Bat-friendly Aromatic Plants

Posted on: April 25th, 2016 by
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Bats and Aromatic Plants: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Bats and Aromatic Plants: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Continuing my series on attracting pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds into your aromatic garden, this week I am looking at the benefits of attracting bats to your scented garden. Bats do not have the greatest fan base, but they do have something to offer the aromatic gardener. Bats are important pollinators of certain flowers and, as such, are vital to the ecological cycle of your garden. They also control the mosquito, beetle, and moth population as part of their nightly eating habits.

Types of Aromatic Plants for Bats

Bats are nocturnal and will arrive in your garden as dusk falls. Consequently, you need to plant night-scented flowers or plants that continually give off an aroma, if you want to attract bats to your aromatic garden. Species of bats vary from region to region, so you may want to research the best type of aromatic plants that will grow in your area in order to attract bats. In general, bats are attracted to many traditional herbs and aromatic flowers, in addition to specific night-scented flowers.

Aromatic Herbs That Attract Bats

Bats find the following aromatic herbs attractive:

  • lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

  • spearmint (Mentha spicata)

  • sage (Salva spp.) – there are many different species of sage to choose from

  • thyme (Thymus vulgaris)1

  • lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

  • marjoram (Origanum marjorana)

  • borage (Borago officinalis).2

Other Scented Flowers and Plants That Attract Bats

In addition to traditional aromatic herbs, there are other scented flowers and plants that may entice bats into your garden. These include:

  • phlox (Phlox spp.)

  • goldenrod (Solidago spp.)1

  • evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

  • night-scented stock (Matthiola longipetula)

  • tobacco plant (Nicotiana spp.)

  • honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)

  • white jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum).2

Adding Trees to Your Garden for Bats

Bats like somewhere to hang out – literally. Some of the aromatic tree species that are attractive to bats include the pine species (Pinus spp.). They also enjoy spruce trees and non-aromatic trees such as elm and maple.1 Trees provide shelter and cover for bats when they are not pollinating your aromatic garden.

Learn More About Aromatherapy with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you are interested in learning more about the aromatic plants used in aromatherapy, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy program. To learn more, visit the courses home page.

References:

  1. Canadian Wildlife Federation website, Go to Bat for Bats, accessed April 25, 2016

  2. Suffolk Wildlife Trust website, Attracting Bats Into Your Garden, accessed April 25, 2016

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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Aromatic Chemistry Course: The Caddy Profiles by Rosemary Caddy

Posted on: April 18th, 2016 by
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Essential Oil Blending: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Essential Oil Blending: Photo Credit, Fotolia

New to the Sedona Aromatherapie home study course program is The Caddy Profiles by Rosemary Caddy. This is an advanced aromatic chemistry course that will take your aromatic blending skills to the next level! Here is a brief look at this new course.

About Aromatherapy Blending

A skilled aromatherapist needs various aromatic blending techniques in their toolbox in order to create successful blends for clients. Therapeutic blending is practiced by trained aromatherapists in various ways. This advanced aromatic chemistry course teaches you how to improve your current blending skills with the creation of a Caddy Profile for both an essential oil and an essential oil blend.

About Rosemary Caddy

Taken from the book Essential Oils in Color:

“Rosemary Caddy graduated from London University with a BSc Honors Degree in Science. As a Reader and Principal Lecturer in Educational Research at Nottingham University she is the author of a range of educational materials for students of many disciplines. All the materials emphasize visual presentation to enable students to see, analyze and understand the world around them.

Rosemary is now a qualified clinical aromatherapist running her own clinic and carrying out a program of research on the chemistry of essential oils. She runs lecture courses for aromatherapy students to help them understand and visualize their essential oils. The Caddy Classic Profiles, developed as a result of her research, enables students to enjoy the chemistry of their oils.

Currently Rosemary is researching the chemistry of synergistic mixes of essential oils.”

What You Will Learn From the Rosemary Caddy Chemistry Course:

You will learn the following skills on completion of this course:

  • how to use Caddy’s formula and charts to create your own Caddy Profiles for any essential oil or essential oil blend
  • how to compare a Classic Caddy Profile of an essential oil to a GC-MS batch specific essential oil profile and the expected chemical properties to the actual chemical properties
  • how to create a Caddy Profile from any GS-MS report or data analysis of an essential oil
  • how to compare the common chemical families of an essential oil
  • how to compare related essential oil species and why it is important to understand the chemical make-up of similar essential oils
  • how changing the percentage of one essential oil in a blend can change the therapeutic properties of that blend
  • complete three given practice case studies in class to learn how to use the Caddy Profiles to create a therapeutic blend for a specific problem.

