Posts tagged ‘Aromatherapy’

February 19, 2015

Essential Oil Safety Guidelines and Dosages

Essential oils are the fat soluble parts of plants that are separated from the water soluble hydrosol part, which is mainly done by the process of steam distillation. Essential oils are the main part of a plants aroma, and when a plant is separated from any of its chemical constituents, cautions and contraindications will follow. To prevent harmful misadventure, please read important guidelines and safety concerns before starting any treatment.
Always consult with a qualified Aromatherapist before using essential oils.

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ESSENTIAL OIL GUIDELINES AND SAFETY

1. NEVER TAKE ESSENTIAL OILS INTERNALLY, even if they are organic.
Essential oils can irritate, inflame and damage skin, mucous membranes, mucosa and intestinal flora. People have harmed themselves by improperly taking oregano oil internally. Oregano has phenols, which are really hot, irritating chemical constituents that need to be diluted.
The whole herb is always greater than the sum of its parts, and the whole herb is always recommended over essential oils for internal use.
The natural flavours that are listed on product ingredients like orange juice are synthetic perfume from the perfume industry. Essential oils are no longer used for flavouring, because synthetics are cheaper.

2. NEVER USE ESSENTIAL OILS UNDILUTED.
Only lavender, tea tree and chamomile are used “neat,” which means you can use them undiluted in certain circumstances, such as treating burns and cuts. Always patch test first regardless, and always dilute these oils anyways just to be safe, they can still be drying and irritating depending on quality and the individual.

3. NEVER USE ESSENTIAL OILS CLOSE TO THE EYES, AROUND OR NEAR THE EYES OR OPENINGS OF THE MUCOUS MEMBRANES.
***If essential oils come into contact with eyes or mucous membranes like your private parts, rinse well with any kind of milk, yogurt, cream, ice-cream. If milk is unavailable flush eyes with lots of water. Milk works better than water, because the oils are fat soluble and dissolve more readily in fatty substances like milk. Any type of nut milk or coconut milk, cream can also be used for vegans.

4. Never massage directly on veins, varicose veins, spider veins, broken
skin, cuts, bruises, infections, fractures, inflammation or acute injuries.

5. Avoid these essential oils with sun exposure: (Citrus Peels)
Lemon, Lime, Orange Grapefruit, Tangerine,
Bergamot
Melissa, Lemongrass, Citronella, Angelica, and Anise
These essential oils are photosensitizing, which means they can increase the risk of sunburn, and skin rash with direct sun exposure.

6. Never use essential oils on babies under one month old and caution up to one year old.
Always dilute essential oil for use.
In general only use Lavender, Chamomile and Tea tree with children under seven years of age.

DO NOT USE THESE TOXIC OILS:
Mugwort, Pennyroyal, Thuja-Northern White Cedar, Wormwood


Dosage Dilutions for Essential Oils

This is a general guide for essential oil dilution dosages found in the book “First Steps in Aromatherapy by Jane Dye, 1996, The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd.”

I use a complex calculation for what percentages of essential oil to use in products like lip balms and body butters, but this is an easier guide to follow and remember.
The average blend is usually 1-3% depending on use.

Use small 1% dilution of Essential oil blends for the face, meaning less is
more, because the face is a sensitive place. Avoid using strong or hot oils on
the face.

*Remember the stronger, hotter the essential oil the more you dilute and use less of the essential oil. Base notes smell stronger, last longer and are used less in a blend. Base notes are often resins and roots.

These are general basic guidelines, but important factors to consider are age, weight, height, general health and constitution.

DOSAGES FOR ADULTS

2-3% is approximately ½ drop to 1 ml of carrier oil

Therefore divide by 2 to the amount of carrier oil

4mls carrier oil= 2 drops of essential oil
10 mls carrier oil= 5 drops of essential oil
20 mls carrier oil= 10 drops of essential oil

DOSAGES FOR CHILDREN

1 month- 1 year old 1 drop in 10 mls carrier oil
1-year old -2 year old 2 drops in 10 mls carrier oil
2-year old -7 year old 3 drops in 10 mls carrier oil
7-year old -14 year old 4 drops in 10 mls carrier oil

*Essential oils are not recommended for pregnant, nursing women or babies.
Always consult with a qualified Aromatherapist before using essential oils.

