The Medicinal Plant School: Essential Oils

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Plant scents can cheer up, invigorate, calm, they have an analgesic effect and harmonize body, mind and soul on various levels. Normally, we perceive it through the nose. Their beneficial effects, however, also unfold in other ways. Andrea Tellmann reveals how we can use essential oils for our daily well-being. She is a non-medical practitioner, lecturer at the Freiburg medicinal plant school and trained aromatherapist.



With the aid of a still (left) you can produce hydrolates (fragrant plant water) yourself. In the fragrance lamp (right), the released oils unfold their fruity aromas

QUESTION: Mrs. Tellmann, how do essential oils get into the body?
ANDREA TELLMANN: First, an important note: With the exception of lavender essential oils should never be used pure, but always diluted with emulsifiers such as vegetable oils, cream, healing earth or honey. Thanks to their fine structure, they reach the brain via the nose, inhalation - for example when inhaling - via the mucous membranes into the bronchi and through rubbing into the bloodstream via the skin and thus into the entire organism.

QUESTION: Essential fragrances consist of a variety of different substances. Which are particularly curative?
ANDREA TELLMANN: In some oils, the composition is so complex that even science often knows only a part of the active ingredients. However, it is known that almost all essential oils have germicidal and anti-inflammatory properties. This enables plants to protect themselves from pests and diseases caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. It is also known that it is not the individual substances that bring the desired healing success, but the combination of certain ingredients that support their effect.

Andrea Tellmann

Andrea Tellmann is a non-medical practitioner, trained aromatherapist and lecturer at the Freiburg Medical School

QUESTION: Are natural, ie plant-produced essential oils comparable in structure and mode of action to those produced artificially in the laboratory?
ANDREA TELLMANN: Without synthetic fragrances, the cosmetics industry and food industry are no longer able to handle today. And new flavors are being developed all the time, with the primary aim of copying natural fragrances to make certain foods or toiletries more attractive to the consumer. Such products lack the complex composition of naturally pure essential oils, so they are not used in aromatherapy.

QUESTION: What do pregnant women need to be aware of when using essential oils?
ANDREA TELLMANN: Essential oils are highly effective substances that can cause contractions. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to avoid anise, basil, tarragon, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.

QUESTION: Which recommendation do you give to allergy sufferers?
ANDREA TELLMANN: Any substance, whether artificial or natural, can trigger an allergic reaction. Above all, daisy family plants such as chamomile, anise and Eberraute are known for this. But also oregano, marjoram, thyme, sage, rosemary, lemon balm, basil and other labiates tolerate some people not. This can be tested, however, by applying the essential oil slightly diluted with a base oil on the skin in the elbow and waiting for the reaction. By the way, essential oils harmonize very well and can be easily combined. You should avoid overdosing and the use of products whose quality has been damaged by improper storage or overaging. Another tip: use half-bottles best within the next few weeks, otherwise there is a risk that the oil spoils.

Roses lavender oil

Memories of the summer awakens this rose and lavender scented skincare oil

Relaxing and invigorating care oils

Ingredients for the rose-lavender oil: 100 milliliters of almond oil and the following essential oils: 7 drops of lavender, 5 drops of ylang-ylang, 4 drops of rose and 2 drops of myrtle. A bottle with a clasp.
Ingredients for the citrus oil: 100 milliliters of jojoba oil and the following essential oils: 6 drops of lime, 7 drops of blood orange, 6 drops of grapefruit, 4 drops of pine, a bottle.
Preparation: Mix some base oil (almond oil or jojoba oil) in a glass bowl with the above essential oils. The recipe is for guidance only.By adding or reducing one or the other aroma oil, you can create your own personal massage oil. Recommended quantities: 20 to 30 drops per 100 milliliters of base oil or 4 to 6 drops per 20 milliliters. Only when the fragrance mixture meets your expectations, it is mixed with the rest of carrier oil and filled into the bottle.
Application: After a long busy day, a gentle massage with the floral rose-lavender oil is relaxing and balancing, especially after a full bath. The citrus oil, on the other hand, has an invigorating and stimulating effect.

