Essential Oil Of The Week: Jatamansi


This week’s essential oil, Jatamansi, has a rich history. Jatamansi oil is distilled from the roots of the perennial flowering plant of the same name that grows in the Alpine Himalayas. It has a sweet-woody scent, very earthy and damp. It reminds me a dank greenhouse. I personally think the fragrance is entrancing, but many people find it to be rather vile. It is in the same family as valerian, another fantastic herb for encouraging healthy sleep and calm nerves.

The name Jatamansi actually means “whose flesh is like a dread lock” because of the roots likeness to the matted locks of the ancient yogis and ascetics in the Himalayas. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

Jatamansi has been used as both medicine and perfume for many thousands of years. Under the name “spikenard” it appears in the Bible as the type of oil that Mary Magdalene used to anoint Jesus’ feet.

It has a long history of use in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine, particularly for its incredibly balancing action on the doshas and powerfully rejuvenating effect on the mind.

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Essential Oil Of The Week: Peppermint


Thad got me a very sleek aromatherapy diffuser for a Christmas present and using it is increasing my love for essential oils. It’s such a great way to experience the benefits of essential oils in a subtle and pleasing way. I’ve been trying out a new oil every few days, with the diffuser in my bedroom on for a few hours before I fall asleep.

Today I want to tell you about a common essential oil, peppermint. Although it might not sound very exotic, this is an excellent oil to keep in your arsenal, especially for nausea and other digestive issues.

Peppermint oil has such a refreshing and invigorating scent. It is best for diffusion and inhalation. Undiluted topical application is not recommended because in high concentrations menthol is an irritant. Definitely don’t put this one on your face, although a single drop in a bathtub is perfectly lovely and safe.

Carrying a bottle of peppermint essential oil when traveling is an excellent cure for all motion sickness, whether it’s car or boat etc., It is also recommended for pregnancy-related nausea and for easing stomach cramps. The scent is very calming for the digestive system, it relieves excess gas and bloating. Peppermint essential oil is routinely given in a low dosage for inhalation to chemotherapy patients to help prevent and ease nausea.

This ability to improve digestion is energetic as well, since peppermint oil facilitates the digestion of new ideas and the processing of emotions. It is very clarifying and consciousness-expanding. It inspires enthusiasm and can boost self-esteem and increase one’s motivation and interest in activities.

Peppermint oil offers relieve to those suffering from migraines and headaches. A drop rubbed on the temples is soothing and cooling and can also aid in concentration. Peppermint has analgesic properties and can help ease muscular stiffness and all sorts of bruising, aches, pains and swelling.

Using essential oils is safe, easy and effective, as well as a portable healing system excellent for folks on the go!


Love and Blessings,





Essential Oil Of The Week: Silver Fir


The fragrance of the holidays has overtaken the flower shops where I work. We are receiving evergreen bundles, garlands and wreaths every day. It is lovely and so very wintery. The resinous, heady and fresh scent of pines, balsams and fir boughs is invigorating and cheery.

This got me thinking about a favorite essential oil of mine: silver fir.

Silver fir essential oil encourages deep breathing and is healing for the entire respiratory system as well as supportive of the immune system. Because it is a strong oil that can be irritating to skin if used undiluted, it is best to use take benefit from this oil through inhalation. Simply placing a drop or two in the palms of your hands, rubbing them together and then holding in front of your nose for 3 or 4 deep full breaths is an easy way to appreciate the healing effects of this oil.

This is also an ideal oil to diffuse in your home. This allows the anti-viral, anti-septic and anti-microbial actions of silver fir to cleanse the air in your home – especially beneficial during cold/flu season. Plus it will make your house smell incredible.

It is a great decongestant because the scent can easily open the lungs, heal respiratory infections and bronchitis as well as clear excess phlegm and mucus. On a more subtle energetic level, this oil offers the sensation of more “breathing room.” It encourages inspiration and creativity.

Silver fir essential oil tonifies Qi and warms the interior. One single drop or two added to a warm bath is very soothing and clarifying as well as relaxing for muscular aches and arthritis.

This oil is distilled from the cut needles of the silver fir tree (Abies alba). It is important to get high-quality, hand-harvested silver fir oil because some conifer oils are contaminated with unwanted resins, petroleum byproducts and turpentine due to chain saws and other harvesting methods.

Happy December dear readers!

Love and Blessings,




Essential Oil Of The Week: Helichrysum



Helichrysum is a powerfully healing plant that you don’t hear about that often, but probably should because it is so special.

