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Spike Lavender Essential Oil Profile (Lavandula latifolia)

By Ann C Wooledge
on September 25, 2017

100% pure Lavender, Spike essential oil

lavender plant with bee

Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)
Family - Lamiaceae
Country of Origin – Spain
Steam distilled from organic flowering tops

So many lavenders to choose from. This one in particular is distinctly different than the varieties of Lavandula angustifolia, commonly called True Lavender. Spike Lavender is definitely a "lavender" but from a different variety.

  • Contains considerably more camphor and 1,8-cineole which increases its medicinal value, but decreases the relaxing properties.
  • Scent is less sweet and flowery and more camphorous
  • Often used for medicinal purposes such as relieving painful cuts and scrapes
  • Useful in cold and flu blends and respiratory issues but more gently than oils with higher cineole content.
  • Can be useful for mental stimulation and increasing alertness
  • Useful for muscular aches and pains or injuries
  • Has been reported to be useful for migraines. I personally use our Bulgarian Lavender, but haven't really tried the Spike Lavender and it would depend on what is causing the migraine
  • Skin issues such as pimples and rashes
  • Relieves insect bites
  • Well known antibacterial and antifungal properties, with some antiviral properties
  • Can be helpful for stimulating the immune system

 

As you can see, Spike Lavender is not as expensive as our Bulgarian Lavender. This is true because when distilled, this plant produces almost three times as much essential oil as "True Lavender" and is, therefore, sometimes used to adulterate True Lavender. Another good reason to know how to read your GC/MS reports. Spike Lavender is also grown at lower altitudes and makes for easier farming and, as per Salvatore Battaglia, loves growing by the sea. Lavandin and Spike Lavender are often passed off to other industries such as soapmaking and perfumery to be used as "lavender".

The scent? I personally love this lavender because I know not to expect the flowery smell of the true lavender (which I do very much love - it's just different). You will notice the more medicinal, but not unpleasant, scent of this oil. It's bright and clean and fresh, but still smells like lavender. Which is why I like to use it in respiratory blends, muscle relief blends or antiseptic type blends.

Andrea Butje in her excellent book "The Heart of Aromatherapy" suggests that Spike Lavender could and should be used prior to a workout to help stimulate the circulation and prevent cramps. Also this is helpful for muscle pains when you still want to be alert and not in a more sedated condition that Lavandula angustifolia would cause. I love this that she wrote - "Spike Lavender has the same comforting, nurturing personality (as true lavender), but with a 'kick' that encourages you to get back out there and keep going. It loves giving pregame pep talks to make you feel empowered and congratulating you so you keep feeling good after you're done playing." I love the way she has written this book - please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. 

Below is a fairly recent GC/MS of Spike Lavender from Spain and is fairly representative of what you should expect. France and Italy are also countries that grow and distill this essential oil.

GC/MS of Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia) 

Constitutent

Percentage

 

 

Linalool

39%

1,8-cineole

29%

Camphor

12%

Limonene

3%

Ocimene <E-beta>

2.5%

Caryophyllene <trans>

2.3%

Linalyl acetate

1.5%

Ocimene <Z-beta>

1%

Terpineol <alpha>

1%

Terpinen-4-ol

1%

Myrcene

1%

Borneol

0.7%

3-Octanone

0.6%

Geranyl acetate

0.6%

Germacrene D

0.5%

Farnesens <E-beta>

0.4%

Humulene <alpha>

0.4%

3-carene

0.2%

Linalool oxide <trans>

0.2%

Octyl acetate

0.2%

Camphene

0.2%

Pinene <alpha>

0.2%

Citronellyl acetate

0.1%

Nerol

0.1%

Ocimene <allo>

0.1%

Terpinene <gamma>

0.1%

Cadinene <delta>

0.1%

Germacrene B

0.1%

Bisabolene <beta>

0.1%

Farnesene <(E,E)-,alpha>

0.1%

Pseudo-limonene

0.1%

Lavandulyl acetate

0.1%

Cymene <para>

0.1%

Tricyclene

<0.1%

Sabinene

<0.1%

Pinene <beta>

<0.1%

Terpinene <alpha>

<0.1%

Linalool oxide <cis>

<0.1%

Elemene <beta>

<0.1%

Bicyclogermacrene

<0.1%

 

 

