Exotics, Part III

Exotics, Part III


            Vanilla, Vanilla planifolia, is an orchid, indigenous to Mexico, Central and South America. The essential oil is extracted from mature beans by a solvent, such as grain alcohol. Essential oil floats on top of the solvent and is removed by low heat until only the oil remains. Vanilla essential oil may be hardened into a thick, waxy mass. This is called a concrete and must be warmed or thinned with alcohol to produce a black thick gooey liquid.

            Vanilla and its essential oil is presently very expensive, thousands of dollars a pound. Fortunately, only a tiny amount is needed in a blend. The essential oil is a low note. It is a heavier oil that holds a blend together and allows the scent to lift over a long period of time. Vanilla is such a strong scent, it can easily overwhelm a blend. Use the smallest eyedropper to put 1 drop in a 1 or 2 ounce blend. This blend will hold its fragrance longer and help the recipient feel centered. Vanilla blends well with orange, lime, lavender, and Rose Damascus essential oils.

            I use Vanilla in blends to reduce weight. The scent is very comforting and helps the recipient feel secure. It is also helpful for people who have been abused. Typically, they also have weight issues that vanilla essential oil helps. However, anyone who enjoys the smell of vanilla can benefit from this essential oil.

            Children love the smell of vanilla. I use the essential oil in several children’s blends. The most popular blend aids children with ADD or ADHD.

            The odor of Vanilla essential oil is so strong it is only used very diluted in blends. There is promise of a lighter scented essential oil from a new variety of vanilla found in Peru last year. A student I met from Texas Christian University helped discover a new variety of vanilla and brought beans to my lab. The scent was very warm and distinctly vanilla. The new variety might be used alone when it is commercially available. Until then, here are a few ideas for blends.

            Children’s Room

In a 2 ounce bottle with a mister, add:

1 drop vanilla essential oil

6 drops orange essential oil

Fill bottle with distilled water.

Mist in a child’s room to promote a feeling of warmth and security.

            Attract a Lover

In 2 ounces of sweet almond oil add:

1 drop vanilla essential oil

3 drops Ylang Ylang

2 drops Sandalwood

Allow to cure 1 to 3 hours. Apply a few drops to the neck and seize the night!

            Vetiver, Vetiveria zizanoides is a native grass originating from northern India. It is a very tall perennial related to Lemon grass, Palmarosa and Citronella. The plant has dense rootlets radiating 1 to 2 feet from its center. I grow it in Texas on slopes to prevent soil erosion. In India, the roots are woven into mats and screens, enjoyed for their aromatic property.

            The essential oil is steam distilled from the rootlets, which are cut and soaked in water before distilling. Vetiver essential oil is dark, thick and reddish brown. The aroma is warm and earthy. Two hundred pounds of rootlets yield 1 pound of essential oil. The cost of Vetiver essential oil is very expensive. Fortunately, a drop in a blend is sufficient. It is frequently used in perfumes to allow the scent to lift over hours. However, the cost of the pure essential oil is so expensive, companies use vetiverylactate synthetic oil for most perfumes and cosmetics.

            In aromatherapy, Vetiver is used in blends treating anxiety and nerve disorders, panic attacks and anorexia. It is helpful in blends for stress related illness and depression. Ancients believed it centered the recipient and reconnected the individual to his/her inner being enhancing wisdom and understanding. The essential oil was used for weak immunity in baths and massage oils. Vetiver also treats sexual dysfunction and low libido. Dilute 2 drops in a body massage oil, or add 5 drops into a bathtub of warm water for a 20 minute soak.

            How does vetiver treats both sexual dysfunction and insomnia? It’s all in the blend. Used alone in a bath or massage oil, vetiver is calming, warming and pain relieving. Complementary oils include Clary sage, lavender and geranium. To increase libido and sexual function, combine Vetiver with Jasmine, Ylang ylang, lemongrass or sandalwood. Use the blend as a perfume or make an all over body massage.

            A sports blend may include Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Orange and Clove bud essential oil. This blend also increases circulation to assist healing for arthritis and rheumatism.

            Vetiver also helps relieve menopause symptoms, post partem depression and mood swings. It has a calming estrogenic effect for females. Vetiver may be worn singly or blended with lavender, rose and geranium essential oils in a sweet almond oil base.

            In skincare, Vetiver balances sebum secretion to treat acne and oily skin. For aging skin, Vetiver regenerates the deeper layers of skin that have lost fat content. I use it in creams for sagging skin and deep lines. It is 1 component of a blend I make for breast enlargement, sagging breasts and stretch marks. Women like the aroma the more they see results.

            Oily Skin or Acne Blend

In 1 ounce of jojoba oil, add the following essential oils:

5 drops of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

3 drops of lemon grass (Cymbopogon citrates)

1 drop of Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)

Bottle in dark glass with a screw top. Allow to cure up to 3 hour before using. Apply a few drops on clean skin and massage gently, covering the entire face or site of concern.

            Aging or Dry Skin

In 1 ounce of jojoba or sweet almond oil add the following essential oils:

5 drops of Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

1 drop of Ylang ylang (Canagium odoratum)

1 drop of Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)

2 drops of Rose (Rosa damascena)

Bottle in dark glass with a screw top. Cure 1 to 3 hours. Gently massage 3 or 4 drops onto skin after cleansing. It is best to patch test dry or cracked skin before smoothing on the entire face.

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