Natural facial care

Ingredients: 3 tbsp healing clay, a little water or jojoba oil to mix and 3 drops of lavender oil.
Preparation: Put healing clay in a bowl and mix with water or jojoba oil. Add essential oil. The paste should be so smooth that it spreads well.
Application: Distribute the mask evenly on the face, leaving the mouth and eye area free. Wash off after 15 to 20 minutes. It cleanses and tightens the skin and ensures better blood circulation. Then apply a moisturizer.

Wound healing and conditioning: marigold oil

Calendula oil

Calendula oil serves as the base oil for many massage oils and ointments

Ingredients: 100 milliliters of sunflower oil or olive oil, 20 grams of fresh or 10 grams of dried marigold flowers, a transparent, sealable glass.
Preparation: For the production of marigold oil there are two possibilities:
1st cold extract: Add the marigolds and the oil to a glass and place it in a bright, warm place, for example on the windowsill, for two to three weeks. Then pour the oil through a sieve.
2. Hot extract: Marigold and oil in a pot. Put on the stove and simmer the oil for half an hour over low heat (do not fry the flowers!). Then pour the oil through a fine strainer or coffee filter.
Application: Enriched with 7 drops of juniper, 5 drops of rosemary and 4 drops of bergamot you get a circulation-enhancing care oil. Or you use the oil as a base for a marigold ointment.

Marigold ointment

Ingredients: 100 milliliters of marigold oil, 15 grams of beeswax (pharmacy or drugstore), ointment jars, essential oils, such as lemon balm, lavender and rose.
Preparation: Heat oil in a saucepan. Weigh beeswax flakes and add to heated oil. Stir until the wax is completely dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat, allow the oil to cool slightly, then add the essential oils: 8 drops of lemon balm, 6 drops of lavender, 2 drops of rose. Fill the ointment into clean cream pans, cover with kitchen paper until it is cold, then close well. The ointment keeps refrigerated for about a year.
Application: Ringelblumensalbe makes rough skin supple (even brittle lips), has anti-inflammatory and promotes wound healing.

Refreshing room fragrance

Espresso pot

Pleasantly refreshing room fragrance can be easily produced with the help of an ordinary espresso pot

Ingredients: For the preparation of a hydrolate (plant-toilet water): a handful of rosemary, fresh or dried, an espresso pot. Essential oils: 4 drops each of lime, blood orange and stone pine as well as 2 drops of myrtle, a dark bottle with atomizer.
Preparation: Fill the espresso pot with water until it reaches the mark. Strip rosemary leaves from the stems and place in the strainer. He should be completely filled up. Put the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. The hot water vapor filters out the water-soluble fragrance molecules. Repeat the process two to three times, this will make the aroma more intense. Perfume the cooled hydrolate with the above essential oils and place in a spray bottle.
Application: Pleasantly smelling room sprays are a real treat for dry mucous membranes.

How do you recognize good quality?

Not everywhere, where "essential oil" is on it, is essential oil in it. The labels on the label are often a bit confusing, so it is worthwhile to pay attention not only to the price, but also to the label of the vials when buying aroma oils. A clear quality feature is the name "100% pure natural essential oil". The emphasis is on "pure nature". This legally binding term guarantees pure, unadulterated quality. If the label is "natural" or "pure" fragrance oil "either several essential oils were mixed together or it is an artificially produced product. Although synthetic flavor oils are cheaper than natural essences, they are not suitable for therapeutic purposes. The term "nature identical" also clearly states that this oil originated in a chemistry laboratory.On the label of high-quality oils are in addition to the German and botanical name also information about the cultivation (KBB means, for example, controlled organic farming), the country of origin, as well as uses and safety instructions. The higher price of some naturally pure essential oils is also explained by the fact that the extraction of pure oil often requires large quantities of raw material.
Fragrance sets for your self-made products:
Matched to the published recipes, we have put together for you pure natural oils from organically grown in the scents fruity, floral and resinous.
Order address:
Special shipment for essential oils
77652 Offenburg
Phone: 07 81/91 93 34 55

Video Board: Dangers of Essential Oils: Top 10 Essential Oil Mistakes to Avoid.

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