February 7, 2015

DIY Rose Tincture and Perfume for Nutritive Medicine and Skincare 🌹

Roses are such divine food, medicine and perfume, but watch out for those pointy, sharp thorns on the stem. It’s easy to see why it is such a universal symbol of love. 🌹

I collected some wild rose petals from my garden, for a rose petal tincture and essence. Wear gloves and protective clothing to harvest. Wild roses are better than the commercial varieties for medicinal use.

You can make your own perfume out of Rose petal flowers, as well as medicine.image

See my blog on how to make your own natural perfume from flowers. http://earthelixir.ca/2012/06/05/making-natural-perfume-from-flower-petals/

Rose petal tincture is used medicinally as a nutritive for debility. Rose has a euphoric, aphrodisiac action that soothes and relaxes the nervous system. It tones digestion, reduces inflammation, and is great to use in skincare products. It is good for all skin types, especially mature skin. It’s easy to add rose water and essential oil to make your own skincare products.

See my blog on using Rose essential oil. http://earthelixir.ca/2012/06/04/rose-essential-oil/

Rose water is what is separated from the essential oil part, and is used in cooking, baking, and for beverages.

Rose hips, collected after the flowers bloom, are delicious, nutritious medicinal food. Rose hip tea beverages and culinary soups have a pink red colour, and pack some good Vitamin C content and phytonutrients.

Here are some beautiful roses for you friends. The roses in these pictures are from my garden, so take some time to smell the roses.🌹

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Common Name  Rose hips/ flowers
Latin Name  Rosa spp.
Family Rosaceae
Parts Used Perennial- Collect flower petals during growing season. Roses lay dormant in colder climates. Collect rosehips in the Fall. Essential oil made from flowers. 
Target Organs Digestion, Central Nervous System, Nerves, Skin
Common Uses Aphrodisiac, perfume, debility, exhaustion, nutritive, inflammation, skincare, Rosehips, rosewater, are used in cooking and beverages
Properties Aphrodisiac, antidepressant, antiseptic, euphoric, antispasmodic, nutritive, astringent, mild laxative, vulnerary, diuretic, anti-inflammatory,
Constituents Essential oil : Esters: geranyl acetate, citronellyl acetate, neryl acetate, 

Sesquiterpene alcohol: farnesol, 

Aldehydes: benzaldehyde

Monoterpene alcohols: Citronellol 15-20%, geraniol 10%, linalool, nerol 15%, cedrol, linlool  

Monoterpenes: a+b pinene, limonene, camphene, b-caryophyllene, citronellal, p-cymene  

Damask rose: a-damascenone, B-damascenone, B-damscone, B-ionone, rose oxide  

Other: vitamin C, tannin, pectin, carotene, fruit acids

Cautions Do not use during pregnancy. Thorny plant, caution while harvesting.
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml Tea rose hips, flowers

 

September 17, 2014

DIY Aromatherapy Deodorant

Just combine 2 simple ingredients with your choice of essential oils and you have got an easy to make, inexpensive, effective, long lasting natural deodorant.

DIY Aromatherapy Deodorant Recipe

Mix together:

1 cup baking soda
1 Tablespoon of activated powdered charcoal or less

Add Essential oils of your choice:

Good combinations are

Vetiver, Tea tree,
Lavender, Patchouli,

Place in spice, salt or pepper jars or small squeeze top bottle.

After a shower powder underneath armpits.

Powder can also be used to combat foot odour in shoes, or placed anywhere else that needs freshening up.

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January 15, 2014

Winter Season the Five Elements and Essential Oils

The Winter season in the Chinese Five Elements is associated with the water element due to the abundance of water that falls in winter time that turns to snow and ice.  
The organ systems grouped in this season are the kidneys and bladder, which make up the urinary system wetlands.

