Aromatic Compress Rest and restore with a compress
THE COMPRESS is a highly efficacious application of aromatherapy.
Hot or cold compresses are an ancient method of healing aches, cramps, colic, swellings, strained tendons and muscles, and bruises or traumatised flesh from falls.
Essential oils are localised on to the affected area and swiftly take effect for the specific problem. The water used in a compress dilutes the chosen appropriate essential oils and helps them penetrate the skin more efficiently.
Compresses may be left on the body for up to 20 minutes; this time will either cool the hot compress or warm the cool one, as it adjusts to the body’s temperature. At such a time they can be changed for a fresh one.
Traditionally one cools an inflammatory condition; therefore hot conditions like rheumatism, arthritis and neuralgia and some skin inflammations respond well to a cold compress.
Injuries such as pulled tendons; bruises sprains or repetitive strain injury will be much relieved by using essential oils in this cold application.
The cold compress is also suitable for headaches and eyestrain, whereby an aromatic eye pillow that has been chilled slightly in the fridge will offer much relief.
Never make compresses for the eyes from undiluted oils; compresses are a highly diluted method of application.
Sometimes, however, the hot compress can be very comforting and pain relieving for aching muscles, backache, cramps and especially menstrual pain.
Toothaches, abscesses and earaches may be beautifully assuaged with a warm compress held gently against the jaw or ear region. Cover the hot compress with a dry towel to trap the heat in for longer.
A hot compress when used over the facial skin is a marvellous cosmetic aid that really assists the essential oils to penetrate more deeply. It also allows the nose to inhale the aroma, which can relax and soothe over- wrought nerves.
It is this deeper, inner releasing of tension that really dissolves the stressed and stern holding pattern on our faces that eventually manifests in downward lines.
How to make an aromatic compress
The basic dilution for compresses is 5-10 drops of essential oil in two litres of water.
A hand towel is soaked in the liquid that has been thoroughly mixed, then wrung out, removing the excess water.
Very hot water should be used for a hot compress, but cooled so that it is not scalding. Ice can be added to cold water for a cold compress, or it can be wrapped in the towel.
This compress is then applied to the affected area and the person should just rest and let the healing take place.
All the recipes here have been designed for dilution in two litres of water (unless noted).
After ringing the towel, excess liquid can be re-used in further applications throughout the day, simply keep refrigerated (and re-heat if it is for a hot compress). Your nose will tell you when the solution has lost its potency.
| HOT COMPRESS
|SKIN CARE (HOT)
|2 drops lavender
|2 dp chamomile
|1 dp rose
|1 drop basil
|2 dp rosemary
|1 dp neroli
|1 drop rosemary
|1 dp black pepper
|1 dp patchouli
|2 dp manuka
|2 dp geranium
|thorns or splinters
|2 dp myrrh
|2 dp marjoram
|1 dp sandalwood
|2 dp manuka
|2 dp chamomile
|1 dp cypress
|2 dp frankincense
|3 dp clary sage
|2 dp petitgrain
|1 dp carrot
|1 dp ginger
|1 dp rosemary
Essential Oil of the month Coriander From heartburn to love spells - Coriander’s story spans three millennia
CORIANDER has been cultivated for more than 3,000 years; it was supposedly grown in the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
The Ancient Hebrews called coriander manna provided by God to the children of Israel and it was one of the bitter herbs eaten at Passover.
Since ancient times the herb has been enjoyed in cooking and perfumery and also utilised medicinally, as a remedy for digestive complaints, constipation as well as insomnia and during childbirth.
The Chinese used the whole herb to promote longevity and to treat dysentery, nausea, measles and painful hernia.
The Egyptians believed in its aphrodisiacal powers and called Coriander the Spice of Happiness; its seeds were found in the ancient Egyptian tombs of Ramese ΙΙ and Tutankhamen and it is mentioned in the Ebers papyrus.
The Greeks and Romans steeped the herb in their wines. The Romans brought the herb to Britain and it became a key component of the famous Carmelite eau de toilette in Paris.
To this day, the French still use it to flavour the well-known Benedictine and Chartreuse liqueurs. In Medieval Europe, coriander was considered a witch’s herb, used in love potions and magic.
