Materia Aromatica August 2012 Newsletter and Special Offers

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August  2012 Newsletter

Summer is officially here. The synonymous showers of April, a blustery May followed by the heavy rains of June and most of July have finally passed to reveal that the sun was still waiting high up in the sky to bestow his rays down onto us.  We are now hopefully off to a long summer filled with warmth and sunshine.

The warmer weather and sunny skies bring with it holidays and excursions, social gatherings and the traditional summer picnics and barbeques. July is indeed a  time of year that brings many enjoyments, time spent in outdoor pursuits with family and friends.

Perhaps after a few too many indulgent summer treats and long afternoons spent working in garden or possibly even sipping mint laced Pimms in the extended sunshine you or your clients might be in need of a refreshing pick me up?

Nature in her wisdom provides us with many tools to maintain and regain wellbeing. As Aromatherapists we are fortunate that among our tools, we have many oils that are a delight to use. Materia Aromatica’s July Newsletter will be highlighting such an essential oil. Something that is ideal for the after effects of a few too many summer celebrations and excursions.... Grapefruit.

Read more about nature’s perfect lymphatic decongestant, blood purifier and detoxfier...

Materia Aromatica wishes you and your family a summer filled with health and happiness.

Don't forget to browse our Special Offers which will end on 31st August 2012

and the forthcoming ITHMA training courses in professional Aromatherapy



Citrus x paradisi
Family Rutaceae


The origin of the common English name is uncertain. It is thought to be a hybrid of the Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) and the pummelo or shaddock (Citrus maximus). The pummelo was brought to Spain from tropical Asia by Arab traders in the 12th century via the same route taken by the orange. From there it was introduced into the West Indies by the mysterious Captain Shaddock in the 18 century. Once the fruit was hybridised it became cultivated in the New World. Florida is the centre of cultivation and many varieties were developed there.


The grapefruit tree is native to East Asia and the Caribbean and is widely cultivated in California, Florida, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Israel. The tree grows to a height
of 10 m and has large dark green glossy leaves with fragrant white star-shaped flowers. There are numerous cultivated varieties eg the ‘Duncan’ in Florida.


Grapefruit oil is typically a pale yellow or greenish liquid with a fresh, bittersweet, fruity citrus fragrance. It smells clean and pure and has an immediate refreshing and uplifting
effect. The yield is approximately 0.7% and is expressed from the rind of the fresh fruit.
The main chemical constituents are monoterpenes including limonene (96-98%); aldehydes including nonanal, decanal , paradisiol, geraniol, neral ,citral and citronellal; coumarins and furocoumarins including bergaptole, and numerous trace compounds.

Apart from its use in aromatherapy, grapefruit oil is used widely as a top note in perfumery, cosmetics, soaps and as a food flavouring in soft drinks and desserts. As the standard growing and processing of the oil involves many chemicals, author Kurt Schnaubelt warns readers to only buy organic grapefruit oil.


Aerial antiseptic, antidepressant, antitoxic, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, choleretic, diuretic, depurative, digestive stimulant, lymphatic decongestant, stomachic, tonic.


Grapefruit oil has actions on several systems: eliminatory, musculoskeletal, skin, digestion, circulation and nerves. It is a lymphatic stimulant with detoxifying and diuretic
properties. Useful where there is rheumatic pain and swelling, sluggish appetite, flatulence or nausea. Makes an excellent blood purifier, so perfect for use in Springtime when the body is naturally attuned to clear out the toxins accumulated over winter. In addition helps with stretch marks and cellulitis.

In terms of Oriental Medicine energy, the oil is classified as being cool and dry energetically so it is indicated for conditions of Heat, Damp and Phlegm. The key actions would be to tonify Spleen Qi, smooth/regulate Liver and Stomach Qi.
Useful in cases of poor appetite, diarrhoea, mucous colitis, fluid retention, lymphatic congestion, excessive weight gain , dyspepsia, epigastric and abdominal distension,
hiccoughs, belching, flatulence, constipation, spastic colon, irritable bowel syndrome, nervous tension, restlessness, insomnia, over thinking, worry, anxiety, depression.
Used for cellulite, muscle fatigue, chills, colds and ‘flu, depression, nervous exhaustion writes Chrissie Wildwood.

