – make it strong = 1-cup
Ingredients:
Use equal quantities of the chopped fresh or dried herb. Up to 2 T. of each fresh or 1 T. dried.
………White lily root juice or chopped root – bleaches
………Lemongrass herb – vitamin A
………Chamomile herb – soothes
………Willow Bark or Wintergreen herb (natural aspirin-bleaches and exfoliates)
Make a strong infusion with the above herbs. Measure out 1 cup.
………Add Witch hazel extract – ¼ cup or 25% of total. You now have 1 ¼ cups.
………Add ¼ cup Flax seed oil (DHA) = 1 ½ cups
To 1.5 cups of liquid (water and oil), add ¼ cup Lemon juice (you may want to choose between this and hydroquinone).
……..Add 5 drops Lemongrass essential oil and 5 drops Rosemary oil
You can now add the hydroquinone or whatever you can find that bleaches best.

Application: apply to the area at least twice a day with a cotton ball. The herb tea liquid will last about 3-days in the refrigerator and then has to be remade. Apply 10-days on and leave off 10 days.

Natural Life: Eat the correct foods that contain DHA. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid. It is found in cold water fatty fish and fish oil supplements, along with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Vegetarian sources of DHA come from seaweed. DHA is essential for the proper functioning of our brains as adults, and for the development of our nervous system and visual abilities during the first 6 months of life. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are part of a healthy diet that helps lower risk of heart disease. Our bodies naturally produce small amounts of DHA, but we must get the amounts we need from our diet or supplements. Most people in the Western world do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet.

 

Toxicity: Lemongrass can be very irritating, it is best to use in moderation and always diluted. Personally, I would not use this oil on babies, children or the elderly. Do not diffuse without diluting with other high-alcohol essential oils such as Lavender.

            The internet states that “It is POSSIBLY SAFE applied to the skin short-term for medicinal purposes. However, there have been some toxic side effects, such as lung problems after inhaling lemongrass and a fatal poisoning after a child swallowed a lemongrass oil-based insect repellent.”

 

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: When used externally in moderation and with other essential oils and a carrier it is non-toxic and non-irritating. Do not diffuse or use for children.

Precautions: General Precautions for Essential Oils.

As with all essential oils, do not use undiluted, do not use directly in eyes or on mucus membranes. Do not take internally unless advised by a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.

 

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

 

Science Abstracts:
www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?12809
www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20123185915.html
www.pesticideinfo.org
http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:396896-1
https://www.mdidea.com/products/proper/proper08405.html

 

JEANNE ROSE LEMONGRASS TOMATO TALES

            Many years ago, when I first became interested in phytotherapy, this herb was extremely difficult to get, and sold for over $15.00 per pound. Now, of course, the price has been drastically reduced and the plant is easily available in the herb store as well as on the grocery store shelves.  It is used in fish cookery, herbal vinegars and salad dressings, and wherever a robust Lemon flavor is desired.  Lemongrass oil is extracted for its high Vitamin A contents; most vegetarian capsules of vitamin A are composed of this oil less the irritating principle.

Many times, I have opened a bottle of the essential oil only to be bitten on the nose by its high level of citral contained in the oil. This is good for herpes sores on the nose and lips but it does ‘bite hard’ while it heals.

Lemongrass has never been a favorite although now with the lowered intensity of the oil, I am more favorable to using it. Over the years, I have noticed that the essential oil is less intense both in color and in scent. I prefer the scent of West Indian Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus, to the C. flexuosus and will use it whenever I can get it.

 

 

Bibliography:
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Published by Krieger.
Journal of Essential Oil Research,
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book. 3rd edition 2008, reprinted with corrections 2014.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations.
Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Body Book. Frog, Ltd. Berkeley, CA. 1990
Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Guide to Food. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA. p. 81
Sonali Sinha, Manivannan Jothiramajayam, Manosij Ghosh, Anita Mukherjee Food and Chemical Toxicology Volume 68, June 2014, Pages 71–77, Evaluation of toxicity of essential oils Palmarosa, citronella, —————-lemongrass and vetiver in human lymphocytes
www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?12809
www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20123185915.html
www.pesticideinfo.org
http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:396896-1
https://www.mdidea.com/products/proper/proper08405.html
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 some personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

 

********************

 

Please refer to my blog for the profiles of these grasses.

Chrysopogon zizanioides is commonly known as Vetiver, a bunch grass whose roots are used.
Vetiveria) zizanioides) Vetivert (Chrysopogon zizanioides)

Cymbopogon citratus West Indian Lemongrass;

Cymbopogon flexuosus is East Indian Lemongrass

Cymbopogon martini var. motia is Palmarosa grass, syn. Andropogon martini or Cymbopogon martinii.
http://jeanne-blog.com/palmarosa-e-o-plant-profile/

Cymbopogon martinii var. sofia is Gingergrass
http://jeanne-blog.com/palmarosa-e-o-plant-profile/

Cymbopogon nardus is Citronella grass.
http://jeanne-blog.com/citronella-grass-a-plant-profile/

 

 

 

LEMONGRASS LIMERICK
A spray with Lemongrass hydrosol
Will make you feel good and feel tall
It will act on your skin
And will heal your sore chin
And heal anything short of a fall…JeanneRose2014

 

 

~ JR ~

PALMAROSA ~ Essential Oil – Plant Profile ~

Synopsis: An ambitious discussion of the essential oil of the grass oil Palmarosa, uses, growth, description, organoleptic qualities and uses of the essential oil.

 oils courtesy of Eden Botanicals & PrimaFleur Botanicals

 PALMAROSA ~ E. O./PLANT PROFILE ~

 By Jeanne Rose ~ May 2017


Essential Oil Profile ~ Name of Oil: Palmarosa. PALMAROSA GRASS is a genus of the Gramineae (Poaceae) family of grasses. The genus Cymbopogon contains many species of grass that yield aromatic essential oils that are used in scent, ‘herbal’ insecticides, medicine and for flavoring foods. The species martini has also been separated into the areas in which it lives, its terroir, with the variety motia or mota, commonly called >Palmarosa or Geranium Grass< and harvested in the highlands of India or Nepal and the variety sofia or sofiya commonly called >Gingergrass< harvested in the lowlands of India.

 

Latin Binomial/Botanical Family: Cymbopogon martini var. motia syn. Andropogon martini ~ also Cymbopogon martinii of the Family Gramineae (Poaceae).

Naming: Cymbopogon martinii was named by W. Roxburgh after the shape and look of the plant, while the species was named after General Martin who collected the seeds in the highlands of India as he described…a long grass…so strong an aromatic and pungent taste, that animals taste of it.” — from “375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols”.

 

Essential Oil Plants of the Grass Family ~ Gramineae (Poaceae).

Chrysopogon zizanioides is commonly known as Vetiver, a bunch grass whose roots are used.
Cymbopogon nardus is Citronella grass.
Cymbopogon citratus
West Indian Lemongrass;
Cymbopogon flexuosus is East Indian Lemongrass
Cymbopogon martini var. motia is Palmarosa grass, syn. Andropogon martini or Cymbopogon martinii.
Cymbopogon martinii var. sofia is Gingergrass
Cymbopogon nardus is Citronella grass.

 

Countries of Origin: Palmarosa is native to India, now grown elsewhere. Palmarosa is wildly grown in wetlands in provinces of India, including Nepal. The Palmarosa oil is extracted from the stem of the grass by distillation of dried leaves. Once the stems and leaves have been distilled for two to three hours, to separate the oil from the Palmarosa, then the leftover distilled grass is turned into organic matter and becomes manure or is composted.” —Wikipedia

Palmarosa grass in the field

General description of plant, habitat & growth: Palmarosa is a wild-growing or farmed plant, native to India but now grown elsewhere. A green and straw-colored grass with long stems ending in tufts and whose grassy leaves are very fragrant and produce small, yellow flowers.

GROWTH: Eden Botanicals declares a non-GMO status for Palmarosa, Nepal and Palmarosa, Sri Lanka – They are organically grown.

 Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods & yield: The essential oil is distilled from the leaves, stems and flower heads and the finest oils with the most effective components come from highland grown plants, var. motia. The plants yield up to 1.7% EO with the main components being citronellal, citral and geraniol being up to 85% of the total. Steam distillation is of fresh or dried grass before flowering.

Yield:  1.0-1.5% and up to 1.7% EO per weight                

 

Organoleptic Characteristics:

Color:                           Colorless to pale gold to yellow
Clarity:                         Clear
Viscosity:                    Non-viscous, watery
Taste:                          Mild, smooth, bitter, slightly analgesic, hot,
Odor Intensity:            4-5
Solubility:                    Insoluble in water, soluble in alcohol and fixed oils

Odor Description:       is woody, herbaceous, citrus and very occasionally fruity/floral. First, I want to say that Palmarosa highlands or Gingergrass lowlands do not smell like Rose or Rose Geranium or Ginger — not at all! I sampled four types.

            The Prima Fleur Palmarosa from Nepal had a soft intensity of 4 and had a Citrus Predominant note, Herbal Subsidiary note and Green Back note with floral, fruity, wood and spice missing.

            Eden Botanicals wild Palmarosa also from Nepal was slightly different with an intensity of 5 and Predominant Herbal note, subsidiary of Citrus and green Back note with floral, fruity, woody and spice missing.

            Eden Botanicals Palmarosa from Sri Lanka had a soft intensity of 4 with a Predominant Herbal note, subsidiary note of Citrus and green Back note with floral, fruity, woody and spice missing.

            CH Imports Gingergrass from India had an intensity of 5 and had a Predominant note of Spice, subsidiary note of Herbs and Back notes of Green and Citrus with no floral, fruity or wood notes.

In this selection of scents, I actually preferred the Gingergrass but all three Palmarosa were lovely.

Chemical Components: the main components being citronellal, citral and geraniol, Geranyl Acetate, Linaloöl, Alpha-Humulene, and Beta-Caryophyllene.

“Essential oils distilled from whole herb, leaf lamina, leaf sheath and inflorescence of Palmarosa plants cultivated in south India were analyzed by GC and GC/MS. Inflorescence (2.00%) and leaf lamina (1.40%) (flowers and leaf) produced significantly higher oil yield than whole herb (0.75%) and leaf sheath (0.33%). Palmarosa stem did not produce oil. Seventeen constituents accounting for 95.6–97.1% of the oils were identified. (E)-β-Ocimene (1.2–4.3%), linalool (0.8–2.0%), geraniol (70.1–85.3%), geranyl acetate (4.3–14.8%) and (E, Z)-farnesol (1.6–3.4%) were the major components. Whole herb oil was richer in linalool, β-caryophyllene and (E, Z)-farnesol. Leaf lamina and leaf sheath oils were richer in geraniol. Inflorescence oil was richer in (E)-β-Ocimene and geranyl acetate. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report on the oil profiles of leaf lamina and leaf sheath of Palmarosa.” —JEOR

~ ~ ~

 HISTORY AND INTERESTING FACTS: Palmarosa has been used to adulterate Rose oil because the high geraniol content makes it smell ‘rose-like’ to some persons and in the past, it was called ‘Turkish geranium oil’. “It is shaken with gum Arabic solution and left in the sun—a process which makes it lighter in color, thus more like distilled Rose oil” Essential Aromatherapy, p. 156. According to Arctander, “Palmarosa oil is the best natural source of geraniol of all essential oils”.

 

PROPERTIES AND USAGE EO

Fine perfumes, candles, and herbal pillows with the pleasing smell of rose are often in fact scented with Palmarosa. It is also used to flavor tobacco. “Palmarosa oil has been shown to be an effective insect repellent when applied to stored grain and beans, an anthelmintic against nematodes, and an antifungal and mosquito repellent.”—Greenfield Agro Forestry

            Application: When applied in creams, lotion, products Palmarosa can be cellular regenerative particularly in herbal products with the herb Comfrey leaf; it is antiseptic; with Rosemary verbenone, Frankincense and Spikenard it is antifungal; in products, it helps to increase the antibacterial, analgesic, anti-infectious effects.

            Inhalation: In aromatherapy, the EO is used by inhalation as a tonic to the heart, antiviral, relaxing and soothing to the nervous system. Doulas and birth coaches have used Palmarosa as a relaxant in birthing.

            Uses: You can use Palmarosa in all sorts of skin care products. It works well to reduce acne, scar tissue, relieve dry skin, and reduce the look of wrinkles in old skin. It aids in the regulation of oil production of the skin. With other oils (mentioned above) it relieves athlete’s foot fungus.

“Palmarosa oil is also known as an antifungal that fights against Aspergillus niger, commonly known as black mold, Chaetomium globosum also known as moldy soil and Penicillium funiculosum, which is a plant pathogen.—Wikipedia

 

DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION: Because it is somewhat antiseptic and antifungal Palmarosa EO works very well in a diffuser to clear a sickroom. Diffuse no more than 5 minutes out of 30 and less if the scent is still strong after 15 minutes or if the ill person is a child (under 14) or an elderly or very sick person.

BLENDING: Samples of this oil can have a rich intensity or a very low intensity although the tenacity in a blend is quite pronounced. It works well with herbal scents like Geranium, Lavender and Rosemary, resinous oils such as Frankincense, citrus oils like Bergamot and Grapefruit and rooty oils such as Spikenard and Vetivert.

 HYDROSOL: Adding Palmarosa hydrosol to food and for healing skin is a gentle way to add a rosy note to dessert or cosmetics. It is a very potent healer. It does “open doors” for people who are new to hydrosols. Palmarosa blends well with other hydrosols and it’s great for a deodorant or body perfume. We have read it is good for gut flora and has antiseptic qualities.
The sweet freshening effect of Palmarosa hydrosol, is slightly astringent and used as a facial toner, hair tonic, mood lifter. This hydrosol can refresh a mood, the linen, or the inside of your car. C. Durney personally take a pint and pour it on her forehead to soak all the follicles on her head. This may thicken hair and tighten the pores and provide a delicate deodorizing affect to the entire system. This grass is beautiful and aromatic.

[see towards the end of the article for more information on the hydrosol]

Energetics-Emotional Use: it is used as a nervous relaxant and for stress-related problems. It is also used for physical exhaustion.
Used in ritual/energetic work to attract love—The Aromatherapy Book

Eden Botanicals customer has stated the following, “This Palmarosa, a relative of lemongrass creates a feeling of security. It is used to reduce stress and tension, and promotes feelings of well-being. This oil reduces nervous tension. Excellent oil for home diffusion.”

            Carmen Durney grows this grass and states that It is strong and has a gentle presence. Therefore, it really strengthens a soul, fortifies the source. Enjoy!

 

Internal Usage in humans: Not tested in humans, it is suggested that the EO not be taken internally. However, in 2014 after some testing Palmarosa herb/oil was considered safe for human consumption in low concentrations and in very small amounts; used occasionally it can assist in the removal of pathogenic intestinal flora. I would suggest adding a small amount of the hydrosol to water to drink and not drinking the EO. There are occasional recommendations that it can be used both as an inhalant and internally in anorexia.

 

KEY USAGE: Jeanne Rose states in the “Aromatherapy Course-Home & Family that Palmarosa oil is the “Oil of Antifungal”

 

Toxicity: If added directly to water the EO is moderately toxic-to-toxic to fish, fungi and mollusks. In other words, do not pour down the drain – dispose in a safe way.

 

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: When used externally in moderation it is non-toxic and non-irritating.  Moderation in use is recommended. Do not diffuse or use for children.

Precautions: General Precautions for Essential Oils.
As with all essential oils, do not use undiluted, do not use directly in eyes or on mucus membranes. Do not take internally unless advised by a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.
 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.

 

Science Abstracts: Abstract from Food and Chemical Toxicology Volume 68, June 2014, Pages 71–77. . —, Evaluation of toxicity of essential oils Palmarosa, citronella, lemongrass and vetiver in human lymphocytes “The present investigation was undertaken to study the cytotoxic and genotoxic potential of the essential oils (Palmarosa, citronella, lemongrass and vetiver) and monoterpenoids (citral and geraniol) in human lymphocytes. Trypan blue dye exclusion and MTT test was used to evaluate cytotoxicity. The genotoxicity studies were carried out by comet and DNA diffusion assays. Apoptosis was confirmed by Annexin/PI double staining. In addition, generation of reactive oxygen species was evaluated by DCFH-DA staining using flow cytometry. The results demonstrated that the four essential oils and citral induced cytotoxicity and genotoxicity at higher concentrations. The essential oils were found to induce oxidative stress evidenced by the generation of reactive oxygen species. Except for geraniol, induction of apoptosis was confirmed at higher concentrations of the test substances. Based on the results, the four essential oils are considered safe for human consumption at low concentrations.”

 

Distilling Palmarosa
Bibliography:
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Published by Krieger.
Journal of Essential Oil Research, Volume 21, Issue 6, 2009. Essential Oil Profiles of Different Parts of          —–Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii (Roxb.) Wats. var. motia Burk.)
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book. 3rd edition 2008, reprinted with corrections 2014.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations.
Sonali Sinha, Manivannan Jothiramajayam, Manosij Ghosh, Anita Mukherjee Food and Chemical Toxicology Volume 68, June 2014, Pages 71–77, Evaluation of toxicity of essential oils Palmarosa, citronella, —————-lemongrass and vetiver in human lymphocytes
www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?12809
www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20123185915.html
www.pesticideinfo.org
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 some personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

 

FORMULAS WITH PALMAROSA OIL

 HERBAL PALMAROSA TEA RINSE HAIR to GROW LONG HAIR
Ingredients:
Palmarosa grass, cut into lengths
Rosemary herb cut and sifted
Basil leaves, cut and sifted

Directions: Mix the herbs together, using any amounts you wish. Store the greater part of the product in an airtight container. When needed, shampoo hair, rinse, follow with this hair rinse using ½ oz. herbs simmered a few minutes in 2 cups of water. Strain. When cool enough to use, rinse through the hair repeatedly, catching the run-off and reusing.

Dosage: How much and when, how often
How much to take or do:
½ oz. by wt. of herbs per 2 cups by vol. water
When to take, or do: Use after each shampoo
How often to take or do: At least once per week
How long to take: Use at least for a month. Then try another formula and come back to this one every other month for 6 months.

 

EO HAIR GROWTH OIL ~
this is anti-fungal, pro-growth, anti-aging and healthy for the scalp and hair.

Ingredients:
Palmarosa oil 25%
Rosemary oil 25% (verbenone type)
Jojoba oil 50%

Directions:      Mix thoroughly. Shake, Use only 1-2 drops per application. Apply to brush and brush hair or apply by fingertips to the scalp and massage in at least twice/day.

Label: Put into 1-ounce bottle and label fully with full name of the product, ingredients, how to use and your contact information.

 

Antifungal Treatment

Frankincense, Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini var. motia), Rosemary verbenone and Spikenard essential oils are used in equal amounts and at 10% of the total product. For instance, use 4 drops of each of the essential oils and add to 100 drops of a carrier, whether lotion or oil (40/20 Calophyllum/Sea Buckthorn + 40 Calendula Infused oil or Bruise Juice. Apply several times per day and before bed. Both Frankincense and the Rosemary chemotype verbenone contain verbenone an unusual ketone that is antifungal and Palmarosa is considered antifungal.

 

CUTICLE NAIL TREATMENT

 Equal quantities of each of several of these carrier oils, especially Jojoba, Calendula, Gotu Kola, Calophyllum and Sea Buckthorn to equal 1 ounce of carrier oil.
Add to this EO
5 drops Blue Cypress
5 drops Helichrysum
10 drops Neroli
15 drops Palmarosa
10 drops Pelargonium RoseThis is a therapeutic 10% mixture of essential oils to carrier oil.
Dip your fingernails into the mixture and soak for a few minutes, then rub the excess into the nail bed carefully.  Repeat daily for a week.  Then weekly.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Palmarosa Grass Hydrosol 10-15-15
Cymbopogon martini variety unknown
Carmen Durney of Wai’iti Soaps and Botanicals

Palmarosa plant has physical attributes that is like in growth and development to lemongrass. I am not a big fan of the lemongrass hydrosol that we have made.  It is very harsh smelling. One time my partner asked me to do a co-distillation of lemongrass and Palmarosa grass together.  After I harvested the Palmarosa grass, I began to harvest the lemongrass but my shears broke.  SO, I only distilled about 7 oz. Lemongrass in 5 pounds Palmarosa grass and boy could you smell that lemongrass in there.  I didn’t like the lemongrass but I do like the Palmarosa grass.

As we have seen many varieties of lemongrass are propagated and cultivated, but this is the first Palmarosa grass I have ever grown.  When people purchase Palmarosa oil or the hydrosol it is commonly labelled a variety called sofia, of the highland terroir. The variety called motia is lowland terroir and termed Gingergrass. I’d like to get those seeds too to see the difference from a plant perspective.  It’s on the to-do list: find more seeds!

From a terroir perspective, Hawaii’s low altitude and reddish vibration of light may not render the constituents valued from a high altitude native India terroir Palmarosa grass, however, due to its lovely aroma and heartiness, we are eager to have our Palmarosa hydrosol tested in the future. Palmarosa is very gently but is pungent with its own character.  Not everyone is a fan at first, but the application in food and healing is promising. It is a very potent healer in any aromatherapist tool bag!

The grass is awesome for mulching weeds and putting into a stinky chicken coop. I believe everyone who lives in a subtropical climate would enjoy cultivating this herb.

Palmarosa has a great harvest to process to yield ratio. Most likely why it has always been quite an affordable essential oil. When I have distilled these cuttings of Palmarosa that I call “haircuts”, I have used fresh plant material, including the flowers & seeds.  I have also distilled just the reedy leaves with no flowers or seed.  I think I prefer the entire plant in the distillation. This requires very little processing.  We can distill the Palmarosa anytime whenever it gets a ‘haircut’.

The essential oil acquired during distillation is a lovely golden hue and has a distinctive aroma, possible due to its geraniol content. The oil is easy to separate unlike the heavier or delicate oils. Immediately after distillation, I have seen the appearance in some of the fractions some long whitish, shiny crystals abut a millimeter long. This kind of float and are suspended off the bottom while the hydrosol adjusts and cools. This could be due to the still temperatures.  It could be too low a temp?  Not sure about this….

Unlike the very strong citral scent that is almost vulgar to the senses of Lemongrass, Palmarosa grass’s unique smell, gently grows on the person. It smells much the same as it does in the field.

The distillations with seeds and that were not meticulously separated yielded a hydrosol with a much HIGHER quantity of essential oil. Therefore, I have preferred to distill the top portions of the plant with the stems.  The PH tests I have managed to attempt have delivered a 5.3 range approximately. It’s not extremely low though like the Hinano which had a pH about 4.3.

Since we have been able to successfully cultivate this lovely grass, the hydrosol is not one I have had to worry about storing like Hinano, Neroli, Pomelo or Ylang Ylang. These flowers come once or twice a year depending on our weather in Hawaii. Palmarosa can be distilled from the fresh perpetually flowering plant.

Use: I bathe my whole body with the Palmarosa hydrosol starting at the forehead and pouring on skin and hair.  All hydrosols are lovely in hair, but this one particularly is a lovely hair tonic. I feel like it can redden the complexion however.

I need to get a market going so I can sell quarts and distill more.

How else do you suggest that we use the hydrosol ~ the application in food and healing is a gentle way to add a rosy note to cosmetics or dessert. It is a very potent healer in any aromatherapist tool bag! It does “open doors” for people who are new to hydrosols. Blends well with other hydrosols and it’s great for a deodorant or body perfume.

 How do you use the Hydrosol ~ Sweet freshening effect. Slightly astringent. As a facial toner, hair tonic, mood lifter. “This hydrosol can refresh a mood, linen, or your car. I personally take a pint and pour it on my forehead and soak all the follicles on my head. This thickens my hair and tightens the pores and provides a delicate deodorizing effect to the entire system. This grass is beautiful and aromatic. It is strong and has a gentle presence. Therefore, it really strengthens a soul, fortifies the source.

Enjoy!   ”C. Durney – Wai’iti Soaps and Botanicals ~ – 808.639.6956 ~ wai_iti_soaps@hotmail.com

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cymbopogon martinii var. motia (highland) and var. sofia (lowland)

 

Palmarosa oil limerick
I love rosy, grassy Palmarosa
It goes in Bruise Juice for the toes-a
As an antiviral
It isn’t chiral
But it pleases me from toes to nose-a…JeanneRose 2012

 

For classes and Seminars http://www.jeannerose.net/courses.html

 

 

 

 

~ JR ~

Citronella Grass ~ a Plant Profile

Synopsis: An ambitious discussion of the essential oil of Citronella, uses, growth, description, organoleptic qualities and uses of the essential oil.

 

Cymbopogon nardus and other species

By Jeanne Rose ~ April 2017

Cymbopogon martinii var. sofia is Gingergrass and (Cymbopogon nardus is Citronella grass

 Introduction ~ The grasses, family Poaceae, have several members that are well-known as supplying an essential oil. These are Citronella, Lemongrass, Palmarosa and Vetivert. We will discuss these individually in the blog posts beginning with Citronella.

 Essential Oil Profile ~ Name of Oil: Citronella grass. Citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus) ~ both used for Citronella oil and in many reports called ‘Lemongrass’.

 Latin Binomial/Botanical Family: Gramineae (Poaceae).
Cymbopogon nardus is Citronella grass.
Cymbopogon citratus
West Indian Lemongrass;
Cymbopogon flexuosus is East Indian Lemongrass
Cymbopogon martini var. motia is Palmarosa grass, syn. Andropogon martini or Cymbopogon martinii.
Cymbopogon martinii var. sofia is Gingergrass
Cymbopogon nardus is Citronella grass.