The gland in this category are the adrenals, which sit on top of the kidneys on each side of the body. The adrenal glands secrete the hormone adrenaline, which is a necessary energy boost for the flight or fight body response when a threat is encountered.
The hypothalamus in the brain receives a danger warning, or an event triggers stress and the effects on the body are instantaneous.

This reaction sends a chemical messenger, which causes the hormone adrenaline, secreted by the adrenal medulla to release.
The eye pupils dilate, colour drains from the face as dry mouth and sweating begin.
The blood supply is cut off to organs like the stomach, which shuts down digestion functioning, and surface blood vessels constrict limiting blood supply. Muscle activity increases with heart and pulse rates so that it prepares the body to physically deal with danger or run away.

Sometimes the reaction is not to stay and fight or flee, but the body response becomes trapped in a frozen state of fear, which induces a paralysis that is incapacitating. Adrenaline is also produced in times of psychological stress, and if the production continues over long periods it has adverse effects on the body. If the body remains in a stressed state of being overexcited and remaining under pressure it causes stress related conditions like high blood pressure.

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The destructive emotion in the winter cycle is fear, which is a hard wired survival mechanism, but draining if it is engaged constantly. There are short term threats that engage our flight-fight-or freeze mechanisms, but long term stress, chronic fears and phobias puts strain on the body. The real and imagined dangers must be divided and applied to what constitutes a true threat. Fear is important to establish boundaries in order to learn what is good and bad, but rationality must meet clear perception and awareness.  

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The human time frame of winter is gestation and giving birth to babies, ideas and projects.  In the destructive winter water element stuck adults who act like babies are less cute than their tiny counterparts. They present a paranoid, fearful attitude and don’t know how to relax. They are unable to see how they affect others, because it is all about them and their needs. People in this rhythm need to feel nurtured and taken care of, even though they may be afraid of commitment and the future. Demanding special attention leads to a narcissistic expectancy, arrogance and a feeling of entitlement. They may play the victim to get their way and will do almost anything to attract the special attention they crave, even if it’s negative attention.

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It takes the constructive emotion of courage to overcome fear and paranoia. If wise discerning caution turns to excessive irrational fear, love and courage will counter it. Love is always the answer. Love will help to muster the courage to defeat fears that keep you stuck and stagnating. Use wise discerning caution instead of fear to establish boundaries and stay away from people that drain your resources. Gather your own resources and do your own groundwork. Rejuvenate and embrace down-time, and learn how to relax in the moment. This season is about beginnings so spread the seeds of your ideas and nurture dreams. Overcoming fears means recognizing and analyzing the reasons for your fears. Embrace whatever it is that scares you instead of denying, running away or avoiding, which will only amplify the fear. Fears need the light of day shone brightly at it in order to be examined, faced and dissolved.
Behaviour modification will help phobias to fears such as heights, spiders and snakes, showing anyone can overcome anything if they are willing to put in the work and have the courage to make a change to be free from fear

Essential oils that help the adrenals and the kidney bladder urinary system and may be used to help overcome fears:
Juniper, Carrot Seed, Grapefruit, Goldenrod, Yarrow, Spruce, Pine

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“Fear can stop you loving, love can stop your fear,
fear can stop you loving, but it’s not always that clear.” ~
Morcheeba – “Fear and Love” Lyrics:

“Fear And Love” was written
by Paul Godfrey, Ross Godfrey, Skye Edwards. Morcheeba – Fear And
Love Lyrics

November 8, 2013

Autumn, the Chinese Five Elements and Essential oils that Help Grief

The Chinese Five Elements in Traditional Chinese Medicine relates to the rhythms of nature and reflects natural cycles. Seasons, elements, colours, sounds, organs, glands and emotions fall into five categories. It is the basis of all natural health practices and many medical, philosophical and artistic themes fit in to it.

The autumn season in the five elements is related to the metal element, because of its enduring qualities.

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The constructive emotion for the rhythm of autumn is being reflective and pondering the past, which is necessary for learning lessons and figuring things out.
The destructive emotion of autumn is overbearing grief and sadness.
The sound that relieves the stress of grief and sadness is crying.
Being reflective for too long in the past will lead to grief and sadness.
The trees in autumn change brilliant colours before shedding their leaves, like a parade of tears that fall celebrating what once was.

