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: Anise
Essential Oil of the Week: Angelica Root
Angelica Root has a number of healing properties. The essential oil is anti-fungal, antibacterial, antispasmodic, depurative, diaphoretic, and used in traditional Chinese medicine to aid the reproductive system. Mainly produced in Hungary and Siberia, Angelica Root essential oil has a sharp, green scent, with peppery overtones. It also blends the best with citrus and woody notes for an overall herbaceous aroma.
In addition to its medicinal properties, Angelica Root essential oil is widely used as a flavoring agent in the food and beverage industry due to its sweet spiciness. Its origins trace back to 16th Century Europe, where it gained tremendous popularity as a treatment for the Plague. Many people have claimed that it fights infection, stimulates the immune system, and helps eliminate toxins.
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