Smell Better Naturally

What causes body odor?

Body odor (or B.O., bromhidrosis, osmidrosis or ozochrotia) is a perceived unpleasant smell our bodies can give off when bacteria that live on the skin break down sweat into acids – some say it is the smell of bacteria growing on the body, but it really is the result of bacteria breaking down protein into certain acids.

Body odor usually becomes evident if measures are not taken when a human reaches puberty – 14-16 years of age in females and 15-17 years of age in males. People who are obese, those who regularly eat spicy foods, as well as individuals with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, are more susceptible to having body odor.

Find a great all natural deodorizing spray below.

Sweat itself is virtually odorless to humans; it is the rapid multiplication of bacteria in the presence of sweat and what they do (break sweat down into acids) that eventually causes the unpleasant smell. The smell is perceived as unpleasant, many believe, because most of us have been brought up to dislike it. Body odor is most likely to occur in our feet, groin, armpits, genitals, pubic hair and other hair, belly button, anus, behind the ears, and to some (lesser) extent on the rest of our skin.

Body odor can have a nice and specific smell to the individual, and can be used – especially by dogs and other animals – to identify people. Each person’s unique body odor can be influenced by diet, gender, health, and medication.

Two types of acid are commonly present when there is body odor:

Propionic acid (propanoic acid) is commonly found in sweat – propionibacteria break amino acids down into propionic acid. Propionibacteria live in the ducts of the sebaceous glands of adult and adolescent humans. Some people may identify a vinegar-like smell with propionic acid, because it is similar to acetic acid, which gives vinegar its sour taste and pungent smell.

Isovaleric acid (3-methyl butanoic acid) is another source of body odor as a result of actions of the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis, which are also present in several strong cheese types.

What causes foot odor?

Most of us wear shoes and socks, making it much more difficult for the sweat to evaporate, giving the bacteria more sweat to break down into smelly substances. Moist feet also raise the risk of fungi developing, which can also give off unpleasant smells.

Diagnosing body odor

In the vast majority of cases of body odor it is not necessary to see your doctor. The individual himself/herself may be aware of it, or a good friend or a member of the household may tell them about their body odor. There are some self-care techniques that will usually successfully treat the problem.

When to see your doctor about body odor.

Some medical conditions may change how much a person sweats, while others can alter how we sweat, subsequently changing the way we smell. For example, hyperthyroidism (an over-active thyroid gland) or the menopause can make people sweat much more, while liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes can change the consistency of sweat so that the person smells differently. You should see your doctor if:

  • You start sweating at night
  • You start sweating much more than you normally do, without any logical reason
  • You have cold sweats
  • Sweating disrupts your daily routine.

You should also see your doctor if your body smells differently. A fruity smell could indicate diabetes due to high levels of ketones in the bloodstream. Liver or kidney disease can often make the individual have a bleach-like smell due to a build-up of toxins in the body.

Can you change your natural body odor?

While you might mask your natural scent with deodorant, perfume, or scented lotion, your natural chemical odor can still be detected by those around you. Still, you can change this scent if you find that your natural aroma is not exactly pleasing. Here’s a look at some of the controllable factors that influence how you smell.

How you bathe – Hygiene plays an important role in body odor, because odors are produced by bacteria naturally present on the skin. Sweat itself is odorless, but when it evaporates on the skin, there may be unpleasant odors caused by bacteria. While you won’t want to eliminate bacteria completely with antibacterial soap, you might switch to a more gentle cleanser and use products like tea tree oil to shrink the pores and minimize sweat.

What you eat – Have you ever noticed that eating too much garlic can actually make you smell garlicky the next day? That’s because your diet has a strong effect on your body odor—particularly when you eat foods high in sulfurous compounds like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Foods that tend to make you sweat more, such as hot peppers or other spicy foods, might also contribute to body odor. Drinks with caffeine or alcohol may also cause you to sweat more.

How your body metabolizes food – Hard-to-digest foods like wheat, red meat, and dairy might also cause you to stink. If your body is unable to metabolize certain foods properly, toxins may build up in your digestive tract and seep through the skin.

Watch your stress levels – When you exercise or otherwise get overheated, your eccrine (sweat) glands produce a watery substance designed to regulate body temperature. But emotional stress triggers different glands—the apocrine glands, which are found mostly in the underarms and groin area—and they secrete a milky fluid. This fight-or-flight-related liquid is made up of water and lipids, so it’s a veritable feast for odor-causing bacteria, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic. Meditation, yoga, and other calming practices may help.

Wear breathable fabrics – Naturally derived fabrics like cotton, silks, and wools have more breathability than most man-made materials like rayon or spandex, according to research published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology and other journals. But when it comes to workout clothes, look for moisture-wicking synthetic materials.

Natural Treatments for Body Odor

Apply apple cider vinegar – Acid, like the kind found in apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, inhibits the growth of bacteria—including the kind that makes your sweat smell gross. Just be cautious, and use it sparingly: “While apple cider vinegar and lemon juice may help reduce levels of odor-causing bacteria on the skin, they may cause skin irritation,” says Zeichner. So if you decide to dab a few drops on your underarms with a cotton ball or add a splash to your bathwater, make sure you have no minor cuts or scrapes. Witch hazel and tea tree oil are also believed to be antimicrobial.

Go herbal – Sage is a delicious addition to both savory and sweet foods, and it turns out that it may also help blast BO (when an extract of it is applied topically). Rosemary oil may work similarly, as it’s been shown to be antimicrobial and “refreshing.” Incorporate a few sprigs to spritz up your daily water intake, or add it to your bath for some wonderful scents. Other herbs like parsley and mint have also been known to up the refreshing note because the strong oils they contain.

Essential Oils – Essential oils are natural oils found in fragrant plants, such as jasmine or orange blossoms. These oils can be used in place of chemical-heavy manufactured perfumes. Mix 6 to 12 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil — such as grapeseed, sunflower or olive oil — and apply a small dab onto your wrists or behind your ears to leave you smelling heavenly throughout the day. As an added benefit, essential oils retain their scent for longer, because they’re more concentrated than perfumes, which are alcohol-based.

Perfumed Sachets – Perfumed sachets are small bags filled with fragrant herbs or blossoms. You can purchase them pre-made, or you can make your own, filling a small fabric or mesh bag with dried herbs or flowers. Common choices include lavender, rosemary and rose petals. For a more exotic combination, think of mixing together dried ginger and cinnamon. Keep the sachets in your closet, where they will gently perfume your clothes, helping you stay fresh smelling.

Baking Soda – Baking soda is a natural deodorizer. You can use it to absorb extra sweat and oils after a strenuous workout — it makes a natural underarm deodorant — or it can be used to deodorize clothes. A common use is to sprinkle some into shoes and let it sit overnight, as it will absorb foot odors, reducing your chances of having smelly feet. You can also sprinkle and rub some onto your hands to remove odors left from food preparation.

Drink More Water – While the standard guideline is to drink 8 glasses of water each day, people do differ from each other, be it in metabolism rates, and activities level. Instead, I would recommend drinking enough water means when your pee looks pale yellow, or clear. When we are dehydrated, our urine becomes acidic and makes us taste sour. Drinking enough water helps us to flush out toxins that makes us stink, and have the added benefits of making our complexions looking dewy. In addition, two published studies (1, 2) indicated that drinking 500 ml (17 oz) of water can temporarily boost metabolism by a 24-30%. It was estimated by the researchers that the sheer fact of drinking 2 liters (68 ounces) water in a day can actually increase your energy expenditure by 96 calories daily!

