Hello Everyone! I'm not quite sure what to think of this summer's weather in Maine . . . it's been quite rainy, then we had a two-week blazing hot & humid spell, then rainy again, and then unseasonably cool. My garden was slow to start and I'm now finally picking green beans and still picking peas - which are actually a late spring/early summer veggie. The zucchini is doing fine as are the giant red raspberries, but my winter squashes and pumpkins are still only baseball size - that's pretty pitiful! We've only got approximately 10 more weeks of growing season left - and much of that will consist of cool evenings with moderately warm days. Hmmmmm . . . a tough year for vegetables, but my flowers are fabulous as are my herbs. C'est la vie!
Today I'll conclude the Essential Oils For Health & Home series by discussing three more of my favorite, affordable, and quite useful essential oils: eucalyptus, rosemary, and fir. They all smell clean, fresh, and wonderful - hope you find the information beneficial and educational. Remember, you can learn more about essential oils and their properties and uses in my Organic Body Care Recipes book, and in my latest Hands-On Healing Remedies book. Both are available through my website www.stephanietourles.com, and through Amazon www.amazon.com, and in bookstores everywhere.
Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus or eucalyptus radiata): Eucalyptus is one of the most commonly used essential oils and has hundreds of uses. There are over 700 varieties of eucalyptus, some trees growing to 500 feet tall, and they all possess similar properties which are balancing, stimulating, circulatory enhancing, antiseptic, and antiviral. It is one of the four best essential oils for use with any respiratory tract problem (the other three being pine, fir, and rosemary cineole) because the component eucalyptol is mucolytic (it relaxes and thins the flow of mucous) and it excretes the eucalyptol out through the lung surface. When inhaled, it gives an immediate effect to clogged sinuses and lungs, then repeats its healing actions as it circulates out of the body. Eucalyptus has a heating and moisturizing energy and a pungent, sharp aroma. It feels cool to the sinuses when inhaled, but actually warms the respiratory tract.
Eucalyptus essential oil should be in everyone's medicine cabinet. My favorite and most gentle aromatic form of eucalyptus essential oil is eucalyptus radiata. It is surprisingly quite powerful in the antiviral department. Perfectly suited for daily use while body brushing, in the sauna, or on the chest - when diluted properly (12 to 20 drops per ounce of carrier oil). This form is very child-safe, too. I like to add this essential oil when making vapor rub and sinus balms.
You can make a wonderful antiseptic and antiviral room spray to use throughout the house during cold and flu season . . . I also use it to clean bathroom and kitchen counters. Simply add 4 ounces of cheap vodka to a 4-ounce glass spray bottle, then add 40 drops of eucalyptus globulus or eucalyptus radiata essential oil. Shake well before each use. You can also use 20 drops of eucalyptus with 20 drops of lavender essential oil - the aroma is quite pleasing and you get the added benefit of the relaxing property of lavender, plus lavender is quite antiseptic, as well.
Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis or rosmarinus, chemotype verbenon or rosmarinus, chemotype cineole): I adore rosemary - in all forms - the leaves for culinary purposes; the infused leaf oil for making healing salves and use as a scalp stimulating/hair conditioning oil; the verbenon chemotype of essential oil for use in rejuvenative skin care preparations; and the hotter cineole chemotype of essential oil for use in healing body oils and salves because of its respiratory disinfecting, circulatory stimulating, and energizing properties. For relief of arthritis pain in the fingers, toes, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and knees, I like to mix 20 drops of rosemary cineole with 5 drops each of essential oils of eucalyptus, pine, fir, lavender in a 2-ounce base of St. John's Wort infused oil. Store it in a glass bottle and shake well before each application. For relief, simply rub a small amount into sore, stiff joints several times per day. It smells quite nice - won't leave you smelling like a "little old man".
Rosemary essential oils have a general heating, drying energy and a pungent aroma. A couple of types of rosemary essential should be in everyone's medicine cabinet. It has almost as many uses as lavender. It is also known as the "herb of remembrance" and simply inhaling a drop placed on a tissue or cotton ball will stimulate circulation to the brain - enhancing memory. Great for use while studying.
Fir, Balsam (Abies balsamea) or can substitute Fir, Douglas (Pseudotsuga menziesii): The balsam fir tree grows everywhere in my state of Maine and in New England/eastern Canada and smells like a Christmas wreath. Douglas fir grows in the western United States and western Canada. Both essential oils can be used interchangeably. Ever take a walk in an evergreen forest and feel recharged and rejuvenated - like your lungs have expanded and taken in more oxygen? This is what fir essential oil does - clear and relax the lungs - resulting in more oxygen uptake, thus increased energy.
This aromatically pungent, clean, fresh, green needle essential oil has a heating, drying energy with antiseptic, relaxing, refreshing, and expectorant properties. Fir essential oil can be inhaled directly from the bottle to decongest blocked sinuses and lungs - acting as a respiratory antiseptic - perfect for cold and flu season. I love to add it to respiratory balms, combined with rosemary cineole, eucalyptus radiata, and sea pine essential oils. Though fir has a relaxing property, many people, my self included, find that it is a superior stimulating, energetically reviving oil when massaged onto the body via a salve or fir needle infused oil.
Fir essential oil is used by many massage therapists because it is a relaxant to the nervous system and to muscular spasms. I like to make a room spray to spritz around the house during the holidays and also use it to clear the "cat litter box room" of nasty odors. Works fabulously. To make, simply add 4 ounces of cheap vodka to a 4-ounce glass spray bottle and then add 40 drops of fir essential oil (either Balsam or Douglas fir will do). Shake well before each use.
NOTE: This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, author, lic. holistic esthetician, aromatherapist, and skin care herbalist. The information in this article is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.