 

USAGE AND SAFETY: Please, please, please do not drink essential oils. Do not put this essential oil in your water and use it ONLY diluted (see our dilution chart) for your specific purpose. This particular batch of lavender is from Spain, but it is not "Spanish Lavender", which usually has a higher camphor content and it's botanical name is Lavandula stoechas. Robert Tisserand says that Spike and Spanish Lavenders may be "mildly neurotoxic" due to their camphor content. However, because of its percentage of linalool, it may, as Robert Tisserand says, "mitigate the neurotoxicity of camphor" that exists in Spike Lavender. The camphor also, however, makes it useful for colds and respiratory issues, as well as aching muscles. The GC/MS on this batch of Spike Lavender has camphor as only 12%. Due to the relatively high content of linalool, this oil can possibly become oxidized, so keep in a cool, dark place and keep the dropper safety cap on when not in use. The oil when undiluted (don't do it!) can be irritating. Some of this can occur when an essential oil is not properly stored. Not hazardous during pregnancy UNLESS the camphor content is high - again check out your GC/MS prior to purchasing.

Useful in daytime blends and use cautiously in children under 10, just being sure to adequately dilute the essential oil.

Rosemary's Easy Focus Headache Inhaler (from Andrea Butje's book, page 213)
9 drops rosemary ct camphor
3 drops spike lavender
3 drops basil ct linalool

For children:

4 drops orange
1 drop lavender (assuming she means Spike Lavender?)
1 drop basil ct. linalool

This in my opinion is just one of the most underused, under-appreciated essential oils available and for a reasonable price it can be substituted for its more expensive cousin Lavandula angustifolia if you compare the different uses for each oil; i.e., one is a relaxant/sedative and the other (Spike) can be a stimulant. 

Due to my hopes and dreams of some day growing and distilling, this plant is also a very good attractant for bees and butterflies. Do you want to grow your own? Here is some information about that. This variety can handle transplanting and requires full sun exposure. According to garden.org,  plant lavender seeds beginning in summer and through the fall months. "They are slow to germinate, lavender seeds require patience. It will take about eight weeks for the seeds to develop enough to transplant to their final location." 

Thanks for listening!

 ann mcintire wooledge, RN, CCAP, practicing herbalism and aromatherapist

Ann

 

Find out more about me and Wingsets by clicking Our Story.

 

Ann's mission statement is to provide health and wellness information to you and your family that you may not find in your every-day newspapers or Prevention magazines. Her college studies, certifications and passionate self-study have provided her with a huge spectrum of understanding of the intricate issues and debates concerning health, nutrition herbalism and skin care. Ann was a Critical Care Registered Nurse, is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Professional, and has been studying nutrition, aromatherapy, skin care health and medicinal herbalism for at least 15 years. Not so surprisingly, all of these interact for health and wellness at a level we all want to achieve. She is an ardent pursuer of verified research and information and spends huge amounts of time searching for information that is relevant and evidence based. We sincerely hope you benefit from her efforts.

See our disclaimer statements here.

Black Pepper Essential Oil (Piper nigrum)

By Ann C Wooledge
on July 03, 2015

Piper Nigrum (Black Pepper) essential oil Profile:

Family: Piperaceae
Main chemical constituents: b-caryophyllene, limonene, sabinene, b-pinene and a-pinene
Country of Origin - Sri Lanka, Certified Organic
Steam distilled from the dried berries

Gastrointestinal: Reported to relieve flatulence, and to be antitoxic, restores tone to lax muscles of the colon, a stimulant to the gastric juices, relieves nausea and decreases appetite. There are reports in the literature that black pepper can act as an antitoxic agent for food poisoning.

Musculoskeletal: Relieves aches and pains, sprains, muscle stiffness, rheumatism, neuralgia, and is generally an analgesic for muscular pain. We have found it to be very useful in our Spicey Muscle Oil to relieve muscular pain, nerve pain and reduce bruising in an almost immediate manner.

Central Nervous System: Reported to be antispasmodic and increases alertness and concentration. There are some indications in the literature that it is an aphrodisiac, perhaps this is why it is used in perfumery.

Urinary System: Reported to be a diuretic.

Respiratory & Immune System: Reported to be an expectorant, useful to fight against colds and influenza viruses. It is reported to be antimicrobial, diaphoretic, and reduces fever. Also reported to be an immune stimulant and helps relieve fevers.