Chew On It – Indians have been known to chew on fennel seeds and cardamom seeds to get rid of bad breath post meals. The oils in the fennel and cardamom seeds have antibacterial properties, as well as help neutralize foul smelling odors and aid with digestions. Just pack a few seeds in a small ziplock bag in your purse for some immediate discreet deodorant action.

Probiotics – According to WebMD: “Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or ‘helpful’ bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.” Look for live probiotics in fermented goodies like yogurts, kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut. Try your hand at fermenting them at home if you feel up to it, because you get to have more control over what goes into them, and helps to ensure that the probiotics are alive.

Eat Less Processed Foods – Almost all processed foods can be high in sugar, salts, fats and unpronounceable compounds (in any variation). Bacteria that lead to infections love sugar. Having a diet high in sugar and processed foods is almost like giving the green light to infections galore and reducing your body’s ability to regenerate itself. A diet high in sodium increases your risk of dehydration, which is a big no no when it comes to making you smell good. And if you find yourself being unable to pronounce whatever that is in the box, are you sure you really want to put in inside your body? When our bodies do not get a chance to repair itself due to the need to deal with processed foods, it gets laden with toxins and we age far more quickly than normal. We usually end up smelling a little worse for wear when that happens.

Establish Good Sleep Routine – Now what has sleeping well got to do with making our vagina smell good? Well, as it turns out, everything! When we get enough sleep and sleep quality is great, our body immunity improves and can fight infections better. According to TCM principles, the liver and gallbladder get cranking at repairing our bodies and detoxifying between 11pm to 3am. If we are not asleep by then, our liver and gallbladder cannot concentrate on detoxifying, and more toxins get retained in our bodies. Hence, it has been suggested that the best time to get ready for bed is to settle down by 10pm every night.

https://motherjai.com/shop/

Deodorizing Naturally

Essential Oils – all deodorize naturally because the all kill bacteria. Choose your favorites, dilute them in a carrier oil (3 drops per ounce), and use them as a perfume on your wrists and behind your ears. Mother Gaia’s hand blends anointing oils, body and bath oils, and truly natural aroma sprays for you to safely use. No chemicals needed!

Newspaper – Take the previous day’s newspaper and ball it up in the sleeves, underarms, or legs of your clothing and leave overnight (or at least four hours). The porous paper will eat up most, if not all, the odor. This trick also works for smelly shoes.

Kitty Litter – Keep an open bag of kitty litter in the closet to deodorize and remove the moisture from the space. Another tip is to put your clothing item directly inside of a clean container or Ziploc bag with kitty litter inside. Just shake out or brush off and wear.

Fresh air and sunlight – Nothing gets a foul odor out of clothing quite like fresh air. Even if you don’t have a backyard clothesline, you can hang your item in front of an open window for an hour or so.Sunlight can kill bacteria because of the ultraviolet rays. Hanging your clothes outside on a nice sunny day with a gentle breeze is the easiest way to remove the bacteria that’s making them smell.

Unused coffee grounds – Similar to the kitty litter method, coffee grounds will soak up environmental odors. Fill a bowl with fresh unused coffee grounds and fold your shirt or item on top and let it sit overnight. In the morning your item will be fresh. Just be careful not to get any of the grounds on your shirt, because they can stain.

Vodka – Nothing is better than straight, cheap vodka in a spray bottle to remove smells. When the alcohol in the vodka evaporates it takes the smells with it.

Baking soda – Just like it absorbs smells in your fridge or freezer, baking soda removes smells in clothing as well. Sprinkle the baking soda over the smelly areas, let it sit as long as you can and then shake off the powder.

Charcoal – A lot of odor removers use charcoal in their systems because odors actually bind with the charcoal and are removed from the air. Place some charcoal briquettes in the bottom of a paper bag and add the clothing on top, then close tightly and let it sit overnight. You can also place briquettes in shoes and boots to get rid of foot odors.

Distilled White Vinegar –  Use distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle mixed with 10 drops of your favorite essential oil for a great spot fix. Shake the spray bottle to mix up the oils throughout the vinegar and spray on any spots that smell. The vinegar will work to kill 98 percent of the bacteria and the essential oil will work to cover up the vinegar smell. You can also spray the entire piece of clothing if needed.

As you can see you do not need to cover yourself or your home in chemicals to smell better. You can be less offensive naturally than with artificial fragrances and deodorants. Give your body what it actually needs and avoid chemicals as much as possible and you’ll be fresh every day.

References:

  1. https://www.memd.me/people-smell-better-others/
  2. http://chickrx.com/articles/12-tips-to-improve-your-body-s-natural-scent
  3. http://www.activebeat.co/your-health/women/7-odors-caused-by-health-problems
  4. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/reduce-body-odor
  5. https://www.prevention.com/health/7-effective-solutions-for-body-odor
  6. https://oureverydaylife.com/how-to-make-your-body-smell-good-naturally-12501185.html
  7. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/how-to/a4922/ways-to-smell-great-all-of-the-time/
  8. http://www.naturalhealthmag.com/expert-advice/how-can-i-get-rid-body-odor-naturally
  9. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/endless_uses_of_baking_soda
  10. http://www.mensfitness.com/styleandgrooming/grooming/pick-cotton-over-polyester-prevent-bo
  11. http://mountainroseblog.com/dilutions-conversions/
  12. http://curefeminineodor.com/make-your-vagina-smell-good/
  13. https://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/make-clothes-smell-better/

Geranium

Multicolor Geraniums

Rose Geranium flower & oil (Pelargonium graveolens)

Pelargonium graveolens, Rose Geranium, is an uncommon Pelargonium species native to the Cape Provinces and the Northern Provinces of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It is in the subgenus Pelargonium along with Pelargonium crispum, Pelargonium tomentosum and Pelargonium capitatum.

You will find Geranium essential oil in Mother Jai’s Aroma Sprays, Toners, & Bath Oils.

