Clumping herbaceous perennial native to temperate Eurasia.
APPEARANCE: Flowers pink and white to 5 feet tall.
GROWING INFORMATION: Hardy to Zones 4 to 8. Plant thrives in moist yet well-drained soil in the sun to part shade. In the spring, sow seed in pots or directly in the garden. Press seed into soil surface and keep evenly moist and in the light, with germination in 10 to 16 days. Seedling leaves do not resemble mature Valerian leaves. Thin or transplant 1 to 2 feet apart.
USE: Tender, edible leaves and narcotically scented flowers typify these demure, sedative plants.
VALERIAN (Valeriana officinalis)
PROPERTIES:Nervine, Sedative or Stimulant—for most people Valerian is relaxing but is highly stimulating (to the point of crazy) for some
SYSTEMS AFFECTED:Nervous, Brain, Cardiovascular, Muscular, Skeletal
POSSIBLE USES:managing stress, insomnia, calming erratic heart beat, headaches, anxiety, convulsions, colic, muscle cramps, improving circulation, shoulder, neck and muscle tension, menstrual pain and cramping
Valerian was known as “all-heal” in the Middle Ages and is still referred to by that name in older herbal texts.
Valerian’s main impact is on the nerves, brain, liver, and heart. Because it heals and rebuilds in these areas, people feel calmed, strengthened, and uplifted by this herb. This is one of the best herbs in the world for helping people sleep and helping them cope with high levels of stress. Valerian reduces mental over-activity and nervous excitability, and helps people who find it hard to stop the mental chatter and get to sleep. Valerian is beneficial for almost any stress-related condition and has a calming, rather than heavy sedative, effect on the mind and body.
Valerian contains large amounts of calcium and comes with its own supply of magnesium so the calcium is readily absorbed and made available to build bones, strengthen nerves, and relax the smooth muscles.
AFFINITY FOR:hormones, red blood cells, skin, joints, muscles, balances yin and yang energies—male and female hormones
RESONANCE: physical, emotional
EXTRACTION METHOD:steam distilled
AROMATIC CONSIDERATIONS:The aroma of Vetiver is reminiscent of Patchouli and Lemongrass, but is not a pleasant aroma by itself, in my opinion. Vetiver is physically, mentally, and psychologically grounding.
APPLICATION:Vetiver can be added to a bath. You can dilute Vetiver and apply to the body.
EMOTIONAL - SPIRITUAL - MENTAL ASPECTS:Vetiver is a useful oil for emotional and energy work. It helps us connect the past to the present, learning from the things we have experienced and using the present to heal the past. Vetiver builds bridges between our memories and experiences, our mental capacities, and our physical bodies. It transforms our memories and experiences into wisdom and maturity. Vetiver can be good for us when a “dose of reality” is needed in our lives.
PHYSICAL ASPECTS:Vetiver is an excellent oil for skin care. It speeds up the disappearance of scars from accidents or acne by promoting the growth of new cells patterned after the original blueprint of cellular structure rather than replicating the damaged pattern. The anti-inflammatory and sedative properties of Vetiver make it useful with arthritis, sprains, and muscle spasms. Vetiver is said to aid in the production of healthy red cells in the blood. Vetiver is considered a tonic oil. It is, to our bodies and minds, a bit like the complete overhaul and servicing that we routinely give our vehicles.
GENERAL INFORMATION:Vetiver is known in India as “the oil of tranquility.”
SYSTEMS AFFECTED:Structural, Endocrine/Glandular, Digestive, Mucous membranes, Integumentary
POSSIBLE USES:diarrhea, burns, cuts and wounds, dental/oral care
White Oak is one of the most valuable astringent herbs because it is useful for both external and internal bleeding and wound healing. White Oak heals damaged and inflamed tissues of the skin, mucous membranes, stomach, and intestines. A tea of the bark makes an excellent wash for gum infection, a gargle for sore throats, and a corrective for diarrhea. White Oak has proven to be an excellent remedy for gangrenous and other seriously infected flesh.
White Oak is one of the few herbs I have even seen listed (and had any success with) as an antidote for drug reactions and chemotherapy side effects.
White Pine was an essential part of Native American herbal lore. Its use was adopted by the Europeans when they arrived in America. They drank a tea made from the bark and the needles to ward off disease. This makes perfect sense since the brew would have been high in vitamin C.
White Pine is considered to be a remedy for coughs and congestion due to colds, bronchitis, flu, or laryngitis. The expectorant properties are nicely offset by the demulcent properties, helping the body to first expel phlegm and then heal the irritated tissues. As a poultice, White Pine speeds the healing of wounds and sores. The tea is excellent for kidney and lung ailments.
