Soon it will be Thansgiving, so this months issue is focused on holiday tips. The air is getting sharp outside and the first frosts have arrived for many. So it’s time to light up the inside of our houses and warm up our hearts. Beyond the holiday excitement is a deeper reason to celebrate. It is time to take stock of the many gifts that flow through our lives. As we focus on these many forms of abundance, we can begin to realize how truly wealthy we are.
- Oil of the Month: Melissa
- Aromatherapy Tip of the Month: Gratitude moment
- Resource Guide: –Soy Aromatherapy Candles
- Aroma Research: Aromatherapy pain, depression & arthritis
- Book Review: “The Blossoming Heart” by Robbi Zeck
- Recipe of the month – Aromatic Turkey
Latin Name: Melissa Officinalis
Source of Oil: Leaves and flowering tops
Primary cultivation: France, South Africa, South Eastern Europe
Odour: Fresh, citrusy
Note: Middle to Top
Properties: Antidepressant, antihistaminic, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericidal, carminative, cordial, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hypertensive, insect-repellent, nervine, sedative, stomachic, sudorific, tonic, uterine, vermifuge.
Strongest characteristic: Soothing
Contraindications: (Situation in which oil should not be used) Skin irritant – use in low 1% dilutions topically, particularly if you have sensitive skin. In a bath, no more than 2 drops is necessary, and always dilute.
Blends well with: Lavender, Rose, other citrus oils
Melissa was called the ‘Elixir of Life’ by Paracelsus and is one of the earliest known herbs used in medicine. Often known as lemon balm, it is one of the most adulterated oils in aromatherapy today. Because of it’s great price and the relative ease with which it can be “stretched”, it is actually somewhat challenging to get the real thing. It takes approximately 3 tonnes to create 1/2 Kilo of the oil. But the real stuff is out there and has some very important uses that set it apart from other oils. The name Melissa comes from the Latin for honey and the plant is much sought after by bees. It is thought that the plant was named for the Greek nymph who was the protector of bees.
Allergies: Whether it’s for the skin, as in eczema, or for the respiratory system, Melissa can have dramatic effects on allergies. Chamomile is the other oil that is often used for allergies. But when this doesn’t work, turning to Melissa can be the shift that is needed. Initially, symptoms may worsen, and it is important to use very low dilutions, or even the hydrosol version for skin applications. Inhalations are useful as are topical applications, depending on the nature of the ailment.
Circulatory System: Melissa helps to lower blood pressure. It calms the breathing and soothes an over-rapid heartbeat. Inhalations and massage are good applications for this use.
Endocrine System: Melissa is known for soothing and regulating the menstrual system. It has been used to regulate ovulation allowing birth control as well as conception to become more predictable. The best way to use it for this is in baths, compresses and massage.
Immune: Studies in Germany indicate that Melissa is useful against various strains of flu virus, herpes, smallpox and mumps. Tisserand cites research indicating that Melissa blended with Rose Otto is effective against both shingles and cold sores. He recommends that adults apply Melissa neat to cold sores, however it is an irritant, so you might want to try a dilution.
Spiritual/Emotional: Melissa is often known as the bereavement oil. Because it is so soothing and, at the same time, uplifting, Melissa offers the perfect comfort, particularly in cases of sudden loss. It serves to open the heart and deepen gratitude for the gifts that life has provided, making it useful for general anxiety and melancholy. 1 drop placed on the hands and inhaled deeply can be easy and quick. Steam inhalations, or use in the diffuser are also appropriate methods for this area.
A recent study quoted in the Journal of Complimentary Medicine showed that Melissa is a safe and effective treatment for the management of agitation in severe dementia. The study indicates that true pure melissa oil significantly reduced agitation and has important quality of life benefits. Use of a Melissa herbal extract in a study of patients with mild to moderate Attention Deficit Disorder experienced significant benefits in cognition after 16 weeks of treatment. Whether the same benefits would occur with use of the essential oil is unknown.
Gratitude Moment Rose is the oil that opens our hearts, allowing us to soften and begin to let in the awareness of the many things we can be grateful for. Melissa is soothing and reminds us of the gifts we have. Take a moment, close the door, turn off the phone and sit in stillness and quiet. Place 1 drop of rose and on your heart area. If you have a diffuser, put a few drops of Melissa in the diffuser. Breathe deeply through your nose to inhale the delicate fragrances, and imagine your heart opening like a flower. Take several deep, slow breaths and allow your mind to become still. When you are ready, ask yourself what you are grateful for, and allow the images and feelings to come. If you get stuck, come back to your breath, soften your heart and rest in stillness until a new gratitude arises.
Soy Aromatherapy Candles
For all of us who enjoy candles, but don’t want the damaging health effects of parafin candles, there is a great company out there called Natural Scents. Their soy candles “leave no black soot, burn longer than most candles on the market and support the American economy. ” They offer all manner of Aromatherapy candles, holiday candles and unscented varieties also. They participate in the 1% For The Planet program and we have also received The Green People seal of approval.
The effects of aromatherapy on pain, depression, and life satisfaction of arthritis patients
College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, Korea.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of aromatherapy on pain, depression, and feelings of satisfaction in life of arthritis patients. METHOD: This study used a quasi-experimental design with a non-equivalent control group, pre-and post-test. The sample consisted of 40 patients, enrolled in the Rheumatics Center, Kangnam St. Mary’s Hospital, South Korea. The essential oils used were lavender, marjoram, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint blended in proportions of 2:1:2:1:1. They were mixed with a carrier oil composed of almond (45%), apricot(45%), and jojoba oil(10%) and they were diluted to 1.5% after blending. The data were analyzed using an 2-test, Fisher’s exact test, t-test and paired t-test. RESULT: Aromatherapy significantly decreased both the pain score and the depression score of the experimental group compared with the control group. However, aromatherapy didn’t increase the feeling of satisfaction in life of the experimental group compared with the control group. CONCLUSION: The result of this study clearly shows that aromatherapy has major effects on decreasing pain and depression levels. Based on our experiment’s findings, we suggest that aromatherapy can be a useful nursing intervention for arthritis patients.
“The Blossoming Heart: Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation”
By Robbi Zeck
This beautiful book shows us how to navigate our lives into a place of quiet reflection. Influenced by the powers of scent, The Blossoming Heart calls us to our deeper heart, where we can take a pause, enjoy time to be and experience emotional renewal.
Graceful in form and thought this innovative and inspirational book brings a fresh approach to the art of aromatherapy using essential oils to enhance your emotional care and wellbeing.
Author Robbi Zeck, naturopath, kinesiologist, counsellor and trainer leads the reader on a journey of self-discovery, highlighting the use of essential oils coupled with the power of imagery, relaxation techniques, meditation and reflective questions as tools for personal change and exploration.
The Blossoming Heart is a sensual delight that skilfully integrates aromatic science, metaphysics, emotional health and healing. Your heart will be warmed by its words.
To order this book, please click on the link below:
For an aromatic turkey this Thanksgiving, after dressing your turkey as normal, mix 1 drop of Rosemary and 1 drop of Basil in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brush over the meat before cooking.
It is best to use organic oils for this to insure that no chemicals have been left in the oils.