There are many cultivars of P. graveolens and they have a wide variety of scents, including rose, citrus, mint and cinnamon as well as various fruits. Cultivars and hybrids include:

  • P. ‘Graveolens’ (or Pelargonium graveolens hort.) – A rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens. Possibly a hybrid between P. graveolens and P. radens or P. capitatum. This cultivar is often incorrectly labeled as Pelargonium graveolens (the species). The main difference between the species and this cultivar is the dissection of the leaf. The species had about 5 lobes but the cultivar has about 10.
  • P. ‘Citrosum’ – A lemony, citronella-scented cultivar of P. graveolens, similar to P. ‘Graveolens’. It is meant to repel mosquitos and rumour has it that it was made by genetically bonding genes from the citronella grass but this is highly unlikely.
  • P. ‘Cinnamon Rose’ – A cinnamon-scented variety of P. graveolens.
  • P. ‘Dr Westerlund’ – A lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens, similar to P. ‘Graveolens’.[citation needed]
  • P. ‘Graveolens Bontrosai’ – A genetically challenged form of P. graveolens. The leaves are smaller and curl back on themselves and the flowers often don’t open fully. Known as P. ‘Colocho’ in the US.
  • P. ‘Grey Lady Plymouth’ – A lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens. Similar to P. ‘Lady Plymouth’. The leaves are grey – green in colour and beautifully contrast of scented pelargonium varieties.
  • P. ‘Lady Plymouth’ – A minty lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens. A very popular variety with a definite mint scent. Possibly a P. radens hybrid.
  • P. ‘Lara Starshine’ – A lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens, similar to P. ‘Graveolens’ but with more lemony scented leaves and reddish pink flowers. Bred by Australian Plantsman Cliff Blackman.
  • P. ‘Lucaeflora’ – A rose-scented variety of P. graveolens, much more similar to the species that most other cultivars and varieties of P. graveolens.
  • P. × melissinum – The lemon balm pelargonium (lemon balm – Melissa officinalis). This is a hybrid between P. crispum and P. graveolens.
  • P. ‘Mint Rose’ – A minty rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens. Similar to P. ‘Lady Plymouth’ but without the variegation of the leaves and lemony undertones.
  • P. ‘Secret Love’ – An unusual eucalyptus-scented variety of P. graveolens with pretty pale pink flowers.
  • P. ‘Van Leeni’ – A lemony rose-scented cultivar of P. graveolens, similar to P. ‘Graveolens’ and P. ‘Dr Westerland’.
Rose Geranium

Composition of Geranium Oil

Geranium oil contains about 67 compounds. The main components of geranium oil are citronellol (26.7 percent) and geraniol (13.4 percent). Other major constituents include:

  • Nerol (8.7 percent)
  • Citronellyl formate (7.1 percent)
  • Isomenthone (6.3 percent)
  • Linalool (5.2 percent)
https://www.planttherapy.com/geranium-egyptian-organic-essential-oil?v=1595

Functions

The most interesting health benefits of geranium include its ability to lower stress levels, reduce inflammation, relieve menstrual pain, strengthen the immune system, ease digestion and improve kidney, skin and hair health. It has antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties which help heal wounds faster.

Pelargonium graveolens is a geranium extract used in cosmetics and personal care products as a fragrance ingredient. It is cultivated in large numbers in South Africa, and known for its rose-like scent, although it is also used for other smells it imparts, including citrus, mint, coconut and nutmeg, as well as various fruits. It is sometimes known as rose geranium, old fashion rose geranium, and rose-scent geranium, according to Wikipedia. It is considered a less expensive alternative to other rose oils, and is often used in aromatherapy formulas as well.

Pelargonium graveolens has other skin care properties as well and is known to create a balance between oily and dry skin by balancing the production of sebum; this balance assists in boosting and improving the elasticity of the skin. It also stimulates the lymphatic system, releasing excess water that may be retained in the tissue. This may not only prevent cellulite but can also relieve swelling. Pelargonium graveolens also has therapeutic abilities that can calm irritated skin, clear acne, and heal bruises, burns, cuts and eczema, due to its astringent, antiseptic, tonic, antibiotic and anti-infectious properties.

Wild Geranium – ‘Cranesbill’

Uses of Geranium Oil

In aromatherapy, geranium oil is used to help treat acne, sore throats, anxiety, depression and insomnia. It is popular among women due to its rosy smell and its beneficial effect on menstruation and menopause.4 The essential oil can also aid in uplifting mood, lessening fatigue and promoting emotional wellness.

Geranium oil also functions to assist in pain reduction and inflammation. Its antiseptic properties can help speed up the healing of wounds and treat a variety of skin problems, such as burns, frostbite, fungal infections, athlete’s foot and eczema. Hemorrhoids can also be potentially treated with the use of geranium oil.

Frequent travelers can use geranium oil as a natural insect repellent. Topical application can also help heal insect bites and stop itching. It may also be used as a massage oil to help relieve aching muscles and stress. Other uses of geranium oil include:

  • Food — Geranium oil can be added to baked goods, frozen dairy, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages and candies.
  • Perfumery — Geranium oil has been used to create an artificial rose scent in fragrances and cosmetics.
Wild Geranium – ‘Cranesbill’

Benefits of Geranium Oil (OrganicFacts.net & Mercola.com)

Geranium essential oil provides numerous health benefits due its uses as an astringent, hemostatic, cicatrisant, diuretic and many others. Below are just some of the ways this essential oil serves both your physical and emotional health:

  • It causes your gums, muscles, intestines, skin, blood vessels and tissues to contract due to its astringent properties. It assists in preventing skin problems like sagging and wrinkling and helps give your muscles a toned appearance.
  • It contains antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties. It can aid in inhibiting the bacterial strains Brevibacterium linens and Yersinia enterolitica, as well as the fungal species Aspergillus niger. It can also help prevent bacterial infections.
  • It can help eliminate the appearance of scars and dark spots by helping improve blood circulation just below the surface of the skin and helping promote an equal distribution of melanin.
  • It can help speed up the healing of wounds by triggering blood clotting. This also helps in stopping toxins from reaching your bloodstream through open wounds.
  • It assists in detoxification by increasing the rate of urination. This process of elimination does not only remove toxins from your body, but also aids in your digestive function and helps inhibit the excess gas in your intestines.
  • It can serve as a deodorant due to its fragrant scent. It can also help prevent body odor due to its antibacterial action.
  • The impact of geranium on the nervous system is well known and the plant has been used in this way for generations. If you brew the leaves of its plant, you can produce a tasty tea that has soothing properties, derived from its organic compounds that positively impact the endocrine system and help to balance hormones that cause stress and anxiety. A quick cup of tea when you’re stressed can quickly relieve unpleasant moods and a cluttered mind.
  • Although quite similar to its anti-inflammatory properties, the analgesic ability of geranium has made it a popular traditional remedy for headaches and other injuries. If you suffer from chronic pain or migraines, research has shown that its tea can release endorphins and relieve pain quite rapidly. This effect is relatively mild, and shouldn’t be relied on for permanent pain relief.
  • Geranium relieves symptoms of bronchitis, sinusitis, and nose infections because it is a powerful antiviral.
  • Geranium, being a styptic, has the ability to stop hemorrhage as it slows down blood flow by contracting the arteries and veins. It also has hemostatic properties which cause the blood to clot. This helps heal wounds faster.
  • If you’re suffering from cramping, bloating, or a generally upset stomach, drinking a cup of geranium tea can be one of the easiest and most painless remedies. The beneficial organic compounds can quickly soothe inflammation and eliminate bacteria that may be causing the discomfort, and get your gastrointestinal system back to normal!
  • Geranium is excellent for treating a range of women’s health issues from hot flashes and distress during menopause and menstrual cramps. It works two-fold, as a tonic and an antidepressant. It has been traditionally used to stabilize hormonal levels during menopause through its action on the adrenal cortex.
  • If you are looking for a natural skin cleanser and tonic, opt for geranium essential oil. It can be used directly on the skin or added to your bathwater. It helps tighten and tone the skin and keeps it blemish-free.
  • Geranium promotes hair growth because it regulates the secretion of sebum on the scalp. The essential oil can be added to either, carrier oils or shampoo. This helps give the hair a smooth sheen and a lovely, mild rose aroma.
Rose Geranium

The 17 Best Uses for Geranium Essential Oil, A-Z (TheTruthAboutCancer.com)

#1. Adrenal Health – Geranium has been used for centuries for its ability to support the adrenal glands. It acts as a tonic for the paired adrenal glands that sit atop the kidneys. In so doing, geranium may help those suffering from chronic exhaustion and fatigue.

