Thursday, December 18, 2008

Frankincense & Myrrh

One of my preferred ways to celebrate the season is with the Kings of Orient... I'm a huge fan of essential oils and one of my favourites is frankincense (also known as olibanum). Open-up a small dropper bottle and you'll be instantly transported to calmer times. Indeed, that's one of the beneficial properties of the gum-resin oil - it is truly grounding and calming. If you want to infuse some of those qualities into your ambience, you can make your own room spray. (Use a pretty glass bottle or add a decorative label to a plain one if you want to offer it as gift...)

To prepare:
Boil some water, allow to cool (or use bottled or distilled)
Pour into a sterilised (clean!) spray bottle
Add 2 teaspoons of vodka (optional but it acts as a preservative and emulsifier)
Add approximately 20 drops (total) of essential oil (per 100ml spray bottle)
Frankincense works beautifully in combination with your choice from the following essential oils: lavender, sandalwood, black pepper and cinnamon.

Don't just use your essential oil for room fragrance, it also has favourable skin-care properties, for both mature skin and blemishes. You can buy ready prepared frankincense beauty products, or simply tailor-make your own, by adding just one drop of the essential oil to your moisturiser. Simply add to your daily 'dose' of chosen cream (or fluid) in the palm of your hand, blend with the middle finger of the other hand, massage into your face, inhale and enjoy the benefits.

Myrrh is also a gum-resin oil (although with a stickier consistency than frankincense). You might recollect hearing that the Egyptians used it for preserving (embalming) mummies in their pyramid tombs - I'm not suggesting you go that far(!) but one of its starring rĂ´les, in the bathroom cabinet, is for healing mouth ulcers. Worth keeping on-hand (or stored away) for that purpose. The next time you're in the unfortunate situation of needing some help in that area, gently apply just one drop, using the tip of a cotton bud. You'll find it works better and faster than any over-the-counter remedy.

Disclaimer: Essential oils are powerfully concentrated. Care needs to be taken using them. My tips here work well for me but are for adults only. Use common sense and enjoy at your own risk! I also recommend using oils from a trusted, quality source such as Neals Yard Remedies or Eve Taylor.

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