Skin/Dermatological: Reported to be rubefacient (increases blood circulation to the skin), which is one of the reasons we use it in our Skin Renewal Intensive Facial Complex. I can personally attest to the undeniable fact that this oil has relieved severe bruising and pain almost immediately subsequent to closing my finger in a door on more than one occasion – yes, my proprioception might be of question, but the effectiveness of this oil is not.

General: There is a report from 1994 (Rose & Behm) that the symptoms from smoking withdrawal were lessened by the inhalation of the vapor from an “extract of black pepper”. Now whether we can extrapolate that to the use of an essential oil is not yet proven, but certainly should be tested.

Read my blog here for more about black pepper and cancer.

Safety/Cautions: The literature shows black pepper essential oil to be non-toxic and generally non-sensitizing, but could be a skin irritant in high concentrations due to its ability to increase blood circulation to the skin. It is also one of those oils that can easily oxidize and should be kept in a refrigerator or a cool dark location in an amber glass bottle.

IMPORTANT: All of our products are for external use only.

We also suggest you have a good working knowledge of the use of essential oils or consult with an aromatherapy professional prior to use. In addition, Essential Oils must be properly diluted before use in order to avoid any damages to property or adverse physical effects (including injury or bodily harm). Please read our Disclaimer before using our products.

The Powerful Potential of Pink Grapefruit

By Ann C Wooledge
on August 31, 2012

The Powerful Potential of Pink Grapefruit

 

CITRUS PARADISI (PINK GRAPEFRUIT) ESSENTIAL OIL:

I’m talking about the pure essential oil, undiluted and unadulterated. This particular essential oil has many well proven beneficial and healing properties not the least of which includes animal and human studies showing its potential to prevent several types of cancer. In this article I present some of the most compelling research available including well-controlled studies as well as anecdotal evidence and information from some of the more reliable aromatherapy texts on the market. I purposefully avoided reading or considering information listed on the various aromatherapy websites. Some of them have very good, accurate and researched information. However, many of them are simply copied and pasted from either aromatherapy texts or other websites throughout the Internet, which simply leads to confusion and contradiction.

Citrus paradisi is known to be native to Asia and the West Indies however there are many different cultivars being developed and grown in other countries including the USA and Israel. From the information I read, the grapefruit is a recent hybrid. The essential oil is obtained from the cold-pressed peel.

WHY USE THE ESSENTIAL OIL?:

Kurt Schnaubelt, a well-known authority and author on the practice of aromatherapy and the use of pure essential oils said in a brochure for a 2009 conference in San Francisco: "The idea of dominating nature with chemicals and drugs is losing some of its luster. In aromatherapy this is reflected by an increase in research and empirical knowledge about essential oils in the context of serious disease. It is also reflected in conventional medicine. As pharmacology has been reduced to an adjunct of the corporate profit motive; biology is moving center stage."

The therapeutic value of an individual essential oil is related to its composition, which represents a complex make-up of many chemical components each with different biological activities. These varied compositions show wide variations that depend on their source. However, that being said, much of the research available to us today is being done with isolated components of individual essential oils. The influence of trace components on the therapeutic effect of essential oils has not been studied sufficiently. It is believed that these minor components probably contribute significantly to not just the odor of the oil but to the combined synergistic effect of all the components in order to appreciate the full healing potential of any given oil. In fact, grapefruit oil supposedly receives its olfactory character almost entirely from its minor components. I’ll first give you a short overview of what the popular aromatherapy texts say, and then I will delineate some of the current research available concerning this essential oil and/or constituent.

AROMATHERAPY BOOKS:

Out of all the texts most of them agree that grapefruit essential oil has the following benefits and properties:

Cleansing, detoxifying, energizing, uplifting, stimulates the lymphatic system, increases circulation, stimulates liver and gallbladder function, mental stimulant, antidepressant, useful as a room deodorizer, antiseptic, antiviral, diuretic, anti-cellulite, astringent, immune stimulant, tones the skin and tissues. As with all pure essential oils, and unlike pharmaceutical drugs, one oil can provide many proven and non-related benefits. 