GROWING INFORMATION:Biennial overwintering in Zones 5 to 9, readily grown as a spring-planted annual, requiring 90 days to flowering. The most cold-hardy of all lettuces. Barely cover seed and keep moist until germ. Lettuce will not germinate when soil temperature exceeds 85 degrees F. Thin to 1 foot apart.
AFFINITY FOR: nerves, kidneys, bones, joints, muscles, respiratory system
PLANT FAMILY: Ericaceae
EXTRACTION METHOD:steam distilled
AROMATIC CONSIDERATIONS:Wintergreen has a wonderful aroma. It is stimulating, but deeper and more grounding than the essential oils of the mint family. Wintergreen is cleansing and opening to the physical senses.
APPLICATION:Wintergreen can be applied to any area of the body where it is needed. Be sure to dilute well. Wintergreen essential oil is very pleasant diffused.
EMOTIONAL - SPIRITUAL - MENTAL ASPECTS: Wintergreen essential oil is a very aggressive essence which stimulates very powerful responses in return. Wintergreen promotes change on a profound level as the mind/body complex responds. Wintergreen shakes up and wakes up the mind and every system of the body.
PHYSICAL ASPECTS:Wintergreen produces an analgesic, numbing effect on the nerves present in whatever tissue it is applied to. Wintergreen clears obstructions to the flow of blood in the tissues and in the veins and arteries. This increases circulation in general and brings warmth to the area. This warmth is as strong and as healing as anything you will experience with commercial athletic rub products. This warmth also relaxes the muscles in the area to which it was applied. As the circulatory system works more efficiently, many health problems are alleviated.
The stimulant properties of Wintergreen apply to all systems and organs of the body. Wintergreen increases the activity of the kidneys, preventing toxins, uric acid, fats, and liquids from building up in body tissues. Wintergreen essential oil aids digestion by stimulating proper secretion of gastric juices and bile. It stimulates the activity of the lungs, intestines, and other organs, preventing the accumulation of congestion and waste materials.
CAUTIONS:Wintergreen essential oil has a high methyl salicylate content. Nevertheless, it is safe to use. Please see page 111, (the last of the section on Birch) for safety information about this constituent. Birch and Wintergreen often receive very bad press because of misunderstandings about the effects of this “supposed” toxic ingredient. Wintergreen should be used cautiously if pregnant and always diluted well.
AFFINITY FOR:skin, tissue, and scalp, respiratory system, digestive system, bladder meridian, stomach meridian, wood element, metal element
RESONANCE:physical, emotionl, spiritual
PART UTILIZED:flowering tops
EXTRACTION METHOD:steam distilled
APPLICATION:Yarrow essential oil is applied neat (without a carrier oil) to close a wound. It should be applied diluted for other applications and circumstances.
AROMATIC CONSIDERATIONS:The aroma of Yarrow oil balances our highs and lows, externally and internally, physically and mentally.
EMOTIONAL - SPIRITUAL - MENTAL ASPECTS: In Chinese folklore, the aroma of Yarrow is said to bring about the meeting of Heaven and Earth in our lives. With our head in the clouds, we have far-reaching vision and inspiration to guide us, but we have the stability and common sense of having our feet firmly planted on the ground.
Just as Yarrow oil pulls together the edges of a deep wound, Yarrow pulls together and heals the damaged places in our energy and psyche. Yarrow, emotionally, is for those times when we feel that there are important parts of ourselves that have become lost or fragmented. We feel the pain of loss, like the pain of a wound. Yarrow pulls the emotional and energetic edges together and allows us to heal. Folklore of several countries states that Yarrow is associated with love and fidelity.
PHYSICAL ASPECTS:Yarrow is one of the truly great healing oils! Applied topically to a cut, even a very deep one, Yarrow will pull the edges together and help the cut to heal almost miraculously. Yarrow’s antiseptic properties are strong enough to prevent infection, no matter how dirty or contaminated conditions were at the time of the injury. Yarrow, known for centuries as an herb to stop bleeding, is even more effective in the concentrated essential oil form.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Yarrow are effective whether the inflammation is in the nasal or respiratory passages, the digestive tract, along the gum line, the uterus or ovaries, or anywhere else.
Like the anti-inflammatory properties of this essential oil, the astringent properties of Yarrow work throughout the body. Astringents cause the tightening of tissues. This makes Yarrow very helpful for such things as dandruff, hair loss, setting the teeth firmly into the gums, or firming up areas of sagging skin. Astringent oils such as Yarrow are beneficial as face washes for oily skin and acne. Yarrow is an excellent oil for the female reproductive system where astringency and a mild hormonal action combine to make this oil vital in treatment programs for ovarian cysts and uterine fibroid tumors.
It has been reported recently in several publications that Yarrow’s use with cancer and diabetes has been known throughout the ages. I can find no scientific studies to back these claims, but anecdotal evidence is certainly abundant. Yarrow essential oil also acts on the bone marrow to stimulate the creation of red blood cells and enhance the coagulation of the blood.
