Secrets to Winter Living

This last couple of weeks has seen the winter set in here on the mountain.

Now, I do love the idea of the fire roaring, tucked up and cosy in front of it, with a hot soup and homemade bread, savouring the joys of winter.

Roaring fire winter

Wintertime fire

Home made soup_bread

Homemade soup & bread













Okay, winter Queensland style, the daytime temperatures are still getting to 20 degress celcius – I shouldn’t be complaining at all, and I’m not, believe me!

Crisp winters day with clear skies and sunset

Crisp winters day with clear skies and sunset

I grew up with frosts, snow, rain, hail and some sunshine during the winter months, so this is bliss for me!


With the joys of winter, along comes some of the lesser joys – coughs, colds and flu.


The secrets to living through the winter and using nature to support us through the colds and flus that I use include:


  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Essential oils
  • Herbal teas


Specifically, I recommend the following:


Homeopathic remedies

  • Anas barb – first sign of aches and pains associated with the flu
  • Aconite – first sign of a sore throat, burning/pricking sensation, comes on quickly
  • Ferr-phos – first sign of just not right, just not 100%

Use these remedies at the first signs of a cold or flu

  • All-c – clear, profuse, burning discharge
  • Bell – sudden onset, with high temperature, very sore throat, pounding headache, nagging cough
  • Hep-sulph – thick, yellow/green discharge, sore throat, splinter pains, productive cough
  • Merc – infected throat, night sweats, bad breath/taste
  • Nat-m – violent sneezing, runny nose, clear like egg white discharge
  • Puls – bland, thick yellow discharge, dry mouth, no thirst, poor appetite

Use these remedies during a cold or flu

Essential Oils

  • Clove bud
  • Lemon or Lime
  • Eucalyptus staigeriana

Use these oils in your oil burner to keep the rooms fresh and reduce the viral load in the air surrounding you, also they break up the building mucous and assist in removing the mucous


Herbal teas

  • Licorice tea (or liquorice), my favourite also includes Fennel (anti-inflammatory, mild expectorant), Aniseed (expectorant and anti-spasmodic for coughs) and Lemongrass (may reduce fevers)
  • Lemon (lemon juice has more Vit C than oranges, lemon juice benefits sore throats) & ginger (increases sweating, thus reducing fever) tea
  • Lemon & honey tea

Use these teas when you have cold or flu.  They support the immune system, can assist in reducing fevers, reduce coughing, break up the mucous that is building and assist in removing that mucous too.



  • reduce diary products (mucous forming)
  • increase garlic (supports immune system)
  • increase ginger (increases sweating, thus reducing fever)


Note: take the homeopathic remedies and the essential oils on advice of a qualified practitioner, and, if symptoms persist please seek medical advice

Thuja, Sabina & Cedarwood

Remedies from the Cupressaceae family

I now also wish to look at Thuja and Sabina.  As these two remedies are also from the Cupressaceae family, I believe we will find more similarities than differences.

Thuja occidentalis

Also known as American Arbor-Vitae (tree of life), Eastern White Cedar, Yellow Cedar and Swamp Cedar, as well as other names.

Thuja - tree of life

Thuja – tree of life

The Thuja type is often described as having a low self-esteem, with a sense of ugliness inside, though they hide these feelings to the outer world and provide a picture of themselves that they believe others wish to see. This outer appearance is very important to them.

So, again, we see a lack of self-confidence, similar to the Cedarwood, however this time, the lack of self-confidence is derived from a sense of internal ugliness and worthlessness. The behaviour of the Thuja types is to present a pleasing picture, so we may not see the dominance of others around them, however in the early stages of their illness this can be seen when they portray themselves as confident and arrogant.  We do also see the dogmatic type of behaviour, this is portrayed as being a slave to duty, fanatic about their health and also religion, with a rigidity of ideas. The Thuja types are generally very closed, yet polite and mild mannered. They have an underlying feeling that if people really knew them, they would not like them, and they have the need to fit in, almost a desperation to fit in.  In early stages, the overbearing and dictatorial picture can be seen which relates to Cedarwood.  Cedarwood is utilized to improve a sense of self-worth and self-acceptance, which appears to fit well with the Thuja picture.

My internal ugliness means I must present what is acceptable, not who I am

Physically the sphere of action of Thuja is the mucous membranes, though of the genito-urinary region rather than the respiratory system, mind, nerves and skin.  The urinary sphere of action does fit with the Cedarwood physical picture also.