What I've chosen to do with this article is point out and give proof to some of the more compelling beneficial properties of this particular essential oil. To do this most of the research refers to the main chemical constituent (sometimes referred to as component) of this oil which is made up of over 90% d-limonene.

ESSENTIAL OIL RESEARCH STUDIES:

 1.  Skin penetration enhancer: In two separate studies that I found, d-limonene was found to affect the skin barrier in such a way that it was shown to enhance the transcutaneous penetration of other substances. This is useful information both for medical applications in skin patches and for cosmetic formulators such as myself (1, 2).

2.   Immune stimulant: This is a particularly exciting property of d-limonene and has been proven in both animal and human studies.  Animal studies have shown that this happens in various ways. The immune system is complex. White blood cells are soldiers and defend our bodies against infectious disease and foreign materials. They are found in the blood, in the lymphatic system as well as other body systems. White blood cells are divided into five types and each type has its own particular assignment with each one often assisting the other. For instance, while in nursing school the characteristic of the macrophage that performs what is referred to as phagocytosis reminded me of Pac-Man and that's how I remembered its purpose and method of operation. If you remember Pac-Man then you'll understand what I mean. The reason I go into these details is to give you a better understanding of why d-limonene is of great importance in enhancing your immune system and increasing your ability to resist and fight bacteria, fungus, viruses and even cancer. In the many studies that I found it has been shown that d-limonene can increase white blood cell count, increase natural killer cell activity, increase the number and activity of macrophages and stimulate antibody production (3, 4, 5). Not directly related to its immune enhancing properties, pink grapefruit oil has been shown also to reduce stress which would also enhance immune function. And finally d-limonene has been used successfully in randomized clinical trials in a combination with other constituents that proved to produce better results than antibiotics and all treatments were more effective than placebo for acute bronchitis (6).

3.   Lipolysis and/or weight reduction: Probably one of the most talked about and misunderstood benefits of this component regard its ability to cause decreased appetite and weight loss. The major study that looked at these properties was actually related to olfactory stimulation (the inhaled essence of grapefruit oil) rather than internal intake. There are many websites on the Internet now that are copied and pasted endlessly from one to the other that refer back to a particular multilevel marketing product where one is encouraged to take "eight drops to a glass of water and drink in between your meals during the day to help you manage hunger and overcome cravings." In actuality the main study that I found was done on chronic olfactory stimulation (inhaled); i.e., 15 minutes per day three days a week for six weeks which did in fact result in a "significant decrease in caloric intake and body weight" (7).

Currently, professional aromatherapy organizations do not allow their members to advocate the internal use of essential oils and their insurance does not cover this activity. Essential oils suggested for digestive issues can be applied to the abdomen in a carrier oil or lotion and massaged in a clockwise direction. The entire discussion concerning the oral use of essential oils is greatly debated but most everyone in the professional arena agrees this should not be done without guidance and direction from a professionally educated aromatherapist who has an in-depth understanding of the risks, benefits and pathophysiology.  And let me add, this is not accomplished in a 10-day course and should result in an internationally recognized certification.

A professional aromatherapist might suggest that this discussion, specifically concerning d-limonene, revolves around a well-known book written by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, translated from French and edited by Robert Tisserand. In this book, Gattefosse states that “taken internally terpenes (which would include d-limonene) dissolve mucus, damage the stomach lining, cause auto digestion, alterations and painful irritation.” However Robert Tisserand made an editorial comment in that book, page 142, and also replied on a LinkedIn aromatherapy group discussion that “indeed terpenes are very useful for dissolving mucus; however, they do not cause the problems that the author list here unless perhaps if taken in abnormally high doses.”  He goes on to state that “everything depends on concentration -- any essential oil used in flavoring will be very dilute and will not cause the G.I. tract irritation. Any essential oil -- of whatever composition -- should be properly dispersed before ingestion. It is inadvisable to ingest essential oils undiluted or in water." This of course only makes common sense since essential oils are lipophilic (not soluble in water) and would simply sit on top of a glass of water. One wonders why this is recommended for this particular company's blend.  Essential oil molecules are very small and regardless of how the oil is introduced, either by rubbing them into the skin or by inhalation, these routes are in many cases more effective than internal ingestion. According to a study done at the University of Nottingham's school of health, a consideration and caution concerning the ingestion of essential oils such as those containing d-limonene, since it is able to inhibit a broad spectrum of organisms, the d-limonene could also potentially cause an imbalance in beneficial gut microflora.

