Category: Essential Oil info

How to use Oregano essential oil

How to use Oregano essential oil

Oregano essential oil. Your mind might go directly to Italian food when you think of oregano. But the herb and the concentrated essential oil have a wide variety of uses and benefits. Around here, whenever we feel a cold coming on, we place one drop of our oregano oil into a cup of our Cold n Flu tea and that seems to really help with the oncoming illness.

Botanically known as Origanum vulgare, oregano is a flowering plant from the same family as mint. While you certainly won’t have enough to make your own essential oil (unless you are going to plant acres and acres of it,) oregano is also really easy to grow. We keep it in the little herb garden in the front of our little cottage temple.

You can BUY Oregano essential oil by CLICKING HERE

Some use it in carrier oils and lotion as a anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Others find it useful for the presence of staph on the skin and use it in soaps, body washes, and hand soap. We even tried a drop of it in coconut oil when trying oil pulling, a method where you place a teaspoon of coconut oil in the mouth and swish continuously to cleanse the teeth. It seemed to work pretty well, although oregano oil can be fairly strong and left a strong tingling on the lips.

LATIN NAME:
Origanum Vulgare
ORIGIN:
Europe, Egypt, Spain
MIND:
Stimulating, Strengthening
BODY:
Antibacterial, Influenza, Antiviral
SPIRIT:
Purification, Cleansing

In aromatherapy, people choose oregano oil to breathe in for colds and respiratory relief.

The magical correspondences of oregano are: associated with the planet Mercury and the sign of Taurus; corresponds with the Hearth chakra; and is used to spell work to keep away troublesome people, for protection, and for psychic dreams and good health. Also for spiritual purification and cleansing.

 

How Essential Oils are Made

How Essential Oils are Made

essential oil still
The following article is an excerpt from the book – ESSENTIAL OILS AND AROMATHERAPY: HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR BEAUTY, HEALTH, AND SPIRITUALITY by Gregory Lee White. Available on Amazon in print edition and on Kindle.

DISTILLATION
Many of the most common essential oils are steam distilled. It is the same process you see in the movies of people making moonshine. Sometimes the big copper coil and all are used. The plant matter, which may consist of flowers, roots, leaves, and more, is placed in the distillation apparatus with water (also known as an alembic vessel or simply a “still”) where the water and plant matter are heated. The plant material releases aromatic material as the steam forces the essential oils in the plants to burst open and escape, evaporating into the steam. The temperature of the steam is carefully controlled – just enough to force the plant material to let go of the essential oil, yet not so hot it would burn the plant material or the essential oil.

The steam containing the essential oils passes through a cooling chamber, causing condensation. The collecting tube is often coiled and is housed within an outer container through which the cool water flows. This allows the fluid to condense and drip into the collector. In the collector, the essential oil separates from the hydrosol or aqueous portion. Distillation may take anywhere from a couple of hours to nearly twenty hours, depending on the plant matter being distilled.

This is where hydrosols come from. They are literally the water used in the distillation process.

EXPRESSION
This is also known as cold pressing. Most citrus peel oils are expressed mechanically, or cold pressed (similar to olive oil extraction). Due to the relatively large quantities of oil in citrus peel and low cost to grow and harvest raw materials, citrus-fruit oils are cheaper than most other essential oils. You can actually squeeze essential oil out when you peel an orange or a lemon. No heat source is needed for this extraction method, which is why it is called “cold pressing.” While today large machines do all the pressing, in early times the rinds were hand squeezed onto sponges in order to collect the precious oils.

ENFLEURAGE
This is an older method not frequently used today. In cold enfleurage, a large framed plate of glass, called a chassis, smeared with a layer of animal fat (usually lard or tallow) is allowed to set. Most oils collected with this method are flowers. Petals or whole flowers placed on the fat diffuse their scent into the fat over the course of 1-3 days. The spent flowers are replaced with fresh ones until the fat has reached a desired degree of fragrance. This procedure was developed in southern France in the 19th century for the production of high-grade concentrates. In hot enfleurage, solid fats are heated and botanical matter stirred into the fat. Spent botanicals are repeatedly strained from the fat and replaced with fresh material until the fat is saturated with fragrance. This method is the oldest known procedure for preserving plant fragrance substances. Jasmine was commonly a popular flower that went through the enfleurage process.

SOLVENT EXTRACTED
Solvent extracted is almost exactly how it sounds. This is how absolutes are made. Flowers are covered with a solvent (hexane, for example) which extracts the essential oil from the flowers/plants. Solvent extraction does not always have to mean the solvent was unnatural. Sometimes solid oils, fats, or carbon dioxide are used (think high-tech-enfleurage). The primary reason for using this method is for flowers that are too delicate to be steam distilled. Jasmine Absolute is made using the solvent extraction method.

INFUSED OIL
There have been many times over the years that I have encountered people that tell me they make their own essential oils. I immediately ask them if they own a farm, because distilling essential oils takes an enormous amount of plant matter. When the answer is no, I ask them about the process – only to find that they are actually making infused oils. I can remember back many years ago when I tried this and thought I was making my own essential oils. I took the peel of several oranges and packed a canning jar full then poured sweet almond oil over the peels, capped it, and allowed it to sit for two weeks. The result was sweet, orange-smelling oil. However, when I purchased my first essential oil book some weeks later I discovered that my jar of citrusy oil was far from being an actual essential oil. This is how we learn: experimentation and research.

Infused oils involve taking plants and allowing them to soak in carrier oil, usually a liquid vegetable oil, for an extended period, giving the plant time to release its properties into the base. Most of the time, the method is to leave the jar sitting in the sunlight (such as a windowsill) so that the carrier oil will be heated gently and naturally, which encourages the plant matter to release more of its precious oils.
While it may not be an essential oil, this is still an excellent way to make your own herbal-based massage oils. The key to success is absolutely cleanliness. The jars should first be sterilized (a dishwasher will do) then thoroughly dried. There should be absolutely no water, not even a drop, left inside your glass jar because water will be the foundation for the growth of bacteria.

If using fresh herbs from your garden, wash them to get rid of any dirt or bugs, and allow them to dry completely. I don’t mean turning them into a dried herb – just the process of getting all water off of the plant. If this means putting your project off until the next day, so be it. Knowing this, you may want to cut your plants and rinse them the day before you plan your infusion project. You can speed up the process by blotting the plants with paper towels.
When your plants/herbs are completely dry, you want to bruise them – meaning, you’re going to pinch or rub the leaves slightly to help bring some of the essential oils out. Some people go a step further and chop the herbs. Then, pack your jar at least half-way with the herb (almost all the way to the top is best) and cover with your carrier oil. Fill the jar with oil as far as you can. Leaving a lot of airspace at the top gives more chance for mold to occur.
Olive oil is a popular choice but many people also choose: canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, or even common vegetable oil. You may also use more exotic oils, such as sweet almond or grapeseed oil. Just be sure not to choose oils that become rancid easily, especially if you are going to place your infusion in a sunny windowsill.
Cap the jar tightly and gently shake or swirl the contents each day.

I never use the sunlight method when I infuse oils. I prefer to place the jars in a dark, room-temperature spot for about two weeks. There are many who feel that the addition of sunlight does more harm than good to the integrity of your base oil. Furthermore, the sunlight and heat can cause condensation in the jar. Usually, the darkroom method will give you a lighter colored finished product.

After the herbs have steeped for a few weeks, strain the contents through cheesecloth several times so that no plant matter remains in the carrier oil. Bottle and store away from light. The product should be good for at least six months, although I have seen some infused oils last for a couple of years. At this point, you may also choose to add vitamin E to the oil by breaking open several capsules and spilling their contents into your infused oil, which will help with rancidity. If you have chosen oils that tend to go rancid more quickly than others do, you may choose to store your finished product in the refrigerator.

