Category Archives: Aromatherapy

Workshop Announcement

This month I will be teaching in a workshop on aromatherapy and astrology.  I am very happy with this opportunity that I am going to meet lots of new friends who share similar interests.  It is going to be an interactive workshop where I will give a presentation on an introduction to astrology with focus on the Sun sign, the signature oil of each sign and the safety use of essential oils.  After that I will comment on individual participant’s birth chart, recommend a blend of essential oil that they can DIY during the workshop and take back to their home.

The workshop will take place on Friday evening, 17th March in JGO Holistic Aromatherapy and Heath School.  Registration can be done here.  If you are living in Hong Kong, I very much look forward to seeing you!

Introduction to Astrology and Aromatherapy

A 3-hour Workshop

“The therapeutic function of the signature oil is to bring a person back to the self.”

Patricia Davis, Author of the best-selling aromatherapy book Aromatherapy An A-Z.

Content:

A basic understanding on astrology

Knowing your Sun Sign

Aromatherapy: the principal methods of use

Your signature oils

Bonus: A quick look at your Ascendant and Moon signs, and their appropriate essential oils

Recommended preparation before class:

1 week before the start of the class please provide your birth data: time, date and place of birth.  If you do not know the exact time please make a sensible estimate.

Teacher’s Profile:

Parkson Kwok

Astrologer, Tarot Reader and Aromatherapist (IFA)

BBA (HKU), MA (HKBU), MCIL, Member of AFA (American Federation of Astrologers), Certified Angel Card Reader

Parkson has a lot of passion in the magical world, he has been studying metaphysical arts for over 15 years.  After his busy day job he enjoys giving spiritual consultation for clients of different walk of life.  His current interest is in blending aromatherapy with other forms of metaphysical arts such as astrology, tarot, reiki and crystal therapy.  More stories about Parkson can be found in his occasional blog: http://www.oraclesenboku.com/.

Thyme on violet wooden table

Bunch of fresh thyme on violet wooden table

 

My Aromatic Medicine Chest

At home I have over 100 bottles of essential oils. I like to collect them just like how I collect my tarot decks.  They can last for very long time if they are stored properly. Each time only a few drops will be used.  The quickest one that goes out of stock is true lavender.  I replace her probably once every three months.  The slowest are many.  I have a bottle of benzoin I hardly use because she is so thick to drop and not willing to leave the bottle at all!  Gorgeous vanilla scent though.

Some people ask me for the most useful esssential oils.  I recommend 5 of them, those are invaluable oils to keep in the home medicine chest, or to take with you when traveling.

Lavender – ruled by Mercury, she is a great help for balancing nervous system, especially for stress-related issues.  Use in a vapourizer or with 5 to 6 drops in a running bath. Just enjoy the scent and allow your mind to rest.  Also very useful when there is a cut wound.  Direct neat application onto the wound speeds up healing. A drop on the pillow promotes sleep.

Tea Tree – he is good for skin acne.  Also invaluable for its antiseptic, fungicidal, antiviral and immune-stimulant properties.  Ruled by Saturn he is so powerful I will dilute tea tree with carrier oil before application.  

Rosemary – ruled by the Sun she has stimulant properties on our mental and nervous systems.  A protective essential oil that I use for cleansing in my spiritual rituals.  She is strengthening, restorative, purifying, reviving and refreshing.  I also vapourise it together with lemon essential oil to boost memory. 

Roman Chamomile – ruled by the Moon she is the best children’s remedy. A mild relaxant and anti-inflammatory agent.  This oil smells lovely, very mild and encourages sleep and relaxation.  Excellent for treating insomnia and nervous tension.

Peppermint – I love everything peppermint!  Ruled by Mercury not only it is good for digestive complaints such as nausea or indigestion, it is also indispensable for problems in our respiratory system.  And if you have fever, try drink some peppermint tea to reduce the heat.

Oral prescription however is not advised.  It should only be practiced by suitably trained medical doctors, who, like qualified herbalists, have undergone many years of training. 

Hope you will have an opportunity to try them out. These 5 oils are generally safe and good for home remedies.

Clary Sage: your best girl friend ever!

