Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up -8th -14th November 2020 – 40th Celebrations, Brad Mehldau, Relationships, Vichyssoise, Aromatherapy, Reviews and Funnies


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

I hope you are staying safe wherever you are. Hurricanes, Covid, Civil Unrest and Political upheavals have been the focus of the headlines this week and in the global scope of events, the celebration of our 40th Wedding Anniversary tomorrow pales into insignificance.

However, for us it is an important milestone, and despite best laid plans of a wonderful villa and pool in Malta with my two sisters, and a weekend away when that was cancelled, we are going to celebrate in style at home with just the two of us.  Which is okay, in fact more than okay.

On our trip to Ireland to meet David’s Family November 1st 1980

A few days before the wedding

Our whirlwind romance

  • September 16th 1980 David arrived as a guest at the hotel I was assistant manager of in Mid-Wales. I did arrange some meeting rooms for him but other than that he was Mr. Cronin until the night of his departure 27th September when he booked himself in for an extra night and asked if I would like to go out to lunch the next day.
  • On September 28th he took me out on my day off and we walked on Harlech Beach and then ate Chinese takeaway on the floor of my small living room as I didn’t have a table.
  • The next day September 29th he was returning to Liverpool and he arrived at my flat at 9.00 to say goodbye, or so I thought, but he proposed instead.
  • On October the 2nd when the hotel shut for the season David came back down from Liverpool and drove me to Portsmouth so he could meet my parents.
  • On October 5th we moved into a holiday flat in Dolgellau.
  • November 1st we caught the ferry from Liverpool to Dublin to meet his family with gale force winds and 12 metre waves.
  • On November 15th we married in Dolgellau registry office with both sets of parents and my best friend Joan Nicholson. With pouring rain and gale force winds.

Here are some of the surviving photographs from the day, most taken by my father-in-law Geoff Cronin which is why he is not in them…

These new fangled cameras…..

The weather here is gale force winds and driving rain, as it was forty years ago which is fitting!. As both our parents and my friend Joan have passed away, it is up to us to celebrate what was an amazing day, just the two of us which is perfect. We have already made a start with cards and roses, and the fridge is stocked, a couple of bottles of Champagne are chilling, and we have created a menu of all our favourite foods, many from the places we have lived and worked around the world.

We are very lucky.

Anyway.. on with the posts from the week and as always a huge thank you to William Price King, D.G. Kaye, Carol Taylor, Silvia Todesco and Robbie Cheadle for their amazing contributions this week.

Next week the Christmas Book Fairs begin for both the main Cafe and Bookstore and the Children’s Cafe. I will be including every author on the shelves so I need to get started to make sure I feature everyone. I hope it will give you some ideas for gifts for all the family.

William Price King with Grammy Award winning jazz pianist Brad Mehldau

November 2020 – People Pleasers. Do you know one? Are you one?

‘V’ for Vacherin, Vanilla, Veal, Vegetable Spaghetti and Vichyssoise

IMG_2561

#Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Beef, ham, and lava cheese roll (involtini)

Houston – January 1986 – Birthdays and Plans

Guest Writer – Robbie Cheadle – Inca child sacrifices and the origin of my short story

Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland #Waterford 1950s – Achill Island and Keem Bay Shark by Geoff Cronin

David – In Remembrance by Sally Cronin

Posts from my Archives – Guest Interviews – Open House 2018 with Author Joy Lennick

#Murder #Mystery – Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello

Past Book Reviews 2019 – #Shortstories More Glimpses by Hugh W. Roberts

Past Book Reviews – 2019 – Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events-compiled by Stevie Turner

Past Book Reviews -2018 – Devil in the Wind: Voices from the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires by Frank Prem

Share your Children’s book reviews – Jemima Pett reviews Casey Grimes: The Mostly Invisible Boy by AJ Vanderhorst

#Release #Bears Sue Wickstead, #Reviews #Horses Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

New Author on the Shelves – #Contemporary – Sweet Erin by Sian Turner

-New Book – #Meditation Sue Vincent, Reviews – #Poetry Balroop Singh, #Suspense Stevie Turner

#Reviews – #Crime Sue Coletta, #Pilgrims Noelle Granger, #Collie Sally Cronin

#Fantasy Fiona Tarr, New Books #Design Valentina Cirasola, #Shortstories Leon Stevens

#Frankincense – Immune, reproductive systems, Anti-aging, Antiseptic

November 10th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Shopping wear and Butlers

November 12th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Plastic bags and one liners

Image may contain: text that says "Might as well stay and have one more. Wife is going to tobite bite my head off anyway."

