While traveling in France this past summer I discovered the enchantingly sweet, honey-like aroma of Linden Blossoms. When first encountering this delightfully complex, all-encompassing scent, it is easy to understand why the olfactory properties of these trees have long been prized and coveted by perfumists.

Commonly referred to as the “Lime Tree” in Europe, the Linden is not closely related to the citrus fruit of the same name. The tree has a long history of medicinal use. In the eighteenth century, Sauer’s Herbal Cures, the most influential manual of herbal medicine at the time, noted that a distillation of Linden Blossoms was widely recommended as a treatment for convulsions, dizziness, and other cold distempers of the head, along with colic, blisters in the throat, and facial skin conditions.

Today the Linden Blossom CO2 total is valued for the following properties and applications:

  • Tension relief
  • Wonderfully soothing to the emotions
  • Expectorant
  • Sudorific  (increasing sweating)
  • Venous tonifier
  • Mucolytic
  • Skin tonifier

A CO2 total can be initially challenging to work with with but well worth the effort. A total contains essential oils as well as plant waxes. The consistency is waxy when cool. To soften the wax to a liquid consistency, heat over low heat until melted.

Totals will dilute in carriers and will stay diluted. For optimal results, it may be necessary to warm the carrier oil (usually 30-35 C, 85-95 F), and after pouring the warmed total extract (50 – 55 C, 122 – 131 F), mix gently and leave at room temperature for a few days.

How to measure: The best way to be consistent when adding a solid CO2 to your blends is to measure drops by weight.

10 % = 2.8 grams (in 1 oz)
5 % = 1.4 grams (in 1 oz)

Recipes:

Calming and Peace restoring Massage Blend:

Warm 1 -4 ounces of Jojoba oil (or other favorite oil) to 30-35 C, 85-95 F.  Add 1.4 grams of melted Linden Blossom CO2 extract. Mix together, heating gently as needed.

Soothing Menstrual Comfort

1.5 gms Linden Blossom CO2 Total Extract (Tilia Cordata)
5 drops Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
5 drops Clary Sage (Salvia Scleria)
5 drops Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia)
5 drops Cape Chamomile (Eriocephalus punctulatus)

Warm the Linden Blossom CO2 Total extract until it becomes a liquid. Add oils to a 1 oz warmed carrier such as Jojoba and massage on abdomen and back area.

Safety: Might contribute to lowering blood pressure. Use with care if hypotension exists.

References:

Tierra, Michael. 1998. The way of herbs: fully updated–with the latest developments in herbal science. New York: Pocket Books.

Weaver, William Woys. 2001. Sauer’s herbal cures: America’s first book of botanic healing, 1762-1778. New York: Routledge.

Willmont, Dennis. 2003. Aromatherapy with Chinese medicine. Marshfield, MA: Willmountain Press.

Linden Flower Photo:  14235814_s

Massage Photo: Image credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/photo_15658022_spa-facial-massage.html’>subbotina / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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Palm Kernel Oil

by Karen on March 25, 2013

Palm kernel oil is a useful and versatile oil that is pressed from the nut of the African Oil Palm, Elaeis guineensis. It is used in a variety of products, from lotions and cosmetics to delicious (and calorie-rich) desserts. While called an “oil,” unrefined virgin palm kernel oil is actually the consistency of butter at room temperature, making it an ideal base for body butters, soaps and salves. In its purest form, it is a beautiful light brown color and has a unique, rich, nutty caramel fragrance. It is a wonderful moisturizer for skin, lips, hair and nails, and provides cooling relief for itchy skin and ragged cuticles.

Recently, this oil has received much negative media attention, and for good reason. Due to high demands worldwide, some companies have started using environmentally irresponsible planting and harvesting practices, destroying thousands of acres of rainforest in Malaysia and Indonesia to make room for oil palms. Unfortunately, this practice not only devastates precious virgin forests, but also further threatens the already-endangered orangutans that live there.

Picture compliments of Tom Neuhaus, Project Hope and Fairness

These days, many are calling for a ban on palm kernel oil in response to these ecological abuses, but I suggest that being an informed consumer and carefully selecting your supplier can make a big difference. Not all palm kernel oil is produced unsustainably. There are many growers who make their living honestly and rely on discerning buyers for their livelihood in the face of unscrupulous competition.

We use an environmentally conscientious supplier for palm kernel oil in Togo, West Africa. The group we deal with follows fair trade and organic guidelines in the production of their oils. The forests are not destroyed when harvesting nuts and fruit for the oil, and no orangutans are harmed since orangutans are not endemic to the region. We are happy to have a relationship with this supplier and continue to enjoy the benefits of palm kernel oil without hurting the environment.

Body Butter Recipe

Moisturize and nourish your skin with all organic and unrefined oils and butters.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz of Shea Butter
  • 2 oz of Cocoa Butter
  • 2 oz of Beeswax Pellets
  • 2 oz of Jojoba Oil
  • 2 oz of Coconut Oil
  • 2 oz of Avocado Oil
  • 2 oz of Palm Kernel Oil
  • 2 oz of Hemp Seed Oil
  • Directions

    Melt all the ingredients in a double boiler. Once melted, add 50-75 drops of any essential oils that you love and immediately pour into glass jars. This recipe makes about 16 oz.

    I often add neroli, orange, sandalwood and geranium to my body butters. Be as creative as you like! You can always add the essential oils another day by mixing them into an individual jar of body butter with a glass stir rod.

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    January 18, 2012

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    When we feel lethargic, it’s [...]

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