Essential Oil benefits

ESSENTIAL OIL BENEFITS – basic list of essential oils and their benefits

One of the greatest treats in soap making is experimenting with
combinations of essential oils. Unlike fragrance oils, which are usually
chemically manufactured scents, essential oils are very potent. Each oil,
like the plants they are derived from, are different in their basic makeup
which is why there is such a difference in price among the oils. Essential
oils can begin (at wholesale pricing) from the neighborhood of $12 per
pound all the way up to $1300 per pound (and more).

Many people have asked whether the aromatherapy benefits
survive the soap making process. To my knowledge, as of this writing,
that research has not been done. Chemically, many of them most likely
do, to a degree.

I do believe the emotional benefits of the oils come through in
soap. Smelling them activates the olfactory system and can bring about a
shift in emotions. Mints have the ability to wake you up, Citrus oils are
cheering, Lavender seems to relax you, etc.

You will have to decide for yourself which oils you would like to
use according to their safety precautions. Using essential oils in soap is
definitely a manner of “diluting” an oil. Furthermore, the soap is rinsed
off in the bath or shower — unlike a massage where the essential oils are
rubbed into the skin via a carrier oil and left on the skin until the next
bath time.

The essential oils listed below is meant for
information purposes regarding the way essential oils are currently being
used. If you have any concerns, feel free to consult a physician before
using a specific oil. It is probably always a good idea to listen to the
advice of the pregnancy precautions.

Anise – (pimpinella anisum)
Sweet, licorice like scent often used during the hunting season to mask
the human scent. Also applied to bait to attract fish. Cheering, euphoric,
energizing, sense enhancing, antibacterical, coughs, deodorant,
menopause. Parts used: seed pod. Dilute well before use. Do not use
during pregnancy.

Bergamot – (citrus bergamia)
Citrusy, fresh, woodsy scent. Cheering, concentration, aggression,
confidence, grief, nervous tension and stress. Said to help with the stress
of Parkinson’s Disease and PMS moodiness. Good for withdrawals. Parts
used: peel of fruit. Phototoxic. Do not expose applied area of skin to
direct sunlight or tanning bed for 24 hours.

Cedarwood – (cedrus atlantica)
Dry, sweet, woodsy balsamic scent. Balancing, grounding and
strengthening. Often used to promote self-control and to balance
spirituality. Possible uses: acne, dry hair, rheumatism, oily skin, immunity
booster. Parts used: wood. Avoid during pregnancy. May irritate extra
sensitive skin.

Cinnamon Leaf – (cinnamomum zeylancium)
Hot, spicy scent — richer in aroma than ground cinnamon. Invigorating,
refreshing, warming, aphrodisiac properties. Often used by those with
low blood pressure. Good for exhaustion & fatigue. Antifungal. Parts
used: leaf. Avoid if you have high blood pressure. Dilute well before use.

Citronella – (cymbopogon nardus)
Slightly fruity, fresh, lemony scent. An oil that is known to be refreshing,
stimulating, soothing & vitalizing. Most popular for being a powerful
insect repellent. Antiseptic properties, good when you have a cold. Parts
used: grass. Avoid during pregnancy.

Clary Sage – (salvia sclarea)
Earthy, herbaceous & slightly fruity scent. Known as the “woman’s oil.”
Good for use as an antidepressant, for PMS and Menopause. Also good
for fatigue, fear & stress. Is often used to help promote vivid dreaming.
Parts used: flowering tops, herb. Avoid with a history of breast or
ovarian cysts or estrogen-dependent cancer. Do not overuse while
drinking alcohol.

Clove Bud – (eugenia caryophyllata)
Spicy, warming, rich but slightly bitter scent. Possible uses: memory loss,
stimulating, energizing, warming. Also known for use as an antiseptic, for
sprains, strains and is often used (in part) by dentists for toothache. Parts
used: flower buds. A possible mucous membrane irritant. Not to be used
by alcoholics, haemophiliacs or those with prostate cancer.

