MMORTELLE (Helichrysum italicum Roth.G.Don)
The immortelle grows along the coast in dry karstic abandoned grounds and rocky pastures. It may grow to be 60 cm tall. If properly used in prescribed dosages, there are no unwanted effects. Persons that are oversensitive to the pollen of plants from the Compositae family may suffer from allergy or contact dermatitis. The first production of essential immortelle oil started in Dalmatia in 1908. The varieties of Croatian immortelle give oil of a high aromatherapeutic quality because they are rich in ketone italidone, the main active component with therapeutic effects. Immortelle contains italidones and nonterpenic dicetones, the most effective known compounds that help in the absorption of hematoma and have an extremely beneficial effect on tissue regeneration.
LAVENDER (Lat. Lavandula officinalis L.)
Lavender is widely spread in the overall Mediteranean area. It is easily recognizable for its violet lipped flower. How to recognize the real lavender essential oil? - the bottle must have a label with the correct Latin name Lavandula officinalis or its synonyms Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula vera. - it must have a chemical certificate that contains chemical analysis (gas chromatography) - the essential real lavender oil must not have a sharp scent It is not recommended to use the essential real lavender oil as a car refresher because it has a soothing effect which can interrupt your concentration during driving. For car refreshment it is more suitable to use essential lemon oil. Lavender scent puts off mosquitos and flies, so it is good to plant a lavender bush near the doors or windows or to place a bundle of dried flowers in these areas. For the protection against insects, put a few drops of essential lavender oil in the aromatic lamp. With its scent, lavender planted between the roses prevents the lice from coming to young leaves and rose buds. The essential lavender oil is applied on the insect sting and it soothes itchiness and redness.
THE HEALING AND THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS OF IMMORTELLE
It is a common belief on our islands that immortelle accumulates sun heat in its flowers. Due to this fact, there is a tradition of stuffing pillows with these beautiful flowers, hoping that the preserved sun will keep us warm when the cold north-eastern wind bura blows. In the traditional medicine immortelle is used against asthma, liver problems, migraine, psoriasis, dilated veins and a number of other problems. This plant grows from June to July and its essential oil is produced from the bloomed plant. It is so mild that even the most sensitive skin can tolerate it. The essential immortelle oil belongs to expensive oils and it takes a lot of skill to produce it. The plant must be distilled in water vapour within 24 hours after it was picked.
The oils distilled from immortelle that grows on our coast have a high aromatherapeutic quality because they are rich in ketone italidone, the main active component of the therapeutic effect of essential immortelle oil. Besides italidone, which constitutes up to 30 per cent of the oil, the essential immortelle oil also contains monoterpenic alcohols, monoterpenes and esters. When you inhale the essential immortelle oil, it has an anti-inflammatory effect, it especially works against viruses, as an analgesic and antioxidant, it will reduce the turgidity of the nasal mucous membrane, soften the mucous or gathered secretion, it will even reduce irritable cough. Even the smallest amounts of this natural wealth are sufficient to give an appropriate effect. It has a beneficial effect on allergies and it will soothe and regenerate the nasal mucous membrane.
The scent of immortelle has positive effects on our behaviour as well; it particularly has the ability to return strength to the mind that is exhausted from stress. Immortelle oil increases immunity, it has a positive effect on people who are lethargic and depressive; immortelle invigorates you and does not make you feel dazed. It has therapeutic effects on people who suffer from chronic fatigue and have low immunity levels. The strength of the Sun preserved in one drop of this oil returns the warmth to our hearts.
(Nina Bašić-Marković, MD)
THE HEALING AND THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS OF LAVENDER
People have been using lavender for hundreds of years, either as essential oil or as fresh dried flowers. In spite of its long use, lavender has never lost its popularity and in time people started using it for other purposes. There are several types of “lavender” that is used as a healing plant; therefore sometimes its names can be confusing, such as the “real lavender”, “Spanish lavender”, “wide-leaf lavender” and the hybrid “lavandin”. Although these are different types of lavender, they mostly have similar characteristics. We must not forget that in lavandin, which is the most represented type in our area, there is 20% of camphor and its application is not suitable with small children and pregnant women.
