Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Who Knew - Cypress

It isn't often that I get blind-sided about the uses or properties of a "classic" essential oil.  But I recently was.    

In an email discussion with my French Mentor and sometimes supplier about an oil I had never experienced. I asked what it is used for.  "As a substitute for Cypress when you don't want the hormonal effects."   "WHAT hormonal effects???"   This casual comment by my friend lead to a LOT of research.   

Google is not much help.  Googling "hormonal effects of Cypress Essential Oil" brings up blank. Remove the quotes and one finds a LOT of information about Clary Sage and Geranium, etc.   So I turned to my library.

And yes, Sylla Shappard-Hanger, in The Aromatherapy Practitioner's Reference Manual does mention "can act as female hormone stimulant" but she questions that information.  She also states "induces menstruation, eases painful periods, menopausal hot flashes & tension, cramps, PMS, regulates menstrual cycle."  

Who KNEW???  not me!

More reading (picture me pulling books off shelves, checking indexes, discarding or frantically checking pages...nothing.)

AHA..  Maria Lis-Balchin, in Aromatherapy Science, A guide for healthcare professionals, says that "There are virtually no bioactivity data available for this essential oil, and herbal usage, which is mainly using the water-soluble component and, at best, an alcoholic extract containing very little essential oil can not be taken as an indication of essential oil effects.  There is, therefore, little justification for the use of cypress essential oil in aromatherapy."   hmmmmm

I don't like this answer.  But I do know that very often the herbal uses of a plant are attributed wrongly to the EO.  So...more research. On to the big guns:

Peter Holmes, The Energetics of Western Herbs.  AHA!!!  Page 746:  USE: The most practical, effective administration method for Cypress Tip is the distilled essential oil, followed by the tincture. Both are suitable for internal and topical use.

Holmes goes on to indicate that Cypress Oil regulates menstruation and menopause, increases hormones, that Cypress's comprehensive action - endocrine, neural and tissular- engages in a number of gynecological conditions characterized by blood congestion, fluid congestion and tension.  He recommends its use for heavy periods, intermenstrual bleeding, even for fibroids and cysts, endometritis, and for gynecological conditions arising from emotional causes.

He recommends either internal uses (1 to 3 drops in a gel cap, topped off with some Olive Oil, or the use of a homemade pessarie.)  I may give directions for those another day; right now I am off to rewrite our online description of Cypress Essential Oil.  Who knew?

Who  knew?

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