A plant has a beauty to it that draws you to it. Whether a great old oak or even a weed, when you sit with a plant, it has a quality to it, an awareness that can’t be ignored. That same awareness can be felt with the oils they produce. This awareness, this beauty, can is the energetics of a plant. Spending time with an oil, seeing how it makes you feel, develops this awareness in you. While trying to understand the energetics of plants can feel overwhelming, classification can help ease the learning process. We classify oils by chemical components, their family, or by plant part. Let’s explore the general properties of the different plant parts as they relate to energetic properties.
First, the seed is where it all begins. Every other part of the plant arises out of the seed. The seed provides the path to reproduction, growth, and expansion. So it can also provide these qualities for you. Many use essential oils coming from seeds when starting new projects or ready for new beginnings and growth. Seed oils provide a feeling of nourishment and potential. These oils help us get out of patterns, out of stickiness, and help us discover new opportunities. Also, as reproducers themselves, seed oils can support or reproductive system as well.
Carrot seed (Daucus carota)
This heavy and earthy oil comes from the dry seeds of the carrot seed plant. Historically, people use it on the skin to provide nourishment and support. Many believe this oil provides rejuvenation and strength during times of personal growth. Energetically, it releases stagnant and blocked energy.
Cardamom (Ellettartia cardamomum)
This light and spicy oil is also famous for its use in the popular chai tea. Cardamom, the Queen of Spice, known for easing digestive discomfort and easing nausea, will quickly become a favorite. Energetically, it invites mental clarity when worrying. It provides nourishment, invigoration, and balance.
As the seed develops into a plant, the roots remain the most vital yet most overlooked player in the game. Roots don’t get the attention they deserve because they grow under the ground. Without them, though, the plant doesn’t survive. When winter comes and the rest of the plant disappears, the roots dig deeper into the earth and preparing it for spring. Roots help to anchor the plant and provide water and minerals to the plant. They spread deep within the ground, and the wider and deeper they grow, the more the plant can survive. Therefore, using these root oils can help you ground. As the wind of life (stress, anxiety, fear) may try to unearth you, these root oils can keep you calm and stable. They also allow for growth in times when it seems like nothing is flourishing, like death may be near. These oils use these times to help us grow stronger.
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
Vetiver has a deep, base, balsamic, and complex smell. One sniff of this oil will calm you as its earthy flavor fills you. Performers often use it as a base for perfumes, giving it a familiarity the first time you smell it. Energetically, it grounds, sedates, and restores. It has a cooling property that makes it wonderful during the summer.
Angelica Root (Angelica archangelica)
Angelica, an edible root known for its calming and balancing effect, will quickly become a favorite for you. Many use the oil for bacterial, viral, and fungal activity. Energetically, it grounds, strengthens, and provides perseverance and determination. It also supports decision making and standing your ground.
The wood and trunk of a tree pulls up water and nutrients from the roots and distributes it to the rest of the plant. It supports the branches: bringing them together and connecting them with the roots and earth. They connect us to the earth, support us through the core, and help us reach towards the sky. They can bring in dispersed energy and help with centering. The wood connects all of the other components of the tree together. In the same way, it can connect all of the components of you. It can center, and help bring together all your energies. Some believe wood resembles the spine, and therefore, supportive for joint and musculoskeletal issues.
Sandalwood (Satalum album)
Sandalwood’s smell is lovely, sweet, and balsamic. Sandalwood has a large history of use during spiritual ceremonies. Energetically, it encourages and protects. It is frequently used for meditation to create inner unity, self-acceptance, and a return to oneself. The sandalwood tree is endangered, so use this oil carefully, saving it for the most potent uses.
Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)
We know cedarwood as the smell of our closet or drawers. People use cedarwood for a variety of conditions including clearing lungs and pain and inflammation. Energetically, it provides stability, and allows perseverance and confidence in difficult situations.
Next, resin comes out of the tree when the wood has been injured. In the same way, it can heal the wound of the tree, it can heal our wounds too. Resins are commonly turned into incense and used for spiritual rituals, prayers, meditations, and honors. They have played a role throughout ancient times in many spiritual events. Many of us know the stories of the wise men bringing the baby Jesus Frankincense and Myrrh. These oils show respect. They also have a reputation for healing wounds energetically.
Frankincense (Frankincense carterii)
Frankincense has been used throughout history in spiritual rituals. Currently, frankincense trees have declined and at risk for staying sustainable, so use it from sources that are sustainably grown. Energetically, it supports inner reflection, emotional healing on all levels, quieting the mind, and supporting attention.
Peru Balsam (Myroxylon Pereira)
Peru Balsam is not an essential oil, but a molasses textured substance. It has a vanilla-like smell. Energetically, as a yin oil, it supports the spirit, purifies, and heals.
Air seeps in and out of the leaves, providing the respiration for the plant. Here is where photosynthesis occurs: where life and energy moves. Sunlight comes through here. Where the roots bring you down to earth, the leaves connect you up and out into the vastness of the universe. Leaves support our breath and our journeys outwards as well. Breath exists as a powerful tool for reducing anxiety, centering, as well as going outwards. Therefore, this makes them excellent options to blend with other plant parts to enhance these effects.
Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus)
Eucalyptus, known for the Koala’s main meal, and a distinct smell most of us can recognize, is the epitome of a leaf essential oil. It often gets used in spas and steam rooms to improve breath function. I love to drop one drop in the shower and let the steam come up and fill the bathroom with that Eucalyptus scent! Do not use with young children as it can damage the CNS.
Laurel Leaf (Laurus nobilis)
Laureal (or Bay leaf) has waxy leaves that are often used in cooking. Many use laurel to help move lymph fluids. Energetically, laurel lifts mood, improves focus, boosts confidence, and warms. Be careful using this with young children as the 1,8 cineole can damage the CNS.
Finally, in the springtime, these flowers start popping up around us. They represent new growth. Humans are naturally attracted to flowers do to their color and smell. Evolutionary scientists believe our attraction towards flowers helps bring us to plants soon to produce food! They also attract bugs and critters for pollination. Hence, the word here is attract. We associate flowers with love, friendship, nurture, connection. Flowers help heal our hearts and provide emotional support. They provide self and universal love.
Rose (Rose x damascene)
Would a rose, by any other name, smell as sweet? Rose’s scent has inspired many a famous phrase. We know it as the smell of romance. Energetically, it eases grief, smooths anger, and mends a broken heart.
Inula (Inula graveolens)
Inula is often used to support lung function. In addition, many use it at night because of its calming and relaxing effects. Energetically, it promotes a positive sense of self, refreshing emotions, promotes courage, and improves capacity for forgiveness.