Featured Essential Oils

Helichrysum Italicum

Paramount among all healing oils in aromatherapy is helichrysum italicum, also known as Everlasting and Immortelle. Helichrysum is cosmetically and therapeutically unparalleled in its anti-inflammatory, cell regenerating and tissue healing properties. The go-to oil for scar and wrinkle serums, helichrysum is potent, safe, and exceptionally effective.

With more than 600 species, common helichrysum grows on every continent. Very few oils can boast such a broad spectrum of effective therapeutic use, from anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and free-radical antioxidant to cell regenerator. Helichrysum italicum contains high levels of neryl acetate, the compound responsible, along with its synergistic constituents, for unmatched tissue rebuilding and healing.

Helichrysum essential oil is a vital component of cosmetic skin care formulations, and is reputed to multiply the skin's natural collagen count and noticeably diminish wrinkles. Broken capillaries, stretch marks, and age spots may also be diminished with regular use of helichrysum. Medical uses and benefits are reported particularly for wounds (internal and external), bruises, and scar tissue (both recent and established). Other skin conditions including hematomas, burns, acne, allergies, dermatitis, eczema, inflammation, and warts may be improved by application of Helichrysum.

Its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and overall cleansing properties makes helichrysum the treatment of choice for a wide variety of conditions. The respiratory and immune systems benefit through direct inhalation of Everlasting oil. Neurologically, it is a tonic, with anti-depressive and stress-lessening effects.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of or to purchase Helichrysum Italicum from Floracopeia

January/February: Neroli Oil and Neroli-Petitgrain Co-Distillation

Neroli is the essence of sunshine. It's the fragrance of orange trees blossoming under the Moroccan and Tunisian sun. In the short, dark and cold days of Winter could there be anything more irresistable?

Neroli is considered one of the most important aromatics for aromatherapy treatment of anxiety, and depression resulting from stress and anxiety. It will uplift the mind from gloomy moods, rescue the heart from realms of sadness and grief, and strengthen the spirit of those enduring hardships.

Placing a drop of neroli in one palm, rubbing the palms together and then inhaling is a powerful, easy and effective way to access the benefits neroli oil.

Neroli oil can be expensive. It takes more than one ton of carefully harvested orange blossoms to produce one quart of essential oil. A less expensive alternative is neroli-petitgrain oil, a co-distillation of orange blossoms and orange leaves.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of or to purchase Neroli Oil or Neroli-Petitgrain Co-Distillation from Floracopeia

November/December: Frankincense

By David Crow, L.Ac.
(Published in Yogi Times, Dec. '04)

Over two thousand years ago, three sages made their way across the desert, following celestial signs. Among the various gifts they carried for the newly incarnated Avatar was a collection of resinous tears, one of the most sacred substances and valued medicines of the time. Ever since then, frankincense has been remembered as a fragrance associated with the Christian holidays.

Frankincense comes from northeastern African countries and the Arabian Peninsula. The primary producing areas are Somalia, Ethiopia, and Oman. The Dofar Valley of Oman is considered to be the source of the highest quality frankincense resin, which is harvested by Beduin nomads.

Frankincense is one of the world's oldest and most famous items of commerce. For over a thousand years, the resin has been carried by camel caravan from the remote harvesting regions in the desert to the far corners of Asia. Navigating by stars, the ancient traders made their way across the sands of the Sahara, following a network of secret cisterns built to collect the precious scanty rain. Every year large shipments of the treasured resin tears found their way into the cities of northern Africa, to be sold in markets from Rome to Beijing.

There are numerous species and varieties of frankincense trees, each producing a slightly different type of resin. Differences in soil and climate create even more diversity in the resin, even within the same species. In some places the desert environment is so harsh that the trees grow directly out of marble rock; the resin from these hardy survivors is considered superior.

To harvest frankincense, the outer bark of the tree is cut with a metal knife, causing the resin to bleed out. A few weeks later the harvesters return, gather the resin tears that have flowed from the tree, sort them into different grades, and store them in caves. The highest quality frankincense is the tears which are almost pure white.

Frankincense is highly valued for its medicinal powers. Oleoresins are a part of a trees immune system, secreted to protect it from herbivores, insects, and fungal pathogens. Resins also speed the healing of wounds to the tree, which is why the sap flows when the bark is cut. In a similar way, frankincense has medicinal functions related to enhancing human immunity and supporting rapid healing. Frankincense has been used historically for treating respiratory infections, regenerating the skin, and for treating wounds, bruising, and scars. The resin of Boswelia Serrata, Indian frankincense, is now widely used for its anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory properties; these functions were well-known in Ayurveda long before the discovery and isolation of boswelic acids, the active compounds.