November 13th 2020 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp

 

Thank you so much for dropping by and I hope you have an amazing weekend… I know we will.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Essential Oils and Aromatherapy – Bergamot essential oil – by Sally Cronin


Welcome to the repeat of the 2018 series about essential oils and aromatherapy and I hope those new to the blog will enjoy.

Twenty-two years ago I ran a health food shop and diet advisory centre here in Ireland and we sold essential oils for aromatherapy. I thought that I should learn more about it and took a course on the subject. I am looking forward to sharing this relaxing therapy with you.

What is Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses essential oils which have been extracted from specific sweet smelling plants for therapeutic massage. They are blended with specialised carrier oils to ensure that they are used in a diluted form and are easily absorbed by the skin. The oils can also be used to add these therapeutic aromas to our environment as well with the use of burners.

Last time I gave you a list of the most common essential oils to be found in skincare, massage and for therapeutic use and also a look at carrier oils.

The first essential oil is one that you may be surprised to learn is not just in skincare but in the food that we eat. I will also share some other essential oils that blend well with bergamot.

Bergamot citrus fruit originates from Italy and a yellow to green colour depending on ripeness and uses the rind.

Image wikipedia.

  • Scent: citrus
  • Usage: Massage, bath, inhaled
  • Note:  Middle
  • Mood: Uplifting
  • Safety: avoid sunlight.

If you are wondering where you might have smelt the citrus notes of bergamot essential oils, it may well be as you pass through a crowd in the street or at an event. It may even be on your partner’s dresser as it has always been one of the major elements of eau de cologne.

The essential oil is cold pressed from the rind of the inedible Citrus Bergamia. It looks like a small yellow orange but is very bitter which surprisingly results in one of the freshest of the citrus aromas.

The fruit originates from Bergamo in northern Italy although it is now grown in the south of Italy and the north African coast too. Despite its bitter taste it was originally sold as a flavouring for cakes and pastries, and you will also smell a hint of this versatile oil when you sip a cup of Earl Grey tea.

As you will note from the safety note above, it should be avoided in sunlight. However, for a long time it was used as a major ingredient in commercially produced tanning products. It was used to activate the production of melanin in the skin which produces a deeper tan.

Melanin determines the colour of skin, hair and even the depth of colour in the iris of the eye. It also offers some protection from the harmful rays of the sun, although not completely. A person who suffers from albinism for example is lacking melanin resulting in very light coloured skin and white hair.  The specific ingredient in the essential oil (bergaptene), which causes the photosensitivity, has now been removed when used to manufacture tanning products, but you need to check the label carefully especially for cheaper brands.

The mood that this oil enhances is one of well-being and uplifting, making it a great choice is you are feeling anxious or going through a stressful time. Especially helpful for those who are suffering from a chronic condition, or find themselves unable to break a cycle of depression. Massage is of course relaxing anyway and using bergamot blended with other oils with a similar mood enhancing property, can be very effective.

This applies to body lotion, to give yourself a daily boost or a bath gel, and you can make these easily at home by taking 50ml of an unperfumed body lotion (I use baby lotion) and adding a few drops of bergamot (7 drops) and other complementary oils. Experiment by using between 4 and 8 drops of the additional oils until you find the blend that suits you best.

Soap making is an art and one that I leave to the professionals. You will usually find them at craft fairs, especially at Christmas or check them out locally online. Not only are they wonderful to use as a bath product but I also keep in a little mesh bag in my clothes drawers or hanging from a hanger in the wardrobe.

Here are some of the other essential oils that blend well with Bergamot and offer similar mood enhancing qualities such as calming, consoling, harmonising, reassuring, soothing or sensual.

Chamomile made from the flowers from UK, France and Egypt. There are two types Roman and German and they have different therapeutic benefits.

  • Scent: Herbaceus, light, fruit
  • Usage: Skin Care, Massage, Compresses, Tea.
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Consoling
  • Safety: Usually none needed.

Frankincense from Somalia and Oman is extracted from the resin.

  • Scent: Incense, warm
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skin Care, Massage
  • Note: Middle, Base
  • Mood: Calming
  • Safety: None indicated.

