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Edition 6: April 2009

Edition 6: April 2009

Essential Oil of the Month
Rose
A rescuer for us all

ROSES are possibly the world’s favourite flower because of their beauty and their amazing fragrance. Rose oil, meaning either rose otto (attar of rose, attar of roses) or rose absolute, is the essential oil extracted from the petals of various types of rose.
Rose ottos are extracted through steam distillation, while rose absolutes are obtained through solvent extraction, a method called enfleurage or supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. The absolute is used more commonly in perfumery. 
To obtain a single drop of Rose oil, approx thirty roses must be used and accordingly, Rose absolute is one the most precious essential oils in the world and is thus quite costly. Fortunately, it is so potent and concentrated that a very low dilution has significant effect.
Rose oil’s applications are many; it not only fights depression, grief, anger and fear, but looks after your heart and digestive system, while being the most wonderful remedy for female problems and one of the best oils to use on the skin.
Rose oil has a deep, sweet and richly floral aroma, almost spicy, with dusky, honeyed undertones.  The colour ranges from clear to a pale yellow or greenish tint.
Rose oil has also been as a blood purifier, liver cleanser, cardiac tonic, uterine tonic, digestive tonic and for halting abnormal cell growth.
Rose oil is most helpful for poor circulation and heart problems, which would include heart palpitations, arrhythmia as well as high blood pressure and is also used to boost the liver and gall bladder.
For the respiratory system, Rose oil assists in cases of asthma, coughs and hay fever, and in the digestive system for liver congestion and nausea. It helps counter heartburn, upset stomach, food poisoning and constipation.
Rose oil counters fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and eases lupus discomfort.
The oil has a cleansing, regulating and purifying effect on the female sex organs and can be used to regulate and balance hormones, irregular menstruation, functional infertility, leucorrhoea, menorrhagia, uterine bleeding and other uterine disorders, while having a general toning effect on the uterus. It helps women express their femininity and sexuality. Men also need the emotional strength and reassurance that Rose can give.
The Queen of Skin Care
Rose oil has no equal in skin care for moisturising, firming, smoothing and repairing the skin. In so doing, it produces no irritation, being cooling, calming and soothing. It is most effective for its stimulating and antiseptic action, which is good for all skin types, but especially so for dry, mature and irritated skin.  Rose also has a positive effect on broken superficial capillaries, inflammation as well as skin redness and is useful against eczema and herpes. Rose water can be used for conjunctivitis. It is a perfect addition to skin creams and preparations.
 It is interesting the way that dandruff responds to Rose, balancing the oil production, causing the epidermis to shed its old layers at a proper rate without drying out too soon.
Rose oil gives a feeling of well-being and happiness; it soothes and harmonises a nervous mind, alleviating sadness and sorrow. Overall rose is tender and in massage and bath oils it has a beneficial effect on emotional shock, grief, nervous tension, irritability, emotional coldness and depression.
It is appropriate to use rose oil on relationship issues. Its energy surfaces awareness of clinging neediness and jealousy patterns and diminishes those feelings that result from low self-esteem and a distrusting self.
In mood perfumes, it also helps with depression, anger, fear and stress and at the same time addresses sexuality, self-nurturing, self esteem and dealing with emotional problems.  It is associated with the heart chakra, opening the heart to loving the self and others. Rose is a major rescuer for all of us. 
Rose oil blends well with most oils, but particularly well with geranium, patchouli, frankincense, bergamot, clary-sage, lemon, jasmine and clove.
Rose oil is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing.


Fact File

Name: Rose Essential Oil
Latin name: Rose centifolia, Rosa gallica, Rosa damascena
Therapeutic Properties: antispasmodic, anti-infectious and antiviral. For the nervous system it is an anti-depressant, sedative and aphrodisiac.  Its antiseptic, astringent, and  bactericidal properties means it  heals wounds and eases bleeding.
 


What Herb is That?
Elderflower
A herb rich in history and healing

MUCH history and folklore is connected to Elderflower trees.
Gypsy folk held a lot of superstitions about this herbal tree. They regarded it as sacred and would not burn it on the fire nor would they use the wood to make a baby’s cradle as they considered it bad luck.
It is thought that witches reside in an elder tree and that you must ask permission to cut one down.
Elder Flower Ointment (Ung- uentum Sambuci) was largely used for wounded horses in the War - the Blue Cross made a special appeal for supplies - but it is also good for human use and is an old remedy for chapped hands and chilblains.
The tree’s flowers are collected when just in full bloom and thrown into heaps, and after a few hours, during which they become slightly heated, the corollas become loosened and can then be removed by sifting. Do be careful when drying fresh elderflowers; if there is any dampness, they will develop mould.
Elderflowers are healing and soothing to the skin and are used in eye and skin products for their astringent properties. It is an excellent skin softener and is very high in Vitamin C. Elderflower Water in our great-grandmothers' days was a household word for clearing the complexion of freckles and sunburn, and keeping it in a good condition. Every lady's toilet table possessed a bottle of the liquid, and she relied on this to keep her skin fair and free from blemishes.
The flowers were used for centuries, in bronchial and pulmonary affections, and in scarlet fever, measles and other eruptive diseases. Today elderflower tea is a time-proven remedy for fevers because of its sudorific (sweat-inducing) effect, cooling the skin and thus reducing fever.
It is a good old fashioned remedy for colds and throat trouble and an almost infallible cure for an attack of influenza in its first stage. It should be made into in a strong infusion with peppermint and yarrow herb and taken sweet and as hot as possible in bed. Heavy perspiration and refreshing sleep will follow, and the patient will wake up well on the way to recovery and the cold or influenza will probably be banished within 36 hours. Elderflowers are helpful for hay fever if taken as a prophylactic early in the season to strengthen the upper respiratory tract before the pollen count rises. Elderflower tea has also been recommended as a splendid spring medicine, to take before breakfast, being considered an excellent blood purifier.
Elderflower tea, cold, was also considered very useful for inflammation of the eyes.
Elderflowers, with their subtle sweet scent, entered into much delicate cookery in olden days. The creamy blossoms were beaten up in the batter of flannel cakes and muffins, to which they gave a more delicate texture. They were also boiled in gruel as a fever-drink, and were added to the posset of the Christening feast.


Fact File
Name: Elderflower
Latin name: Sambucus nigra
Elderflower’s healing benefits: Promotes sweating. Colds and flu, Hay fever, Sinusitis, Catarrh, Catarrhal deafness, herpes simplex (fever blisters), reduces fever, boosts immune system, soothes respiratory tract, ear infections. Diuretic. Stimulates circulation, eases rheumatic problems and constipation.
Topically it is used to: Soften and soothe the skin, heal burns, cuts and scratches with its anti-inflammatory action.  
Precautions: Only use the flowers in tea; the leaves and branches of the elder plant are poisonous for internal use.
 


Recipe

Elderflower cordial
Ingredients: 20 elderflower heads; 4 lemons;
2 oranges; 1.8kg granulated sugar; 1.2L water.
Method: Boil sugar and water, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Place elderflowers in a large bowl, add zest of oranges and lemons. Slice rest of citrus (discard ends) and add to bowl. Pour the boiling sugar syrup over the elderflower mix. Cover and place in a cool place for 24 hours; keeping the citrus fruit submerged in the syrup. Strain twice (eat the orange slices) using kitchen paper. Keep chilled and dilute to taste. It tastes good with fizzy water. Serve with lemon and mint.

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