Please note that the names for the grasses can be very confusing, it is best to learn the names and attach each name to each distinctive odor.

 Naming: ‘Cymba’ suggests a boat shape, and ‘pogon’ means bearded and describes the shape of the bracts which enclose the racemes; and ‘nardus’ is an Assyrian word for a fragrant substance for unguents.

The Eden Botanicals site states, “In the 19th century, a man named Winter (supposedly an important distiller of Ceylon) recognized the taxonomic differences between several varieties of Cymbopogon nardus and raised a separate population of the variety Maha Pengiri now called C. winterianus. Upon its extensive cultivation for oil in Indonesia, it acquired the commercial name, Java Citronella.”

 Citronella GRASS is a genus of the Gramineae (Poaceae) family of grasses. Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus) are like Lemongrass but grows to 2 m and has red/magenta base stems. These species are used to produce Citronella oil, which is used in soaps, as an insect repellent in insect sprays and candles, and in aromatherapy. The principal chemical constituents of citronella, geraniol and citronellol, are antiseptics, hence their use in household disinfectants and soaps. Besides oil production, Citronella grass is also used in tea and as a flavoring although the grassy end itself is not palatable as an herbal tea.

 Countries of Origin: It is grown in Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Indonesia and Java.  The species C. winterianus Jowitt is believed to have originated from Cymbopogon nardus, type Maha Pengiri, referred to as Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) commercial citronella. C. winterianus was named after Winter, who raised it as a separate species in the 19th century, subsequently introduced in Indonesia to become commercially known as Javanese citronella, eventually making it to India for commercial cultivation in 1959—— http://www.stuartxchange.com/Citronella.html

 Eden Botanicals Harvest Location:    The organically grown Citronella grass, C. winterianus, is organically grown in India and the leaves are steam-distilled.

The wild crafted Citronella from Nepal is distilled from the perennial grass, Cymbopogon winterianus – also known as the Java type – that is considered superior for use in perfumery because of its fresh, sweet, lemony aroma. Cymbopogon nardus (known as the Ceylon type) is commonly used for aromatherapeutic applications for which it is well suited; please see our Citronella from Sri Lanka. This differentiation is due to the variance in their chemical compositions, mainly in their geraniol content (higher % in the Ceylon type) and citronellal content (higher % in the Java type), and accounts for the difference in their aromas.

 Endangered or Not ~ This plant is considered an invasive species.

General description of plant, habitat & growth: Invasive. (Cymbopogon nardus and C. winterianus) are like Lemongrass but grows to 2 m and has red/magenta base stems.

            Growth: This is an invasive species that renders pastureland useless as cattle will starve even in its abundance. Citronella is usually planted in home gardens to ward off insects such as whitefly adults. Its cultivation enables growing some vegetables (e.g. tomatoes and broccoli) without applying pesticides. Intercropping should include physical barriers, for citronella roots can take over the field.

Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods & yield:  Perennial grass, very aromatic, SD, or CO2 extracted. Up to 5% yield depending on type of extraction.                             

Odor Description ~ Herbaceous, citrus and vegetative – a very eponymous scent. The wild-grown from Nepal has a sweet, fresh, and lemony, with a soft grassy/green undertone; and a somewhat woody dryout.

Chemical Components: Citronellal, geraniol, citronellol and worth mentioning is another species of citronella grass (Cymbopogon winterianus Jowitt) which also stems from India, but is today grown throughout the tropics; its main constituents are citronellal (35%), geraniol (25%) and citronellol (10%) plus minor amounts of geranyl acetate (5%). The principal chemical constituents of citronella, geraniol and citronellol, are antiseptics, hence their use in household disinfectants and soaps.

 History and Interesting Facts: Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus) are used to produce citronella oil, which is used in soaps, as an insect repellent in insect sprays and candles, and in aromatherapy. The principal chemical constituents of citronella, geraniol and citronellol, are antiseptics, hence their use in household disinfectants and soaps. Cannot be eaten because of its unpalatable nature.

 

PROPERTIES AND USAGE EO:

Properties: CITRONELLA grass has usage in traditional medication for antispasmodic, rubefacient, stimulant, insect repellant carminative, and diaphoretic. It also widely used in the perfume industry and soap manufacturing cosmetics, flavoring industry and health purpose. In dilution, can be used to deodorize and sanitize kitchen surfaces (5 drops to 1 oz. of fixed oil or vinegar rubbed on a chopping block).

“Studies have shown the C. nardus, Citronella EO is a promising source of active molecules with antifungal properties. The biological assays reported in this investigation show that the EO inhibits ATCC and clinical strains of Candida species, including those with resistance to drugs employed in medical practice. Additional to this simple inhibitory activity, the EO can inhibit and control the main virulence factors attributed to the Candida species used in this study, such as the formation and proliferation of hyphae of C. albicans and, more importantly, the eradication of mature biofilms. Moreover, the EO exhibits better antifungal action than citronellal, probably due to some synergistic effect among the EO components. — Essential Oil of Cymbopogon nardus (L.) Rendle: A Strategy to Combat Fungal Infections Caused by Candida Species, International Journal of Molecular Science Received: 30 June 2016; Accepted: 28 July 2016; Published: 9 August 2016”

How Used: These two species are used to produce Citronella oil, which is used in soaps, as an insect repellent especially mosquitoes as well as in insect sprays and candles. Besides oil production, Citronella grass is also used for culinary purposes, as a flavoring.

DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION: Citronella grass can be diffused if diluted or blended with an EO that has high alcohol such as Lavender. Put the diffuser on a timer as it can overpower the room – so 5 minutes on and 30 minutes off.

EXTERNAL USES: This species is used to produce Citronella oil, which is used in soaps, as an insect repellent in insect sprays and candles, and in aromatherapy. The principal chemical constituents of citronella, geraniol and citronellol, are antiseptics, hence their use in household disinfectants and soaps.

 SKIN CARE FORMULA: EO has antioxidant properties as well as being a wonderful addition to a skin care line in blends for oily skin and hair.

BLENDING: Citronella grass blends well with Lavender, citrus scents, Geranium or Ginger. It also blends well with Eucalyptus Pine, Sage, Spearmint, and Ylang-Ylang.

 

Energetics-Emotional Use: This is an intense scent that might make you remember hot nights on the porch with bugs whizzing around or it can be calming in small doses.

Internal Usage in humans: Not recommended.

KEY USE OF CITRONELLA ~Most people consider Citronella best for use as a bug repellent but there are other essential oils better for this; in small doses at high dilution it makes a good inhalant for sleeping.

 TOXICITY : Use EO in dilution ~ 1 part to 10 or more; it poses a risk to dogs and children.

 HYDROSOL: I am not yet personally acquainted with a proper Citronella hydrosol.

 HERBAL USES: If you grow Citronella grass, you can use it herbally as an infusion in a wash for oily skin, it can help normalize the sebaceous glands; this same infusion can be added to hair rinses (especially with Rosemary herb) to give the hair a lustrous sheen.

 SAFETY PRECAUTIONS for Citronella Grass: When used externally in moderation it is non-toxic and non-irritating. Do not diffuse or use for children.

 

 

Citronella Tomato Tale: Tomato tales – a tale with Citronella
By Jeanne Rose – 2010

            I have a long history using essential oils, sometimes excessively but more and more often quite frugally. They are such concentrated bundles of plant power that only a wee bit, a drop maybe two, is needed to complete your healing protocol.   So, it was 10 pm and I was in bed trying to have a nice sleep.

There are always essential oils around my bedside and on the tables. Sometimes I use them, and sometimes I don’t. But this one night I had gone to bed with my mind racing over the events of the day as well as the events that would take my attention the next day.

I was laying on my back in my comfy bed. It is always made up with freshly ironed linen sheets  and this one had the most elegant initials on the top edge, and the fold that was tucked up near my chin. The monogram is a very large ornate French laid white work style with initials of “H R Hand swirls of flowers in French knots around the monogram and all sewn on with good heavy weight thread on the finely made linen cloth. The sheets are heavy and yet crisp and delicately soothing on my skin — a lovely addition to the bed and on the body; the scent in the sheets was clean with a soft mustiness and floral note intertwined with a rich sandalwood scent lightly enveloping the entire bed area. I love heavily laced pillowcases and these were cool and white with a fine delicate fragrance that can only come with time on the bed and equal time hanging in the sun and resting. These are the best to sleep on. There is a hand, a rough gentleness to linen sheets and cases. They are warm when it is cold but cool when it is warm. They don’t glide on the skin but rest there giving you comfort and sleepy feelings.

But I could not sleep. So, in the darkness, I reached out to the bottles and found the Citronella bottle by its size, opened the bottle and proceeded to sprinkle a few drops on the top sheet. You know that Citronella is both an insect repellent but also promotes relaxation and reduces stress. But reaching out in the dark was a Big mistake! There was no orifice reducer to the bottle and so about ¼ ounce of EO spilled out and all over me and the top of the bed.

First I thought that I could hide from the scent by folding the sheet a different way to keep the heavy scent from my nostrils. No! Then I thought by folding the sheet way down that would work. No, that did not work. The Citronella odor was heavy and so strong and loud enough to wake the next-door neighbors.

But I was tired and did not want to get up but began to be sick to my stomach from the odor. I was forced out of bed and changed out of my bed clothes into new ones but that did not help either. By now I was so overwhelmed with Citronella odor that I could not breathe. I lay down again but began to retch. Then it hit, the scent, so strong on me and my body, in my bedroom, that I ran to the toilet and threw up.

Ultimately, I had to not only change my bed clothes and wash the upper part of my body but change my sheets as well – and thus an hour or so after I decided a drop of Citronella would help me to sleep, I finally got into a somewhat scent-free bed and with guts a ‘rumbling, finally fell asleep.

What is the moral of this tale? “Turn on the light when you wish to use the power of essential oils? Don’t use essential oils without an orifice reducer? Be moderate in your use of essential oils?” Whatever the moral, I have developed a rather abiding dislike of the scent of Citronella and from now on I will stick to having a cup of tea before bed.

Moderation is the word when using essential oils. And understand that sensitivity to a scent can happen at any time. —JeanneRose 2000

Precautions: General Precautions for Essential Oils.

As with all essential oils, do not use undiluted, do not use directly in eyes or on mucus membranes. Do not take internally unless advised by a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.

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
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 some personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©The Food and Drug Administration have not evaluated this information.

Science Abstracts: Optimization and Kinetics of Essential Oil Extraction from Citronella Grass by Ohmic Heated Hydro Distillation International Journal of Chemical Engineering and Applications, Vol. 3, No. 3, June 2012

Braz. J. Chem. Eng. vol.28, no.2 São Paulo Apr./June 2011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-66322011000200019 …Extraction of citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) essential oil using supercritical CO2: experimental data and mathematical modeling by F. SilvaI; F. C. MouraI; M. F. MendesII, *; F. L. P. PessoaI

IUFRJ, Departamento de Engenharia Química, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, Brazil
IIUFRRJ, Departamento de Engenharia Química, Seropédica – RJ, Brazil. Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Phone: + (55) (21)3787-3742, Fax: + (55) (21) 3787-3750, Cidade Universitária, Instituto de Tecnologia, Departamento de Engenharia Química, BR 465, Km 7, CEP 23890-000, Seropédica – Rio de Janeiro – RJ, Brazil. E-mail: marisamf@ufrrj.br

ABSTRACT

Citronella essential oil has more than eighty components, of which the most important ones are citronellal, geranial and limonene. They are present at high concentrations in the oil and are responsible for the repellent properties of the oil. The oil was extracted using supercritical carbon dioxide due to the high selectivity of the solvent. The operational conditions studied varied from 313.15 to 353.15 K for the temperature and the applied pressures were 6.2, 10.0, 15.0 and 180.0 MPa. Better values of efficiency of the extracted oil were obtained at higher pressure conditions. At constant temperature, the amount of extracted oil increased when the pressure increased, but the opposite occurred when the temperature increased at constant pressure. The composition of the essential oil was complex, although there were several main components in the oil and some waxes were presented in the extracted oils above 10.0 MPa. The results were modeled using a mathematical model in a predictive way, reproducing the extraction curves over the maximum time of the process.

Keywords: Citronella oil; Geraniol; Empirical model; Extraction modes.

 

Bibliography:
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Published by Krieger.
Journal of Essential Oil Research,
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book. 3rd edition 2008, reprinted with corrections 2014.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations.
Sonali Sinha, Manivannan Jothiramajayam, Manosij Ghosh, Anita Mukherjee Food and Chemical Toxicology Volume 68, June 2014, Pages 71–77, Evaluation of toxicity of essential oils palmarosa, citronella, Citronella grass and ……vetiver in human lymphocytes
http://www.ijcea.org/papers/181-K00054.pdf ~ Optimization and Kinetics of Essential Oil Extraction from …..Citronella Grass by Ohmic Heated Hydro Distillation
wikipedia
www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?12809
www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20123185915.html
www.pesticideinfo.org

 

 

 ~ JR ~

Roses ~ Used As Scent

Synopsis: See part I for the Rose species grown for scent by distillation or by solvent extraction ~ here we discuss how and why you use Rose oil and Rose hydrosol.

These lovely examples of absolutes shown have been supplied mainly by Eden Botanicals

 ROSES ~ How to Use Essential Oil /Hydrosol – Part 2 of 2

By Jeanne Rose ~ May 2017

 I am NOT writing about Roses that smell good or good smelling varietals; I am only talking about the antique Roses, heirloom Roses, species Roses, the real Roses that were used historically and are used now for distillation or solvent-extraction for scent and perfumery. These are 2 totally different matters.

If you will check any of my books you will find much information on the Roses that are grown for scent. Herbs & Things, p. 101; Herbal Body Book, p. 118-119; The Aromatherapy Book, p. 128-129; and 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, p. 132-134; and so, there is no sense in repeating that information here. We are discussing only heirloom or species Roses that are used for scent.

 

Common Name/Latin Binomial: Rosa alba (Rosa damascena alba) – White Rose • Bourbon Rose, R. x bourboniana (Edouard Rose) • Rosa x centifolia – Cabbage Provence rose or Rose de Mai (confused with the Kazanlik) • and Rosa damascena (Rosa damascena forma trigintipetala or Kazanlik Rose.

 Other Common Name/Naming Information:
Family: Rosaceae, are prickly shrubs, climbing or trailing and usually with deciduous pinnate leaves. A source of important essential oils that are used in scent-making, the herb leaves and petals used locally for both scent and medicine, especially useful as a cultivated ornamental. This family is associated with the Virgin Mary as well as the Rosicrucian’s…” though early Christians considered it decadent.

 Countries of Origins: When France had an extensive area for perfumery flowers, R. × centifolia was a Rose especial to the French city of Grasse, known as the perfume capital of the world. It is widely cultivated for its singular fragrance—clear and sweet, with light notes of honey. The flowers are commercially harvested to produce Rose oil, which is commonly used in perfumery.

Eden Botanicals Harvest Location:   Bulgaria, Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey are all prime locations for Rose growing and distilling. Eden has twelve different types of Rose oil to purchase.       http://www.edenbotanicals.com/

Endangered or Not: There are some endangered and extinct rose cultivars including some of the Roses that we are discussing in this paper, but the species itself is not endangered. We, as people, just need to be growing the true perfume Roses rather than the cultivated Roses grown just for color or shape.

 

General description of Plant habitat and growth: The Rose has been developed and altered over thousands of years, there are thousands of cultivars and describing the original species is complex with the ancestry of these Roses inexact and disputed. Many horticultural schemes have been proposed. Wikipedia gives a rather simple description of the habitat and growth as …” A rose is a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over a hundred species and thousands of cultivars. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colors ranging from white through yellows and reds” …, although the true scented Roses are generally white or pink except for Rosa gallica, the Apothecary Rose which is red.

Do not be confused by the pictures of Roses that any company uses when they discuss Rose oil; they are mostly showing you pictures of recent varietals rather than the ancient and true Roses that are grown and used for their scent.

 

Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields:

If you wish the correct Roses for use, please read http://jeanne-blog.com/roses-grown-for-scent/

ROSE HARVEST ~ The ideal essential oil for delicate and mature skins, any organic Rose Essential Oil is captured through steam distillation each spring in Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco. “The methods used today are not entirely different than those employed many centuries ago ~ although, with the price of a kilo of oil in the thousands of dollars, one can be certain the science has advanced. Roses are hand-harvested in the early morning; the roses are distilled in copper stills by a water and steam process. Approximately 1,200 liters of water cover 150 to 300 kilos of roses, which float freely in the water. Direct steam injected into the water keeps them from forming a compact mass. The water is slowly brought to a boil and allowed to simmer for about 1½ hours. First, the “direct oil,” or Surovo Maslo in Bulgarian, is drawn off. Then the “first waters” of this and subsequent distillations are bunched and redistilled. This cohobation, as it is called, takes about 2½ hours. The top of the water is distilled off. It is a condensate called the “second water” and contains what is called the “water oil.” This oil is drawn off and the two oils, direct and water, are combined. The ratio, on average, is 25% direct oil to 75% water oil. It takes an average of 4,000 kilos of flowers to make 1 kilo of oil.” — Prima Fleur Botanicals

                  Flowers can also be treated by maceration with warmed fat (not oil) and will give the Pomades and Extraits de Rose.

The rose is an ancient flower that, among all flowers, has been the most treasured throughout history. With its many layers of silky petals, sensual colors, euphoric scent and deeply romantic history, Rose lifts the heart, inspires the mind, and restores the spirit.

Yield varies: 0.12% +. Some 3000 parts of flowers yield only one part of essential oil.

Biolandes Bulgarian Rose Oil Distillation

Distillation Tips: In June of 2015, we (Jeanne Rose and class) distilled 2.5 lbs. Roses (Rosa centifolia) that had been freshly picked on April 25, 2015, and then quick frozen. On June 13, 2015, the Jeanne Rose Distillation class then picked ½ lb. of Rose Geranium flowers, some Lemon verbena flowers, and leaves. These were all put together in the copper still with 3 gallons of water with the Roses freely floating and a distillation commenced. We kept the temperature of the flame on the low side to have a low and slow hydro-steam distillation. After 3 hours, we had 3 quarts of lovely Rose scented hydrosol.

When you distill, collect at the correct time, know what you are collecting and distilling

  1. Know Your Soil.
    2. Location, Location, Location.
    3. Water source and type.
    4. Choose the correct plant that will match the terroir. http://jeanne-blog.com/roses-grown-for-scent/
    5. Harvest at the correct time of the year and the correct time of the day.
    6. Harvest the correct part of the plant.
    7. Choose a method of distillation and type of equipment that works for your plant.
    8. Choose whether you are distilling for essential oil or hydrosol.
    9. Distil with the art and craft of careful knowledge and many years’ experience.

Rose Distillation ~ My personal story. Over the years, I have grown a variety of different ‘old Roses’ – purely for the enjoyment of the scent and visual joy of the colors and textures of the Roses. Lately, I have been harvesting and distilling my Roses for the exquisite Rosewater (Rose hydrosol) that is produced. The up side of harvesting and distilling my own Roses is that I have the rosewater for my use for the following year. The down side is that to obtain enough Roses for the distillation, every single Rose bud, and Rose petal from every bush must be picked at the correct time of year and early on the morning of the distillation to have enough roses for the distillation to proceed.  It takes three people one hour to pick every rose that is available in my small city yard. This is approximately 2 lbs. of Rose buds and petals. Of course, that means, that there are no more Roses for at least 3 days.

“The distillation proceeded normally. All the Roses were picked – 2-3 lbs.; they were placed in the copper still on a raised grate, and up to 3 gallons of spring-water was added slowly, enough so that the Roses floated freely. The heat was turned on and gradually raised until the distillate began to come over. The condensate was collected until 1-1.5 gallons was collected (or a vegetative note is detected). We allowed the Rosewater to cool naturally, before bottling it into sterile containers. We hope for another good year.” —JeanneRose Distillation

Many of these lovely examples shown have been supplied by Eden Botanicals and 3 by Prima Fleur
You can see the crystals in the steam-distilled oils on the right side.
From left to right: 1) a synthetic from 1973 * THE ABSOLUTES ~2) Rose de Mai extract, 3) Rose de Mai concrete, 4) Rosa bourboniana-1995, 5) Damask Rose-1995, 6) Rose Abs – Turkey., 7) Rose Abs – Morocco, 8) Rose trilogy (Abs. from Bulgaria/Morocco/Turkey), 9) Rose de Mai (R. centifolia) Abs. Egypt, 10) Damask Rose Abs. Bulgaria •  THE STEAM-DISTILLED OTTO OR EO ~  11) Rose from 1930 – France, 12) Rose centifolia from Russia, 13) Damask Rose organic – Bulgaria, 14)Damask Rose – Bulgaria, 15) Rosa damascena EO 1995 – Bulgaria, 16) Damask Rose – Turkey, 17) Rose species unknown enfleurage in jojoba, 18) Rose-unknown species from Turkey.

 

This is a very difficult chart to have designed and written, but it is very complete as to what you should expect when you purchase the different Rose oils. The absolutes are red or dark, while the steam-distillates are colorless and should be crystallized at room temperature (look at them first thing in the morning before you touch them). It also includes my 1930 Rose oil and a synthetic Rose from 1973. Scent is very important – please do not be deceived and think you will be able to purchase truly rose-scented lotions or soap or products ~ those prices would be out of one’s budget. A 4-oz. soap would cost about $50 if it were made of true Rose.

Crystal = crystallized
Org. = organically grown


ODOR DESCRIPTION/ AROMA ASSESSMENT: Using the “Basic 7 – Vocabulary of Odor” © that I developed many years ago, I looked at the organoleptic qualities of 20 different named types of Rose oil, from a 40-year old synthetic to a 90-year old French oil and absolutes and essential oils from 1995-2016; 20 different types total. I have more, but this is a representative sample of the scent of Rose. Rose oil or absolute are all varying degrees of Floral, Woody and Fruity notes, sometimes the Floral predominates and sometimes the Woody predominates, and the absolutes often have a Spicy back note. One of these oils also had a green or mint-like odor to it.

If your Rose oil smells soapy it is probably a synthetic.

They are the same but have very distinct differences. My go-to scent for comparison is the 1930 Rose Oil which smells like the species Roses that I have grown and known. I looked at and analyzed the Rose from five different companies including Eden Botanicals (retail), Prima Fleur Botanicals (skin care and wholesale), a lovely Rose from a Turkish company with no name on the bottle, Veriditas Botanicals, and an enfleurage from Scents of Knowing. These oils represented five different countries; Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Morocco, and Turkey. Remember that the absolutes are best in perfumes, applications, and products while the Otto’s, the steam-distilled Roses are probably best used with discretion in blends for inhalations or therapeutic uses.

The gold standard of the Scent of Rose is best exemplified in the Rose from France, distilled sometime around 1930. There is a wonderful story with this Rose that I have given at the end of this article. The scent is sweetly floral, with a soft woody subsidiary note and a fruity back note. It smells just like the species Rose, Rosa centifolia, I have examined over the years. A true to the flower scent. During my classes here in San Francisco, I always let my students examine this scent and compare it to current odors for their personal comparison. I have also found out something that may be odd or just unique to me but the best time to perceive the true odor of something is in the morning when you and the air is fresh rather than the afternoon when your senses are dull or tired. Everything smells a wee bit off in the afternoon. Keep track of what things smell like and when you smell them and you too may find that this is important in your aromatherapy work.

There are very logical ways to describe odor, including the use of my charts and kits, called The Basic 7-Vocabulary of Odor© and The Advanced Circular Vocabulary of Odor© and these are available on my website. There are poetic ways to describe odor that are literate and beautiful but will not help you really understand that odor and there are business-like ways to describe odor used just to sell them. If you want to learn which of these lovely Rose odors you like the best, you should get several samples of different ones and choose for yourself. In quality Rose oils, there is no one oil that is better or worse, just those that you do not appreciate yet.

The Rose trilogy offered by Eden Botanicals is a lovely example of three Rose absolutes combined to make a scent that is truly evocative of a bouquet of Roses. Try it and use it.

 

GENERAL PROPERTIES: PROPERTIES OF ROSE OIL:

The properties are slightly different for the different types. Solvent-extracts are used in perfumery and most product lines while the steam-distillate is used by inhalation or internally by ingestion for “problems of the heart”. Rose properties are that it is slightly astringent, tonic, analgesic, hypnotic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antitussive, and a mild laxative as an herbal tea.

            Properties and Uses (by IG = ingestion or IN = inhalation or AP = application): Used by Application the Herb is astringent and the EO is tonic, stimulant, emollient and cytophylactic (protects the cells against destruction which will aid in preserving the health of the skin).  By Inhalation the EO is astringent, antidepressant, and a soothing tonic stimulant, and relaxant. Rose is often used for chronic bronchitis and asthma, as a respiratory relaxant.

            Physical Uses & How used (IG or AP): Physically by Application in cosmetics, skin care, and body-care products, and home pharmaceuticals.  Some use Rose Abs with Sandalwood as an underarm deodorant. I feel that this is a waste of the Rose and it can be better used in facial care products or EO by Ingestion for menstrual problems, frigidity, the reproductive system, and impotence. Only a drop in a complementary herbal capsule (Hawthorn for the heart, Vitex agnus castus for the female reproductive system) is needed and used only 3 times per day for no more than 5 days. Rose oil can allay frigidity, impotence, and sexual weakness. 
                       