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“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”~Washington Irving

Crying flushes unhealthy bacteria out of the body and strengthens the immune system while relieving stress. It is healthier to embrace the motion of emotions. To be moved profoundly and to feel the depths of our own well is to be quenched.

It is a natural process to mourn for lost loved ones, it is a measurement of love. It reminds us what really matters, and what is important to us. There is no right way or wrong way to grieve, but being reflective too long on the past and pining away upsets a balanced life. It is stress relieving to grieve, but when it interferes with life it becomes destructive. Grief may never go away and that is understandable, but it must not become an unhealthy attachment to death. The cycle must not get stuck and be crippling. Learn to flow with the tides.

To manage grief one must look at the bigger picture beyond the cycle of rebirth and death, and an acceptance mixed with a deeper understanding must be reached. Find gratitude and a sense of meaning by embracing the whole picture. One must rise and fall with the cycle of seasons, especially upon completion.
Bringing yourself back into the present moment helps to overcome grief, but only after it has been sifted through and cherished. Being sad upon reflection provides an honest look at ourselves and others. A kind understanding is helpful to gain insights in order to grow.

Be reflective without falling in to a perpetual grief pattern by learning to accept change. Let go of the past that does not serve you any purpose anymore. Live in the present moment and savour all the aspects of life. Learn to adapt to change and harness the hard lessons of letting go. Use wisdom to filter the good and bad, learn from it, make peace and move on. Dealing with death and the little deaths that happen ironically reminds us to appreciate life.

The organs systems that are impacted are the lungs and large intestine, which is part of the respiratory and digestive system.
Remember to breathe deep and eat healthy during tough times.

Essential oils to help alleviate grief:
Good partner combinations
basil and bergamot, frankincense and neroli, marjoram and lavender, eucalyptus and mandarin

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July 15, 2013

DIY Aromatherapy Body Spray

imageCreate your own multi-purpose aromatherapy spray to use for body spritzers, perfume, cologne, first aid, linen or room spray.

Create amazing smelling essential oil recipes to use as a first aid spray treating wounds and burns, or use the spray as a body mist, perfume, aftershave cologne or deodorant. Spray it on clothes and linens in closets to repel bugs and to make it smell fresh. Making your own body mist and room spray is better for your health and more economical.

For a body spray use cooling essential oils to lower body temperature when it is too hot or use warming essential oils to warm the body when it is cold.

One way to beat the summertime heat wave is to cool off using essential oils that lower body temperature. An easy and effective recipe is to use the powerful cooling action of peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle.

Peppermint is really strong so be careful and keep spray and essential oils away from eyes.

Read more about the many medicinal uses and cautions of peppermint essential oil

Here ->

http://earthelixir.ca/2013/06/06/do-not-use-peppermint-essential-oil-in-the-bath/

imageCool Peppermint Spray Recipe

ITEMS NEEDED:

Spray bottle
Essential oils
Witch hazel or vodka
Distilled water

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a spray bottle add essential oils.
If using an 8 oz bottle which equals 1 cup or 250 ml

Add 16-17 drops of peppermint essential oil

For a strong oil like peppermint I use less drops-

Around 1 drop per 15 ml of liquid.

Use other cooling essential oils of your choice to create your own blends.

Make it stronger or weaker depending on if you run hot or cold.

When using other less strong oils like citrus top notes add more essential oil drops to make stronger smelling room sprays. An estimation is 1 drop per 2 ml

2. Add 1 Tablespoon (which is equal to 15 ml)
of distilled witch hazel or rose-water/ hydrosol for body recipes
Or use vodka or pure ethyl alcohol for room spray

3. Fill up the rest with distilled water

(around 75 ml in a 100 ml bottle )

You can make it with just water but adding the witch hazel or vodka makes it lasts longer and the essential oils mix together better. Adding Aloe Vera juice will help to treat burns or wounds.

Make your own cooling recipes with these cooling herbs and essential oils found here -> http://earthelixir.ca/2013/07/15/keep-cool-in-the-summer-heat-with-herbs-and-essential-oils/

Mix together and spray all over for a refreshing cool down.

