Happiness is the highest from of health

Path to Crystal Clear Health

Most schools of thought consider the following areas of the body as chakra points: the crown/tip of the skull, the eyebrow region, the throat, the heart and lungs region, the stomach and lower abdomen, the sacral, and the root nodes.

Crystal healers believe that a person is ill primarily because his chakras are not well balanced. There is a distortion in certain nodes. To overcome these distortions, special crystals can be placed at these nodes, and in the process, energy will be supplied to these regions. In this way, crystals can be used to restore balance and revive health. Many gems and stones are used in crystal healing, but the most effective is quartz.

Even though quartz and other crystals are inert, they resonate with the fundamental source of life. Let’s take the fact that our bodies are majorly made of silicone and water. We have a natural affinity with crystals. It’s natural to believe that crystals can act as an energy intermediate.

Nature has configured quartz with many special properties. It’s unique angles allow it to reflect many different sources of energy at different frequencies. In fact, quartz is a professional favourite in not only crystal healing but in sound healing techniques as well.

In the book, “Vibrational Medicine: The #1 Handbook of Subtle-Energy Therapies” by Richard Gerber, some fundamentals of quartz healing techniques are elucidated. Quoting from the book,

“When utilizing a single quartz crystal in meditation, it should be held in the left hand. The reason behind this practice is that the left hand is neurologically connected to the right cerebral hemisphere. The right hemisphere, in turn, seems to be attuned to the higher dimensional fields of consciousness, of the Higher Self because the right brain has unique crystalline connections to the pineal gland.”

This is one of the many ways that crystals can specifically target and cure.

Perhaps the most unique part about crystal healing is that each crystal has a specific function. An expert healer will first observe his client’s ailments in detail, view the general energy state of the client and supervise the type of crystals that are required for the healing procedure.

There are many different systems of stones and different healers will adopt their own understanding of these stones. Each stone of different colour is intended for a specific purpose. For example, the heart region generally requires Green or Pink crystals, and this can range from rose quartz to Esmerald.

A client is required to observe his stones, and there is usually a trial period where the healer will determine what stones the client is most sensitive to. These stones will turn out to be the most effective crystals. The client is then made to lie down and the crystals are placed at his vital points. As time passes, the crystals absorb certain frequencies and transfer this energy to the spots, resulting in a balance in chakra.

Crystal healing, like most holistic techniques, requires a little faith in the healer. It’s a method that has been fruitful for multiple ancient civilisations, and continues to be a popular choice. The key is to approach an experienced healer.

Depression In Pregnant Women

There are some people who attribute these symptoms of depression in women to the effect of hormones. However, depression during pregnancy is a very real problem that many are struggling to combat and cope with. In fact, many women do not even realize that they are suffering from depression during pregnancy because they attribute much of what they feel to changes in hormones. It is therefore to watch out for these symptoms of depression in young women and get help if needed when these symptoms appear during pregnancy.

Identifying Depression During Pregnancy
While the initial stages of symptoms of depression in women who are pregnant include anxiety, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and other general mood changes that occur during pregnancy, the following symptoms of depression in young women should be monitored if they become more frequent and severe. Pregnant women require a great deal of more understanding as well as love and support to deal with this period in their lives.

However, if the following symptoms persist, the right medical help might be required to deal with these symptoms and get over them:

  1. Anxiety and irritability.
  2. Panic attacks.
  3. Insomnia or sleeping too much.
  4. Lack of appetite or eating too much.
  5. The feeling of being unable to care for oneself and for the baby that is growing inside.
  6. The inability to follow medical directions for self-care during pregnancy.
  7. The of use of drugs and alcohol to combat feelings of depression.
  8. Persistent sadness.
  9. Feelings of worthlessness.
  10. Thoughts of suicide.

In most cases, the younger the woman, the higher is the risk of depression during pregnancy. Considering this as a real problem of depression in young women who are pregnant, is essential.

Myths Debunked About Mental Illness

Mental health issues do not affect children

It is incorrect to believe that mental health issues do not affect children. Children, too, can and do, experience mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety. According to the NAMI, one in five children between 13 and 18 years of age have, or will have, a mental illness. In fact, 50 percent of all lifetime cases related to mental illness begin by the age of 14.