Diffuse/Diffusion: Any combination of essential oils that you formulate with Rose Abs. can be diffused. Often the scent in the air from these mixtures is very relaxing and soothing. Personally, I prefer Rose absolute plus Spikenard EO and then double the amount of a high-altitude Lavender EO ~ this makes a quite lovely combination of scent with low viscosity to put into your diffuser. Use it only for 15 minutes on and 45 minutes off for a scent quality in the air that will enable relaxation and a quiet mind.

 

Emotional/Energetic Use by Application or Inhalation: Rose absolute can be used by Application, a drop massaged on the temples to relieve a headache. If Inhaled it can relieve a headache and nervous tension, alleviate depression and anxiety, soothe emotions, such as shock or grief, and help one to overcome the fear of the unknown.  If applied on the wrist and inhaled during meditation Rose oil is used for harmony and balance. It gently heals emotional wounds.

 

MAGICAL USES and FORMULAS

There are many blends and applications you can use with Rose, just check your nearest ‘energetic’ aromatherapy book, or the formula books written by Scott Cunningham. A simple blend is one using a variety of base notes, as follows:

                                        Earth Mother ~ An oil blend used in ritual for psychic protection.
Use a combination of Patchouli, Rose, Spikenard, and Vetiver in any amounts. The odor is used for physical stamina and for sexual potency, (herb Patchouli is used in woolen clothes to deter moths). Rose we have discussed and it mixes well with these other essential oils. The Spikenard is the Mother of Scent and a great woman’s odor because of its reference in the bible. Mix these as a base note in all your female perfumes. Sandalwood can be substituted for Vetiver as a base note in men’s odors and is used for psychic protection.

                                                                                   Love Oils with Rose Otto
Rose Otto is another name for the essential oil or attar of Rose and is used for the body, usually taken by ingestion or by inhalation or in perfumery, while the Rose absolute is strictly in products for external care or by inhalation for the mind.  Rose Otto is for the body and Rose absolute for the mind.  I don’t really consider Rose to be an aphrodisiac although older men (over 50) seem to think it (the true Rose) is a fabulous odor on a woman and will often go ‘gaga’ over it. Try a blend of Rose absolute, Lavender absolute and Sandalwood or Neroli EO.

Triple Rose oil Potion
Take 5 drops of Rose absolute and mix with 5 drops of Rose essential oil and add 20 drops of Rosehip seed oil. Succuss thoroughly. Drink a cup of Rose petal Tea. Now draw a heart on the floor around you in Rose petals, and anoint yourself with the Rose Potion. Anoint a pink candle and light it. Anoint your clothes. Think about all those items that you wish or that you want or that are important to you. Close your eyes and bring in the Rose scent. Sit or stand in the center of your heart and expand your vision. Love? It will come to you.

Wish for only good and with no harm to come to others.

 

 Key Use: Perfumery & skin care. Oil of the Heart©.

 Historical Uses: A long vast history as perfumes, unguents, pomades, magic, and as medicine.

 Interesting Information: “Mystery of the Rose” was a powerful concept in Medieval times; the term ‘sub rosa’, that is, in private, comes from the tradition of putting a Rose above a council table where secrecy was expected, this possibly from the legend that Cupid gave Harpocrates, the god of silence, secrets, and confidentiality, a Rose to keep him from revealing Venus’s indiscretions. Herodotus, born 484 BC discussed double Roses.

The Emperor Nero built the Domus Aurea which is Latin for “Golden House”). It was a large landscaped portico villa that was built in the heart of ancient Rome, after the great fire of 64 A.D. had cleared away the aristocratic dwellings on the slopes of the Palatine Hill. It was built of brick and concrete and with murals and stuccoed ceilings that were covered with semi-precious stones and ivory veneer. Celer and Severus also created an ingenious mechanism, cranked by slaves, that made the ceiling underneath the dome revolve like the heavens, while perfume was sprayed and Rose petals were dropped on the assembled diners. According to some accounts, perhaps embellished by Nero’s political enemies, on one occasion such quantities of rose petals were dropped that one unlucky guest was asphyxiated.

 Contraindications: None known, although recently someone told me they were allergic to Rose but did not clarify if it was the plant or the scent. I believe that she had only smelled synthetic Rose and probably did not know the difference.

 Safety Precautions: None known.  Non-toxic.  Non-irritant.

                                                                                   HYDROSOL OF ROSE
Rose hydrosol is a timeless tonic. It is a very mild astringent and can be used as a light toner for extremely sensitive and mature skin. It is prized as a restorative for mature skin, but can be used on all skin types. Hydrosol uses of the Rose are innumerable. Everything that you can think of can be done with the Rose hydrosol.  It can be drunk, used in foods, cosmetics, and medicines. The best comes from the Rosa gallica. But this species is not much grown or distilled now.
And finally, the Medicinal Rose, Rosa gallica officinalis – Apothecary Rose, French Rose or Rose of Provins (distilled for Rosewater) was once was the principal Rose used for Rosewater in cosmetics and medicine, although now many distillers collect any of the ‘water’ of a Rose distillation. Some of this water has been cohobated to extract every molecule of the Rose oil and some has not. So, it is good to know your distiller, and to carefully read the bottle and ask questions. The most pungent and medicinally active hydrosol would be the one that has not been cohobated.
Production of Rose Otto is via water-steam distillation; Rose blossoms are added to water in the still for a water-steam distillation (Roses are soft and somewhat mucilaginous and stick together with just steam distillation). The water is brought to a boil, producing steam which percolates through the Rose mass. The steam produced is captured, condensed and collected where the water and the oil produced are separated.

“Cohobation is done to reclaim all the essential oil that is produced and not for extracting or reclaiming some chemical constituent that was not in the Hydrosol first time around. Following the first distillation of plant material, cohobation is done for extracting more essential oil from the oil-bearing waters as Rose oil is highly hydrophilic.” These types of ‘waters’/hydrosols come primarily from Rose Otto and Melissa distillations.

 

                              Uses for Rose Hydrosol/Rosewater:
            Cooling Mist: Keep in a bottle with a spray top. Have an extra bottle in your purse. Store any extra in the refrigerator Mist on face to cool skin and freshen up.
            Facial Toner: To 1 oz. of Rose hydrosol add a drop of Lavender or Rose essential oil and apply to your face with a cotton ball after you shower or wash your face to keep skin smooth and toned.
Clay Facial for Skin: Add 1 teaspoon of white clay to 1 tablespoon of Rose hydrosol and add 1 scant drop of Rose oil. Let it integrate, and apply the clay masque to your cleansed skin, let it dry, gently rub the clay off with fingertips, rinse thoroughly and follow with a Rosewater spray. This would be useful for any teenager, mother, man or young person as it is healing, tonic and adds suppleness to the skin.
            Sunburn Relief: Mix equal parts rosewater and Rose vinegar in a spray bottle and spray onto sunburned skin for relief.

 

Religious Uses of Rosewater: In Iran, rosewater is an abundant product of R. damascena which contains 10-50% rose oil. The most usage of Rose water is in religious ceremonies. It is used in mosques especially at mourning ceremonies, to calm and relax people. The highest quality rose water is produced in Kashan. Kaaba (God House) in, is washed yearly by unique and special rose water of Kashan. Rose water is also of high value in the food industry and some special foods are prepared using this product

           

Culinary Uses of Rose Hydrosol: Rose water or Rose oil is used in many cuisines, including the delicious treat called Turkish Delight.  There is also Ms. Rohde’s book, Rose Recipes with many ways to prepare Rose petals and hips. Rose petals are also delicious when mixed with Lemonade for a flavored pink drink for a hot summer day. This Rose Lemonade can also be made with Rose hydrosol. It is an excellent and tasty aperient for a child.
                        Rose Lemonade: Make 1 quart of Lemonade with organic Lemons, water and sugar to your taste. Add 2-4 tablespoons Rose hydrosol or 1 cup of an infusion of Rosa centifolia made with the petals and good water. Sweeten to taste. Fill beautiful crystal glasses with ice or ice made with champagne and pour over the Rose Lemonade.  This would be a good drink as an aperient for a child (not the one with the champagne) or for the woman in PMS or in menopause.

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 are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distil for a product by using plant material that is fresh.

 

                                                                               HERBAL USES OF THE ROSE:

Two kinds of dried flowers are produced in commerce. A) Dried bud which is mostly for export. B) Dried petals for different purposes; its major use is for eating, as it can solve problems with digestive system. Some Iranians eat the petals with yogurt. Another reason for drying petals is to store them when the distilleries cannot accept the whole produced flower anymore.

Use Rose petals whole or infused or macerated in herbal baths, herbal lotions, creams, unguents and just any way you can think of to prepare them. See my books for ideas. Rose hips also have great value and make a delicious syrup.

 

Hips, both dried and fresh hips of R. damascena are used in Iran both processed or not processed. Rosehips of R. eglanteria or any species Rose that produces big hips can be used as a tea, or syrup or processed for Rosehip seed oil. They contain a goodly quantity of vitamin C.

            Rosehip Syrup: This vitamin C herbal tonic is easy. Rose hips are the ripened fruit of the rose and contain the seeds for the growth.  You just must have the Rosehips and remember that they are ripe and ready for picking in the fall, when they are very red and beginning to soften. Take 2-4 cups of ripe Rosehips (probably picked toward the end of September). Twist off the dried flower ends.  Put them into a quart pot and add just enough water to cover them (2-3 cups).  Cover the pot and simmer gently until the hips are mushy (1-2 hours).  Mash them with a potato masher, simmer 10 minutes more to integrate.  Push this mush through a small Potato ricer or a chinois.  Put the strained liquid from the mash back into the pot and add an equal quantity of sugar (about 2 cups- 1 lb.). [IF you seeded and halved your Rosehips first you can make jam out of the mushy mash].  Simmer liquid and sugar gently until the sugar has dissolved which should take about 5-10 minutes. Let cool enough to use. Pour this into a wide-mouth bottle and add equal quantity, about 2 cups, of 90% Eau de Vie/Lemon Vodka/or like substance.  Eau de Vie works best because it tastes good with Rosehips, although you can use an ethyl alcohol like Everclear or neutral grain or grape spirits. Mix it well together. Label and date the product. Store this in the refrigerator.  This can be used throughout the year as a cough syrup, sore throat cure or the base for an herbal cordial. Take 1 teaspoon by mouth every hour or so to soothe the throat or a cough.

Rose Petal Laxative Tea. Rose petals are a gentle laxative (aperient) and particularly useful for children and the elderly. Make a mild Rose petal tea, sweeten with honey or mix it with Lemonade and enough honey to make it palatable. Drink several cups and soon it will work gently but efficiently. It is very useful on hot summer days in May and June. Use only the best medicinal Roses such as Rosa centifolia and Rosa gallica. …

 

More JEANNE ROSE’S RECIPES AND EXPERIENCE WITH THIS EO AND HERB

 Sweet Bags to Lay with Linens for Sweet Odor

Take 8 oz. of damask sweet, scented Rose petals, 8 oz. of fresh crushed Coriander seeds, 8 oz. of crushed or powdered sweet Orrisroot, 8 oz. of dried and crushed Calamus rhizomes, 1 oz. of c/s^ Mace, 1 oz. of c/s^ Cinnamon bark, ½ oz. of crushed Cloves, 4 drams of Musk powder (try substituting Ambrette, the seeds of Hibiscus abelmoschus), 2 drachms* of white loaf sugar, 3 oz. of whole sweet Lavender flowers, and some Rhodium wood. Beat all together (mix altogether) and bag in small silk bags. —Mrs. Glasse. —from the Art of Cookery, 1784.

^ c/s = cut and sifted
*Drachm is a unit of weight that equals about 1/8 oz. by volume

 

ROSE SKIN CARE FORMULAS

Rose Skin Care & Acne Cream
Any mixture of vegetable oils or creams or lotions can be mixed 50% with Calophyllum oil. Then the essential oils are added at 2-10%.  Essential oils particularly useful are German Chamomile, Lavender, Rose Geranium and Rose and others.

 

Rose Skin Healing Lotion
Ingredients: In this formula, our ingredients will be as follows:
4 oz. by volume Rose or Rose Geranium hydrosol (or distilled water if you have no hydrosol)
¼ oz. by weight or more beeswax or Rose floral wax
½ oz. by weight or more of a combination of butters (Use Avocado, Coconut, Shea or other)
½ oz. by volume vegetable oil (Use Olive, Hempseed, Calophyllum or Sunflower oil)
8-10 drops Rose Absolute
6-8 drops Helichrysum EO

Directions:
1. In a small 8 oz. Pyrex container, combine the oils and waxes. Stir the oils/waxes together to make sure they are evenly combined and heat gently until incorporated.
2. In a separate container, warm up the hydrosol or water. You want the temperatures of these two items to be similar so that they can be incorporated.
3. Begin stirring the oil/wax mixture with an immersion blender and add the hydrosol mixture slowly as you stir. You will see the mixture begin to thicken. Continue mixing until Rose Skin Care Lotion is fully formed.
4. Add the essential oils and continue to stir until thickened a bit. Pour into clean jars and allow to cool completely before capping.
5. Open only one jar at a time and to prolong shelf life, refrigerate the extra jars. Do use this lotion with a small wooden spatula or spoon rather than the fingers. This is to prevent the addition of fungal or bacterial agents to your lovely lotion.

 

Simple Rose Oil for Fine Skin Care ~ Normal Skin
40 drops Lemon/Clementine EO
20 drops Rose absolute
10 drops Spikenard EO – 10 drops
½ oz. Olive oil or other to fill a 1 oz. bottle
Succuss the essential oils, add the carrier oil and succuss again. Use by massaging a bit on your face in the morning after you have cleansed your face.  You can also apply a bit of Rosewater afterwards and massage this in.

Cammy Bath Herbs was #3 New Age Creations Formula. – Diaphoretic bath, helpful in losing skin impurities and possibly weight loss and contains Lavender to reduce puffiness, citrus buds for young looking skin, Rose buds for hydration, Chamomile flowers for youth and rejuvenation, Linden leaves for nerves, Calendula flowers as a diaphoretic and for skin inflammations. Take this bath for health and as a slight diaphoretic. Formula from Jeanne Rose Herbal Body Book. All books and courses available at www.jeannerose.net
2 oz. Calendula flowers
2 oz. Chamomile flowers
2 oz. Lavender flowers
2 oz. Linden leaves and flowers
3 oz. Orange bud
3 oz. Rose bud
2 oz. Rosemary leaves
some Bay leaf
Mix these herbs all together and store in airtight container. When you wish a bath, take a large handful of the mixed herbs and bring to a boil in a quart of water. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Run your bath. Pour the herbal water into the tub, collecting the herbs in a porous container (pantyhose leg or muslin bag). Relax in the bath water for at least 20 minutes, wash and dry. This bath can be taken as often as you wish. This mixture makes 8 full baths.

 

A ROSE HYDROSOL ~ TOMATO TALE

             My class, about 15 people, all met in Napa, CA. at the grower’s home to harvest and distil Rosa centifolia. We went on a holiday weekend and many of us wanted to stay overnight to enjoy the beauty of the Napa Valley and eat at the wonderful Napa restaurants. We arrived by driving down a country road, alongside a beautiful field of blooming pink Cabbage Roses. Our distillation was in a kitchen in a small, lovely, old-fashioned farmhouse in the Valley. Everything in the house was decorated with Roses from the rugs and curtains to the towels and wall hangings.  Our hostess had prepared a delicious fresh Rose petal lemonade from her Roses and home-grown lemons and sweet fresh well water. She served this at the dining room table during a break in the distillation.

The air was heavy with the scent of Roses petals in a bowl and the odor of the distillation. On the dining room table was the rose-colored Lemonade from Rose petals in a rose pitcher with rose decorated plates, roses on the rugs, roses on the towels, rose paperweights, Rose everywhere and on everything. During a break in the class, while the men and I attended to the distillation, most of the women retired to the dining room and the Rose Lemonade. I had mentioned to my class that Rose tea was both somewhat hypnotic and even a bit trance-inducing and that too much would have a laxative effect. I don’t think that they much listened.

However, that tea was so delicious and the Roses odor in the air so entrancing that by the time I could take a break and have a glass of the Rose Petal lemonade, the women at the table had already started on their 2nd glass and were already overcome with the scent of the Roses. Their eyes were glazed over and they had silly expressions on their faces. I had to smile at their faces, they looked like what I imagined Alice might look in her travels to Wonderland.

I had the tea, then gathered up my ladies to complete the distillation. One of them told me that she was a bit nauseous and had to use the bathroom, I don’t think I saw her again. Others were quite sleepy. They were all looking rather ‘high’ and really relaxed. We finished the class, the only students that were now competent were a few men who helped me empty and clean the still outside in the fresh air, while the women were all looking rather Rose ‘stoned’ and were drinking more of the Rose-Lemonade. Powerful stuff that Rose Petal Lemonade.

Eight of us went to dinner while the others drove home. The reports I got later were quite amazing. One woman was driving and had a serious need to use the bathroom but the road ahead was flat with fields and wineries on both sides. She was desperate, saw a winery and had to rush into one of the winery’s outhouses. Two of the woman having dinner with me continually got up and went to the restroom, coming back looking rather dazed. One student had a rather unpleasant accident in her clothes as she was on the bridge on her way home. The woman who stayed in the same hotel as me told me the next day that she spent the night in the bathroom and felt ‘rather cleaned out’.

In the future, I suggest that if your teacher mentions to you that a substance is a laxative or aperient, that you listen and maybe not have that 2nd or 3rd glass of laxative tea ~ oops! I mean Rose petal tea or Rose-Lemonade. This was a lesson well-learned about the power of herbs.

Rose petal Lemonade ~ picture source is unknown

 

Rose 1930: The story of an old scent.
By Jeanne Rose with Judy Komatsu

In the early part of 1996, while preparations were underway to produce the first World of Aromatherapy Conference as the President of If your Rose oil smells soapy it is probably a synthetic.

NAHA, a fascinating letter arrived at my office describing a Rose oil that has been in the possession of one family since the early 1930s.  This prized possession was taken into bomb shelters with the family’s canary when the sirens went off in their town.  No other item was ever taken into the shelters and in the words of the family this is the story of this precious oil. This oil was sold to me and I still have it in my collection.

Dear Jeanne Rose,

            I would like to share a story with you that you may find interesting.  I grew up in a small German village.   During the war, in the early 30s when the air raid sirens went off, my parents would gather the children, the family canary and a wooden box with a handle on top and off we would go to the public shelter.  The shelter was only a block away, it was all made of stone and was several hundred years old.  I’m not sure, but I think it used to be a wine cellar.  It is still standing today.  While we waited out the raid my father would tell us stories, of his travels, of the world.  He had spent time in France in the early 3’s, before the war.

            It was during this time that he purchased one of his most prized possessions, several pints of Rose essential oil.  This was what was packed away in the heavy wooden box we took with us to the shelter.  It was the only valuable we took with us, and it came on every visit. As an adult, I have had thoughts of what I would take from my house if a disaster arose.  It would be mementos, pictures, letters and the like.  I’m sure there was a reason my father bought the oil, but he never told, and I never thought to ask.  As a child, I never questioned why the obvious valuables were left behind, and the box would accompany us.  He claimed it was an investment, but he never sold it and it is still in the family.  I think it may have reminded him of happier times, of his youth perhaps.  He would always tell us of the tons of rose petals that went into the making of the oil.  I would sit with my sisters and pretend to be sleeping on pillows of rose petals rather than in the dark, damp shelter.

            He passed away in the 50s.  At this time, the oil was divided among the children, it was his legacy.  I have continued the legacy and have given my own daughters some of the oil.  What I have left is in an unusual, old brown bottle with a glass stopper.

            I do use aromatherapy, so I know that it is rare to have such an old oil, especially one kept in less than ideal conditions.  Let me tell you this one is still quite potent; a quarter of a drop will last all week.  Its strength is important to me; the oil has traveled from France to Germany to New York, where I now live.  It has lasted at least 70 years and will out-last me.  With it, I have given my daughters some sense of their family history.  I am sharing this story with you now, because I feel it is an important one.  Maybe you know of some others, or maybe you know some history that may help me understand where the oil came from back in France and why it was so significant to my father.  If you do please let me know. 

                        Thank you.  Helga R.   6/24/96

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Chemical Components: Phenyl-Ethanol, Citronellol, Geraniol, Nerol, nonadecane, Stearopten, and Farnesol in various proportions as well as 300 other compounds. Rose is one of the many scents that cannot be duplicated by humans in the laboratory. If you ever smell a Rose that is ‘soapy’ that is a clue that it is a synthetic.

            Physicochemical Properties: It does not make sense to give the physiochemical properties of Rose because the different varieties grown, the different terroirs yielding different numbers, and the ancient and historical complexity of the Rose and the way it is distilled and/or the differing equipment. If you will consult the Guenther book (see Bibliography), you will find many examples of these properties.

One of the interesting numbers given is that 400-450 kg. of Rosa damascena from Bulgaria, yield 1 kg. of Rose concrete which, in turn, gives 520 g. of alcohol-soluble absolute. That the Bulgarian rose absolutes have a pronounced dextrorotation while the distilled Rose oils are levorotatory.

Scientific Data: There is a long and wonderful article about the Rose online ~ Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2011 Jul-Aug; 14(4): 295–307. PMCID: PMC3586833

Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena

Rosa damascena mill L., known as Gole Mohammadi in is one of the most important species of Rosaceae family flowers. R. damascena is an ornamental plant and beside perfuming effect, several pharmacological properties including anti-HIV, antibacterial, antioxidant, antitussive, hypnotic, antidiabetic, and relaxant effect on tracheal chains have been reported for this plant. This article is a comprehensive review on pharmacological effects of R. damascena.

There is a strong bond between Iranians and this plant. Its popularity is not only because of the medicinal effects but also is due to holy beliefs about it. People call this plant Flower of Prophet Mohammed (Gole mohammadi), because they believe its nice aroma reminds them of prophet Mohammad.

At the present time, this plant is cultivated in Iran (especially in Kashan) for preparing rose water and essential oil. Because of the low oil content in R. damascena and the lack of natural and synthetic substitutes, essential rose oil of this plant is one of the most expensive ones in the world markets


References:
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Vol. 5, pages 3-48. 1st edition, Krieger Publishing Company. 1952,
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
New Age Creations Formulas by Jeanne Rose. 1969-1982
Rohde, Eleanour Sinclair. Rose Recipes. Originally published 1939 and now a reprint by Dover.
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California:
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose. San Francisco, CA. 1988.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3586833/
 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 aromatherapists 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©

If you have read this far and like what you have read, please help support this work by the purchase of books and courses by Jeanne Rose. The web address is http://www.jeannerose.net/courses.html    … thank you.

 

Picking Rosa centifolia in California – 2010

 

 

 

~ JR ~

whew! 7876

 

ROSEMARY. Chemotypes and Hydrosol

Synopsis: There is much to know about Rosemary, an ancient herb in use for thousands of years;
antiaging and protective of memory; Jeanne Rose explains it all.

 

Rosemary Essential Oil and Hydrosol Profile

By Jeanne Rose ~ March 2017

10 Rosemary ~ depending on Origin and Chemotype

Common Name/Latin Binomial: Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly called Rosemary.
Family: Labiatae (Lamiaceae)

Other Common Name/Naming Information: The mint family Lamiaceae includes many other herbs. The name “rosemary” derives from the Latin for “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus), or “dew of the sea” The plant is also sometimes called anthos, from an ancient Greek word meaning “flower”.

Countries of Origins: This is a Mediterranean plant, a cultivated ornamental and an herb traded from southern to northern Europe since the 13th century. It now grows easily in many countries and the herb/EO is traded from Tunisia, Morocco and northwards.

Eden Botanicals Harvest Location: Morocco, Italy and Spain.
http://www.edenbotanicals.com/

Endangered or Not: Not threatened. This is an introduced plant to the United States and grows well in many areas.

General description of Plant habitat and growth: Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub with leaves similar to hemlock needles. It thrives in limey soil. It is drought tolerant surviving a severe lack of water for lengthy periods. Forms range from upright to trailing; the upright forms can reach 1.5 m (5 ft.) tall, rarely 2 m (6 ft. 7 in). The leaves are evergreen, 2–4 cm (0.8–1.6 in) long and 2–5 mm broad, green above, and white below, with dense, short, woolly hair. The plant flowers in spring and summer in temperate climates, but the plants can be in constant bloom in warm climates; flowers are white, pink, purple or deep blue. Rosemary also has a tendency to flower outside its normal flowering season; it has been known to flower as late as early December, and as early as mid-February. Rosemary has a fibrous root system. There are various varieties and forms of Rosemary and the oil of various geographic origin possess various physiochemical properties (chemistry), scent and taste. Terroir is important in growing Rosemary and variations are caused by soil, climate, altitude, sunlight exposure and the season of harvesting.

Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields:  The leaves, tops and flowers are steam distilled and CO2 extracted.
Yield: The yield can vary from .4 to .7% but is usually in the range of 1.0-2.0%.

Distillation: Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, various Artemisia are plants that live in poor soils and are “stressed” by sun or poor soil and then produce more oil, as the oils are generated by the plants for its protection and to attract pollinators. The quality of the distillation process depends on several factors.  If the plant is processed fresh, right after cutting, you will get the best hydrosol and good essential oil. If you allow the plant to dry, (clover-dry), say overnight in the field, you will get less and very poor hydrosol but since you can put more plant matter in the still you will get more oil in quantity.

Copper is important is important in the still as it removes the yeast and sulfur from the plants during the distillation process via the copper ions.

