Did you know Cumin was used in the ancient Egyptian mummification process? Marcus Antoninus 16th emperor of Rome was given a nickname that referenced the herb as someone miserly must have eaten cumin, and symbolized excessive desire. Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist who lived between 23 AD and 79 AD was said to have listed Cumin as “the best appetizer of all condiments.”
The history of Cumin goes back over 5000 years. from Iran and the Mediterranean. Cumin is a small seed that comes from the Cuminum cyminum herb, a member of the parsley family. This seed has a distinct flavor, and warm aroma. It is a major ingredient in chili powder as well as curry powder. According to the Bible, Cumin had such a powerful medicinal value that it could be used as money!
Cumin has an overpowering smell and should be used very sparingly. Yet it is considered non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. It does have photo-toxic qualities, so it should not be used when the skin will be exposed to sunlight. Photosensitization, and photo-toxicity can occur when certain essential oils react when exposed to Ultraviolet UVA light. Inflammation, blistering, and reddening/burning of the skin are common.
Cumin is useful as a warming oil and helps relieve muscular pains and osteoarthritis. In the digestive system, it is a stimulant that helps with colic, dyspepsia, flatulence, bloating and indigestion. For the nervous system, it is a tonic, and has a beneficial effect on headaches, migraines, and nervous exhaustion.
Did you know Birch is the oil of support? Birch offers support to the unsupported. When a person is feeling unsupported or attacked by friends or family, Birch offers courage to help you move in a positive direction alone. It helps assist people overcome negative generation patterns especially when you are being rejected for choosing another path.
Birch trees have been important to many indigenous people in the northern latitudes. Historically, Birch (Betula papyrifera) as well as other species, were possibly the most important trees for survival. This tree increased the quality of life of people for thousands of years. The fact that the Birch tree varies in thickness and can be split in numerous layers, and that it has a resinous inner bark, which makes it waterproof and resistant to decay. This makes the birch tree extremely versatile.
One of its great uses was for shelter. Native people of what is now the United States, used Birch to make Wigwams, Tee-pees and other structures for living. The inner bark of Paper Birch was used extensively to repel water from structures. Probably the most well know use of Birch is its use in making canoes. Canoes have been a part of cultures around the world for many hundreds of years.
In Russia, an old folk remedy for rheumatism was to completely cover the afflicted person with Birch leaves, which resulted in a cleansing sweat and subsequent relief. Native Americans prepared a mushy paste by boiling and pounding the bark, so it could be spread on inflammatory skin conditions, ulcers cuts and wounds. The French have used Birch oil for rheumatism, muscular pain, tendonitis and inflammation.
Birch is very effective in promoting circulation, making it ideal for massage therapy and to soothe sore joints and muscles. Diffusing and inhaling Birch supports clear airways and breathing while stimulating the mind and enhancing focus. Birch can be applied topically and is beneficial in purifying the skin and maintaining a clear, healthy complexion.