Mental illness is a sign of weakness

An individual diagnosed with a mental health problem is often wrongly thought to be weak due to a lack of understanding. In fact, mental disorders can affect any individual from any age group, caste, creed or culture. Since the risk of developing a mental illness is dependent on various factors such as genetic, biological, social and environmental, it cannot be a sign of weakness.

Mental illness makes a person mad and dangerous

Since mental illnesses weaken a person’s emotional and mental capabilities, this, in turn, can result in disruptive behavior patterns that can negatively affect his or her life. The person might even face difficulty in interacting comfortably with people around him or her. However, any dramatic change in one’s behavior is interpreted as a sign of madness. Consequently, the person is deemed to be a danger to society. This is not at all true as dealing with a mental illness is in itself a huge challenge.

Taking a pill is the best treatment

Since mental health conditions affect every individual differently, there may not be one best suitable treatment plan that can work effectively for all. This raises the need to customize the treatment according to the needs of every person. Though medications are popularly used during the treatment, using a combination of medications and therapies, such as cognitive therapy, can work as the best treatment for a person with an illness such as depression or anxiety.

Mental illness makes the person incapable of performing at work or school

Irrespective of the fact whether a person is healthy or depressed, managing stressful situations is difficult for every individual. Therefore, it is wrong to say that a person with depression is prone to fail at work or in school, or in meeting family responsibilities. In fact, a majority of them excel in their fields. In certain cases, the person can be so brilliant that it is hard for people to even realize that he or she is dealing with any mental health problem.

Essentials Of Aromatherapy

Take eucalyptus for example. This is a fast growing plant, and evergreen even and it is native to Australia. You may think of it first as the main diet for the koala but the leaves can be used to make an essential oil that helps to reduce coughing, colds and congestion, it is antiseptic, it is antimicrobial and it is great to counter respiratory issues. As a cream preparation, it can be used in a massage to help relieve muscle and joint pain and since it’s cooling in nature, it is wonderful for everyday aches and pains too.

Bergamot is a citrus scented oil that is used to treat stress, depression and anxiety. It too has healing properties and works well to help skin infections heal. It also stimulates the liver, the spleen and the digestive system. Added to massage oil, bergamot helps you relax as the tension leaves your body. What could be better than that?

Chamomile has long known to be a major calming agent. It’s popular in tea and also popular in the spa setting as it is an antidepressant and a mood lifter. Chamomile is also used for its antiseptic and antibiotic properties.

Tea tree oil is very widely used so it’s no surprise that it is the most popular of the essential oils and one used a lot in aromatherapy situations. It has lots of uses not the least of which is it is a natural immune system booster. It also fights infections, heals the skin of minor cuts and burns, alleviates muscle aches, the flu and even things like athlete’s foot! Talk about a multipurpose essential oil!

If you are looking for aromatherapy to alleviate hyperactivity look no further than marjoram. It also relieves anxiety, helps with digestion and helps with issues like cramps. In a massage, it can help alleviate headaches and tension and it also combats fatigue.

Choose an Oil Diffuser

There are various diffusers available in the market today and we need to choose one that completely fulfills our preferences. Two most popular diffusers are listed below:

  • Ultrasonic Diffusers: These are one of the best oil diffusers available in the market. These diffusers use water along with the oils so that a cool mist of water/oils is released into the air. The best part with ultrasonic diffusers is that they utilize non-heat ultrasonic waves, which do not affect the natural healing properties of essential oils. The ultrasonic frequencies create vibrations in water to vaporize the essential oils. Added features of these diffusers are humidifier functionality (best for winters), auto-shut functionality and color-changing LED lights. Some selected models are also available with remote-control functionality.
  • Nebulizing Diffusers: Unlike ultrasonic ones, nebulizing diffusers do not need water to be added to essential oils. They create fine particles with the help of an atomizer and blow them into air. As far as oil diffusion is concerned, these diffusers provide the strongest concentration of essential oils released into air. But these are louder that ultrasonic diffusers and do not have any LEDs fitted. Secondly, because of no water added, these diffusers use oils more quickly, have short run-time and are more expensive as compared to ultrasonic ones.
  • Evaporative Diffusers: These are very basic aromatherapy diffusers in which essential oil is applied on a pad or filter and is then evaporated / vaporized through a fan. Inhalers and clay pendants are some of the basic examples of this functionality only. As compared to other diffusers, these are not effective in large rooms or bigger area – but smaller area like your vehicle. However, if you are travelling, these are wonderful for your personal use.
  • Heat Diffusers: These diffusers are wonderful to spread the fragrance throughout your home or office. But as far as the therapeutic properties of essential oils are concerned, heat diffusers are not at all effective. In heat diffusers, the essential oils are heated to get diffused. Well, in that process, the user gets lovely aroma but healing properties of the oils are removed with heat.