I would be happy to utilise Cedarwood in a blend when using the homeopathic remedy of Thuja. Both appear to be supporting an individuals need to improve their self-worth, and self-acceptance, providing the person with a confidence and belief in themselves to move forward with the next obstacle in their journey, with a degree of self-belief.  Thuja types may also have a past experience that was abusive, and as with Cedarwood, there will be an element of healing this past experience.  On a physical level the urinary mucous membranes are covered in both Thuja and Cedarwood.  I believe that Thuja and Cedarwood are working in the same direction and would be beneficial to work together.


There is little to be found on the mental and emotional picture of Sabina, as the emphasis is more on the physical aspects of the remedy.  The picture that does appear on the personality type of Sabina is mainly one of sadness and dejection, nerves irritable, specifically to music, and overall lowered vitality of personality with an enhanced sense of duty towards their family.  This is difficult to compare to the Cedarwood, as there are few specifics, though an overall protection of the family, the weak ones, would be similar.  From a remedy relationship point of view, Sabina is stated to be complementary to Thuja.

Physically Sabina has a sphere of action on the female pelvic organs, specifically the uterus. This does not relate well to the physical actions of Cedarwood, so I would not use Cedarwood with Sabina.  Though, when I look further at Juniper berry/wood, it may be more appropriate to use that essential oil instead.

In beginning this journey, I have discovered there are many different oils that may be beneficial to homeopathic treatment, used as either a supportive treatment or used in conjunction with the homeopathic remedy to support the direction of cure, to improve the secondary action where the body begins the healing process itself.  I have also begun to look at the oils and the remedies in a new light, always a beneficial thing J

Aitken, S, nd,, viewed 15 July 2013

Bown, D, (1995), The Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London

Caddy, R, (1997), Aromatherapy, Essential Oils in Colour, Amberwood Publishing Ltd, Surrey

Chevallier, A, (2001), Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, Sydney

Davis, P, (1991), Subtle Aromatherapy, The CW Daniel Company Limited, London

Grandgeorge, D, (1998), The Spirit of Homeopathic Medicines, North Atlantic Books, California

Morrison, R, (1993), Desktop Guide to Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms, Hahnemann Clinic Publishing, California

Haynold, B, (2007),, viewed 28 June 2013

Price, L, Price, S, (Eds) (2007), Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, 3rd Ed, Elsevier, USA

Price, S, (2000), Aromatherapy and Your Emotions, Thorsons, London

Sankaran, R, (2002), An Insight Into Plants Vol 1, 2nd Ed, Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai

Tigerente, (2004),, viewed 28 June 2013

Vermeulen, F, (2000), Concordant Materia Medica, Millenium Ed, Emryss bv Publishers, The Netherlands

Vermeulen, F, (2002), Prisma, 2nd Ed, Emryss bv Publishers, The Netherlands

Vikoula5, (2012), Cèdre du Chélia,, viewed 26 June 2013

Worwood, V, (1990), The Fragrant Pharmacy, Bantam Books, London

Worwood, V, (1995), The Fragrant Mind, Bantam Books, London

Veratrum album & Cedarwood

Veratrum album


Liliaceae family. Also known as White Hellebore, usually grown in the mountains in Central and Southern Europe.


The Veratrum type is often described as being dogmatic in their views, being over-mentalised and not connected to those around them, that they have a drive in their daily work to achieve.  Initially this can be seen to be similar to the Cedarwood personality type in that they too can be dogmatic in their views, selfish and dominating.  However, for the Veratrum’s this drive is due to an underlying fear about their position in society/work/family.  They can, and often do, lie or cheat in order to maintain this position, due to the fear of losing it. It’s not due to an underlying lack of courage or self-esteem, Veratrum’s have plenty of that.

The outward personality symptoms of Veratrum appear to be relevant to Cedarwood, however, the underlying reasons for those personality symptoms do not correlate well with Cedarwood and the underlying need for strength and courage.  Veratrum’s are more concerned with maintaining their current position, no matter what.

The need to lie to maintain their position

Physically Veratrum album has an affinity with the nerves, specifically those in the abdominal region, though also heart and blood vessels.  There is also an affinity for blood, respiratory and digestive systems.  We can see a correlation between Veratrum and Cedarwood in the area of respiratory and circulation, however, like Lycopodium, there is an affinity for the digestive system that is not reflected in Cedarwood.

Overall, I would not be as confident using Cedarwood in conjunction with a Veratrum remedy as the underlying nature of the personality type does not fit, and as such, the essential oil and the remedy would be working on different aspects, not supporting the underlying causation, though an external personality is similar.  Hahnemann discusses how we are to strengthen the vital force to ensure the secondary action of the body occurs, the movement in the direction of healing. In order to undertake this, both the essential oil and the remedy need to be supporting the vital force.  I’m sure there is another oil that will benefit the Veratrum types.

