Tag Archive | botany

Cypress and Blue Cypress EO

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

 Cypress and Blue Cypress

Herbal Use, Essential Oil and Hydrosols

Jeanne Rose – January 2017

 

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

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

Chart 1. Taxonomy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

fig. 3. Cypress & Blue Cypress from Eden Botanicals

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Properties of the EO, Hydrosol and Herb

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

Specific Uses of Herb and Oil

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

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

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

 

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

 

fig. 5. CypressCupressus sempervirens

 

FAVORITE RECIPES

  • Perfume

 

Chart 2. Lush Perfume

 

  • Skincare ~

CYPRESS SHAVING BALM

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

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

 

Personal Formulas

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

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

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

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

 

COLLECTIVE INFORMATION:

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

 

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

 

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

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

Chart 3. Blue Cypress Chemistry

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

 

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

 

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

fig 6. Blue Cypress herbarium sample

 

 

 ~ JR ~

 

 

Calendula ~ When and How to Make infused oils

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

 

CALENDULA INFUSED OIL

Jeanne Rose ~ circa 1972

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

figure 2. fresh Calendula flower

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

figure 3. Bottles of Jeanne Rose Calendula Infused Oil

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Using the Moon to Make the Infusion:
Phases of moon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pictures During the Process of Making Infused Calendula Oil

 

~ JR ~

JUNIPER BERRY EO/HYDROSOL

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

 

Juniper Berry Essential Oil/ Hydrosol Profile

By Jeanne Rose ~ 12/25/16

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

Name: Juniperus simply means Juniper and communis means common.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

purple-bar

Properties of the Essential Oil

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

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

 

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

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

 

~ FAVORITE RECIPES ~

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

 

  • Jeanne Rose Skin Care Formula

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

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

.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

~ JR ~

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 ~

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 ~

Black Spruce – Profile/Hydrosol

Synopsis: Specifics on history, uses, and aroma assessment of Black Spruce including chemistry and hydrosol.

Black Spruce – Picea mariana
Essential Oil & Hydrosol Profile

By Jeanne Rose

black-spruce-tip

Name of Oil and Country of Origin:  Black Spruce, Picea mariana, of the family Pinaceae, native to Canada, especially Quebec. The name Picea is from the root word pix meaning pitch or something that produces pitch and mariana means ‘of Maryland’.

Endangered: This is a common tree species and not endangered.

Safety Precautions:      None known.

Storage: Best to store all the conifers out of the light or in light proof containers. I prefer clear glass so that I can see what the essential oils look like but then I put them in wooden boxes in a cool dry place for storage.

Organoleptic and Aroma Assessment:
Color – Colorless
Clarity – Clear
Viscosity – non-viscous
Intensity – 3-5 (depends on what you are comparing it too)
Taste – bitter, astringent

 Aroma Assessment: The scent of Black Spruce has a clean bright deliciously conifer scent, green and delicately spicy. Black Spruce is calming in that it seems you are walking through a green forest of trees but it elevates the mind and stimulates as well.

 

Method of Application:

Essential Oil Properties include uses by both AP=application, IG=ingestion and IN=inhalation): Bactericide, anti-fungal, vulnerary, disinfectant, expectorant, calmative.

By Application:   Use this great oil in antifungal creams and lotions for external skin care and use as a vulnerary* as well. When applied is can be antifungal for Candida, useful on the solar plexus for spasms or excess hiccups, and as an application around the groin for prostatitis. Also used in household cleaner.
*Vulnerary is a plant or drug used in the healing of wounds.

By Inhalation: This EO has hormone-like action, possibly stimulating to the thymus and adrenal gland, seems to have cortisone-like properties that affect the HPA axis in a positive way. It is a mild stimulant, useful expectorant especially in sequential inhalation and thought to be an adrenal stimulant, grounding in a meditation, calmative, and uplifting. Useful for bronchitis and asthma.

For Emotional Uses (AP or IN): Inhalation:  Useful for sudden fatigue and exhaustion, grounding, anxiety, stress, and deep healing for the dark side of the male, or active, principle.

By Ingestion: It can be taken with other oils as a treatment for asthma, allergies, chronic bronchitis. However, this should be under the care and guidance of a qualified aromatherapy expert.

Hydrosol Use:   This is a fragrant hydrosol, one of my favorites, that can be used in bath, compress, and particularly in steams or nasal lavage for the health of the respiratory system and for the skin. It is soothing and cleansing.

