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Alternative Medicine,  Holstic Medicine & Natural medicine

 

Potpourri With Herbs And Essential Oils

Potpourri is defined as mixture of dried flower, herbs, leaves, roots, barks and spices providing fragrance. Placed either in decorative wooden bowl, tied in small bags made from sheer fabric or specially designed pot pourri vase, a potpourri can last long if blended correctly. The word potpourri comes from the French meaning "rotten pot".

Its uses are many. You can use it to perfume the air, keep it in closets or drawers, make room decorations with attractive baskets or ...

Aromatherapy, Potpourri with herbs and essential oils, Aromatherapy recipes, Aromatherapy blends.

Potpourri is defined as mixture of dried flower, herbs, leaves, roots, barks and spices providing fragrance. Placed either in decorative wooden bowl, tied in small bags made from sheer fabric or specially designed pot pourri vase, a potpourri can last long if blended correctly. The word potpourri comes from the French meaning "rotten pot".

Its uses are many. You can use it to perfume the air, keep it in closets or drawers, make room decorations with attractive baskets or bowls or make personal gifts to share it with family and friends. Dry potpourri consists of dried, scented, crisp materials concocted for fragrance as well as beauty.

The basics of potpourris are simple and few. Dried or fresh sweet-smelling plant materials, other aromatic ingredients like whole spices, bits of citrus peels or shavings of pleasant smell wood chips; essential oils and fixative which combines with the essential oils to preserve their fragrance. Aromatic plant materials include rose petals, marigold flowers, foliage, lavender, mints, and fragrant herbs of all kinds. Fixatives fix the aroma i.e. they make the scent or fragrance last longer. They come in dried, powdered or liquid form. Common fixatives are orris root; oak moss, cellulose, and benzoin.

The best herbs for potpourri are lavender, scented geranium leaves, lemon verbena, lemon balm, and mints. Dry them, and then make your own mix. Sprinkle with essential oils to extend the life of the potpourri. By adding a little of this and that you become familiar with the process and begin to creating your own blends.

Choose from variety of themes such as - woody, floral, spicy, fruity or citrus for making a potpourri. Assemble and blend your flowers, herbs, leaves, etc accordingly. Mix the fixative with the spices and sprinkle few drops essential oil for fragrance. Blend well, seal and store in warm dry dark for place for a month or so. Choose pretty containers, jars and bowls, to display.

Below are few common potpourri recipes that any amateur can start with -

Basic Rose Potpourri - Blend 1 tsp of rose essential oil to 3 tbsp coarse ground orris root and let it sit for a few days. If you add 2 tbsp each of ground cloves and cinnamon, the blend will emit a spicy fragrance. 2 cups lavender and ¼ cup ground tonka bean exudes a sweet floral scent. For a musky scent, add 1 cup patchouli leaves and ½ cup sandalwood and vetiver root. For a fruity fragrance, 1 cup each of dried citrus peel, rose, lemon scented geranium leaves works wonders.

Balsam Fir Potpourri – Blend 1 cup balsam needles, ¾ cup sweet woodruff leaves, 1 cup dried violet blossoms, 1 cup lavender, 2 tbsp salt, ¼ cup bee balm blossoms and 1 oz balsam Peru tincture. Shake the mixture occasionally and let it age for a month or so.

To make potpourri as Xmas gift – mix 1 cup each of whole allspice, star anise, ginger root, and sassafras bark, 2 cups each of orange peel, lemon verbena leaves, and rose buds and petals and 30 drops allspice oil. Seal and let set to "cure", shaking occasionally.

For Citrus Blend - 4 cups lemon verbena leaves, 2 cups lemon balm leaves, 2 cups orange mint, 2 cups lemon, lime or orange scented geranium leaves, 1 cup apple mint, 4 cups ground citrus peel, 4 cups marigold or calendula petals, 2 cups orris root, mixed with 1 tbsp orange oil and 1 tbsp lemon oil. Seal and let it set with occasional shaking.

 

Practical Aromatherapy: Anti-Viral Properties Of Essential Oils

Antiviral Activity of Essential Oils

The body of evidence regarding the effectiveness of natural botanicals against a great variety of viruses is growing. Over twenty years ago, German scientists found extracts of more than 100 species of the Lamiaceae family to have antiviral effects. This discovery lead to and increase in the examination of essential oils in Europe for the treatment of viral infections.

