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Juniper berry, Tea tree, Sweet/Blood orange, and Myrrh

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juniper berry

Juniper is an evergreen tree or shrub found in many parts of the world. The berries are actually female seed cones that are unusually fleshy. Parts of Europe use the berries as a spice in local cuisine, typically Juniperus communis is the most preferred. The berries start off green and mature to purple-black over the course of roughly 18 months depending on species.The young, green fruit taste mostly like pine but the mature fruit have a sharp and clear flavour with citrus notes.If you decide to go out and pick your own be certain you know which species you take the berries from because some are very toxic.In aromatherapy juniper berry essential oil is useful for it’s calming properties without sedative effects. It’s also useful for it’s antimicrobial effects when a cold or flu is going through the home.

Uses:

Diffused;

Anxiety, nervous tension, mental exhaustion, lift the spirits.

Topically;

Arthritis, cellulite, nervous tension, cystitis, gout, swollen joints, muscle fatigue, weeping eczema, dermatitis, blocked pores, psoriasis.

Cautions:

Use only at high dilution.

Should be avoided during pregnancy.

Should be avoided if you suffer from kidney problems.

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
tea tree

Despite the name, tea tree oil and tea come from very different plants. Tea tree oil comes from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree leaves. This plant is native to Australia’s Southeast Queensland and the Northeast coast of New South Wales.

In 1770, Captain James Cook of the British Royal Navy set down from the H.M.S. Endeavor at Botany Bay, Australia landing near to the eventual site of present day Sydney. From there, he traveled north through the coastal regions of New South Wales.  In New South Wales he found masses of trees thick with sticky, aromatic leaves that by boiling rendered a spicy tea.

Hence the name tea tree. The Aborigine explained the healing properties to him by explaining how they used it.

Tea tree oil is a medicine cabinet in a bottle. Combined with a few other oils and many ailments can be taken care of quickly and naturally. It is useful for fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. It is also effective at treating lice (diluted).

In vitro studies show that tea tree oil is capable of killing MRSA in a laboratory setting(2).Dr Penfold discovered tea tree essential oils to be thirteen times stronger an antiseptic bactericide than carbolic acid, (phenol) considered the universal standard in the early 1900s.

As always keep this oil out of the reach of young children because it has been known to have a very low threshold for toxicity should they manage to ingest it(3).

Chronic usage should be avoided with children in particular to avoid sensitization.

Uses:

Topically; it clears abscesses, acne, burns, herpes, oily skin, athlete’s foot, cold sores, blemishes, diaper rash, warts, sunburn and infected wounds.

Diffusion; it helps clear bronchial congestion, asthma, coughs, sinusitis, whooping cough and tuberculosis.

In the mouth it can help with cold sores, catarrh, glandular fever and gingivitis as part of a rinse.

Cautions:

Not to be taken internally because cases of very low dose poisoning can occur. Most cases clear easily with only supportive care, however there have been a couple of deaths in the past from consumption of the oil. No other cautions known for babies, children, and pregnant or nursing mothers.

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/Plantox/Detail.CFM?ID=12898Other

cases are listed elsewhere, the above case is linked for illustration.

First aid:

Rare cases of skin irritation can occur for some individuals, apply flour or cornstarch to remove excess oil.

In cases of ingestion for any age, please call emergency services and explain effects listed in the case linked above.If gotten in the eye allow to water freely, the irritation will clear within 20 minutes, no damage should occur.If a baby or toddler gets the oil rubbed in the eye watch for the same symptoms as ingestion because the oil may be transmitted directly to the bloodstream. Should the child display these symptoms call emergency services.

essential oil benefits
orange

Originally from southern China, sweet orange has been cultivated for millennia. Oranges are now grown commercially worldwide in tropical, semi-tropical, and some warm temperate regions, and have become the most widely planted fruit tree in the world.

The tree only grows to a height of 25 ft, though sometimes it can reach up to 50ft.

And like other citrus trees has thorns to protect the fruit.

