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Essential Oils From Around the World

In these stressful times, the ability to find ways to reduce stress is greatly valued. Here, from the Discoverer blog are some ideas for essential oils from around the world.

Essential oils have been used around the world for centuries, and they're an easy way to bring the scents of the world into your home during a time where you can't go outside or travel as much as you might like.

Before trying any essential oils, you'll want to do some background reading, such as this article from Johns Hopkins Medicine, to see if using essential oils is suitable for you and your family. Healthline also has a number of helpful articles specific to particular essential oils, such as this one about ylang ylang, and this one about peppermint. In short, the health benefits of essential oils are inconclusive, but they're still a great way to make your home smell nice.

You'll want to ensure that you choose a pure oil, with no additives. Regardless, essential oils should never be ingested. Instead, you’ll need a Diffuser to use them to best effect. There are many types that you can buy but it’s also possible to make one yourself.

If you plan to use essential oils in the bath, always use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil; this is vital so that the concentrated oil doesn’t come into contact with your skin. Blend five drops of essential oil with a tablespoon of jojoba, grapeseed or almond oil. Do a patch test first, and never use on broken skin. Add the oil after you have run the bath so that the tub doesn’t get too slippery and the impact of the oil’s aroma isn’t lost before you get in.

Here‘s what you need to know about some of the most popular essential oils and where they’re from.

Lavender

A lavender field in France. Photo: prochasson frederic
A lavender field in France. Photo: prochasson frederic

Suggested for: anxiety and fatigue

Lavender essential oil is distilled from the variety Lavandula angustifolia, commonly known as English lavender or spike oil lavender. These dense evergreen shrubs bloom in mid to late summer and their fragrant purple flowers add a vivid pop of colour to many gardens. The plant is also grown on a commercial scale, particularly in the south of France and across the Mediterranean region.

Peppermint

Peppermint oil. Photo: Tatevosian Yana
Peppermint oil. Photo: Tatevosian Yana

Suggested for: digestive issues and headaches

Peppermint, a hybrid of spearmint and water mint, was originally found in the Mediterranean and Middle East. It even gets a mention in Greek mythology: the nymph Minthe tried to seduce Hades, causing the enraged Queen Persephone to turn her into a mint plant. These days the fast-growing herb is cultivated throughout North America, Europe and Japan. It has distinctive leaves with a serrated edge and when it flowers, the blooms are pink and mauve. A process of steam distilling its leaves, fresh or dried, creates the essential oil.

Patchouli

Patchouli plant. Photo: wasanajai
Patchouli plant. Photo: wasanajai

Suggested for: skin conditions and stress

Patchouli, botanical name Pogostemon cablin, is native to Asia. It’s cultivated in countries such as China, Indonesia and Vietnam as well as the nations of South East Asia and some Indian Ocean islands. The bushy herb grows to between 2 and 3 feet tall, and has tiny pink-white flowers; to produce the oil, it needs to be extracted from dried leaves. Its heady scent makes it popular for perfumes as well as essential oils.

Ylang Ylang

Cananga tree flowers. Photo: SiNeeKan
Cananga tree flowers. Photo: SiNeeKan

Suggested for: high blood pressure and depression

Steam distillation of the yellow, star-shaped flowers of the Cananga tree creates a potent essential oil. Because of its strength, some people find it can cause headaches or nausea, so it’s often combined with other essential oils before use. Nevertheless, it has its fans, particularly of the subtler, less pungent version known as Cananga oil. You’ll find this tropical species in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and India, as well as tropical Queensland in Australia.

Lemon

Citrus fruits. Photo: New Africa
Citrus fruits. Photo: New Africa

Suggested for: boosting moods and promoting energy

Essential oils from the citrus family have a zingy quality that can lift the spirits, making them popular choices for freshening a room. Most come from the rind of the fruit. According to this fascinating article from the BBC, we can trace all citrus fruits back to the foothills of the Himalayas. They spread from China, India and Burma because of climate change; now they’re associated with places as far afield as Florida and Italy. If the scent of bergamot seems familiar, you might be an Earl Grey tea drinker – the oil is what gives this type of tea its distinctive aroma.