Yarrow is gently diaphoretic and a febrifuge. When you are ill, the use of Yarrow holds the fever from getting dangerously high and stimulates perspiration. Fever and perspiration are the body’s way of killing the microbes and then carrying them out of the system.
Yarrow improves digestion by stimulating the secretion of bile and restoring the liver and other organs. I could go on for several more pages about Yarrow. It has been one of my favorite herbs for many years and is one of my favorite essential oils. Enough cannot be said about the benefits of this amazingly versatile healing oil.
CAUTIONS:Reasonable caution should be taken during pregnancy. There are no other cautions connected to this oil. It is possible to find a use for it every day of our lives.
GENERAL INFORMATION: Many essential oil companies carry more than one Yarrow essential oil. A Yarrow oil which has a pale green color seems to be slightly stronger in hormone balancing properties than a deeper blue one.
Deeper Blue Yarrow oils have an advantage as an astringent and in pulling the edges of wounds together. The blue one is the one sought after most frequently as a single oil.
APPEARANCE: Mounding and creeping herbaceous or evergreen perennial, native to temperate zones worldwide. Flowers white to 2 feet tall.
GROWING INFORMATION:Hardy to Zones 4 to 8. Plant thrives in regular garden or woodland soil in full sun to part shade. Press seeds into soil surface and deep evenly moist until germination, which can take up to 3 weeks. Thin or transplant to 18 inches apart.
AFFINITY FOR:adrenals and thymus, nerves, heart chakra, yin energy
EXTRACTION METHOD: steam distilled
APPLICATION:Excellent oil for diffusing. Diluted, it can be worn anywhere on the body.
AROMATIC CONSIDERATIONS:Ylang Ylang can bring back feelings of confidence, joy, and peace.
EMOTIONAL - SPIRITUAL - MENTAL ASPECTS:The aromatic focus of Ylang Ylang is spirituality. It fosters a desire in our souls for deeper and more meaningful communication with heaven. As we develop the emotional, caring, nurturing, intuitive, spiritual side of our natures, many things shift for us. We find that we are able to block or filter the negativity and “garbage” around us. We are better able to focus our thoughts and our drive.
One of the behaviors that signals a need for Ylang Ylang is throwing temper tantrums that, if we are honest with ourselves, have the underlying intent of getting us our own way. Another indication for Ylang Ylang is sudden loss of interest in work, personal appearance, and even in family members and friends. Ylang Ylang may also be helpful for insecurity, low self-esteem, anger, rage, and dare-devil tendencies.
PHYSICAL ASPECTS:Ylang Ylang balances the male-female energies and hormones in the body by stimulating the adrenals and thymus glands. This can balance sexual energy and bring joy, harmony, and passion to relationships. The hormonal support properties of Ylang Ylang make it useful for the symptoms of PMS and many other hormone related complaints. Ylang Ylang is a uterine tonic. Dilute and apply to the abdomen for this function.
As Ylang Ylang’s hormonal properties work in conjunction with its nervine properties, Ylang Ylang becomes exceptionally effective for depression, irritability, anxiety, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, hypertension, nervous tension, physical and mental exhaustion, nervousness, and insomnia. Ylang Ylang is also excellent for routine skin care, more serious skin problems, and hair loss. Ylang Ylang is also used to regulate circulation, fight intestinal infections, and alleviate constipation.
GENERAL INFORMATION:The distillation of the delicate flowers of Ylang Ylang is a complex process. The product that is extracted two hours after the distillation process begins is referred to in the industry as the “extra.” This distillation is extremely heady, potent, and overly-sweet, and is not used in aromatherapy applications but is used by the perfume industry because a little goes a long way and the aroma remains stable longer.
Ylang Ylang is distilled in batches by time. As the process continues the oil changes as different components are distilled off. Some distillers separate as many as 5 or 6 batches and the resulting products are referred to as ylang one, two, three, and so on.
In aromatherapy, Ylang II is the more the more commonly used Ylang. Ylang comple is a reblending of all the batches. It is generally more expensive and is not used by some aromatherapists. Most of the desirable components are found in Ylang II. Ylang Complete is becoming more popular as people realize there are some benefits to the various distillations combined. I use both, and blend with both. Sometimes one is preferred over the other for various—or even unknown—reasons.
This formula is meant for women in their childbearing years and the years preceding menopause. It will often, if taken for a month or two, straighten out irregular periods, heavy clotting, profuse flow, menstrual cramping, premenstrual headaches, and premenstrual tension. Many times, once the underlying hormone issues that are causing the above symptoms have cleared up, infertility issues also disappear.
YW is also helpful with kidney, liver, and bladder problems in women, and is essential for prolapsing uterus or bladder situations.
Consider Sepia homeopathic in addition to this formula.