 

Amazing Health Benefits of Oregano

Antibacterial properties

Oregano oil contains an essential substance, called carvacrol, which has antimicrobial properties.

The herb has shown antimicrobial activity in a number of studies. A group of researchers discovered that Origanum vulgare essential oils were effective against 41 strains of the food pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.

Another team from India and the United Kingdom (UK) reported that the essential oil of the Himalayan oregano has strong antibacterial properties that can protect against the hospital superb bacterium MRSA.

Anti-inflammatory properties

Scientists from Germany and Switzerland identified an active ingredient in oregano, known as beta-caryophyllene (E-BCP), which can help treat disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis. E-BCP is a nutrition cannabinoid.

Protection against cancer

Research published in the journal PLoS ONE in 2013 suggested that oregano exhibits activity against cancer. The scientists concluded that Origanum majorana could help prevent and treat breast cancer by delaying or preventing progression.

In 2014, food scientists discovered that the popular culinary herbs contain oregano, rosemary and marjoram compounds that may treat the type 2 diabetes in a similar way to some currently prescribed drugs.

Other possible health benefits

According to The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, oregano can be used for the following diseases and conditions:

  • cold sore
  • muscle strain
  • acne
  • rose
  • bronchitis
  • a toothache
  • bloated feeling
  • a headache
  • heart conditions
  • allergies
  • intestinal parasites
  • an earache
  • a sore throat
  • fatigue
  • ward off insects
  • menstrual pain

Recognize Gaslighting

Befriending you and gleaning information from friends and relatives are ways the abuser gains insight into how to undermine your mental health. Should you have even a minor psyche issue, it will be greatly exaggerated and much-discussed.

Dominate or destroy is the basic premise of gaslighting. Usually early childhood issues are played out in the imbalanced mind of the aggressor. Anger and jealousy are often at the root of the situation.

This is not a one-time or temporary situation. It often continues indefinitely until a crisis shines a light on the situation. Concealment is a hallmark of this form of mental and emotional abuse. Isolation and emotional manipulation are common tactics as well.

My sister has been undermining my life, my role in our family and my spirit for decades. I’m not surprised her abuse escalated past vicious gossip and back-biting. As she gained recruits to her cause of discounting me, her feeling of power increased. She needed to flex that power as often and fully as she could.

I avoided meeting anyone in her world. There is no telling how many versions of untruths have been repeated. Her efforts to convince everyone that I am delusional and my mother has full dementia were constant.

There is a term called ‘double doc’ing.’ If two doctors deem a person to have dementia, a third party (my older sister) could commandeer care. The plan was to put my mother in a care facility against her will and be done with her. Her life was blocking use of family land.

She lived in fear and I joined her. As soon as I arrived and blocked her residency in the Lexington Place care facility, I became the target. Immediately, my mental status and the way I behaved was in question.

Both of us feared the end. When Mom passed, I became an open target. The police were at my door with an eviction notice within days of her memorial. A judge gave me and 10 elderly rescue animals five days to vacate.

Friends stepped in or the dogs and I had no choice but plan an extended camping trip at the lake. I literally shook with fear. Gabapentin kept the alcohol cravings at bay but it got dicey. After giving Mom’s eulogy, I started to emotionally shut down.

After the judge spoke, I just wandered out of the courtroom. They were calling to me about court costs but I barely had gas to get home. I got to our tiny trailer in the middle of the Piney Woods and broke down. I needed to grieve my mother.