My teacher introduced this oil to me as the best girl friend ever.  All girls should have one bottle handy, though there are so much beneficial properties that we boys should enjoy too.  Clary Sage in aromotherapy uses its Latin name Salvia sclarea to distinguish itself from Sage oils.  While they share many properties, Clary Sage does not present the risks of toxicity associated with the high level of thujone in Sage oil.

I guess why it is the best girl friend is because Clary is an emmenagogue, and can help scanty or missing periods.  It is best used during the first half of the menstrual cycle.  It promotes oestrogen secretion – useful during menopause for symptoms such as hot flushes, headaches and irritability.  However during pregnancy this oil is not advised to be used.

The plant is native to Italy, Syria and southern France, but will grow anywhere that the soil is dry enough.  I wish I were more knowledgeable in gardening, luckily I got my Frustrated Gardener friend who I can always refer to on botanical matters.  The essential oil is distilled from the flowers and flowering tips, containing a lot of esters which make the oil anti-inflammatory, calming and tonic.  It has a wonderfully nutty aroma.

Clary Sage is well known for its euphoric action in treating nervousness, fear and depression.  Most will simply become very relaxed, so it is unwise to give massage with high dosage with this oil (over 3%) to any clients who have to drive home after therapy.  Yet Clary Sage is very helpful for all kind of stress and tension.  It is a powerful muscle relaxant which, of course, is especially useful when muscular tension arises from mental or emotional stress.  Use diluted oil for massage, or use in baths at home.

For people who practise magick of all sort, it opens the path to creativity and intuition.  Meditate with Clary Sage oil on an oil burner or diffuser.

As one of the most powerful relaxants known in aromatherapy, it is the best friend for both girls and boys.  It can be used with care and sensitivity to help the ever growing number of people who suffers from increased anxiety created by the modern 21st century life.

On the Therapeutic Properties of Jasminum officinale: a literature review

Jasmine is one of the most expensive essential oils, and has been coined as the “King of Aromatics”[1]. The Chinese called them ‘mo li’ and very often they used them for scenting tea.  Jasminum officinale belong to the plant family of Oleaceae.   They are cultivated in France, Italy, Morocco, Egypt and India.  The oils are extracted by volatile solvents.  The scent is intensely sweet and floral.  Their chemical constituents are characterised by mostly esters (benzyl acetate, benzyl benzoate) and alcohols (linalol and phytols)[2].

 Figure 1. Caddy’s Colour Profile on Jasminum officinale

 

General physical actions are relaxing and euphoric.  According to Nicholas Culpeper, it ‘warms the womb…and facilitates the birth; it is useful for cough, difficulty in breathing, etc.  It disperses crude humours, and is good for catarrhous constitutions, but not for the hot’.   In Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine, Jasminum officinale are known as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug, that when administered locally, can be effective to painful skin disease, acute mastitis (in pregnancy), earache, ophthalmitis, eye tumour, uterine pain, gastroenteritis and painful sores in the anal area.  The jasmine essential oil, due to its chemical constituents, is sedative, anticonvulsant, decongestant, uterine tonic, oestrogenic, analgesic, antiseptic and cicatrisant.  On the emotional level, it is anti-depressant, and produces a feeling of optimism, confidence and euphoria.   It is most useful in the cases where there is apathy, listlessness and low libido.  Too high dosage may cause headaches and nausea.  It is advised to be cautious when applying to babies and pregnant women[3] .

 

Global burden of infectious diseases caused by bacterial agents is a serious threat to public health.  Antibiotic treatment is a preferred choice to treat bacterial infections.  However, emergence of anti-microbial resistance and toxicity issues augment biological research on the anti-microbial role of plants, due to comparable toxicity and efficacy.  A recent study (Usman Ali Khan et al, 2013) was undertaken to investigate Jasminum officinale for their potential activity against human bacterial pathogens.  It was found that Jasminum officinale demonstrated variable antibacterial activity, with the conclusion that further photochemical analysis of these plants will be helpful for elucidation of novel antibacterial bioactive molecules.

 

Another study in 2015 by Shekhar using 8 varieties of Jasminum (Jasminum officinale inclusive) showed that all of them have antioxidant capacity, which could support traditional healers to treat various infective diseases. In ethanolic extract it was found that most of the samples showed better antioxidant activity when compared to the standard.

