Aromatherapy - Sleepy Moon Farm

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Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of pure, unadulterated essential oils, hydrosols, and other fragrant plant materials for holistic health treatments.

An essential oil is a volatile substance obtained from the leaves, flowers, roots, bark, seeds or fruit of a plant via steam distillation.

Essential oils are extremely concentrated and highly aromatic and are most always diluted before use.

A hydrosol is a water based substance that is the byproduct of the steam distillation of essential oils.

Not all essential oils produce a hydrosol, because not all essential oils are distilled with steam.


History of Essential Oils:

Aromatic plants have been used by humankind since the dawn of history. There is evidence that over some 4,000 years ago, scents such as cypress, frankincense and myrrh were used.  Essential Oils have been used to promote physical, psychological and spiritual well-being.

Each plant essence is extracted from a single botanical source through a number of possible methods, the most common being steam distillation.  In this process, pressurized steam is passed through the plant matter, the steam evaporates and the oil is separated from the water which becomes the hydrosol.

Essential oils can be used topically, orally or by inhalation.

Essential oils are synthesized and stored in many parts of the plant:

  • Eucalyptus and tea tree are extracted from the leaf

  • Peppermint and clary sage are found in the glands on the leaf surface

  • Oil of rose is extracted from the petals of the flower

  • Clove oil comes from the dried flower buds

  • With marjoram oil, the flowering tops are used, including petals, sepals, upper stalks and leaves

  • And with yarrow the entire herb is used.

  • Berries and twigs are used to make juniper oil

  • Orange essential oil is made from the flowers, leaves and rind of the fruit

  • Plants such as fennel, caraway and coriander bear their oil in the seeds

  • And in the resin of a bush, frankincense and myrrh are produced

  • With trees comes cedarwood and sandlewood from the chopped wood

  • While pine and spruce are distilled mainly from the needles

  • And finally vetiver essential oil is extracted from the root.


Essential Oil’s have yin and yang properties as well:

  • Yang (male, right side) physical - denotes the more substantial, the anatomical structure: The cells, tissues and organs

  • Yin (female, left side) emotional - pertains to the more rarefied: The body’s energy, its vital force and dynamic functioning

For example, if an individual’s yang energy is deficient, they are likely to feel chilly, tired and unmotivated and will benefit from warming, invigorating essential oil’s such as lemon, rosemary or ginger which promote circulation of blood, stimulate digestion and counteract rheumatic pain.


The 5 elements of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood play an important role in the therapeutic uses of essential oil’s.  They can be understood as the 5 phases or movements of yin and yang energy

Fire – root emotion, joy
         Season; summer
         Organs; heart, sm. intes., pericardium/triple warmer
         Therapeutic intention; to stabilize, anchor and strengthen
         Oils; neroli, ginger and rose
Earth – root emotion, reflection
           Season; late summer
           Organs; stomach, spleen/pancreas
           Therapeutic intention; to clarify and nourish
           Oils; fennel, benzoin and vetiver
Metal – root emotion, grief
            Season; autumn
            Organs; lung/lg intes.
            Therapeutic intention; to open and invigorate
            Oils; cypress, peppermint and eucalyptus
Water – root emotion, fear
            Season; winter
            Organs; kidney/bladder
            Therapeutic intention; to stabilize, anchor strengthen
            Oils; angelica root, cedarwood, juniperberry and ginger
Wood – root emotion anger
            Season; spring
            Organs; liver/gallbladder
            Therapeutic intention; to release, move and relax
            Oils; roman chamomile, yarrow and bergamot


Plants produce essential oils for a variety of reasons:
* attracting insects
* repelling pests
* fighting off bacteria, molds, viruses and fungi

Animals in the wild have the innate ability to seek out scents to aid with various ailments.
Dogs have an average of 200 million scent receptors vs. 45-50 million in humans.

Aromatherapy works with humans and animals on multiple levels:

Scents are processed by the limbic system which has a strong connection to the recall of certain emotions.
Essential Oils also have their own energy fields, each vibrating at a different rate, as do organs.
When an organ is sick, it gives out a different vibration in which an essential oil is attracted to that signal.


Essential Oils always need to be diluted in a carrier oil
Choosing a carrier oil is just as important as choosing the essential oil as each carrier has its own unique healing quality to enhance the essential oil. A few examples are:
* Calundula - ulcers, indigestion, slow healing wounds, fungal infections
* Comfrey - traumatic injury, broken bones, heals past hurt, helps to “move on”
* Hemp Seed - eczema, behavioral problems, arthritis, grounding, gives security
* St. John’s Wort - depression, burns, skin inflammation, unpredictable moods, soothing, balancing
* Jojoba Oil (wax) - all skin problems, anti-inflammatory, neutral oil
* Neem - eczema, ringworm, fly/flea sprays, cooling


Hydrosols are the water left behind by the distillation process
They are gentle, more subtle and energetically charged.

A perfect solution for long term care or when essential oils might be too harsh:
* very young children or animals
* the infirm
* sensitive people or animals

Types of hydrosols:
* Angelica Root - grounding, liver tonic, mildly sedative
* Chamomile (roman) - upset tummies, gunky eyes, irritated skin
* Geranium - general balancer, hormones, anti-inflammatory, wounds
* Lavender - soothing irritated skin, sunburn, anxiety, nervousness
* Witch Hazel - healing broken capillaries and bruises, eczema, antiseptic

Use caution with essential oils and animals as too much can be harmful.  ALWAYS  dilute with a carrier oil and NEVER offer oils to cats, birds and small animals, they are toxic to their delicate systems.  Consult with me prior to administering or offering any essential oil or hydrosol to any animal.

The therapeutic-grade oils essential oils that I choose are either organic, wild-crafted, conscientiously harvested or pesticide/insecticide free.

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