Edition 38: December 2011
Christmas Blessings from Tinderbox
IN THREE prominent locations about the Tinderbox workspace is written the mantra Lokha Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu in bold blue script.
The meaning of these four words is translated as: May all beings attain freedom and happiness and may all my thoughts and actions contribute to that freedom and happiness. More simply this means: May there be an end to all suffering.
Spoken audibly or chanted internally, the very sound and vibration of these words sets the stage for our intent and the heart’s deepest longing, even if this is sometimes occluded. So even if we arrive at work grumpy and resentful, the essence of the mantra can transform our feelings positively.
Mantras are sounds, syllables, words or phrases which can create change. A saying from the Vedas states Speech is the essence of humanity.
As such, our speech has the power to influence ourselves and our world through vibration and intent. They offer a way to connect with our inner selves; to heal, to become grounded; to access hope and to increase positive emotions by stimulating the left hemisphere of the brain through their vibrations.
The language is ancient Sanskrit, considered the only sacred language where it is not only the meaning that is of importance, but the very vibration of the sounds that resonates deeply within the human biology and psyche, creating the architecture for this mantra to become reality.
So too; it is the intention with which we design, make, pack and send the Tinderbox products, on their way into people’s lives and homes that is important.
The very vibration of the above mantra can be imbued in each product, rendering them more potent in their ability to touch and change people’s lives for the better as they carry with them our authentic blessing for true healing and well-being to be brought about in some small or significant way.
Essential Oil of the Month
Christmas Tree yields healing oil
THE TALL upright trunks of Scotch pine trees were once most valued as wood for masts of sailing ships. Today Pinus Sylvestrus is extensively cultivated for its wood, tar, pitch, turpentine and oil.
Pine essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the needles, twigs and cones from many species of pine, although the best oil comes from the Pinus sylvestrus needles, which is the safest to use therapeutically in aromatherapy.
Inferior and very cheap essential oils are produced by dry distillation from the wood chippings and used industrially and in cheap phenolic cleaners. (Even as a lubricant in small and expensive clockwork instruments).
Pine oil is readily available in varying grades of price and quality, but we will talk about the most valued Pinus sylvestrus needle oil here.
Historically, pine was used by the Native Americans to prevent scurvy and they burned twigs in their smudging ceremonies and sweat lodges. Its curative properties were recognised in the ancient civilisations of Arabia, Greece and Egypt to treat pneumonia, tuberculosis and other lung disease and it was a part of incense ingredients for religious ceremonies.
Great herbalists Galen and Dioscorides recommended pine for cleansing the lungs.
People used to stuff their mattresses with the needles to repel lice, mites and fleas and the ancient Egyptians ate the pine kernels in their bread. It was also used as a folk medicine to treat scabies.
The tall evergreen Scotch pine can grow up to 40m. It has a flat crown and has a reddish-brown, deeply fissured bark, needle-like gray-green leaves that grow in pairs, orange-yellow flowers and pointed brown cones.
Pine oil is a phenolic disinfectant and antiseptic that is relatively inexpensive and widely available and effective against a broad range of bacteria on the body as well as about the home.
This essential oil makes a good antiseptic wash for cuts and wounds, as well as for the treatment of boils and tinea. Add it as a foot bath or soak to treat toenail fungus infection, sweaty odourous feet or just to revive your feet.
Pine oil is very helpful in treating respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, catarrh, coughs, laryngitis, colds and flu. Its piercing and penetrating nature - especially when inhaling the vapour or steam - eases breathlessness and sinusitis and acts as a fine expectorant to dissolve thick mucus, clearing congestion.
Blend it with eucalyptus oil; niaouli and lemon oils to help assuage such pulmonary complaints and as a general lung tonic.
Pine oil may be blended in low dilution with a vegetable carrier oil to use for massage to treat aching, stiff and tired muscles. Use after overexertion from sports and injuries.
Such a blend is useful for rheumatic, arthritic or gout-stricken joints and where there is poor circulation as it stimulates blood flow to the peripheral body and reduces uric acid in the blood.
As an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, use in an abdominal massage blend as a general kidney and genital-urinary cleanser to assist in the treatment of cystitis, prostate problems and urinary infections. This application is also helpful in reducing the inflammation of the gall bladder and incidence of gallstones as well as easing symptoms of hepatitis.
Uses around the Home
PINE oil is suitable for home air fresheners and disinfectants and used this way also helps to keep fleas, flies and mosquitoes at bay. It can be added to household products such as detergents, soaps and cleaners to refresh and keep the home bacteria free. It has deodorising benefits for smelly feet and shoes.
Pine oil is employed as a flavour ingredient in many food products and alcoholic and soft drinks.
Diffuse pine oil in a burner or spray in a mister to relieve mental, physical and sexual fatigue and lethargy.
Pine essential oil elevates the mood by energising and alleviating mental and emotional stress, helping to remove anxiety and nervous tension.
Pine oil enhances mental clarity, which is helpful for those people suffering from loss of concentration and loss of memory. Burn pine oil in aromatisers and incense to create an invigorating effect and to cleanse a space psychically. If it is used as vapour therapy in a sick room it aids breathing and recovery and also removes adrenal fatigue and refreshes jaded spirits for the weak and debilitated.
Pine oil is specific for those with self-identity and boundary issues, particularly when one cannot delineate ones personal responsibilities from others, which renders the individual feeling worthless, unworthy and introverted.
Fostering forgiveness and acceptance, pine helps us process experience and re-establishing appropriate boundaries, which restores self-confidence, dispersing melancholy and pessimism, reconnecting us to our societal group more wholesomely.
Pine enables us to find and engage in community, coaxing us from isolation, separation, pride and ego control. The fellowship of kindred spirit is the reward brought to us with pine as we find our place amongst those who support our path and share our dreams.
Pine dissipates the competition, alienation and suspicion that our mind can construct to keep us secluded from the company to which we naturally belong.
The scent of pine teaches us to receive the nurturing and sharing that group consciousness brings. Rubbing pine oil onto the stomach channel and abdomen releases anti-social behaviours and allows group consciousness to be realised.
Burn pine oil at Christmas time and other auspicious social events to open doorways to warm social interaction; to arouse merriment and congeniality amongst your kin.
Latin name: Pinus sylvestrus
Common names: Scotch pine, pine needle, Norway pine, forest pine
Scent: Pine oil has a fresh forest smell that is both dry and sweet with camphoraceous top notes as well as balsamic, woody undertones. It is pale yellow in colour and watery in viscosity.
Blends well with: Cedarwood, cinnamon, clove, rosemary, tea-tree, sage, lavender, juniper, lemon, niaouli, eucalyptus and marjoram. Use as a middle note in blends.
Therapeutic Properties: antimicrobial, anti-neuralgic, anti rheumatic, antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, balsamic, cholagogue, deodorant, diuretic, expectorant, hypertensive, insecticidal, restorative, rubefacient, (brings blood to the surface) and an adrenal cortex stimulant.
Uses: In Oriental medicine Pine oil is considered “warm and dry” and tonifying to Qi-energy. It is thus beneficial for asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sinusitis and sore throat. Antiseptic for cuts, sores, scabies and infections. Warming for arthritis, rheumatism, gout, sciatica, muscular aches and pains and poor circulation. Useful for cystitis, urinary infection and prostate problems, colds, flu, fatigue, nervous exhaustion and stress related conditions.
Safety: Although pine needle oil is considered non-toxic and non-irritant in low dosage, it should still be used with care on the skin and definitely never in high dosage. Care should
be taken if you are prone to allergic reactions, and this oil may also irritate the mucus membranes.