“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” -Rumi
How often do we check our weather apps to see if we need a raincoat, gloves, or a cotton shirt? How often do we look at the radar before we start our day, and how often does that affect whether we smile, swear, wince, or rejoice? Let’s face it, we all are affected by the outside weather. Since essential oils come from plant material and grow in the outdoors, doesn’t it make sense that they too are affected by the weather and can influence how we think and feel? Their chemicals can reach our sense of smell and conjure memories that can determine and change our moods. For example, the scent of pine trees in the woods can help us to slow down and calm our minds. But unlike us, I doubt the trees complain or become irritated when it is cloudy, or it rains.
One drop of an essential oil such as Petitgrain Citrus x aurantium L., derived from the distilled leaves of the bitter orange fruit, can uplift the spirit and change unmanageable moods into periods of calm and control. The active constituent in this essential oil is linalyl acetate. Linalyl acetate defines Petitgrain’s ability to calm the central nervous system. Studies have shown that it improves moods and relaxes the gastrointestinal system. It also has been used clinically to help those with sleep disorders and stress related conditions. However, be advised. Petitgrain leaves must be rapidly steamed and distilled in order to create linalyl acetate in high enough concentrations to have beneficial effects, so make sure you purchase this essential oil from a reputable and certified aromatherapist.
Clinically I use Petitgrain with people who have allergies and asthma. The sedative properties of this oil calm the respiratory tract, especially when used with German Chamomile or Fragonia. Fragonia Agonis fragans contains the constituent 1,8 cineole which has been found to break up mucous congestion, according to Daniel Penoel. The chamazulene (or blue color) in German Chamomile Matricaria recutita L. has anti-inflammatory effects and blends well with Petitgrain. Blended together at a 2% dilution in organic vegetable oil, these three oils bring a positive effect to the nervous and respiratory systems when inhaled or used in a massage blend. All three essential oils are non-toxic and non-irritating.
“What if things were different than the way you have seen them in the past?” -Rachel Naomi Remen
May we take responsibility for our own needs and joys and manage our energy and attitudes using essential oils effectively. May the gratitude we have for our plants, flowers, leaves and trees give us solace and comfort as we reverently and intentionally use essential oil blends to improve moods, attitudes, and health. If we do that, rainy days become sunny, winter days become spring, and our moods turn from sadness to joy.
Battaglia, Salvatore, (2018). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 3rd edition. Brisbane, Australia: Black Pepper Creative Publishing.
Holmes, Peter, (2016). Aromatic; A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics: Volume 1: Principles and Profiles; Philadelphia & London; Singing Dragon Publishing.
Penoel, Daniel, (2006). Fragonia the Latest Promising Aromatic Gift from Australia: Aromatherapy Today; 36: 12-18.
Aromatherapy Improves Work Performance Through Balancing the Autonomic Nervous System, Inhaling Petitgrain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27763785
Biological Activities and Safety of Citrus ssp. Essential Oils. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29976894
A systematic review of the therapeutic effects of Matricaria recutita chamomile https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27790360