Geranium from Egypt, Madagascar, China is made from the whole plant.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Skin Care, Massage, Baths
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Harmonising
  • Safety: None Indicated.

Jasmine from Egypt, India and France and uses the flowers.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Inhalation, Massage, Baths
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Reassuring
  • Safety: 24hour test on sensitive skin.

Lavender from Tasmania, England and France uses the flowers.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skincare, Massage
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Soothing
  • Safety: None indicated.

Patchouli is made from the leaves and comes from India, Malaysia and Indonesia.

  • Scent: Musky
  • Usage: Burners, massage, baths
  • Note: Base
  • Mood: Calming
  • Safetly: None indicated.

Ylang Ylang is made from the flowers and comes from Madagascar.

    • Scent: Floral
    • Usage: massage, baths, skin care
    • Note: Middle
    • Mood: Seductive
    • Safety: None indicated.

Bergamot is not only used in skin or bath products but can also be used to add its calming aroma to your home. So much better than using commercially produced atomizers that pump chemicals into the air. One of these is by combining a naturally made pot pourri with 10 drops of bergamot (vary according to your own prefence) or any of the essential oils that you want to infuse your home with.

You can find a number of online suppliers of dried flower combinations that are additive free and less expensive than buying in shops, and here is one to give you an idea. This particular supplier also has a useful blog that shares the process of making your own The Daisy Shop

Bergamot has some other properties that make it very useful. This includes as an antiseptic for minor cuts and grazes as well as helping to reduce acne or eczema. You can buy an unperfumed hypo-allergenic silica gel from most health food shops. I always recommend that you do a skin test 24 hours before using any skincare product especially if you suffer from an existing skin condition.

  • 30g of the silica gel
  • 20 drops of pure bergamot essential oil
  • 4 drops of German Camomile
  • 3 drops of pure Lavender essential oil

It can even help with bad breath… one drop in a small glass of water, rinse around and then spit out…

That is only a brief look at the amazing applications of this versatile essential oil. I hope you enjoy experimenting with some of the ideas and look forward to your feedback.

Next time I will be looking at Chamomile Essential Oil in more detail.

I hope that you have found of interest and always delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

 

©Sally Cronin – Just Food for Health – 1998 – 2020

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-two years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: My books and reviews 2020

Smorgasbord The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Aromatherapy – Chamomile Essential Oil


Twenty years ago I ran a health food shop and diet advisory centre here in Ireland and we sold essential oils for aromatherapy. I thought that I should learn more about it and took a course on the subject. It is not something that I have covered here on the blog, and I am looking forward to refreshing my memory from my course notes. and introducing you to this relaxing therapy at the same time.

What is Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses essential oils which have been extracted from specific sweet smelling plants for therapeutic massage. They are blended with specialised carrier oils to ensure that they are used in a diluted form and are easily absorbed by the skin. The oils can also be used to add these therapeutic aromas to our environment as well with the use of burners.

This is the fourth in the posts on the individual essential oils and how they can be included in our daily lives.

You can find the previous parts of this series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/aromatherapy/

Today I am looking at the versatile Chamomile that we find not just in skincare but also as a calming drink in times of stress or to enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

Chamomile is made from the flowers from UK, France and Egypt. There are two types Roman and German and they have slightly different properties and therapeutic benefits.

  • Scent: Herbaceus, light, fruit
  • Usage: Skin Care, Massage, Compresses, Tea.
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Consoling
  • Safety: Usually none needed.

For a very calming and floral sounding essential oil, chamomile is actually a very powerful extract. It is known for some very beneficial properties and is an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-biotic,anti-bacterial, pain reliever, anti-depressant and can help remove toxins from the body.

The botanical name for Roman Chamomile (Camomile) is Anthemis Nobilis and we are more familiar with it in tea form which is usually available on our supermarket shelves. The botanical name for German Chamomile is Matricaria recutita and they both have certain bioactive ingredients and uses in common there are some differences that determine which condition they are applied to.

For example Terpenoids such as chamazulene (azulene) which is in a higher concentration in the German Chamomile, not only gives it a bluer colouration, but makes it a more powerful anti-inflammatory than the Roman variety.

Chamomile has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy for a number of common ailments including fevers and joint pain and is also very calming for rashes and other skin inflammations.

