The Aromatic Thymes – July

Now that we are at the height of summer, and most of us are spending more time in the sun, I thought it might be useful to include some information on skin care with essential oils. There is a recipe for anti-aging, information on adding oils to your own cosmetics and a closer look at one of the oils that is very helpful for sensitive skin.

I am often asked why some oils are so expensive, and the answer is simple. It takes a great deal of plant material to produce a small amount of the oil. However, it is also true that they last much longer than some of the cheaper oils as they are much more potent and a few drops go a long way. Compared to the expensive cosmetic creams on the market, essential oils are very reasonable and much better for your skin too!

This Issue:

  • Oil of the Month: Neroli – Go there»
  • Aromatherapy Tip of the Month: Add oils to cosmetics – Go there»
  • Resource Guide: -The Aromatherapy Place Go there»
  • Latest Aromatherapy Research: Children’s essential oil preferences – Go there»
  • Book Link: ” The Aromatherapy Practitioners Reference Manual”
  • by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger Go there»
  • Recipe of the month -Anti-aging face oil – Go there»

Oil of the Month

Latin Name: Citrus Aurantium
Family: Rutaceae
Source of Oil: Flowers of the bitter orange tree
Primary cultivation: Italy, Morocco, Tunisia, Guinea

Bittersweet, floral
Note: Top
Properties: Anti-depressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, sedative
Strongest characteristic: Uplifting, shock aid
Contraindications: (Situation in which oil should not be used) None
Blends well with: Rose, lavender and other citrus oils.

This is one of my favorite oils. Neroli takes it’s name from an Italian princess who used it as her favorite perfume.It has an exotic, nurturing feel. It’s primary use in Aromatherapy is in the emotional realm – particularly in the area of anxiety. It has a very high vibration, due to the enormous amount of plant material that is required to produce just a small amount of the oil.

Skin: Neroli has the valuable quality of being able to stimulate the growth of new skin cells, and is also soothing, making it beneficial for sensitive skin. It can be added to your existing facial products, or you can make an oil out of 1 ounce jojoba with 3 drops Neroli. Apply liberally, allow to soak in for 15 minutes and then gently blot off the excess.

Digestive: Because Neroli acts to calm spasms in the smooth muscle tissue, it is most helpful for digestive trouble like cramps and chronic diarrhea. Of course, if these are caused by anxiety then Neroli can work on both the emotional and the physical level with great effect. You can make a tummy oil with 6 drops Neroli to 1 ounce carrier oil and massage gently into the abdomen. Place a warm, moist towel over the abdomen, replacing as needed.

Reproductive: Neroli has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, which is due mostly to it’s ability to soothe any fears that may be present, allowing the natural desires to take front seat. Massage is perfect for this application, specially if you can get your lover to give you one!

Nervous Brain/ Mind: Neroli is a wonderful remedy for chronic anxiety although it can also be used for short term stress, as in an exam or interview. Many of us become so used to the constant stress in our lives that we cease to notice the immense negative load that is placed on our bodies and minds. Neroli has a way of slowing us down, internally – softening the anxious thoughts and allowing a little more space in between the worries. You can place a drop or two on your wrist pulses and wear it as a perfume – a gentle aromatic reminder to slow down. It can also be used in the diffuser, or inhaled directly from the bottle as needed. The most effective treatment for chronic anxiety is to have regular massage using neroli and other soothing oils. The combination of touch and the oils has a profoundly healing effect.

The other area where Neroli is the first oil of choice is with cases of shock. It gently calls us back to ourselves if we have been shaken up by something. For this, direct inhalation is best – as well as a drop or two on the thymus area, just above the heart.

Insomnia that is caused by anxiety is also benefited by this oil. You can use it in the bath before bed, massage, or a diffuser, or simply place a drop or two on your pillow.

Depression is also gently relieved by this oil. You might combine it with some Clary Sage for an added lift. Massage and diffusers work well here.


