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Summer is here in the Northern Hemisphere, a time of year to use cooling carriers, essential oils, and hydrosols. We would like to share with you some of our favorites.
Favorite Summertime Carriers:
Aloe Vera Gel or Jelly (Aloe barbadensis) - Used for first aid on wounds, cuts, sunburns, heat rashes, and non-greasy applications.
Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) - Since this oil is a plant wax, it has a long shelf life and will not go rancid very quickly. It is used for inflamed skin and blending in essential oils.
Witch Hazel Extract (Hamamelis virginiana) - Apply organic witch hazel to minor cuts and scrapes to stop bleeding. This is also useful for inflamed skin, and bug bites. The witch hazel extract from Mountain Rose Herbs contains 20% isopropyl alcohol which disinfects, making it a popular choice for cleansing wounds before bandaging.
Favorite Summertime Essential Oils:
Rose (Rosa damascena) -Used to calm and cool the heart, good antiseptic: used for all skin types to reduce dry, sensitive skin, and inflammation.
Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara) – Known for its uplifting scent. It is also very beneficial for the body and skin whenever you need an analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cicatrisant, or immune stimulant.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) - Yes, of course, lavender is also on this list. It is a calming oil that is also useful as a skin healer for cuts, wounds, sunburns, bleeding, insect bites, and infections.
Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) - Used for first aid on wounds, cuts, sunburns, heat rashes, inflammation, and for muscular/joint aches and pains.
The citrus essential oils are cooling, yet several of them are phototoxic; which is a chemical reaction that results in skin inflammation and irritation. It requires sunlight or a tanning bed to induce photosensitivity. The skin response resembles an exaggerated sunburn.
However, Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil is not photosensitive. Also, if Lemon (Citrus limon), Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) and Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) are steam distilled rather than expressed by cold pressing, they are not photosensitive.
Common essential oils that are phototoxic and should not be applied 12 hours before being out in the sun or tanning beds.
Angelica root (Angelica archangelica)
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium)
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
Lemon (Citrus limon)- if cold pressed
Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citriodora)
Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)- if cold pressed
*Sweet Myrrh Opoponax Essential Oil- (Commiphora guidotti or Commiphora erythraea) * Note: common Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) is NOT phototoxic.
Favorite Summertime Hydrosols:
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) - Used as an astringent, reduces fluid retention, it is cooling and anti-inflammatory, reduces sunburn, poison ivy, rosacea, and other types of dermatitis.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) – It brings anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, anti-fungal, antiviral, and immune-stimulant properties to the blending scene. A wonderful hydrosol for addressing skin wounds, insect bites and stings, athlete's foot, dry skin, diaper rash and skin issues.
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) - Used as on a cotton pad or as a spritzer on the skin as a cooling agent. Also, as a compress for inflamed conditions. It is a cooling and aromatic addition to iced tea (add 1 TBSP hydrosol for 1 quart of tea).
* Not recommended for children under five years old.
Other Summer blog articles with recipes that you might enjoy:
* Summer Hydrosols
* Summer Fire-Element
ENJOY a Wonderful Healthy Summertime!
Dechen, Shanti, Clinical Aromatherapy Level 1 Text, Crestone, CO, 2019, pages 61, 63, 65, 91, 94, 95, 96, 105, 106.