Organoleptic Characteristics:

#1 – #4 courtesy of Eden Botanicals.


Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment: 
These are all slightly different and good ones to purchase as small samples, so that you can choose your favorite. Remember to “waft don’t draft” the scent, that is, wave the bottle back and forth under your nose taking in small scents from the left side and then from the right (waft) rather than sticking the bottle under your nose and inhaling deeply (draft).
1.
Rosemary CT camphor is the strongest odor of the 7 and has a typical camphoraceous (mild mothball odor) with herbal and green notes.
2. The odor of Rosemary Cineol wild is true to the plant, refreshing herbal, fruity and green.
3. For me, the Rosemary cineol organic is one that I do not prefer. It is herbal and fresh and green but has a barnyard back note that is disconcerting.
4. Rosemary cineol from Italy is a bit more intense than the others but such a perfect odor, herbal fruity and green and just the one you might pick for your favorite herbal perfumes.
5. Rosemary pinene organic is just what you might think it is with a green-like conifer needle odor, herbaceous and somewhat fruity.  Excellent to use as one of your inhalants when you have a cold or flu.
6. Rosemary verbenone from the USA is herbal and very fruity while the one from Corsica is less fruity. Both are good to use in a skin care regime as the verbenone is appealing as a skin-care addition.
7.  Rosemary CO2 has the true herbal scent of the Rosemary that is grown in the fog — herbal, spicy and fruity, mild and delicious. It is used as an antioxidant as it contains 9-14% carnosic acid.

Learn to Smell and Detect Odor: Limbic system is the seat of memory and learning. Smell from left nostril and then to right nostril. The right nostril (right brain-creative) is important in detecting and evaluating the intensity of odor, and this hints at a broad olfactory asymmetry and the left nostril (left brain or logical) is for smelling location or place.

First Smell and 2nd Smell. Lurking in the olfactory epithelium, among the mucus-exuding cells, are cells that are part of the system that innervates the face (trigeminal nerve).  It is suspected that pungent and putrid molecules penetrate them, interact with their proteins, and stimulate them to fire.  Thus, there are two types of olfaction: first smell, the ordinary type for specific odors, and second smell for nonspecific pungency and putridity.”

There is also left brain and right brain smell-ability. Left brain smells location (maybe via logical use of EMG waves) while right brain smells intensity. The closer you get – the more intense the odor.

 

General Properties: Antiaging, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, slightly Astringent and Stimulating.

            Properties and Uses: Aside from boosting prospective memory by inhalation or application, Rosemary EO had a number of health benefits. For instance, it is used massage and in bathing as it has antiseptic, antioxidant and astringent properties. Similarly, the essential oil used in massage oil could also ease muscle and rheumatism pain and improve poor circulation It can also help skin that is dry and mature to produce more natural oils of its own when used in skin care. Likewise, in shampoo the herb and EO can help people who are losing hair and have problems with dandruff to grow more hair and have less dandruff.    For those who experience lung congestion or sore throat, they could either add Rosemary to a vapor balm or inhale it in the treatment called sequential inhalation for relief of this. Inhaled it could also aid in digestion and improve appetite.

Application/ Skincare (formula at end) Rosemary can also help in getting rid of canker sores. And historically, Rosemary has been used to stimulate hair growth. There is one well-known study of 84 people with alopecia areata (a disease in which hair falls out, generally in patches), who massaged their scalps with a combination of Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica) Lavender (high elevation), Rosemary (unknown chemotype) and Thyme every day for 7 months experienced significant hair regrowth compared to those who massaged their scalps without the essential oils. But the study was not well designed, and it is impossible to say whether Rosemary caused the hair growth or it was the combination of oils.

 

Diffuse/Diffusion: new research suggests that by inhalation it may potentially improve learning and memory in the wake of age-related decline. A study from 2012 suggested that rosemary oil may boost brain performance.

 

Emotional/Energetic Use: This essential oil can also boost a person’s energy and stimulate his nervous system. Worwood says that Rosemary “strengthens and restores character and is used for energy, to uplift, to instill confidence, clarity and structure, to become more aware. It counteracts learning and memory difficulties, nervous exhaustion and the overworked and overburdened brain”. Cunningham says use Rosemary “in an Energy, Exorcism or Healing Bath”. Jeanne Rose says “use it in baths and shampoos as it is anti-aging and will keep your skin healthy and your hair bright”.

Key Use: Oil of Stimulation and Anti-Aging and the Herb of Remembrance

 

Chemical Components: Major components of this essential oil are 1,8-cineole (a.k.a. eucalyptol), 16% α-pinene, and 12% borneol.
There are differences in the essential oil of Rosemary found during various parts of its cycle; the chemistry changes depending upon if it was tested prior to flowering, during flowering or at the end of flowering. In 1986 (I am sure more recently) Tucker studied different cultivars (CV) of Rosemary in the U.S. and they were lab distilled. There are many studies of Rosemary and one should be sure they look at when and where and what time of year it was distilled.

Camphor type was highest from Yugoslavia and at full flowering but also from various spots in the United States (time of year not discussed); Cineol type was highest from Tunisia and at full flower; Pinene type was 24-50% after flowering; Verbenone type was highest, 13%, in a Rosemary grown in fog near Monterey, CA.

In 1963, Schwenker and Klöhn compared the chemical composition of essential oils of Rosemary of French and Spanish origins and that of a freshly distilled oil.  The percentage of 1,8-cineole varied from 15.9 -49.2%, a-pinene varied 10.4 to 22.7%, and an unknown ketone (verbenone) from trace to 15.5%.  It was highest in the fresh distilled oil. In 1967, Crabalona isolated and identified methyl jasmonate in a sample of Tunisian oil of Rosemary.

Karawya analyzed a sample of Egyptian rosemary oil, that had a different chemical composition. Granger et al examined the a-pinene and verbenone contents of a number of oils from wild growing Rosmarinus officinalis from France and a single cultivated type of Algerian origin.  They found that a-pinene varied 7.5 to 27% and verbenone from 1-29%.  The cultivated Algerian strain had the highest percentages of both these compounds. A comparison by Granger (1973) of commercial Rosemary oils from Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, Yugoslavia and Greece reveled variations in the major components of the oil.

Spanish oils contain much more camphor.  Oils from Morocco, Tunisia and Italy much more 1,8-cineole.
            Verbenone is a terpene, to be specific a bicyclic ketone terpene. It was first identified in 1967 and specific California Rosemary has been found to have up to 6.3% verbenone (analyzed by Tucker).  It is the primary constituent of the oil of Spanish verbena, hence its name; it is also found in the oil of Rosemary and Frankincense. It is nearly insoluble in water, but miscible with most organic solvents. Verbenone can be readily prepared synthetically by the oxidation of the more common terpene α-pinene. Verbenone can then be converted into chrysanthenone through a photochemical rearrangement reaction:

In ROSEMARY – COMMINUTE the pinene type of Rosemary and it will convert to VERBENONE. Because of its pleasant aroma, verbenone (or essential oils high in verbenone content) are used in perfumery, aromatherapy, herbal teas, spices, and herbal remedies. The L-isomer is used as a cough suppressant under the name of levo-verbenone. Verbenone may also have antimicrobial properties. Verbenone CO2-6 is extracted in Spain and is used in skin care or for great Rosemary Garlic bread. Inhale and apply.

Physiochemical Properties of Rosemary oil changes due to terroir. But specific gravity is normally around 0.9 and is soluble in 1 vol. of 90% alcohol.

Rosmarinus officinalis var. prostratus CT cineole ~ photo by Jeanne Rose

Comparison of Main Components:

Main Biochemical ConstituentsRosmarinus officinalis has several chemotypes and uses:

Borneol type1 -Helps overcome fatigue and infections, and is a heart tonic. Inhale and apply. From France.
Camphor type2 -A vein decongestant, mucolytic, cardiac tonic and diuretic. Inhale and apply. From Croatia or Spain.
Cineol type3 -For lung congestion, cystitis and chronic fatigue. Inhale and apply. From Morocco/US/France.
Limonene type – Limonene has anti- cancer effects. Limonene increases the levels of liver enzymes involved in detoxifying carcinogens. This Rosemary type is both gently stimulating and quietly anti-cancer. Inhale and apply.  From France
Pinene/Cineol- type4 (R. pyramidalis) –Respiratory applications, specific for ear and sinus problems. Inhale and apply. France.
Verbenone type (2 types, one from France5 and one from USA6)—The scent is herbaceous, fruity, and green. Mucolytic, sinus infections, antispasmodic, and helps balance the endocrine and nervous systems. For oily or regenerative skin care, but contains some say, potentially hazardous ketones. Inhale and apply. U.S. type can be taken internally for CFS.

____________________________________

Comminuting pinene type of Rosemary will cause the bioconversion of alpha-pinene to verbenone. [Some plants need to be distilled fresh, some have to be dried, some semi-dried first, some need to be comminuted, that is, cut into smaller pieces, some need to soak for some hours before distillation. Each plant has different distillation parameter requirements.] Comminuting Rosemary CT pinene changes it to Rosemary CT verbenone.

Blends Well With: Basil, Bergamot and other citrus oils, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Citronella, Elemi, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Labdanum, Lavandin, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lime, Mandarin, Melissa, Myrtle, Orange, Oregano, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Tangerine, Thyme. “…finds extensive use in perfumery for citrus colognes, Lavender waters, fougères (fern), pine needle fragrances, Oriental perfumes (blends excellently with Olibanum [Frankincense] and spice oils!)…”.—Arctander

 

HYDROSOL:

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Hydrosol – the Anti-aging hydrosol.
This should be picked and distilled in full flower or just before full flower. At this time the hydrosol will be sweet while later it will be very camphoraceous.  This hydrosol is stimulating both by external application and internal use.  This is the rejuvenating and ‘holding back old age’ hydrosol. It should be taken a teaspoon at a time in a glass of water as a tonic drink, bathed in, used in shampoo or skin care; in other words, submerse yourself in Rosemary herb tea, Rosemary herb and hydrosol baths, Rosemary essential oil inhalations.  The herbal extract and essential oil (and why not the hydrosol) shows some powerful uses in diminishing the effects of Alzheimer’s. It is stimulating and when distilled averages 5.5 pH ± .1
The average hydrosol yield is 1 lb. of plant material in and 1-2 lbs. (2 cups to 1 quart) of hydrosol out. Sometimes I get 3 lb. of plant material in and up to 3-4-quart hydrosol out. (One gallon of distilled water weighs approximately 8.32 lbs.

The hydrosol is added to the bath — Rosemary can be absorbed into the skin and so when added to the bath adds its unique anti-aging qualities. Use about a cup/bath. If you can also use the Rosemary herbal infusion. Slightly stimulating, very comforting, Rosemary hydrosol is a fine tonic addition.

The hydrosol of Rosemary verbenone can be taken internally as a tonic drink. It is very tasty. 1 tsp. in 8 oz. of water, taken two or three times for day can be used as a gentle treatment for Candida or liver dysfunction. It can also be drunk as stimulating beverage. Add ½ -1 teaspoon to a glass of ginger ale or to sweetened carbonated water. You can also add it to any tea, black or green. Rosemary in all its forms is considered antioxidant and anti-aging.

Rosemary CT. verbenone essential oil has a fine scent, is considered to have multiple uses. Verbenone is the name of a relatively new ketone that has found to be very anti-fungal. It occurs in Frankincense and the two essential oils together are a new potent weapon against fungus. While Frankincense and Rosemary verbenone essential oils with the addition of Tea Tree essential oil can be used as a direct anti-fungal agent against athlete’s foot and other fungus infections, it is only the Rosemary verbenone that can be taken internally against Candida. This oil is also a fine inhalant for Stress Relief especially when blended with Bergamot. The essential oil is gentle enough for skin-care and can be added in a .5% mixture and used in skin-care products. The EO is potent and has multiple uses as does the hydrosol.

Verbenone is a precious part of some Rosemary Essential oils and hydrosols and in order to produce more verbenone, you may pick pinene type Rosemary and comminute (break up) the leaves (needles) and then distill it. “Comminuting the pinene type of Rosemary causes the bioconversion of alpha pinene to verbenone”
You can get a fine quality blue Rosemary from Eatwell Farms, and Rosemary hydrosol from Prima Fleur and Eden Botanicals.

            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 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.


HERBAL USES: The herb is aromatic and tasty and is used as a condiment in cooking primarily in European dishes and sauces and especially France and Italy. The tea is not only a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, but also it can be used to treat indigestion. A study from 2010 recommended adding extract of the herb to beef while cooking to reduce cancer-causing agents that can form during cooking.   Rosemary has been used and written about for several hundreds of years. “The leaves laid under a pillow will do away with bad dreams and evil spirits and smelling the leaves keeps you young or leaves ground to powder and used on the body make you light and merry. An infusion used on the hair prevents baldness and keeps the hair color. The wood is used to make lutes (I have seen a plant that was 8 inches in diameter), and if burned into charcoal and used as a tooth powder keeps the teeth healthy (in 1969 I made tooth powder this way and had no tooth problems until I stopped using it). Drinking the hydrosol does away with any body evil.”

Prima Fleur Essential oils

 

Some Jeanne Rose’s Formulas & Recipes with this EO and Herb:

Rosemary Hair Oil from New Age Creations
Pure essential oil of Rosemary makes an excellent hair conditioner. I made it with 1 oz. of Rosemary oil mixed with ½ oz. oil Basil and ½ oz. Oil of Lavender: A few drops brushed into the hair every day will condition and gloss it. The best way to use it is to put a few drops on your hair brush and brush your hair every morning or every night. Always brush from roots to ends and use a quality hair brush — my favorite is a Mason-Pearson brush. — Jeanne Rose Herbal Body Book

Rosemary Shampoo
Jim Duke mentions that Rosemary shampoo is anti-Alzheimer’s and that Rosemary components are lipophilic can be absorbed through the skin, that it is a CNS STIMULANTS because of the cineol, camphor and borneol.

Rosemary Blend to skin care
Mix together in any amount you like EO of, sweet Orange, Atlas Cedar, Mandarin or Tangerine and Rosemary. In a massage oil this is uplifting and antidepressant and neutralizes odor and in hand lotion it is soothing.

Rosemary Ninon Bath Herbs
This is one of the first herbal baths that I ever made. I found the formula and made it in 1969, wrote it up for my book, Herbs & Things and have used it ever since. It was #1 in my New Age Creations formulary.
“Ninon de Lenclos, properly Anne de Lanclos, was born in 1620 and died eighty-five years later after having lived an exciting and scandalous life as a French courtesan, epicurean, and confidante to such literate men as Molière and Scarron and to the famous libertins of the period. She was forcefully retired to a nunnery, finally released, wrote La Coquette Vengée, retired from love (though she almost committed incest with her grandson at the age of seventy), and in her will left one thousand francs to Voltaire. She was a celebrated beauty. Her body retained its youthful curves; her skin remained moist and smooth for all of her eighty-five years. Her beauty secrets were many and varied but the one she felt to be most important was her daily herbal Bath:” …

1 handful each of dried or fresh Lavender flowers, Rosemary, Mint, crushed Comfrey root, and Thyme.
Pour a quart of boiling water over the mixture, cover, and steep for 22 minutes.
Pour the entire contents into your bathtub and soak for at least 22 minutes.
For a nice variation, add 1 handful of Rosebuds

Rosemary Bath
Relaxing in an EO bath, oh my
It is really better than pie?
Rosemary bubbles in
Cleanses out the sin
And my skin is as sweet as the sky. —JeanneRose ~ January2015

 

Jeanne Rose Tomato Tales ~ Rosemary

Going to the Wine Taste
Years ago probably around 1980, I enjoyed going to wine tastes here in the city. I especially liked old vine Zinfandel. I am a writer of herbs, essential oils and scents and stay home to work and often don’t realize how strong an odor I carry with me after a day in 10,000 odors. And I was also in love with Rosemary anything. Wonderful herbaceous, smelly delicious Rosemary. I took Rosemary herbal baths, Rosemary herbal facial steams, I used my New Age Creations Hair Growth Shampoo-Rosemary and Rosemary Hair Oil and had been for years; I used Rosemary oil in massage oils and in some of the perfumes I made, and I even used Rosemary infusion as a rinse in my laundry. So it was not surprising that my home and me in it smelled like a very pungent combination of Rosemary and other herbs. [And Rosemary motto is “Remember Me”]
There was one day in May when the weather was particularly pleasant and warm and all the city scent was rising and strong. A wine taste was being held in the afternoon on Union Street, a particularly ‘yuppie’ part of town, and I had just shampooed my hair with my Rosemary Herbal Hair Growth Shampoo, and bathed in my Rosemary Milk Bath, had a slight cramp and had rubbed Rosemary oil on my lower abdominal area and was feeling refreshed and well. As I walked into the place, I noticed all the wine bottles and glasses and walked over feeling especially good. Then the murmur started “what is that smell?” and “phew what is that?” and “where is the pizza?”, etc.
Ohmygod ~ I knew it was me. But now I did not know what to do? Should I slink out thereby letting everyone else know it was me or do I join in the discussion and casually say “oh that pizza smells good” and look around for it? Actually I think I remember grabbing a glass of wine, drinking it and walking out but I can say now that I never went back to that particular place for a wine taste.

 

Historical Uses: Rosemary has a long herbal history as a mental stimulant and physical tonic.    Greek scholars placed Rosemary wreaths on their heads to increase their power of concentration before exams. Gerard writes of Rosemary in his “Herbal” (1597): “If a garland thereof be put upon the head, it comforteth the brain, the memory, the inward senses, and comforteth the heart and maketh it merry.” The distilled spirit of Rosemary was used in the legendary “Hungary water”, named for Queen Elizabeth of Hungary (1370). It is said to have transformed her from a paralytic, chronically ill princess into a healthy, vibrant ruler.

Rosemary has also been used in the past to ward off evil, to offer protection from the plague, and as a gift symbolizing long lasting love and enduring friendship.

 

Interesting Information: Rosemary benefits abound — www.JeanneRose.net/courses.html
Rosemary adds flavor to many foods, and now new research suggests that by inhalation it may potentially improve learning and memory in the wake of age-related decline. A study from 2012 suggested that Rosemary oil may boost brain performance. The herbal tea is not only a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, but also it can be used to treat indigestion. A study from 2010 recommended adding extract of the herb to beef while cooking to reduce cancer-causing agents that can form during cooking.
It was mentioned in most of the ancient herbals of Greece and Rome.  The Ancient Egyptians are thought to have either grown or imported Rosemary as it has been found in the wrappings of mummies, perhaps a symbolic offering or simply because they knew of its preservative properties. The ancient Greeks attributed a mind stimulating effect to Rosemary, an action which the oil, herb tea and herbal extract are still used for today.
Students used to entwine it in their hair for its reputed brain stimulating effects.  And – today studies in universities have shown that it DOES increase memory!        Rosemary sprigs were used as an insect deterrent in clothes chests.         The Romans used infusions of Rosemary for stimulating the heart and circulation.  Interesting is that they also used it for treating depression.  Additional uses were treating coughs and lung ailments.
Rosemary (fresh and dried) has been widely used in cooking and as food flavorings. Before refrigeration, foods containing Rosemary kept longer due to its acknowledged anti-oxidant and antimicrobial properties.

 

Rosemary Limerick
Rosemary applied is antiaging
Makes me want to read books engaging
My skin now soft and a’dew
All bright and so new
And all those books made me paging.
—JeanneRose 2015

Rosemary Limerick —JeanneRose 2015
Rosemary so good and so pure
It makes you want to use it to cure.
Rub on your head
Remember your bed
Memories will come that’s for sure.

 

Scientific Data:The antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal activities of the SFE extracts were confirmed. With regard to antibacterial activity, the oils are more active against Gram-positive, than Gram-negative, bacteria, as evidenced by the lower MIC values for the former. Rosemary extracts obtained by supercritical CO2 extraction were shown to be promising with regard to their in-corporation into various foods, cosmetics and pharmaceutiproducts for which a natural aroma, color, and antioxidant/antimicrobial additive is desired. These properties are also needed by the food industry in order to find possible alternatives to synthetic preservatives. Further studies are necessary to investigate the incorporation of extracts into appropriate food formulations, and evaluate flavor, chemical changes and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities in the whole food system.”— Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – a study of the composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of extracts obtained with supercritical carbon dioxide. From Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos ISSN  0101-2601.

 

Contraindications: While writing this article I was able to confirm that Rosemary is indeed stimulating and that inhaling the odor too much or too long will set your heart racing.

 

References:
Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Arctander. 1960
Coombs, Allen J. Dictionary of Plant Names. Timber Press. 1995
Cunningham, Scott. The Magic of Incense, Oils & Brews. Llewellyn Publications. 1988
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Krieger Publishing. Florida. 1976
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol. IAG Botanics. 2015 (supporter of testing hydrosols)
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose. San Francisco California, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Mojay, Gabriel. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 1999.
Poucher, W.A. Perfumes and Cosmetics. D. Van Nostrand Company. 1923
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. San Francisco, California.
Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Things. Last Gasp Press (ask them to republish it)

 

Safety Precautions: Do not use Rosemary herb or EO in excess. Because some is good it does not mean that more is better. While examining Rosemary oil for this article and for the organoleptic qualities, I noticed I had to spread out my examinations over five days, examining only 3 Rosemary types per day. I have heart issues and if I did more, my heart would begin to race. So yet it is stimulating and so caution is wise when blending or using Rosemary.

Safety Precautions: Do not use Rosemary herb or EO in excess. Because some is good it does not mean that more is better. While examining Rosemary oil for this article and for the organoleptic qualities, I noticed I had to spread out my examinations over five days, examining only 3 Rosemary types per day. I have heart issues and if I did more, my heart would begin to race. So yet it is stimulating and so caution is wise when blending or using Rosemary.

 

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 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.
 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. Essential oils can come from many sources including areas that are heavily farmed and/or sprayed with toxic pesticides and defoliants.
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©

 

Rosmarinus officinalis – the tall type and the prostratus

 

 

 

 

~ JR ~

 

Patchouli EO & Hydrosol

Synopsis: A well-known essential oil with both physical and emotional properties and a fascinating history of use on many continents.

 

Patchouli Essential Oil and Hydrosol Profile

By Jeanne Rose ~ February 2017

Patchouli Oils from Eden Botanicals

 

Common Name/Latin Binomial: Patchouli or Patchouly is from Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth.

Family: Lamiaceae

 Other Common Name/Naming Information: The name patchouli comes from a Tamil word, paccilai, meaning “green leaf”. An alternate common name seen in some older references is pucha-pat. The name Pogostemon means Pogo or bearded and stemon or stamen of a flower and is sometimes described as meaning “bearded thread”. In Greek this refers to the hairy middles of the four stamens.

Countries of Origins: Grows in tropical areas, 80% of Patchouli oil is produced in Sumatra. Eden Botanicals sources Patchouli EO from Sri Lanka and Indonesia. It grows well in Hawaii, particularly Kauai but is more seasonal there.

 Endangered or Not: Some Cautions. Patchouli is believed to be safe and not endangered. Avoid wild gathering. Please grow your own herbs in your own garden.

 General description of Plant habitat and growth: The genus Pogostemon consists of some 30 or 40 species of shrubs, sub-shrubs, and herbaceous plants native to tropical Asia. Characteristics of the genus include flowers in whorls in the upper leaf axils; a tubular, five-toothed calyx; a tubular corolla with four nearly equal lobes, and one style with two stigmas. The fruits are four seed-like nutlets. It loves rain but the water has to drain away. It prefers open sunny areas and can be intermixed with corn or Palm trees to improve the thickness of the leaf and deter leginess of the stem. The leaves are known to accumulate essential oil in the glandular trichomes. It thrives in a damp, warm climate with even rainfalls. It exhausts the soil and needs new fertile ground regularly. It flourishes in low altitudes and slightly moist soil that is properly drained. Propagated by stem cuttings planted during the rainy season and protected against too much sunshine and weeds.

Patchouly plants ~ Patchouli leaves cured prior to distillation

 

 Portion of the plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: The leaves are picked the top leaves preferred. A stalk 10 inches long and about 1/8 in. thick with attached leaves is considered good distillation material. After cutting this is laid out to dry on a hard surface and turned frequently to promote even drying. Drying may take 3 days. Press dry leaves into bales immediately. Aging these bales may improve odor. Do let them ferment or mold. But aged leaves do slightly ferment and will yield more oil – but this is not preferred. They were originally steam-distilled in iron pots but now more often in stainless steel. When steam-distilled the essential oil is medium brown to dark brown.  However, with the change to stainless steel stills, often the color of the essential oil is much more pale brown – golden.

The yield is about 3.5%.

            Distillation: This is one of the few plants that is best dried before distillation. Thus you will not get a true hydrosol (with cellular water intact). Arctander states that to get a good yield of Patchouli, the cell walls need to rupture prior to the distillation. This can be done by light fermentation (not to mold), by scalding with superheated steam (like blanching a vegetable), or by stacking the dried leaves and thus ‘curing’ them. My suggestion to those who can grow Patchouly is to take a trip to a Patchouli distillery and watch and learn and then to try and do it yourself. Also, the original distillation was done in iron vessels which yielded a dark and richly scented oil. With copper or stainless steel distillation you will obtain less intense but possibly as tenacious an odor. There is more information on Distillation in Guenther’s The Essential Oil on page 563 of volume III.