The use of the herb goes back to ancient Egypt and its use filtered across the world over the next thousand years or so and by the time of the middle ages it was being used by herbalists in Europe. The flowers of the plant were soaked in white wine as a cure for water retention, then knows as dropsy and also for liver conditions such as jaundice. It was also found to have a calming effect on patients, relieved inflammation and could also relieve chest infections and asthma.

And if you were looking to avoid bleach in your hair dye… the women of the past would make a dye from the Roman chamomile flowers to lighten their hair naturally.

Research is extensive into this herb and there are a number of varieties that have both a different physical appearance and growth pattern as well as varying health benefits.

Here is just a brief list of the health issues that the oil, tea and lotion can be applied to.

  • If you drink chamomile tea (infusions) regularly then you may find that it ease muscle and rheumatic conditions, skin rashes and help you sleep better at night. It has anti-spasmodic action that helps digestion and is great to drink after a meal. It may also help alleviate morning sickness when drunk first thing.
  • For anyone who suffers gastrointestinal problems such as diverticulitis, IBS or ulcerative colitis, drinking the tea daily may help relieve the symptoms and heal the gut to prevent leaky gut syndrome. There is some research that indicates that it may relieve the inflammation associated with Crohn’s Disease, but I do advise that you talk to a herbalist before using. It is not usual to ingest essential oils as they are much stronger than the teas, but I use one drop of peppermint in hot water for stomach cramps and I have also used one drop of Roman Chamomile to make a calming drink. Do ask advice however of a qualified practitioner before using any oil for internal use.
  • It certainly appears to have a relaxing effect on both adults and young children and is one herb that can be used for babies. But, do always ask the advice of a qualified herbalists before you do so to make sure you are using correct dosages of infusions before using to help with teething problems and stomach upsets in babies.
  • Is an anti-spasmodic you can use to ease cramping during a period and to help relieve the symptoms of the menopause.
  • It may relieve hay fever and other allergies particularly when used as a lotion on skin rashes or inflammation. It can also stimulate healing of wounds or burns but again follow directions when used for this purpose. If you use some drops in your bath water it is soothing for a number of skin conditions such as eczema and also act as an anti-bacterial agent to prevent the spread of any infections.
  • German chamomile is a vasodilator and relaxes the walls of blood vessels therefore reducing blood pressure.
  • Use a drop of oil in some warm water for an effective mouthwash and to help heal soft tissue in the mouth including gum disease.
  • It can be inhaled to relieve the symptoms of hay fever which is particularly useful at this time of year.
  • In studies it is believed that Roman chamomile can be beneficial for heart disease as it contains high levels of flavonoids and it might also lower blood pressure.
  • The slight diuretic effect can help detoxify the body by stimulating the kidneys and urine output. It can also relieve the symptoms of cystitis and help remove parasites.
  • Both varieties of the oil are indicated to lift mild depression (again do not come off any prescribed medication without the knowledge of your doctor). They also have a relaxing effect on the nervous system as a whole, particular when related to spasms or other nerve related issues.

Blending Chamomile with other essential oils.

Chamomile blends well in skin preparations and in infusers with quite a few other essential oils and here are just some that I prefer to combine with it.

Bergamot citrus fruit originates from Italy and a yellow to green colour depending on ripeness and uses the rind.

Image wikipedia.

  • Scent: citrus
  • Usage: Massage, bath, inhaled
  • Note:  Middle
  • Mood: Uplifting
  • Safety: avoid sunlight.

Clary Sage from France and Russia uses the whole plant.

  • Scent: Herbaceous, earthy
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skin Care, Massage.
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Calming
  • Safety: Avoid with alcohol and in pregnancy (may result in early contractions, but is used for this purpose at time of delivery)

Frankincense from Somalia and Oman is extracted from the resin.

  • Scent: Incense, warm
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skin Care, Massage
  • Note: Middle, Base
  • Mood: Calming
  • Safety: None indicated.

Geranium from Egypt, Madagascar, China is made from the whole plant.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Skin Care, Massage, Baths
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Harmonising
  • Safety: None Indicated.

Neroli is made from the flowers and comes from Morocco, Tunisia and France.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Skin care, massage, baths
  • Note: Top
  • Mood: Calming
  • Safety: None indicated

Ylang Ylang is made from the flowers and comes from Madagascar.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: massage, baths, skin care
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Seductive
  • Safety: None indicated.

