Welcome to a new month of AroMagic! I am so excited to continue this journey deeper into the world of aromatherapy using herbs and oils with you. No matter if you’re brand new to aromatherapy or knowledgeable and experienced, this class is a place for all to take their knowledge deeper. This month, we will be focusing on herbs and oils for Fire and Earth elements across all planes (physical, mental, spiritual, auric), which you received wonderful examples of in your AroMagic kits – cajuput, black pepper, red clover blossom, and fumitory.
Please note that the oils in your kit, if you purchased it, are undiluted and should be suspended in a carrier oil or lotion base before use on your body. And please do your own research surrounding any personal contraindications, illnesses, or issues you may have. Always check with your doctor, especially if you take any medication.
Cajuput – Melaleuca leucadendron, East Indies, Malaysia, tropical Australia
Zodiac: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Cajuput essential oil comes from the cajuput tree, of the genus Melaleuca. These trees are well-known for their resistance to forest fire, long life, and unusual aroma. The name cajuput is derived from the Indonesian word kayu putih, meaning “white tree”, and it’s named for its whitish bark. Cousin to tea tree (but with its own unique properties), it is also known as white tea tree, swamp tea tree, and white wood. Cajuput oil is made by distilling the tree’s young leaves, twigs and buds, and carries a “green” pungent scent, reminiscent of mild camphor. Its first appearances in Europe are dated to the early 17th century, but it was used long before in Malaysia and the Indonesian Islands for its many healing properties.
As an antiseptic, decongestant, antispasmodic, and a pain reliever and insect repellent, cajuput has been used for many years to treat a multitude of symptoms and conditions. It is used topically, by inhalation, and ingestion. Cajuput is a primary ingredient in the famous Tiger Balm, and Oil of Olbas, a Swiss remedy for congestion and muscle ache. Associated with the element of fire, it is warming and stimulating, followed by a cool feeling or sensation – a long-trusted combination for rheumatism and all kinds of bodily aches and pains.
Properties of cajuput
Cajuput is an effective antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal, particularly effective in treating infections and conditions of the respiratory and urinary tracts. It is also a decongestant, relieves coughing, and fights and prevents secondary infections brought on by colds and influenza. It makes a fabulous chest rub when mixed with a carrier oil. Anyone with asthma should use cajuput with caution, as its eucalyptol content may trigger asthma attacks. Known for powerfully repelling insects, diluted cajuput is used in topical products, sprays, and vaporizers to keep mosquitoes and other bugs at bay.
This essential oil may be best known for its ability to relieve pain associated with rheumatism, arthritis, gout, and other musculoskeletal conditions – it makes a potent healing massage oil. Menstrual symptoms and problems are also eased with cajuput, responsive to its antispasmodic properties. Due to its “hot turning cold” quality, cajuput can be used to reduce fevers. It gets things moving, stimulating health flow and circulation. It promotes secretion of the endocrine glands and induces healthy sweating, helping to remove toxins from the body. Avoid using this oil at bedtime, or when you desire sleep as it’s likely to keep you up.
Metaphysically, cajuput is known to embody the scent of purity. It is cleansing, and banishes negative energies, including negative thoughts. It helps break compulsion and habit by increasing mental focus and willpower. Cajuput blends well with other essential oils, particularly angelica, bergamot, clove, geranium, lavender, and thyme.
Black Pepper – Piper nigrum, South India
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the Piperaceae family, and we call its dried fruit peppercorns. It is one of the oldest spices of all time, dating back to the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. It has been used since antiquity for flavor and traditional medicine, and the Egyptians utilized it as part of the embalming process. It is the world’s most traded, and one of its most common, spices. Native to South India, black pepper is cultivated there and in other tropical regions. Currently, Vietnam is its largest producer and exporter.
The spiciness of black pepper comes from the chemical piperine, which differs from capsaicin found in chilli peppers. It has a spicy, peppery aroma with floral qualities. There are varieties of pepper – black is cooked and dried unripened fruit, white is ripened fruit seeds (skin removed), and green is dried unripened fruit. Black pepper is the epitome of cardinal, fiery, masculine energy – supporting our desire to venture into life, knowing we are protected and guided each step of the way. As one of the angelic fragrances, black pepper connects us with our spiritual nature and guardian angels.
Properties of black pepper
The warmth of black pepper increases physical circulation, and the oil can be added to a bath, massage oil, or diffuser, to counteract chills associated with colds and other illness. It is packed with a powerhouse of health benefits – enough to inspire a whole new relationship with the shaker on almost every dinner table. Black pepper increases metabolism and promotes weight loss. It has a high dietary fiber content, and provides a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin C, and B6. As a carminative, black pepper helps the body expel excess gas, and by increasing hydrochloric acid secretion, it aids digestion. It promotes sweating and urination, assisting in detoxification. The list goes on, including relieving asthma, sinus, and nasal congestion, and reducing cancer risk and liver conditions.
This essential oil embodies the courage and vitality of the warrior planet, Mars. It is used for endurance, stamina, fearlessness, motivation, and strength. Trusted to banish negativity, black pepper is especially efficacious in removing unwanted energy and providing potent protection. Its association with Mars is beyond the personal will, as it evokes the inner hero within to embark and continue on the journey of evolution. Black pepper can help reunite us with the spiritual aspects of life, sparking our desire for passion of the Highest Order. When used to amplify and seal intentions involving mental alertness, initiative, action, healthy defense, stamina, and “slaying your own dragons”, black pepper will provide the perfect combination of fire-starter, valor, and safeguard.