In a recent FB post Ramakant Harlalka showed pictures of Patchouli distillation as said, “Patchouli distillation is art, science & technology. Here heat & mass transfer which are core area of Chemical engineering plays important role in cost & quality optimizations. There are few pictures on steam distillation where distillation vessel acts like bio reactor apart taking out oil from leaf. Pretreatments of fresh leaf and digestion of same in vessel through controlled heat makes constituents of Patchouli oil where minor components (《1%) makes unique amber odor of oil.”

Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment: Three terpenoids Germacrene, Patchoulol or patchouli alcohol, Norpatchoulenol found in patchouli oil are responsible for the typical patchouli scent. Tenacity is one of the virtues of Patchouli oil but often its intensity (strength of odor) is low. The odor in quality Patchouli is floral, fruity, green herbaceous and spicy and more fully described as “possessing an extremely rich, sweet-herbaceous, aromatic-spicy and woody-balsamic odor with a wine-like presence.” At dry-down this same oil will retain a particularly sweet woody floral odor. It will not get tar-like. I suggest that you take a class from someone who has old (20 years old) Patchouli to really get an idea of what its odor is as much of what is sold now is very unpleasant.

 

General Properties: The herb is anti-insecticide, herb and oil are considered anti-dandruff and leech-repellent.

Via Inhalation:  Nervine, anti-depressant, calmative. aphrodisiac, tonic and skin decongesting.

Via Application: Cytophylactic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, tonic, antitoxic, and astringent.

Via Perfumery: It is of low intensity, but high tenacity and very useful as a base note and with great fixative quality.

 

Properties and Uses: Patchouli is said to cure apathy, ease confusion and indecision, heal dry skin, be healthful for the endocrine glands, be a nerve stimulant, can be seductive or aphrodisiac, for some it is stimulant, and historically it is rejuvenating.

            EO Ingestion: Constipation, uterine tonic, and to eliminate toxins. (see warning) * It was once used as a flavoring agent in ‘Sen-Sen’ type of breath freshener with a licorice taste (these were small hard pieces of candy that was sucked to camouflage the breath-smell of alcohol or tobacco).

            EO Application: In skin care products, it is used on dry, old, or wrinkled skin.  It is rejuvenating, restorative, and invigorating to the skin.  It is used as a fixative and has much value in perfumery.  It is also useful for fungal infections, bacterial infections, dandruff, as an insect repellent, on insect bites, dermatitis, athlete’s foot, ringworm, parasites, and some use it in skin care to help eliminate skin toxins.

 

Energetic/Emotional Uses by Application or Inhalation: Inhaled Patchouli historically has been used to give peace of mind, relieve confusion, and be grounding. When inhaled Patchouli is used in ritual or emotionally to cure apathy, and indecision, as a seductive agent, and for grounding and in a positive ritual — to invigorate, become lucid and reasonable.
Diffuse/Diffusion: This essential oil mixes well with many oils to produce fragrant diffusions. With its sweet herbaceous and aromatically spicy odor it works with Cedarwoods, citrus oils, Clary Sage, Lavender, Rose Geranium, Sandalwood, Vetiver, and more. Think ahead of what your outcome will be and blend oils to suit the outcome.

 

Key Use: Oil of Warmth and Age©

 

Herbal Usage: Patchouli is an important herb which possesses many therapeutic properties and is also widely used in the fragrance industries. In traditional medicinal practices, the herb is used to treat colds, fevers, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, insect and snake bites. See Jeanne Rose Herbs & Things.

 

Jeanne Rose’s Tomato Tales

Experience with this EO: Back in 1966, I lived in Big Sur as well as having a small apartment in Berkeley. In 1967, I lived in Big Sur but also in San Francisco while being involved in the rock ‘n roll world as a coutourière. In both Big Sur and San Francisco, Patchouli was the big ‘in’ thing as a deodorant. However, shaving under the arms was also ‘out’. So, personally, I found the odor of Patchouli to be retched and repugnant and it became personally inextricably linked in my mind to sweaty stinking hairy armpits and pushy-shove’y stoned fans. I disliked it then and disliked it for 30 years after and refused to use it in my work. But I had kept a 4-ounce bottle that I had purchased from Nature’s Herb Company and it lay unused until one-day I wanted to make a classic perfume. I pulled out the old Patchouli and smelled it and discovered its fragrant, rich, earthy odor — and found it ‘pleasant’. I still have some of that bottle for reference and realized that I hated Patchouli not for its odor but because of people smell who didn’t bathe enough and were using the odor to camouflage their own.  It took me more years to really enjoy using it and now I depend on it in many a formula.

When I queried Monica Miller about Patchouli (as she had done a study of it a few years ago), she said, “I love it (Patchouli) as an ingredient in deodorant, it’s the oil that works best for me and it’s not at all about covering odor it really kills the bacteria that cause odor. But you know that. I just made an awesome massage oil with honeysuckle, patchouli, lavender, arnica. The patchouli is so sexy and musky in the blend.” I completely disagree with the information that Patchouli kills the bacteria that causes underarm odor but I am willing to defer to her assessment.

P.S. If you have never smelled Patchouli on an unwashed armpit, I strongly suggest that you avoid this as you would a plague. Use it diluted with other essential oils, use it in massage, use it in dilution, use it as you will.  Also, do not equate the nasty synthetic patchouli with the real one, buy a Patchouli that you enjoy and put some of it away for the future. This oil ages well.

 

FORMULAS by Application, Massage and Skincare

Patchouli Green Bath (from New Age Creations, 1970)
3 oz. Patchouly, dried
3 oz. Orange leaf or Savory, dried
3 oz. Vetivert root, dried and C&S
2 oz. Linden flower/leaf, dried
2 oz. Strawberry or berry leaf, dried
2 oz. Comfrey or Parsley leaf, dried

Patchouly is commonly used for its rejuvenating effect on the senses. Orange leaf sharpens the awareness, Vetivert is a tonic stimulant, Linden in the bath cools the head and soothes restlessness, Strawberry eases aches and pains in the hips and is mildly astringent, Comfrey and Parsley are healing and rejuvenative.  Mix all together. Take a large handful (1/2 oz.) and place in pot with 1 qt. of water. Bring to simmer for 10 minutes and strain the solution into the tub.
Take the moist herbs, wrap in washcloth and use to exfoliate your skin.
Soak in the herbal waters at least 20 minutes.
All in all, one of the best formulas from my early skin care company New Age Creations.

More bath formulas are in my Herbal Body Book.

 

Soap Used as a bug repellent:

When I queried people in the herbal/EO world about their uses for Patchouli, I got a few responses about Patchouli oil being a bug repellent and a deodorant. Jacqueline Alberti gave me this formula for making soap using a melt and pour base with 7.5 ml of dark Indonesian Patchouli per pound of the base. She said, “I find when I use the EO (Patchouli) in soap the mosquitoes don’t bother me even 8 or 10 hours after showering”.

 

Psoriasis Formula

In a Seaweed (Fucoidan) based lotion add 5-10% mixture of Patchouli, Vetiver and Calophyllum inophyllum, Tamanu, from Madagascar. — Sheila Jacaman

 

Blends Best with: Patchouli blends best with many other essential oils and absolutes including Basil, Bergamot, most Citrus, Geranium Rose, Juniper, Labdanum, Lavender, Myrrh, Neroli, Sandalwood, and Rose.

 

BLENDING with formula. In perfumery use Patchouli in thoughtful amounts as a base note. Elizabeth Lind says, “Patchouli and Oak Moss are my favorite base notes, smells like the forest floor of the Santa Cruz Mountains.”

 

Three Patchouli Perfumery Formulas

#1 Brown Sugar Formula can be composed of various amounts of these essential oils: Lemon, Neroli,
Patchouli, Tangerine. Of course you know that there could be thousands of variations depending of where the ingredients were grown, how grown, pressed or distilled but these main ingredients combined is the essence of brown sugar that is sweet and fortifying but also uplifting and refreshing. Use this formula as an inhalant or in blends — for aftershave, astringent tonics, face wash or a sweet massage. Start by mixing 1 drop of each ingredient, succussing, waiting and building up the formula one drop at a time.

 

#2 Chypre (sheep ra) The word “chypre” derives from the island of Cyprus which is located in the Mediterranean. It was for many centuries the meeting point of the East and West (Turkey and Greece) for the trade of aromatic materials. During the 1800’s it became famous for the production of perfumes that contained and combined the Mediterranean essences of citrus, floral pomades, and Labdanum with the resins and gums of Arabia, such as Styrax, Frankincense, Opopanax and Myrrh.  Animal products were also traded such as civet from the civet cat of Ethiopia and musk from the musk deer from the Himalayas. These animal products were and are some of the worlds’ most valued perfume commodities.

Originally, the word chypre would have been used to describe a style of perfumery associated with the island of Cyprus. Today, however, it refers rather more specifically to a group of perfumes whose origins can be traced back to the great Chypre by Coty that was created in 1917. Truly an Art Deco scent. Today, these scents are no longer much in fashion, but we can make a Chypre scent to experience those perfumes that existed 100 years ago. [Read Natural Botanical Perfumery by Jeanne Rose for more information about Chypre and many more Chypre formulas.

            Chypre is a fragrance family – a complex of moss mixed with woods, flowers or fruit odors. A Chypre fragrance contains “Oakmoss absolute”, Bergamot and often Labdanum and Patchouli. Mix the following together, succuss, let the blend sit quietly for a few weeks to integrate and become a true synergy where no one scent is dominant over another but all are mixed to make a brand-new odor.

CHYPRE #2 –Patchouli
Top Note
15 Bergamot CP

Heart Note
18 Sandalwood Australia or Hawaii SD
6 Rosa bourbonia ABS

 Bridge Note
3 Oakmoss ABS
3 Labdanum ABS

 Base Note
15 Patchouli SD

 

#3 The Dark Green Woods
Salvia sclarea flowers                      4 drops = top note
Citrus paradisi var. white peel       3 drops = heart note
Citrus x limon var. bergamot peel 2 drops = heart note
Cupressus sempervirens leaves     3 drops = bridge note
Pogostemon cablin leaves               5 drops = base note
Mix together and succuss. Let sit for a week and then add up to 45 drops of carrier or alcohol as a diluent. Succuss again. Let sit for a week. Use as a perfume. This will be 25% perfume ingredients.

All these ingredients available in small sizes from Eden Botanicals.

 

HYDROSOL: This is one of the few plants that is best dried before distillation. Thus you will not get a true hydrosol (with cellular water intact). Patchouli hydrosol can be used as a hair spray for a temporary solution from the static in curly hair! I’m sure any hydrosol would be nice, but there is something about patchouli —Christina Smith

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 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.

 Patchouly Oils over 44 years time

Historical Uses: Patchouli has a lovely history. The scent was introduced into Europe from Asia via the odor of the cashmere shawls. The Patchouli plant leaves had been used to protect cashmere shawls from insect predation. From about 1775 high quality cashmere shawls had begun to find their way to France and England. They were brought by travelers, explorers and military personnel as well as members of the East India Company, who brought them back as presents. François Bernier, a friend of Moliere and Cyrano de Bergerac was the first European of the modern era to see and describe the traditional cashmere shawl. The Cashmere shawl became the rage and great sums of money were spent to obtain them. Then the hunt was on to identify the odor of the shawls and the plants that made the odor. Once this had happened perfumers sought the plant, distilled it for the scent and this scent made its way into the perfume bottles of the era and thus onto the people of that time.

 Interesting Information: “Possibly originated in Malaysia although the word apparently comes from the south Indian Tamil language, patch, meaning ‘green’, and ilai meaning ‘leaf’. Patchouli means bearded stamen…375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols, p. 21. Patchouli herb is used for scenting carpets, shawls and woven materials, and for perfuming ink and sealing wax, as well as for perfume and medicine. Wrapping fabrics in Patchouli herb has been a practice for a thousand years.  Patchouli oil benefits from long storage and definitely improves with age. Old Patchouli (10 years and more old) smells sweeter and better than newly distilled Patchouli.

 Chemical Components: Patchouli is a very complex odor with three terpenoids making up the primary scent but also with dozens of other chemical components.
These three terpenoids Germacrene, Patchoulol or patchouli alcohol, Norpatchoulenol, found in patchouli oil are responsible for the typical patchouli scent.  In one study 41 compounds were separated, 28 of which (92.9% of the total oil) were identified. There are several GC/MS on line that can be looked at.

 Physiochemical Properties: There are many examples of the physical and chemical properties of Patchouly online and in Guenthers’ book, The Essential Oils. They vary by where the plant is grown and processed and distilled. Here is one from a European distillation.           

Specific Gravity …………. 0.975 to 0.987
Optical Rotation ……….. —54°0’ to —65°30’
Refractive Index at 20°.   1.5099 to 1.5111
Solubility at 20°  ………..  Soluble in 0.5 vol. and more of 90% alcohol

Abstract/Scientific Data: There is an extensive article about Patchouli online, called “Review — A Comprehensive Review on the Phytochemical Constituents and Pharmacological Activities of Pogostemon cablin Benth.: An Aromatic Medicinal Plant of Industrial Importance by Mallappa Kumara Swamy and Uma Rani Sinniah.”

 Contraindications: The Material Safety Data Sheet, or MSDS, for Patchouli oil indicates it is hazardous if ingested. If the oil is swallowed, contact Poison Control immediately. As with any oil-based material, do not induce vomiting as the oil could enter the victim’s lungs during vomiting. However, once was widely used as a flavorant in oriental-style flavorings.

 References:
Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Arctander. 1960
Coombs, Allen J. Dictionary of Plant Names. Timber Press. 1995
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Krieger Publishing. Florida. 1976
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol. IAG Botanics. 2015 (supporter of testing hydrosols)
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose. San Francisco California, 1992
Chakrapani. P, et al • Phytochemical, Pharmacological importance of Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth) an aromatic medicinal plant •Int. J. Pharm. Sci. Rev. Res., 21(2), Jul –Aug 2013; nᵒ 02, 7-15
Jessee, Jill. Perfume Album. Robert E. Krieger Publ. Co. 1951.
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Mojay, Gabriel. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 1999.
Poucher, W.A. Perfumes and Cosmetics. D. Van Nostrand Company. 1923
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. San Francisco, California.
Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Things. Last Gasp Press (ask them to republish it)

 

Safety Precautions:
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 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.
*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. Essential oils can come from many sources including areas that are heavily farmed and/or sprayed with toxic pesticides and defoliants.
Patchouli flowers, south-facing, 410 feet elevation, photo by Willie Shook, Kilauea, Hawaii, 1-12-17
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©

 

 

 

~ JR ~

 

 

 

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 ~

 

 

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 ~

Frankincense ~ Fabulous Ancient Remedy

            There is so much information available on this plant, that this short blog post will only highlight what I find to be some of the interesting aspects of Frankincense. When searching for information ignore sites that want to sell you any sort of product. Instead check under words like ‘Frankincense taxonomy’ or ‘science of Frankincense’ or ‘smithsonian.gov or ncbi.nlm.nih.gov or the theplantlist.com, or ‘frankincense gc/ms or the same main leads using its Latin name Boswellia.
frankincense-x5fig. 1 Essential oils courtesy of Eden Botanicals

Frankincense ~ Fabulous Ancient Remedy

By Jeanne Rose

Common Name/ Latin Name/ Country of Origin:

            Name. George Christopher Molesworth Birdwood who lived from 1832-1917 named the Olibanum or Frankincense plant, Boswellia carterii, aka B. carteri. The Latin binomial of one of the species of Frankincense was named after James Boswell [companion and biographer of Samuel Johnson] and the word ‘carterii’ after Professor H.J. Carter who described the Egyptian mummies and made the first scientific collection of specimens from Arabian frankincense in 1846. … “Dr. H. J. Carter was surgeon in an East Indian company survey ship, the H.M.S. Palinurus which was surveying the south Arabian coast”.  He studied a branch of Frankincense tree thought to be a species similar to the Indian variety of Frankincense, B. serrata.  Later work showed that Dr. Carter had actually been looking at B. sacra. The tree originally found by Carter was named after him by Birdwood and called B. carterii now called B. sacra.  Even later studies showed that in all probability the tree found by Carter and named by Birdwood was of Somali origin. There are at least 17 species of Boswellia and they are very difficult to distinguish. The family name is Burseraceae and includes the genus of Myrrh, Olibanum and Elemi. The name Olibanum is derived from the Arabic word al luban or the milk, which refers to the milky exudate of the trees that is the resin.
Country. These trees grow in Oman, Yemen and the Horn of Africa, including Somalia and Ethiopia.

 

Portion of the plant used in distillation, how it’s distilled, extracted and yields:
Botany.
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) comes from a small tree native to North Africa (Somalia) and some Arab countries. When the bark of the tree is damaged it exudes a white emulsion, the oleo-gum-resin that is white and milky. When this emulsion comes into contact with air it slowly hardens and congeals into tears and drops that are whitish – amber or burnt orange in color about ½ to 1 ½  inches in diameter. It is this emulsion or resin that is picked from the ground or off of the bark and that is steam distilled to produce the pure essential oil of Frankincense, also known as Olibanum. The resin comes from the schizogenous gum-oleo-resin reservoirs within the plant. It is now also CO2 extracted.
Yield from steam-distillation is 3-6%

 

History:  There are very few essential herbs (plants used for medicine or body care or aroma) available that have a longer and more distinguished history than Cinnamon, Frankincense, Galbanum, Labdanum, Myrrh, and Storax.  These have all been known and used since ancient times and all are mentioned more than once in the Bible as well as other historical texts. For about 400 + years we have had their essential oils as well. We have already discussed Myrrh in the November blog. This resin that was known around the world for thousands of years simply as ‘incense’, and has been in use by mankind since antiquity is Frankincense.

This resin that was known around the world for thousands of years simply as ‘incense’, and has been in use by mankind since antiquity is Frankincense. The word Olibanum comes from the Arabic al-luban and means ‘the milk’ — the true incense.  The word Frankincense comes from the old French word fraunk-encens and means the true or real incense.

fig-2-frankincense-tears-al-luban-copyfig. 2. al luban ~ the milk

         The historical use of Frankincense is in spiritual and religious rituals. It is one of the oldest herbs/resins used for this purpose. Rising smoke from burning resins was a means of communicating from the ancient peoples to the gods, and Frankincense was burned on hot coals for this purpose as well as for its healing properties and fragrance. Frankincense was considered a very sacred gift. It was also used in embalming.

In ancient times Frankincense was bought and sold everywhere. Arabia was the largest exporter and its trees produced the best quality Frankincense. In Babylon, every year 57,200 pounds of Frankincense was burned. In Assyria at the annual feast of the god Baal, nearly 60 tons of Frankincense was used. When Herod was buried, 5,000 slaves preceded the funeral procession carrying urns of the burning resin. At his wife’s funeral in 65 AD, Nero burned all the Frankincense produced by Arabia in one year. [He needed to expiate his sins as what is not generally known is that he had beat his pregnant wife to death].

The story most people are familiar with is that of the three holy kings who presented what they considered the most precious gifts to the Son of God at Bethlehem: gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.

The smoke of Frankincense fills churches and sacred spaces to this day as well as the ritual areas of many people. From this burning incense a fragrance issues that “that floats on an invisible thread to heaven to attract the attention of the Gods”.  For it is on fragrance that the gods feed and it is fragrance that they desire.
         Dr. Michael Stoddord discovered that Frankincense contains a substance similar to sexual hormones, which awaken sexual desire. Reports for the Academy of Science in Leipzig, Germany claim that when Frankincense is burned the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol is produced. This substance is thought to expand the subconscious. Inhalation of Frankincense slows and deepens the breath and is calming and relaxing.

 

Aroma Assessment/Organoleptics: The Frankincense oil that I have from 1972 is deep golden in color, clear, very viscous with a deep intensity of scent and a fragrance that is rich, spicy, balsamic, agreeable, with a citrus or lemon back note. It has a bitter aromatic taste. The Frankincense from 2003 is much paler gold in color, clear, not viscous, with a lighter smoother but not as richly pleasing an odor. Currently, I have five samples of Frankincense and they are colorless to very pale yellow, clear, non-viscous, not intense with a bitter taste. This vast difference from golden yellow – colorless and viscous – non-viscous and intensely fragrant to not intense has happened in the last 10 years. Why? I cannot answer.

The right nostril processes navigational related odors. And people favor the right nostril when detecting and evaluating the intensity of odors, hinting at a broader olfactory asymmetry. So if you are lost and wish to get home or wish to know the intensity of a scent, sniff the air with the right side. Left nostril smells the scent and right side nostril smells the intensity.

Smell left for scent, smell right for intensity and then waft to get the entire scent experience.

Best methods of application:
Application: The use of the essential oil of Frankincense has expanded beyond spiritual use. It is a valuable addition to skin and body care products due to its astringent and antiseptic properties. It is useful in lotions, salves, soaps and oils and indicated for acne, skin problems, and boils. Frankincense essential oil benefits the skin by keeping it healthy and preventing wrinkling and aging.
Ingestion: Frankincense resin can be partially dissolved in water and this water is drunk for the boswellic acid that is helpful in clearing disease.
Inhalation: Used by inhalation in a diffuser, Frankincense is beneficial in treating bronchitis, excessive mucus, colds, and coughs. It is indicated for excessive mucous, as an inhalant treatment for asthma, inhaled and massaged to stimulate the immune system and for nervous depression.
Perfumery: Frankincense is a useful addition to aromatherapy blends and potpourri, where it serves to fix the scent and acts as a base note. It is of particular value in perfume blends of the Oriental style, because it rounds out and gives alluring tones that are particularly difficult to identify as to the source.
Properties: In addition, Franchomme and Pénoël suggest that the properties are anti-catarrh, expectorant, cicatrizing, immuno-stimulating and anti-depressant.

frankincense treefig. 3. Trygve Harris in front of an Omani Frankincense tree. 2011

Hydrosol: I have had the pleasure to experience the hydrosol of Frankincense that was distilled by Jack Chaitman. It was very refreshing with an herbal citrus scent. This was mixed with Rosemary hydrosol 50•50 and used as a facial spray. With Rosemary hydrosol, the combination is soothing to the skin and anti-aging. If you choose to use the resin instead, soaked in water, then the fluid diluted, filtered — this can be used as a facial or body spray as well.

 Endangered or not: Frankincense is considered to be threatened and/or endangered due to heavy usage, people moving into the Frankincense areas and by over-tapping. Dutch and Ethiopian researchers studying populations of the trees in northern Ethiopia found that as many as 7% of the trees are dying each year and that it could be gone within 50 years.

 Safety Precautions: There are no known contra-indications. However, I recommend that you dilute before using and a patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin. There is more risk of harm if using oxidized oil. See p. 64 The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations for the test.

 Storage: Store the EO in glass in a cool dark place, but not in the fridge or freezer. The resinous oil may harden after a time but can be diluted with a bit of alcohol, and it will slowly soften and liquefy after a few days. Frankincense is considered slowly soluble in 3.5 to 6 vol. of 90% alcohol, sometimes with slight turbidity.

 

Chemistry: Chemistry of the Essential Oil. The chemical components of Frankincense include 1-a-pinene, dipentene, Phellandrene, cadinene, camphene, olibanol, and various resins. Olibanol is considered to be in reality a mixture of verbenone, verbenol, and some other terpene alcohols, including most likely d-borneol. According to Blumann and Schulz “olibanol” is C26H44O.
Physicochemical Properties from Guenther.
Specific Gravity at 15°………….0.872 to 0.892
Optical Rotation.………………….The oils distilled prior to 1903 were levorotatory, up to —17°; since then they are dextrorotatory, up to +35°. The cause of this change is not clear.
Refractive Index at 20°………1.471 to 1.482
Solubility.…………………………Soluble in 3.5 to 6 vol. of 90% alcohol, sometimes with slight turbidity.

 Only four resins have been laboratory tested to have Boswellic acid in them; Boswellia papyrifera, B. sacra/carterii, and B. serrata.

Planta Med. 2006 Oct;72(12):1100-16. Boswellic acids in chronic inflammatory diseases. Ammon HP1. Author information
Abstract ~ Oleogum resins from BOSWELLIA species are used in traditional medicine in India and African countries for the treatment of a variety of diseases. Animal experiments showed anti-inflammatory activity of the extract. The mechanism of this action is due to some boswellic acids. It is different from that of NSAID and is related to components of the immune system. The most evident action is the inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase. However, other factors such as cytokines (interleukins and TNF-alpha) and the complement system are also candidates. Moreover, leukocyte elastase and oxygen radicals are targets. Clinical studies, so far with pilot character, suggest efficacy in some autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and bronchial asthma. Side effects are not severe when compared to modern drugs used for the treatment of these diseases.

Collective information: Frankincense was widely used for medicinal purposes to treat skin disease, nervous system imbalances and digestive disruption, and was listed as a medicinal and aromatic plant in the ancient Egyptian record, Ebers Papyrus. Like Myrrh, the oil was used in ancient times for embalming, as well as beautifying rituals, including using the charred resin for kohl eyeliner. But Frankincense is perhaps best known for its calming and sedative effects on the mind and central nervous system, making it ideal for meditation. The smoke of the burning incense is also used to cleanse the body of critters and smells — you can see this as a painting on the cover of my book, The World of Aromatherapy or in Massachusetts at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown as Fumée d’AmberGris, 1880 by John Singer Sargent.
               Menninger describes Frankincense tree as looking like a ‘decomposing corpse’ with its stiff branches, scanty leaves and trunk color of a peculiar blotchy color. He goes on to say that the flowers are few, red and with an odor that is not always pleasant.