I learned about it in massage school when I had a massive cut on my knee and asked my teacher what to do about potential scarring. Ever since then, I have used this oil regularly to heal wounds and bruises, improve complexion and reduce scarring. 

Helichrysum’s common name is “Everlasting.” It is tall yellow cluster of aromatic flowers that can grow in deprived soil and sunny harsh conditions where other plants can barely survive. Energetically, that feels very indicative of this plant’s fortitude and power. It is traditionally found in Europe, especially in the Eastern regions and in the Mediterranean.

The scent of helicrysum is spicy, warm and herbal. It’s quite a unique fragrance, hard to place unless you know what it is.

Therapeutically, the essential oil of the helichrysum flowers is safe for topical usage, even undiluted. It is very healing for skin conditions such as eczema, burns, acne, radiation burns, chronic dermatitis etc.,. It is analgesic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.  It reduces pain and can encourage the proper flow of chi and blood in the body. Topical usage is beneficial for bruise healing, broken capillaries and varicose veins. 

On the realm of the psyche and emotions, the use of this oil is most suited for moving through grief, bereavement and emotional trauma. Helicrysum can assist in healing old emotional scars, acute fear or anger and overcoming adversity. 

Energetically, helichrysum has the power to break through the deepest, most “stuck” negative feelings and can help restore feelings of compassion for others and for oneself. 

Keeping a bottle of this powerful essential oil handy to simply take a few long deep inhalations of during times of emotional stress is very soothing. I also keep a bottle of helichrysum hydrosol mist in my fridge for a cooling, skin-healing spritz now and again. 

Topically, a few drops of this oil can be applied directly on healing wounds or old scars. Another good way to benefit from the skin healing and anti-inflammatory properties of this plant is to put a few drops of this oil into a warm bath and soak it up.

Have you ever used this essential oil before? What are your favorite essential oils to work with?


Love and Blessings,




Essential Oil of the Week: Ginger


In the culinary realm, ginger is by far one of my absolute favorite flavors. I go gaga for anything ginger – seriously, I can sit down and eat a whole box of crystalized ginger without batting an eyelash. I love ginger tea, I love ginger in my smoothies and juices and I especially love grating fresh ginger into stirfrys and salad dressings.

Despite my love of consuming all things ginger, using the essential oil of this potent healing root has been a new discovery for me. It is a fabulous way to benefit from the power of this universally respected plant. Ginger has been used for just about ever as a food, medicine and spice. It has a long history of use in Asia, was used in both Greek and Roman medicine and is an essential component of TCM healing. Ginger was even introduced in Western Europe during the Middle Ages and apparently was used to combat the Black Death because of its sweat-producing capacities. Native to India and China, it is now grown commercially in many tropical climates.

In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is viewed as the universal medicine that can be of benefit to all constitutions. It destroys toxins, it is a strong digestive, prevents nausea, stokes the digestive fire (agni), alleviates pain, is rejuvenating and beneficial for breathing difficulties.

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Essential Oil of the Week: Ylang Ylang


It has been too long since I’ve shared an essential oil with you. This week’s delightful one, ylang ylang, is celebrated for its ability to calm the heart, and since I shared my favorite heart-calming meditation practice with you a few days ago, it only seemed appropriate to follow up with this post. I also find ylang ylang to be a very fun word to say.

Ylang ylang is sometimes called the “poor man’s jasmine”, but I don’t think that is completely fair because it has a gorgeous dreamy fragrance all of its own. Apparently, the petals of ylang ylang flowers are strewn across the beds of newlywed couples in Indonesia for their beauty and aphrodisiac qualities. The scent of ylang ylang is feminine, sweet, heavy and sensual. It is simultaneously cooling, calming and euphoric.

Ylang Ylang essential oil is considered a “harmonizing” oil as it has been shown to reduce pulse rate while at the same time increasing alertness and arousal. It is beneficial for the circulatory system for treating high blood pressure and heart palpitations. It is used in addressing impotence, PMS and anxiety. It is soothing, increasing feelings of inner trust, peace and self-confidence.

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My Magic Scar-Removing Oil Blend

I scar more easily than anyone I know. I scratched my leg with my fingernail a few months ago, and it scarred. It’s kind of ridiculous.

Luckily, in my study of essential oils, I’ve learned which ones I can use on my body to promote skin regeneration and healing. I’ve seen remarkable improvement in my skin and the appearance of scars by using essential oils daily. Even my worst scars and stretch marks (aah! God forbid! those nasty little reminders of what happened when I “lost” my anorexic body) have visibly decreased after consistent use with my magic oil blend.