The science is inconclusive, but so long as you’re doing no harm, you may feel you’ll gain from using them. I love the scent created by combining orange and bergamot essential oils. What about you? Let us know your favorite oils and combinations on Twitter or Facebook.


Horoscope for the Week of April 27, 2020 - Outer Planet Rumble!

Prince harryJupiter, Saturn and Pluto are all going retrograde setting off a cavalcade of monumental events for the next few weeks. We will need to learn our lessons and harness our internal power to guarantee success. Ready? Set? Go!

(Prince Harry has Jupiter in Capricorn)

Never miss your horoscope again -- free sign up here. Here is my favorite book on astrology and a "must" for anyone interested in learning more: Secrets from a Stargazer's Notebook: Making Astrology Work for You and here's a guide to the best books available this month. This column is (c) 2020 MADAM LICHTENSTEIN, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Madam Lichtenstein is the author of the best selling astrology book “HerScopes ” now in its 10th printing and available as an eBook.

ARIES (MARCH 21 - APRIL 20)
Aries will find that anything they tackle this week can move them quickly into the public eye. You get everyone’s attention so be sure that you know what you want to do and say. It may sometimes seem that things are getting a little out of your control. Go with the flow and see where you can maximize your impact... and maybe take over the world?

TAURUS (APRIL 21 - MAY 21)
Adding to all of the other stress in your life, Taureans may find their career goals sidetracked. This goes beyond the day to day job you do. The possible challenges and needed change in direction are more long term. My advice is to take a step back, deeply breathe in and survey your practical options. Remember that somethings a re-set can be a (very) good thing.

GEMINI (MAY 22 - JUNE 21)
Geminis can get all wound up on a cyberlove or international intrigue now. You might be spending too much time on the internet and not enough good quality time with loved ones, friends and those who you know well. Try to shift gears and focus more on your immediate surroundings for outreach, connection and affection. It will also lower your stress.

CANCER (JUNE 22 - JULY 23)
Spending too much time around certain people (oh you know who ...) may reach a boiling over point. Maybe you are stepping over each other’s stuff. Maybe certain habits that seemed charming or harmless before are now just irritating. Grrr. How about some alone time, Cancer? Curl up with a good book, a very long movie or binge watch ... anything!

LEO (JULY 24 - AUGUST 23)
As much time as you now have on your hands, don’t be surprised if you feel that you are not really getting anything done. The dust collects. The dishes pile up. And let’s not even talk about the laundry! But that is perfectly okay, Leo. Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing we can do. Relax, take time out for yourself and just “be” in the moment.

VIRGO (AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 23)
Get creative now, Virgo. There are some aspects in your life that have limited choices and options and it may be that each day is running into the next. But you can liven things up and spark your imagination with a range of activities. If you have art supplies, gather them together and start an art project. Play some music. Dance. Do whatever feeds your soul.

LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 24 - OCTOBER 23)
There may be some family issues that have to be addressed now, Libra. Seek greater connection and maybe have some heart-to-heart conversations with those who you haven’t spoken to in a while. Life will seem a little less lonely and a lot more satisfying. Be a little creative in your approach and see how you can bring others around to your point of view.

SCORPIO (OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 22)
Scorpios can be very insightful and decisive when they are focused on an issue. Now apply these innate talents to solve some long term problems that are close to home or are impacting your feeling of security and comfort. You may want to enlist some help but the best solution for you will be to handle most of this yourself. The right answers will follow.

SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 22)
This is the time for budgeting and extreme frugality, Sagittarius. Prepare for the next few weeks by cutting back on your spending and sticking only to the essentials. You may find that this is not as difficult as you first think. In fact, it could lead you to better spending habits in the future. But don’t save money by re-using toilet paper and paper towels.

CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 23 - JANUARY 20)
It is a good idea to keep yourself in the public eye and reach out to expand your social circle. But do so in the safety of your home and stick to appropriate social distancing, Capricorn. Use this time to refocus on your long term goals and personal projects. Planning will take time and may involve a lot of pivots and changes in direction. Stay flexible.

AQUARIUS (JANUARY 21 - FEBRUARY 19)
There will be times when things happen to you that are totally out of the blue. Someone from you distant past makes contact. Or a mystery that has been vexing you will suddenly reveal the answers. Stay on your toes, Aquarius, and grab any clue that the cosmos sends you now. Start meditating or do it more often. The time has come to expand your consciousness. Wow!

PISCES (FEBRUARY 20 - MARCH 20)
If you are feeling a little isolated now, Pisces, find new ways to reach out to friends and associates virtually or at a safe social distance. It will be easy for you to explore new clubs and organizations through the internet and conferencing programs can help you “see” people more often than usual. You will feel more connected and may even be over-scheduling!

(c) 2020 MADAM LICHTENSTEIN, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only.
Lichtenstein’s highly acclaimed astrology book “HerScopes” has the Stonewall horoscope.


Lucky Numbers for the Week of April 24, 2020

Lottery ads tell us you only need a dollar and a dream. But it is also helpful to have a list of lucky numbers to help spur the good fortune ... or fortunes. So with that in mind, here are some lucky numbers that can be used in any helpful way. I gazed into a pool of water, Nostradamus-like, and contemplated the cosmos. Then I mixed the tarot cards and allowed the spirits to guide me to the cards that represent the lucky numbers for this week. Nothing is guaranteed but who knows ....?

I choose eight numbers because 8 is the number of of wealth.

Here are the lucky numbers for the week of April 24-30, 2020:

5, 6, 10, 20, 33, 42, 60, 75

There are many ways to delve into your own consciousness to find luck and intuition. Try reading Dream Power/Improve Your Luck (Super Strength Series) and see if your dreams give you any clues and premonitions. Here's a guide to the best books available this month


How Do You Write a Horoscope During the Pandemic?

Zodiac signsI write a new horoscope every week and generally, it is fairly easy to map the stars and interpret what is going on. But since the pandemic, I am finding that simple exercise is becoming difficult. I just wanted to share my thoughts on what to get out of my weekly horoscopes as the weeks go on.

For example, if one's 11th house chart sector is being highlighted by a specific planet transit, it usually ignites a social outreach by joining a club, meeting people, connecting with friends. Obviously in a time of social distancing this projection must be tempered by healthy common sense. It is possible to connect socially without being in close contact with others.

Astrological health transits are important to re-interpret for pandemics. If this week suggests that your health is especially strong, that doesn't mean that you go to a physical party.  It means that maybe you can risk going to the store while still staying distant from others. And why not have a virtual party using conferencing software that is easily downloadable and often free?

Physical travel, particularly for fun and not necessity, should be greatly discouraged no matter what the planets reveal. Although you might get special satisfaction from traveling virtually  or viewing some of your previous travel movies from home.

These are just a few things that now go through my mind when writing the horoscope.

Please stay safe and healthy.

 

 


Horoscope for the Week of April 20, 2020 - The Sun Moves into Taurus

George clooney mars in leoThe Sun enters earthy Taurus this week making us generally more practical. See what you can reasonably expect to achieve, set your mind to do it and then just do it. But take baby steps, not giant steps.

(George Clooney has Sun in Taurus)

Never miss your horoscope again -- free sign up here. Here is my favorite book on astrology and a "must" for anyone interested in learning more: Secrets from a Stargazer's Notebook: Making Astrology Work for You and here's a guide to the best books available this month. This column is (c) 2020 MADAM LICHTENSTEIN, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Madam Lichtenstein is the author of the best selling astrology book “HerScopes ” now in its 10th printing and available as an eBook.