 

 Christmas Season Essential Oils and Herbs


christmas-ribbonFRANKINCENSE:
(Boswellia spp.)  Fam. Burseraceae. The true incense. A much favored incense for churches and other places of spiritual ritual.  The essential oil calms and awakens higher consciousness.  It is useful in coping with grief, soothes the mind and emotions.  It is useful for respiratory conditions, is warming, in body care products for aging skin.  A very spiritual, ancient odor.

GALBANUM: (Ferula galbaniflua) Fam. Apiaceae. This deep aroma that resonates of green and vegetative, represents the element of air.  It is grounding, uplifting, and balancing.  Applied externally in skin care it rejuvenates aging skin; it is used as a fixative in perfumery and aromatherapy.

GIFTS OF THE MAGI: A mixture of Frankincense, the true incense (Olibanum, from the Arabic word, ‘the milk’) and Myrrh with the golden color of the true Cedar. [See above and below]

MYRRH: (Commiphora molmol) Fam. Burseraceae. Inhale to calm fears about the future.  Smells hot but cools the air and the emotions. Antiseptic to the lungs, good for problems of the throat or for arthritis. Possible wound treatment. A luxury infused oil for 5000 years when it was used in cosmetics and perfumery. Revitalizes the skin, especially for aged and wrinkled skin.  Inhaled to regulate the body secretions, as an astringent and antiseptic to the lungs, to stimulate 6th and 7th chakra. Vibrates in blue to indigo.
Mix these EO’s together in any combination and you will have a rich, deeply scented combination of oils to use in meditation, celebration or any use that pleases you. If you are using the herbs, that is, the resins, mix them as well in any combination and burn over charcoal to have a lovely incense for ritual use. Don’t worry! Be content with your life.

Recipes 

~ More Ideas ~

  • Perfume/Cologne ~ Oriental Perfume @ 25% or l6 % if including the water.
    5 drops of each of Frankincense, Patchouli and Ylang-Ylang plus
    4 drops each of Rose abs, Sandalwood of your choice and
    2 drops Coriander seed.
    Mix together by succussion and let age for 2 weeks. Then add 75 drops of 95% alcohol and age again. Add 50 drops distilled water. Shake before using.

 

  • Spiritual Uses: Meditation and calming is what Frankincense is known for. The resin is burned and inhaled in the Catholic Church and other rituals, the essential oil is applied to the pulse points prior to meditation or prayer and I use it in this fashion when I walk the labyrinth.
    Menninger states that the incense burned in the Catholic Church is a mixture of 66% Frankincense, 27% Styrax benzoin, 7% Liquidamber orientalis and this distinctive scent burns visible but without excessive clouding.

 

  • Inhalation for colds, relaxing, healing ~ Diffuser Blend
    Varying amounts of Juniper berry, Frankincense resin, and Bergamot peel. Because the resin will get sticky and dry out you must always clean your diffuser with alcohol after each use.

 

  • Skincare ~ Anti-Aging Skin Formula
    30 drops each of Frankincense resin, Lavender flower from high altitude, & Rosemary verbenone. Blend and add to 2 oz. any carrier oil + 2 oz. Calophyllum and ½ tsp. Vitamin E oil. Apply daily to the skin or scalp and massage in gently.

 

  • Haircare ~ Condition scalp (with substitution it may cure alopecia
    30% Rosemary verbenone
    25% Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica)
    20% Rose Absolute (any kind)
    20% ancient Frankincense (your favorite)
    To the blend add 5% (or more) of 95% grape spirits
    Smells resinous and sharp. The Rose absolute scent may be completely lost. But it does condition the scalp and get rid of any lingering yeast. Mix the oils together, add to the grape spirits. When needed, shake the bottle and add a dab to the scalp, massage into scalp. This will also help cure alopecia if you substitute Thyme linaloöl for the Rose absolute.

 

  • Body ~ Detoxifying Bath Blend
    30 drops Juniper berry or Cypress needle/twig oil
    20 drops Frankincense resin
    20 drops Bergamot peel oil
    Blended and added to 4 oz. carrier oil and ½ tsp. Vitamin E oil. Rub no more than 1 oz.  all over your body after bath or shower.

 

fig-4-frankincense-biospherefig. 4. Frankincense in the Biosphere
  • Amazing Jeanne Rose Tomato Tales: In 2003 I was asked to teach a class at the Biosphere in Tucson, AZ. On our initial tour through this rather amazing place, I saw the Frankincense tree that had been a gift from a Saudi prince. It wasn’t as leafy as it is now, but none-the-less it was growing in the desert atmosphere. What an amazing tree. I had been collecting resin, essential oil and information on this Biblical plant since 1970. And here it was for me to see. The class was a wonderful success and the tour a wealth of information.

 

  • Jeanne Rose tips and tricks: People want to drink Frankincense for the boswellic acid that is considered a cancer ‘cure’. It is really easy to make. Remember that the essential oil does not have the boswellic acid, it is in the resin. Simply take a small handful of the resin, place in a beaker, add 300 ml of water, let it soak for 2 days, transfer the milky solution to a new container, refrigerate. Drink 1-2 ounce per day. Repeat. Dry out the residue that is in the beaker and burn as incense.
  • Only four resins have been laboratory tested to have Boswellic acid in them; Boswellia papyrifera, B. sacra/carterii, and B. serrata.
fig-5-frankincense-resin-waterfig. 5. Frankincense water to drink

 

 

Bibliography:
Franchomme & Pénoël. l’aromatherapie exactement. Jollois, 1990.
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. vol. IV, pages 352-356. Krieger Publ. Malabar, FL 1972
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=frankincense
Karydas, Rita C. Based on a paper, Frankincense. 2001
Langenheim, Jean H. Plant Resins. Timber Press, Portland. 2003. This is the best book on the subject
Menninger, Edwin. Fantastic Trees. Timber Press, Oregon. 1967, 1995.
Plants of Dhofar. Publ. Adviser for Conservation of the Environment. Sultanate of Oman. 1988.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols. Frog Ltd. Berkeley, CA. 1999
—————. The Aromatherapy Book.  North Atlantic Books. 1992.
Sellar, Wanda & M. Watt. Frankincense & Myrrh. C.W. Daniel. 1996.
Wildwood, Christine. Creative AromatherapyThorsons. 1993

 

fig-6-2011-pathetic-frankincense-treefig. 6. Poor pathetic example of the Frankincense tree that I tried to grow in a pot. 2011.

 

 

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.

 

 

fig-7-gatheringfig. 7. Gathering of Frankincense
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©

 

 

 

 

~ JR ~

Myrrh EO & CO2

myrrh-named

Myrrh EO and CO2 ~ Essential Information

 

Oleo-gum-resin is a term that describes Myrrh. An Oleo-gum-resin is a solid plant exudation (as asafetida or myrrh) consisting of a mixture of volatile oil, gum, and resin. It describes oleo (meaning oily or fatty in nature or look), gum (partly soluble in water), resin (partly or wholly soluble in alcohol).  Therefore, an oleo-gum-resin has a nature that is partly soluble in water and partially soluble in alcohol and looks oily and is partly soluble in oil.  That is, it consists mainly of oil, gum and resin. Examples are:  Myrrh, Frankincense, and Opopanax.

Common Name/ Latin Name/ Country of Origin:  Myrrh gum is commonly harvested from the species Commiphora myrrha, from the family Burseraceae, which is native to Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea, and eastern Ethiopia. Another commonly used name, Commiphora molmol, is now considered a synonym of Commiphora myrrha. Several other species yield bdellium and Indian myrrh.

I personally examined and will discuss Myrrh from my old collection from 1972 and three modern ones that I enjoyed from Eden Botanicals:  Myrrh CO2, (C myrrha select extract wild-grown from Somalia); Myrrh, Somalia (C. myrrha wild-grown, SD*); and organic Myrrh, Somalia (C. myrrha wild-grown and certified organic, SD*) and the herbal uses of Myrrh products. There are several species of Myrrh.
*SD = steam-distilled.

 Portion of the plant used in distillation, how it’s distilled, extracted and yields: Myrrh from Somalia and Ethiopia is obtained from “tears” of resin exuding from incisions made in the bark of a small tree of the Burseraceae family that is native to Yemen, Somalia and eastern parts of Ethiopia.  The CO2 is extracted by supercritical fluid extraction with natural carbon dioxide. It takes 11 to 16 kilos of raw material to yield 1 kilo of product.
When soil, elevation, temperature, and rainfall conditions are conducive, testing the viscosity and stickiness of freshly exposed sap predicts the resulting resin’s quality.
In perfumery, Myrrh is a rich deep base note adding woody, balsamic scent properties. It is also a fixative, and extends the scent qualities of any other oils with which it is combined.

 

Organoleptics and Aroma Assessment.
Color – pale yellow to deeper yellow for the CO2
Clarity – Clear
Viscosity – non-viscous
Intensity – 3 for Myrrh organic of Somalia and 4 for Myrrh CO2.
Taste – bitter, astringent

 Aroma: The three bottles of modern Myrrh I examined were all quite similar in odor. The CO2 had a deeper yellow color than the steam-distillates but were all clear, non-viscous, of low intensity in scent and bitter to taste.          This was most surprising to me as my experience from 1970 to just a few years ago is that Myrrh essential oil was always dark golden, clear, viscous, and intense. Regarding the resin itself I was able to compare a piece from 1993 to what I have recently purchased and they certainly look and smell the same so I cannot explain the change of color and odor of the essential oil.

myrrh-colors-1972-1990

Best method of application or what do you use Myrrh for? Myrrh herb has been used to treat many conditions and is said to strengthen the immune system, fight viruses and bacterial infections, and act as an anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. The essential oil has been used in extract or diluted with alcohol to use as a mouth wash or added to spiritual blends. However, in my experience, using a bit of the resin dissolved in alcohol then water added is a more environmentally conscious way to use this possibly threatened product.

Herbal Use or Incense: The resin lumps are used in incense and medicine. The wood is chewed as a water source. The incense is easy to use, simply place a piece on charcoal and burn or it can be blended with other resins to make a fragrant combination or a meditative blend.
The oleo-resin of C. mukul from the trunk (Guggul) is important in local medicine for arthritis, to reduce blood cholesterol, for obesity and acne.

 Hydrosol: The only Myrrh hydrosol I have tried is the Myrrh water from Enfleurage in New York. They mention that it is personally distilled by Trygve, in their Omani Distillery in Somalia and select only the quality that is up to the owner’s standards. She says, “We do not separate our Myrrh oil from the water, and so we offer an ultra-high content Myrrh hydrosol. This makes it especially suited for therapeutic use, as it sprays on easily and can also be incorporated into formulations during the water-phase.”  Myrrh is known for its antimicrobial properties and efficacy for all types of skin problems.

Endangered or not: It is very difficult to determine if the common Myrrh tree is endangered. But Arghya Gardens in Florida says it is and are helping to propagate and distribute these historically significant trees including C. mollis, C myrrha, and C. neglecta.  And because of its use in traditional medicine, C. wightii has been overharvested in much of its habitat, thus has been listed on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. Several efforts are in place to address this situation.  A grassroots conservation movement, led by IUCN associate Vineet Soni, has been started to educate guggul or guggal growers and harvesters in safe, sustainable harvesting methods.

 Safety Precautions: Dilute before using. A patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin.

 Storage: Store your resin or EO of Myrrh in a light-proof container. Do not store in the fridge or freezer.
Not as sensitive as some EO and will last many years pretty much whatever you do. However, since it is a resin, long storage sometimes thickens the EO and you will need to add alcohol to thin it. It is slowly soluble in alcohol meaning it may take a few days.

~ ~ ~

Collective and Interesting information: The Legend of Myrrha. Myrrha falls in love with her father and tricks him into sexual intercourse. After discovering her identity, Cinyras draws his sword and pursues Myrrha. She flees across Arabia and, after nine months, turns to the gods for help. They take pity on her and transform her into a Myrrh-tree. While in plant form, Myrrha gives birth to Adonis. According to legend, the aromatic exudation of the Myrrh-tree are Myrrha’s tears.
In the Old Testament, in the story of Joseph and his relatives, relates that Joseph had been cast into a well, when there appeared “a company of Ishmaelites from Gilead, bearing spices Balm, and Myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.”

            What I found really interesting is that “The Plant Book” suggests that Myrrh is mosquito pollinated at night.

 Recipes for Using Myrrh:

  • Perfume: Myrrh acts as a fixative or base note in perfumery and if you like the odor that is the best way to use it. As a base note it should be no more than 10-15% of the total blend and as a fixative no more than 5%. There are many perfumes that contain Myrrh as a balsamic note. Personally, I have used it as an application for an enhanced spiritual feeling as I walk the labyrinth.
  •           For Spiritual Exaltation: Make a formula of equal parts of Myrrh, Frankincense, Patchouli and Vetivert. Succuss these together and let the blend age for a week before using. Apply a bit of the oil on your wrists or forehead and base of throat before meditation.

 Skincare: There are many places that have formulas for using Myrrh for skin care, since it is not my favorite odor, I don’t use it in this way and use it only as resin incense or resin tincture for the mouth.

 Body and your teeth: There is a great old recipe for Myrrh Tooth Tincture (see Atkinson, p 322) from 1919 as follows:
Cloves • ¼ oz. by weight
Mace • pinch
Myrrh • ¼ oz. by weight
Rhatany root* • ¼ oz. by weight
Alcohol • 6 oz.
Mix the herbs together, add the alcohol, let it sit for a while, up to a week or more, strain off the liquid tincture and use small amounts to rinse the mouth, mixed with water for a daily rinse.

            * (Krameria lappacea – Rhatany – The biological action of Rhatany is caused by the astringent rhataniatannic acid, which is similar to tannic acid. When finely powdered, the dried roots furnished a frequent constituent of tooth powders. Infusions have been used as a gargle, a lozenge, especially when mixed with cocaine, as a local hemostatic and remedy for diarrhea.)

             There are recipes for using Myrrh in my books, such as p. 181 of Herbs & Things for a flavored mouthwash.

  • Jeanne Rose tips and tricks: Myrrh is about 50% soluble in water. So take a small amount of Myrrh gum, add water, let it dissolve for 24 hours or more and then use the water as mouthwash and dry the residue and burn as incense. This is a more environmentally friendly way to use this resin.

myrrh-water

 

Jeanne Rose Tomato Tale of Myrrh: Twenty years ago, I had a very competent secretary that loved Myrrh and would use Myrrh EO or burn Myrrh in the room when she was using my computer. I realized at that time that Myrrh was not my favorite odor and she knew that as well. So whenever I walked into the computer room and it smelled of Myrrh I would promptly leave. Years later, I found a whole file of her personal love letters on my computer and I realized that she would use Myrrh to drive me out so that she could write her personal things. It makes me laugh now.

 Bibliography:
Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural OriginA
Askinson, George. Perfumes and Cosmetics. Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1919
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils.
Mabberley, D.J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, Third Edition 2015
Menninger, Edwin. Fantastic Trees
Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Things
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book
The New Shorter Oxford Dictionary.
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.
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
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©

 

~ JR ~

Pines EO~Hydrosol

Synopsis: Pine profile with hydrosol, origin, storage, organoleptic and chemistry as well as collective information and aroma assessment. Formulas include perfume, skin care, hair care and stories.

 scots-pine-needles

Pine Needle Profile

Scotch Pine and Piñon Pine – Hydrosol

 

See these other blog posts for the Conifer Needles.
http://jeanne-blog.com/evergreens-their-similars/  •  http://jeanne-blog.com/firs-profile-and-hydrosol/

http://jeanne-blog.com/black-spruce-profile-hydrosol/  •  http://jeanne-blog.com/?s=Douglas+Fir

 

Common Name/ Latin Name/ Country of Origin:

            Scots pine or Scotch pine is from the evergreen coniferous tree correctly called Pinus sylvestris. It is native to Eurasia but is now grown in multiple areas.
Pine, Piñon or Pinyon Pine is a native tree of the southwest area of USA and northern Mexico There are several species of this tree but mainly Pinus edulis is the one that is used for its essential oil.

pinyon-pine-gum-copyPinon Pine gum

 Endangered or not: Some species of Pinyon Pine are considered endangered due to over-harvesting for nuts and wood. In regards to Scots pine, it is of least concern.

 Safety Precautions: Use these oils moderately in your blends and perfumes. Remember that the conifer needle oils contain alpha- and beta-pinene and have been known to cause sensitivity and skin irritation in some.

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

2-pine-oilssamples courtesy of Eden Botanicals

Aroma Assessment/Organoleptics: These two oils although very similar in chemistry are very different in their scent profile. Both are colorless, clear, non-viscous, intensity on the low side about 3-4 and with a bitter, somewhat sweet taste. Both have a green, herbal and fruity odor. However, whereas the Pinus sylvestris is really very much an airy woodsy odor, the Pinus edulis was fruitier with a delicious high note that tasted edible.

 Best method of application or what do you use each individual Pine for: Pinus sylvestris is considered to have qualities for convalescence, inhaled for bronchitis, sinusitis and asthma. and is used to tone the respiratory system, or as application in a massage blend. It is a hypertensive, tonic stimulant. Pinyon Pine could be used in the same way, both as an inhalation or an application for aching muscles or pain.

 Portion of the plant used in distillation, how it’s distilled, extracted and yields:
Needles of the Pine, the adult leaves, are green (photosynthetic), and bundled in clusters (fascicles) of 1–6, commonly 2–5 needles together, and when you look at them from the bottom when detached, they look like a perfect circle. The needles persist for 1.5–40 years, depending on species. If a shoot is damaged (e.g. eaten by an animal), the needle fascicles just below the damage will generate a bud which can then replace the lost leaves.”
Pinus sylvestris, Scotch Pine, Norway Pine is a tall, evergreen, up to 150 feet with attractive, reddish-brown, deeply fissured bark with long, stiff needles that grow in pairs. The Essential oil is produced mainly in the Baltic states. The components are greatly influenced by geographical origin and consist mainly of Monoterpenes, Pinene, some Limonene. Needles are steam- or hydro-distilled. Yield varies widely depending on the source from 0.25 to 0.47% and 0.25–0.49% in the current-year and one-year-old needles of pine, respectively.
Piñon Pine. This is a very interesting historic tree whose needles and gum is steam or hydro distilled. Yield is about .05 to .1%.  It is a small to medium sized tree with a furrowed and scaly bark and whose needles come in pairs. The cones are green then ripen to yellow. The edible seeds are harvested from many types of Pinyon Pine. There are many species used by Native Americans depending on the area of growth. The tree was only recently described (about 1848).

pinyon-pine-copyPinon Pine tree

Pinon Pine is a historic tree of the Native Americans as it was a staple food, the resin was used in ritual, and the pinyon jay ate the nuts and this was important in the dispersal of seeds and regeneration of the tree.

Hydrosol Use of Pine: Most hydrosols have not as yet been tested as to what components they do or do not contain. Contrary to what several well-known aromatherapy experts say, hydrosols do not contain the same components as their essential oils but in less quantity. Here, in the case of Pinyon Pine, the EO contains mainly alpha and beta pinene while the hydrosol contains alpha-terpineol, terpinene-4-ol and borneol. Using hydrosols is easy: baths, compresses, wound cleansers.

Spray to refresh the air as the small airborne molecules disperse readily, particularly in cars or airplanes (don’t use too much), rinse to disinfect your hands, a slight spray on clothes after removing from the dryer creates a nice refreshing change, use in fingerbowls after your formal dinner, use in small amounts in creams and lotions to add therapy to the product.

            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 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. AND “the very best hydrosols are the ones you distill yourself, for you or your loved ones.”—A. Harman from ”Harvest to Hydrosol”.
 

Chemistry: Piñon Pine usual GC/MS shows very high levels of terpenes; alpha-pinene up to 65% and beta-pinene to 8%, as well as small amounts of carene and myrcene and oxides of cineol to 11%. This shows its value in inhalation therapy and for healing. Scots Pine α-Pinene (18.5-33.0%) and δ-3-carene (9.1-24.6%) were dominating constituents.

Collective and interesting information: Pine honey is a particular type of honey that the honey bees produce, not on the basis of nectar or pollen, as is the case for other types of honey, but by using the honeydew excreted by an insect, an aphid named Marchalina hellenica, which lives by sucking on the sap of certain pine species, and leaves the honeydew on the trunks of these trees. Pine honey is produced in western (mainly southwestern) Turkey, in a number of Greek islands and in New Zealand.

alchemical-symbol-for-honey-beeswax

 The pine species on which Marchalina hellenica can be found are the Turkish Pine (Pinus brutia) and, to smaller extent, Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis), Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Stone Pine (Pinus pinea). The insects hide in the cracks and under the scales of the bark of these trees, beneath a white cotton-like wax they secrete.

Pinyon wood, especially when burned, has a distinctive fragrance, making it a common wood to burn in chimneys. The pinyon pine trees are also known to influence the soil in which they grow by increasing concentrations of both macronutrients and micronutrients.

Pines are long-lived, and typically reach ages of 100–1,000 years, some even more. The longest-lived is the Great Basin Bristlecone pine, Pinus longaeva. One individual of this species, dubbed “Methuselah”, is one of the world’s oldest living organisms at around 4,600 years old. This tree can be found in the White Mountains of California. An older tree, now cut down, was dated at 4,900 years old. It was discovered in a grove beneath Wheeler Peak and it is now known as “Prometheus” after the Greek immortals.

 

 Recipes for all Sorts of things.

  • Perfume ~ A lovely simple scent can be made by blending 20 drops of Pinus edulis, 10 drops of Clary Sage and 2-5 drops of Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) or Balsam Fir absolute. When you have blended and used succussion to mix them and then aged your blend at least a week, smell the blend and then add more of each of the oils as you wish.
  • Skincare ~ I am particularly fond of using any of the Pine or Fir hydrosols in the bathtub with me. I fill the bath with warm water, add 4 to 8 oz. of hydrosol (even a little Rosemary for the anti-aging effect) and then add small Pine or Redwood branches (no more than inches long), throw in my yellow rubber ducky and then get in with a good book and read for a while. The steamy water lets off a refreshing forest scent, my skin gets tonified and glorified, my mind clears and I am ready for the rest of the day.
  • Haircare ~ Have you been out in the sun too long or have icy winds dried out your hair? Use a 50•50 combination of any Pine oil + Rosemary verbenone and then take a drop of this and add to your usual hair oil — you will only need 1 drop per ounce of oil. Rub on y our hands and then massage your scalp, gently pulling your fingers through your hair. Finish with a nice brush-out and you will have shiny hair with less dry-out.
  • Jeanne Rose tips and tricks. Also posted in the Black Spruce profile.

Sequential Inhalation (A Treatment)
By Jeanne Rose – 1986

            There are six essential oils that I particularly like for colds and flus and include Black Spruce (stimulate the adrenal), Eucalyptus radiata (expectorant and mucolytic or liquefies the mucus in the lungs), Douglas-Fir (antiseptic and disinfectant, Rosmarinus pyramidalis (sinus cleanser and relief), Ravensara aromatica (antiseptic, antiviral), and Fir or Pine, any species as a (cleanser and respiratory tonic).
When there is any sort of respiratory congestion, it is good to inhale the essential oils in hot water.  Your mother probably taught you to do this. You will need a pot, water, essential oils and a towel. Bring two cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Bring the pot to the table. Cover your head with a towel over the pot making a tent. Now add one drop of essential oil at a time to the pot. Inhale one at a time until the scent is gone and then add the second oil. Continue until you have used all six oils. Use the oils in the sequence as given above. This will take about six minutes. Do not add more than one drop of essential oil at a time. Inhale the scent until the scent is gone (about one minute). [If you add more than one drop at a time you will probably gag and cough which is not a healthy act and not what you want.
Inhale through the mouth, exhale through the nose; then inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Alternate throughout the procedure. This gives the essential oils a chance to cleanse both the sinus area and the throat and lungs. —using this Jeanne Rose method since 1990.

pinyon-scotch-pine

  • Another Amazing Tomato Tale ~ While on a walking excursion in northern California near Weaverville some years ago, my companion brought me to what he said was the ‘biggest’ Pine tree of the area. Thankfully, I have kept this picture of the tree as several years later it was blasted with a lightning bolt and split and fell in the forest. What a mighty beautiful Pine tree.

jeanne-big-pine

 

Bibliography:

  • Britton, Lord and Hon. Addison Brown • An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada Vol. II • (New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1970.)
  • Franchomme, P. and Pénoël, Docteur D • L’Aromatherapie Exactement • (Limoges, France: Roger Jollois Editeur, 1990.)
  • Guenther, Ernest, Ph.D. • The Essential Oils • (Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Company 1976) (original edition 1952.) (in VI volumes)
  • Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol, botannicals, 2015
  • Rose, Jeanne • The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations • (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 3rd edition, 1994.)
  • 375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols • (San Francisco, CA: Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy, 3rd edition, 1994)
  • Sudworth, George B. • Forest Trees of the Pacific Slope • (New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1967.)
  • Tutin, Heywood, Burgers, Moore, Valentine, Walters and Webb, Editors • Flora Europea, Vol 4 • (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1976.)
 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 aromatherapists 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.
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
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©

 

~JR~

 

Firs – Profile and Hydrosol

Synopsis: Fir profile and specifics on use, history, and aroma of several Fir trees and includes chemistry and hydrosol.

 Fir – Abies alba and Abies balsamea

Abies grandis

 Essential Oil & Hydrosol Profile

By Jeanne Rose

abies-oilsAbies balsamea and Abies alba

Essential oils to examine are courtesy of Eden Botanicals.