Aromatherapy Tip of the Month

Add oils to your favorite body care products
Using essential oils in your body care products can boost their therapeutic properties as well as being a lovely way to add your own signature fragrance to all the products that you use. As a general rule, you can add about 5 drops of essential oil per ounce of product. Some oils might need a little more, and some, like rose, might need only 3 drops per ounce. It is important to be aware of the skin irritant oils like Basil, Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Thyme and Tea Tree. If you decide to use any of these, try a small amount and see how it goes. Everybody’s skin is different and you need to see how yours will react.

Read up on the cosmetic properties of the oils and decide what you are looking for, then get your base products – (see the resource section) and start your blending.

If there is a particular oil that you love, you might create a line of products for yourself using that oil. For example, you might create a line of Rose oil products, or an energizing line, using an oil like Rosemary. Have fun with it, prepare to experiment and get feedback from friends. Who knows, it might turn into a little business!


Resource Guide

The Aromatherapy Place

The Aromatherapy Place offers unscented, additive-free cosmetic base products. You can add your own essential oils for customized skin and hair care products. You can also use them as they are. They even include Aromatherapy recipes on every label. They sell shampoo, conditioner, cleansing lotion, soap, moisturizing lotion, as well as bath and shower gel. They also offer the basic ingredients if you want to make your own bases. There’s lots of information and products, so you will have everything you need to get started. Just click on the link below:


The effect of gender and ethnicity on children’s attitudes and preferences for essential oils: a pilot study.

Fitzgerald M, Culbert T, Finkelstein M, Green M, Johnson A, Chen S.

Integrative Medicine Program, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA.

CONTEXT: Aromatherapy is frequently recommended for children but children’s preferences for specific essential oils are not well documented. OBJECTIVE: To measure preferences of school aged children for essential oils based on gender and ethnicity. DESIGN: Descriptive study measuring children’s responses to and preferences for selected essential oils. SETTING: Pediatric integrative medicine clinic in a Midwestern children’s hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Healthy school-age children of Latino (N = 39) and non-Latino Caucasian (NLC) (N = 48) ethnicity, 41.7% of the NLC group and 59.0% of the Latino Group were males. INTERVENTION: Participants smelled single essential oils, answered three forced choice questions and one open ended question, order of exposure was varied. OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants evaluated each scent’s effect on mood and energy, stated their preferences, indicated if scents evoked particular thoughts and selected a favorite essential oil. RESULTS: Females were more likely to feel happy when smelling sweet orange (p = .043). Female Latinos were more likely than NLC females to find sweet orange calming (56.2% vs. 18.5%). Male Latinos were more likely (65.2%) to describe peppermint as “energetic” than male NLC (30%). Children chose an essential oil that they rated as “making them feel happy” (72.6%) and/or as “liking the most” (64.3%). Other results that approached statistical significance were: females felt more energetic with spearmint (p = .055). Latinos preferred spearmint over NLC (p = .075), and all males felt more energetic when smelling ginger (p = .091). Ginger and lavender were the least preferred. Results indicate that children have specific essential oil scent preferences. There is trend toward differences based on gender and ethnicity.

Publication Types:

Book Link

The Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual
By Sylla Shepherd-Hanger

This is a 2 volume, extensive manual on over 350 aromatic plant extracts. Each entry covers the botanical name, origin, family, production method, chemical constituents, traditional and esoteric uses, body systems applications as well as safety data. The manual also includes an index of phytochemicals, carrier oil properties, mental, emotional, chakra and ayurvedic indexes. This is a professional manual, but is useful for every serious student of Aromatherapy. It is an invaluable reference tool. It is pricey, but worth every penny. Sylla has more than 20 years of experience with the oils and is a profound teacher. To order, please click on the link below:


Recipe of the Month 

Anti-Ageing Skin OilWith Rose, Lavender and Frankincense

The oils can have far-reaching effects on the skin because of their ability to penetrate through the different skin layers, down to the root of the problem. Lavender is known for boosting the turnover and production of new skin cells, Rose is helpful for soothing sensitive skin and attracting more moisture into it, while Frankincense heals and rejuvenates at the root level.

  • 3 drops Rose
  • 4 drops Lavender
  • 5 drops Frankincense
  • 1 ounce Sweet Almond Oil

Blend these together in a dark glass bottle and apply twice daily. Massage gently into your skin and neck. Leave it to soak in for about 15 minutes, then gently blot of excess oil.