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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ananda Adds a Special Massage Oil Blend

New at Ananda Apothecary: Earth Goddess Massage Oil Blend:

Pure Massage Bliss for Balancing Vata - This is a wonderfully lucious blend of essential oils, with a higher concentration than is normally found in the massage oils. It is made for topical application in an aromatherapeutic manner - rubbed into the soles of the feet or the solar plexus - or wherever feels good! To use as an all-over body massage oil, dilute further either 1:2 or 1:4 in the carrier oil of your choice.

Earth Goddess Massage Blend divinely lush, warming, grounding blend created specifically for balancing Vata (air and ether) energy. This deep fragrance assists one in finding their connection to the magnificent earth energy. Earth Goddess contains the following essential oils:

Cedar Oil - Well known for its fragrance, Cedar trees are revered in many cultures and are often used in connection with sacred events (baby blessings, weddings, vision quests, fasts, and so on.) and the Cedar wood has a long history of being associated with the Summer Solstice. The oldest Cedars in are held to be very sacred and the Cedar may be considered the ?Tree of Life?. Well know for its visionary properties, Cedar is burned is used to invoke the wisdom of the prophetic teachings. This tree is associated with the Feminine Earth sign of Virgo. Plants that support Virgo help one to set boundaries and to recognize what is appropriate responsibility and when to let others be responsible for their own activities. This frees the natural wisdom energy of Virgo gathering and supporting the harmonizing of excess Vata. Consequently the creative forces of air and ether can be harnessed and used for manifesting dreams as well as transformation.

Vanilla Oil - A natural aphrodisiac, the energy of vanilla infuses this blend with loving vibrations and a sense of grace, elegance, and flow. Associated with Venus, love, the feminine and elemental water, Vanilla restores lost energy and improve the mind. Connecting to the energy of flow, Vanilla removes stagnant Kaphic (water) energy and assists one in dancing with the energy of the universe

Juniper Berry Oil - Juniper is used to keep one healthy and aid in the healing of all varieties of karmic wounds. Associated with the masculine energy of Aries Juniper supports once independent and free nature. Complimenting Vata by harmonizing one?s Pitta (fire) energy, Juniper is used to boost one?s natural chi for those with an inquisitive, inventive, spirit. Juniper is used to connect with one?s ancestors in an honoring and reverent manner

Frankincense Oil - With strong associations to the Sun, Frankincense has been used to honor and balance Yang (masculine) energy. It is believed capable of bringing forth soul and compassion of the Yin (feminine) nature of the Universe. In its unique capacity of balancing the Yang and Yin energies, Frankincense represents divinities ability to move into manifestation. It assists the conscious mind in maintaining focus and generates a sense of reverence for the spiritual in the mundane and the stunning beauty of manifest world. Frankincense brings protection as well as purifying energy to one?s astral and physical body.

Jasmine Oil - Jasmine is associated with the divine feminine, maternal aspect of the universe as well as with the Vishnu, Kuan Yin, and Mary mother of Jesus. Jasmine brings protection and health to one?s aura. Jasmine promotes mental creativity and innovative thinking. Worn by high priestesses, Jasmine is truly a flower for goddesses.

Sweet Orange - Given as wedding gifts in ancient culture, orange is symbolic of romantic love. The blossoms are often worn by the bride as an offering to love, romance, and fertility. This orange plant is said to strengthen and invigorate the seeker. Associated with the planet Neptune. Orange supports the kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract system. It assists the thinker in letting go of structured and concrete mental thinking, allowing one to open to their imagination and dreams. Herbs of Neptune have been used in religious ceremonies, for they are capable of inducing divine visions. When used by priestesses in the past, such rites followed fasting, prayer, and abstinence form worldly contact. Orange is associated with the parathyroid and pineal glands. Often thought to be the home of the ?third eye?, the pineal gland tilts upwards towards the heavens. Galen considered the pineal to be a ?regulator of thought?. ?The Chinese liken the pineal gland to the tiger force by the pineal gland is the primal yang power of heaven, The pineal is the male crown chakra which finds its outward expression in the right eye and the upper brain and releases spiritual essences into masculine energy of spirit.? (Dr. Farida Sharan)

Vetiver Oil - The rich earthy fragrance of Vetiver is used in love potions, to increase luck and abundance and as a protector against dark energy. Associated with the Earth energy of Virgo, Vetiver is both uplifting, calming, and restoring. Belonging to a family of plants that feeds the world (Gramineae, or grass family), her rich roots are naturally grounding and nourishing. According to the Indian philosophy of Vedanta, Prakriti is a feminine symbol of universal energy and the power of manifestation. Through its capacity to reconnect us to our vital capacity, Vetiver instills in us her potency. Vetiver instills in us the reassuring strength of Mother Earth and a deep sense of belonging.