#2. Allergies – A June 2016 Japanese study found that geranium essential oil had an inhibitory effect on cultured mast cells. These are immune cells involved with triggering allergic reactions, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune dysfunction. Geranium also inhibited tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a cell signaling protein known as a cytokine, involved in systemic inflammation. TNF is also involved in the regulation of immune cells.

#3. Anxiety, Depression, Nervous Tension – The aroma of geranium is very calming to the nervous system. It helps to relieve nervous tension, melt away anger and aggression, balances emotions, lifts the spirit, and promotes feelings of peace and well-being.

#4. Blood Sugar Problems – Geranium is held in high esteem in Tunisia and is much studied there for its ability to decrease blood glucose levels. Animal studies reported in 2012  revealed that serum glucose levels were significantly decreased in diabetic rats and much more effective than glibenclamide, an antidiabetic drug. Hopefully studies will continue and humans will be included!

Rose Geranium

#5. Brain Clarity & Concentration – Geranium helps to improve cognitive function and improves concentration. It is even being studied for its ability to prevent neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

#6. Cancer – Geranium has long been used by natural healers for its anti-tumoral properties. One 2002 study found that geraniol had anti-proliferative effects (proliferation is the ability of cancer cells to spread) and, when combined with the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil, had twice the cancer-killing action of  5-fluorouracil alone in cultured colon cancer cells. Several of the researchers in that study released a subsequent study in 2004 showing this combination also worked in mice. Researchers observed a 53% reduction in tumor size using the combination of 5-fluorouracil and geraniol.

A Chinese study reported in 2012 stated that the combination of geranium and several traditional Chinese herbs greatly assisted breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation. The geranium/herb combination was found to delay or slow the associated reduction of leukocytes (white blood cells involved in immune function) for women receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Research released in May 2016 revealed that citronellol can be used in an interesting way. Researchers combined citronellol with the anti-cancer drug cabazitaxel, a taxane used to fight prostate cancer. The combination (called a conjugate self-assembled nanoparticle, or CSNP) improved the drug’s ability to accumulate at the site of a tumor. Researchers said this method was an effective antitumoral, in vitro (test tube).

Rose Geranium

#7. Candida – Because of its strong anti-fungal properties, geranium has been investigated for candida sufferers. Research reported in 2008 found that of three essential oils studied, geranium was the most effective in combination with Amphotericin B, an antifungal drug, against 11 strains of candida. Geranium helps the antifungal drugs work better and they appear to have a synergistic effect. Another study reported in 2008 on mice found that geranium oil suppressed candida cell growth in the vagina.

#8. Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex) – Due to its anti-viral qualities, geranium essential oil is excellent for helping to heal cold sores. It will reduce the pain and size of a cold sore quickly.

#9. Golden Staph and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) – A research study reported in 2012 demonstrated that geranium has excellent antimicrobial properties against Staphylococcus aureus (“golden staph”) and even methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. Indeed, the author’s own mother-in-law was diagnosed with MRSA several years ago. Geranium essential oil was one of several essential oils used topically (on the skin), instead of the antibiotic drugs given to her by the doctor. It completely healed the MRSA in what her doctor called “record time.”

#10. Hair and Scalp Health – Geranium has been used traditionally for decades for hair regrowth. It is known to nourish and tone the scalp. Geranium works on the sebaceous (oil) glands of the scalp, regulating the secretion of sebum. This helps to balance both dry and oily scalps, resulting in smooth and silky hair.

#11. Hemorrhoids – The astringent properties of geranium can help to shrink and heal swollen tissue, and ease the pain of hemorrhoids.

Rose Geranium

#12. Inflammatory Conditions – Geranium, and geraniol in particular, has been widely studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. 2014 research indicated geraniol increased interleukin-10 production, which is an anti-inflammatory cytokine. Because inflammation is involved in many disease processes, from arthritis to hemorrhoids to cancer, geranium essential oil is very useful indeed.

#13. Insect Repellent – Bugs don’t like geranium! It is an excellent insect deterrent. Going hiking? Take your geranium essential oil along. 2013 research found that the phytochemical 10-epi-gamma-eudesmol in geranium was just as effective as DEET against ticks.

Even dust mites don’t like geranium. 2008 research found that geraniol and beta-citronellol out-performed DEET and benzyl benzoate (two common chemically-derived mite and lice deterrents, both with side effects) for controlling dust mites. The beta-citronellol component makes geranium very effective for repelling mosquitoes as well. Several research papers investigating effective botanical insecticides have explored this and other essential oils for their ability to kill mosquito larvae.

#14. Shingles – Research released in 2003 found that application of geranium oil was helpful for relieving nerve pain caused by shingles (herpes zoster). Being a good anti-viral, geranium also helps to speed the healing of shingles.

Rose Geranium

#15. Skin Health, Scars, and Regeneration – Due to its potent anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties, geranium has been used for centuries in skin tonics, lotions, moisturizers, and balms for such conditions as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, oily skin, and acne. It is balancing to the skin’s production of oil and superb for fading scars.

#16. Urinary Tract Infections – 2011 research examined the effect of geranium oil combined with ciprofloxacin, a commonly used drug for treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Researchers found that the oil/drug combo worked synergistically to effectively kill the bacteria causing UTIs.

#17. Wound Healing – Geranium is a natural styptic − it helps to stop the flow of blood. Geranium also speeds wound healing by triggering blood clotting. This process, together with its natural antiseptic action, keeps harmful bacteria from reaching the bloodstream via open wounds and cuts.

Wild Geranium – ‘Cranesbill’

Safety Measures/Side Effects

Pelargonium graveolens is considered a safe and natural ingredient that is repeatedly listed as non-toxic, non-irritant and generally non-sensitizing. The Cosmetics Database finds it to be 99% safe and lists data gaps as the only concern.

However, it may cause allergies and sensitivities in some people. If you’re looking for essential oils that offer the same therapeutic benefits as geranium oil does, your options include lavender oil, orange oil, lemon oil and jasmine oil. To be on the safe side, consult your physician before using any essential oils for medicinal purposes.

Geranium infused oil

How to Make Geranium Oil Infusion

Geranium essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of the plant’s stems and leaves. When made from young, green leaves, geranium oil appears with a lemon scent. However, if extracted from older leaves that have changed their color, the oil will have a strong rose fragrance. While geranium oil is available in stores, it is possible to create a homemade oil infusion.