I buy my skincare made with essential oils from a local supplier and also have made mine  using a sensitive aroma free lotion, usually baby lotion, and then adding two drops of my preferred essential oils at a time until I find the blend that suits me best.

I like this site for both ideas and recipes and also to buy products ready made when I cannot source locally. I recommend that you head over and explore.

https://www.savvyhomemade.com/beauty-health/skin-care/

Contraindications for the use of Chamomile oils and infusions.

  • Because of the anti-spasmodic effect of chamomile and because it could cause contractions, pregnant women should not use the essential oil.
  • Essential oils should not be used on children under the age of five.
  • Both the tea and essential oil can increase the effect of certain prescribed sedatives or anti-depressants.
  • Both the tea and essential oil must not be taken with anti-coagulants such as Warfarin.

I hope you have found interesting you can find the previous posts of this series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/aromatherapy/

Thanks for dropping Sally

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Aromatherapy – Bergamot Essential Oil


Twenty years ago I ran a health food shop and diet advisory centre here in Ireland and we sold essential oils for aromatherapy. I thought that I should learn more about it and took a course on the subject. It is not something that I have covered here on the blog, and I am looking forward to refreshing my memory from my course notes. and introducing you to this relaxing therapy at the same time.

What is Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses essential oils which have been extracted from specific sweet smelling plants for therapeutic massage. They are blended with specialised carrier oils to ensure that they are used in a diluted form and are easily absorbed by the skin. The oils can also be used to add these therapeutic aromas to our environment as well with the use of burners.

This week I begin a series of posts on the individual essential oils that we may knowingly or sometimes unknowingly come into contact with in our daily lives.

The first essential oil is one that you may be surprised to learn is not just in skincare but in the food that we eat.

Bergamot citrus fruit originates from Italy and a yellow to green colour depending on ripeness and uses the rind.

Image wikipedia.

  • Scent: citrus
  • Usage: Massage, bath, inhaled
  • Note:  Middle
  • Mood: Uplifting
  • Safety: avoid sunlight.

If you are wondering where you might have smelt the citrus notes of bergamot essential oils, it may well be as you pass through a crowd in the street or at an event. It may even be on your partner’s dresser as it has always been one of the major elements of eau de cologne.

The essential oil is cold pressed from the rind of the inedible Citrus Bergamia. It looks like a small yellow orange but is very bitter which surprisingly results in one of the freshest of the citrus aromas.

The fruit originates from Bergamo in northern Italy although it is now grown in the south of Italy and the north African coast too. Despite its bitter taste it was originally sold as a flavouring for cakes and pastries, and you will also smell a hint of this versatile oil when you sip a cup of Earl Grey tea.

As you will note from the safety note above, it should be avoided in sunlight. However, for a long time it was used as a major ingredient in commercially produced tanning products. It was used to activate the production of melanin in the skin which produces a deeper tan.

Melanin determines the colour of skin, hair and even the depth of colour in the iris of the eye. It also offers some protection from the harmful rays of the sun, although not completely. A person who suffers from albinism for example is lacking melanin resulting in very light coloured skin and white hair.  The specific ingredient in the essential oil (bergaptene), which causes the photosensitivity, has now been removed when used to manufacture tanning products, but you need to check the label carefully especially for cheaper brands.

The mood that this oil enhances is one of well-being and uplifting, making it a great choice is you are feeling anxious or going through a stressful time. Especially helpful for those who are suffering from a chronic condition, or find themselves unable to break a cycle of depression. Massage is of course relaxing anywaym and using bergamot blended with other oils with a similar mood enhancing property, can be very effective.

This applies to body lotion, to give yourself a daily boost or a bath gel, and you can make these easily at home by taking 50ml of an unperfumed body lotion (I use baby lotion) and adding a few drops of bergamot (7 drops) and other complementary oils. Experiment by using between 4 and 8 drops of the additional oils until you find the blend that suits you best.

Soap making is an art and one that I leave to the professionals. You will usually find them at craft fairs, especially at Christmas or check them out locally online. Not only are they wonderful to use as a bath product but I also keep in a little mesh bag in my clothes drawers or hanging from a hanger in the wardrobe.

Here are some of the other essential oils that blend well with Bergamot and offer similar mood enhancing qualities such as calming, consoling, harmonising, reassuring, soothing or sensual.

Camomile made from the flowers from UK, France and Egypt. There are two types Roman and German and they have different therapeutic benefits.

