I’m an aromatherapist so am often asked what my favorite essential oils are.
That’s a tough question… a bit like choosing between chocolate, a long soak in the bath or Philip Pullman’s latest book!
I so have a top ten, and on that list is Blue Tansy! Why ? It does two things – heal the skin, and uplift the mood. I’d even say that blue tansy is essential during menopause.
Read on to find out why you should think of including blue tansy in your life:
Blue tansy is the grown up’s version of the deep dark blue chamomile, known to aromatherapists as German Chamomile. It’s one of nature’s most powerful anti inflammatory oils, and was a key oil in my aromatherapy diploma course. However, when it comes to blends and skincare products, the scent is somewhat off putting. And in my cosmetology course in 2003/4 the teacher remarked that German Chamomile was probably not the best choice of anti-inflammatory oil to use, however I didn’t know of a better one back then!
This is where blue tansy enters the stage – she is the queen of calm AND smells awesome. Had I used her in my 2003 assignment, I’m sure the tutor would have approved. The Blue Tansy that I use in Samba Night Repair, I source in from Morocco.
German chamomile vs blue tansy scent
Blue Chamomile essential oil is somewhat herby in scent and even smells a little damp and musty. Like a muddy field or a damp dog. But Blue tansy has this deeper mystical element and sweeter clean scent like a gentle amble on a sunny afternoon, with wildflowers growing in an apple orchard. Interestingly it has a mild insecticide action. Which is helpful if you spend a lot of time in the garden or out walking!
Blue tansy oil
The crucial elements of its’ anti inflammatory power is a natural component called chamazulene and a-bisabolol. These two work on all sorts of skin issues right from eczema to sun damage. They draw away the heat and pain associated with stuck Qi in your meridians. Blue tansy is awesome if you’ve got allergies, rashes, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, dry or itchy skin. It even works on scar tissue.
Emotionally, blue tansy is our friend during menopause when anxiety, insomnia and depression are so common. Blue tansy relives stuck Qi, which emotionally feels like repressed anger, frustration and the sense of being on the edge of total overwhelm or panic.
By using blue tansy in your life, you will be inviting one of nature’s most potent plants to help you cope better, both physically but also emotionally.
The act of applying Samba facial balm to your face is an act of self-respect and self- care. Remember the saying that you cannot look after another if your cup is empty.
Peter Holmes beautifully describes the gentle qualities of blue tansy on our psyche:
… it exerts a calming effect that works well in anxiety states, agitated depression and acute panic states in particular. Moreover, it can help provide emotional stability in the presence of conflicting distressing feelings, rigid attitudes and general negativity.1
Holmes suggests blue tansy oil can assist us in making our relationship to the world and others a more flowing, adaptive, spontaneous and dynamic one.
The energetic qualities of blue tansy are cooling, indicating it will have a strong affinity in balancing excess Qi associated with the Wood and Fire Elements.
According to Holmes, it calms the Heart and Shen. Hence, it is recommended for harmonising the Shen, which is associated with conditions such as irritability, mood swings, restlessness, nervous tension, anxiety and insomnia. Holmes also recommends blue tansy for Heart Yin deficiency with Shen agitation, which is associated with anxiety, worry at night, restlessness, fearfulness, insomnia and palpitations
Blue tansy’s main chemical components are chamazulene, myrcene, sabinine, camphor, beta-pinene, alpha-phellandrene and β-eudesmol although there are at least 130 compounds. One study concluded chamazulene, but not matricine, contributes to the anti-inflammatory activity of chamomile extracts by inhibiting the leukotriene synthesis and antioxidative activity
The chemical composition of T. annuum essential oil from Morocco was reported as follows:
α-thujene (0.44%), α-pinene (2.66%), camphene (0.91%), sabinene (14.4%0, β-pinene (4.77%), myrcene (3.89%), α-phellandrene (5.56%), α-terpinene (1.14%), p-cymene (5.54%), limonene (2.35%), 1,8-cineole (0,56%), Ƴ-terpinene (1.81%(, terpinolene (0,62%), camphor (8.73%), borneol (1.92%), terpinen-4-ol (1.92%), α-terpineol (0.17%0, β-elemene (0.24%), β-caryophyllene (2.01%), β-funebrene (1.0%), humulene (0.18%), Ƴ-curcumene (0.29%), β-selinene (0.67%), bicyclogermacrene (0.78%), 3.6-dihydrochamazulene (12.94%) , chamazulene (13.01%)
Actions often attributed to the blue tansy oil include analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anxiolytic, antioxidant, antispasmodic, anticatarrhal, sedative
Holmes states there is a moderate chance blue tansy oil may be adulterated with white mugwort, Artemisia herba alba, which has a similar yet different scent and colour. The oil may be
Blue Tansy is one of the most expensive ingredients I source for Glow Skincare. The quality you find online is extremely variable. The colour varies between soft blue, deep indigo and a dark Prussian blue. Some have smelt like sweet mown hay or herbs. One though, smells like a dance under ylang ylang trees at midnight. And the price is from steep to astronomical. So be prepared to pay for the real deal.
A warning though. There are suppliers who will adulterate with white mugwort or reconstituted with yarrow, German chamomile and Moroccan wild chamomile. Some even add blue dye! So the best route is either to grow and distil your own, or to source through suppliers who buy direct from the farms. The product will be labelled as tanacetum annuum.
Samba is excellent for using with gua sha, cupping, facial massage and as part of a regular beauty programme.
Battaglia suggests these synergistic blends:
• Blue tansy + Santalum album: anti-inflammatory for sensitive skin
• Blue tansy + Kunzea: alleviate pain – arthritic, sprains and strains and all soft tissue pain
• Blue tansy + Cypress: bronchodilator for alleviating asthmatic condition
• Blue tansy + Everlasting: ideal for wound healing and skin allergies
• Blue tansy + Lavender: ideal for alleviating nervous tension, stress and anxiety
• Blue tansy + Bergamot: ideal for alleviating depression and lack of inflexibility
• Blue tansy + German chamomile: soothing anti-inflammatory for dermatological conditions such as dermatitis
• Blue Tansy + Neroli: ideal for restlessness, anxiety and insomnia