Frankincense is the most universally known temple incense. When burned on a censor, the resin gives a sweet pine-like smoke, which purifies the atmosphere and uplifts the spirit. Foul odors have always been regarded as a sign of evil spirits, which could be interpreted in modern scientific terms as the presence of pathogenic microbes. Frankincense has confirmed antibacterial properties, which can remove these disease-causing spirits. In medieval times, the fumigation of churches with frankincense was as much an antiseptic function as a spiritual one, since most people were filthy from lack of sanitation. Many spiritual practices, including those taught in Ayurveda and the yogic traditions, are actually derived from hygienic methods.

How can yogis and yoginis use and enjoy frankincense? A few drops of high-quality frankincense oil can be applied to the palms, rubbed together, and inhaled. This produces an instantaneous clearing of the sinuses and a strong activation of the prana entering the brain and lungs. Frankincense essential oil can be mixed with a carrier oil such as coconut or sesame and applied to sore joints and stiff muscles. A few drops of the oil can be sprinkled on a hot wet towel and applied to the chest for opening and stimulating the respiratory system.

To express their devotion, meditators could offer a tear of resin or a drop of essential oil on a charcoal placed on their altar; the fragrance is pleasing to the hearts and minds of humans and deities alike. We might like to adopt a simple practice from Arabic cultures: honored guests are greeted by sprinkling a few shavings of the familys finest frankincense on a coal, producing a cloud of smoke that the guest then uses to wash himself before entering. These types of simple practices promote inner peace, improve health, increase social harmony, and remind us of our common spiritual ancestry, which in turn are the foundation for creating peace on earth.

Click here to purchase Frankincense resin or oil from Floracopeia

September/October: Tea Tree Oil

The idea of botanical intelligence seems counterintuitive to most of us. In school we're taught that because they don't possess a brain or central nervous system, plants do not think or feel. People with severe brain damage are referred to as being in a vegetative state, or sometimes even as vegetables.

Here's something to consider. The pharmaceutical and chemical industries spend billions of dollars and untold hours coming up with antibiotics and antibacterials. But within a very short time, sometimes as little as 10 days, the very organisms they were designed to combat have developed resistance to them. Meanwhile, Tea Tree Oil has been the same for millions of years and is still just as effective at killing bacteria.

I'm not suggesting that a tree is smarter than a scientist. What I am suggesting is that it might be time to broaden our definition of intelligence and start looking to solutions like Tea Tree Oil that are right here for us to benefit from. Used in aboriginal Australian tribes for generations as a cure for colds, coughs and headaches, tea tree oil has also been used commercially for over 100 years. Tea tree oil is one of the most extensively researched of all the essential oils. It has well-documented antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal actions.

Following are just a few of the many uses for Tea Tree Oil.

Fungal and Bacterial Infections: Tea Tree Oil has been shown to be effective in fighting fungal infections, including those of the toe nails and finger nails which are notoriously resistant to pharmaceutical antibiotics. It can also be applied directly to boils and other infections such as athlete's foot, acne, ringworm, jock itch, and impetigo. Put 10 drops of tea tree oil in 4 oz of water; soak a cloth in the water and if possible wrap the infected area. If not, apply the solution using a cotton ball.

Cold, Flu and Sinus Infection: Inhaled as steam, tea tree oil is excellent for healing sinus and respiratory conditions such as colds, flu and sinus infections. Put 1-5 drops tea tree oil into a pot of hot water, cover your head and the pot with a towel and inhale the steam.

All Purpose Disinfecting Cleanser: In a two cup glass measuring cup mix 2 Tbls of white distilled vinegar and 1 tsp of borax. Add 1 cup of hot water and stir until the borax is dissolved. Let this mixture cool a few minutes and then pour into the spray bottle. Add more water to the bottle leaving enough room to add 1/4 cup of castile soap OR 1/8 cup of a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and 20-30 drops of Tea Tree Oil.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of or to purchase Tea Tree oil from Floracopeia

August: Lemon Eucalyptus

Often I wait outside for my clients to arrive. This time of year that means I can count on some unwelcome company, mosquitos. I've gone to great lengths to avoid being bitten including using chemical repellants containing DEET. Sure they're effective but a study at Duke University found that application of DEET causes "neuronal degeneration" aka, dead brain cells. Fully intending to hold on to as many brain cells as possible I started looking for a safe botanical alternative. That's when I found out about Lemon Eucalyptus oil.

It has a clean and pleasant scent, clears congestion of the sinuses and throat, and best of all it does a really good job at keeping away mosquitoes. In fact, oil of Lemon Eucalyptus has been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for effective protection against mosquitoes.

Dillute 15-20 drops of Lemon Eucalyptus oil in 1/4 cup of a base oil such as untoasted sesame, coconut or olive oil and apply to exposed skin before going outside. A 2002 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Lemon Eucalyptus provided 2 hours of mosquito protection, more than a repellent with a low concentration of the chemical DEET (Off Skintastic for Kids with 4.75% DEET provided 88 minutes of protection).

