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Galbanum, Rosewood, White Birch, and Lavender

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essential oil benefits galbanum

When we think of resins we usually think of trees such as frankincense, galbanum however is a resin from herbaceous perennials called ferula native to Iran.The resin exudes from the plant and has bitter taste and intensely green aroma.Ferula’s are members of the carrot family, they hollow stems and grow between 1-4 meters tall in the arid mountains.The Talmud, Hebrew bible, and the book of Exodus make mention of galbanum in the context of very special incense used for religious purposes.It is also used in modern perfumes with a “green” scent to them such as Chanel No. 19 and Vent Vert by Belmain. Classical Greek herbalists ascribed powerful healing properties to the resin.Ferule, or a schoolmasters rod, is named after the ferula plants. The long hollow stems have quite a few uses like weapons, torches in ancient times, and walking sticks.In aromatherapy galbanum is useful for reducing scars, wound healing, and as a decongestant.

Uses:

Diffused;

Encourages inward thoughts during meditation and calms emotions.

Topically;

Respiratory problems, indigestion, inflamed skin conditions, lower pain.

Cautions:

Pregnant women should avoid due to emmenagogue properties.

May impact fertility.

Not to be used around children under the age of 6.

Best used at high dilution.

First aid:

If skin irritation has occurred apply cornstarch or similar to absorb excess.

If gotten in the eye rinse with clear water for 15 min, if irritation persists for more than 30 min seek professional help.

If a pregnant woman has been exposed monitor closely for signs of labour or miscarriage.

essential oil benefits rosewood

The common name “rosewood” is applied to multiple species with richly hued timber that turns reddish with staining. Not all rosewood is created equal however. There are “genuine” rosewoods and other species with similar tones that are sold under the name of rosewood. As far as rosewood essential oil goes it is distilled Brazilian rosewood which is endangered due to over logging. If you already own some just use what you have but please think carefully before purchasing more.The tree grows up to 30 meters tall and 2 meters in diameter, that is almost 100 feet tall and 6 feet at the base. The entire tree is fragrant and the purple fruit are eaten by toucans, this disperses the seed.Distilleries for this oil tend to be mobile, floating on rafts to go to where a tree has been cut down for essential oil. Yield of the oil is roughly 1% of total wood weight (10,000lbs wood = 1000lbs of oil).Other species of rosewood are desirable as timber for guitars and other instruments, furniture, and turnery (pens, chess pieces, ect).In aromatherapy rosewood essential oil is useful for depression, pain relief, boosting memory function. 

Uses:

Diffused;

Colds, coughs, fever, immune boosting, aphrodisiac, headaches, nausea, stress, depression

Topically;

Infections, tissue regeneration, anti-aging

Cautions:

No specific cautions.

First aid:

If skin irritation has occurred apply cornstarch or similar to absorb excess.

If gotten in the eye rinse with clear water for 15 min, if irritation persists for more than 30 min seek professional help.

essential oil benefits white birch

Birch trees are part of a group of plants called “pioneer species”, this means they are some of the first species to be seen in an area that is considered damaged. The damage can be from humans or from natural disasters such as wildfire or landslides. As the conditions improve over the years (decades) the pioneer species will die out as other species slowly move in.Various species are native to temperate zones in boreal climates. They may be trees or shrubs of small to medium size, all species have the horizontal marking and a certain amount papery peeling. The common names of different species is based off of the colour of the “paper”, for example white birch has white bark, yellow has yellow bark, and so forth.Stands or groups of birch are typically of the same age, the trees like acidic soil with good drainage, to keep them from becoming problematic periodic clearing is required or lots of grazing. The foliage is eaten by many moth and butterfly larva (caterpillars).Birch timber and sap have many uses. The sap is a traditional drink in parts of China and Europe, it can also be boiled down to make syrup much like maple syrup.The timber has a wide range of uses from veneer to canoes, such a list could easily make a lengthy piece in any woodworking magazine.In aromatherapy birch tar is useful for pain relief, preventing fungal and bacterial infections, and relieving arthritis. 

Uses:

Topically;

problem skin, improve circulation, disinfection.

Diffused;

pain relief, repel insects.

Cautions:

Use caution if pregnant

First aid:

If skin irritation has occurred apply cornstarch or similar to absorb excess.

If gotten in the eye rinse with clear water for 15 min, if irritation persists for more than 30 min seek professional help.

essential oil benefits lavender

I recommend lavender automatically when someone asks where to begin with essential oils. There are so many uses and so few cautions that it is difficult to have an accident with it. And it smells so damn good.

Lavender bushes are low growing perennials and annuals native to a large portion of the world, ranging from all over Europe to Asia and Africa. There are 47 species and they are part of the mint family. The average height tends to be about 24 inches.

The most common varieties have very simple foliage with the flowers occurring in whorls on top of spikes. Most species have fine hairs on the foliage which is where the essential oils are typically found.

The Romans’ knew long ago how effective a healing agent lavender was. At times a pound of the flowers could cost 100 denarii. That was the equivalent of 1 month’s salary for the average farm worker. Lavender is also mentioned in the Bible in Solomon’s poem.

“Nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes, and all the finest spices.”

Nard being the old name for the plant.

The University of Maryland page for lavender states:

A number of studies have reported that lavender essential oil may be beneficial in a variety of conditions, including insomnia, alopecia (hair loss), anxiety, stress, and postoperative pain. However, most of these studies have been small. Lavender is also being studied for antibacterial and antiviral properties. Lavender oil is often used in other forms of integrative medicine, such as massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic manipulation.

External uses:

Diffusing for stress and anxiety, increases pain tolerance. Topically it speeds healing of burns and minor wounds.

Cautions:

May have hormonal effects in large amounts, data is unclear or lacking. Avoid if surgery is to occur within 2 weeks.

First aid:

If a rare contact rash or burn has occurred use cornstarch or something similar to absorb excess oil.

If the oil has been ingested activated charcoal can minimize the discomfort.

If a spill has occurred directly onto a baby please call emergency services immediately for general safety reasons.


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