Friday, May 25, 2012

Místico: Healing Aromas

We had the idea to start a series of posts about the scents we are wearing at the moment and their healing properties, similar to our purse dweller posts. Problem being is that Mary is a one note girl and that one note has been vanilla since she's been in the 6th grade. Candice, on the other hand, mixes it up and always has a new dreamy scent that she is wearing. So we decided to start the series with vanilla and focus future posts on scents we are favoring but not necessarily wearing, because although Mary always wears vanilla and don't get us wrong, Candice has her favorites too, we have a strong connection to all kinds of aromas. It is fascinating to us how, like crystals, you will be drawn to or notice a scent more, only to find out that the healing properties are exactly in line with what you might need at the moment. So... to start...

Derived from orchids of the Mexican species, vanilla was called "tlilxochitl" by the Aztecs which means "black flower". According to Totonac mythology, the tropical orchid was born when Princess Xanat, forbidden by her father from marrying a mortal, fled to the forest with her lover. The lovers were captured and beheaded. When their blood touched the ground, the vine of the orchid grew.

Drawing of Vanilla from the Florentine Codex (ca. 1580) and description of it's use and properties in the Nahuatl language.

Vanilla has been known to be an aphrodisiac although there is controversy as to whether mens' reported arousal was gastronomic or sexual. Mary seems to think it's gastronomic as she has been stopped several times and told she smells like freshly baked cookies or donuts, depending on the variety of oil she is wearing! 

Among Vanilla's biggest healing properties is that it is an anti-depressant, a sedative and has relaxing and tranquilizing effects. According to Joni Keim and Ruah Bull in their book "Daily Aromatherapy," vanilla essential oil can promote feelings of connectedness and integration, and may help to alleviate feelings of depression in some people. No wonder it is one of the most widely worn and used oil and one of Mary's (who tends to run on anxiety and stress) favorites.

Next time you are feeling slightly down or anxious, dab a bit of vanilla essential oil on and notice your spirits lift. Since it evokes a sense of well being, others might report feeling especially calm or happy around you.

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