Eucalyptus – (eucalyptus globulus)
Clean, fresh, medicinal scent. A balancing, cooling & stimulating oil often
used with colds, coughs, muscular fatigue & sinusitis. Also helpful when
you have bronchitis, the flu or slight fever. Parts used: leaves & twigs.
Avoid with a history of epilepsy or if you have using homeopathic
remedies. Do NOT take internally — toxic.

Fir Needle – (Abies alba)
Woody, earthy, fresh scent. Known for stimulating circulation. Often
used for muscle pain, arthritis & rheumatism as well as elevating the
emotions and helping with stress. Parts used: leaves (needles), twigs.
Dilute well before use.

Frankincense – (Boswellia carterii)
Spicy, woody, fruity & fresh smell. For the mind, frankincense is often
used for anxiety, exhaustion and for focus. Reported to help with scars
and wrinkles. Has been used in history for blessing and consecration.
Parts used: resin. Avoid during pregnancy. Regarded as generally safe.

Geranium – (Pelargonium graveolens)
Floral but sweet smell with fruity undertones. Often used for nerves,
stress and for relaxed, intense focus (such as self-hypnosis). Has been
known to calm those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and Muscular
Dystrophy. Parts used: flowers, leaves, stalks. Avoid if a history of
estrogen-dependant cancer or hypoglycemia.

Ginger – (Zingiber officinale)
Smoky, spicy, woody scent. For the mind, used for memory loss and to
anchor the emotions. Good for nausea, motion sickness, aches & sprains
and the nausea associated with migraine headaches. Parts used: roots
(stems). May irritate extra-sensitive skin. Dilute well before use.

Jasmine Absolute – (Jasminum officinalis)
Exotic, floral, rich, sweet scent. Used often in the perfume industry. Has
relaxing, sedative properties and is said to be an aphrodisiac. Also good
as an antidepressant, for PMS & Menopause. Parts used: flowers Avoid
during pregnancy. Extended use has narcotic-like properties.

Juniper Berry – (juniperus communis)
Crisp, sweet & herbaceous with a fruity note. Often used for gout, jet lag
and hangovers as well as for memory loss, clearing the mind and
exhaustion. Said to have detoxifying and toning properties. Parts used:
berries Avoid during pregnancy. Avoid if a history of kidney disease or
high blood pressure.

Lavender – (lavandula officinalis)
Floral, fresh, light, herbaceous scent. Is said to bring about love and
peace. Good for insect bites, to calm the nerves, help with sleeping —
soothing & relaxing. Also good for burns, bruises, itching and headaches.
Parts used: flowering tops. Avoid during first trimester of pregnancy.

Lemon – (citrus limonum)
Rich, fresh smell similar to fresh lemon rinds. Used to uplift the spirits as
it is balancing, cheering and refreshing. Often used to reduce warts, for
fainting and hayfever. Good ingredient in cleaning and dish washing.
Parts used: peel of fruit. Phototoxic. Do not expose applied area of skin
to direct sunlight or tanning bed for 24 hours.

Lemon Eucalyptus – (eucalyptus citriodora)
Sweet, lemony smell with a woody note. Known to be calming and
purifying. Reported by the CDC to be a good, natural substitution for
DEET in combating mosquitoes. Contains some of the same properties
as regular eucalyptus. Parts used: leaves, twigs. Dilute before use.

Lemongrass – (cymbopogon citratus)
Fresh, lemony, grassy scent. For the mind, used for irritability, mental
fatigue, stress & nervous exhaustion. Often used as a mild insect
repellent, for light cases of athlete’s foot and reported to be good for
cellulite. Parts used: grass, leaves. Avoid during pregnancy or a history of
high blood pressure.

Lime – (citrus aurantifolia)
Green, fresh, citrusy, sweet scent. Stimulating, uplifting & cheering, lime
is know for helping raise the spirits and makes a good antidepressant.
Good for skin toning as an astringent and is said to help with dandruff.
Parts used: peel of fruit. Mildly phototoxic. Try to avoid direct exposure
to sunlight where lime has been used on the skin.