General description of plant, habitat & growth:  “A northern evergreen tree ranging from Alaska and sweeping down across Canada to the Maritime Provinces and northeastern states. The trunk grows straight and is without branches for much of its length” from Canadian Forest Tree Essence.  Leaves are steam distilled. Yield is about 1.5- 3%.

spruce-tip

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 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 after needle is plucked and Spruce for spiky feel]

 

 

Chemistry Components: 55% Monoterpenes, including Camphene, -Pinene and -3-Carene, -Bornyl acetate, and Sesquiterpenes.

black-spruce-chemistry-phytochemiawith thanks to PhytoChemia for this photo

Historical Uses:       Respiratory aide and for parasites

Interesting Facts:  Valuable for asthmatics who take corticosteroids. “It is known that Black Spruce roots were used for sewing birch bark canoes. Its resin was used as chewing gum and a poultice for sores, and the inner bark to treat a variety of other ailments” —Canadian Forest Tree Essences, p. 73.

Patch Test and Safety Considerations: 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

Key Use:       Respiratory ailments and as a vulnerary (a remedy used for treating wounds)

 

My Personal Recipes

  • Perfume: Spruce scent usually acts as a middle or heart note and blends well with other conifers and the tree mosses. The true tree moss is a lichen that grows on the trunks and branches of both spruces and firs in the forests in central and southern Europe. Climacium dendroides is a tree moss that grows in America but is not processed for its scent.
  • Body Care: I use Black Spruce in a particular way that I call Sequential Inhalation.

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 Pine is Abies spp. (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 method since 1990

 

  • Haircare: Rosemary herb and EO and Spruce EO make a wonderful treatment for the hair. Make an infusion of Rosemary herb and strain it. To a cup of the strained herb add 1-2 drops each of Black Spruce and Rosemary. This liquid can be added to your shampoo or it can be the hair rinse or in the conditioner. I believe this is what has kept my hair dark all of these years as I have used this since 1970.

 

  • Skin Care: In 2012 while in the rehab hospital after a hip transplant I acquired nasty little skin parasites from the bedding – probably the mattress. In the beginning I thought nothing of the itch but since it continued into 2013, I began to treat it. At that time, I did not know what was making me itch. But one of the best treatments I devised included Black Spruce oil. For any sort of itch this would be useful.

Skin Itch from Broken Skin Infection
Calendula Infused Oil or 70% alcohol – 2 oz.
Black Spruce – 5 drops
Chamomile, Roman – 5 drops
Lavender oil -10 drops
Tea Tree or Plai – 5 drops
This is a total of 25 drops per two ounces or about 2.5% EO/oz.
Apply the mixture to the itch and not to the entire body.
Use several times per day and not more than 5 days.
Alternate formulas with another.

 

  • An Amazing Jeanne Rose Tomato Tale stories: I love a good gin and tonic and notice that many of the local conifers are being used or infused to add an interesting spirited taste to these drinks. Also, in the northern parts of the United States Spruce tips as well as Fir tips are used in the making of various gins. Gin is an incredibly popular spirit choice no matter where in the world you are and are being experimented with both in terms of distillation methods and ingredients for many times. There are now hundreds of gins made in the world.
  • Jeanne Rose tips and tricks: Sequential inhalation of certain essential oils is one of my most important discoveries using these very powerful substances. They often seem to work better in sequence and in small amounts (no more than one drop at a time) than using several oils all at once and in larger quantities. I first wrote about “Sequential Inhalation” in 1980 and published it in “Aromatherapy Treatments” book about 10 years ago (available on my website).

black-spruce

Black Spruce – Picea mariana Essential Oil – with appreciation to Eden Botanicals

 

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

Bibliography:
Coombs, Allen J. Dictionary of Plant Names. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 1995
http://uptreeid.com/KeyLeafOnly/Collection1.htm
Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils.
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,
Prakash, V. Leafy Spices. CRC Press. NY. 1990
Rizzi, Susanne. Complete Aromatherapy. Sterling. NY. 1989.
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
Worwood, Susan & Valerie Ann. Essential Aromatherapy, Novato, CA. New World Library, 2003.
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

 

 

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

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

Australian Sandalwood Profile

Some specific information on the organoleptic quality, aroma assessment and therapeutic uses of Australian Sandalwood, Santalum spicatum.

Australian Sandalwood

By Jeanne Rose

S.spicatum-EB-circle

West Australian Sandalwood Oil, Santalum spicatum, can be a good substitute for Indian Sandalwood. In this era, where we know that Sandalwood oil from India, Santalum album, is an endangered species; it may be time to switch to a new essential oil. West Australian Sandalwood has a similar woody odor, physically a similar effect to Indian Sandalwood oil and can be used in perfumery. It would also help the Australian economy.

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

 

Organoleptic Qualities: It is colorless to pale yellow, clear, semi-viscous oil with a low intensity and a bitter taste. When used in perfumery it has a lovely woody tenacity that holds the perfume together for an extended time.

 Aroma Assessment: I have had the opportunity to smell Australian Sandalwood, S. spicatum from several sources as well as assessing the odor of S. album grown in Australia. These oils are the same with some slight differences. If you look at the Figure 2 you will note that this oil has a Predominant note of Wood with Subsidiary notes of Floral and sweet Hay and the Back notes include Green, Leather, Oily/Fatty, Honey, Amber, and Caramel. The unctuous scent is described as Oily/Fatty. This EO has a bit of a different scent than other S. spicatum.