Soon, more police. I walked out with my new Texas license in hand. I shook hands with both officers and apologized. I told them that they were being used to harass me by my sister Cindy. Clearly, they expected to find me in an altered state. I told the paramedics that joined them that I was willing to take any test. Not necessary.

My sister isn’t finished. Her anger runs through her soul. It has steeped and festered over the years since it began around high school age. Shaking my mental health and emotional stability is the goal. Constantly reminding others of my weakness-perceived or real-keeps the destructive energy alive.

No victim has to stay in the role. It surprised me to defend my mental state on multiple occasions but no one detected a serious defect. Depression/anxiety issues are now a constant. One 10 mg. Lexapro has now morphed into 8 meds per day since I came to live near family.

Gaslighting is serious abuse. It does more damage than is visible. When the core of a person is attacked, survival instincts kick in. I no longer feel safe being in the room with my sister alone. She has suggested often that I may be violent. She would stab herself and throw the knife down and say I did it. It’s that advanced in my case.

“Stop sharing what’s happening on ‘social media’ or you are going to get hurt,” she growled. Her husband chimed in, “And she’ll do it too.” I told her that I didn’t know our people physically threaten each other. My advanced degenerative disc disease quickly reminded me how vulnerable I am to injury.

My situation went way too far. I couldn’t leave my mother’s side and it was unbearable to endure. Watching my mother fade after burying my little sister caused a full breakdown. I had to be hospitalized. It was necessary.

I saw how one person could take my sensitive heart and caring nature and use it to try to crush me. She knew I would stay and take care of Mom but she wanted the credit for being the caring daughter. When I showed up and found her living in filth, I almost called adult services.

Cleaning that entire place was what was needed but with constant attacks by my sister, it was never peaceful for any duration. We did what we could and extended her life by a few years by rescuing abused animals. That part of this journey sustained us both.

Today, I am learning that it was announced through the elders in my family that I am delusional and ‘hooked on pills.’ There’s not an ounce of truth but Dad, my loving aunt and some nieces are worried. It irritates my soul to know I caused concern. My sister delights in the drama.

Tracing The Links To Suicide

The Child Emotion Lab and work conducted by Dr.’s Seth Pollak, Moshe Szyf, and. Dr. Pollak explains that children of abuse will endure a lot of physical ailments because of the emotional trauma they endure as a child of abuse. Dr. Szyf believes our experiences in life affect our genes significantly and can alter the way our cells function without changing the DNA functions; this is called epigenetics. Epigenetics explains how identical cells, with the same DNA can turn one cell into a liver cell, and one into a heart cell, or one into a cancer cell.

Dr. Szyf conducted a study on rat pups in 2005, at McGill University, with colleagues, and found the rat pups had a gene that helped them manage stress, called the NR3C1 gene. The NR3C1 gene was a methylated muted gene, made of tiny quartets of carbon and hydrogen atoms, which stick to the DNA, and derail the cellular machinery that translates genes into proteins. Dr. Pollok’s staff checked the blood of children who came from abused homes and found they had the same methylated gene. NR3C1 is the gene that codes for the hormone cortisol, which helps you in flight or fight response, when you feel threatened.

A child in an abusive situation feels threatened continually, so this becomes a problem when the cortisol levels stay high, leading to adult heart disease, diabetes II, auto immune diseases due to inflammation, and other diseases. Having these genes damaged due to abuse, is similar to the damage due to radiation or drug abuse on a cellular level.

Many survivors suffer with emotional, psychological, and physical ailments, another issue is mental illness, depression, and suicide. Survivors have mentioned wanting to drive into oncoming traffic or to drive off a bridge; or think of other ways to commit suicide. With the holiday’s coming up, I encourage you to surround yourself with those who love and support you, not family and friends who want you to pretend the abuse never happened because it is more comfortable for them in denial.

In another study by Dr. Zachary Kaminsky, at John Hopkins University, in Baltimore, MD, they found the gene SKA2, which can predict if someone may likely take their own life. Researchers have found the gene, SKA2, in the prefrontal cortex, is responsible for controlling impulsive behavior and preventing negative thoughts. If the gene is altered, the body can’t control the levels of cortisol in the system. Research showed victims had large amounts of cortisol in their system.

