Happy Valentines Day to you all! I hope it was a good one. This month we cover some sensual blends, personal scents as well as some interesting research on music and aromatherapy. Since it is the month of the heart, I could not complete this newsletter without a reference to Rose oil. Here is a little meditation.. Place 1 drop Rose oil on your heart area. Breathe deeply, close your eyes and bring your attention into your heart. Allow yourself to feel and accept whatever is living in your heart. That’s all there is to do. Just allow and accept. Practiced daily, this meditation can have profound healing benefits for your heart. Take care.

This Issue:
Oil of the Month: Mandarin
Aromatherapy Tip of the Month: Signature Scent
Resource Guide: -Personal Inhalers
Aroma Research: Music and Aromatherapy
Book Link: “Essential Aromatherapy: A Pocket Guide to Essential Oils and Aromatherapy ” By Susan Worwood and Valerie Ann Worwood
Recipe of the month – Aphrodisiac Blend
Oil of the Month

Mandarin
Mandarin

Latin Name: Citrus reticulata
Family: Rutaceae
Source of Oil: Peel
Primary cultivation: Italy
Odour: Light, sweet, citrusy
Note: Top
Properties: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, circulatory, cytophylactic, depurative, digestive, hepatic, nervous relaxant, sedative, stomachic and tonic.
Strongest characteristic: Uplifting
Contraindications: (Situation in which oil should not be used) Can be phototoxic – increases sensitivity to the sun.
Blends well with: Lavender, other citrus oils, frankincense and ylang ylang.

The name for this plant is said to come from China, where Mandarins were given as gifts to the Mandarins (the name given to Chinese officials under the king). Mandarin essential oil is used widely as a flavoring agent in commercial food preparation as well as for cosmetics and perfumes. But it has many therapeutic properties also.

Digestion: Mandarin helps to relax the smooth muscles of the digestive system, easing spasm and providing relief for conditions such as diarrhea, constipation, gas. It increases digestive enzymes as well as the appetite. It can also help to soothe a nervous stomach due to it’s nervous system relaxant properties. Some people feel that it helps to maintain proper stomach acid balance, prevents the formation of ulcers and will fight any stomach infections that might be present. Mandarin is also a good liver tonic and can purify the blood.

Skin: Mandarin is used in the prevention of stretch marks, as it promotes the growth of new skin cells. It is very helpful with wounds and skin infections. It forms a protective covering on the wound and promotes collection of blood platelets and leucocytes at the effected place, thereby checking the intrusion of microbes. Further, the oil itself has bactericidal and fungicidal properties, adding to the effect. It is also used in cases of acne.

Nervous System: Mandarin is a nervous system tonic and relaxant, particularly good for nervous exhaustion, and an over-active mind. It is a good oil to add to a blend for insomnia. Because it is such a gentle oil, it is commonly used for children, to help them relax. Mandarin is a good uplifting, anti-depressant oil.

Aromatherapy Tip of the Month

Signature Scent
A man I used to date always wore a particular combination of Sandalwood and other oils. To this day, when I smell Sandalwood, I think of him. Scent is one of the most instant communicators and stays in our memory much longer than the pictures of our past do. So how we smell makes a lasting impact. You can develop your own signature scent that embodies who you are – a fragrance that will announce your arrival and linger after you have gone. Find your favorite oil or combination of oils. Be playful and experiment. Wait until you find a scent that really feels right. This can then be worn as a perfume, put in lotion, used in the bath and diffused around the house. Have fun!

Resource Guide – Personal Inhalers

Personal inhalers are so handy to have. When your nose is really stuffed up, just add some eucalyptus and off you go. These inhalers are the best I have seen. They contain a removable, glass vial, containing a piece of cotton ball, to which you can add whichever oil you choose. It is easy to change the cotton and oil whenever you want. The design is elegant and it comes in a choice of lovely colors. For more info, or to purchase, please go to:

Personal Aromatherapy Inhaler

Research
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Effects of Music and Essential Oil Inhalation on Cardiac Autonomic Balance in Healthy Individuals
To cite this paper:
Shu-Ming Peng, Malcolm Koo, Zer-Ran Yu. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. January 1, 2009, 15(1): 53-57. doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0243.
Full Text: • HTML • PDF for printing (71.4 KB) • PDF w/ links (72.2 KB)

Shu-Ming Peng, M.Sc.
Department of Psychiatry, Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital, Dalin, Chiayi, Taiwan.
Graduate Institute of Natural Healing Sciences, Nanhua University, Dalin, Chiayi, Taiwan.
Malcolm Koo, Ph,.D.
Graduate Institute of Natural Healing Sciences, Nanhua University, Dalin, Chiayi, Taiwan.
Zer-Ran Yu, Ph.D.
Graduate Institute of Natural Healing Sciences, Nanhua University, Dalin, Chiayi, Taiwan.
Abstract

Objective: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of listening to soft music or inhaling Citrus bergamia aroma on autonomic nervous system activity in young healthy individuals.

Study design, location, and subjects: This single-institution study was an open-label randomized controlled trial carried out on 114 healthy undergraduate students at a university located in south Taiwan.

Intervention: Participants were randomly allocated to one of four study groups including (1) a music group, (2) an aroma group, (3) a combined music and aroma group, and (4) a control group. Participants in the music group were asked to listen to preselected soft music for 15 minutes, and those in the aroma group were asked to inhale Citrus bergamia essential oil vapor generated from an ultrasonic atomizer for 15 minutes.

Outcome measure: The outcome measure involved heart rate variability (HRV) indices measured before and after the intervention. The low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) components of the HRV were used to quantify modulation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system.

Results: The percentage changes of normalized LF (p = 0.003), normalized HF (p = 0.001), and the ratio of LF to HF (p < 0.001) were significantly different among the four groups. Tukey’s post hoc analysis revealed that the percentage change of normalized LF and HF were significantly different between the control group and the music group. For the percentage change of the ratio of LF to HF, the negative change in the music group, the aroma group, and the combined group was significantly different from that of the increase in the control group. In addition, no significant differences were found in the percentage changes in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and mean heart rate in the four groups.

Conclusions: Listening to soft music and inhaling Citrus bergamia essential oil was found to be an effective method of relaxation, as indicated by a shift of the autonomic balance toward parasympathetic activity in young healthy individuals.

Book Of The Month
“Essential Aromatherapy: A Pocket Guide to Essential Oils and Aromatherapy ” By Susan Worwood and Valerie Ann Worwood

I have included this book as it is simply a handy reference to have with you when on the road because of it’s size and comprehensive information. The authors are well respected and well known aromatherapists, and it useful to have so much information in such a compact format. The following is a review from Amazon:

This brisk tour of essential oils (or concentrated plant essences) explores their many applications and uses. Author Susan Worwood begins with a brief history of oils and aromatherapy, which describes how the practice of aromatherapy shifted from having New Age connotations to being accepted in popular culture. The reader then learns how essential oils work–from their antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal properties to their mind/body/spiritual connection. The guide provides tips on buying and storing oils and includes useful one-page profiles of the plants that produce the oils, from basil to yuzu. The book’s exhaustive “how to use” list describes how to make face masks, foot baths, gargles, diffusers, and more. The list also teaches us that there are inexpensive, natural treatments for many common maladies.This book offers a great crash course in essential oils and aromatherapy is a useful reference handbook.

Recipe of the Month
Aphrodisiac Blend

Given that it is the month of love, with Valentines day just past, I thought it might be fun to put a little sizzle into this section. Have fun!

5 drops ylang ylang
6 drops sandalwood
2 drops ginger

Blend with 1 ounce carrier oil and use as a massage oil, or in the bath.