At Lammas we welcome Ker as mother of the abundant harvest and Grianne, summer sun Goddess, who ripens the grains and fruits that fill Her cornucopia, Her ever-flowing basket of nourishment and nurture. In the late summer the sun queen shines a golden light across the land, imbuing the fields of ripening grain with warmth and Her life giving energy. As massage therapists, we celebrate this time as we receive the gifts from the Goddess as Her seeds and grains that are made into the luscious golden oils we use in our treatments. At one time the generic name of ‘carrier oils’ was given to them, referring to the oils as simply a medium to carry the added essential oils around the body during an aromatherapy treatment. For non-aromatherapy massage, these oils were considered as providing lubrication for the hands or ‘slippage’ and often substituted for a mineral oil, such as baby oil, which can go further, as it is not absorbed by the skin. However, we now have a much deeper appreciation of the values of nut and seed oils or vegetable oils as they are more commonly known.These sun ripened, energy rich oils provide far more than ‘slippage’ or medium for essential oils. Each one carries its own signature of nourishment to our skin being rich in vitamins and ‘fatty acids’ essential to our health.
The sunflower is the quintessential flower of the sun; its glorious golden petals radiate like sun rays and at the large centre the most glorious array of seeds arranged on concentric spirals in what has been called the Fibonacci sequence, after a mediaeval scholar, and has been the subject of much investigation since as to how and why nature produces such geometric precision and perfection. For us, though, glorious Sunflower oil is rich in Omegas 9 and 6 as well as vitamin E, making it a nourishing oil for all types of skin. Sweet Almond oil is a beautiful emollient very similar to Sunflower oil in being similarly nutrient rich.
There are other oils that are less suitable on their own for massage but can be added to other vegetable oils to enrich it or for specific actions. Rosehip Seed oil, for example, is rich in beta-carotene as well as Omegas 6 and 3. It is said to help with skin healing, especially with scars, and keloids, as well as being an anti-wrinkle agent. Argan oil, similarly, can be added to other vegetable oils to enrich it with Omegas and vitamins. It has been used for centuries by Moroccan women in skin and hair care as well as in cooking. Unrefined avocado oil, which is a deep green colour and with an aroma of its own, can also be added to enrich the skin nourishing properties of a basic carrier oil and is good for dry or mature skins.
Seeds or grains and nuts can also be used for skin care in scubs and face masks, enriched with flower or seed oils, such as Camellia or Jojoba, moistened with hydrolats of Rose or Chamomile, can provide nourishing skin treatments that can help with a range of skin types from normal to problem. Added powders of fruits such as Mango or Baobab in small quantities add to this luscious cornucopia without it being an extravagant use of food products.
We thank you Mother for your gifts on this most bountiful earth. Your golden seeds and grains bring your sun drenched vitality and nourishment to our bodies, inside and out.