Palmarosa – (cymbopogon martini)
A floral, grassy, rose-like scent. Good for creativity, aggression & anxiety.
Said to work quite well for wrinkles, dermatitis, hair loss & PMS
symptoms. Associated with healing and love. Parts used: whole plant
Avoid with a history of high blood pressure.

Patchouli – (pogostemon cablin)
Rich, earthy, woody aroma. Known as a general aphrodisiac. Good for
relaxation as well as concentration. Said to be good for wrinkles, acne,
dandruff and athlete’s foot. Best known as the incense commonly used in
the 1960’s. Parts used: leaves Generally regarded as safe. Do not take
internally.

Peppermint – (mentha piperita)
Minty, strong peppermint candy smell. Cooling, refreshing, revitalizing
and stimulating. Is good for headaches, nausea & jet lag. Mixed in base
oils or lotions, is good for muscular aches and rheumatoid arthritis. Parts
used: whole plant Avoid during pregnancy or a history of high blood
pressure. Use in small amounts. Avoid contact with eyes.

Pink Grapefruit – (citrus paradisi)
Citrusy scent, similar to a grapefruit rind. A good uplifting oil — good
for concentration and to promote happy thoughts. Reported to be good
for migraines, hangovers, PMS symptoms & hair loss as well as being
antibacterial. Parts used: peel of fruit. Phototoxic. Avoid contact with the
sun or tanning beds after using oil on skin.

Rosemary – (rosmarinus officinalis)
Sweet, fresh, herb-like, medicinal scent. Good for grief and fatigue as
well as clearing out the mind. Often used as an antiviral, a decongestant
and for muscular aches. Also known as an immunity stimulant. Parts
used: leaves. Avoid during pregnancy or a history of high blood pressure
or epilepsy.

Rosewood – (aniba rosaeodora)
Sweet, woody and fruity with a floral scent. Good for mild cases of
depression and clearing out confusion. Often used for headaches, PMS,
scars, sensitive skin and stretch marks. Parts used: wood, twigs. Generally
regarded as safe. Do not take internally.

Sandalwood – (santalum album)
Woodsy, balsamic, deep perfume-like scent. Used to center the thoughts
and also used in meditation and as an aphrodisiac. Known for being used
for wrinkles, chapped skin, dry hair and dandruff. Parts used: wood. Do
not take internally.

Spearmint – (mentha spicata)
Fresh, minty, sweet smell — less potent than peppermint. Often used for
sniffing during times of morning sickness. Also good for stimulating and
reviving as well as asthma, headache and nausea. Parts used: leaves. Use
in small amounts. Large amounts may irritate mucous membranes.

Sweet Orange – (citrus sinensis)
Citrusy, sweet, strong scent like orange peels. Good antidepressant and
uplifting oil. Has been used for drug withdrawal symptoms, stress and for
its slight sedative properties. Often associated with joy, luck and money.
Parts used: peel of fruit. Avoid use in sun. May irritate sensitive skin if
not diluted properly.

Tangerine – (citrus reticulata)
Bright, deep citrusy smell like tangerine peels. Relaxing, cheering &
soothing. Astringent, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Antidepressant. Parts
used: peel of fruit. Avoid use in sun. May irritate sensitive skin if not
diluted properly.

Tea Tree – (melaleuca alternifolia)
An herbaceous, green, earthy scent — slightly medicinal. The scent has
cleansing and cooling properties. Has been used for centuries for burns,
bug bites, scrapes and cuts. Also good for athlete’s foot, blisters, boils
and sunburns. Parts used: leaves, twigs. Do not take internally. Can be
used neat (undiluted) in small amounts on many people. Test patch first.

Ylang-Ylang – (cananga odorata)
Floral, slightly fruity, delicate, perfume-like scent. Promotes euphoria,
relaxation and is often thought of as an aphrodisiac. Lowers blood
pressure. Good for its sedative properties and for shock. Parts used:
flowers. Avoid if a history of apnea or low blood pressure.

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