The circulatory system transports blood throughout the body. It includes the heart and the blood vessels, as well as the lymphatic system, which supplies nutrients and moves cellular fluid through the system, cleansing the body of waste. Lymph nodes located throughout the body-but particularly in the throat, groin, breasts and under the arms-act as centers for filtering the blood.
One of the best essential oils for a lymphatic massage is true bay (Laurus nobilis); lemon and grapefruit are also good. (A good carrier oil for these essential oils is calendula.) Use basil, rosemary, thyme, marjoram and clove to improve general circulation. Stress-related heart problems respond well to a sedating massage of melissa, neroli, lavender and ylang-ylang. Along with marjoram and ginger, these oils also help normalize high blood pressure. (Studies show that just sniffing neroli can lower high blood pressure.)
Chamomile, myrtle and cypress ease the inflammation and pain of varicose veins, phlebitis and hemorrhoids; frankincense constricts distended veins. All of these oils are especially effective in an infused oil of St. John’s wort. If the skin is ulcerated and broken, apply a compress of carrot-seed essential oil. Soak a cloth in water to which a few drops of oil have been added, wring out, then place over area.
Formula for Varicose Veins
6 drops cypress
3 drops myrtle
3 drops German chamomile
2 drops frankincense (optional)
1 ounce St. John’s wort oil
Combine ingredients. Apply externally. This can also be made into a salve by heating the oil and adding 1/2 teaspoon shaved beeswax before adding the essential oils.
Herbal Adjuncts-Among the herbs which strengthen heart and blood pressure are hawthorn flower and berry, and motherwort. Lymphatic cleaners include echinacea, cleavers and Oregon grape root, which may also be taken as teas, tinctures or pills.
The kitchen cupboard supplies many foods whose essential oils enhance circulation, make blood vessels more elastic and inhibit blood clotting. These include garlic, onion, cayenne and ginger. Ginger either raises blood pressure by restricting external blood flow, or lowers it by dilating surface blood vessels. Garlic and onions also lower high blood pressure. Lemongrass contains five different compounds that inhibit blood clotting.