What You Need:

  • Geranium leaves
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Carrier oil like jojoba oil
  • Large jar with lid
  • Small jars or bottles with lids
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth

Procedure:

  • Remove the leaves from a geranium plant (more leaves mean more oil produced).
  • Remove pests, dirt and other debris from the leaves by washing them in cold water.
  • Dry the leaves by gently patting them with a cloth or paper towel.
  • Using the mortar and pestle, ground the leaves until they are completely mashed and pulpy. Leave the crushed leaves for a few hours.
  • Afterward, transfer the ground leaves to the large jar. Pour some of the carrier oil — just enough to cover the leaves. Then, seal the jar and place it in a cool, dry spot. Set aside for two weeks.
  • Once the two weeks are up, check the scent of the oil. You may add more ground leaves to make the scent stronger and set aside for another week. If the fragrance is too strong, just add some oil to dilute the finished product.
  • To store, pour the geranium oil into the small sterilized jars or bottles through a strainer lined with a cheesecloth. This will separate the crushed leaves from the oil. Once the oil has been transferred, seal the bottles/jars and store them in a cool, dry place.
Pink Geranium

Homemade Conditioner

This homemade conditioner recipe is awesome, for it helps to restore the hairs natural pH, thus rehydrating the hair. The result is soft, luscious and healthy hair. Add 10 drops of geranium oil and see how it helps to condition your dry hair.

 Total Time: 2 minutes  Uses: 20–30

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops of essential oils
  • BPA-free plastic bottles or glass bottle with dispenser

 Customize Your Conditioner:

  • Rosemary or sage essential oils for all types of hair
  • Lemon, bergamot or tea tree essential oils for oily hair
  • Lavender, sandalwood or geranium essential oils for dry hair or dandruff

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix ingredients together in eight-ounce spray bottle
  • Shake bottle before using and then spray hair
  • Leave in hair for five minutes, then rinse

Tips for Using Geranium Essential Oil

A) Massage geranium into the skin and muscles of the back, especially mid-back and just over the bottom of the rib cage (over area of the kidneys). Use an organic carrier oil like jojoba, almond, coconut, hemp, or argan to dilute if desired or if you have sensitive skin.

B) Drip 1-2 drops of oil into your hands and make a tent over your nose and mouth (avoid the eyes), breathe in deeply for a couple of minutes.

C) Using an ultrasonic cool mist diffuser, diffuse several drops of geranium into a room where you intend to sit for an hour or so.

D) Massage oil into the soles of the feet. They have the largest pores in the body and the oil will be in the bloodstream and working in just a few minutes. This method works especially well if digestion is impaired.

E) Gently massage oil into the sides of the neck, overlying the carotid arteries, diluting as described in A above if needed. Also massage into the back of the neck just under the base of the skull.

F) Geranium essential oil is generally regarded as safe for human consumption by the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA). To take orally, put 1 drop of oil in 3-4 ounces (about 100 ml) of liquid such as almond or rice milk. It can also be combined with 1 teaspoon of honey. Avoid for children under 5 years of age.

G) Massage geranium oil into the abdomen and lower back.

H) Rub a drop of geranium on the affected area, being careful to dilute if you have sensitive skin. If using as an insect repellent, rub geranium into exposed skin.

I) Add a drop or two of geranium oil to one teaspoon of jojoba oil and pat it on topically. Use a small amount of gauze if you wish to hold it in place.

J) Add a drop or two of geranium to your favorite organic personal care products like cleanser, body wash, moisturizer, toner, shampoo, or conditioner.

Wild Geranium – ‘Cranesbill’

Important Precautions When Using Essential Oils

If you intend to use geranium essential oil medicinally, please do your homework and work with a qualified healthcare practitioner who is well versed in essential oil usage.

  • Be aware that quality of essential oils varies widely. Find out whether or not your essential oil supplier uses organic growing methods, and knows how to properly distill the oils. Always buy your oils from a trusted source because if they are not organically grown or properly distilled they may be adulterated with toxic chemicals that will not help to heal you… and may indeed cause harm.
  • Do not apply essential oils anywhere near eyes, ears, or sensitive regions of the body.
  • If you have sensitive skin, be sure to dilute essential oils first. If you are unsure, do a patch test on a small area of skin just inside the elbow. You may want to dilute essential oils with an organic carrier oil such as jojoba, almond, coconut, hemp, or argan.
  • Be cautious when using essential oils with children and in pregnancy. Always dilute essential oils for children. Some oils need to be avoided during pregnancy. When in doubt, work with an experienced expert in essential oils.
  • It is not recommended to use any essential oil by itself as a sole treatment for cancer, or for any other health issues mentioned above. When used in combination with other treatments, both conventional and alternative, essential oils can be very effective in assisting the healing process.

References:

  1. https://kollectionk.com/blogs/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-skin-care-oils
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelargonium_graveolens
  3. https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/pelargonium-graveolens
  4. https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PEGR11
  5. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/geranium-oil.aspx
  6. http://www.reherb.eu/en/content/pelargonium-graveolens
  7. https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pelargonium+graveolens
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4312398/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641007/
  10. http://ageless.co.za/rose_scented_geranium.htm
  11. http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/JMPR/article-full-text-pdf/054149D15942
  12. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/med-aro/factsheets/GERANIUM.html
  13. https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/geranium-essential-oil/
  14. http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/33014/1/IJTK%2014(4)%20558-563.pdf
  15. http://essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/rose-geranium.htm
  16. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283051914_An_overview_on_phytopharmacology_of_Pelargonium_graveolens_L
  17. https://draxe.com/10-geranium-oils-benefits-healthy-skin-much/
  18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793238/
  19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25514231
  20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18670079
  21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23401038
  22. http://www.acanceresearch.com/cancer-research/pelargonium-graveolens-rose-geranium–a-novel-therapeutic-agent-for-antibacterial-antioxidant-antifungal-and-diabetics.pdf
  23. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-153-rose%20geranium%20oil.aspx?activeingredientid=153&activeingredientname=rose%20geranium%20oil
  24. http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/1974-34-3-aromatic-pelargoniums.pdf
  25. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20013071662
  26. https://www.hchs.edu/sites/default/files/files/Geranium%20article.pdf
  27. http://japsonline.com/admin/php/uploads/1200_pdf.pdf
  28. https://www.naturalbynature.co.uk/organic-geranium
  29. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/geranium
  30. https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/blog/products/all-about-geranium-oil.html
  31. http://www.essencejournal.com/pdf/2014/vol2issue2/PartA/2-2-8-979.pdf
  32. http://www.doctorsbeyondmedicine.com/listing/candida-geranium-oil
  33. http://www.globalsciencebooks.info/Online/GSBOnline/images/2010/MAPSB_4(SI1)/MAPSB_4(SI1)77-79o.pdf
  34. https://www.rxlist.com/rose_geranium_oil/supplements.htm
  35. https://lipidworld.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-511X-12-30
  36. http://www.worldresearchlibrary.org/up_proc/pdf/420-147558255618-21.pdf
  37. http://ijm.tums.ac.ir/index.php/ijm/article/download/681.pdf/451
  38. http://www.worldresearchlibrary.org/up_proc/pdf/420-147558255618-21.pdf
  39. http://www.theresearchpedia.com/health/aromatherapy/health-benefits-of-geranium-essential-oil

Cypress Leaf

Cypress Leaf oil (Cupressus sempervirens)

Cupressus sempervirens, the Mediterranean cypress (also known as Italian cypress, Tuscan cypress, Persian cypress, or pencil pine), is a species of cypress native to the eastern Mediterranean region, in northeast Libya, southern Albania, southern coastal Croatia (Dalmatia), southern Montenegro, southern Greece, southern Turkey, Cyprus, northern Egypt, western Syria, Lebanon, Malta, Italy, Israel, western Jordan, and also a disjunct population in Iran. C. sempervirens is a medium-sized coniferous evergreen tree to 35 m (115 ft) tall, with a conic crown with level branches and variably loosely hanging branchlets. It is very long-lived, with some trees reported to be over 1,000 years old.