In Indian cuisine, coriander has always been a favourite curry spice, which also helps to delay putrefaction of food. It is sometimes used to flavour tobacco. Today we all know its distinct flavour in Indian, Vietnamese, Thai and Mexican cooking.
From an energetic perspective, coriander is warm and dry, and circulates Qi-energy in the stomach and intestines.
This explains how it serves as a carminative for the digestive system, exerting antispasmodic and relaxing action, relieving abdominal cramps, flatulence and hiccoughs.
MASSAGE BLEND: Add five drops of Coriander Essential oil to one tablespoon of vegetable oil and massage gently into a sore abdomen or a painful joint. A good alternative is to blend 3 drops coriander with 1 drop lavender and 2 drops chamomile with 1tbsp vegetable oil.
Muscular pains and stiffness respond well to 2 drops each of coriander, marjoram and clary-sage in a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Coriander oil, like many of the spice oils, treats colicky pains and heartburn. It is said to assist with eating disorders and stimulates the appetite, having a warming effect on the stomach while promoting bile flow.
This wonderful warming effect works very well in rubs to combat arthritic and rheumatic pain and its antispasmodic action quells muscular spasms.
When one is chilled with the flu, coriander comes to the rescue, bringing warmth and opening the lungs to promote better breathing and easing headaches.
Use coriander oil with lavender and lemon tea-tree oils in a burner in the sickroom for those infected with the measles virus.
Coriander is a good tonic for the spleen and cleanses the body; efficiently ridding it of wastes and excessive fluid. The Glandular system enjoys coriander’s tonic action, as does the circulatory system.
Coriander oil is helpful for scant, absent or painful menstruation due to its estrogen-stimulating effect. Coriander has an eroticising effect and is believed to enhance fertility.
In the gourmet kitchen, coriander oil may be used to season savoury dishes or added to liqueurs for a piquant note.
Coriander is not generally used in skincare, however it brings an imaginative and original touch to perfumes blends.
Did you Know?
When the leaves of coriander are crushed it gives off pungent smell that was compared to the odour of squashed bugs, and the root word for coriander comes from the Greek word “Koris” for bug.
This oil functions as a gentle stimulant when we are tired and have low physical energy. It also stimulates creativity and memory with its neuro-tonic activity invigorating the intellect.
Coriander may be beneficial during convalescence and especially after a difficult child-birth. It helps people relax in a pleasant way during times of stress, irritability or nervousness.
It is indicated for shock and fear as it reduces dizziness and uplifts because it opens up the doorways of the body to more vitalising Prana.
The scent of coriander oil combines a warm and woody serenity with a peppery stimulation; imbuing a feeling of security and earthy stability coupled with spontaneity and passion. It is suited to complex creative personalities who resent predictability and mundane routine.
FACT FILE Name:
Coriander Latin name: Coriandrum sativum Common names:
Cilantro, Bug-weed, Chinese parsley Family:
Umbelliferae (carrot family) What is it?
Coriander is a native of the Middle East and Western Asia; it is now cultivated worldwide especially in Morocco and around the Mediterranean. The oil is mainly produced mostly in Russia Yugoslavia, and Romania. This annual plant grows up to 90cm and has feathery bright green leaves with umbrella-shaped flower heads of lace-like pinkish/white flowers. These are followed by a mass of green round seeds that turn brown. There are various chemotypes of the same species in different geographical locations. Scent:
Coriander has a slightly pungent, sweet and spicy aroma with a slightly woody undertone. The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the crushed ripe dried seeds (sometimes referred to as fruits) that are grey-brown in colour. This process produces a colourless to pale yellow liquid.
Blends well with: Rose, jasmine, sandalwood, geranium, neroli, bergamot, orange, lemon, petitgrain, citronella, cypress, cinnamon, ginger. Therapeutic properties:
Analgesic, aperitif, aphrodisiac, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, deodorant, depurative (blood cleanser) stimulant, stomachic. Precautions: Generally a non-toxic oil non-irritating oil, however coriander could cause kidney irritation and be stupefying if used in high doses. Avoid during pregnancy.