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Sandalwood, Camphor, Bay, and Cajeput

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Essential oil to repel mosquitoes
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antibacterial essential oil
essential oil benefits
sandalwood

Sandalwood species are slow growing parasitic trees related to mistletoe. Their wood is fragrant and will remain so for decades. Because of this they have been over harvested during the last century which has put a few species on the threatened list.There are multiple markets that make use of sandalwood oil including chewing tobacco, essential oils, perfumes, and cosmetics.Western Australia cultivates sandalwood trees in huge plantations for oil production, the trees must be a minimum of 15 years old before they can be harvested. Because of this the entire tree will be uprooted so the roots can also be used to make oil as well, this help maximise yield and therefor profit.Sandalwood oil is used in perfume to help other scents such as florals last longer and to add depth.  The aborigine used the seeds as food and early Europeans would use the fruit to make jams and such. In Scandinavia, bark from one species may be used in different types of pickled herring to lend a reddish tinge and perfumed flavour. Modern chefs have also begun trying out different ways of using sandalwood in food.India uses sandalwood oil in cosmetics at such a rate that demand cannot be met, this has led to other species of wood with similar scents being used, these woods however do not maintain their fragrance or quality past a few years.In aromatherapy sandalwood oil is useful for skin care, reducing inflammation, and lowering blood pressure.

Uses:

Diffused;

Bronchitis, coughs, chest infections, asthma, insomnia, irritability, nervous tension, stress, aphrodisiac, insect repellent

Topically;

Chest infections, bronchitis, coughs, dry eczema, insomnia, scar tissue, irritability, nervous tension, stress, aphrodisiac, relaxing, inflamed skin, anti-ageing

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
camphor

Camphor trees grow to majestic sizes of 20-30 meters tall with equally impressive trunks. Native to many parts of Asia it can live for over 1000 years. In the spring it produces pretty white flowers which are followed by small, black berries. The tree became the symbol of Hiroshima along with ginko because these were the first trees to grow back after the atomic bomb destroyed everything. Camphor trees figure in various legends and stories all across Asia which showcases the cultural importance of this species for the area. Like many other plants the trees have been introduced to many other parts of the world. In Australia some species of moth and butterfly eat the foliage as larva despite it not being native to the continent. In other places such as the USA it is causing the usual havoc an introduced species can cause to local ecosystems. Interestingly the chemical composition of the essential oil can tell you which country the tree was growing in because of the distinct changes that occur. In aromatherapy camphor essential oil is useful for pain management, infections, and relieving spasms.

Uses:

Topically;

Inflamed muscles and joints, sprains, infections, bronchitis, rheumatism, arthritis.

Cautions:

Do not diffuse this oil, it is classed as a neurotoxin and convulsant.

Do not use if you have asthma, epilepsy, or may be pregnant.

Risk of overdose for children is high, best to avoid for anyone smaller than an average adult.

First aid:

Convulsions and vomiting are associated with overdosing, if these symptoms are present after exposure call emergency services immediately.

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
bay leaf

Bay essential oil comes from the same tree as the leaves in your spice collection. As the Latin name implies it is also the same laurels mentioned in the bible, classic Greece, and Roman culture. Bay can grow as a tree or shrub with good range of size from 23-59 feet in height, to set seed both a female and male tree are required. Bay trees used to form large forests throughout the Mediterranean basin when everything was more humid than it is today. The last of these forests is believed to have died out about 10,000 years ago, however some remnants can still be found in mountainous regions within the basin, Morocco, southern Spain, and Southern Turkey are just a few. The most commonly used part of the plant is obviously the leaves, used to season sauces and broths in many parts of the world today. The wood and berries are also used for smoking and seasoning food respectively. Both east Asia and Europe have symbolism attached to the Bay tree. For east Asia it is a modern change to a traditional story about an woodsman sentenced to cut at a self-repairing tree for some offences (varies depending on region I believe). Even in Asia it has become associated with victory due to the change in the story and it’s association with the a Chinese saying which had an implied meaning of passing the imperial exams in the past. In Europe we have the association of victory due to the Laurel wreath which was given as the prize for winning at the Pythian games, these would later become the Olympics we know today. In aromatherapy bay essential oil is useful for preventing infection, pain relief, and reducing various types of spasms.

Uses:

Topically;

rheumatic pains, excess gas.

Diffused;

calming, headaches.

Low exposure can be stimulating while heavy exposure is sedating.

Cautions:

Do not use if pregnant.

May be a skin irritant.

Ensure good dilution even when diffusing.

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
cajeput

Cajeput is technically indistinguishable from “Tea Tree” and the differences boil down to labels and business. Monopolies, business rivalries, and copyrights are really the only real difference between the two. I’ve included this as a separate oil to help clear the confusion. “Tea tree” is generally distilled from M. alternifolia, distillers stick to one species only for legal necessity.
Cajeput can be distilled (and therefor tea tree as well) from M. alternifoliaM. cajeputum, M. quinquenervia, and M. leucadendra and the oil will chemically be damn near identical with no distinguishable difference in the medicinal properties. The bark of these trees were used by the Aborigine canoes, roofing material, and shields. Go check out the tea tree post for more on the oils medicinal properties.

Uses:

Topically;

cools the body during fever, pain relief, prevent infection, problem skin.

Diffused;

Opens the lungs, insect repellent, clears the mind.

Cautions:

High concentration can cause irritation to skin and mucus membranes.

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 breathing irritation has occurred move person to clear air and monitor. If problems persist or worsen within a 30min time frame contact emergency services. 15 minutes for babies.


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