Red Clover Blossom – Trifolium pratense, Europe, Asia, Africa
Red Clover is a member of the Legume family, native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. It was introduced to North America by European colonists and is now commonly found in fields. This flowering perennial is cultivated for animals (sometimes called Cow Grass and Cow Clover), and used as a cover and green manure crop, as its nitrogen-fixing capacity enriches the fertility of soil. All parts of the clover plant are edible, making its dietary and medicinal incorporation easily accessible. It is commonly used in balms and teas, and consumed whole and raw.
In the natural world, we often associate color with properties. The red clover blossom directly correlates with its ability to purify the blood, and as a blood tonic. It is a good source of nutrients, high in antioxidants, and especially rich in isoflavones (chemicals that act like estrogens). Ancient Greeks and Romans associated this three-leaved plant with their triple goddesses, and the Celts considered it a symbol of the sacred sun. In Chinese history, dried red clover was burned as incense and used as invocation to the gods. Linked with overall good luck, it is known to strengthen and give power to the whole body – the ultimate tonic, reaching the root of trouble.
Properties of red clover blossom
Red clover blossom is used to treat skin disorders, liver and gallbladder conditions, digestive complaints, and women’s menstrual and fertility issues. Due to its high levels of isoflavones, it’s used to support the menopausal process, decrease the risk of osteoporosis, and for other hormone-related imbalances. Medical scientists have long recognized the benefit of using red clover blossom in the treatment and prevention of cancer, due to its agency as a powerful blood purifier. It has the amazing ability to cleanse the blood, reducing the instance of disease due to impurity.
The pain relieving, anti-inflammatory compounds in red clover blossom make wonderful healing balms and creams that relieve symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, sores, and burns. Used topically, it is also known to reduce the risk of skin cancer. Red clover blossoms contain coumadin derivatives, with blood thinning properties. It is also a mild sedative, which in combination with its antispasmodic quality, is especially effective in calming coughs. Long-used to reduce inflammation, red clover blossom may help resolve lung disease, bronchitis, flu, colds, and glandular and arthritic irritation.
Clover and good luck are intimately intertwined, and red clover blossom is believed to bestow positive turns of fate. This herb has been used in sachets and ritual baths for attracting money, fidelity, success, love, and luck. Lore is rich of its use in potions and spells for love and lust. It seems to boost vital life force energy, which is directly linked to our ability to heat-up with, and attract, amorous passion. Red clover blossom is also used for grounding, spiritual balance, protection, and enhanced self-awareness. Sprinkling dried blossoms around one’s home is said to remove negative spirits and break curses.
Fumitory – Fumaria officinalis, Morocco, Iberian Peninsula
Planet: Saturn, Mercury
Fumitory is an annual flowering plant in the poppy family. Its pink flowers bloom from April to October in the Northern Hemisphere. It originated in Morocco and on the Iberian Peninsula, and is now found on every continent except Antarctica. This old world plant has been used medicinally around the world, at least since Roman times, and in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. Legend tells of its initial emergence from the vapors at the center of the Earth, hence its alternative name Earth Smoke. The “smoky” origin of its name also comes from the translucent color of its flowers, appearing to be hanging in smoke, and its gray-blue foliage evokes an image of smoke rising from the ground.
In the early 13th century, fumitory was referred to as fumus terrae (smoke of the earth), and in Shakespeare’s day, it was sold in apothecaries under this same name. Writings from two thousand years ago tell of its tearing effects when rubbed in the eyes. It has a long history of use as a tonic, primarily for skin conditions, but also as a cleanser and detoxifier. Despite its recognition by herbalist for years, it remains absent from most traditional and modern references.
Properties of fumitory
Fumitory’s capacity for healing skin problems is partially due to its content of fumaric acid, which is particularly useful for treating specific skin conditions. It also stimulates bile flow, and acts as diuretic, laxative, and sedative. With powerful anti-inflammatory and purification properties, fumitory is used to cleanse kidneys, and detoxify the blood and liver. It is associated with Saturn and is said to be the cure for his/saturnian diseases, such as melancholy, skin symptoms, obstructions, constipation, and gallstones. Saturn problems and diseases often affect the musculoskeletal and integumentary systems (everything that holds us up and in). Saturn afflictions can be dry, cold, constricting, and slow or sluggish in nature. Saturn is also known as Father Time, and presides over the aging process, including our aging bodies.
It’s the smoke of fumitory that is associated with magical properties, but its protection is also effective in amulets and sachets. This herb is one of the best incenses for dispelling all negative energies, and for all rituals of purification. It is said that sprinkling fumitory around your house, or rubbing it on your shoes, will manifest money. Fumitory is associated with the Underworld and life transitions. It grows along hedges, naturally at home with the in between. It reminds us of our body and spirit integration and helps bring us into equilibrium. When we recognize and welcome our multidimensional status, we reconnect with our capacity to be angels for ourselves and others, physically in the now, and in other realms simultaneously. Fumitory, the smoke of the earth, helps us rise from our earthly existence, while remaining grounded – truly embodying a multitude of realms, and gratefully receiving the wisdom and guidance of our allies in all places and spaces.
Bonus Oil – Phoenix
Phoenix is a pure essential blend of pink peppercorn, cypress, and cedarwood. Pink peppercorn is associated with the fiery planet Mars, yet carries a lovey sweetness with its spicy scent. It’s well known for arousing inspiration. Earthy cypress lifts spirits, stimulates happiness and energy, and supports us in the fire of transformation and change. Its scent is warming and comforting, bringing gentle harmony and grounding. Cedarwood carries both Fire and Earth elements, and is sometimes associated with the Tree of Life. It offers protection, cleansing, long life, growth, and healing properties. This combination alchemizes the energies of Earth and Fire, in a beautiful balance of passion, assertion, and excitement, with sensuality, receptivity, and groundedness.