I’m getting into the festive season by putting Sweet orange (citrus sinensis) combined with Clove bud oil (syzygium aromaticum) into my oil burner. Add a drop of each to a teaspoon of water, light the candle and breathe.
You may have come across Clove bud oil if you’ve had toothache as it is high in eugenol, a chemical that numbs the nerves. It can also be found in food. If using Clove bud oil in a massage, do not combine with other oils high in eugenol such as Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) and Cinnamon (leaf and bark) as these oils should always be used in small amounts due to their chemical make up. Also, I would never recommend ingesting any essential oil, consult a qualified aromatherapist or your doctor before use.
Yet Clove bud oil is highly effective and although recommended to be used with caution, there is research about how successful it is for dealing with pain and bacteria. It is anti inflammatory and an analgesic, good for musculoskeletal pain such as arthritis. It is an immunostimulant so can be used after a period of illness, or you are feeling physically debilitated.
It is a relaxing, warm oil and can create a peaceful atmosphere with it’s rich, spicy but sweet aroma, and hints of woody, fruity notes which is why I’m recommending it in a oil burner or diffuser (2/3 drops of Clove, 4 drops of Orange). Combined with the fresh, uplifting scent of Sweet orange, let these oils fill your room with festive ambience.
Avoid in pregnancy, those who are taking immunosuppressant medication. Can cause skin irritation.
Essential oils can also aid sleep as they have calming and mood enhancing effects, and can easily be introduced as part of a sleep routine whether you add your favourite oils to a diffuser in your bedroom before sleep, or a warm evening bath with oils, or simply a few drops onto your pillow at night.
Studies have shown that essential oils work because we inhale the aromatic molecules via our olfactory system (found in our nasal septum) releasing neurons into our limbic system, the part of our brain that deals with emotion, memory, motivation, and pleasure. We have no conscious control here and so the scent of essential oils can have a profound influence on us, affecting our behaviour. Indeed, prolonged use of oils can create new pathways, new memories and therefore new patterns of behaviour such as enhanced mood, relaxation, calm….sleep.
A lovely combination of oils could be Sweet orange, Lavender and Ylang ylang in your diffuser (2 drops of each).
Another combination could be Bergamot, Chamomile, Vetiver.
Or just use a favourite oil on your pillow at night, such as Lavender, Geranium, or Lemongrass.
Try just one drop of one the oils onto your pillow (reverse side) every night for a week and see if it makes a difference. I know it will.
Synergy. What does it mean? Essential oil blending is all about creating synergy – getting the oils to work together whether it is aromatically, therapeutically, or philosophically. Jennifer Peace Rhind (2016) writes that “synergistic blending is at the very heart of aromatherapy practice.” Put simply, creating an oil combination which does its job. Essential oils contain active ingredients so when we add 2 or more oils together, the outcome can be different to when the oils are applied singly. There is a growing body of evidence to support the therapeutic benefits of synergy. For example, a recent study explored the impact of antimicrobial blends – oil blends that kill bacteria and fungus. The study focused on combinations with Lavender, for example Lavender with Cypress, with May chang, with Cinnamon, and with Sweet orange. Interestingly, Sweet orange has poor antimicrobial activity but when combined with Lavender it had positive benefits for respiratory infections. Therefore, combining these oils in a diffuser could be helpful for those suffering from tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, certain types of influenza, or the common cold. Add 1 drop of Lavender, 1 drop of Sweet orange to a oil burner, or 3 of each in a diffuser. Alternatively, add up to 4 drops of each in a warm bath. Activate those healing chemicals and feel the benefit of synergism.