Another oil I sampled, had a Predominant note of Wood, Subsidiary note of Floral while lacking the slightly sweetness of Hay, with Back notes that included a slight Citrus, Green again, Oily/Fatty and this time a slight Civet scent with Caramel.

Both are the same but slightly different. 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].

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

 Growth: Sandalwood trees are a hemi-parasite, entwining their roots with the roots of a host and deriving nourishment in this way. In Australia, S. spicatum main host is Acacia acuminata which will sustain the Sandalwood tree from 15-30 years. It grows in semi-arid areas but land clearing for agriculture and over cultivation, since the 1880s, has greatly reduced the range of the species.

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 further up the tree. Studies are being done continuously and often the concentration of santalol is lower in S. spicatum than other species but this is changing due to the collection of seeds from stands that have a higher percentage of santalol.

Chemistry:
Commercial Australian sandalwood oil produced from Santalum spicatum (R. Br.) A. DC. roots were analyzed using GC and GC/MS. Seventy constituents were identified: four monoterpenes, 64 sesquiterpenes and two others were found to our knowledge for the first time in nature.4.

            Constituents of Santalum spicatum (R.Br.) A. BC. wood oil Article in Journal of Essential Oil Research 3(6):381-385 · November 1991. DOI: 10.1080/10412905.1991.9697970

            Abstract The chemical composition of the steam-distilled wood oil of Santalum spicatum was investigated by means of GC/MS. The major constituents of the entirely sesquiterpenoid oil were trans, trans-farnesol (31.6%), epi-α-bisabolol (anymol?) (10.7%), α-santalol (9.1%), Z-nuciferol (6.5%), cis-β-santalol (5.4%), cis-lanceol (3.9%) and epi-β-santalol (2.9%).5.

Uses:
Commercial Uses:
The tree is grown as a source of essential oil, much of which is exported, the nuts which are a food crop and timber used to make furniture and boxes and in incense.

Therapeutic Uses:
The common name is fragrant Sandalwood Tree, Santalum spicatum. In a test of many essential oils, Australian Sandalwood Oil demonstrated the greatest degree of anti-microbial efficacy. The bacteriostatic effect of Australian Sandalwood Oil, in relation to Staphylococcus aureus, was 25 times greater than that of Tea Tree Oil and demonstrated the greatest degree of bacteriostatic activity against the yeast Candida albicans. European research confirms that Australian Sandalwood Oil kills bacteria, in vitro, against many gram-positive organisms, including Staphylococcus aureus, (and MRSA or ‘Golden Staph’) and many species of Streptococcus, in addition to the organisms that are responsible for acne, thrush, tinea, Athletes Foot and ringworm. The concentration of oil required to inhibit the growth of all bacteria (except Escherichia coli) was very low, confirming a significant bacteriostatic effect. So it is an excellent ingredient in all skin care formulas where it will also add a fine woody scent.

The organism that is apparent in human body odor, Corynebacterium xerosis is strongly inhibited by  Australian Sandalwood and thus would be useful in deodorant formulas. With all bacteria except the enterobacteria, Sandalwood oil demonstrated significantly greater antimicrobial efficacy than terpinene-4-ol, the main component of Tea tree oil.

I have experimented with this oil and found a simple and easy Deodorant formula. First, I add 5% Blue Cypress to the Sandalwood oil. This deepens the scent and gives it an invisible deeper woody odor. Then I add 95% neutral grape spirits to 5-8% of the essential oils. And don’t worry about the alcohol in the formula. You only use a short spray under each pit (less than a drop), this kills the odor causing bacteria.

 

Formula:
In a 100 ml bottle with a spray top
190 drops of Sandalwood oil
10 drops of Blue Cypress
This is about 6 ml. total

Fill the bottle with 95% neutral grape spirits (do not use vodka unless it is 150°, do not use rubbing alcohol, use only real neutral grain or grape spirits (Everclear works also).
The essential oils are at 6% and may need to be increased up to 10% depending on the level of scent that you want. At 6%, this formula kills the human body odor, leaving little to no odor behind.

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.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254246050_Western_Australian_Sandalwood_Oil_-_New_Constituents_of_Santalum_Spicatum_R_Br_A_DC_Santalaceae
5.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233451280_Constituents_of_Santalum_spicatum_RBr_A_BC_wood_oil

Source to purchase oil:

Eden Botanicals

                                                                                  Sandalwood spicatum-EB-odor

 

Figure 2. Odor Assessment of S. spicatum ~ EB

 

Fig. 1.spicatumFigure 1

For more information on Sandalwood in general, please see the previous blog post at

http://jeanne-blog.com/sandalwood-eo-profile/

JR