Essential oils from many plant families have now been demonstrate...

aromatherapy,essential oils,alternative,health,medicine,wellness,herpes,virus

Antiviral Activity of Essential Oils

The body of evidence regarding the effectiveness of natural botanicals against a great variety of viruses is growing. Over twenty years ago, German scientists found extracts of more than 100 species of the Lamiaceae family to have antiviral effects. This discovery lead to and increase in the examination of essential oils in Europe for the treatment of viral infections.

Essential oils from many plant families have now been demonstrated to have antiviral properties. Interestingly, different plant families exhibit varying degrees of effectiveness depending on the virus strain. This is due to the particular molecular structures found in each type of oil, which penetrate physical entities to varying degrees (different tissues, cell walls, mucous membranes, etc). The effect on each virus strain depends also on the virus structure (enveloped, non-enveloped, molecular symmetry, etc.)

Certainly, one of the reasons for oils' effectiveness en vivo is their lipophillic character - essential oils are easily absorbed into mammalian tissues, where they may produce the greatest results. In fact, when studying the anti-viral effects of essential oils, researchers found that normal cells seemed to acquire a special resistance to viral penetration, though the mechanism for this effect is not yet known.

Melissa and the Herpes Virus

One of the Lamiaceae plants studied, Melissa (Melissa officinalis - also known as Lemon Balm), was shown particularly efficacious against the herpes virus (HSV). Doctor Dietrich Wabner, a professor at the Technical University of Munich, has even reported that a one-time application of Melissa oil led to a complete remission of HSV lesions. A cream medication for Herpes outbreaks, who's active ingredient is an extract of Melissa, is now sold in Germany under the name Lomaherpan. Use of Melissa essential oil itself may be just as effective - the oil can be applied directly to the lesions (or diluted to 10% in carrier if sensitivity is noted) to speed healing. Further occurrences can be prevented by applying oil to the area when sensations signal an eminent outbreak - repeating this protocol 3 or 4 times has been reported to cause total remission in some individuals.

Other essential oils found effective against the Herpes virus include bergamot, eucalyptus, lemongrass and tea tree. Related to HSV is Herpes Zoster or 'Shingles', another common virus-mediated skin condition. Application of a 50/50 blend of Ravensara essential oil and Tamanu nut oil has been found extremely effective for reducing symptoms by many people.

Antiviral Components of Oils

The list of essential oils exhibiting antiviral effects is extensive: Melissa (as above), tea tree, juniper, eucalyptus, thyme, palmarosa, lavender, rosemary, clove, laurel, cinnamon bark, anise, rose, lemongrass, geranium, neroli, bergamot, clary sage, and dill. The antiviral effect of an essential oil is due to particular components of the oil - some oils will work just as effectively on a particular infection as another, because they contain similar amounts of a certain component. The components of essential oils showing antiviral activity, and the oils in which they can be found, are as follows (from K. Schnaubelt, Ph.D. - Advanced Aromatherapy, p. 36):

Anethol - found in Anise
Alpha-Sabines - found in Tea Tree, Laurel, and other oils
Beta-Caryophyllene - found in Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme Linalool, and other oils
Carvone - found in Dill
Cinnamic aldehyde - found in Cinnamon Bark
Citral - found in Melissa, Lemongrass and other oils
Citronellol - found in Rose and Geranium
Eugenol - found in Clove
Gamma-Terpinene - Found in Juniper, Eucalyptus, Niaouli, Tea Tree and other oils
Linalol - found in Lavender and Neroli
Linalyl acetate - found in Clary Sage, Lavender, Bergamot and other oils

Limited In-Vivo Data

Good studies of application of these essential oils in cases of illness are difficult to come by, as infecting people with viruses in the laboratory to subsequently be treated with aromatics would be a difficult process at best. The oils and components above have mostly shown effectivenessin-vitro, though tests also indicate that the anti-viral effect should occur in-vivo as well. As with Melissa, it has been HSV that has been most thoroughly examined, because of the relative simplicity of doing so. But there is nothing particularly special about the herpes virus, and proper oil/pathogen paring should prove as effective.

There are some noted case studies by professional aromatherapists. Of importance in these studies is the oil/symptom relationship. Essential oils from plants of the Myrtaceae family - notably Eucalyptus Radiata and Tea Tree - and Ravensara (also high in Eucalyptol) seem to have helped in cases with respiratory symptoms. For the lower respiratory tract, Hyssop decumbens (from the same plant family as Melissa) has been of interest. Essential oils for such cases may be used either in a diffuser, being taken at regular intervals, or through massage, diluted in a carrier oil.