The blood test had a 90 % accuracy rate; and a 96% accuracy rate for those who have already attempted suicide, just by looking at their SKA2 levels.

Dr. Kaminsky thought this was important in placing patients on suicide watch, restricting drug access, equipment they might use, soldiers entering or returning from war, and what care to give.

Ambient Abuse

By fostering a dependency that creates a power differential, the ambient abuser implies s/he possesses great insight, which will assist the targeted victim in her growth and well-being. The ambient abuser ostensibly only wants the best for the target. The ambient abuser behaves altruistically, concealing the underlying motive to get the upper hand. The ambient abusers’ appearance of benevolence, honesty and generosity is seductive and disorients the target and assists in ensuring the necessary leverage needed to ‘manage’ the target and diminish her self worth.

When conflict emerges it’s an opportunity for the ambient abuser to deny wrongdoing and assign responsibility for the alleged infraction to the target. The seemingly well-intentioned ambient abuser may ‘selflessly’ point out how the flaws and shortcomings in the target are responsible for instigating the dispute.

George K. Simon Jr., wrote (In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People), “Playing the victim role: Manipulator portrays him – or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else’s behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.” Hence, the target, naturally inclined to believe that the ambient abuser is fundamentally ethical and that cooperation and compassion are collective moral imperatives, yields to what s/he assumes will be a collaborative effort to work through difficulties. The ambient abuser capitalizes on this pre-disposition.

Should the target dare to question the stealth abuser’s intermittent barbs and disparagement, further distortion ensues. A disorienting narrative unfolds in which the target is held liable for questioning motives and doubting the sincerity of the abuser. This scenario involves the target being convinced that in fact it is s/he who is abusive and irrational. Alternatively the ambient abuser may initially pretend to concede and acknowledge ‘their part’ so as to strategically reassure the target. In due time the ambient abuser will reaffirm the target’s unreasonable ‘misconduct’ denying he ever conceded responsibility at all.

These myriad tactics deployed by the ambient abuser are known as gaslighting. False information is manufactured and deliberately presented to the victim, so as to make her doubt her memory and/or perceptions.

As this recurrent circuitous dynamic persists greater frequency and intensity of gaslighting occurs. Inevitably the target is pummeled into silence and cognitive dissonance. She succumbs to the coercion, believing it is her paranoia and/or unhealed afflictions and flaws, which cause her to behave so egregiously and are responsible for igniting relational difficulties. She begins to doubt her sanity.

Ultimately the corrosive impact of ambient abuse results in the target losing sight of who she is. She is bewildered as to what defines her reality, and comes to view herself as inherently defective. Her sense of personal agency has vanished. Bouts of emotional flooding vacillate with episodic dissociation. S/he is fearful, paranoid, and marginalized. At this point the bond between abuser and victim is characterized by Stockholm Syndrome; a pathological infantile attachment in which one’s tormenter is perceived as one’s redeemer.

Aromatic Gums

Gum Acaroidea, Gum Blackboy is an aromatic resinous gum from the Australian grass tree or Blackboy-a native plant from the genus Xanthorrhoea. Their trunks abound with a powerful aromatic resin known as Blackboy Gum or Acaroid Gum.

Gum Agarwood, Aloeswood Aquilaria malaccensis sometimes known as jinko or oud is a rare and precious wood that is burned as incense and used as perfume. Western and Oriental people enjoy its distinctive, soothing scent and spiritual influence in their meditations but stocks of the wild source have dwindled and trees now listed as potentially endangered.

Gum Amber – several fossilized resins are known as amber with those from the northern hemisphere claiming first to be known and that from the Baltic region most valued. The resin originates from several species and some are commercially produced from current pine resins New Zealand Amber or Kauri Gum is a subfossil Copal from the kauri trees Agathis australis forests that covered the islands before white settlement.

Gum Ammoniac is an aromatic gum from damaged stems of the tree Ammoniac Dorema ammoniacum. This occurs naturally through stings of a beetle. The gum is a traditional glue for gilding and applying gold leaf after extensive filtering and preparation and was used by scribes in ancient times as it is used by artists and craftsmen today. The gum can be applied successfully to dry on various materials and surfaces. It has no outstanding scent but it was once considered sacred and in use in incense in Libya in worship of Jupiter.

