Healing occurs best when the mind is calm. If a person is fearful or anxious, it may be difficult for medicine to work effectively. Soothing a mother in active labor was one of my favorite opportunities to use the gifts I learned as a nurse midwife. Women who previously have had difficult births or who were fearful of the future seemed to require more redirection back to the present moment. Midwifery taught me that I needed to be calm myself before I could bring that calmness to the birth room and the mother in labor.
We all are in some type of “labor” in our lives, whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual. Each labor pain in our lives gets our immediate attention, and that can help us to put things in perspective. But how can we move on from our past wounds of insecurity and our future fears of doubt? One way is by using simple essential oil blends used responsibly. Essential oils can assist us with individual mood and perception changes. They can affect the brain and central nervous system quite quickly when inhaled and can calm an anxious parent or a person with a history of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Having worked with clients who experienced insecurity from past event and fears of the future, I have found through clinical studies and my own experience a few essential oil blends and individual oils that help to calm and soothe.
Patchouli can help us live grounded in the ever-present moment rather than in ambition-driven plans or anxiety-laden ideas. -Peter Holmes
Patchouli Pogostemon cablin has a grounding effect on mood and perceptions. Studies have shown decreases in systolic blood pressure when using this oil, resulting in reduced central nervous system activity. Its most commonly cited actions are as an antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, and sedative, (Battaglia, 2018). Be cautious however, as it is one of the most adulterated essential oils, so be sure to check the manufacturer and learn how the oil was extracted. Make sure your essential oil source is reputable.
Stimulating Petitgrain awakens our conscious mind and our memories so it can bring new insights that will guide us through life. -Robbie Zeck
The spiritual psychology of Patchouli reminds me of a kind father or mentor guiding and protecting with benevolent strength and centeredness. A little goes a long way when blending and using since it easily overpowers other essential oils. Petitgrain Citrus x aurantium L. and Virginian cedarwood Juniperus virginiana blended with Patchouli have been effective for reducing burnout, anxiety and insomnia (Holmes, 2016). Petitgrain has a restoring, sedative and clarifying personality that calms the heart and perhaps brings new insights. It has been subjected to adulteration like Patchouli therefore important to seek reputable distributors for medicinal quality. Virginian cedarwood has been associated with decreasing anxiety and stress.
Blending these three oils in a 1% to 2% dilution to inhale or blended in a vegetable oil for massage has brought grounding and a new perspective to clients. Using this blend with deep breathing exercises can change moods and ways of looking at situations. All three oils are non-toxic and non-irritating.
Patchouli essential oil and its blends are one of the tools I use to assist those who require a new perspective in the present moment. May we learn to calm and center ourselves and others when needed. Using essential oil blends along with understanding our emotional patterns will help us restore our focus to the present moment and lead a more calm, centered life.
Battaglia, Salvatore, (2018). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 3rd edition. Brisbane, Australia: Black Pepper Creative Publishing.
Holmes, Peter, (2016). Aromatic; A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics: Volume 1: Principles and Profiles; Philadelphia & London; Singing Dragon Publishing.
Myss, Caroline, (2003). Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. New York, NY; Harmony Books Publishing.
Mojay, Gabriel, (1997). Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit; Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils. Rochester, Vermont; Healing Arts Press.
Zeck, Robbi, (2004). The Blossoming heart- Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation. East Ivanhoe: Aroma Tours Publishing.
Characteristic Changes in Aroma Profile of Patchouli Depending on Manufacturing process. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28701650
https://www.myss.com/free-resources/sacred-contracts-and-your-archetypes/appendix-a-gallery-of-archtypes/ The archetypes of Father and Mentor.
https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/18/9/10639/htm Volatile Constituents and Antioxidant Activity of Peel, Flowers and Leaf Oils of Petitgrain Citrus aurantium L. Growing in Greece. (2013).
Photo Credits: Natalia Figueredo