Plant Parts & Energetics
“Everything in the universe is a pitcher brimming with wisdom and beauty.” - Rumi
While knowing the chemistry and the chemical components of an essential oil is one important aspect to understanding the therapeutic benefits for an essential oil, it is not the complete picture. Becoming familiar with the energetic components the essential oils have to offer is just as important. One way to work with essential oils and their energy is to know and understand what part of the plant or tree the oil was distilled/extracted from. Each part of the plant or tree offers something different.
Essential oils that come from the roots or plants are grounding, anchoring and supportive. Emotionally they are calming, centering and sedating. Their aroma is very earthy and fresh , offering a deep connection to the earth. They offer support for the first chakra and the emotional body that it accompanies. The first chakra deals with living on the planet and survival. To feel safe and balanced in our bodies on the planet at this time is very important. Just as the roots offer the plant or tree this stability and also nourishment, the oils that are distilled/extracted from these parts do the same. Some essential oils that come from the roots and rhizomes are Angelica Root (Angelica archangelica), Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Plai (Zingiber cassamuna), Spikenard (Narodostachys jatamansi).
Essential oils that come from the resins of trees seem to be oils that were used in ancient times. Three examples of resinous oils that are reminiscent of these times are: Frankincense (Boswellia carterii), Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) and Galbanum (Ferula galbaniflua). These oils bring to mind Biblical times and days past in Ancient Egypt. They are wonderful to assist us with matters of the spirit. They are very powerful when used in prayer, rituals, and meditation. The resin of the tree is a type of liquid that is stored in the outer cells, that, when broken, release the resin to clog the hole created. This is very analogous to the way we heal with scabs. It makes sense, then, that these oils assist us with deep emotional wounds and the suffering in our emotional body. It is beneficial to choose an essential oil from a resin when we are wanting to heal these kinds of wounds and to assist in releasing deeply programmed beliefs that are no longer needed. Some other essential oils that are distilled from resins are: Balsam Copaiba (Copaifera officinalis), Elemi (Canarium luzonicum), Balsam Peru (Myroxylon balsamum) and Balsam Gurjun (Dipterocarpus turbinatus).
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. Essential oils that come from seeds, berries, and seed pods often correspond to the reproductive system and our second and third chakras. The second chakra deals with relationships, immune system, creation energy, and sexual energy. It makes sense that essential oils that come from seeds assist us with creation and birth of life and new ideas and beginnings. Seeds are full of potential energy and ready to sprout, grow and thrive. The third chakra deals with our personal power, distributes energy throughout the body and dreamtime. Juniper berry (Juniperus communis) is an essential oil used to protect and assist with this chakra. Many of these oils are beneficial for our digestive system as well, such as Cardamon Seed (Ellettatia cardamomum) and Fennel (Foeniculum vulgaris). Some other oils that come from seeds are Carrot Seed (Daucus carota) and Vanilla Oleoresin (Vanilla planifolia).
Essential oils that come from fruits are uplifting for the emotional and spiritual body. They assist us in getting “unstuck” both physically and emotionally. On the physical level, many of these oils are good for lymphatic support like Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi). On the emotional level ,many of these oils help us get out of the “limbic depressive loop” like Orange (Citrus sinensis) . The "fruit" is the part of a flowering plant that is derived from specific tissues of the flower, mainly one or more ovaries. It is important to remember that fruits are not just oranges, lemons etc. Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) and Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) are essential oils derived from the dried fruit. Essential oils derived from fruits also assist us in moving forward, in looking at the future with clarity, hope, joy and freshness - freshness that is reminiscent of the scent of a fresh orange being peeled. Some other essential oils distilled or cold pressed from fruits are Lemon (Citrus limon), Lime (Citrus aurantifolia), and Bergamot (Citrus bergamia). Please note: Most cold pressed citrus oils are phototoxic with the exception of Orange.
Essential oils that are distilled or extracted from the flowers of a plant or tree deal with matters of the heart, both physically and emotionally. The heart chakra is where we hold our Divine identity, unconditional love for ourselves and love for the Divine. Essential oils that are derived from flowers are emotionally supportive and nurturing, heart opening, and foster unconditional love for self and others. They represent joy, new growth and passion for life. Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) is an essential oil that on the physical level, assists in lowering blood pressure. Some other essential oils that are distilled or extracted from flowers are Rose (Rosa damascena), German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Tuberose (Polianthes tuberose), Jasmine (Jasmine grandifloram), Spike Lavender ( Lavandula latifolia) and Blue Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea). We find it interesting that many of these flower oils are absolutes, which are solvent extracted. This is a delicate process and quite intensive…which is not a surprise when dealing with matters of the heart.
Leaves, Needles, Twigs and Grasses
Essential oils that are distilled from the leaves/needles/twigs/grasses correspond with our respiratory system. These parts of the plants or tree allow the plant or tree to breath. By definition a leaf is an above-ground plant organ specialized for the process of photosynthesis. This is the process a plant uses to combine sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and sugar (energy). Essential oils distilled from these parts assist us in moving - breathing deeply both physically and emotionally. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) or Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora ct 1,8 cineole) are powerful oils for respiratory distress. Oils such as Fragonia (Agonis fragrans) and Fir (Abies balsamea) are extremely potent oils for protection on the physical as well as the spiritual plane.
Wood, Heartwood, Trunk
Essential oils that are distilled from the trunk and the wood of the tree are very protective, supportive and internal. Like essential oils from resins they support us deeply on many levels and can assist greatly in healing emotional wounds. The trunk refers to the main wooden axis of a tree that supports the branches and is supported by and directly attached to the root. The oils that are distilled from the trunk such as Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) or Sandalwood (Santalum album) support our core, assists us in being grounded, yet also helps us reach towards the sky. These oils parallel our skeletal system and assist us in being strong and solid. Some oils that are distilled from the wood of the tree are: Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora), Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens), Guaicwood (Bulnesia sarmienti) and Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum).