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Edition 11: September 2009

Edition 11: September 2009

Essential Oil of the Month
Geranium
The great balancing oil for hormones and skin

GERANIUM is the great balancer of essential oils, due to it being an adrenal cortex stimulant.
It is especially good for menstrual problems as it helps to regulate hormones and elevate moods with its anti-depressant qualities. This also applies for those undergoing menopause. It also counters a too heavy menstrual flow.
Geranium oil improves kidney function and is a strong diuretic on excess fluids in the body.
It is one of the most useful oils to detoxify the lymphatic system and help eliminate cellulite, which is why it is included in lymphatic drainage massage blends to disperse fluid retention and improve lymph flow. 
Geranium oil is one of the few essential oils, in terms of oriental medicine, that may be considered cool and moist in energy, clearing heat and inflammation and strengthening Qi-energy. Encouraging the circulation of Qi and blood, geranium oil is both analgesic and antispasmodic and particularly useful for nerve, eye and joint pain. The oil can also relieve haemorrhoids and varicose veins.
As a tonic, it is able to reinforce both Qi-energy of the spleen and the pancreas and the yin energy of the body as a whole. In this way it may be used to alleviate lethargy, diarrhoea and lymphatic congestion.
It encourages all systems and functions to work properly by influencing endocrinal glands to regulate the secretion of various hormones, enzymes, acids and bile. Thus, it indirectly tones up the respiratory system, digestive system, circulatory system, nervous system and excretory system.
Where the thyroid is under-functioning or mal-functioning, ger- anium along with myrrh can help balance things out.  
The lovely floral fragrance makes geranium a valuable perfume additive as well as a superb deodorant both for personal hygiene and for freshening rooms.
Geranium oil is a wonderful wound healer and soothes burns and sunburns.  It is used as an antibacterial to treat acne and pimples. It is  indicated as a soothing aid for conditions such as shingles, chicken pox and other diseases that cause neuralgia (nerve pain), calming blisters and inflamed nerves quickly, eliminating residual nerve damage.


Recipes
To ease shingle pain: Put 3-5 drops of geranium essential oil into a cool or warm bath and let your body rest in the water while inhaling the lovely fragrance of the oil and letting the tension slide off into the water.
To balance oily skin and alleviate acne: Put 1 or 2 drops of geranium oil onto clean fingers and dab directly onto oily areas of the face and pimples. Alternatively, put 5 drops of geranium oil into a bowl of warm water, squeeze a clean face cloth into it, then apply with gentle pressure over all the face. This can be a nice pick-me-up at the end of a day’s work.


Used in cosmetics it is useful for dry or oily skin, in that it balances out sebum secretions. Geranium oil helps treat ageing or weathered skin. It restructures scar tissue (including keloid) with its action on the deeper layers of the skin, reprogramming cell structures. Accordingly, it is excellent in a blend to treat stretch marks or abnormal scarring.  It also likes the scalp and helps with dandruff. This oil is great to use in a vapouriser in the office or workplace. The harmonising fragrance creates a refreshing “public” atmosphere which will enhance the flow of conversation and facilitate negotiations requiring a rapid, well-coordinated exchange of information.  With the help of this activating smell, we can find our natural rhythm, recognise our tasks and determine the sequence in which they must be dealt with.
Geranium initiates an energetic confrontation of the issues that cause conflict, heartache and abandonment, which allows the fragmented self to become integrated into the wholeness of the higher Self.  It is nurturing and soothing to the forsaken parts of self and stimulates a sense of safety, encouraging the desire to emotionally relate to others.  By stimulating the energy of divine grace, it helps transform feelings of embarrassment and shame that contribute to low self-esteem and leads us to greater self-acceptance. Surrendering into acceptance of those feelings develops the understanding that all experiences are part of the journey.
The energetics of geranium oil expands the thymus chakra, letting injustices heal, releasing blame. This awakens resourcefulness. 
Conveying a feeling of calm strength and security, geranium oil is beneficial for both chronic and acute anxiety, particularly where there is nervous exhaustion due to stress.
The astrological sign Venus is the archetypal symbol of sensuality, creativity and relationship; three key aspects of experience that geranium oil has the potential to enhance. Here is an oil for the workaholic perfectionist; for the person who has forgotten imagination, intuition and sensory experience. It reconnects us to our feeling-life, relaxed spontaneity and a healthy lust for enjoyment.


