Tag Archives: insect repellent

Organic rose geranium essential oil

Organic rose geranium essential oil is extracted from the leaves and stalks of the plant Pelargonium that belongs to the Geraniaceae family and is not to confused with geranium. Pelargonium comes from South Africa but is nowadays popular in every garden as they can resist strong heat and even mild frosts. Besides being a beautiful flower with a very pleasant smell, it is also believed to repel insects and mosquito.

Rose geranium essential oil is a valuable essential oil with a sweet and rosy note and has antiseptic, antibacterial and anti fungal properties, it is astringent and tonic, it has anti inflammatory properties, it is anti depressant, cicatrisant and haemostatic (stop haemorrhage). Its properties are due to its chemical composition that includes terpenes, cetones and aldehydes.

Health benefits of organic rose geranium essential oil

Rose geranium essential oil can be used as such:

– to lift the spirit and release stress and tiredness by rebalancing the nervous system; it puts you in a good mood
– for detoxification and elimination because it has a diuretic effect and will be beneficial in case of water retention; it also helps cleanse the lymphatic system
– for PMS
– for inflammation in the joints, muscles or connective tissues
– on the skin, it has amazing effects especially in case of acne, eczema, psoriasis or other skin disorders caused by bacteria, but it can be used by anyone to regulate the sebum secretion and is beneficial to dry skins
– it can be useful for nose bleeding because of its haemostatic properties and even in case of cuts, wounds or burns thanks to its cicatrisant properties

You can use rose geranium essential oil in baths, massage oil, diffusion in the home, in a vaporizer, in organic cream or shampoo bases, or other organic products. As it is an insect repellent, you can use a few drops on a tissue if you are sitting outside or even at home to avoid insect bites. However, essential oils are very strong and only one or two drops should be used. It should not be applied undiluted on the skin as it can create irritations or burns and rose geranium essential oil should be avoided by pregnant women. Also, chose an organic essential oil to guarantee its quality as fragrance essential oils do not carry the therapeutic effects a therapeutic grade oil does.

Cinnamon to boost your immune system for the winter

With the winter months coming up, it is time to boost our immune system and organic cinnamon might be one of the spice to incorporate in our daily diet.

Where is cinnamon coming from

Cinnamon, also known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Ceylon cinnamon or “true cinnamon” comes from a small evergreen tree of 10 to 15 meter-high belonging to the Lauraceae family and to the genus Cinnamomum. cinnamon treeCinnamon is native to South East Asia and more particularly to Sri-Lanka that supplies 90% of the cinnamon in the whole world. Cinnamon comes from the Greek kinnámomon and means sweet wood. Cinnamon was not available in Europe before the 16th century but it was already a highly praised spice in the Ancient World (Greece, Egypt, Phoenicia) where it was offered to Gods or to Kings.

The cinnamon is extracted from the roots of the trees that are grown for 2 years and then coppiced (cut down), allowing new branches or shoots to regenerate. Only the inner barks from these shoots are extracted (0.5 mm of inner bark is used) in long rolls of cinnamon strips that curl into rolls upon drying and that are then cut into smaller rolls for trade.

The strong smell of cinnamon is due to its content of essential oil (cinnamon essential oil) and more particularly its chemical content cinnamaldehyde that amounts for 60% of the cinnamon essential oil.

Real cinnamon versus cassia

Real cinnamon is often confused with cassia that looks a bit similar but that is in fact really different. Cassia is known under the latin name Cinnamomum aromaticum and also belongs to the Lauraceae family but to the genus Cassia. Cassia, especially in powder form is often sold and substituted for cinnamon while it is not and when we think we are eating cinnamon, more often we are actually eating cassia. In the past few years, this has alarmed the health authorities in Europe that are sending warnings against consuming large amounts of cassia because cassia can actually be dangerous for our health unlike cinnamon. Indeed, cassia is rich in an ingredient called coumarin. Coumarin can be toxic and create liver and kidney damages when taken constantly.

How to tell the difference between real cinnamon and cassia?

Real cinnamon stickWhen using cinnamon and cassia in the form of sticks, it is actually very easy to tell the difference. Cinnamon is made of very thin and many cinnamon bark layers like on the picture above and the stick looks much like a cigar. cassiaCassia on the other hand is a more solid, uniform and hollow stick with a darker brown color.

In the form of powder, it is more complicated to determine if you are eating cinnamon or cassia but real cinnamon has a sweet aroma while cassia has a harsher smell. Also, the origin of the product can give a clue as to whether it is cinnamon or cassia. Cinnamon is called Ceylon cinnamon and comes typically from Sri Lanka while cassia will often say Chinese cinnamon or Saigon cinnamon. In the USA, most grounded cinnamon sold is actually cassia.

The health benefits of cinnamon

If you want to take advantage of the health properties of cinnamon, ensure that you are actually getting real cinnamon, otherwise, it will not work. Cinnamon is known to boost the immune system and will help ward off colds and flu thanks to its anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties and antioxidant activities. A teaspoon of cinnamon contains as much antioxidants as a pomegranate juice glass. It may help the digestive system and bowel movement disorders. A recent study published in the Diabetic Medicine: A Journal of the British Diabetic Association October 2010 showed that taking 2g of cinnamon a day can help lower blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes as well as lower blood pressure. Cinnamon can also help with blood circulation and as a sexual stimulant. It can be used in case of tooth ache and bad breath. It is great to repel insects.

Of course, cinnamon is mainly used in cooking and incorporating cinnamon in your meals, desserts, beverages will have the positive effects listed above. You can for example incorporate cinnamon in your breakfast by blending 2 fresh oranges with a tea spoon of cinnamon and drink as a morning boost.

If you want to refresh your home and take advantage of the anti-bacterial properties of cinnamon, you can also get cinnamon essential oil and pour a few drops in the filter of your vacuum cleaner. It will leave your house free of bacteria while smelling really good. However, be careful when using cinnamon essential oil as this oil is very strong and can be irritating to the nose or to the skin if improperly used.