All of that being said, however, d-limonene has been shown in laboratory studies to increase the metabolism of adipose (fatty) tissue and more recently has been shown to be helpful in alleviating insulin resistance (8). It has also been proven in studies that d-limonene deposits and accumulates mostly in adipose tissue. This particular attribute is one of the reasons it is thought to be effective against breast cancer. See cancer discussion below.

4.   Anticancer/anti-tumoral:  One study shows clearly that rats with stable mammary tumors when given a 10% d-limonene diet had an 87% regression of tumors. It also showed those fed d-limonene have significantly increased survival time. In other animal studies d-limonene showed antitumoral action in cancers of the breast, liver, pancreas and stomach (9, 10, 11, 12). These results were believed to have been mainly due to the metabolites of d-limonene. On the assumption that d-limonene is a lipid soluble bioactive food component found in citrus peel, a study in the Tucson metropolitan area was done comparing citrus and black tea intake and its effects on non-melanoma skin cancer. The total combined citrus peel and black tea intake was associated with a 78% decreased risk. Black tea alone was associated with a 40% decreased risk but was not considered significant. However citrus peel intake was associated with a 70% decreased risk.  It was believed that this study gives evidence in humans that biologically active components exist in the peel of citrus that may have a protective effect against select cancers, and especially those cancers related to adipose (fatty) tissue such as skin and breast.

5.   Antifungal:  According to a study published in the Journal Food Chemistry the essential oils of lemon, mandarin, grapefruit and orange all exhibited antifungal activity and against common food molds. The researchers attributed this finding to the "monoterpene content of these essential oils", which would be d-limonene (13).

SAFETY & CAUTIONS:  Grapefruit essential oil due to its d-limonene content has a very high potential for oxidation when exposed to light, heat, moisture and air. If and when this should happen, the likelihood of skin irritation is also more likely. I recommend first of all purchasing only an organic essential oil and keeping it tightly closed in an amber or blue bottle and refrigerated. We refrigerate all of our citrus oils.  As are most other citrus oils that are cold-pressed (opposed to steam distilled), this oil is photo-sensitizing which means exposure to direct sunlight or a sunbed within the next 24 to 48 hours could result in severe burns or irritation. It is recommended to use this essential oil in dilutions of 1%. The regular cautions concerning medications and interactions with grapefruit juice would most likely apply to the use of the essential oil as well.

IN CONCLUSION: Athough there are many other studies available showing additional beneficial properties for this particular essential oil, due primarily to its high content of d-limonene, I have covered the ones that seem to have the greatest amount of recent research studies proving these properties. At some point I would like to go into more detail about the anticancer/antitumor possibilities of not just this essential oil but others as well. Another area of great interest is the use of pink grapefruit essential oil during pregnancy. Coming soon!

Thanks for listening!

 

REFERENCES:

  1.  Almirall M, et al (1996) Effect of d-limonene, α-pinene and cineole on the in vitro transdermal human skin penetration of chlorpromazine and haloperidol. Arzneimittel-Forschung 46:676-680
  2. McAdam B, Keimowitz RM, Maher M et al (1996) Transdermal modification of platelet function: an aspirin patch system results in marked suppression of platelet cyclooxygenase. Journal of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics 277:559-564
  3. Del Toro-Arreola S, Flores-Torales E, Torres-Lozano (2005) Effect of d-limonene on immune response in BALB/c mice with lymphoma. International Immunopharmacology 5:829-838
  4. Hamada M, Uezu K, Matsushita J et al (2002) Distribution and immune responses resulting from oral administration of d-limonene in rats. Journal of Nutritional Science & Vitaminology (Tokyo) 48:155-160
  5. Manuele MG, Ferraro G, Anesini C (2008) Effect of Tilia x viridis flower extract on the proliferation of a lymphoma cell line and on normal murine lymphocytes: contribution of monoterpenes, especially limonene. Phytotherapy Research 22:1520-1526
  6. Matthys H, de Mey C, Carls C et al  (2000) Efficacy and tolerability of myrtol standardized in acute bronchitis. A multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group clinical trial vs. cefuroxime and ambroxol. Arzneimittelforschung 50:700-711
  7. Shen J, Niijima A, Tanida M et al (2005) Olfactory stimulation with scent of grapefruit oil affects autonomic nerves, lipolysis and appetite in rats. Neuroscience Letters 380:289-294
  8. Victor Antony Santiago J, Jayachitra J, Shenbagam M, Nalini N. (2012) Dietary d-limonene alleviates insulin resistance and oxidative stress-induced liver injury in high-fat diet and L-NAME-treated rats. Eur J Nutr. 2012 Feb;51(1):57-68
  9. Haag JD Lindstrom MJ, Gould MN (1992) Limonene-induced regression of mammary carcinomas. Cancer Research 52:4021-4026
  10. Lu XG, Zhan LB, Feng BA et al (2004) Inhibition of growth and metastasis of human gastric cancer implanted in nude mice by d-limonene. World Journal of Gastroenterology 10:2140-2144
  11. Nakaizumi A, Baba M, Uehara H et al (1997) d-Limonene inhibits N-nitrosobis(2-oxopropyl)amine induced hamster pancreatic carcinogenesis. Cancer Letters 117:99-103
  12. Uedo N, Tatsuta M, Iishi H et al (1999) Inhibition by d-limonene of gastric carcinogenesis induced by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine in Wistar rats. Cancer Letters 137:131-136
  13. M.Viuda-Martos, Y.Ruiz-Navajas, J.Fernandez-Lopez, J. Perez-Alvarez (2007) Antifungal activity of lemon (Citrus lemon L.), mandarin (Citrus reticulate L.), grapefruit (Citrus paradise L.) and orange (Citrus sinensis L.) essential oils. Food Chemistry

Up Tight and Out of Sight? Try Bergamot!

By Ann C Wooledge
on March 15, 2011

Are you up tight and out of sight?! Try Bergamot Essential Oil!

Then maybe you need some Bergamot.

When I was younger, much younger, this term was familiar and frequently used due to Stevie Wonder's well-known song with that title. It's a happy, encouraging tune with really great lyrics. As I was delving through all of the different news and comments today from many different sources, it occurred to me that there were at least two predominant themes running through all of them - trust (or lack thereof) and fear. I was feeling those things myself - who could I trust to give me accurate information? I was somewhat fearful for our future, but more than that I was becoming more and more depressed over the helpless situation in which the people of Japan were finding themselves. I could no longer look at the video's at all the destruction and loss of life and property. 

At the same point in time, I was also trying to focus on my continuing work on our Essential Oil Database, alphabetically of course, and the next oil up was Begamot. It amazed me (once again) that God's timing is so perfect. I'll tell you why.

Bergamot essential oil has been one of my favorite "go to" oils for years now for lots of different purposes, but mainly just because I love the fragrance. It reminds me of a couple of my favorite perfumes, Jessica McClintock (the more expensive one) and Muguet des Bois by Coty (much cheaper and found at Walgreens, but a favorite when I was a teenager.)  The pure essential oil of Bergamot, however, doesn't just smell very good, but it also has many amazing properties that are well-documented. I can personally attest to at least a few of them. Bergamot is an anti-depressant (who doesn't need that right now), it is uplifting, it is calming and relaxing and great antidote for insomnia, which is something I've struggled with for years.Yes, there are really many essential oils that have these properties, but something that is very special about Bergamot is that it is a light, clean, fresh and uplifting fragrance - which makes me think of spring. I need to think of spring - and hope and renewing energies in the earth. I bet you do too. I love spring and anything that remotely makes me think of spring and bergamot essential oil has always done that for me. I hope it does for you.

So - if you want more information about this very special essential oil, you can find a short version in our "description" tab under the product itself and be sure to look under the "Usage/Safety" tab as well, or you can read the detailed version in our ever-growing essential oil data base (okay I'm only still in the B's - but I'm getting there!) There are many different ways you can take advantage of the benefits of this oil. Today, I simply placed a couple drops on a kleenex and set it on my desk - simple yet effective. I've provided a few recipes under our "description tab." It's very effective in an ultrasonic diffuser, which really is my favorite and most effective, plus economical way to use essential oils.

God bless to all of you and please continue to pray for the people of Japan who face a much less hopeful spring than we do.

Thanks for listening!