The Sweet Orange accounts for about 70% of the world’s production of oranges and the blossoms contribute up to 25% of the honey production in America from the California trees alone.

Prone to disease and pests, this tree is not grown by the typical gardener because of the high maintenance needed just to keep the tree healthy.

The EO is phototoxic so topical application should be avoided unless exposure to UV light for at least 12hrs following application is avoided.

In a diffuser the smell is wonderfully uplifting to the spirit and makes a nice addition to personal blends. An additional side benefit is this particular oil’s ability to dissolve glue, removing labels is much simpler after applying a orange EO and letting it sit for 2 – 3 minutes.

Uses:

Topically; it is anti-inflammatory and brightens the skin, must be diluted in a carrier oil.

It is also good for cleaning wounds in heavy dilution.

Diffuser; it lifts the mood and relieves stress.

Cautions:

Some individuals may experience mild contact burns, treat as stated below.

After applying oil on skin avoid direct or intense sun exposure as it will increase severity of any resulting sunburn.

Topical application should not be done with small children, diffusion is the best application with children.

In children, taking large amounts of sweet orange peel is UNSAFE. It can cause colic, convulsions, or death.

No cautions listed for pregnant or breastfeeding.

First Aid:

If a child has had a large exposure call emergency services immediately. As stated above this oil is potent enough to potentially do great harm. Blot excess oil off with flour or cornstarch. If on the face use milk (dairy) to bathe the face clean.

Same treatment for any irritation from the oil as stated above. Oil is not toxic to adults to the same degree as children without exceptionally unnatural exposure level.

essential oil benefits
myrrh

Myrrh comes from the resin (dried sap) of a thorny tree, native to the middle east and parts of Africa. Myrrh is used in the making of incense and perfumes in addition to aromatic medicines.

Historically the resin has been used in the mummification process, and in religious ceremonies throughout the millennia.

There may be reason to believe that the Myrrh used today is not the same used in ancient times.  Pedanius Dioscorides description of the myrrh from the first century AD is more likely to refer to a “species of mimosa”, describing it “like the Egyptian thorn”. He described its appearance and leaf structure as “pinnate-winged”. The ancient type of myrrh conjectured was noted for possessing a far more delightful odor than that of the modern variety.

The medicinal qualities Myrrh resin is said to have included a special efficacy on the heart, liver, and spleen meridians, as well as “blood-moving” powers to purge stagnant blood from the uterus. It is therefore recommended for rheumatic, arthritic, and circulatory problems, and for amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause, and uterine tumors.

It is also said to have tonic and rejuvenative properties as well as being used as an antiseptic in mouthwashes, gargles, and toothpastes for prevention and treatment of gum disease. The aromatic properties are helpful for coughs and colds, clearing the lungs, and is considered a good choice during meditation.

Uses:

Topically; It is effective for treating boils, skin ulcers, bed sores, chapped and cracked skin, ringworm, weeping wounds, eczema and athlete’s foot. It can also be used as part of a mouthwash for most problems in the mouth (ill advised with young children).

Diffuser; Helps to clear ailments such as colds, catarrh, coughs, sore throats and bronchitis. As well as excessive mucous in the lungs. During childbirth it can help ease the pain.

Cautions:

Increases blood flow to the uterus.

Internal use must be at the direction of a licensed professional. Myrrh has known drug interactions with diabetes medications. Warfarin (Coumadin) is specifically known to interact with Myrrh and is likely to reduce effectiveness of the medication.

http://www.maneyonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/136485905X17434

No known cautions for babies and young children. This oil is otherwise non-irritating for most individuals.

First aid:

If gotten in the eyes allow to water freely.

If a contact rash or burn occurs apply flour or cornstarch to absorb excess oil.

If a pregnant woman has consumed any of the oil, call emergency services and your care provider immediately.

If a baby or young child has consumed the oil calling emergency services may be advisable for general safety reasons, particularly since consumption of Myrrh does lower blood glucose levels.

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