Or, when entertaining outside, place a couple drops of Lemon Eucalyptus oil in votive candles and place them around your deck or patio to help you and your guests enjoy the party.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of or to purchase Lemon Eucalyptus oil from Floracopeia

June/July: Ruh Khus

The featured oil for June and July is Ruh Khus a wild vetiver oil harvested in northern India and distilled in copper alembics.

The immediate impression is one of a powerful earthiness. Images of earth, roots, damp forest floors all come to mind when evaluating this oil. It also contains a quiet sweetness which perfectly balances its more earthy tones. Its complex character also contains precious woods notes which can also be found in oils like sandalwood and agarwood.

The benefits of Ruh Khus are not restricted to its fragrance. It has played an important part in ayurveda for thousands of years. Because of its cooling properties the oil is added to bath water or directly applied to the skin to reduce the effects of the external heat. The oil is also used to treat flatulence, colic and vomiting. It is also useful when applied locally for sprain, rheumatism and lombago.

Purchase Ruh Khus oil from Floracopeia

May: Jatamansi

The featured oil for May is Jatamansi. Jatamansi oil has a strong fragrance of moist earth, like the high altitude forest floor where it is found.

It is one of the most important herbs and oils used in Ayurvedic Medicine and has a special potency for treating mental and psychological challenges. It soothes and cools irritated nerves and calms an active and worried mind. A powerfully effective calmative, jatamansi oil has been used to treat arrhythmic heart palpitations, insomnia, anxiety, nerve pain, subconscious trauma and a host of other conditions. It is similar in quality to valerian but is less dulling in it's effects.

Anti-septic and regenerative, jatamansi oil has also been used in the treatment of skin diseases and hair loss.

Jatamansi oil is also one of the most important herbal medicines for grief after losing a loved one. It can also be used to annoint those who are themselves transitioning from life to death.

Jatamansi oil is safe to apply directly to the skin. During times of stress, anxiety or worry, place a drop on the temples, forehead or behind the ears. Direct palm inhalation is another excellent way of accessing the therapeutic properties of jatamansi oil. Jatamansi oil is one of the best bedtime oils and can be massaged into the bottoms of the feet and the top of the head for a night of deep, nourishing sleep.

Use it in a warm compress to relieve stomach cramps or nerve pain. Mix it with clary sage oil or rosemary oil in a carrier oil, such as sesame or coconut, to promote hair growth, or use alone to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Unfortunately, due to excessive overharvesting of this high altitude plant, Jatamansi has become endangered as a species. The proper time for harvesting Jatamansi roots is in the early winter, yet because of the often difficult or impossible harvesting conditions due to layers of snow covering, the crop is sometimes harvested in the summer which is detrimental to it's future growth. Because of this unfortunate practice, good sources for jatamansi are now difficult to find. Floracopeia jatamansi oil is distilled from sustainably harvested roots in Nepal.

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April: Palo Santo

This month's featured oil is Palo Santo. Palo Santo means holy wood, or sacred tree, and it is one of the most important trees used in traditional ethno-botanical medicine of South America. It is widely used as an incense for repelling mosquitoes. The wood is cooked into decoction and taken for fevers, infections, and skin diseases. It is still widely used by shamans of the Andes in curing ceremonies.

Although the oil is present in young trees and saplings, the highest quality is distilled from the aged heartwood. Palo Santo oil is golden yellow, with a fresh and intense citrus aroma. Under the lemon top notes are subtle resinous wood notes and a slight medicinal pungency, which give the oil an intriguing complexity.

Analysis of Palo Santo oil reveals that it contains high levels of limonene, a monoterpene compound that has been found to have chemo-preventive and chemo-therapeutic effects against several types of cancer. In medical aromatherapy the oil can be used as an anxiolytic agent that counteracts panic attacks and anxiety, a respiratory remedy for cough, colds, and asthma, for headaches and migraines, and in massage therapy for pain and inflammation of the muscles and joints. In spiritual aromatherapy it can be beneficial for meditation, concentration, and for enhancing creativity and learning.

Purchase Palo Santo oil from Floracopeia

Why Purchase Essential Oils from Floracopeia?

Floracopeia was established to help preserve and promote the use of botanical medicines as solutions to the widespread ecological destruction taking place in the world, and the loss of medicinal plants on which traditional medical systems depend on. Floracopeia provides its customers with the highest quality essential oils and other botanical aromatic treasures through the promotion of ecological sustainability, organic agriculture and agro-forestry projects.

Floracopeia products are acclaimed for their therapeutic grade and high quality at affordable prices. Floracopeia buys directly from farmers and small family-based distillers, thus supporting the local economies in which the plants are grown. Floracopeia does not buy oils from the world-brokers. Floracopeia is founded with a strong medical orientation and is involved in a number of global eco-projects based in grass roots health care, spirituality, reforestation projects, and preservation and restoration of ethno-botanical culture.