How the Rosemary Caddy Caddy Profiles Chemistry Course is Taught:

The course is home study and is available via PDF format or printed workbook option (with the added option of a kit with all the materials that you will need to complete the course). You will receive one-on-one mentoring from Sharon Falsetto via e-mail. The course uses visual learning through completion of practical coloring exercises – great for visual learners with a desire to color! You will also need basic math and writing skills to compute and write down given data in order to create a Caddy Profile.

Prerequisites for the Caddy Profiles Course

You will need to have knowledge of essential oils and blending practices before taking this course to gain the full benefit from it. Certified aromatherapists will benefit from this course by taking their blending skills to the next level and be able to create more complex therapeutic blends for their clients.

Learn More About the Rosemary Caddy Caddy Profiles Course

To learn more about this course, including pricing options, visit the Sedona Aromatherapie website page at Advanced Aromatic Chemistry Course: Therapeutic Aromatic Blending by Chemical Families.

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Five Essential Aromatherapy Items for Your Carry-on

Posted on: April 11th, 2016 by
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Aromatherapy Items for Air Travel

Aromatherapy Items for Air Travel

It’s been a while since I have traveled by plane, but this year I am planning two short trips that involve air travel. With that in mind, I thought it was a good time to review my essential aromatherapy items that are both versatile and meet the 3-1-1 rule for carry-on baggage (to avoid checking luggage). Here are what I consider to be the aromatherapy essentials for a flight!

3-1-1 Rule for Carry-on Aromatherapy Items

For clarification, the 3-1-1 rule for carry-on baggage for air travel is defined as:

  • one quart-sized, clear bag

  • 3.4 oz or less containers (as many as you can fit into the quart-sized bag)

  • one bag per person.1

If you can’t meet these requirements, you will be asked to check your liquids. So, make sure that everything fits before you leave home!

Aromatherapy Hand Santitizer for Air Travel

Planes can be a dirty place – something you probably know if you have experienced a long haul flight! However, even short flights can benefit from the use of aromatherapy hand sanitizer if you want to avoid using the commercial soap supplied in the bathrooms, or if you simply want to wipe down the seat. A simple aromatherapy hand sanitizer can be made from:

  • witch hazel hydrosol

  • aloe vera gel

  • vodka

  • essential oils with strong anti-bacterial properties; examples include lavender, tea tree, lemon, clove, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils.

Aromatherapy Roll-on for Air Travel

I love the versatility of an aromatherapy roll-on! Blended with the right essential oils, an aromatherapy roll-on can be used to ease nausea, anxiety, stress, and to freshen up after a long flight. It may also be used to relieve a headache and deal with many minor bites, cuts, and scrapes.

A simple aromatherapy roll-on can be made from:

  • a base oil such as jojoba

  • a combination of appropriate essential oils.*

*Students taking the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy course are taught to create one blend for several health issues; this is particularly useful for a situation such as this one.

Aromatherapy Spritzer for Air Travel

An aromatherapy spritzer can also serve many purposes, both during a flight, and when you reach your destination. However, if you intend to spray yourself on the plane, make sure that those seated around you don’t have any objections (or health issues) that may prevent you from doing so.

Use an aromatherapy spritzer to freshen up, to fragrance the air around you (and sanitize, if appropriate), and for minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.

Make a simple aromatherapy spritzer by combining:

  • distilled water

  • a small amount of alcohol such as vodka or grape alcohol

  • suitable essential oils; some of my favorite essential oils include lemon, sweet orange, lime, lavender, ylang ylang, geranium, and vetiver.

You can also substitute with a favorite hydrosol such as neroli, rose, or geranium.

Aromatherapy Balm for Air Travel

A balm, or salve, can have a number of uses. For air travel, you might find an aromatherapy balm useful to moisturize dry lips and skin, use it for anxiety and stress relief, or to relieve a headache. Again, if you combine certain essential oils in one blend, you can have a multi-purpose item. A simple balm, or salve, can be made from:

  • beeswax

  • jojoba oil

  • suitable essential oils; examples include geranium, palmarosa, petitgrain, rose, neroli, lavender, peppermint, and sweet orange.

Aromatherapy Lotion for Air Travel

If you like a water-based product, over a balm or oil-based product, you might prefer to take a basic lotion with you. An aromatherapy lotion can be used to moisturize, relieve minor problems, and be used for stress and anxiety. Simply combine a basic white lotion base with your chosen essential oils. Examples include:

  • for nausea: peppermint, ginger, or grapefruit essential oil

  • for anxiety: neroli, vetiver, or sweet orange essential oil

  • for stress: rose, geranium, or lime essential oil

  • for headaches: lavender or peppermint essential oil

  • for bites: tea tree or geranium essential oil

  • to moisturize: rose, patchouli, or neroli essential oil.

