I am just returning home from Aromahead Institute, School of Essential Oil Studies, in Ithaca, NY. It was a fabulous 3 day elective on the art of Aromatic Blending, where we dove deeper into the interplay between 100 essential oils from all over the world, and studied carrier bases which included African oils like Baobab Seed oil, Coconut oil, Kombo Butter, Kpanganon Butter and more. Such fun!!
In any event, I rented a room while I was away, and on the first morning I woke up to what I thought was my housemate snoring. After a few minutes, I realized it was a slow and consistent chirp from outside. I kept my eyes closed, and just listened to the rhythm. It was as if mother nature was breathing. You could feel the inhale…a pause… and a slow released exhale. What a lovely way to arise.
It got me thinking about breath and the plant part associated with air: the leaves. Leaves are responsible for the intake of oxygen and nutrients for the plant(essentially the lungs at whole). During photosynthesis, sunlight, water and carbon dioxide are used to produce oxygen and energy through the leaf organ of the plant. Leaf derived essential oils have an intimate relationship with contributing to the health of our lungs; clearing congestion being one positive attribute.
Examples of leaf derived essential oils are:
- Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus globulus)
- Peppermint(Menta x piperita)
- Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)
- Ravintsara(Cinnamomum camphora ct 1,8 cineole)
One of the most simple methods of application, especially effective for lung issues, is an aromatic steam inhalation.
Directions for an Aromatic Steam Inhalation:
Step 1: Pour boiling water in a glass or stainless steel bowl.
Step 2: Add 1(ONE) drop of any of the leaf essential oils mentioned above.
Step 3: Drape your head with a towel and lean over the steaming bowl(approximately a ruler’s length from the top of the bowl). Closing your eyes, inhale deeply and enjoy the steam for 3-5 minutes, or as comfortable.
Use caution with the steam. If it is too strong or hot, loosen(or remove) the towel drape. Useful up to 3 times per day when cold, congestion and/or sinus symptoms are present OR once a week for preventative maintenance.
Note: Not recommended for children under 5. Consult your medical practitioner before using this application, if you have asthma.
Until next time,