 Common Name/ Latin Name/ Country of Origin: Fir, balsam Abs, Fir, balsam SD and Fir, Silver SD are the common names for the needle oil of two of the most commonly used Firs. Their Latin binomial and country of origin is this:

            Abies balsamea or Balsam fir is a North American fir, native to most of eastern and central Canada and the northeastern United States. Balsamea means it produces balsam from the bark.

Fir, Silver SD or Abies alba, the European silver fir or silver fir is a fir native to the mountains of Europe, from the Pyrenees north to Normandy and east to the Alps and the Carpathians as well as south to Italy Bulgaria and northern Greece.

 Endangered or not: Of least concern

Safety Precautions: Use moderately in your blends and perfumes. Remember that the conifer needle oils contain alpha- and beta-pinene and have been known to cause sensitivity and skin irritation in some.

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

Organoleptic/Aroma Assessment:

fir-organoleptic

Aroma Assessment:
           There is something richly evocative of the forest in the scent of the Balsam Fir needle absolute. Woody, conifer, green, somewhat vegetative, earthy and deeply scented of the forest – a wonderful oil to use in a perfume.

            The Balsam Fir steam-distilled oil is very similar to other conifer needle oils and hard to differentiate if you do not have 5-6 to compare. It is, of course, green, conifer, slightly vegetative and herbaceous with that sweet airy note we smell as we walk in the conifer forest. So these Fir and Pine oils can pretty much be used interchangeably.             

The essential oil of white Fir Abies alba, is clear and colorless, fragrant with the notes of the forest, green and heady. After smelling other conifer needle oils this one has a sweet and heady scent. A resinous essential oil can  also be extracted. This conifer-scented oil has soothing qualities and is used in perfumes, bath products, and aerosol inhalants.         

Choose the one that you like best to use. I have a special kit of 20 Conifer oils for sampling – the cost is $140 and needs to be pre-ordered. But for trying out different Conifer scents it is the best.

Best method of application and Properties or what do you use each for. With the alpha- and beta- pinene in these oils, you really can’t go wrong. Just choose the one whose scent is most pleasing to you.

The essential oil of Silver Fir needle oil, is clear and colorless, fragrant with the notes of the forest, green and sweet. This conifer-scented oil has soothing qualities and is used in perfumery, bath products, and aerosol inhalants especially for the health of the respiratory system. The cone and leaf oil are steam-distilled in the Tyrol area of Austria from carefully harvested and maintained forests. Young twigs and leaves have a delightful odor. This EO is used in all kinds of ‘pine’ compositions such as room sprays, deodorants, and baths. In Aromatherapy it is used for inhalation for respiratory ailments, colds, etc.; and used externally, in preparations for rheumatism, aching muscles and other muscular-skeletal ailments. The cone oil has a suave balsamic odor and serves as an adjunct in all kinds of ‘pine’ needle scents.

                   A is for amiable (soft feel) or Abies and Fir is for friendly (needles don’t ‘stick’ or hurt you)           

Balsam Fir produces Turpentine oil and Turpentine oils are produced both from Abies balsamea called Canada Balsam Fir andPseudotsuga taxifolia. This product is a true turpentine because it consists of both resin and volatile oil. The component is principally l-a-Pinene.   Abies balsamea is Balsam Fir contains up to 90% Monoterpenes. Like the other needle oils, it is antiseptic and antispasmodic and is inhaled for the respiratory system or applied externally in blends to ease the muscular system. Balsam fir essential oil has a characteristic woody aroma. This oil usually contains between 6-9% of bornyl acetate and over 1% santene. The most common problems encountered with coniferous tree oil are contamination with other species during distillation and also misidentification of the distilled species. So, in a genuine balsam fir oil, it’s always important to have β-bisabolene, piperitone, and longifolene which are signature compounds for this species. Obviously, we also find commons monoterpenes in A. balsamea oil like β-pinene (the major component), α-pinene, camphene, myrcene, Δ3-carene.

balsam-fir-chemistryCourtesy of Laboratoire PhytoChemia

And the Absolute of Balsam Fir is just the best for perfumery or blends for calmness and relaxation. This delicious warm and woody forest-y scent comes thick and dark and will need to be dissolved in high-proof (80-95%) alcohol so that you can measure and use it. I fell in love with this product when it was first received a year or so ago. Love it for my ‘Muscle Relaxation’ blend that also soothes the mind. [see end for formula]

Hydrosol Uses: The conifers, especially the needle oils, when steam- or hydro-distilled yield a quantity of hydrosol. These hydrosols are very useful in a steam bath for the respiratory system, in a bath just for soaking and as part of the water in the Neti pot for cleansing the sinus. The hydrosol is used in baths, steam inhalations, compresses to soothe the skin, ease muscle tension and just to make you feel good as you inhale the forest. It is not hard to use and doesn’t need a lot of instruction. Just get the hydrosol — taste it or drink small amounts occasionally (1 oz./8 oz. water) for a cold or flu, pour into the bath (no quantities needed although I like a 50•50 mix with Rosemary hydrosol) for anti-aging and relaxation, and then use it.

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 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. 

Portion of the plant used in distillation, how it’s distilled, extracted and yields: Balsam Fir and Silver fir needles are used in steam- and hydro-distillation. Silver fir yield is .25-.35% EO while Balsam fir is 0.65% essential oil, ranging to 1.4% or higher.

Chemistry: Abies balsamea or balsam fir is a North American fir. Turpentine oil is produced from Pseudotsuga taxifolia as well as from Abies balsamea aka Canada Balsam Fir. This product is also a true turpentine because it consists of both resin and volatile oil. The chemical component is principally l-a-Pinene. Abies balsamea is Balsam Fir. It contains up to 90% Monoterpenes. It is antiseptic and antispasmodic and is inhaled for the respiratory system.

       Silver Fir oil contains alpha and beta pinene and is antiseptic if used externally or when inhaled for all respiratory needs. Burn the oil on charcoal for refreshing the air.

needle-picture-fir                                                                     

The Difference between Firs and Spruces by Jeanne Rose
FIRS = Think about Abies the genus and then A is for amiable (soft feel) or Abies and common name Fir is for friendly [Abies has needles that are soft to touch and aren’t sticky and the needles when pulled off leave a Flat scar].
SPRUCE = Picea and the P is for prickly and S is for Spruce is for spiky feel. [Picea for prickly needles, Peg-like scar after needle is plucked and Spruce for spiky feel]

abies-balsamea-absFir absolute (Abies balsamea)

Historical Uses and Interesting Facts:             Abies alba is “the whitewood or silver fir, and the tallest European tree growing to 350 years old. It is much grown for construction work and telegraph poles and was favored by the Greeks and Romans for building fast warships, especially for oars of triremes (as it loses its lower branches early), but since 1900 is has been attacked by aphids and is now being replaced by the (deliciously scented) Grand fir, Abies grandis. It is a source of Alsatian or Strasburg turpentine called Vosges, essential oil is used in bath preparations and medicine especially respiratory uses when inhaled and is the principal Christmas tree of the Continent.”—Mabberley.

  • balsamea is named by Linnaeus and is the balsam fir of North America. The pulp contains juvabione which is a homologue of insect juvenile hormone. (juvabione because of the ability to mimic juvenile activity in order to stifle insect reproduction and growth). This tree is used in North America for paper products and is also a source of Canada balsam which is used in microscope preparations and as a local medication and for Canada pitch.

Collective information:

  • Perfume ~ There are few ingredients in a perfume that perform so well to make a scent both soft and attracting as well as masculine as the sweet, green, conifer (deep forest) scent of the Balsam Fir Absolute. All you need to do if you want this comforting scent of the forest is to add to your basic blend. I would suggest it in the blend up to 25%, although my favorites have always been about 15%. There is something deeply relaxing and compelling about this wonderful odor.
  • Skincare
  • Haircare – I rarely use the Fir oils and balsams in my hair care although I have on occasion added a drop to shampoo along with Rosemary CT. verbenone to assist in hair health.
  • Body Care – The Fir oils are excellent to be used in all manner of skin care in amounts up to 15% of the total blend to condition the skin, add a forest scent, refresh the body in a lotion.
  • Jeanne Rose Tips for Uses:
    This is a beautiful potpourri that if made with fresh picked cuttings of conifers and bay and some nutmeg will make a wonderfully fresh-scented room deodorizer. After a few days, make an infusion of the contents and throw into the bathtub for a soothing skin bath.

fir-potpourriunknown photographer

  • Amazing Tomato Tales the Jeanne Rose stories ~

Fir Absolute Limerick
I am liking the Fir absolute
The scent is so full, resolute.
Sweet in the wood
Don’t need a hood
It is like a very sweet tasty fruit…
JeanneRose2013

Jeanne Rose tips and tricks: Always pre-dilute your absolutes to a 50•50 with a 95% neutral grape spirits before using. I only use Alchemical Solutions for my alcohol. It is organically grown from grape, cane, corn and wheat. https://organicalcohol.com/ 

Aromatherapy Blend for Relaxation
First you will need to dilute your Balsam Fir Absolute to about 50%
Then take equal quantities essential oils of Piñon Pine, Black Spruce and Atlas Cedar,
About 30 drops total and add 15 drops of the diluted Balsam Fir Absolute.
Add or reduce these oils as you wish.
Shake it up by succussion. Let it rest and use with a carrier oil for
Muscle relaxation or for inhalation for the mind.

abies-balsamea-cones-and-resin

Source: I am very fond of the needle oils including the Firs that come from Eden Botanicals

* * *

Abies grandis ~ Grand Fir, an American native tree.

            There is another Fir I would like to mention that has a lovely citrus odor and is wonderful at Christmas time and that is the Grand Fir or Christmas Fir. [fall 2001 issue of the Aromatic News]
                 This large, grand tree is Abies grandis,  the Grand Fir that lives in the coniferous forests of the Northwest as well as being used as a landscape tree in many places of the world.  Here in San Francisco, Grand Fir is used throughout the city for its shapely beauty and scent.  In Strybing Arboretum, in the Redwood Forest (which 100 years ago was a lake on the edge of the Sunset District), the Grand Fir has a prominent place.  When walking in the Redwood Forest, take along a 5 foot long hooked cane so that you can pull down a branch of this handsome tree and smell the needles. There is a conifer and citrus note to the needles that is particularly appealing.
History: Kwakwakawaku shamans wove its branches into headdresses and costumes and used the branches for scrubbing individuals in purification rites.  The Hesquiat tribes used its branches as incense and decorative clothing for wolf dancers.  Grand Fir bark was sometimes mixed with Stinging Nettles and boiled and the resulting decoction used for bathing and as a general tonic.  The Lushoot tribe boiled needles to make a medicinal tea for colds (it contains vitamin C).  The Hesquait mixed the pitch of young trees with animal oil and rubbed it on the scalp as a deodorant and to prevent baldness.
Abies alba which is the tallest European tree and lives to 350 years is much grown for construction work and telegraph poles and was favoured by the Greeks and Romans for building fast warships, especially for oars of triremes.  But since 1900 this tree has been much attacked by aphids and has been replaced by A. grandis (D. Don) Lindley (white or giant fir) from Northwest America.  This tree reaches 100 meters and was introduced into Great Britain in 1834 and grew to a height of more than 62 meters by 1989.
Current Uses: Grand Fir has that delicious holiday Christmas tree odor.  It is green and vegetative in its back note, slightly citrus in its subsidiary note and strongly coniferous in the top note.  The smell is rich and sweet and joyous.  Grand fir is used during the holiday season to scent the air and keep it fresh and airy or to aerate the sickroom. Use a mixture of 10% Grand fir to 90% water or a conifer hydrosol to spray the room and scent the air or use 50•50 Grand Fir to Rosemary or mint hydrosol water solution for refreshing the sick room.  When using at holiday time and this includes any time during the season between All-Hallows and Valentines Day, spray the tree, spray your rooms, spray the wreaths, spray the bathrooms, spritz the decorations or the furniture, to keep everything fresh and smelling good.


Perfumery and Cosmetics: Grand fir can be added as a fresh note to many different types of perfume blends. When one is traveling and comes across those nasty smelling amenities that smell of Bitter Almonds it is only Grand Fir essential oil that can be added to the shampoo or hand lotion samples that will negate the bitter almond smell and add its own delicious sweet conifer note. Grand Fir essential oil mixed with other essential oils can act either as scent or therapy to all kinds of custom skin care products. Grand Fir can also be used as an inhalant with other conifers for all types of respiratory problems and conditions.

 

* * *

 

Bibliography:
Coombs, Allen J. Dictionary of Plant Names. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 1995
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol.  botANNicals. 2015
http://uptreeid.com/KeyLeafOnly/Collection1.htm
http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_balsam_fir.htm
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book. Third Edition of Cambridge University Press. 2014
Miller, Richard & Ann. The Potential of Herbs as a Cash Crop. Acres USA. Kansas City. 1985.
Mojay, Gabriel. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press,
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne. Herbal Studies Course, Jeanne Rose – Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies, 1992.
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. San Francisco, California

 

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. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor. The content herein is the product of research and some personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©

 

~ JR ~

A Tale of Citronella

Synopsis: A cautionary tale about using essential oils.

Tomato tales – a tale with Citronella

By Jeanne Rose

citronella-eo-distillation

            I have a long history using essential oils, sometimes excessively but more and more often quite frugally. They are such concentrated bundles of plant power that only a wee bit, a drop maybe two, is needed to complete your healing protocol.   So it was 10 pm and I was in bed trying to have a nice sleep.

There are always essential oils around my bedside and on the tables. Sometimes I use them, and sometimes I don’t. But this one night I had gone to bed with my mind racing over the events of the day as well as the events that would take my attention the next day.

I love a comfy bed and I was laying on my back in my bed thinking busy thought. My bed was made up with freshly ironed linen sheets that had the most elegant initials on the top edge and it was tucked up near my chin. The monogram was a very large ornate one made of French laid white work style with the initials “H R Hand swirls of flowers in French knots around the monogram and all sewn on with good heavy weight thread on the finely made linen cloth. The sheets were heavy and yet crisp and delicately soothing on the skin — a lovely addition to the bed and on the body; the scent in the sheets was clean with a soft mustiness and floral note intertwined with a rich Sandalwood scent lightly enveloping the entire bed area. The pillowcases were heavily laced and were cool and white with a fine delicate fragrance that can only come with time on the bed and equal time hanging in the sun and resting. These are the best to sleep on. There is a hand, a rough gentleness to linen sheets and cases. They are warm when it is cold but cool when it is warm. They don’t glide on the skin but rest there giving you comfort and sleepy feelings.

But I could not sleep. So in the darkness, I reached out to the bottles and found the Citronella bottle by its size, opened the bottle and proceeded to sprinkle a few drops on the top sheet. So you know that Citronella is both an insect repellent but also promotes relaxation and reduces stress. But reaching out in the dark was a Big mistake! There was no orifice reducer to the bottle and so about ¼ ounce of EO spilled out and all over me and the top of the bed.

First I thought that I could hide from the scent by folding the sheet a different way to keep the heavy scent from my nostrils. No! Then I thought by folding the sheet way down that would work. No, that did not work. The Citronella odor was heavy and so strong and loud enough to wake the next door neighbor.

But I was tired and did not want to get up but began to be sick to my stomach from the odor. I was forced out of bed, and changed out of my bed clothes into new ones but that did not help either. By now I was so overwhelmed with Citronella odor that I could not breathe. I lay down again but began to retch. Then it hit, the scent, so strong on me and my body, in my bedroom, that I ran to the toilet and threw up.

Ultimately, I had to not only change my bed clothes and wash the upper part of my body but change my sheets as well – so an hour or so after I decided a drop of Citronella would help me to sleep, I finally got into a somewhat scent-free bed and with guts a’rumbling, finally fell asleep.

What is the moral of this tale? Turn on the light when you wish to use the power of essential oils? Don’t use essential oils without an orifice reducer? Be moderate in your use of essential oils? Whatever the moral, I have developed a rather abiding dislike of the scent of Citronella and from now on I will stick to having a cup of herbal tea before bed – probably Lemon Verbena.

          Moderation is the word when using essential oils.

And understand that sensitivity to a scent can happen at any time. —JeanneRose 2000

JR

Evergreens & Their Similars


Conifers are favorite trees and their essential oils perform in many formulas, therapeutics and blends — they are widely grown and healing to mind and body.

Evergreens & Their Similars

by Jeanne Rose

Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)
Abies balsamea

Cedar, Cypress, Juniper, Fir, Pine & Spruce are all evergreen trees whose bark and needles and sometimes wood and cones produce essential oil. They are divided into two main groups; the Pinaceae and the Cupressaceae, that is, the ones used for their needles and the ones used for their woods.

The needle oils are commonly considered useful for respiratory care and for care of the upper, airy parts of the body and it is often said that this is because they come from tall trees whose leaves or needles are touching the sky.  They have refreshing, mind-clearing fragrances that are strong yet somehow salubrious.

When one begins to take a closer look at the evergreen plants and their essential oils, confusion quickly ensues! Totally different trees have the same common name. And as we talk about the plants and their oils individually, you will become increasingly aware of the importance of being educated and informed as an aromatherapy practitioner as well as the importance of purchasing your essential oils from a source that is educated and informed and willing to share information with you. Correct Latin binomials is increasingly important.

I have tried to make this post as clear and understandable as possible, yet when I speak individually about the oils, please remember, you are not the only one who is confused!  The company that sells you the oil may be confused as well.  I highly recommend that you perform your own research.  Collect the Evergreen plants and oils.  Compare the differences in their leaves, barks and cones.  Collect the Evergreen essential oils from various sources and be sure to use the Latin name when labeling the plants and purchasing the essential oils.  Compare the scents using the Basic 7 Vocabulary of Odor© and make a journal of the information you find.  A project such as this will help you at least to understand the confusion, if not to clear some of it up for you.

We have divided the Evergreen trees into 8 parts and given the general common name to each part. This post will be mostly the Pinaceae and soon, in the future, will be a long post about the other family of Conifers, the Cupressaceae:

Family Pinaceae

I. Pinus Pine
II. Picea Spruce
III. Tsuga Hemlock-Spruce & Pseudotsuga False Hemlock
IV. Abies Fir
V. Cedar true type

Folklore: Native American lore says that when the great mystery gave a gift to each species, the young trees were given a task to stay awake for 7 days and watch over the forest, the trees fell asleep species by species leaving only the young conifers that were so excited that they could not fall asleep. By the 7th night the only trees left awake were the Fir, Pine, Spruce, Cedar, Holly and Laurel. The great mystery was very happy, “What wonderful endurance you have” and gave them the gift of forever remaining green – thus the Evergreens. They were proclaimed the guardians of the forest and given exceptional healing qualities.

Family Cupressaceae

VI. Juniperus Cedar-wood & Juniper
VII. Cupressus Cypress & Chamaecyparis
VIII. Thuja

PINACEAE ~ Atlas Cedarwood EO, Deodar Cedarwood EO, Siberian Fir EO, Balsam  Fir absolute, Balsam Fir EO, Silver Fir EO, Maritime Fir EO, Scotch Fir EO, Sylvestris Fir EO, Pinyon Pine EO, Black Spruce, Douglas-Fir EO •
CUPRESSACEAE ~ Cypress Leaf EO, Blue Cypress  woodEO, Virginia Cedar wood EO, Juniper Leaf EO, Juniper Berry EO, Juniper Berry CO2

Taxonomy of the Conifers

Division: EMBRYOPHYTA SIPHONOGAMA   These are the  (SEED PLANTS)
Subdivision: GYMNOSPERMAE   (ovules naked, resinous wood in concentric rings)
Class: CONIFERAE  & Taxaceae    (cone-bearers), (yew-like)

conifer_cone-pinaceae-copyPinaceae – a conifer cone

Family: Pinaceae  (resinous trees or shrubs, cone scales numerous and woody or thin)
Genera include:
Pinus (Pine)
Larix (Larch or True Tamaracks)
Picea (Spruce)
Tsuga (Hemlock-Spruce)
Pseudotsuga (False Hemlock)
Abies (Firs or Balsam Trees)
Cedrus (True Cedars)

 

Family: Cupressaceae   (resinous trees or shrubs, cone scales are few and spiral or opposite)
Genera include:
Thuja (Arbor vita or “Cedars”)
Chamaecyparis (True Cypress)
Cupressus (True Cypress)
Juniperus (Junipers or “Cedars”)
Sequoia (Redwood and Big Trees)

 

FAMILY PINACEÆ
In group I. we find the Pinus species in the family Pinaceæ.

There is only confusion amongst users of essential oils in that family Pinaceæ includes a variety of trees with interchangeable common names such as: Spruces, Pines, Cedars, the Turpentine pines, and other plants that are often considered Cypress, Juniper or Spruce. Briefly, family Pinaceæ includes:

Pinus – Scotch Pine and others

SprucePicea species such as the Norway Spruce (Picea abies) and Black Spruce (Picea mariana)

Hemlocks – Tsuga canadensis and T. heterophylla

False HemlockPseudotsuga douglasii  the Douglas-Fir

Fir –  Abies sibirica the Siberian Fir, Abies balsamea the Balsam Fir, and Abies alba, the Silver Fir

 Cedars – Cedrus atlantica , Atlas Cedarwood

 

coastal-pine-big-sur-jr  Coastal Pine – Big Sur -JeanneRose photo

Group I. Pinus (Pines)

Trees of the Genus Pinus have leaves that are persistent and of two kinds , the primary ones are linear or scale-like, and deciduous.  The secondary ones form the ordinary foliage and are narrowly linear, arising from the axils of the primary leaves in bunches of 1-5 leaf clusters enclosed at the base in a membranous sheath.

Mainly the trees that produce the essential oil called Pine oil are Pinus mugo (Dwarf Pine), Pinus palustris (Long Leaf Pine) and Pinus sylvestris (Scotch Pine).

            Pinus mugo , Dwarf Pine Needle is harvested in the Swiss Alps. It is sturdy and shrub-like and is protected by the Swiss government and is harvested according to particular rules only at certain elevations. This oil has a particularly pungent odor reminiscent of both a bark and needle oil and in fact entire branches including the needles are finely chopped up and thrown into the still for the essential oil. This combination of bark and needle make up an oil that is both airy and grounding. Components of Dwarf Pine Needle include l-a Pinene, b-Pinene, l-Limonene and Sesquiterpenes, Pumiliol, etc.

              In Europe, this plant is used for diseases of the skin and scalp and particularly at healing spas where it is inhaled for ailments of the respiratory organs, including pleurisy and tuberculosis. This is a powerful adjunct in the therapies for all sorts of ear, nose, throat and lung disorders.

            Pinus pinaster the Maritime Pine, contains Mono- and Sesquiterpenes. It is a powerful antiseptic used to disinfect the air locally. Good for chronic bronchitis, chronic cystitis, and anti-inflammatory for the lungs. Can be used externally in massage blends for rheumatism or aching joints. A particular chemotype of Pinus pinaster contains large quantities of terebenthine which is composed of 62% a-Pinene and 27% b-Pinene. This oleo-resin is used as a powerful expectorant, antiseptic, and to oxygenate the air. Indicated for infections of the respiratory system. It is used in hot water for steam inhaling treatments. Mainly used as an aerosol treatment but with possible allergies if used externally.

         Pinus palustris , Long Leaf Pine, Turpentine (See also Terebinth) is a tall, evergreen, up to 150 feet with attractive, reddish-brown, deeply fissured bark with long, stiff needles that grow in pairs. Is used mainly for the distillation of American gum sprits of Turpentine. This is a tall, evergreen tree native to the Southeast United States. The main component is Terpineol. It has been considered a powerful antiseptic spray and disinfectant, especially in veterinary medicine.  It has mainly external use as a massage for arthritis, muscular aches and pains and stiffness, and in the past, natural Turpentine was often inhaled for asthma and bronchitis.  This has been much used in commercial industry to manufacture paint, but has now been largely replaced by synthetic Pine oil (synth. Turpentine).

            Pinus sylvestris, Scotch Pine, Norway Pine is  a tall, evergreen, up to 150 feet with attractive, reddish-brown, deeply fissured bark with long, stiff needles that grow in pairs. The essential oil is produced mainly in the Baltic states. The components are greatly influenced by geographical origin and consist mainly of Monoterpenes, Pinene, some Limonene.  Pinus sylvestris is considered to have hormone-like, cortisone-like qualities. It is indicated for convalescence, inhaled for bronchitis, sinusitis, and asthma. and is used to tone the respiratory system, balance the hypothalamic/pancreas axis as well as the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal). It is a hypertensive, tonic stimulant.

The Difference between Firs and Spruces …
FIRS
= Think about Abies the genus and then A is for amiable (soft feel) or Abies and common name Fir is for friendly [Abies has needles that are soft to touch and aren’t sticky and needles when pulled leave a Flat scar].
SPRUCE = Picea and the P is for prickly and S is for Spruce is for spiky. [Picea for prickly needles, Peg-like scar when pulling off a needle and Spruce for spiky feel]

The second group of trees of the Pinaceae family are generally called Spruce trees.  Some Spruce trees also have the common name of Fir.

 

picea-spruce-copyPicea spp.

Group II. Picea (Spruce)

Genera Picea leaves are linear, often obtuse or emarginate base of leaves persistent on the branches.  The leaves are needles and are sessile, 4-sided, or flattened and stomatiferous.

            Spruce trees which are of the Genera Picea, family Pinaceæ, are conical trees with linear short 4-sided leaves spreading in all directions, jointed at the base to a short persistent sterigmata, on which they are sessile, falling away in drying, the bare twigs appearing covered with low, truncate projections.  The leaf buds are scaly.  Cones are ovoid to oblong, obtuse, pendulous, their scales numerous, spirally arranged, thin, obtuse, persistent.