Learn More About Aromatherapy

Further information on using aromatherapy for travel (including a basic cream and lotion recipe) can be found in my book Authentic Aromatherapy. You can also make many of the products mentioned in this article with a Sedona Aromatherapie Make-Your-Own Products Kit.

For a more in-depth experience in learning how to use essential oils, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy courses.

References

  1. TSA website, Liquids Rule, accessed April 11, 2016

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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Five Common Botanical Terms Used to Describe Aromatic Plants

Posted on: April 4th, 2016 by
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Aromatic Plant Terms: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Aromatic Plant Terms: Photo Credit, Fotolia

If you study essential oil monographs and aromatic plant profiles, you will find some common botanical terms used in the “plant description” section. However, unless you are familiar with these terms, they might be confusing. Here are five common botanical terms that are often used to describe the life span and behavior of an aromatic plant: Annual, biennial, perennial, evergreen, and deciduous.

Annual Aromatic Plants

Annual aromatic plants usually survive for just one growing season; in the botanical world this usually means spring and summer. A true aromatic annual will grow from seed to plant, bloom and die within the space of one season. The seeds produced by the dying plant will start the life cycle of a new plant in the following season but the original plant will not return to life. However, depending upon your climate, you might be able to squeeze more than one growing season out of an annual plant. I have managed to extend the life of several annual plants to another growing season by overwintering the plant indoors and protecting it from cold and freezing temperatures. Some plants have this capability (depending upon the growing climate) which is why you may see some plants described as annual, biennial, or perennial in the “plant description” section; an example of such a plant is sweet marjoram(Origanum marjorana). Examples of other annual plants used in aromatherapy include sunflower(Helianthus annuus), dill* (Anethum graveolens), and basil (Ocimum basilicum).

*also biennial.

Biennial Aromatic Plants

A biennial aromatic plant will normally take two growing seasons to complete its life cycle. During the first season, the plant will produce basic structures, such as roots, leaves and stems; during the second season, the plant will produce flowers, fruit, and seeds before it dies. In the period between the first and second growing season (usually in the winter months), the plant will be dormant. Biennial plants usually have a lifespan of two years. Biennial aromatic plants include parsley (Petroselinum sativum), clary sage (Salvia sclarea)*, and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)*.

*also perennial.

Perennial Aromatic Plants

Perennial aromatic plants live for more than two years and through several growing seasons. The part of the perennial plant that is above ground usually dies back each year but the part of the plant that is below ground (i.e. the roots) regrows the following season to produce leaves and blooms. Some perennial plants may keep their foliage throughout the winter season, too. Examples of aromatic perennial plants include peppemint (Mentha x piperita), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), and geranium (Pelargonium graveolens).

Evergreen Aromatic Plants

Evergreen is a botanical term used to describe the behavior of a plant, in terms of its leaf coverage. A plant that is evergreen will maintain its leaves through all of the seasons. There are various types of evergreen plants from conifer trees to tropical rain forest plants. Examples of aromatic evergreen species include cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), clove (Syzygium aromaticum), orange (Citrus aurantium var. amara), and Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris).

Deciduous Aromatic Plants

Deciduous aromatic plants lose their leaves after the end of the growing season; in the northern hemisphere, this usually occurs in the colder months such as Fall and winter. However, in more tropical climates, deciduous plants usually lose their leaves during the dry season, or when rainfall is sparse. Examples of deciduous plants used in aromatherapy include lime blossom (Tilia europea), walnut (Juglans regia), and some species of Eucalyptus.

Further Definition of Plant Description Terms

Some plants are semi-evergreen or semi-deciduous. Some plants are both annuals and perennials, depending on their growing location. Some plants are also evergreen perennials or deciduous perennials. In summary, it is not easy deciphering the world of aromatic plants! Learn the most commonly used terms, and apply them to your aromatherapy learning.

Study Aromatherapy with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you would like to learn more about aromatic plants in relation to aromatherapy practice, consider taking one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy courses.

References:

  • Capon, Brian, Botany for Gardeners, 3rd Edition, 2010, US: Timber Press

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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Hummingbird-friendly Aromatic Plants

Posted on: March 28th, 2016 by
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Hummingbirds and Honeysuckle: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Hummingbirds and Honeysuckle: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Just as bees and butterflies are pollinators of certain aromatic plants, here, in the southwest United States, you will find that hummingbirds are attracted to some aromatic plants, too. Hummingbirds are industrious souls and a great addition to any garden!

Hummingbirds are one of the most dominant bird species that pollinate ornithophilous flowers; some species of hummingbirds are co-evolved which means that both the hummingbird and the flower species are reliant on each other for continued evolution. There are various aromatic species of plants that hummingbirds favor, although it should be noted that hummingbirds are more attracted to the color of a flower, rather than the scent.

