Essential Oil of the Week: Benzoin Styrax
Benzoin oil has a sweet, warm and vanilla-like aroma and is golden brown in color, with a treacle-like viscosity.
The essential oil is extracted from the Styrax Benzoin tree, which is from Java, Sumatra and Thailand and grows to 8 meters (20 feet). Deep incisions are made in the trunk of the tree, from which the grayish colored sap exudes. When the resinous lump becomes hard and brittle, it is collected from the bark.
Benzoin, also known as gum Benjamin, is one of the classic ingredients of incense. In ancient civilizations it was used in fumigation and it is also an ingredient of 'Friar's balsam', an aid to respiratory problems. It is also used as a fixative in the perfume industry.
The therapeutic properties of benzoin oil include the following; antiseptic, anti-depressant, astringent, anti-inflammatory, carminative, cordial, deodorant, diuretic, expectorant, sedative and vulnerary.
Benzoin oil's greatest benefit lies in that it has a calming effect on the nervous and digestive systems, a warming effect on circulation problems and a toning effect on the respiratory tract.
It furthermore boosts the pancreas, which in turns helps digestion, and is thought to be involved in controlling blood sugar, which makes it valuable for sufferers of diabetes.
The effect it has on the skin is to improve elasticity, helping cracked skin, while aiding the healing of sores and wounds and at the same time reducing redness, irritation and itching.
Essential Oil of the Week: Armoise Mugwort
Armoise Mugwort, or Artimisia Alba, originated in India and Morocco. Its essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowers of the mugwort plant, a very popular plant for medicinal purposes with reddish purple stems and reddish brown flowers that sprout in the summer.
The color of Armoise Mugwort essential oil is usually dark yellow and of thin consistency, and it has a really strong and powerful aroma-- fresh, green, camphoraceous, and almost bittersweet. Because of this, it blends well with other herbaceous oils like patchouli, lavender, rosemary, and pine.
It is reputed to have anti-spasmodic, carminative, diuretic, and stimulant
Common Uses: The chemical structure of Armoise Mugwort includes thujone, and is reputed to have anti-spasmodic, carminative, diuretic, and stimulant properties. Historically, it has been used to expel worms, control fever and for digestive disturbances.
History: Also known as White Wormwood, the herb has been used throughout Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean basin.
Essential Oil of the Week: Arborvitae
Arborvitae essential oil is steam distilled from the needles and twigs of the Thuja plant, which originated in Canada. "The hardy evergreen has dense, scale-like foliage, waxy to the touch, and fragrant. The leaves are in flattened sprays, small and overlapping with bell-shaped cones" (Soapgoods). The essential oil itself is mostly colorless, with a medium consistency and a strong, herbaceous, forest aroma that would be categorized as a top note in perfumery. Its smell can be quite overpowering, actually, which is why it blends well with other sweet woody scents like cedarwood, sweet birch, cajeput, cassia, cinnamon, and eucalyptus.
Native Americans saw the thuja tree as the "Tree of Life" and believed that it warded off lightning. Arborvitae oil has long been used as a natural insect repellant and helps soothe psoriasis and poison ivy. It is touted for its anti-rheumatic, anti-infectious, and anti-allergenic properties, and also serves as a stimulant, astringent, and antibacterial. Pregnant women are advised to avoid it however, as it is rich in thujone (a neurotoxin substance) and is officially listed as an abortifacient (a drug causing abortion).
If you have any questions regarding Arborvitae or would like to test its various uses and benefits for yourself, stop by Tijon Fragrance Lab & Boutique located at 7853 Herschel Ave. La Jolla CA 92037. Also, feel free to call us at 619.821.8219 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.