My formula for a scar removing oil blend is not super precise and it changes a bit each time I make it, but there are a few important and necessary oils to use in order to make the most effective blend.

These are helichrysum, vetiver, lavender and carrot seed.

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Essential Oil Of The Week: Rose Geranium

dryland-herbs_rose-geranium-208x300All essential oils are pretty wonderful and magic in my opinion, but this week’s feature is one of my absolute favorites. I personally think this is the single most important essential oil for every woman to have because of its great healing properties for the skin, hormones and the reproductive system.

Rose Geranium (Pelargonium roseum) has a broad range of uses and a beautiful and complex sweet fragrance of roses and citrus. It is very cooling, anti-inflammatory and uplifting, a wonderful oil to have handy for the dog-days of summer (a hydrosol spritz is a lovely way to garner the benefits of this plant – so good for the skin!).

This astringent and antimicrobial essential oil is very balancing for the hormones and can reduce PMS symptoms as well as menopausal hot flashes. It supports the adrenal cortex to actually balance hormones. Adding a few drops of Rose Geranium into a warm bath is a wonderful way to soothe your body and relax during your cycle. It promotes healthy detoxification and gently reduces water retention in the body.

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Essential Oil of the Week: Tulsi


Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is a very powerful and sacred plant. Indiginous to India, parts of northern and eastern Africa as well as Taiwan, it is cultivated today all over Southeast Asia. It is also grown and venerated in Hindu temples around the world. If you’ve ever been to a Vaishnava temple, you will see the beautiful Tulsi-devi plant being lovingly cared for. Next to the lotus, tulsi is the most sacred plant in India. Tulsi-devi is regarded as a goddess and a consort to Lord Vishnu. Pujas and prayers are performed to her and the tulsi leaves are taken as a sacrament.

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Essential Oil of the Week: Lemongrass


This week’s essential oil is one that I’ve been using quite a lot of recently: Lemongrass.

The reason why is that lemongrass oil is a superb household cleaner….especially when you have a new puppy that’s still in the process of potty-training! I filled a small spray bottle with water, baking soda, lemongrass and lemon essential oils and have been using it to disinfect my wood floors pretty much every day. Add lemongrass oil to castille soap to clean bathrooms, kitchens and dishes. It can be added to borax for laundry as well.

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Essential Oil of the Week: Vetiver

Vetiver LeavesVetiver essential oil comes from the fibrous root structure of a dense perennial grass grown in places such as Haiti, Sri Lanka and India.

This potent, earthy and sweet smelling oil has been used traditionally as a base note in perfumes (to this day it is used in 90% of all perfumes). It has a long history of use to bring about tranquility and protection from evil spirits and influences and… bugs!

Vetiver essential oil is a complex oil, golden to dark brown in color with a warm, deep aroma reminiscent of the woods and marshes. It is a very safe oil (non-phototoxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing) with many uses, so definitely a good one to consider purchasing. 

Incredibly centering and supportive to the nervous system, this is a great oil for grounding vata and cooling pitta aggravation. Emotionally, the use of vetiver oil provides a sense of security and balance. It helps to calm the mind when too many thoughts are swirling around creating anxiety and confusion.

Vetiver oil has the ability to consolidate and bring clarity to a frazzled mind – it’s a perfect tool for bolstering your meditation practice. Vetiver grounds energy and promotes strength and solidity. It is an ideal essential oil for people who tend to “float outside” their bodies, because it can help center them back into the physical and into body-centered reality.

For the physical body, vetiver oil is beneficial for varicose veins, poor circulation (cold hands/feet), muscular aches and pains and arthritis. It can be helpful for insomnia, PMS, menopause and postnatal depression.

Wonderful for the skin, vetiver oil helps with inflamed conditions, acne and oily skin as it is slightly astringent. It’s used as a preventative for stretch marks and wrinkles. Vetiver is very nourishing for dry or irritated skin and can help with wound care and topical infections caused by fungus or bacteria.

A great way to employ vetiver in your skincare regime is to add just one or two drops to an unscented natural lotion or carrier oil for your face and body.

I like to put a drop on the soles of my feet and on my heart center for its grounding and relaxing effect.

Have you used vetiver oil before? What are your favorite essential oils and way to incorporate them into your health and beauty regimes?


Love Frances


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