The foliage grows in dense sprays, dark green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 2–5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are ovoid or oblong, 25–40 mm long, with 10-14 scales, green at first, maturing brown about 20–24 months after pollination. The male cones are 3–5 mm long, and release pollen in late winter. It is moderately susceptible to cypress canker, caused by the fungus Seiridium cardinale, and can suffer extensive dieback where this disease is common. The species name sempervirens comes from the Latin for ‘evergreen’.

Mediterranean Cypress has been widely cultivated as an ornamental tree for millennia away from its native range, mainly throughout the whole Mediterranean region, and in other areas with similar hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters, including California, southwest South Africa and southern Australia. It can also be grown successfully in areas with cooler, moister summers, such as the British Isles, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest (coastal Oregon, Washington and British Columbia). It is also planted in Florida and parts of the coastal southern United States as an ornamental tree. In some areas, particularly the United States, it is known as “Italian” or “Tuscan cypress”.

Cypress Leaf Essential Oil – has a calming, soothing action on the mind. It is also used in perfumes and colognes as a tenacious fragrance component. We have not tried this, but author Scott Cunningham states that a combination of cypress and patchouli essential oils creates an ambergris-like substitute. Another source states that the proportions should be one-part Patchouli to two parts Cypress.

Aromatic Profile: Fresh, woody, resinous, sweet, deep green balsamic aroma with a faint smoky and ambergris-like undertone in the tenacious drydown.

Appearance: Pale yellow to yellow-orange, transparent, mobile liquid.

Blends Well With: Ambrette Seed, Benzoin, Bergamot, Cardamom, Cedarwood, Cistus, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Juniper, Labdanum, Lavender, Lemon, Linden Blossom, Liquidambar (Styrax), Mandarin, Marjoram, Orange, Pine, Rosemary, Sandalwood.

Composition of Cypress Oil: The medicinal and soothing properties of cypress oil come mainly from terpenes like alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, and alpha-terpinene. These organic hydrocarbons are the main building blocks of any plant resin or essential oil, and contribute to their scent, flavor and colors, as well as medicinal effects. Cypress oil also contains carene, camphene, cadinene, sabinene, myrcene, terpinolene, linalool, and bornyl acetate, all of which are essential to cypress oil’s healing effects.

Safety Considerations: Skin sensitization if oxidized. Dilute before using. A patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin.

Therapeutic properties: The therapeutic properties of cypress oil are astringent, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorant, diuretic, hemostatic, hepatic, styptic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor, respiratory tonic and sedative.

Benefits of Cypress Oil

Cypress oil’s health benefits are far-reaching, and it has demonstrated properties that are beneficial for your circulatory and respiratory systems. For instance, it can help reduce cellulite and varicose veins, and tighten and reduce pores. Cypress oil can also:

Relieve pain — When massaged over affected body areas, cypress oil can relieve rheumatism, osteoarthritis, and muscle and joint pain. It also helps control spams, relieves period cramps, and may even be used for injury rehabilitation.

Strengthen and tighten your tissues — Cypress oil’s astringent properties cause the tissues in your gums, skin, muscles, and even hair follicles to contract, which aids in strengthening them and holds them in place. This helps prevent them from becoming loose or falling out. The main function associated with astringency is contraction, so cypress oil makes your gums, skin, muscles, and hair follicles contract and prevents teeth and hair from falling out. It also tightens up loose skin and muscles.

Treat wounds — Owing to its camphene content, the oil has antiseptic properties that help treat internal and external wounds. Cypress oil is even used as an ingredient in antiseptic lotions and creams.

Serve as a diuretic — This helps promote good digestion and assists in stopping gas from forming in your intestines. It also potentially reduces swelling, cleans your kidney, and eliminates toxins and excess water from your body. Cypress oil increases urination, both in frequency and in quantity. This is very important and can be very beneficial for health. When you urinate, up to 4% of the volume is actually fats being eliminated by the body. Therefore, the more you urinate, the more fat you lose and subsequently weight. The most important role played by urine is that it removes toxins from the body. In addition to that, it also reduces blood pressure and cleans out the kidneys. Many of the mainstream medicines for lowering blood pressure are based on this benefit of urination.

Constrict your blood vessels — By constricting your veins, it helps stop bleeding, and may also benefit those who suffer from hemorrhoids and varicose veins. It can also be used for alleviating bleeding, perspiration, and irregularly heavy menstrual flow. While hemostatic means an agent that can stop blood flow or promote its clotting, styptic primarily means having the properties of an astringent, while also helping to stop excessive blood flow through contraction of the blood vessels. Both of these properties are very important in their own areas of application.

Promote proper liver function — It maintains adequate bile secretion and helps protect the liver against any kind of infection, which are both essential for optimal liver health.

Aids Toxin Removal – Cypress oil is a diuretic, so it helps the body flush out toxins that exist internally. It also increases sweat and perspiration, which allows the body to quickly remove toxins, excess salt and water. This can be beneficial to all systems in the body, and it prevents acne and other skin conditions that are due to toxic buildup. This also benefits and cleanses the liver, and it helps lower cholesterol levels naturally. A 2007 study conducted at the National Research Center in Cairo, Egypt, found that isolated compounds in cypress essential oil, including cosmosiin, caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid, showed hepatoprotective activity. These isolated compounds significantly decreased glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, glutamate pyruvate transaminase, cholesterol levels and triglycerides, while they caused a significant increase in the total protein level when given to rats. The chemical extracts were tested on rat liver tissues, and the results indicate that cypress essential oil contains antioxidant compounds that can rid the body of excess toxins and inhibit free radical scavenging.

Relax your nervous system — It has a calming and sedative effect on your mind and body by relieving nervous stress and anxiety. It also stimulates a happy feeling in case of anger or sadness. Cypress oil is also beneficial for people who have suffered a major trauma or shock. To use cypress essential oil as a natural remedy for anxiety and anxiousness, add five drops of oil to a warm-water bath or diffuser. It can be especially helpful to diffuse cypress oil at night, beside your bed, to treat restlessness or symptoms of insomnia.

Cures Spasms – Cypress oil is helpful in curing nearly all types of spasms and the problems associated with it. It efficiently relieves spasms in the respiratory system and intestines as well as muscular spasms in the limbs. It also helps to cure convulsions, muscle pulls, cramps, and spasmodic cholera which can be irritating or dangerous.

Tones Respiratory System – Cypress oil tones up the respiratory system and increases the efficiency of the lungs. It also helps eliminate the cough and phlegm accumulated in the respiratory tracts and lungs. Furthermore, it clears up congestion, thereby making breathing easier when you are suffering from a cough and cold.

Promotes Sweating – A sudorific substance is something which can cause sweating or perspiration. Periodic sweating makes you feel lighter, fitter and helps quickly remove toxins, excess salt, and water. This cleans the skin pores and openings of the sweat and sebum glands while keeping away acne and other skin diseases. Cypress oil is considered a very powerful sudorific substance.

