Edition 63: January 2014
Essential Oil of the month
Hangover hero replenishes liver, kidneys and spleen
Cleansing fennel oil rids body of toxins
KNOWN as 'Fenkle' in Medieval times, fennel was a common medicinal herb that had been used by Egyptians, Indians and Romans, who believed it conveyed longevity, courage and strength, as well as warding off evil spirits.
It was used in cookery and medicinally for conditions including strengthening eyesight, snakebites, colic and menstrual difficulty.
The Greeks called it Marathron - meaning to grow thin - as they used it to help reduce weight. The ancient Chinese believed it cured obstructions of the liver, spleen and gall-bladder.
Today it is widely used around the world in mouth fresheners, toothpastes, desserts, antacids, liquors and in culinary. It is a common practice, particularly in India, to chew fennel seeds after meals to facilitate digestion and to prevent bad breath.
Fennel oil’s principle sphere of action is on the digestive system and is indicated for innumerable digestive disorders. Massage the gut with well diluted fennel oil for indigestion, pain in abdomen, dyspepsia and constipation. Such a treatment will also help nausea, vomiting and even hiccups.
Fennel oil helps keep the stomach healthy and functioning well, promoting proper secretion of digestive acids that reduces inflammation of stomach and intestines and protects from infections and ulcers.
It is due to these properties that it is used in commercial antacid preparations.
Fennel oil can be used as an appetite stimulant for anorexia. It acts as an aperitif by stimulating the secretion of digestive and gastric juices, paving the way for optimal digestion and better food absorption.
For this reason fennel oil is a traditional additive to pre/post-dinner liquors and is especially effective when accompanying rich meals. It has a toning effect on the spleen and liver that helps with the results of excess drink and food and is thus an effective “hangover” remedy.
Fennel is an effective carminative that releases gases from the stomach and intestines, bringing relief from the discomforts of bloat, flatulence, and colic. Its usage prevents the actual formation of such gases in the system for those who have chronic wind problems; this is due to its aspartic acid component.
It is also helpful in treating renal colic because it contains polymers, also called phytoestrogens, that are found in anethole, a key constituent of fennel oil. (Polymeric and heavy molecules are used to treat this condition.)
Fennel enhances intestinal peristaltic motion and in this way it can be a non-addictive laxative to help clear the bowels, relieving both chronic and acute constipations. Yet it has disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties with certain amino acids that help cure some types of diarrhoea due to indigestion.
This liver tonic essential oil detoxifies and purifies the blood, cleansing it from such toxins as urea, uric acid and certain unwanted hormones as well as substances from external sources.
It tends to balance sodium levels in the blood through its diuretic behaviour, prompting the removal of excess water while cleaning the kidneys; resulting in lower blood pressure and fat reduction, a boon for those who suffer from fluid retention, oedema and also obesity.
Employ in an anti-cellulite blend to help it disperse, ridding the body of stagnant fluids and fats. Massage a blend of fennel, lemon and cypress into the lower limbs and kidney area to encourage these effects and improve sluggish circulation.
Another key function of fennel is its emmenagogic activity, whereby it eases and regulates menstruation by regulating hormonal function and reducing spasmodic pain such as menstrual cramping. Such qualities are helpful to prevent untimely menopause and deal with the symptoms.
Fennel has an anti-spasmodic and relaxing effect on nerves, muscles, intestines and the respiratory system.
This galactogogue oil can increase the amount of milk in nursing mothers, and should be used when apart from the baby, because the oil contains trans-anethole which is too strong.
Probably using the fresh fennel herb and eating the seeds is a safer way to boost milk supply with the added benefits of its ability to quell colic.
The presence of the actives cineole and anetol in fennel make it an effective expectorant to bring relief from cough, bronchitis and congestion of the respiratory system due to cold and viral infection. Add sparingly to chest rubs and use in de-congestant blends for aromatisers.
A more unusual function of fennel is its splenic activity, whereby it enhances the spleen’s function and production of lymphocytes and red blood cells; this translates as a more healthy and active life.
Fennel could be of value for the treatment of anaemia, as it contains iron and Hisidine, an amino acid and important in haemoglobin production.
Fennel oil is a general tonic; enhancing and stimulating all the body functions such as respiratory, digestive, endocrine, nervous and excretory systems and facilitates absorption of nutrients in the body, thereby giving strength and boosting immunity.
The oil is a vermifuge and effectively kills worms and their spores in the intestines and excretory tracts.
DID YOU KNOW?
Fennel’s botanical name 'foenum' means 'hay'.
Fennel has anti-septic properties that make it valuable as part of a wound wash to prevent infection or tetanus; this may also have applications after surgery as the oil also disperses bruises. Add to toothpastes to heal pyorrhoea.
Fennel has a cleansing and toning effect on the skin, enlivening a dull complexion, especially dehydrated, dry skin. It has uses for premature wrinkling and more mature complex ions (possibly due to the estrogenic properties of the oil).
When confronted by our fears and difficulty; fennel oil boosts our courage and resolve.
This stimulating and morale-boosting action also helps overcome fatigue, dizziness and depression, as well as countering PMS.
Fennel allows us to address the root causes of our weight issues that generate poor self-image and esteem while it beckons us to take back our own power.
Use fennel oil in meditation and self-massage to recover stagnant beliefs and patterns that are holding weight on the body; holding on to this unconscious hurt causes weight gain.
Massage/Bath Blends: bloated stomach, excess wind, colic, constipation and other digestive problems. For fluid retention, cellulite and menstrual pain apply small, circular motions to the area above the uterus and lower back.
