02 Dec Winter's Blend – Aromatherapy for Prana (Life's Breath)
Prana is an ancient Sanskrit word, meaning breath, considered as a life-giving force. The concept of the Divine Essence essential oils
Prana Winter’s Blend is to enhance the quality of our vital breathing ability, by helping to support and clear sinuses, lungs and all passageways, especially where there are issues of catarrh, phlegm, bronchial or sinus struggles, or to prevent or treat colds or flus. In a choice blend such as this one, all of the individual oils also contribute to and magnify a synergistic effect, meaning that the whole formula winds up being greater and more therapeutically effective than the sum of its parts. The Prana Blend, with its fresh and pleasant smell, is also wonderful diffused as a general indoors air freshener and deodorizer, or can be used to scent closets, laundry areas, or potpourri for a unique variation. All Divine Essence oils are considered artisan or therapeutic grade, and are thoroughly laboratory (chemo-type) tested for genuine 100% authenticity, purity, cleanliness, non-adulteration, careful production, and thus, full effectiveness for that particular variety.
The Prana Blend (AKA Winter’s Blend) consists of eight premium, certified organic essential oils:
- Eucalyptus Radiata (Eucalyptus radiata) – A softer Eucalyptus, sourced from South Africa, which especially supports the upper respiratory tract and sinuses, including as an anti-inflammatory, helping treat rhinitis or otitis. It is anti-catarrhal and mucolytic, meaning showing expectorant and fluidification properties, when needed to break up and help remove excess mucous. It is anti-infectious, helping treat acute and chronic respiratory infections and flus, and is also energizing against chronic fatigue, or to treat immune deficiency. The Peppermint in this blend enhances its penetration through all three skin layers and into the lungs, if used as a chest rub, along with a carrier oil. (Best carrier oils are Sweet Almond, Jojoba, Grapeseed, or similar plant oils, or in a pinch, most household cooking oils, including Coconut, will work.)
- Rosemary Cineole (Rosmarinus officinalis cineoliferum) – The most popular Rosemary essential oil variety from Divine Essence, sourced from Morocco; rich, pungent and potent. Most essential oil companies use only the standard Camphor variety, (which DE also carries, along with a third type), but the scents are notably different. Although the properties are nearly identical, being sourced from different regions creates unique characters, much as with fine wines. The Cineole type is often preferred for treating respiratory or circulatory issues. Here in the Prana blend, it supports the immune system, and is very protective against oxidation and oils breakdown, which strengthens and synergizes the entire blend. Research confirms it as effectively antibacterial and antiviral, helping eradicate pathogenic bacteria or viruses, as with colds or flus. It is also helpful for treating digestive pain, muscle cramps or spasms, neuralgia, fatigue or memory issues, headaches, and migraines. Most researchers caution to avoid using Rosemary oil during pregnancy, especially in the first four months.
- Niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora, a.k.a. quinquenervia CT 1,8-cineole), also from Madagascar, has some properties similar to Tea Tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), as the Melaleuca genus name implies, but has a more subtle, sweeter scent; still pungent and deep, but not as cutting and intense. This tree, along with the Cajuput variety, can reach up to 35 m (100 ft) or taller, and the genuine oil is not easy to obtain. This leaf oil is used in aromatherapy for its expectorant properties, and helps relieve the symptoms of sinusitis, cough, bronchitis, and cold. It also has skin tonic, immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, among many others.
- Fir Balsam (Abies balsamea) – Sourced right from Eastern Canada, this therapeutic oil provides the heartwarming, classic, pungent “Christmas Tree” scent. It has antibacterial qualities, and new studies are finding Fir Balsam may possibly be effective against both e. coli and staph. aureus, which could help heal pneumonia and other conditions; more research is needed. Fir Balsam has antitussive properties, meaning it will help relieve coughs and throat irritations. This is activated by inhaling the diffused or steamed oil. It is antiseptic, antiparasitic, and a cicatrizant, meaning it will help heal burns, wounds and cuts. It is also used in aromatherapy to help relieve joint and muscle pain associated with strains, sprains and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Palmarosa (cymbopogon martinii var. motia) – A pleasant rose-like scent denotes this exotic oil from India, derived from the same Poaceae family that includes Citronella, Lemongrass and Vetiver. Thus, it helps enhance the overall scent profile and usability of the Prana Winter’s Blend. It shows anti-inflammatory and tonic properties, and can be mildly simulating to the immune system. It has been used to treat Cholera, and has anti-infectious, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, thus helping to treat and eliminate colds and flus in this blend. Palmarosa has a normalizing effect on the thyroid gland, and has markedly antifungal properties, making it useful against toenail fungus, candida or skin fungus conditions, and even head lice.
- Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) – This Cinnamon-type (but quite different) plant variety from the leaf form, fair-trade sourced (as with all DE oils), from our growers and distillers in faraway Madagascar, is somewhat less skin-irritating than the similarly named Ravensara variety. It also has been shown to be particularly effective for respiratory or bronchial problems, in part due to its high 1,8 cineole content, a penetrating compound which helps ease breathing and has anti-inflammatory action. Ravintsara also has antibacterial and antiviral properties, easing colds and flus. In one researcher’s report of an unpublished study, it was used in an aloe vera gel “hand cream” with elementary-aged schoolchildren and dramatically reduced the absenteeism rate that season.
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – This classic essential oil, sourced from Hungary, enhances the delightful scent of the Parana Winter’s Blend, and is sourced from Hungary. It acts as a catalyst for the other oils, especially enhancing skin penetration through all three layers of the dermis, as mentioned, for chest rubs. This is why you will notice, Peppermint or Menthol, a key isolated component sometimes synthetically derived, is used in nearly every pain relieving cream or oil. It also has analgesic (pain-relieving) properties on its own via different neural and receptor cell effects, as well as mild anesthetic properties. It product a cooling sensation on the skin by activating cold-sensitive receptors, without actually changing temperature, in the same way that capsaicin from chile peppers, causes a heating reaction. Peppermint also has antiviral, antispasmodic, decongestant, expectorant, digestive, and soothing neurotonic properties, among others.
- Eucalyptus Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus) – This more familiar, stronger-smelling Eucalyptus has many of the same properties
of the Radiata variety, but is deeper-penetrating, and especially powerful in helping reach and treat lower and deeper respiratory tract infections, colds and flus. (Here, sourced from either Spain or South Africa.) It is classically used in a mixture with a carrier oil topically, applied to the front of the chest, which helps deliver the healing constituents via quick penetration through the skin into the lung tissues, but also via the inhalant aromatherapeutic properties. It is also anti-inflammatory, helping relieve pain and pressure in lung and bronchial swelling situations, as well as with joints or muscles.
Overall, these eight oils, carefully blended together, form a potent protective and treatment blend for various fall and winter maladies, best used either in a nebulizer or diffuser, or with head under a towel over a steaming bowl of hot water (shake in 10 to 25 drops as per strength desired), or applied topically with a carrier oil, as a chest rub.
From all of us at Organic Grocer and Divine Essence, Here’s to a healthy, happy Winter Season!