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2004 04: Aromatherapy Newsletter April 2004

President’s Letter

Hello Aroma Friends,

I remember talking to you about my grandmother, wondering what she would have thought if she could have traveled forward into our time for a couple of days. Yesterday while walking through the woods with our dog, I started to think about how things have changed, the behaviors of some of our wildlife have changed. Our local woodpeckers now tap out their springtime message for a mate on metal poles. Perhaps the metal makes a better (certainly LOUDER) impact than wood? I guess we’ll never know if tapping on a metal pole somehow makes the male more appealing to the female woodpecker! Birds are now rifling through the garbage rather than foraging for their own food. People have adapted to this by keeping their garbage locked safely away till garbage day. Has this had any effect? Yes, the birds have learned the garbage collection day for the different neighborhoods, and wait for these days to peruse the assortment of cans. The deer that visit our garden don’t seem to be as timid as they used to be, they just stand and watch us with interest from a distance. Of all the plants they nibble on they never touch the lavender. Only Silky, our Siamese cat with an attitude, makes use of the lavender. He loves to brush up against it, weaving in and out. I can only assume it is part of his grooming ritual. Perhaps it helps mellow him out after a tough day in the woods!

While Silky most certainly qualifies as somewhat of a “pest” when it comes to my garden, the focus of this month’s letter, “Aromatherapy in the Garden” will touch on ways that essential oils can be used to help deter those unwanted creepy crawly pests in your garden while helping it grow strong and beautiful, naturally.

Happy spring to you all!

Barb Greenwood
President & CEO

Aromatherapy in the Garden

Well, it seems spring has finally decided to arrive! Slowly the earth is beginning to awaken from her dormant winter slumber and all around us are signs of regeneration and renewed life. Nights are getting longer, the sun comes up earlier in the day and a sense of new beginnings stirs the soul.

Did you know that you are not limited to using your essential oils strictly indoors? By adding Basil essential oil (Ocimum basilicum) to the watering can before you give your tomato plants a drink you can help make tastier, healthier tomatoes!

Plants share a silent and unseen communication system that can help one plant keep predators away from another when they are grown within the same space. This translates to using the essential oil in the watering can if “companion plantings” are not a viable option for you. Spray your roses with Garlic oilBasil essential oil or Thyme essential oil laced water to help keep aphids away and allow the roses to grow stronger and healthier (best to start in the spring when the flowers bloom).

Thyme and Lavender can be combined in your watering can for a protective watering of all your vegetable plants.

Alternately, there are times you want to attract insects to your flowers. Bees are essential for pollination and so should be welcomed into your garden. Try misting your lovely flowers with water and Coriander, as it is said they are attracted by this scent. Just remember to shake these oil/water combinations well. Essential oils and water do not blend readily, so without help from an agitating shake this idea will not work!

Check out our recipe section for other great ideas and enjoy all the beautiful wonders of Spring!

Product Highlight: “Light” Essential Oils

Why is it the oils we seem to love the most are also the most expensive? This is a question we have fielded many times over the years, and so to try and help we decided to take our precious oils and blend them into a jojoba oil base. Now you can get the wonderful scent you love so much at a fraction of the cost. And because they are blended into jojoba carrier oil, which is actually a liquid wax, they have an extended shelf life because this carrier oil won’t go rancid!

Another great benefit to getting your precious oils this way is that they can be applied directly to the skin, so you”ve got perfume all ready to go! These “Light” essential oils are available in Jasmine Light essential oilNeroli light essential oil and Rose light essential oil.

Oil Profile: Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil is a tender herb with highly aromatic leaves. It is native to Asia and the Middle East. The leaves and flowering tops are steam distilled to create an oil that is pale yellow to colourless with a fresh, vibrant scent.

Basil is an excellent essential oil to help lift the “brain cobwebs” that can form when you”re tired. It is second only to Rosemary essential oil in its ability to stimulate the mind. However, one thing to keep in mind is over use of Basil can actually have the opposite effect, making you tired and groggy.

This oil has been used throughout time to help with chest infections, headaches, migraines and head colds. When blended with Lavender essential oil, it is especially helpful in a massage oil to assist in soothing muscular aches and pains. Of course it should be noted not to use this massage oil right before bed, as it may keep you awake!

While this oil should be avoided during pregnancy, it may be helpful used afterwards in a compress to help reduce engorgement of the breasts.

As mentioned earlier, Basil essential oil can be used in the garden when watering your tomatoes to help them grow stronger and produce tastier tomatoes! It is also helpful for asparagus, beans, broccoli, potatoes as well as your prize roses! Just add 6-10 drops of oil to 9 litres (2 gallons) of water. It doesn’t take much to be helpful. Just make sure you agitate the water well before watering or the essential oil will only sit on the surface of the water.

On a more spiritual level, Basil is said to help open the heart for those who have lost themselves through constant sacrifice to others. It allows for enlightenment to be absorbed by the physical mind and body. It can help to encourage a positive sense of being, cheerfulness and strength.

Caution: Avoid during pregnancy. Use this oil in low concentrations (1% in massage oils) as it can be highly irritating to the skin. For best results, stick to diffusing this oil to enjoy the benefits without the worry of irritation.

General Properties of Basil essential oil:

  • Analgesic
  • Stimulant
  • Anti-depressant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiseptic
  • Decongestant
  • Expectorant

Aromatherapy Uses of Basil essential oilMay help with intestinal infections, migraines, dyspepsia, memory problems, nervous/mental fatigue, nausea and sinus congestion. May help with symptoms of bronchitis, flu and emphysema.

Ways to use: Diffuser, massage, compress, inhalation.

Avocado Oil

Avocado aoil has wonderful regenerative properties. Its essential fatty acid content helps to keep skin moisturized. It is also said to be nourishing to the hair and scalp. It can be blended into hand and body products, facial products and may even be used in skincare products for little ones. It contains vitamins A, D and E as well as proteins, lecithin and fatty acids. Avocado oil is quite heavy, so keep this in mind when creating your own creams and lotions. Perhaps keeping this oil as 10% of the total oil added would be sufficient.

Did You Know

Scientists are learning more about the role temperament has in making certain segments of the population more vulnerable to physical disease. A recent study showed that shy men had much less resistance to the AIDS virus than extroverted men. This study and others like it are beginning to show the connection between emotion and disease. Other similar studies are showing the connections between depression and AIDS, osteoporosis and even cancer. A study of 5000 people with depression showed they had twice the risk of developing cancer compared with people without the mental disorder, said David Spiegel, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. How can essential oils help? Perhaps by utilizing some of the oils known to help with depression (Neroli essential oilOrange essential oilBergamot essential oilClary Sage essential oil and Grapefruit essential oil) it could help short-circuit this process? This would make for a very interesting study.


Indoor Aphid Spray

Add this to 500ml water in a sprayer, shake well and spray your plants regularly to help keep aphids at bay.

Outdoor Moth Deterrent

Float the Lavender on top of the water, soak the ribbons in this mixture and hang them in the trees or near where you are sitting outdoors. It is said that moths detest Lavender!

Tick Deterrent

Combine in a 5ml bottle and invert to blend. Put 10 drops into a 60ml bottle and add a teaspoon of white alcohol. Shake well and add water. Shake again and spray pant legs with blend before heading out into the woods for a walk during tick season.


We need spring. We need it desperately, and usually, we need it before God is willing to give it to us.
– Peter Gzowski, Spring Tonic

*This is educational information and any opinions expressed here-in do not replace professional medical advice. If you are ill, see a suitably qualified medical practitioner.*

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