ARIES (MARCH 21 - APRIL 20)
Aries will have to learn how to better manage their money now, especially if expenses are beginning to out pace your income. Find new ways to budget, cut back or otherwise save whatever you can. Thankfully, circumstances are requiring you to think much more practically. This will help you both in the short term and in the long term.

TAURUS (APRIL 21 - MAY 21)
Life seems to center around you, your ideas and the people you know who can help you. Reach out and see who can offer you insights, resources and maybe even just good company (from a safe distance). Think about where you want to be next year at this time, Taurus. Then concentrate on making that dream a reality. You have the time to plan the course carefully.

GEMINI (MAY 22 - JUNE 21)
There are many mysteries that will soon be revealed to you Gemini. You may have felt that life was too haphazard. Prepare to be amazed, surprised and happy as there are forces that are working in your favor. Embrace the cosmos, be guided by good deeds and charity and the fates will reward you. Good karma is there for the earning ... and then the taking.

CANCER (JUNE 22 - JULY 23)
Friends find ways to help you, even if they can’t be there in person. So plan out a series of social distance reach-outs, connecting with friends and groups from the comfort (and safety) of your home. Cancers usually love to cocoon at home but now you may feel a little closed in. If so, expand your vision, try some new hobbies and you will settle in.

LEO (JULY 24 - AUGUST 23)
Can you work from home Leo? If so you find that you are even more productive than usual. For those whose jobs do not lend to working from home, find ways to occupy yourself with money-making endeavors. Start a blog or perform online. There may be ideas that you have been putting off implementing because you didn’t have time. Now you have time.

VIRGO (AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 23)
It is hard to travel now, Virgo, but that doesn’t mean you need to feel trapped and bored. There is a world out there to explore and things to experience closer to home. In fact, you will discover many new adventures from sitting in your living room. Seek interesting experiences through technology and travel the world! It will not only be safer it will be cheaper.

LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 24 - OCTOBER 23)
You may feel a need for deeper, almost psychic connection to fothers now. Things get intense quickly. And speaking of intensity, there may also be some Libras who feel particularly zesty, passionate and sexy. If that describes you, I sense that you will be able to find novel ways to scratch that particular itch. But we won’t go into great details about how to now.

SCORPIO (OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 22)
All types of relationships can take on a greater focus in your life now, Scorpio. The goal this week will be to establish a stronger mutual understanding with others while maybe feeling a bit vulnerable and isolated. But aren’t we all? Try to think creatively and reconnect with old, far flung friends. You never know who knows who and what’s what.

SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 22)
If you are feeling stressed and bored, it’s a great time to tie up loose ends, take on long postponed projects and distract yourself with household chores, detailed tasks and down-to-earth activities. Clean out a closet. File things away. Map out your family tree. Concentrating on simple tasks can distract and lift your spirits. It also gets a few things finally done, Sagittarius.

CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 23 - JANUARY 20)
Find ways of lifting yours and others’ spirits now with funny messages, virtual get-togethers and silly videos. Creating a light hearted mood is necessary and healthy, Capricorn. Don’t spend all of your time watching the news or ruminating over the pace of life. Get creative and dip into your artistic impulses. Even a new recipe could make life more yummy.

AQUARIUS (JANUARY 21 - FEBRUARY 19)
There are many ways that you can feel more secure and protected now, Aquarius, beyond the usual precautions. Family and close friends are available to help and advise you if you reach out to them. But also do some further research to see what others around the world are doing. Always keep your common sense about what is right for you.

PISCES (FEBRUARY 20 - MARCH 20)
Pisces may feel the need to broadcast their views all over the internet. It can make you feel less stressful. But hone your messages carefully, lest you spread something that is untrue or exaggerated. Careful communication can bring you closer to others and lower stress. You also find comfort in curling up with a good book. How about a nice romantic novel?

(c) 2020 MADAM LICHTENSTEIN, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only.
Lichtenstein’s highly acclaimed astrology book “HerScopes” has the Stonewall horoscope.