Fact File

Name: Geranium Essential Oil
Latin name: Pelargonium graveolens
Characteristics: Geranium has light lemon-fresh top notes and soft, rosy, sweet floral undertones.  It could be described as the best friend of all other oils as it blends so well with everything, rounding off a blend with its mediating qualities.
Main therapeutic properties:  Antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, stops bleeding, wound healer, deodorant, diuretic, vermifuge, tonic.
Uses: Geranium oil can be used to help in the treatment of acne, bruises, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, haemorrhoids, lice, as a mosquito repellent, ringworm, ulcers, breast engorgement, edema, poor circulation, sore throat, tonsillitis, PMS, menopausal problems, stress and neuralgia.
 


What Herb is That?
Lady's Mantle
Cloak of herbal protection for women

LADY’S mantle is rich in folklore. The word Alchemilla is a derivative of the Arab word Alkemelych, which means alchemy, and was named because people believed the herb could produce miraculous cures.
It was believed that the leaves were very good at collecting dew. The early alchemists (part chemist part magicians) believed that the dewdrops gathered on the leaves were precious with magical powers.
Reminiscent of the virgin’s cloak in medieval paintings, the leaves with scalloped edges are reputed to have given the lady’s mantle its name.  It was believed by early herbalists to be capable of restoring lost virginity in women so strong was its contractile powers also to bring firmness to flabby breasts in older women.
Highly astringent and rich in tannins, it was one of the most popular wound herbs on the battlefields of the 15th and 16th Centuries.
Lady’s Mantle is known as a very efficient cure for women and is recommended in all cases of menstrual disorders such as amenorrhea, (absence of menstruation) endometriosis, cervicitis and fibroids. It eases menstrual cramps and reduces heavy bleeding (menorrhagia). It balances the hormonal actions in the body and is thus regulating to the whole cycle of menstruation.
It is believed to be useful in treating sterility in women and helps ease the process of giving birth. Furthermore, it can cure infections of the pelvic organs. The herbal extract is often used as a douche to wash off excess vaginal discharge and resolve the problem of leucorrhoea, minimising irritation and infection in the vaginal cavity. It has been mixed with rose water for this purpose. It also treats problems caused by menopausal disorders.
Lady's mantle is commonly recommended for treating diarrhoea and stomach ailments such as gastroenteritis due to its astringent qualities. The herb is rich in salicylic acid - this induces a rapid reduction in the inflammation affecting the digestive system, as well as the reproductive system of patients. 
Lady's mantle is used to soothe infections of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat and an infusion can be used for gargling and as a mouthwash for bleeding gums and mouth ulcers.
For external use, lady's mantle is employed in healing wounds and cuts as it staunches blood flow and allows the first stage of healing to begin without hindrance.  The tea and extracts may be used as a bath additive to treat skin irritations, burns and boils. The herb can be used effectively in herbal cleansing creams and other cosmetics for beautifying properties for the skin, preventing premature wrinkling.
Lady's mantle was also used traditionally for treating blood sugar diseases, as an astringent that affects the production rate of enzymes in the pancreas; thus it could be helpful for diabetics. Traditional medicine teaches us that lady's mantle can be used effectively in obesity cases as well as for rheumatism. It is also used in treating spasms and muscle pains, muscle weakness or general weakness, anaemia, and growing problems during childhood.


Recipe

Lady's Mantle Tea is made from a spoonful of ground herb steeped for 10 minutes in a cup of boiled water. This infusion is then consumed three times a day and is recommended for treating mild menstruation disorders and for diabetics. In cases of amenorrhea the tea should be more concentrated and the time left to infuse longer (about 20 minutes). This same tea may be used externally for gargling and as a vaginal douche.
Important points to remember: Don't use lady's mantle if you're breast-feeding or pregnant.


Fact File:

Name: Lady's Mantle
Latin: Alchemilla vulgaris
What is it? Lady's Mantle, from the Rosaceae family, is a perennial herb found in Europe, North America, and Asia that has been used medicinally since the Middle Ages.                                         
Properties: Astringent, antimicrobial, vulnerary (heals wounds), styptic (stops bleeding), anti-inflammatory and heart-strengthening.
Uses: Female health maintenance, menstrual health maintenance: painful period, menstrual bleeding, cramps, and irregularity, PMS. Skin disorders. Heart health maintenance: vascular disorders, aids blood clotting. Diabetes; sugar control. Wounds, headaches, dizziness    Digestive disorders: diarrhoea, stomach irritation, stomach aches, nausea, relief from vomiting.   

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