Correction! So Many Options, So Little Time...Four Tips To Simplify Your Decision!
Note: This is a corrected version of the e-news originally sent out on February 23rd. I had an "ah-ha" moment last night, and realized I had attributed the botanical name for Eucalyptus Gully Gum (smithii) to Eucalyptus, Mint...Mint should have been identified as Eucalyptus dives in the section that discusses Properties of the Essential Oil.
The picture above is only about 1/3 of our total Essential Oil offerings, which currently number 260+. But it gives you the idea that Wisdom of the Earth is about options, choices, rarity, depth and breadth. I am hearing and reading a lot, recently, about the increasing number of choices offered when you go to buy, say, a watch or a pair of glasses. The choices seem endless, and can be overwhelming to the point that the buyer ends up leaving the store or the internet site without making a purchase.
The other day I was helping someone choose a Eucalyptus from our extensive selection (7), and I realized, as I was helping her, that making the choice, at least for our situation, comes down to four considerations: aroma, properties of the oil, price, and which is "best" for the person/situation. Let's take these one at a time.
Aroma: This really comes down to personal preference, as I learned many years ago. What I swoon over may not suit a particular person, and vice versa. Sometimes an aroma will bring back beautiful memories of a place, person or experience, and the person falls in love with the essential oil. Other times, an aroma will be associated with a painful memory, and you can be sure that essence is passed by...unless the person is ready to delve into that experience with the intention of clearing it, once and for all. It is said that, if you don't like the aroma of an essence...you need it. I have found this to be true, so I keep that in mind and explore the person's negative reaction to see if there is a healing opportunity there if the person is ready.
Other times, if it is a medicinal need that is the most important consideration, I will suggest several other options that I know will be equally beneficial, as they are more likely to be used. If there aren't many options that will be as effective, I explain to the person that he or she is likely having that negative reaction to the initial oil because their chemistry is "off" in that area of functioning, or if they have had a trauma, like a wound or sprained ankle, that this will be most effective for healing. Then, we talk about how to begin using it in a workable way, until they become more in harmony with the oil (yes, that frequently happens!). When we have an imbalance, which causes symptoms, and are looking for help, remember that the essences are all about harmony, balance. So, using them to address the disharmony results in us coming into balance (and the symptoms reduce or disappear), and in most cases, the aroma becomes not only tolerable, but attractive to us, because the essence was never out of balance...we were.
When, for whatever reason, a person decides to work with the essential oil whose aroma they find objectionable, there are a few tips in working with that situation. In many situations, you can apply the oil to the soles of the feet. Another approach is layering the objectionable oil with one or two others that the person loves...and which has properties that are helpful to the situation at hand. That can help in cases where the essence needs to be applied in a certain area...on the wound or where the damage has occurred e.g., (sprained ankle)...and application to the soles of the feet won't be effective.
Properties of the Essential Oil: Let's continue with our Eucalyptus example. In our Level 1 Certification class, I review the common properties of the eucalyptus family - Respiratory support; anti-viral; immune system support; anti-parasitic; anti-fungal, to name some of the key ones. Then, in many cases, each of the varieties has some unique properties. For example, Eucalyptus Blue Gum (globulus) is one of my "go to" ones for diabetes, as it is a blood sugar equalizer. The Blue Mallee (polybractea) and Masala (rostrata) varieties are great choices for serious and/or chronic respiratory conditions, like pneumonia and bronchitis. Eucalyptus, Mint (dives) is an excellent choice for elders, children and asthmatics due to its very soft, gentle nature...though it is still very effective. It is also a great one for people who don't like the aroma of eucalyptus...it has a gorgeous, minty undertone that most people adore. Eucalyptus, Lemon (citriodora) is incredibly effective as an insect repellant...it has been tested by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and found to be very effective at repelling the mosquito responsible for the West Nile virus...considerably more so than DEET. Because of its natural "citrusy" nature, it is not a good choice if you have the flu, and need to apply it repeatedly to your chest and behind your ears. If the flu hangs on for a week or so...the constant application of this oil might cause a rash or other skin sensitivity because of the citral in its chemical make up.
So, the moral of this part of the story is...don't be afraid to ask! Please call or email me if you are in a situation where you need to know the distinguishing properties of the oils that make up a family of essences. We are here to help!
Price: Sometimes many of the essences you are trying to decide about are close in price...but often, they are not. So, if aroma and properties have been narrowed down, and you still have several to choose between, price can often be the deciding factor. For example, if you are considering Lavender for a burn, and you love the Albanian, the Fine and the 1800 meter Highland Lavender, the prices are quite different...$45, $30 and $84, respectively. If money is no object, then this factor won't help...but for many, the difference between the Fine and the HIghland could mean a $54 savings, or the opportunity to buy a couple of more oils!
"Best" One for You: This can be determined by the person...if they are drawn to one of the oils they are considering much more than the others...that is pretty clear cut! Go for it! You are way more likely to use it if you love the aroma or how it makes you feel.
If the person choosing has no strong feeling one way or the other, they will often use muscle testing to decide upon which option to take. If they do not use that modality, I love to bring out one of my beloved pendulums to shed some perspective. What I look for is the size of the circle and the energy or "speed" of the movement of the pendulum. So, I might ask, using the pendulum, one at a time, with the oils under consideration, "Will you be helpful in easing Mary's migraine headaches?" If the pendulum only "stands still" or goes back and forth instead of making a circle, I take that as the pendulum has nothing to add to the decision process. It is really up to the person. If it begins to make a clockwise circle, I will give it time to get to the point where it has stabilized in the size and energy of the circle it is making. If it is a small circle, say two inches in diameter, I consider that a "yes", but "soft" or "weak" yes. But if it looks like those carnival rides where the seat at the end of a long set of chains is almost parallel to the ground...that is, the circle is 4 inches in diameter (of course, this depends upon the length of the pendulum chain, so adjust accordingly!) and moving strongly or with great velocity, then I consider it a very strong "Yes." If it makes a counter clockwise motion, I consider that a "no", and we take that option out of consideration.
So if we are testing four essences and we have a "no decision", a weak "yes", a strong "yes" and a weak "no", I will recommend that they go with the essence that tested as a strong "yes". If more than one tests as a strong "yes", then you would go back to the other decision factors (aroma, relevant medicinal properties, price) to decide.
So in closing, having many options can be overwhelming, but if you use these four decision rules to help you narrow down your options, and then make your final selection(s), you can enjoy the best of both worlds...many options and an approach to effectively choose from among them.
As my husband, Leonardo, likes to say..."more is better!". And in this case, I have to agree with him!