Eliminates Odor – Cypress oil has a spicy and masculine fragrance that can easily replace synthetic deodorants which boast a similar natural and distinct aroma.

Fights Infection – A 2004 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that a component present in cypress oil, called camphene, inhibited the growth of nine bacteria and all yeasts studied. This is a safer alternative than antibiotics that can lead to damaging side effects like leaky gut syndrome and loss of probiotics.

Treats Varicose Veins and Cellulite – Because of cypress oil’s ability to stimulate blood flow, it serves as a varicose veins home remedy. Varicose veins, also known as spider veins, occur when pressure is placed on blood vessels or veins — resulting in the pooling of blood and bulging of veins. According to the National Library of Medicine, this can be caused by weak vein walls or a lack of pressure exerted by tissues in the leg that allow the veins to transport blood. This increases the pressure inside of the veins, causing them to stretch and widen. By applying cypress essential oil topically, blood in the legs continues to flow to the heart properly. Cypress oil can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite, which is the appearance of orange peel or cottage cheese skin on the legs, butt, stomach and back of the arms. This is often due to fluid retention, lack of circulation, weak collagen structure and increased body fat. Because cypress oil is a diuretic, it helps the body remove excess water and salt that can lead to fluid retention. It also stimulates circulation by increasing blood flow. Use cypress oil topically to treat varicose veins, cellulite and any other condition that is caused by poor circulation, such as hemorrhoids.

Other Benefits – In addition to stimulating perspiration, it also curbs excessive sweating, heavy menstruation and bleeding. It is anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic, so it can also be used in the treatment of varicose veins, cellulite, asthma, bronchitis, and diarrhea.

Uses of Cypress Oil

The cypress tree was valued by ancient civilizations for its medicinal uses. The Chinese chewed the cones to heal their bleeding gums, while Hippocrates recommended it for treating hemorrhoids. The Greeks loved cypress’s comforting smell, and used it to clear their mind and senses. Today, cypress oil is used for industrial and medicinal practices. Perfume and soap industries often use cypress oil, as its fresh evergreen aroma, with a slightly sweet and balsamic undertone, adds a masculine note to men’s cologne and aftershaves. Medicinally, cypress oil can be used topically, inhaled via vapor therapy, or ingested in small doses. It’s said to help regulate blood flow and alleviate menstrual problems, detoxify and decongest the lymphatic system, reduce water retention, and relax muscles. Cypress oil can also have profound effects on your respiratory and digestive systems, especially during cold winter months. Here are some ways to use cypress oil:

  • Inhale or vaporize it through a diffuser to calm and relax your mind. It can also help alleviate breathing disorders, such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis.
  • Use it as a massage oil to relieve asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, cramps, varicose veins, and heavy menstrual flow. You can also add it to your warm bath.
  • Add it to your favorite lotion or cream to help soothe broken skin and varicose veins. It also has astringent effects that can help clarify oily and congested skin.
  • If you have a nosebleed, apply a few drops to a cold compress and press against your nose to help stop the bleeding.
  • Add it to your foot soak to help deodorize and clean sweaty feet.

How to Use Cypress Essential Oil

It’s safe to use cypress oil aromatically and topically. When applying the oil to the skin, it is best to dilute it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil, before rubbing it into the skin. Here are some ways to use this essential oil in your everyday life:

  • Diffuse 5–7 drops of cypress oil in the home or office to create emotional balance, induce calm and energizing effects, and help with feelings of anxiousness or anxiety.
  • Apply topically, diluted with equal parts carrier oil, to treat arthritis, restless leg syndrome, cramps, asthma, bronchitis, cough or cold, carpal tunnel, and heavy periods. Simply rub the oil mixture into the effected area; this can be done 2–3 times daily, depending on your needs.
  • To reduce the appearance of cellulite, varicose veins, wounds, cuts or incisions, apply 2–3 drops of cypress oil to the area of concern.
  • Add 5 drops of cypress essential oil to a warm-water bath to treat respiratory conditions. You can also dilute cypress with a carrier oil and apply the mixture to the chest to work as a vapor rub. To reduce phlegm, add 3–5 drops of cypress oil to boiling water, place a towel over your head and breathe in the steam for 5–10 minutes.
  • To deodorize the home, add 5–10 drops of cypress oil to cleaning soap or add the oil to water and spray the mixture on curtains, sheets and couches; 1–2 drops of cypress oil can also be added to shoes, hats and jackets to prevent bacterial growth and body odor.
  • For hair and skin care, add 1–3 drops of cypress oil to your shampoo, conditioner or Homemade Face Wash. It is perfect for a deep clean, and it’s beneficial to the skin and hair because of its antimicrobial properties.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupressus_sempervirens
  2. https://www.edenbotanicals.com/cypress-leaf.html
  3. https://draxe.com/cypress-essential-oil/
  4. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/cypress-oil.aspx
  5. http://www.iosrphr.org/papers/v6i6V2/H066026676.pdf
  6. http://essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/cypress.htm
  7. https://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6882-14-179
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/1-84246-068-4
  9. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279661393_Chemical_constituents_of_cones_and_leaves_of_cypress_Cupressus_sempervirens_L_grown_in_Turkey
  10. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2015/538929/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23776018
  12. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/cypress-essential-oil.html
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4052795/
  14. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10412905.2003.9712130
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1142199/
  16. https://www.essentialoilsdirect.co.uk/cypress-cupressus_sempervirens-essential_oil.html
  17. Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, 1992/2013, p. 81.
  18. Sellar, Wanda. The Directory of Essential Oils, 1992, pp.50-1.
  19. Tisserand, Robert and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety, 2nd ed., 2014, p. 265.

Citronella

Citronella oil (Cymbopogon nardus)

Citronella oil is extracted from Cymbopogon nardus (also known as Andropogon nardus) and is of the Graminae (Poaceae) family. It is also known as Sri Lanka or Lenabatu citronella. The oil is used extensively as a source of perfumery chemicals such as citronellal, citronellol, and geraniol. These chemicals find extensive use in soap, candles and incense, perfumery, cosmetic, and flavoring industries throughout the world. Citronella oil is also a plant-based insect repellent and has been registered for this use in the United States since 1948. The United States Environmental Protection Agency considers oil of citronella as a biopesticide with a non-toxic mode of action.

Oil properties: Citronella oil has a slightly sweet, lemony smell. It blends well with bergamot, geranium, lemon, orange, lavender and pine.

Extraction citronella oil: Citronella oil is extracted by the steam distillation of finely chopped fresh, dried or part-dried grass.

Chemical composition: The main chemical components of citronella oil are citronellic acid, borneol, citronellol, geraniol, nerol, citral, citronellal, camphene, dipentene and limonene. Major constituents of the oil were geraniol (35.7% of total volatiles), trans-citral (22.7%), cis-citral (14.2%), geranyl acetate (9.7%), citronellal (5.8%) and citronellol (4.6%). The antifungal assay using the vapor-agar contact method showed that the crude essential oil markedly suppressed the growth of several species of Aspergillus, Penicillium and Eurotium at a dose of 250 mg/L in air. Citronellal and linalool completely inhibited the growth of all tested fungal strains at a dose of 112 mg/L. Their minimum inhibitory doses ranged from 14 to 56 mg/L. The α- and β- pinenes showed an inhibitory activity against some fungi, whereas the other 8 volatile compounds lacked this property.