Gum Asafoetida from Iran and Afghanistan is used in food, medicine and perfume ingredient. In its raw state its odour is highly objectionable but can be used in food preparations to advantage by those familiar with traditional preparations. Other uses are as animal baits for wolf and some fish; as a fly trap for moths. Humans utilize it in preparing a positive psychic field against evil influences.

Gum, Balm of Gilead, Balsam of Mecca Commiphora gileadensis from the Mediterranean region and Arabia. Cherished for its healing properties and sought after by kings and temple priests. There is considerable mystique associated with this substance and its magical properties.

Gum Balsam of Peru /Balsam of Tolu Myroxylon balsamum, M.peruiferum, Toluifera pereirae, used in medicine and also in incense and perfume preparations. A reaction to Balsam of Peru is used to indicate any allergic reaction to fragrance. It is a sticky aromatic harvested from cutting the bark of the tree Myroxolon balsamum, a tree that is native to El Salvador. Its scent is a mixture of vanilla and cinnamon with citric tones is in demand in the perfume business. It is adaptable to either stronger character perfumes, or gentle florals and provides a reliable fixative.

Gum Bdellium (Gum Guggal) Commiphora wightii, C. africana, C.stocksiana (Indian)

Is an aromatic gum that is exudes from the tree. It is used as a perfume fixative and in some perfumers’ unique formulations. Known since ancient times with Theophrasts first to mention it as a thorn tree producing tears of resin resembling myrrh. In China, bdellium, known as an hsi hsiang or called the Parthian aromatic was among the varieties of incense that reached China along the Silk Route.

Gum Benzoin, Gum Benjamin, Benzoin Tree, Styrax, Styrax benzoin This is a tree from Indonesia and Sumatra, the main source of benzoin resin. Its common names are also, Loban (Arabic) or kemenyan in Indonensia and Malaysia. This resin once commonly called Gum Benjamin was used as a perfume, incense and as a medicine in the early trade of the Phoenicians in the period B.C. Legend has it that Styrax incense serves to deter snakes that inhibited harvesting. The resin is balsamic and is used in perfumes, incense and also medicinally. It has popular appeal because of is pleasing vanilla type of scent and the resin’s fixative properties. It remains a major component of the type of Christian church incense.

Gum Cedarwood Cedrus libani Cedar of Lebanon pine cone showing flecks of resin as used in the mummification process of the ancient Egyptians. For many hundreds of years the Cedar of Lebanon has been the national emblem of Lebanon. It is one of the most sacred trees yet presently suffering present conditions that threaten the trees that have survived centuries. The resin is believed to directly impart strength to those who inhale and are responsive to its fumes and influence.

Gum Cistus, Gum labdanum Cistus ladaniferus or Rock Rose is a species found in Spain that produces this sticky substance with strong aromatic character. Once in great demand as an aromatic.

Gum Copal Hymenaea courbaril, Bursena odorata is used in manufacturing of incense and to specifically offer viscosity where industrial purposes require it. Copal is a name given to the aromatic tree resin that has a composition of immature amber. The name copalli from the old Mayan language means incense and still in use as such by indigenous people of Central America. Copal was also grown in East Africa (the common species there being Hymenaea verrucosa.

Gum Dammar comes from the tree Canarium strictum and sometimes collected from the ground. It is used in foods as well as incense and other preparations such as varnishing of oil paintings when the gum is mixed with turpentine.

Gum Dragon’s Blood is the grey or yellowish resin from several genera Shorea, Balancocarpus and Hopea obtained by tapping the trees. However the bright red resin known as Dragon’s Blood comes from distinct species of Croton, Dracaena, Daemonorops, Calamus and Pterocarpus. Valued in medicine and in used for centuries as incense.

Gum Elemi The tropical Elemi tree Canarium luzonicum,is native to the Philippines and produces a soft resin with a light, fresh aroma, softly spicy with a hint of lemon. It is a delightful room fragrance. he scent has a harmonising effect particularly suited to meditation and visualization, aiding aa state of deep peacefulness without drowsiness.