 

 

 

 

 

Bergamot (Cirtrus bergamia) essential oil

By Ann C Wooledge
on March 15, 2011

Bergamot Essential Oil (Cistrus bergamia) Profile

 

 

Bergamot contains predominantly the aromatic constituents of linalol, limonene, and linalyl acetate. It belongs to the Rutacaea family as do all the citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, sweet orange and tangerine. All of the citrus oils we offer are obtained through cold pressed methods, and no steam distillation was employed to produce these oils. There are some distilled citrus oils on the market, lime being one that we will be offering soon. This oil is cold pressed from the peel.

Central Nervous System: Reported to be antispasmodic, a very effective antidepressant, used often and reliably for anxiety, and is effective for insomnia. The literature available agrees that this oil is very balancing, uplifting, enhances emotional control and reduces hyperactivity. Since it is considered to be somewhat sedating and tranquilizing, it has been used successfully to lower blood pressure that is caused by anxiety.

Gastrointestinal: Antiseptic, stomachic (tones the stomach improving its function and appetite), known to be an effective vermifuge (expels parasitic intestinal worms in humans and animals), and has also been reported to help regulate the appetite of overeaters. Bergamot is reported to be anti-toxic and to relieve flatulence. Bergamot is widely used in many major foods, most notably in Earl Grey Tea. It is interesting to note that the bergamot fruit is inedible, but the essential oil has many culinary uses. It is the characteristic flavor of Earl Grey tea and is used as a fragrance for pipe tobaccos..

Urinary: Reported to be “strongly” indicated for all urinary tract infections including cystitis and urethritis.

Skin/Dermatological: Very good treatment for oily skin, acne, eczema, psoriasis, boils, scabies or varicose ulcers. Also reported to be an effective deodorant, parasiticide, insect repellent, soothes insect bites and increases wound healing. Bergamot is referred to as a “rubefacient” oil, meaning that it can dilate capillaries and thereby increase blood circulation, which also means it is probably not a good choice for someone with rosacea for use in facial products. See safety/cautions below.

Reproductive System: Reported to be an effective treatment for vaginal infections, cancer (uterine). However, it has been recommended not to use this essential during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Respiratory: Reported to be effective for halitosis, relieves mouth sores, sore throat, tonsillitis and infections of the mouth.

Safety/Cautions: Bergamot contains furocoumarins, notably bergapten, which causes skin sensitization and skin pigmentation when exposed to direct UV light for up to 12 hours. It can and has caused severe burns when used on sensitive skin that is subsequently exposed to sunlight or sunbed rays.  We previously carried a bergapten-free or sometimes referred to as FCF, furanocoumarin-free oil, but the last shipment just didn't have the fragrance we expect in a good bergamot oil, so we opted to purchase the unrectified oil because the samples we received were amazIng. I think the best so far. The maximum concentration for most oils in concentration with a carrier is somewhere around 5%, but the IFRA recommends Bergamot to not exceed 0.4% in products that will not be washed off. We follow those guidelines in our products that contain Bergamot.

Bergamot, as are all cold-pressed citrus essential oils, prone to oxidation which will degrade the oil and make it more likely to cause allergic reactions and lose some of their potency. We keep our bergamot refrigerated and suggest that you do also. If unable to refrigerate, then keeping it in a cool, dark location will be okay. The shelf life, of course, will depend entirely on how you store and handle the essential oil. 

Avoid in cases of liver problems. Not for use when pregnant or nursing, some sources say not for use just during the 1st trimester. Possible skin irritant – dilute well.

IMPORTANT: All of our products are for external use only without a consultation with a qualified professional aromatherapist.


We also suggest you have a good working knowledge of the use of essential oils or consult with an aromatherapy professional prior to use. In addition, Essential Oils must be properly diluted before use in order to avoid any damages to property or adverse physical effects (including injury or bodily harm). Please read our Disclaimer before using our products.