            Essential oil of Black Spruce (Picea mariana) has much value in the respiratory system. The components include 55% Monoterpenes, including Camphene, a-Pinene, g-Bornyl acetate, etc. The properties are hormone-like, possibly stimulating the thymus gland and with cortisone-like properties that affect the HPA (hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal) axis. Picea mariana  (Black Spruce) Grows in Quebec, Canada. Components also include Monoterpenes, including a-Pinene and g-3-Carene, and Sesquiterpenes.  Indicated for bronchitis; internal parasites and an antifungal for candida; prostatitis; solar plexus spasms; asthenic conditions; excellent for sudden fatigue or exhaustion.  A general tonic for the entire system and indicated as well for excessive thyroid function. Possibly this oil is extremely valuable inhaled for asthmatics who take corticosteroids.

            Picea alba  (White Spruce)  has the same chemical components as Black Spruce. Both White and Black Spruce contain Tricyclene. Uses of these oils are: included in Cedar blends for technical preparations, room sprays, deodorants.

       Picea excelsa  Norway Spruce. Young twigs and leaves are steam distilled in the Tyrol valley.  Chemical composition is mainly Pinene, Phellandrene and Dipentene, etc.  Norway Spruce has a very fragrant odor and it is used in all sorts of Pine-scented compositions, bath salts, room sprays, etc.

 Picea abies, Norway Spruce 

 Picea glauca, Blue Spruce

 

tsuga-canadensis-jeannerose-photo

Tsuga canadensis

Group III.  … Tsuga (Hemlock-Spruce)
                            Pseudotsuga (False Hemlock)

Tsuga (Hemlocks)    … Leaves of the Genera Tsuga are stalked, flattened and stomatiferous below, or angular, often appearing 2-ranked. Hemlock-Spruces include Tsuga canadensis (Eastern Hemlock), Tsuga heterophylla (the Western Hemlock also called Gray-Fir or Alaskan-Pine) and sometimes the Black-Spruce and White-Spruce. These trees have slender horizontal or drooping branches, flat narrowly linear scattered short-petioled leaves, spreading and appearing 2-ranked, jointed to very short sterigmata and falling away in drying.  The leaf-buds are scaly.  Hemlocks are widely known in North America. These trees are tall evergreens with horizontal branches and finely toothed leaves. The young branches and leaves are steam distilled.  Production is normally in the Northeastern part of United States.

Tsuga canadensis, Common Hemlock

Tsuga Heterophylla, Prince Albert-Fir or Western Hemlock

Pseudotsuga (False Hemlock)… The base of the leaves of trees of the Pseudotsuga Genera are not persistent on the branches.  The leaves often appear 2-ranked, are stalked, flattened, stomatiferous below; winter-buds are pointed, not resinous. I have written about Douglas-Fir at

http://www.jeanne-blog/?s=Douglas+Fir

            Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga douglasii) also (P. Menziesii) is native to the West Coast of the United States and is now grown elsewhere. It is a  tall, attractive evergreen Fir tree, much used in the Christmas tree industry.  If you diffuse this oil in late November and early December you are sure to inspire the “Christmas spirit” in even the most grouchy of scrooges!  It is a wonderful oil to wake up to at that particular time of year.  The leaves are steam distilled to create the essential oil whose components vary considerably. The French oil contains large quantities of ß-Pinene and smaller amounts of Citronellyl acetate and ß-Phellandrene. Douglas Fir essential oil is strongly antiseptic and indicated for respiratory infections. It can be  used as a local disinfectant. This is one of the most lemon-scented of the Firs, with a powerful sweet, fresh, refreshing odor, well-liked as a room refresher or scent in soap blends. http://jeanne-blog.com/?s=Douglas+Fir

              Pseudotsuga taxifolia: Turpentine oil from Pseudotsuga taxifolia. is actually an oleo resin produced in the crevices of the tree trunk. On S-D it produces up to 35% the volatile oil, which is composed of up to 55 % l-a-Pinene, etc. Turpentine is used commercially in technical preparations

 

abies-grandis-foliage2-copyAbies grandis

Group IV. Abies (the True Firs)

In this group we find the common name of Firs from the Family Pinaceæ  and these include a variety of trees called Fir. The Firs are distributed worldwide and are coniferous trees with pyramid shapes. The essential oil is generally steam distilled from small twigs and needles. The base of the leaves of this group of trees is not persistent on the branches.  The leaves often appear 2-ranked but are actually spirally arranged.  The leaves are sessile, flattened and often grooved on the upper side or quadrangular, rarely stomatiferous above and on the upper fertile branches they are often crowded.  The winter-buds are obtuse and resinous.

The Difference between Firs and Spruces …
FIRS
= Think about Abies the genus and then A is for amiable (soft feel) or Abies and common name Fir is for friendly [Abies has needles that are soft to touch and aren’t sticky and needles when pulled leave a Flat scar].
SPRUCE = Picea and the P is for prickly and S is for Spruce is for spiky. [Picea for prickly needles, Peg-like scar when pulling off a needle and Spruce for spiky feel]

            Turpentine oil is produced from Pseudotsuga taxifolia as well as from Abies balsamea  called Canada Balsam Fir. This product is also a true turpentine because it consists of both resin and volatile oil. Component is principally l-a-Pinene.

            Abies balsamea is Balsam Fir. It contains up to 90% Monoterpenes. It is antiseptic and antispasmodic and is inhaled for the respiratory system.

           Abies siberica  is Balsam Fir and is grown widely in Russia. Its chief constituent, 40%, is l-Bornyl acetate. Its properties are antispasmodic and used for bronchitis and asthma.

            Abies alba, White Fir contains 95% Monoterpenes. It is an antiseptic; inhaled for respiratory problems. In addition, Abies alba produces a cone oil with a very pleasant balsamic odor consisting chiefly of l-Limonene and used as an adjunct in all Pine needle scents.

           Abies sachalinensis, Abies mariana

There are Pine needle oils that are actually Firs.  They  are commonly called Japanese-Pine Needle. They contain mainly l-Limonene and Sesquiterpenes. Primarily used for respiratory inhalations and for scenting of soap.

 

cedrus-deodara-copyCedrus deodara

Group IV. Cedrus (True Cedars)

            The Cedrus Genera has needles arranged singly on growing shoots in tufts often called “whorls”.  There are often 10-20 needles arranged in one tuft.  The Cedrus Genera have upright cones like the Abies, but the cones disintegrate after two years.

             Cedar leaf oils are in general used externally, well diluted for skin conditions and dandruff, fungal infections and hair loss, and inhaled in blends for the respiratory system. Cedar oils are sometimes  contraindicated for people who are prone to high blood pressure and heart problems and should be avoided by people with sensitive skin. This may be because they are confused with other genera with the common name of Cedar. But true Cedar oils are normally not a problem.

          Oil from the wood of Cedrus atlantica, Atlas Cedar, from the Pinaceæ family contains up to 80% Sesquiterpenes and Sesquiterpenols. Its properties are an arterial regenerative and a lymphotonic. It aids in the removal of body fat, and is used externally for cellulite and the retention of fluid in the tissue as well as being indicated for artherosclerosis.  Atlas Cedar is a good oil for the medicine chest because it is used for the respiratory system; a single drop in a half cup water to gargle for sore throat; or with a two drops of Eucalyptus in a steaming bowl of water to reduce nasal and lung congestion.  This would be a good oil to use in a home-made vapor salve, something like “Vicks Vapo-Rub” for relief of lung and nasal congestion.  It can be added to shampoos or facial washes to reduce oily secretions.  It is also used as a fixative in the perfume industry.

        Cedrus deodara , called Himalayan Cedarwood, from the Pinaceæ family contains a quantity of Sesquiterpenes and is very close to Atlas Cedarwood both scent and organoleptic qualities and could be substituted in a number of cases. It regenerates the arterial system,  and, like Atlas is a lymphotonic and is  indicated for cellulite and water retention.

       Both Himalayan and Atlas Cedarwood are considered by some to be contraindicated for children and pregnant women because they are considered neurotoxic and abortive. In some books, this oil is neurotoxic and abortive so should not be used for children and pregnant women. However, I believe that this is incorrect.

 

Confusion in the Name Cedar

cedar-cedar-confusion

            Cedar is a common name used for a variety of plants from both family Pinaceæ and family Cupressaceæ. Here we encounter the confusion that common names create.  There are many types of Cedar trees: true Cedars from the Genus Cedrus and other trees which are actually from other Genera, yet have the common name of Cedar.   True Cedar, of the Genera Cedrus, is from the Pinaceae family.  There are some trees from the Cupessaceæ family which are called Cedars but when you look at their Latin binomials you will see that they are Junipers or Thujas. True Cedars from family Pinaceæ include Atlas Cedarwood, Deodar Cedarwood and Lebanon Cedarwood.  From family Cupressaceæ: Port Orford-Cedar, Hinoki- Cedar, Virginia-Cedar, Texas-Cedar, and others from the Juniper clan of this group of trees.  Remember, the trees called Cedar from the Cupressaceæ family are not true Cedars.  So I recommend, again, remember essential oils by their Latin binomial.  This way, you will know for sure from which plant your oil comes.

         Another point to be aware of when using Cedar oils is whether you are using the oil of the leaf or the wood.  Awareness of the part of the plant the oil is coming from is just as important as awareness of which Cedar the oil is coming from.   If an oil is simply labeled Cedar, how are you to know what this oil is and how it can be used safely?  All essential oils should be labeled with their Latin binomial, common name, country of origin and part of the plant used.  Although if you look at your collection of essential oils at home or in stores, you will see that this is rarely the case.

Source: I am especially fond of the essential oils that are sold by Eden Botanicals. I find them to be of excellent quality and lovely scent. http://www.edenbotanicals.com

 

Bibliography

•Britton, Lord and Hon. Addison Brown • An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada Vol. II • (New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1970.)
•Franchomme, P. and Pénoël, Docteur D • L’Aromatherapie Exactement • (Limoges, France: Roger Jollois Editeur, 1990.)
•Guenther, Ernest, Ph.D. • The Essential Oils • (Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Company 1976) (original edition 1952.) (in VI volumes)
•Rose, Jeanne • The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations • (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 3rd edition, 1994.)
Rose, Jeanne • 375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols • (San Francisco, CA: Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy, 3rd edition, 1994
*Sudworth, George B. • Forest Trees of the Pacific Slope • (New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1967.)
*Tutin, Heywood, Burgers, Moore, Valentine, Walters and Webb, Editors •  Flora Europea, Vol 4 • (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1976.)

 

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.

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

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©

 

JR

East Indian Sandalwood EO Profile

Santalum album ~ the organoleptic quality, aroma assessment and therapeutic uses, from S. album from Australia and India. Specific information and many recipes for use.

 

East Indian Sandalwood

By Jeanne Rose

 screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-9-25-50-amFigure 1. Santalum album grown in Australia and S. album grown in India

Common Name/ Latin Name/ Country of Origin ~ Sandalwood or Santal from various species of Santalum.  There are many species, that are currently used and distilled for their essential oil S. album L. — Indian sandalwood, white sandalwood, or chandana (India Indonesia, northern Australia); I examined two, S. album grown in Australia and S. album Rare that was grown in India.

 

Portion of the plant used in distillation, how it’s distilled, extracted and yields: The heartwood is distilled from the mature tree.  However, the tree takes 60-80 years to mature and because harvesting has exceeded the planting and maturing of fresh crop, it is becoming endangered. The heartwood is chipped and steam-distilled sometimes over another plant. Yield is 4-6.5%.

            This is a hemi-parasitic tree and requires one or more host plants by which it obtains nutrition through the roots. The roots attach themselves to the roots of other trees, sucking nutrients from their host and causing the other trees to perish.

Endangered or not The sandalwood tree has now become endangered due to overharvesting, greatly limiting supply and hence use. This is truly unfortunate. When you consider that in 1957 the world population was 2.8 billion and now it is about 6 billion it is pretty clear that with more people there is more demand for precious essential oils and commodities. I believe that we have to grow more but each of us must use less as each and every one of us is responsible for the damage to the planet by over-exploitation and desire. In regards to the pirates who are cutting ad stealing Sandalwood trees in India, Tony Burfield said in 2004, “The Sandalwood tree is being smuggled out of existence.”

 

Sandalwood Distillation

Step one in the custom distillation of Sandalwood heartwood. First you need a two-day soak in water. Try at least 500 grams. to be distilled in a small 20 liter (21 quarts) still. and distilled 2-3 days’ oil if carried out at a pressure of 30-40 psig, to produce the crude oil. The first 2-5% of “sandalwood terpenes” are rejected and then often redistilled. For those persons interested, distillation for Sandalwood is often considered best in the correct corresponding planetary hours maybe on a waning moon.

sandalwood-soakingFigure 2. Sandalwood soaking in water prior to distillation

 

Aging and Storage of Sandalwood: The wood can be stored indefinitely just as other wood and other essential oils are stored in dark, lightproof, airtight containers, glass preferred. However, that being said, I have some Sandalwood chips I purchased over 40 years ago that I stored in a paper bag in the dark basement that seems just fine with the delicious warm, woody odor intact. I have also pulled out all my old samples and bottles of Sandalwood essential oil, dusty as they are and as old as they are, they are somewhat more viscous but the scent has held up over all these years.

            Sandalwood ages well. The essential oil should be kept in a tightly sealed airtight container, glass, and in a cool, dark place such as a basement that has an ambient temperature of 50-55°. The refrigerator is not the place to store good Sandalwood oil.

 

Organoleptic ~ As a learning aid study the organoleptic qualities of essential oils. This is a method to help assist in describing and determining the quality of the essential oil that you are studying by involving the use of the sense organs for evaluation. These qualities are what you perceive through your senses; that is, what you can see, taste and smell as a degree of intensity. There is more to essential oil than its odor. Santalum album Rare from India (Eden Botanicals) had a very pale yellow tint, was clear, semi-viscous, with an intensity rating of 2 (1-10 with 10 being the most intense) and a oily unctuous taste tending to bitter. S. album Plantation grown in Australia was also a very pale yellow tint, clear, semi-viscous and with an intensity of 2-3, just slightly more intense than the Sandalwood grown in India and also an oily unctuous taste that was bitter.

Aroma Assessment ~ Language is important in recognizing smells.  An important part of scent training is to develop in common odor language based on olfactory standards.  The possession of such an odor language increases the powers of discrimination. If you can name it, you own it.

            I have noticed that Sandalwood Oil does not smell the same as in years past. The scent has changed due to several factors: 1) some product makers are using synthetic or partially synthetic oils and 2) because all botanical products change and alter depending on the season and the year. Try tasting Olive oil from one season to the next.

All the Sandalwoods I examined (10) were smooth and unctuous and were predominantly woody; with subsidiary notes. S. album Rare from India was most evocative of the scent that I knew 50 years ago, woody and floral with hay back note. The S. album plantation grown from Australia was also woody, floral and hay and marine back notes.   

 

The right nostril processes navigational related odors. And people favor the right nostril when detecting and evaluating the intensity of odors, hinting at a broader olfactory asymmetry. So if you are lost and wish to get home or wish to know the intensity of a scent, sniff the air with the right side. Left nostril smells the scent and right side nostril smells the intensity.

Smell left, smell right and then waft to get the entire scent experience.

 

Best method of application for Indian Sandalwood. Personally I use Indian Sandalwood ritually in meditation. For me it is calming and uplifting and helpful in overall well-being. The S. album Rare from India is both stimulating and grounding and I use it in meditation for opening that part of my being that is the seat of power and wisdom. According to the Vamana Purana, the wood is recommended for worshipping God Shiva. Goddess Lakshmi is believed to reside in the Sandalwood tree.

 

Which Sandalwood is best and which is the most therapeutic? The most therapeutic of these various Sandalwoods is the one that you enjoy more than the others. If you can inhale one with a significant amount of santalol — enjoy its benefits and use the others for application.

 

Collective information:

RECIPES

  • Body Care ~ such as a Sore throat. This is often another unpleasant symptom of a cold or flu, for which gargles are quite effective. For a dry throat that needs soothing, use two drops each of Sandalwood (Santalum album) and Lemon in half a glass of warm water. For sore throat due to coughing up of mucus, use Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) and Eucalyptus. In each case, continue gargling every few hours.

 

  • Emotional Care ~ For Depression (I can’t do anything, I will never do anything) ~ 10 drops each of Bergamot, Geranium, Grapefruit, Orange peel, Sandalwood and 3 drops of Ylang-Ylang Extra. Mix these together and put into a 1-dram vial. Inhale as needed.

 

  • Hair Care ~ The uncomfortable Scalp itch can be mitigated by massaging oils with a formula of essential oils into the scalp. Use 9 drops each of Black Spruce and Rosemary + 2 drops of Sandalwood (20 drops to 2 oz. of almond oil). Massage into scalp, put on a cap and sleep in it overnight. In the morning you can wash your hair.

 

  • Perfume ~ In perfumery some oils like Sandalwood take days to dry down making them a significant contribution to a long lasting perfume. Here is a scent that I enjoy. It is called Sensual Floral/Wood and is made with 100 ml floral water, with the added essential oils of 40 drops Orange or Clementine, 30 drops Sandalwood, 10 drops Neroli, 10 drops Rose, 6 drops Champa or Ylang, 4 drops other Floral. Use the formula as an after-bath or shower spray, or mist lightly on pillows and sheets. Wonderful as a room spray.

 

  • Skin Care ~ such as a Skin Itch from Chemotherapy

Calophyllum inophyllum 25-30 drops
Chamomile, Roman 5 drops
Rose distilled 2 drops
Rosewood 8 drops
Sandalwood East Indian 8 drops
Add the above to 2 oz. cream or with Calendula Infused Oil and apply as needed.

 

  • Sexual Blend for Men. This is for (premature ejaculation and to balance the autonomic nervous system) and is recommended by Victoria Edwards. Mix together 10 drops Bergamot EO, 2 drops Blue Tansy or Blue Cypress EO, 6 drops Sandalwood EO, 3 drops Lemon EO and 2 oz. (60 ml) carrier oil; Massage on lower body, especially around the groin area and just before sex.

 

  • Sandalwood (literature) is also mentioned in many books such as this quote from Hannibal by Thomas Harris “Here the air was music. Here were pale tears of Frankincense awaiting extracting, yellow Bergamot, Sandalwood, Cinnamon and Mimosa in concert, over the sustaining ground notes of genuine ambergris, civet, castor from the beaver, and essence of the musk deer.”

 

  • Woman’s Oil ~. Use 10 drops of Spikenard and Sandalwood as an inhalant to balance and harmonize your spirit. It is amazing how relaxing and focusing this simple remedy can be and all you need to do is inhale it.

An Amazing Jeanne Rose Tomato Tale story ~ I have loved this oil since 1960 and chose it and the Sandalwood fans as a scent. During my pregnancy in 1964 I would use the Sandalwood soap and when Amber was born, I kept at least one of her blankets in a bag with thin Sandalwood wood chips that were the size of a business card to add the scent to the ‘blankies’. Later, in 1969, when I started New Age Creations my skin care company, I used the cut and sifted wood chips with Rose and Clove as a potpourri, sleep pillow and the essential oil in lotions and products for Amber and I. To this day it is a scent that Amber prefers above all others.

 

Safety Considerations for Sandalwood oil: No contraindications, but may cause adverse skin reaction; a maximum use level of 2% is recommended in any product. Dilute before using. A patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin.

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

For an in-depth discussion of all the Sandalwood oils please read my blog post
http://jeanne-blog.com/sandalwood-eo-profile/

 

Fig. 11. Sandalwood and oil

 

JR

Hawaiian & New Caledonia Sandalwood

Specific information on Sandalwood from Hawaii, S. paniculatum and S. austrocaledonicum ~ the organoleptic quality, aroma assessment and therapeutic uses.

Hawaiian & New Caledonia Sandalwood

By Jeanne Rose

fig-1-sandalwood-hawaii-circleFigure 1.

In 1898, David Malo wrote Hawaiian Antiquities which was written in Hawaiian and published by the Bishop Museum. In this book Malo detailed the culture of the people of Hawaii and the uses of Hawaiian plants. His only comment on Hawaiian Sandalwood is this, “the sandalwood, ili-ahi has a fragrant wood which is of great commercial value at the present time.” Later on in an editor’s comment that Sandalwood was use to impart an agreeable odor to tapa.

         In Gardens of Hawaii by Marie C. Neal, 1948; Sandalwood is mentioned as a valuable source of wood and for essential oil, medicine and incense and that it grew very well in certain areas.

For more information on Sandalwood in general, please see the previous blog post at
http://jeanne-blog.com/sandalwood-eo-profile/

Endangered:
“In the early 19th century, Santalum paniculatum and three other Hawaiian endemic species of sandalwood were severely over-harvested for the commercial export of their fragrant heartwood. Due to the slow growth of these trees and continued human disturbance, this species is uncommon in the native forests of Hawai`i.” — http://ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=10201

Hawaiian Sandalwood Oil, Santalum species – Organoleptic Qualities:
organoleptics-hawaiian

— — — — — — — — Santalum paniculatum and Santalum austrocaledonicum
Aroma Assessment:
         They are the same but slightly different. Smell each one, and look at the chart, “Circular Odor Profile (at the end of article) and in particular look at the back notes as this will give you an idea of the difference in the odors. If you have an opportunity, try to smell several Sandalwoods from trustworthy sources (and all are not trustworthy) and then choose your favorite from these and for the purpose that you want. [P.S. I only mention EO’s from a company that I personally trust]

When you inhale for emotional release you might want to use a different EO than the one to use as a deodorant or a perfume ingredient. So try them and choose your favorite.

See the charts at the end of the article for scent comparison.

 Growth: Sandalwoods are a hemi-parasite, entwining their roots with the roots of a host and deriving nourishment in this way.
The EO concentration and quality depends on the age of the tree and where on the tree the heartwood is collected. Heartwood percentage, oil concentration and oil quality were all lower as you go up the tree. Studies are being done continuously on Sandalwood oils and often the concentration of santalol is lower in S. spicatum (Australia) than other species but this is changing due to the collection of seeds from stands that have a higher percentage of santalol.

In Hawaii, Sandalwood grows twice as fast and also comes to maturity more quickly than other Sandalwoods, 20 years instead of 40-50.

Chemistry: Four commercial qualities of Hawaiian sandalwood oil produced from wood of Santalum paniculatum originating from the island of Hawaii (“The Big Island”) were analyzed using GC and GC-MS. Main constituents of the oils were (Z)-α-santalol (34.5-40.4%) and (Z)-β-santalol (11.0-16.2%).4  

Commercial Uses: Timber used to make fragrant furniture such as tables or boxes or storage containers or fans, and chips for potpourris especially with dried native flowers or leaves such as maile. Much of the essential oil is shipped out of state to countries such as India or China.

Uses: The properties are anti-inflammatory, lightly anti-bacterial, anti-parasite and for healing.

Therapeutic Uses: Hawaiian Sandalwood is not used exactly the same as Santalum album.  In Hawaii the leaves and bark called `iliahi were used to treat dandruff and hair nits by early Hawaiians. Hawaiian healers are also reported to have used wood shavings in a maceration and application of `iliahi to treat venereal disease and skin sores.

            Application. In skin products using Hawaiian sandalwood oil can help smooth the skin and reduce the look of blemishes and scars. It can be used in hair care for shiny healthy hair.
           Inhalation. The essential oil has been used as an inhalant as a tonic for cardiovascular support and as an ingredient in skin care formulas.

Personal Uses (Tomato Tales and Other Stories): During the time that I have been writing about the Sandalwoods, I have kept a bottle near every place where I work; in the office, in the library, in the perfumery and near my bed. I have been inhaling the luscious odor of Sandalwood from India, Hawaii and Australia. I suffer from heart disease and that seriously compromises my ability to breathe easily. Recently I notice that I am feeling better and actually being more active. I am not saying that inhaling Sandalwood will cure heart disease but I have certainly found out that it makes one feel so much better. Inhaling has also improved the look of my skin.  I will be making it a daily practice to inhale the Hawaiian Sandalwood for my heart and skin, applying the Indian Santalum album on my forehead for relaxation and using the Australian type to massage the heart area. Different ones for different purposes. —JR2016

Sandalwood Information: Please see the article on Sandalwood for other species and their uses at http://jeanne-blog.com/sandalwood-eo-profile/

 Bibliography:
1.
Aromatic Plant Project Articles. http://www.aromaticplantproject.com/articles_archive/Australian_Essential_Oils.html
2. http://www.jeanne-blog.com/
3.
http://jonnsaromatherapy.com/pdf/GC-MS_Santalum_spicatum_2007_01.pdf
4.Nat Prod Commun. 2014 Sep; 9(9):1365-8.
Hawaiian sandalwood: oil composition of Santalum paniculatum and comparison with other sandal species. Braun NA, Sim S, Kohlenberg B, Lawrence BM.

Source to purchase oil:
Eden Botanicals and other places of your choosing.

1-paniculatum

Figure 2-1. Odor Assessment of S. paniculatum – Royal Hawaiian

 

 

 

2-sandal-newcale-7
2-2. S. austrocaledonicum from EB

 

 

 


 3-sandal-newcale-ex
Figure 2-3. Odor Assessment of S. austrocaledonicum SD NC, EXtra EB, ,
4-sandal-austr-abs
2-4 S. austrocaledonicum ABS ~ unknown  source

 

 

JR