Gum Frankincense, Olibanum Boswellia sacra, B. carteri produces a resin imported direct from Somalia. This is the most well known and valued traditional resinous aromatics used for centuries for its subtle influence to lift the human spirit – whether by thought, devotion, prayer or meditation. It is the most favoured aromatic used as an oil or as resin with legend strongly associated with the Christ child and the gift from the Three Wise Men. Trees have been heavily exploited and are not considered as endangered species.

Gum Kauri, New Zealand Amber, kauri gum from Agathis australis, like true amber, sometimes includes insects and plant material in its early stages or fossilized form. Other Kauri species also exude gum from the heavy trunks or branches. The burning fumes are used in traditional healing practices and most species provide incense material.

Gum Mastic resin from the tree Pistacia lentiscus is a transparent, lemon-white coloured, tear-shaped natural resin popular in ancient Greece, Egypt, and the Mediterranean region. It was a key ingredient in their ancient “Kyphi” recipes in creating a light, balsamic, fresh, and gentle fragrance called “the fragrance that pleases the gods.” It is cleansing, clarifying and mentally refreshing. Mastic as well as providing a subtle brain tonic was used in embalming. In addition to its use in incense it is used as a chewing gum and also in foods. Mastic works well for meditation and reflection with its bright, radiant energy.

Gum Myrrh is the aromatic natural oleoresin from a small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora,myrrh and C. momol from Yemen and Ethiopia. The gum is yellowish and may be clear or opaque. It darkens deeply as it ages, and white streaks emerge. Myrrh was used in the religious rituals of the ancient Egyptians and was an ingredient in Ketoret, the sacred incense of Jerusalem as recorded in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. As the Christian legend states, myrrh was a gift of the Three Wise Men was to help Jesus him overcome the pain that was to follow at his crucifixion. Myrrh is the medicine to relieve pain of many kinds. It is a usual component of incense used in healing rituals.

Gum Opoponax, Sweet Myrrh, Opopanax chironium The plant thrives in the warmer climates of Iran, Greece and Somalia but is reasonably adaptable in cooler climates although the resin content is claimed to be inferior in quality. The highly flammable resin is burned as incense has a balsamic scent likened to lavender. It is used medicinally to relieve spasms, asthma and hysteria. Legend has it that Opopanax was regarded by King Solomon as the noblest of incense gums.

Imperial Opoponax is based on a mixture of sweet resinous aroma of opoponax blended with oriental ingredients considered the noblest such as benzoin, sandalwood, amber and vanilla.

Gum Pine Resin refers to the gum from a range of sources of conifers or pines including Pinus jefferyi from U.S. and Pinus pinaster, P. palustris, P. sylvestris and P. halepensis a from Europe. Many resins are valued as constituents of incense and perfumes. The English word originates from the late 14th century Old French resine, from L. resina “resin,” from Greek rhetine “resin of the pine,” of unknown earlier origin. The gum is believed to hold the captured energies and vitality of the sun and it represents powerful masculine traits and properties. Resin has a huge range of practical applications.

Gum Sandarac, Gum Juniper comes from Callitris quadrivalcis in Africa and other conifers in Morocco and Australia. Pale yellow resin tears are brittle and clear as amber. This is one of the oldest known therapeutic resins. It is used by artists and those desiring work requiring a light yellow resin. It is a common ingredient in incense and male toiletries.

Gum Sweetgum, Liquidambar formosana, L. Styrax, L. styraciflua The sap harvested from the Liquidambar tree hardens enough to be chewed like a chewing gum that heals many problems as is the custom of many in the southern American states. The Chinese believe its value in medicine and are aware of its subtle beneficial influence and valued scent.

Gum Tragacanth from Astragalus gummifer is native to Iran. The natural dried sap from this and several other species including A. adscendens, A. brachycalyx and A tragacanthus, are sources of shiraz gum or gum dragon. This is highly valued as medicine when applied externally for burns and traditionally for tumours. Modern research is exploring its anti-tumour properties and there are indications it could stimulate the immune system. There is insufficient evidence at present of its full value in aromatherapy when applied to psychiatric practice.