  • Scent: Herbaceus, light, fruit
  • Usage: Skin Care, Massage, Compresses, Tea.
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Consoling
  • Safety: Usually none needed.

Frankincense from Somalia and Oman is extracted from the resin.

  • Scent: Incense, warm
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skin Care, Massage
  • Note: Middle, Base
  • Mood: Calming
  • Safety: None indicated.

Geranium from Egypt, Madagascar, China is made from the whole plant.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Skin Care, Massage, Baths
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Harmonising
  • Safety: None Indicated.

Jasmine from Egypt, India and France and uses the flowers.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Inhalation, Massage, Baths
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Reassuring
  • Safety: 24hour test on sensitive skin.

Lavender from Tasmania, England and France uses the flowers.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skincare, Massage
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Soothing
  • Safety: None indicated.

Patchouli is made from the leaves and comes from India, Malaysia and Indonesia.

  • Scent: Musky
  • Usage: Burners, massage, baths
  • Note: Base
  • Mood: Calming
  • Safetly: None indicated.
  • Ylang Ylang is made from the flowers and comes from Madagascar.
    • Scent: Floral
    • Usage: massage, baths, skin care
    • Note: Middle
    • Mood: Seductive
    • Safety: None indicated.

Bergamot is not only used in skin or bath products but can also be used to add its calming aroma to your home. So much better than using commercially produced atomizers that pump chemicals into the air. One of these is by combining a naturally made pot pourri with 10 drops of bergamot (vary according to your own prefence) or any of the essential oils that you want to infuse your home with.

You can find a number of online suppliers of dried flower combinations that are additive free and less expensive than buying in shops, and here is one to give you an idea. This particular supplier also has a useful blog that shares the process of making your own.http://daisyshop.co.uk/shop/catalog/browse

Bergamot has some other properties that make it very useful. This includes as an antiseptic for minor cuts and grazes as well as helping to reduce acne or eczema. You can buy an unperfumed hypo-allergenic silica gel from most health food shops. I always recommend that you do a skin test 24 hours before using any skincare product especially if you suffer from an existing skin condition.

  • 30g of the silica gel
  • 20 drops of pure bergamot essential oil
  • 4 drops of German Camomile
  • 3 drops of pure Lavender essential oil

It can even help with bad breath… one drop in a small glass of water, rinse around and then spit out…

That is only a brief look at the amazing applications of this versatile essential oil. I hope you enjoy experimenting with some of the ideas and look forward to your feedback.

You can find the other posts in the series here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/aromatherapy/

 

Smorgasbord Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Aromatherapy – Oils, origins, uses and Safety – Part One.


 

Twenty years ago I ran a health food shop and diet advisory centre here in Ireland and we sold essential oils for aromatherapy. I thought that I should learn more about it and took a course on the subject. It is not something that I have covered here on the blog, and I am looking forward to refreshing my memory from my course notes. and introducing you to this relaxing therapy at the same time.

What is Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses essential oils which have been extracted from specific sweet smelling plants for therapeutic massage. They are blended with specialised carrier oils to ensure that they are used in a diluted form and are easily absorbed by the skin. The oils can also be used to add these therapeutic aromas to our environment as well with the use of burners.

Part one: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/26/smorgasbord-medicine-womans-treasure-chest-aromatherapy-an-introductionessential-oils-and-aromatherapy-an-introduction/

This week I am going to look at some of the most common essential oils, where they originate, what part of the plant they are extracted from, their scent, how to use, the mood they will enhance and some safety issues with its use. I will feature half the more common oils this week and the other half next time.

What are essential oils extracted from.

Depending on the plant or fruit the essential oil will be extracted from peel, petals, leaves, buds, twigs, underground roots, wood, bark or resin.  Sometimes the whole plant will be used. The most common way to extract the essential oil is by steam distillation, where the plant material is put into a vat and then has steam forced through it. The heat and pressure releast tiny droplets of essential oil which rise, with the steam through a spiral tube. The steam cools and turns to liquid.

What is meant by the term ‘Note’ in essential oil therapy.

I am sure that you have used perfume or after shave and wondered why some tend to linger longer than others. This will be partly down to your skin type as some types will absorb certain perfumes or aftershaves and the scent remains or it disappears very quickly.