All based in Organic Sunflower oil - Associated with Yang solar energy, this light oil is used as a base to assist one in connecting to their naturally joyful heart. Opening the solar plexus chakra allows the inner radiance to shine as bright as a thousand suns. Sunflower naturally lifts depression, sorrow, and loneliness. A protective oil providing a natural fire to assisst one in inviting in Pitta.

Earth Goddess Massage Oil Blend can be found here. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Using Essential Oils with Children

A beginner's guide to using aromatherapy with children -

Essential oils are pure aromatic plant essences - they are distilled from flowers, fruit, leaves, resins, roots, seeds, and wood. The are used for their healing properties the world over - in , for example, they are only available through licensed, qualified parishioners. In the United States, we have free access to essential oils - but with this comes with some important cautions: Only some of the essential oils available are suitable for children; others are not suitable for children and some are even dangerous to children (children with epilepsy should not come in contact with stimulating essential oils).

When used correctly however, essential oils can be of great benefit, and will not conflict with your child's medically prescribed drugs. Always research the oil of choice thoroughly before using with your infant or child - ask advice from a qualified practitioner, or see the references at the end of this article.

That said, essential oils can be a wonderful way of supporting your child's health, happiness and well-being. Essential oils can be very therapeutic and nurturing to both your child and you, the caregiver. Essential oils are used externally (on the outside of the body) in your child's bath, body lotions, oils, creams, gels, compresses, foot baths, or in a oil warmer. The effects of aromatherapy will generally fall into one of three main categories: 1) Assisting in healing from minor illnesses and accidents, 2) Supporting your child's overall sense of well-being, and 3) Assisting your child in getting quality rest.

When using essential oils with your child, it is imperative that you find a reputable supplier of therapeutic-grade essential oils, using organic or wildcrafted varieties when possible. Synthetic copies of oils commonly used in perfumery are not appropriate, and may even be harmful to your child's health. To maintain efficacy, essential oils should be kept in dark amber or cobalt glass containers, in a dark and cool location, away from the child's access. Wooden storage boxes from craft or 'Pier One' type stores can make a nice container for the bottles.

Essential Oils in the Home Care Kit

These twelve essential oils are very useful for treating minor ailments in the home environment. Clicking each will bring you to their primary information page: Lavender, Roman Chamomile, German Chamomile, Tea Tree, Thyme Linalol, Ravensara, Niaouli, Cardamom, Mandarin, Eucalyptus Radiata, Helichrysum and Petitgrain.

Methods of Using Essential Oils

There are two methods of using essential oils with your child - INHALATION: through a diffuser, nebulizer, or adding to a humidifier reservoir, and TOPICAL APPLICATION: diluting the essential oil in a carrier oil and applying topically. Adding essential oils to a bath combines the two methods, though we will cover it under topical application.

For topical application, essential oils are diluted in varying strengths depending on the use and age of your child. The concentration can vary from one drop of essential oil per tablespoon of carrier oil, to a couple of drops per teaspoon of carrier added to a drawn bath, to an equal ratio of carrier and essential oil applied directly to your child's feet (as in the case of gentle Lavender). In other words, there is a huge variation in dilution levels depending on the circumstances. Mamas, do your research and then trust your instinct. Only you and your child baby know exactly what is right for your situation.

General dilution rate guidelines of essential oils in one ounce of carrier oil:

Age of Child Dilution Rate of Essential Oil to One Ounce Carrier Oil

Newborn (Consult primary 1-3 drops essential oil / ounce
Care physician before use)

2-6 months 1-3 drops essential oil / ounce

6-12 months 1-4 drops essential oil / ounce

1-4 years (unless very small) 5-8 drops essential oil / ounce

6-7 years 5-10 drops essential oil / ounce

9-12 years 5-12 drops essential oil / ounce

12 years to young adult 10-15 drops essential oil / ounce

DO NOT USE AN ESSENTIAL OIL NEAT (undiluted ) on children's skin, unless indicated to do so for a specific condition. If your child has very sensitive skin, it is important to test a small area before using a new single oil or blend. Keep essential oils away form the eyes. Essential oils are not to be taken orally (by mouth). When your child is taking medications, reduce the amount of essential oil by half the amount recommended for their age group.

Carrier oils for children

Sweet Almond oil is generally regarded as the safest and best overall carrier oil for use with babies and children. Apricot kernel oil is also considered extremely safe with children over 6. Jojoba oil can be added at about 10% concentration for any blend - it has a soothing effect on the skin and is good for hair.