The versatility of the plant lies in its complex chemical structure. The percentage of specific ingredients strongly depends on the place of its cultivation and climatic conditions. For example, after a long and dry summer, the oil contains a high concentration of esters which is not the case if the summer was not so hot. The analgesic, antiseptic and antibiotic effect of lavender makes it an excellent choice against the cold, rhinitis, cough, catarrhal inflammations and sinusitis. Lavender is very effective in the treatment of these conditions. It works against viruses, has a decongestive effect, soothes and prevents secondary bacteria infection. Its soothing effect is used in different states of tension, headaches, migraines and insomnia. In the reduction of problems with the locomotor system, the application of lavender is effective in arthritis, myositis and rheumatic difficulties.
Lavender has a tonifying and sedative effect on the heart muscle and it is applied in high blood pressure disorders, palpitations and fastened heart rate. Due to its repellent effects, lavender is traditionally used in the protection of clothes and sheets, and it also protects us against insect bites. If we have bites on the skin, it prevents irritation, itchiness and infection. Lavender with antiseptic and analgesic effect is an ideal choice for treating all kinds of burns, injuries and for the reduction of scars. An extremely regenerative effect of lavender as well as its balancing of the sebum production makes it a frequent ingredient in the preparations of natural cosmetics. Lavender hydrolyte is suitable for all skin types and especially for greasy, impure and sensitive skin. It has refreshing effects in the summer heat, it mitigates sunburn damage, heals irritated skin, soothes and tonifies. It has relaxing effects and the dispersed hydrolyte reduces diaper rash and helps babies to sleep.
In a stressful everyday life, if we apply the hydrolyte to the shoulders and the neck, it reduces tension headache. A simple, noble lavender plant is within our reach and it offers a lot of therapeutic possibilities. Among all essential oils, there is no doubt that lavender is the most versatile with a wide range of effects, from analgesic to antidepressant, bactericide to decongestive, hypotensic, sedative, anti-parasitic etc. However, the most important effect of lavender is its ability to restore the disturbed balance of the mind and the body.
COUNTERINDICATIONS: The use of lavender with small children and pregnant women is not recommended.
Nina Bašić-Marković, MD, DSc
General Practitioner, Aromatherapist
THE ESSENTIAL IMMORTELLE OIL FOR HEALTH AND BEAUTY
• Anti-ageing skin serum:
10 ml of herbal, cold pressed apricot oil 1 drop of essential immortelle oil
• Immortelle macerate:
Pick immortelle flowers and dry them for a day or two. Sterilize a glass bottle with a wide bottleneck and fill it with 1/3 of lightly dried immortelle flowers. Pour olive oil over it to the top of the bottle. Close the bottle and leave it on sunny place for four weeks. After four weeks, filter the oil and use it for daily skin care. It can also serve as massage oil. The above mentioned recipes are just informative and their purpose is not intended to cure or diagnose disease.
(Anamarija Pažin Morović, aromatherapist)
THE ESSENTIAL LAVENDER OIL FOR HEALTH AND BEAUTY
• Bath against insomnia:
100 g of soy cream 15 drops of real lavender 15 drops of tangerine
• Lavender lemonade:
Add juice of 2-3 lemons in 1 l of water In a special cup mix well 2 spoons of honey with 2 drops of essential real lavender oil Add aromatized honey in lemonade and stir well. Decorate with lavender flowers and serve!
• Skin regeneration oil:
100 ml of St. John’s wort macerate in olive oil 50 drops of essential real lavender oil 50 drops of immortelle essential oil To be used for skincare after sunbathing, for scars, for skin care. For adults. The above mentioned recipes are just informative and their purpose is not intended to cure or diagnose disease.
(Anamarija Pažin Morović, aromatherapist)