Psychologically, grapefruit is indicated when one feels tense, frustrated, irritable and moody. It suits those who resort to comfort eating when their inner child is criticised or shamed. These individuals have high expectations of life, others and themselves and when reality and expectations do not meet, are left feeling anger, blame and self criticism. Grapefruit smoothes away the psychological Heat and congestion caused by angry disappointment and allows us to perceive and accept more realistic goals.

Jan Kusmerik recommends that grapefruit be used to relieved feelings of tension, frustration, irritability and moodiness, especially where expectations of others are not fulfilled. He says it suits comfort eaters, those with a short temper or who feel angry.


Unlike most citrus oils, grapefruit oil is not photo sensitising. Once you have opened the bottle, use within six months.


Grapefruit is very versatile and blends happily with a wide selection of fragrances bringing a refreshing, light, uplifting along with a slightly bitter note to the blend

Try with
- the other citrus oils and neroli
- Spices such as cardamon, ginger, black pepper
- Woody oils such as cypress, juniper, pine. It comes out beautifully especially with sandalwood
- Flowers such as lavender, geranium, neroli, petitgrain (although it is not a flower).
- Herbs such as coriander, rosemary, mint

It makes a good addition for a room fragrance. When suffering from colds or flu, add a few drops to a diffuser to disinfect the air and raise your spirits.

For those trying to slim down for summer holidays, grapefruit can be blended with juniper and cypress in a base of hazelnut or safflower.

For facial care, grapefruit can be blended with jasmine, pomegranate and apricot.

Blend with calendula, rosehip, borage, argan, geranium and lavender for stretch marks.

For digestive troubles, blend with cardamom, coriander, mint and jojoba and rub over belly in clock wise circles.

Tip: Grapefruit is very volatile and will evaporate quickly if the blend is added to a medium that has to be presented in a jar (cream, ointment). Opening and closing the lid will cause the grapefruit part of the blend to vanish very quickly. It is better to use it in a oil base in a bottle in order to minimise exposure to air.

Medical Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt
Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy by Chrissie Wildwood
Aromatherapy for Everyone by Jan Kusmirek
ITHMA Course Notes

Special Offers

End 31st August 2012

20% off retail & trade prices on a selection of items
All products are certified organic by the Soil Association unless otherwise specified
Follow the links to access the Special Offers Section of the website


Essential oils

Cedarwood - Roman Chamomile

Coriander seed - Eucalyptus globulus

Lemon - May Chang

Orange - Palmarosa

Patchouli - Rosemary cineole 1.8


Hand - Made Soaps

using organic ingredients

Geranium and rose petals
Lavender with lavender flowers


Nourishing Night Oil

99.5% organic -- 30 ml

This night oil is designed to suit all skin types. It has a wide range of vegetable oils to nurture, soothe, heal and regenerate. They carry the therapeutic side of the blend whilst the essential oils look at the psychological aspect. The aroma is warm, floral, uplifting, relaxing, cleansing, delicious. The sort of smell one would want to drift gently to sleep with.

Simmondisa chinensis (jojoba), Oenathera biennis (Evening primrose), Persea gratissima (avocado), Helianthus annus and daucus carrota extract (carrot macerated in sunflower), Camelia sinensis (camelia), Argana spinosa (argan), Citrus paradisi (grapefruit), Citrus aurantium amara (Neroli), Olibanum (Frankincense), Jasmine grandiflorum extract (Jamsine)

Does not contain nut oil, suitable for vegans, finished product or ingredients have not been tested on animals


Body Wash & Carrier Oils

Body Wash: Fragrance-free, it can be used as a body wash / shower gel, hand-wash.

With a neutral PH, it is gentle to the skin.

2 to 3% essential oil can be added to provide a fragrand and invigorating shower. The base will thicken slightly when adding the essential oils.

Carrier Oils:
Avocado - Camelia - Hazelnut -- Walnut