Apart from your skin type of oily to dry… there are certain properties within an essential oil which will determine the rate at which they evaporate. For example a top or high note which is a property of citrus based essential oils, means that it is light and will evaporate very quickly within a couple of hours.

An essential oil that is classified as a middle note will last a few hours longer, between three to five. For example Lavender and Rosemary. And those oils with a base note such as sandalwood and Patchouli will last a great deal longer sometimes for days.

Today I am going to list the essential oils that I am going to feature in more depth including their therapeutic benefits later in the series. There are many more that a qualified aromatherapist may suggest to you and I do advise before using any  that you consult an expert. This is particularly important if you are pregnant or nursing, although except for some specific oils that could cause contractions before full-term (Clary Sage), most are considered safe, especially if very diluted.

Bergamot citrus fruit originates from Italy and a yellow to green colour depending on ripeness and uses the rind.

Image wikipedia.

  • Scent: citrus
  • Usage: Massage, bath, inhaled
  • Note:  Middle
  • Mood: Uplifting
  • Safety: avoid sunlight.

Black Pepper made from peppercorns from India, Malaysia and china.

  • Scent: peppery
  • Usage: massage, inhaled
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Stimulating
  • Safety 24hour test on skin – avoid in pregnancy.

Camomile made from the flowers from UK, France and Egypt. There are two types Roman and German and they have different therapeutic benefits.

  • Scent: Herbaceus, light, fruit
  • Usage: Skin Care, Massage, Compresses, Tea.
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Consoling
  • Safety: Usually none needed.

Cedarwood from Algeria and Morocco is extracted from the wood.

  • Scent: Woody
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skin Care, Massage
  • Note: Base
  • Mood: Balancing
  • Safety: Avoid in Pregnancy

Clary Sage from France and Russia uses the whole plant.

  • Scent: Herbaceous, earthy
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skin Care, Massage.
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Calming
  • Safety: Avoid with alcohol and in pregnancy (may result in early contractions, but is used for this purpose at time of delivery)

Cypress comes from Morocco, Spain and France and uses the leaves, needles, twigs and cones from the tree.

  • Scent: Fresh and Green
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skin Care, Massage.
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Refreshing
  • Safety: Usually None.

Eucalyptus from Australia comes from the leaves and the twigs.

  • Scent: Camphor
  • Usage: Inhalation, Massage, Baths
  • Note: Top
  • Mood: Refreshing
  • Safety: Avoid in Pregnancy and with any form of homeopathy.

Fennel from Egypt, France and Hungary is made from the seeds.

  • Scent: Aniseed
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skin Care, Massage.
  • Note: Middle/Top
  • Mood: Clearing
  • Safety: Avoid in Pregnancy

Frankincense from Somalia and Oman is extracted from the resin.

  • Scent: Incense, warm
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skin Care, Massage
  • Note: Middle, Base
  • Mood: Calming
  • Safety: None indicated.

Geranium from Egypt, Madagascar, China is made from the whole plant.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Skin Care, Massage, Baths
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Harmonising
  • Safety: None Indicated.

Ginger from India, China and the West Indies is made from the root.

  • Scent: Spicy
  • Usage: Massage, Compresses
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Stimulating
  • Safety: 24hour test on sensitive skin.

Grapefruit from Israel, Brazil and the USA and uses the rind.

  • Scent: Citrus
  • Usage: Skin care, Massage, Baths
  • Note: Top
  • Mood: Uplifting
  • Safety: Avoid exposure to sunlight.

Jasmine from Egypt, India and France and uses the flowers.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Inhalation, Massage, Baths
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Reassuring
  • Safety: 24hour test on sensitive skin.

Juniper Berry from Europe and the Himalayas uses the berries.

  • Scent: Woody, Peppery
  • Usage: Inhalation, Massage, Baths
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Cleansing
  • Safety: Avoid in pregnancy and if you suffer from Kidney problems

Lavender from Tasmania, England and France uses the flowers.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skincare, Massage
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Soothing
  • Safety: None indicated.

Next week more about carrier oils that dilute the esential oils for their various uses. Also the other half of the essential oils that I will be covering in the series.

I hope that you have found interesting thanks for dropping in .. Sally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Essential Oils and Aromatherapy – An introduction.


Twenty years ago I ran a health food shop and diet advisory centre here in Ireland and we sold essential oils for aromatherapy. I thought that I should learn more about it and took a course on the subject. It is not something that I have covered here on the blog, and I am looking forward to refreshing my memory from my course notes. and introducing you to this relaxing therapy at the same time.