Precautions: Citronella oil may irritate sensitive skin and cause dermatitis in certain individuals.

Therapeutic properties: The health benefits of Citronella Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antibacterial, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicidal, insect repellent, stomachic, stimulant, tonic and vermifuge substance. Citronella oil has strong antifungal properties, and is effective in calming barking dogs.

  • Citronella oil’s most useful quality is that of it being an insect repellent. It is best used in a spray, a diffuser or on a cotton ball amongst linen. It is also useful in ridding cats and dogs of fleas.
  • Furthermore, citronella oil helps to clear the mind and has a general toning and tonic effect on the body. It is helpful with colds, flu and minor infections, and has deodorizing qualities.
  • Citronella has been proven as an effective antimicrobial for aquatic animals, thus naturally supporting our aquaculture needs. Essential oil of C. nardus demonstrated its potential as alternative to commercial antibacterial agent.

Origin of citronella oil: It is extracted from a hardy grass, native to Sri Lanka and Java. This aromatic perennial grows about 1meter (3 feet) high and is a popular ingredient in wax candles, as an insect repellant, and is also widely used in perfumes, soaps, skin lotions and deodorants. The essential oil of citronella is extracted from two varieties of citronella. The first one is the Ceylon variety, whose scientific name is Cymbopogon nardus and the second one is Java variety, called Cymbopogon winterianus in botanical terminology. In both cases, the essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the fresh plant.

Benefits Of Citronella Essential Oil

Inhibits Bacterial Growth: Components like methyl isoeugenol and a few others that are found in this essential oil are responsible for this property. They kill bacteria and inhibit any further bacterial growth in the body. This is particularly helpful in treating infections in wounds, as well as in the colon, urethra, urinary bladder, stomach, intestines, urinary tracts, prostate, and kidneys.

Fights Depression: This oil fights depression and gives relief from anxiety, sadness, and negative feelings. It induces a fresh, happy feeling and hope.

Relaxant and Stress Reducer: Commonly used to control emotions in aromatherapy, it can help relax your mind and contribute to reduced stress reactions and better sleep for people who can’t sleep. Try diffusing citronella oil in your home, massaging it into skin or spraying it onto your bed sheets.

Eliminates Infections: The antiseptic properties of this essential oil fight infections in wounds, as well as the urinary tracts, urethra, prostate, and kidneys, while simultaneously protecting them from being sepsis.

Relieves Spasms: It relieves spasms of the muscles, respiratory system, and nervous system. It also helps to cure menstrual spasms and gives relief from symptoms such as cramps and coughs. When it comes to dealing with cramps, swelling and pain, citronella can help improve blood flow that lowers muscle spasms and tenderness. Try massaging citronella oil mixed with a carrier into sore muscles or onto the abdomen when dealing with PMS cramps.

Anti-inflammatory Properties: Citronella essential oil sedates inflammation, particularly those situations which pertain to the liver, stomach, intestines and other parts of the digestive system. The inflammations caused as side effects of drugs, excessive use of alcohol or narcotics, hard & spicy food, any disease, or any toxic element getting into the body can also be alleviated using this oil.

Removes Bad Odor: The crisp, rich citrus or lemon-like aroma of this oil drives away body odor and is used in deodorants and body sprays, although in very small quantities, since in heavy doses it may create skin irritations. It can also be mixed with the bath water to have a refreshing bath.

Eliminates Toxins: The diaphoretic properties of this essential oil increase sweating and promote the removal of toxins and other unwanted materials like excess water, fat, and salts from the body. This makes the body feel lighter, keeps the skin healthy and also reduces fever. This also protects you from certain infections.

Stimulates Urination: The increase in the frequency and quantity of urination due to this property of citronella essential oil has many benefits. It disposes of waste substances and toxins from the body, including uric acid, excess bile, acids, and salts, as well as water and fats. This helps reduce weight, eliminate infections in the urinary system, free the body from toxins, reduce chances of renal calculi, rheumatism, and arthritis, improve digestion, and keep the heart healthy.

Reduces Fever: While the diaphoretic property of this oil increases perspiration, its anti-inflammatory property reduces inflammation, while the antimicrobial property fights infections. The combined effects of these three properties fight fever and reduce body temperature.

Inhibits Fungal Growth: This oil kills fungus and inhibits fungal growth. This is very useful in countering fungal infections in the ear, nose and throat region. Contracting fungal infections in the ears are very common and can be very serious. It eliminates fungal infections in other parts of the body as well and helps cure fungal dysentery.

Insect Repellant: This is one of the most commonly used properties of this essential oil, as it kills and keeps away insects. It has been found particularly effective on a species of mosquito, called Aedes aegypti whose bite causes the dreaded yellow fever. This is also effective on lice, body and head louse, and fleas.

Prevents Stomach Disorders: The use of this oil clears the stomach from infections and other problems and helps it function properly.

Natural Skin Care Remedy: Aside from keeping away bug bites, research shows citronella can also help heal dermatitis, naturally treat eczema, slow skin aging, heal bug bite scars and treat some fungal infections on the skin. It enhances penetration of skin and speeds up wound healing, which might be beneficial for remedying acne, getting rid of warts, treating boils and healing age spots. It can also help skin appear youthful and smoother and even block damage done from sun exposure. Add a very small amount to coconut oil and massage it into the face, or try adding one to two drops to your shower or facial wash. As an easy-to-make home remedy for acne, try dabbing one drop of pure citronella essential oil on blemishes three times a day, but make sure you use a sterile cotton swab.

Pet Controller: Although it might sound strange, citronella oil is effective in calming barking dogs and can even be used on furniture to help keep your pets off. As a bonus, when you spray citronella on your furniture or linens, it keeps them free from bacteria, pests and odors. Add several drops to a spray bottle along with water, shake it up, and spray it throughout your home and on household items.

Natural Shampoo and Conditioner: One of the most popular uses for citronella oil is cleansing and conditioning the hair and scalp. It can help eliminate excess oil and greasiness of hair while also fighting dandruff and adding shine. Many people find it adds volume to hair, detangles knots and helps protect hair color from sun damage. Add several drops to your shampoo or conditioner, or try making your own homemade recipe using a cleansing oil like coconut oil, which also benefits hair.

Homemade Citronella Oil Bug Spray Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup witch hazel
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 40 drops mixed essential oils (citronella, eucalyptus, lemongrass, tea tree or rosemary)
  • glass spray bottle

DIRECTIONS: Mix all ingredients in eight-ounce spray bottle. Spray over all portions of the body, but avoid repellent in eyes and mouth.

References:

  1. http://essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/citronella.htm
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citronella_oil
  3. http://www.scielo.br/pdf/bjce/v28n2/19.pdf
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3696851/
  5. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1fe6/87211ff91490329db0ac82e55941e787e1ed.pdf
  6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/238783168_Chemical_Composition_and_Antifungal_Activity_of_Essential_Oil_from_Cymbopogon_nardus_Citronella_Grass
  7. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-citronella-essential-oil.html
  8. https://draxe.com/citronella-oil/
  9. https://www.planttherapy.com/search?Store_Code=PT&q=citronella