 

Apart from their antioxidant properties, Jasminum species have also been researched for their antiulcer activities. The study conducted by Umamaheswari et al (2006) was aimed at evaluating the antiulcer and antioxidant actives of 70% ethanolic extract of leaves of Jasminum grandiflorum L.  The leaves of this species have a distinction of being used in Indian folk medicine for treating ulcers.  The results suggest that leaves of such Jasminum species possess potential antiulcer activity, which may be attributed to their antioxidant mechanism of actions.

 

Jasminum officinale has been used for a long time in human history.  They contain naturally occurring substances that will continue to have a crucial place in drug discovery.  Current research have confirmed their valuable healing properties including their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiulcer activities.  It is believed that further investigations may help discover even more benefits for the human nation.

 

 

 

References

 

Ali Khan, U. et al. (2013) Antibacterial Activity of Some Medicinal Plants Against Selected Human Pathogenic Bacteria: European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology, vol 3, no 4: p. 272-274

 

Caddy, R. (1997) Essential Oils in Colour, Amberwood Publishing, England.

 

Culpeper, N. (1998) Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, Wordsworth Reference Series, Amberwood Publishing, England.

 

Hussain, M. et al. (2013) Comparative In vitro study of Antimicrobial Activities of Flower and Whole Plant of Jasminum Officinale Against Some Human Pathogenic Microbes: Journal of Pharmacy and Alternative Medicine, vol 2, no 4: p. 33-43

 

Mahdizadeh, S.; Ghadiri, M.K.; Gporji, A. (2015) Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine: a review of analgesics and anti-inflammatory substances: Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, vol 5, no 3: p. 182-202

 

Shekhar, S. and Prasad M.P. (2015) Comparative Analysis of Antioxidant Properties of Jasmine Species by Hydrogen Peroxide Assay: European Journal of Biotechnology and Bioscience, vol 3, no 2: p. 26-29

 

Tisserand, R. (1977) The Art of Aromatherapy, CW Daniel, Saffron Waldend, England.

 

Umamaheswari, M. et al. (2007) Antiulcer and In Vitro Antioxidant Activities of Jasminum Grandiflorum L.: Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol 110: p. 464-460

[1] Tisserand, R. The Art of Aromatherapy 1977, p.237

[2] Caddy, R. Essential Oils in Colour 1997

[3] Ibid.

Product Review: Stress Away ™ Essential Oil

The name of this product is interesting. Stress Away ™ sounds like a sorcerer sweep to me, that all my worries can be lifted off instantly!  Have been using this oil for a week, I enjoyed it a lot. This is an essential oil blend formulated by Young Living.  I want to be sharing occassionally their products that I have tried personally and found them therapeutic.

She is my ‘love at first scent’.  I fell in love with her scent right away when I opened the bottle. She was sweet and creamy, like a French pudding. This must be the Vanilla oil in the blend. I  used it for body massage mostly before I went to bed.  It was heaven.  A few minutes after the oil absorbed into my body I started to feel a peppermint cool that calmed my nerves down.  My body felt much lighter as if the burden of my day was magically removed; my soul was feather stroked by my Arch Angel.

I was curious why this oil brought me so much joy so I studied her composition.  Taken from my notes:

 

What amuses me is her planetary signature. Stress Away ™ has the signature of all traditional planets except one: Saturn.  No wonder her magic is so calming and relaxing!  Saturn rules all duties and responsibilities.  He is a serious father who wants discipline for his children for their own sake, so that they can protect themselves within safe boundaries.  Often we feel heaviness from Saturn because of his demand for perfection through life’s training.  

Sometimes, probably at the end of a day, we can take a little break.  Stress Away ™ helps to do exactly that. I can sleep very well after applying it for body massage. The next day morning I feel energised and ready again for new challenges ahead. 

My recommendation on how to use Stress Away ™:

1. Full body massage.  I use 3% dilution (eg. 8 drops in 15 mil of carrier oil) as my skin is sensitive, and my belief that ‘less is more’.

2. Inhalation. 5-6 drops in a diffuser. Diffuse for under 3 hours.

3. Hot bath. After filling hot water in the bath tub add 5-6 drops.

I hope you will enjoy Stress Away ™ as much as I do.  If you would like to make a purchase please click the Young Living icon on the right side of my home page, or here. You will find options on buying at normal retail price or discounted independent distributor price. There is no minimum order required if you wish to register as an independent distributor.