Cedarwood and Lycopodium

Which Homeopathic Remedy Relates to Cedarwood?

Homeopathically several remedies came to my mind when studying the personality and emotional states of Cedarwood. After analysis of the main personality symptoms of Cedarwood, the remedies that I differentiated are:

Lycopodium, Veratrum, Thuja, Sabina

Of this list two were solely based on the personality type (Lycopodium, Veratrum), and two were from the same botanical family as Cedarwood (Thuja, Sabina) – Cupressaceae

It has been stated that Lycopodium was once a great tree in the forest, over millennia, it has diminished to it’s current moss state, as you can see from the photo (Haynold, 2007), it does have the appearance of a conifer

Lycopodium_clavatum Haynold Bernd

And Veratrum is a lily, from the Liliaceae family (Tigerente, 2004).


According to Sankaran (2002), the group containing Cupressaceae, is that of conifers.  This group also covers the firs and yews. I wanted to just look at the cypresses for this exercise, though will keep the information in my mind.

Although, in understanding that the Junipers are also of the Cupressaceae family, it has made me look at the essential oil Juniper, though more on that another day!

Interestingly, the compensation Sankaran (2002) discusses for the conifers is: “strength: you become strong and protective of others who are brittle and fragile”. I can see how this relates to the Cedarwood, as they are strong and protective of their immediate family. I’m sure we all look at our family as fragile in many differing circumstances.  The active reaction is “hard:rigid” this too, we can see in Cedarwood, where their behaviour can be dogmatic. The passive reaction is “indolence:fearful:weak” this too, can be seen in Cedarwood, where there are fears for facing the next obstacle.


So, my first thoughts went to Lycopodium.  Mainly because of the courage and strength issue.

The Lycopodium type is often described as a coward, of having a lack of confidence or an inferiority that they are constantly trying to overcome.  They are also considered a bully and domineering, again due to their inferiority.

They wish to recover the power, strength and dignity that they have lost, however their lack of confidence in their own self stops this happening.  Usually they are intelligent, however with an element of stubbornness!

In order to grow, one must believe, have confidence

Now I can really see how Lycopodium and Cedarwood are shaping up to create the same outcome, one of a person that grows in their own self belief to have the strength and courage to face the next obstacles that come their way.  I would definitely consider using Cedarwood in support when I am treating someone with Lycopodium

As we can see, the mental symptoms appear to be correlating well, especially in the area of:

Problems with self-esteem and low confidence

Bullying, domineering, arrogant behaviour to family and those with less authority

Now, what about the physical symptoms of Lycopodium, and how do they relate to Cedarwood?

With Lycopodium, nearly always there is a urinary or digestive disturbance. Often there are catarrhal tendencies too. On the surface this appears to compare favourably with the indications for Cedarwood, which include antiseptic for urinary tract infections, mucolytic for catarrh in bronchitis, and a lymph tonic acting as a diuretic.  The Lycopodium cough can appear to be rattling with much mucous.

However, the digestive symptoms relevant to Lycopodium do not appear to be relevant to Cedarwood.  Cedarwood is not indicated for digestive disorders, more for circulatory disorders.  This may be an area that needs to be investigated further for Cedarwood?  Do we know if the ketones in Cedarwood are digestive, as some ketones can be.

Overall, Lycopodium and Cedarwood do appear to be working in the same direction for the client, predominately on the mental/emotional level, but also at some aspects on the physical level, so I would be happy to utilise Cedarwood in conjunction with Lycopodium.

Next time, I will look at ……. Veratrum album

Essential oils & Homeopathy


Various homeopathic remedies

Various homeopathic remedies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an aromatherapist and homeopath I am often told that we cannot use the two modalities together, however I have different thoughts on that idea.  I’ve never been one to run with the crowd, so I’m not surprised that I’m not doing so on this idea either!

When I discuss ‘subtle aromatherapy’ I am discussing the use of essential oils in a diluted manner, very similar to the preparation of homeopathic remedies. The low % use in ‘subtle aromatherapy’, 1% or less, allows for the spiritual and emotional use of the essential oils rather than relating specifically to the physical use, when the blend is approximately 2 – 3%. I am going to be addressing the spiritual and emotional level of the essential oils and homeopathic remedies, rather than just the physical level, though I will briefly refer to this also.

When assessing essential oils for their subtle aromatherapy properties, I need to assess what chakra it may relate to, what it may be used for physically and if it has been given a personality profile.  When assessing the homeopathic remedies, I will also be assessing these aspects and matching them.  This match should then be beneficial.