More information about peppermint herb found here->
http://earthelixir.ca/2013/06/06/healing-properties-of-peppermint-herb/

July 15, 2013

Keep Cool in the Summer Heat with Herbs and Essential Oils

imageThere are many essential oils and herbs that help to cool the body down when feeling too hot and sweaty, but the best known one is peppermint.

See my blog about the many medicinal uses and cautions of peppermint –
http://earthelixir.ca/2013/06/06/healing-properties-of-peppermint-herb/

The mint family lowers body temperature which is good to help cool off in the summer heat, but there are other essential oils and herbs besides peppermint that lower body temperature including spearmint, lemon balm, lavender, eucalyptus, chamomile, geranium, rose, frankincense, comfrey and borage to name a few.

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Ways to Keep Cool with Herbs

1. Drink iced herbal infusions. Use peppermint, chamomile iced tea or use flavours of your choice to create your own recipes that help cool the body.
I love mints like peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, bee balm mixed with rose petals.

See my blog about herbal infusions and floral waters –
http://earthelixir.ca/2012/07/19/diy-floral-waters/
Put a drop of organic peppermint essential oil in drinks

2. Eat mints and cooling herbs as food.
Experiment with many culinary herbal delights incorporating these cooling herbs as delicious food.

3. Make an essential oil spray or spritzer to cool down your body, and spray linens and rooms as well. See my blog on how to make DIY body spray and there is a cooling peppermint spray recipe here->
http://earthelixir.ca/2013/07/15/diy-aromatherapy-body-spray/

4. Soak your feet and ankles or hands and wrists in cool herbal infused water or add your choice of cooling Essential oils
See my blog about Bath Recipes –
http://earthelixir.ca/2013/04/10/diy-aromatherapy-bath-recipes/

Soak a cloth or bandana in a cool herbal infusion and wear around your neck, this will cool main arteries and veins.

5. Make a massage oil blend using a carrier oil and some cooling essential oils. Use coconut oil it lowers body temperature and cools the body as well and is great to quench dryness.

Peppermint is so cooling it may cause hypothermia in the bath so caution is advised using that method to cool off. See more of the uses and cautions of peppermint essential oil here –
http://earthelixir.ca/2013/06/06/do-not-use-peppermint-essential-oil-in-the-bath/

Enjoy the summer here in the North!

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June 6, 2013

Do Not Use Peppermint Essential Oil in the Bath

Caution when using peppermint essential oil, it is a medium strength remedy.

Do not use with children under the age of two, peppermint is so relaxing it may cause passageways to collapse.

Do not use peppermint essential oil in the bath it may cause hypothermia because it lowers body temperature.

Do not use when breastfeeding unless it is to dry up milk production.

Do not store peppermint essential oil with homeopathic remedies it is really strong.

It is good to use peppermint essential oil to cool hot conditions as long as it is not accompanied by dryness or irritation.

COMMON NAME PEPPERMINT
Latin Name Mentha x piperita
Family Lamiaceae
Country of Origin North America, France, England
Volatility Top/middle note
Extraction steam distilled from leaves and flowers
Colour pale yellow to colourless
Aroma light, sharp, refreshing, a bit pungent, strong
Caution Contraindications Medium strength: Do not use with epilepsy, convulsions, during pregnancy, dry conditions, gastric hyperacidity or with children under the age of two. Do not use if breastfeeding. Do not store with homeopathic remedies. Use in low concentration, may cause skin irritation. Do not use in a bath, it may cause hypothermia.
Primary Uses Digestion: Fortifies liver, stomach, and intestines. Stomach upset, gastritis, indigestion, nausea, colitis, Crohn’s, relaxing digestive, infection, inflammation, spasms

Respiratory: infections, bronchitis, sinusitis, cooling, colds, flu, coughs nasal catarrh, pain,

Nervous: migraines, headaches, stress tension, itching,

Muscular: relaxes smooth muscle, arthritis, neuralgia, aches and pain, sciatica, bruises,

Properties Analgesic, antiallergenic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-emetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-galactagogue, antiseptic, antispasmodic (digestive, general, respiratory), antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, decongestant, diaphoretic, relaxing expectorant, febrifuge, nervine relaxant, stomachic, tonic tranquilizer, vasodilator, vulnerary,
Constituents Essential Oil: 2%Ketone: menthone,Aldehydes: Esters: methyl acetate,Monoterpene alcohol: Menthol 30%,

Oxide: 1, 8 cineole

Monoterpenes: menthene, phellandrene, azulene, limonene, pinene

 

April 11, 2013

Using Essential Oils in the Laundry

Use essential oils to deodorize, disinfect and make your laundry smell superfresh naturally.

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In the Washer:

Add essential oils to eco-friendly liquid or powder laundry soap. Alternatively you can make your own laundry detergent with soapwort and herbs.

Always use phosphate free laundry detergent it is better for you and the environment.

Place 5-10 drops of essential oil of your choice in ¼ cup of laundry detergent.

Add it to your wash in cold water.

Use Borax or Hydrogen peroxide (H202) for stains, they brighten and whiten naturally. Add ½ cup of borax to boost laundry detergents cleaning power. Borax is found in the laundry aisle in the supermarket.

In the Dryer:

Add a few drops to fabric dryer cloths, or an old facecloth or natural cloth that you can use over and over, and add it to your clothes dryer.

If you want your laundry to smell like the essential oils, put more drops on the cloth right before the end of the cycle.

 

February 12, 2013

Ginger Rhizome Treats Travel Sickness, Nausea and Colds

Ginger is such a staple at my house especially in the colder months, because of its warming capabilities. I cook with it, make tea, use the tincture and essential oil.

Ginger essential oil is the best anti-nausea remedy for travel sickness and upset stomach. I always travel with ginger essential oil, especially if I’m travelling by boat. I mix it with peppermint essential oil to balance the heat of the ginger with the cooling of the peppermint, which is a great digestive treatment for nausea in its own right. It is my favourite combination for travel.

Learn more about Ginger Essential Oil http://earthelixir.ca/2013/02/12/ginger-essential-oil/

Ginger is very popular in many culinary arts and is also used medicinally as a warming stimulant to treat all kinds of digestive and respiratory complaints. It treats colds, digestive upset, soothes the stomach, and is especially good for cold conditions like chills, colds, flu, and poor circulation.

Learn how to make a ginger tincture-> http://earthelixir.ca/herbs/diy-herbal-tinctures/

Common Name

 

Ginger rhizome
Latin Name

 

Zingiber officinale
Family Zingiberaceae
Parts Used Perennial – rhizome
Target Organs circulatory, cardiovascular, digestion, liver, stomach, spleen, pancreas, reproductive
Common Uses Digestion: stimulates appetite, relieves cramps, indigestion, ulcers, constipation/diarrhoea, liver congestion, motion/travel sickness, nausea, heartburn, gas

Circulation: warming, stimulating,

Cardiovascular: regulates blood pressure,

Respiratory  Immune: fever, flu, colds,

arthritis, fatigue

 

Properties Antiemetic, anticonvulsant, antifungal, antihepatotoxic, anti-inflammatory(local, systemic) antioxidant, antirheumatic, antispasmodic(digestive) antithrombotic, antiulcerogenic, aperient, appetite stimulant, blood pressure normaliser, cardiac, warming carminative, cholagogue, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, stimulating expectorant, febrifuge, hypocholesterolemic, hypolipidemic, immune stimulant, nervine, pancreatic, rubefacient, stomachic, neural peripheral vasodilator, hot stimulant,
Constituents Sesquiterpene: camphene -50% bisabolene,

Monoterpenes: zingiberene 20-30% pinene, limonene, phellandrene,

Monoterpene alcohols: >.5% gingerol, gingerone, zingebernol,

Sesquiterpene alcohols:

Cautions mild remedy: Hot stimulant
Dosage Tincture: 5-10% in formulations

Tea: 2 tsp. Grated fresh steep 10 min

Essential Oil

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