Topical Application - Massage Recipes

There is nothing better for any child than the loving, nurturing touch of a parent. A gentle hug, a smile, a kiss on the cheek all reassure the child and help the parent and child to bond. These everyday forms of connection are instinctual and children thrive from it.

Research shows that massage can help children's growth both physically and emotionally. In hospitals, studies done with premature baby's show that touch is an essential aspect of the children's ability to thrive.

Using Nurturing Touch Massage
can be therapeutic to both the child and the parent. Using a light, conscientious tough you can massage your child's feet, arms, hands, back, abdomen, and even legs. The massage should always be done with loving intention and the work is done in the direction that the blood flows-from ankles to leg; from wrist to shoulder, etc.

Here are a few suggested blends for this wonderful method - each is in one (1) ounce of Sweet Almond oil:

Restful Sleep - 4 drops lavender, 2 drops Roman Chamomile

Happy Child - 3 drops Rose, 1 drop Neroli

Calm and Relaxed - 3 drops Petitgrain, 3 drops Neroli

Emotional Nurturing - 1 drop Rose Otto, 1 drop Vanilla, 2 drops Lavender

For a Baby oil blend, to be used as a moisturizer OR massage oil (note: the frequent washing of a baby's skin actually makes it difficult for them to retain vitamin C; application of a quality skin oil will help them keep adequate supplies of this important nutrient).

1 ounce of organic sweet almond oil or hazelnut oil
1 drop of pure Lavender essential oil
1 drop of Vanilla essential oil


1 ounce of organic sweet almond oil
2 drops of pure Lavender essential oil
1 drop of pure Chamomile (German) essential oil

The above blends can also be added to the bath. One teaspoon with the following amount of essential oils added can be added AFTER the bath is filled, per the age of the child: 3-5 years, 2 drops; 6-8 years, 3 drops; 8-11 years, 5 drops. Perhaps the easiest way to do this would be to make a full strength blend (without carrier oil) of your choice, then dilute as needed for the application.

Inhalation of essential oils

For inhalation, one can apply one or two drops to a handkerchief and inhale, or add oils to a water misting bottle or humidifier. Calming essential oils that may be used are Lavender (recommended for sleep - one to four drops can be placed under the pillow), Mandarin, Roman Chamomile, Ho Wood (an ecologically friendly replacement for Rosewood), Tangerine, Petitgrain, Vanilla, and Neroli. Simply use one of the body oil blends above, or use singly. A few drops per quart of water in a mister or humidifier will do.

For an anti-anxiety blend: Try 5 drops bergamot, 1 drop lavender and 3 drops geranium - dilute to 10 drops per pint of water for a room spray or use in a humidifier, or dilute to the appropriate level for your child's age if using topically. For alertness, try lemon, bergamot, grapefruit or pine, either singly or in a blend that pleases your senses (usually the best way to blend is to trust your nose!)

Essential oils can also be used in a candle lamp or warmer - with the oil gently evaporated from the surface of a small bowl of water by a candle. An electric nebulizing diffuser is generally not recommended for use with children, as the concentration of oils in the air can be too high.

Last but not least, essential oils are wonderful antiseptics.

Cuts and scrapes are simply a way of life for the little ones! A great blend for minor wounds is a 1:1 mix of Lavender and Tea Tree oil. The lavender is soothing, anti-inflammatory, and has regenerative 'ketones', while the tea tree is a strong antiseptic used for many generations by native Australians. Use this blend in the water used for cleaning wounds, and apply a few drops to the gauze of a bandage - do not apply directly to the skin as it will be unnecessarily irritating. On the bandage, however, it will be soothing and accelerate the healing process.

So this is a very brief overview of using essential oils on the little ones. There are many, many diverse applications for essential oils for almost every conceivable minor ailment seen in childhood. The key is knowledge - finding a good practitioner, or reputable resource for your needs. For further reading, books by Valerie Ann Woorwood are excellent: "Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child" and "The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy"; for safety data, see "Essential Oil Safety" by Robert Tisserand and Tony Balacs. The essential oils mentioned within this article are recognized as safe for most individuals - if you or your child are recognized as having a specific illness, and/or are under a doctor's regular care, please consult an appropriate practitioner before proceeding.

That said, aromatherpy can be a very fun and rewarding endevor for both you and your child. Essential oils have benefited the lives of many the world over, and have a little bit of plant magic available to everyone. If you have any questions about using essential oils with your child, and any specific questions about safety, don't hesitate to call or email us for additional information.

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