 

Basil Essential Oil - Profile

By Ann C Wooledge
on February 16, 2011
1 comment

Basil Essential Oil (Ocimum basilicum)

basil sweet essential oil profile

Ocimum basilicum, or sweet basil,  is not to be confused with the Holy Basil that is used extensively in ayurvedic medicine. That type of basil is very effective as a herb known as Tulsi Basil - but entirely different than sweet basil essential oil.  When I first started working with essential oils and taking classes about aromatherapy, I found a lot of confusion when I tried to both purchase basil essential oil and researching this very effective oil. At that time, I was completing my research paper for my certification and had decided to make a blend that would help me stay awake as I drove back to Lincoln in the morning following a hospital night shift in Omaha. I read that basil essential oil was very effective as a mental stimulant.  I realized after much searching that there were many different chemotypes available and not everyone selling essential oils bothered to tell you what chemotype they carried. In fact, at that time, I didn't realize there were different types. I heard terms such as Spanish or Mediterranean. Before taking my certification classes, I had actually purchased a fairly large amount of what was called Basil Essential Oil from a large company who uses the term "essential oils" in the name of their company - so I assumed they would know what type they had sold me. I learned that "Spanish" might be more effective as an insect repellent, which we were also testing. So I emailed this company with the Lot number and asked them what "type" I had received since it wasn't listed on their website. They told me they "didn't know."  Do not buy from companies who "do not know." Let it be said Wingsets did not start sell essential oils until I had used them for years and until after I became certified. We don't buy in bulk or much less sell essential oils unless we know a lot more about them than that. 

You can read the detailed discussion of basil essential oil in our Essential Oil Database, or you can read the more simplified version in our product description. None of these essential oils actually have the same odor that we are familiar with in our culinary basil, but the Linalool seems to be closer. I love this oil for many reasons and use it frequently in my customized blends. It is fairly inexpensive, with the Linalool chemotype being somewhat more expensive and this is the type we offer.

If you have any questions about this oil, please post them here or send me an email.

Thanks for listening!

Ann

 

 

Ginger - Essential Oil/Herb of the Month - January

By Ann C Wooledge
on January 17, 2010

Ginger as a cramp reliever?

Ginger tea has been tested and found to be as effective as ibuprofen for relieving painful monthly periods. Just add 2 tbsp of ground or chopped fresh ginger root in hot water and let steep for about 15 minutes, strain and sweeten as desired.

Ginger essential oil is also a very warming essential oil and improves circulation and blood flow, which is why we’ve added it to our very effective best seller Spicey Muscle Oil.

In a bath you can also gain the benefits of fresh ginger root by grating or chopping about 4 tbsp and placing in a muslin bag and placing the bag under running bathwater. Research also shows that ginger has skin rejuvenating properties and can brighten skin – use carefully and sparingly as it can also be skin sensitizing. We like to add our Muscle Soothe essential oil blend to our Dead Sea Mineral Bath Salts for an easy fix for aching, tired muscles and bones.

Traveling? – for motion sickness either carry a bottle of the ginger essential oil and sniff it from a tissue, use it in a car diffuser (coming soon to our website), or try crystallized or pickled ginger, all of which have been shown to work better than other over-the-counter medications at preventing and treating motion sickness.

Give these a try! Let us know how you use ginger and the results you’ve had with it.

Another recipe using ginger – haven’t tried this one yet, but can’t wait. Please, please!! Let us know if you try this and what you thought, or how you would change it or even any of your own favorite recipes using ginger.


Carrot Ginger Soup:

Spice Blend:
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp black pepper corns
3 garlic cloves, chopped coarsely
2 star anise
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
Using cheesecloth, gather edges around spices or use a clean muslin bag and tie tightly. Add the bag to chicken or vegetable broth.

Soup Base:
1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil (or enough to saute vegetables)
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 pound carrots (buy the ones marked for juicing – they’re cheaper and chop up easily)
5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Saute onions and carrots in olive oil for about 5 minutes – they’ll cook more later. Add bag of spices to broth and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat down just enough to keep liquid to a low simmer, add carrots and onions and continue simmering until carrots are tender – about 15 minutes. Remove bag of spices and process the soup with a hand blender until soup is smooth and carrots are pureed. Or – if you’re like us, leave some lumps!

If the soup is too thick, add additional seasoned stock, up to 2 cups, to achieve desired consistency. Adjust seasonings. Place sour cream in a plastic bag, snip the corner and squirt a swirl of sour cream around the bowl of soup. You can be really fancy and drag a toothpick from the center of the bowls out to the edges, forming a spider web design on soup. Top with some fresh sprigs of cilantro!

Be sure to let us know if you try this and if you have any suggestions to improve it.

Hopefully, healthfully helpful!

Ann

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