I want to run a series of blogs that looks at the essential oils, and how they are used, and also look at homeopathic remedies and how they’re used, joining the two together to make a real justification for their joint use.

These blogs will contain the beginning aromatic blend.  After this details on each individual essential oil will follow.  This will include the history of use, the plant it’s from, the chemical constituents and the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of each oil.  Once each oil is explored, I then will continue with equivalent homeopathic remedies that will be supported by each oil.

As aromatherapists tend to utilise blends of essential oils in carrier oils (for therapeutic massage or products) I will also be exploring the use of the unique blend to support differing homeopathic remedies also.

As you can see, this will entail some dialogue, so this will become a series of blogs.  I trust you will enjoy the journey with me in learning more about the essential oils and the homeopathic remedies that relate well to these oils.

Blend 1: Cedarwood, Jasmine, Nutmeg

To begin this journey, I want to use my intuitive side to see what emerges for study.  So, I used my Aromatherapy Insight Cards this morning to see what essential oils I should be discussing in my blogs (I chose three cards as my aromatherapy blends usually contain three essential oils to give a balance).

The essential oils I am to look at with you in this series are:

Cedarwood – base to middle note

Jasmine – middle note

Nutmeg – middle to top note

With the balancing effect of the three types of notes, it appears that I have intuitively chosen a balanced blend.

The use of the terms base, middle and top note reflects the overall molecular weight of the essential oils, the heavier base notes stay on the skin for longer, thus also holding onto the lighter top and middle note oils to ensure effective use.

As I mentioned earlier, I want to explore each oil individually, and then the blend in total, while also investigating which homeopathic remedies appear to reflect the totality of each essential oil, and ultimately the blend.

Let’s begin with…… Cedarwood

Cedarwood, Cedrus atlantica – essential oil


  Name: Also known as Cedrus libani subsp atlantica (Note: cedarwood is obtained from many different sources, so the source is important to know), though we typically see it for sale as Cedrus atlantica.

Source: Cedrus atlantica is native to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and Algeria.  Other types of cedarwood are found in differing areas, e.g., Turkey, Lebanon, and Nepal.  Due to the nature of gardening it is also within Europe and America today. Other essential oils commonly called cedarwood are Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Red Cedar, or Eastern Juniper) and Cedrus deodora (cedarwood Himalayan). So, if you are going to choose cedarwood after reading about it here, make sure you are sourcing the one I’m discussing.

Folklore: Cedar oil was said to be used for embalming by the Egyptians, and is used in temple incense in Tibet, while Turkish carpet shops are often constructed from cedar to deter moths.  Folklore describes the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Solomon’s Temple as being built using cedarwood. Typically though, cedarwood oil has been used to deter insects.

General chemical makeup: Cedarwood comprises 50% sesquiterpenes, or hydrocarbons, while the remainder of the constituents are alcohols (30%) and ketones (20%).  Boring stuff, but vital in order to understand the potential therapeutic uses of cedarwood essential oil.  In this instance the presence of a higher percentage of ketones gives us an indication that it would not be suitable to use for pregnant women. However, the presence of hydrocarbons and alcohols allows us to speculate that the therapeutic properties will include those of antiseptic, bactericidal, anti-inflammatory, calming and generally immune system boosting.

Enough of the chemical aspects I hear you say, what does it get used for??

Subtle Aromatherapy:

Strength & Courage

in times of adversity, with fairness

Positive Personality:

 Powerful, dignified, strengthening, grounding, kindness

Negative Personality:

 Dictatorial, obsessive, demanding, selfish, paranoid

Related Chakra:

 Solar Plexus


Physical Aromatherapy:

Used physically for bronchial and urinary infections; breaking up catarrh, antiseptic, healing of wounds, calming and as a stimulant for the lymph and circulation systems

Overall Use of Cedarwood:

Based on these properties and principles, Cedarwood can be considered where:

  1.  The emotions need to be flowing more freely, releasing & healing toxic emotions, such as jealousy, obsessions, gloom, selfishness
  2. There is fear of the next obstacle to be faced, to support the individual’s growth in their own unique place in the world
  3. There is a need to persist in the journey ahead, to stand in your own space without judgement of others, or becoming irrational or oversensitive
  4. Focus and willpower are required

In order to achieve:

  1. an identity that is uniquely your own
  2. to face the hurdles of life today, with strength and integrity
  3. self-acceptance
  4. self-respect
  5. balance and control over your own life
  6. emotional healing of past events, hurdles, lack of self-worth
  7. stimulation of a clogged mind

To Be

Next time…… which homeopathic remedy suits Cedarwood?