Cream/lotion blends: fennel oil can be helpful for general skin care, reducing cellulite over time
The smell of fennel helps us recover from memories of not having enough and our food desires change.
Seventeenth Century herbalist Culpepper linked fennel with mercury, the archetypal symbol of the conscious, rational mind and of communication.
Indeed, fennel oil is suited to the individual who tends to over think and analyse, yet the ideas remain just that, ideas and seldom put into practice.
Fennel unclogs the blockage of uncommunicated ideas and feelings and helps us express them more freely.
Such churning up inside of unexpressed emotions affects the bowels and lower intestines, manifesting as constipation, bloat and gas.
Sweet fennel brings us the courage; inviting us to communicate freely without fear and as a consequence we are relieved of the stagnant build-up.
Unburdened from obstruction of the congested mind; we create the spaciousness required to express ourselves as creative beings.
Botanical name: Foeniculum vulgare
Origins: This hardy biennial or perennial herb grows up to 2 meters in height and has green feathery leaves with golden yellow flowers that are loved by bees. It is thought that this bushy plant came from Malta; it is mostly grown in the Mediterranean where much of the oil is produced.
Scent: Sweet fennel oil has a sweet, pungent and herbaceous smell that is earthy and peppery- spicy, with a pronounced aniseed/liquorice note. The oil extracted from the crushed fennel seeds by steam distillation and is colourless to pale yellow in colour.
Blends well with: Geranium, lavender, rose and sandalwood. Use as a top to middle note.
Therapeutic Properties: anti-septic, anti-viral, anti spasmodic, aperitif, carminative, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, galactogogue, laxative, stimulant, stomachic, splenic, tonic and vermifuge.
Indications: Anaemia, indigestion, flatulence, constipation, colic, diarrhoea, respiratory disorders, menstrual disorders, obesity, wrinkles on skin, insect bites and colic, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, hiccups, dyspepsia, rheumatism and cellulite.
Precautions: Sweet fennel oil is very potent and should not be used in heavy doses, as this may have a narcotic effect. It should be avoided in pregnancy and for epileptics. The component called trans-anethole present in fennel oil boosts oestrogen production and although this is beneficial for lactating mothers, it is harmful for pregnant women and those with breast or uterine cancer. Use highly diluted.
The other variety: bitter fennel is not used in aromatherapy and should not applied to the skin.
Pure scent for creative musings
EVERYONE knows the wonderful feeling when all the creative juices are flowing and we move into a “zone” of being completely absorbed in our work or project, and we are so present to the moment that time does not register.
This is a highly productive and imaginative space in which to be.
Scent is intimately linked with our memory, and our feelings. Imagine a scent that can take us back to this desirable artistic space, so that the creative process can flow through us again or perhaps begin its journey. Scent helps us associate positive feelings with our artistic endeavour and this in turn increases intrinsic motivation.
We have all experienced the proverbial writer’s block or a blank canvas in front of us that we fail to overcome because we seem to be waiting for a sign, a flash of insight or some celestial inspiration that will carry us forward.
Inherent within each of us is a deep wellspring of universal vision that is just waiting to surface so that we might co-create with nature and her design, extending on her beauty and uniqueness with our personal signature of originality.
Imagine the joyfulness when all our efforts can be part of a creative process in which we playfully engage with the world.
Too often we find ourselves stuck or incurious, letting life pass us by because we have allowed negative emotions to leach creativity and passion from us.
We become sluggish or too enamoured with our own ideas to explore anything new, assuming there is nothing left to discover.
A source of power
Mythic Muse is a scent to assist us in transforming toxic emotions into sources of power and courage to follow through on our finest ideas, refining our instincts to answer the call of our soul.
If we explore the origins of this word Muse; she could be any of the nine sister goddesses, who presided over the arts, each of whom was regarded as the protectress of a different art or science.
They were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne: Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania.
The roots of the words memory and mental can be found in the name of Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory and mother of the Muses. Her name is the Greek noun mnmosun ‘memory’; this is the root from which we derive amnesia (from Greek), mental (from Latin), and mind (from Germanic). Real inspiration has an angelical nature that just needs to be remembered.
Ever wondered about the inspiration that motivates a great poet, artist, or thinker? From where does this arise and how can we access this space?
Great minds think alike
Have you also noticed that “great minds often think alike” and it seems that collectively we can and do draw upon a universal collective of ideas and source material for our design and plan.
Who would have thought that smell could be of such help to find the sweet spot of ingenuity, when the task itself is its own reward?
Motivation is the fruit of productivity; we are motivated because we are productive. When we see progress we gain confidence; the autonomy to set our own challenges and not have them imposed on us.
When we immerse ourselves completely in the process, and experience absorption, it doesn’t allow for mental chatter and curiously the art unfolds. We must dedicate ourselves to the vision; yet not fixate on its outcome. By letting it go, we can dive directly into the present moment of doing.
Mythic Muse, the scent, supports our self-actualisation in becoming the best version of ourselves that we can become by realising our own maximum potential and possibilities.
Not trying is not an option, so why not let the creative genius of the universe flow through you.
Your life in this exquisite, fragrant moment is a shimmering artwork unfolding before you, to craft and sculpt into something original, fresh and meaningful or whatever you so dream.
Yes, yes, set the stage with an inspirational mood, spray some Mythic Muse into the air, upon your person, breathe in deeply and get busy.
Just start somewhere; write, paint, choreograph, compose; follow your passion and be the artist you truly are.
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