What is Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses essential oils which have been extracted from specific sweet smelling plants for therapeutic massage. They are blended with specialised carrier oils to ensure that they are used in a diluted form and are easily absorbed by the skin. The oils can also be used to add these therapeutic aromas to our environment as well with the use of burners.

One of the first things that I learnt on my course, was that the original Coca-Cola was developed as a nerve tonic by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886 by blending the essential oils of orange, lemon, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander and neroli together. And of course the unknown secret ingredient to this day ‘7X’. How cool is that.

How does aromatherapy work

Essential oils enter the body through the skin mainly because of their very small molecules. Apart from being absorbed into the skin during a warming massage, the aromatic molecules are also breathed in, and when they hit the nerve receptors in the nostrils, it sets of a reaction resulting in brain activity. This also occurs when using essential oils to bath water which adds to the relaxation of being immersed in the warm environment.

The history of essential oils.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years as the mainstay of a healer’s medicine chest. With experimentation over centuries the uses and the recipes were refined and eventually became commercially available.  One of the issues of course is finding unpolluted plant sources which is increasingly difficult. One of the largest growing areas for Lavender which is one of the most popular essential oils in in Provence in France. In the early days of its cultivation weeding was done by goats and sheep who fertilised the crop too!

These days there are very strict regulations governing the production of essential oils in the region and you can find out more here: http://www.albertvieille.com/en/products/82-lavender-haute-provence-a-o-p-essential-oil-france.html

Making your own essential oil preparations.

You can use essential oils in the preparation in many of the products that you currently buy in bottles and plastic. For example here in Ireland you can buy wonderful handmade soaps that contain all natural ingredients and feel and smell wonderful. I bought some when I was selling my books at Christmas fairs and there is no comparison to the shop bought products. Some also provide training days to get you started on making your own soaps and this is just one that is south of us.

http://www.croballyirishsoaps.com/

Some of you might have used Arnica in the past in one form or another to reduce bruising or inflammation. It can also be used for painful joints, sprains and muscle strains. The problem with shop bought premixed lotions is that many can contain petroleum and other chemical additives. This first link will show you how to make your own arnica salve, using another of my essential natural ingredients for lotions…. coconut oil…

http://healthimpactnews.com/2012/pain-relieving-coconut-oil-arnica-salve-recipe/

I do recommend that you buy your essential oils or products made from them from a reputable source and that you opt for the organic makes.

Medicinal benefits of essential oils.

Whilst essential oils have been used as I mentioned, for thousands of years, there is now a lot of scientific research into the the use of the oils in modern medicine. Some enlightened doctors actually have aromatherapists working in their practices. The oils have varied properties, some are effective against viral or fungal infections, some such as Arnica are useful as an anti-inflammatory and relieving pain.

My all in one essential oil.

The one essential oil that is always in my medicine cabinet and my toiletries is Tea Tree Oil. I discovered its benefits when I was learning about essential oils back in the late 1990s and I have used for mosquito bites, tooth ache, in a soap, shower gel, face cream and toothpaste ever since. It is a powerful oil and has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral,  fungicide and insecticide properties, to mention just a few. Great for athlete’s food, or other fungal conditions as well as keeping hair clear of predators!

With regard to aromatherapy its primary property is as a stimulant and has that effect on blood circulation, hormone secretion and on the immune system. You do not take Tea Tree orally, but it is still effects your internal body systems with its absorption into the skin during massage. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect on sore muscles and joints.

Next time I will be giving you a list of essential oils, where they are extracted from and their uses.

But first a little safety warning.

  • Never take essential oils internally.
  • Keep out of your eyes and away from children
  • Do not apply undiluted (ways to dilute and blend later)

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding avoid the following: (hormone and other stimulating effects)

  • Cinnamon,
  • Basil
  • Juniper
  • Fennel
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Clary Sage
  • Oregano
  • Clove
  • Nutmeg
  • Bay
  • Pimento Berry
  • Sage
  • Hyssop
  • Wintergreen
  • Birch Oils.

If you are going to be in direct sunlight within four hours avoid citrus essential oils such as Bergamot as they increase your sensitivity to the sunlight and can result in burning.

Thank you for dropping in today and I look forward to your feedback. Thanks Sally