Hummingbirds and Pollination

Hummingbirds have a poor sense of smell so plants rely on visual stimulation to attract hummingbirds as pollinators. Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly-colored flowers that are designed to spread pollen on the bird’s back or head when it delves into the flower for nectar; the bird then transports this pollen to “mate” with a compatible part of the plant on its next stop for nectar. However, several of these visually-attractive plants are also aromatic, so can form part of your aromatic garden in order to attract hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds and Red Flowers

Hummingbirds are particularly attracted to red flowers, although opinion varies on why this is so. Many ornithophilous flowers that require pollination by birds are red; they contain nectar (a source of food for the bird) that attracts the bird and in return the bird carries off pollen for future pollination. Previous studies (Raven, 1972) have concluded that red was a color that was not seen by insects, and therefore allowed hummingbirds to feed relatively undisturbed on red flowers, but later studies (Chittka and Waser, 1997) have shown this not to be true.1 One thing is certain – hummingbirds do seem more attracted to red flower species – and red objects – more than any other color.

Aromatic Plants that Attract Hummingbirds

If you live in an area that hummingbird inhabit such as the south western United States, Central and South America, you may want to consider the following aromatic flower species to attract hummingbirds to your aromatic garden:

  • Aloe vera*

  • honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)*

  • sage(Salvia spp.)*

  • bee balm (Monarda spp.)*

  • flowering tobacco: Jasmine-scented nicotiana (Nicotiana alata).2,3

*plants used in aromatic and herbal remedies.

Learn More About Aromatic Plants with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you would like to learn more about aromatic plants, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy courses; to learn more, visit the courses home page.

References:

  1. Pub Med website: Why Are So Many Bird Flowers Red?: Miguel A Rodriguez-Girones and Luis Santamaria, accessed March 28, 2016

  2. Mother Earth News Food and Garden Series: Guide to Growing Herbs, Spring 2016

  3. USDA website: Jasmine Tobacco, accessed March 28, 2016

  • The Hummingbird Society website: Hummingbird Flowers, accessed March 28, 2016

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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Butterfly-friendly Aromatic Plants

Posted on: March 21st, 2016 by
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Aromatic Plants for Butterflies: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Aromatic Plants for Butterflies: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Butterflies are attracted to many herbs in the aromatic garden. They love toxin-free gardens – so if you have a host of butterflies in your garden, you have created a natural haven for them! Just as bees are attracted to aromatic plants for their pollen, butterflies are attracted to an aromatic plant for the nectar it supplies to them. Nectar provides high metabolic butterflies with the carbohydrates they need to survive.1 Here’s a quick look at some of the aromatic plants that are attractive to butterflies.

Note: Bees and butterflies are often attracted to the same herb or plant; so, if you plant one herb, you might attract several pollinators!

Aromatic Herbs that Provide Nectar for Butterflies

Butterflies like to eat nectar from the following aromatic herbs and plants2:

  • Dill (Anethum graveolens) – a member of the Apiaceae plant family, dill produces umbels of yellow flowers with feathery leaves.

  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) – closely related to dill, and very similar in appearance, fennel and dill are sometimes confused as one and the same herb.

  • Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) – a member of the Lamiaceae plant family, hyssop is attractive to butterflies with its purple-blue flowers.

  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – another Lamiaceae plant family member, lavender, with its violet-blue blooms, is a magnet for both butterflies and bees.

  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare) – a relative of both hyssop and lavender, oregano attracts butterflies with its purple-pink flowers.

  • Parsley (Petroselinum sativum) – a relative of dill and fennel, parsley produces yellow-green flowers; a favorite of butterflies!

  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) – a botanical cousin of lavender, hyssop, and lavender, thyme has purple or white flowers that attract butterflies.

All of the above herbs produce an essential oil that is used in aromatherapy. In addition, the following herb produces a carrier oil for aromatherapy:

  • borage (Borango officinalis) – with beautiful blue flowers, borage is attractive to both butterflies and bees.

Other Aromatic Plants that are Attractive to Butterflies

Butterflies are also attracted to the following aromatic plants that are used in aromatherapy (based on personal observation):

  • echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)

  • bee balm (Monarda fistulosa)

  • sunflower (Helanthius annuus)

  • calendula (Calendula officinalis)

  • sage (Salvia officinalis).

Learn More About Aromatic Plants with Sedona Aromatherapie

If you would like to learn more about aromatic plants that attract butterflies and are used in aromatherapy, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy courses!

References:

  1. Delaware Center for Horticulture website, No-fail Plants to Attract Hummingbirds, Butterflies, and Bees, accessed march 21, 2016

  2. Pantry Garden Herbs website, Herbs that Attract Butterflies, accessed March 21, 2016

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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