Conclusion

Because of the difficulty in many cases of illness in determining the exact virus type involved, more specific application cannot be given. Certainly, in cases of HSV, Melissa has been shown effective in a number of studies. For respiratory infections, Eucalyptus and Ravensara have been used with success, and can be safely used as an adjunct to regular medical care. These oils may support one's recovery on a physiologic level - essential oils also play a part in uplifting emotions, which may also speed healing, or at least improve mental outlook during the healing process. For such instances, one may simply find the essential oil or combination that one finds pleasant, calming, and/or uplifting. PLEASE NOTE: In no cases, however, should self-treatment with essential oils be used in place of professional medical care where signs/symptoms of infectious illness are present.

 

Potpourri With Herbs And Essential Oils

Potpourri is defined as mixture of dried flower, herbs, leaves, roots, barks and spices providing fragrance. Placed either in decorative wooden bowl, tied in small bags made from sheer fabric or specially designed pot pourri vase, a potpourri can last long if blended correctly. The word potpourri comes from the French meaning "rotten pot".

Its uses are many. You can use it to perfume the air, keep it in closets or drawers, make room decorations with attractive baskets or ...

Aromatherapy, Potpourri with herbs and essential oils, Aromatherapy recipes, Aromatherapy blends.

Potpourri is defined as mixture of dried flower, herbs, leaves, roots, barks and spices providing fragrance. Placed either in decorative wooden bowl, tied in small bags made from sheer fabric or specially designed pot pourri vase, a potpourri can last long if blended correctly. The word potpourri comes from the French meaning "rotten pot".

Its uses are many. You can use it to perfume the air, keep it in closets or drawers, make room decorations with attractive baskets or bowls or make personal gifts to share it with family and friends. Dry potpourri consists of dried, scented, crisp materials concocted for fragrance as well as beauty.

The basics of potpourris are simple and few. Dried or fresh sweet-smelling plant materials, other aromatic ingredients like whole spices, bits of citrus peels or shavings of pleasant smell wood chips; essential oils and fixative which combines with the essential oils to preserve their fragrance. Aromatic plant materials include rose petals, marigold flowers, foliage, lavender, mints, and fragrant herbs of all kinds. Fixatives fix the aroma i.e. they make the scent or fragrance last longer. They come in dried, powdered or liquid form. Common fixatives are orris root; oak moss, cellulose, and benzoin.

The best herbs for potpourri are lavender, scented geranium leaves, lemon verbena, lemon balm, and mints. Dry them, and then make your own mix. Sprinkle with essential oils to extend the life of the potpourri. By adding a little of this and that you become familiar with the process and begin to creating your own blends.

Choose from variety of themes such as - woody, floral, spicy, fruity or citrus for making a potpourri. Assemble and blend your flowers, herbs, leaves, etc accordingly. Mix the fixative with the spices and sprinkle few drops essential oil for fragrance. Blend well, seal and store in warm dry dark for place for a month or so. Choose pretty containers, jars and bowls, to display.

Below are few common potpourri recipes that any amateur can start with -

Basic Rose Potpourri - Blend 1 tsp of rose essential oil to 3 tbsp coarse ground orris root and let it sit for a few days. If you add 2 tbsp each of ground cloves and cinnamon, the blend will emit a spicy fragrance. 2 cups lavender and ¼ cup ground tonka bean exudes a sweet floral scent. For a musky scent, add 1 cup patchouli leaves and ½ cup sandalwood and vetiver root. For a fruity fragrance, 1 cup each of dried citrus peel, rose, lemon scented geranium leaves works wonders.

Balsam Fir Potpourri – Blend 1 cup balsam needles, ¾ cup sweet woodruff leaves, 1 cup dried violet blossoms, 1 cup lavender, 2 tbsp salt, ¼ cup bee balm blossoms and 1 oz balsam Peru tincture. Shake the mixture occasionally and let it age for a month or so.

To make potpourri as Xmas gift – mix 1 cup each of whole allspice, star anise, ginger root, and sassafras bark, 2 cups each of orange peel, lemon verbena leaves, and rose buds and petals and 30 drops allspice oil. Seal and let set to "cure", shaking occasionally.

For Citrus Blend - 4 cups lemon verbena leaves, 2 cups lemon balm leaves, 2 cups orange mint, 2 cups lemon, lime or orange scented geranium leaves, 1 cup apple mint, 4 cups ground citrus peel, 4 cups marigold or calendula petals, 2 cups orris root, mixed with 1 tbsp orange oil and 1 tbsp lemon oil. Seal and let it set with occasional shaking.

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