Tantalizing Tuberose

By Lisa Maliga
Copyright 2002-2016

tuberose soap 12 easy melt and pour soap recipes
Tuberose Soap

Most flowers begin to lose their scent when they are picked. Not with tuberose! Like jasmine, the heady floral scent continues to produce itself. Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is native to Central America. Aztec healers called it omixochitl (bone-flower) due to the waxy, luminous white flowers that actually contain anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Tuberose may grow wild in Mexico and surrounding countries, but the cultivation of tuberose is usually in Morocco, the Comores Islands, France, Hawaii, South Africa, India, and China.

For the Gardener

The tuberose grows in elongated spikes that produce clusters of aromatic white flowers. They can be grown outdoors in warm climates. Tuberoses flourish in sunny places and bloom in late summer. After the last frost, plant your tuberoses in a sunny spot, beneath a couple of inches of soil and almost a foot apart. Fertilize and water regularly.

If you pot and grow tuberose indoors, keep at a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Potted bulbs take about four to five months to bloom.

Tuberose in Hawaii

For millions of tourists who have been to Hawaii, the first scent to greet their nostrils has been that of the offered tuberose leis. The ancient tradition for a Hawaiian wedding is for the bride and groom to wear flowers. The groom wears a maile lei, which is a native Kauai plant, while the bride wears a wreath of tuberose and pikaki flowers around her head called a haku. The custom is still popular as a part of a time-honored Hawaiian wedding ceremony.

If you’re interested in purchasing tuberose bulbs from Hawaii, contact Paradise Flowers at: http://www.ParadiseFlowers.com. You can also order tuberose leis, bouquets, and hakus too!

The Power of Tuberose

The legend of the tuberose in France warns that young girls should not breathe in its fragrance after dark for fear that it would put them in a romantic mood. In India, tuberose is known as rat ki rani, (The Mistress of the Night) for similar reasons. In Ayurvedic medicine, attars are held in high esteem not only for their exquisite fragrance, but their healing properties. Tuberose is known to improve one’s capacity for emotional depth. By opening the crown chakra it improves psychic powers. Tuberose also amplifies artistic inspiration as it stimulates the creative right side of the brain. And it brings serenity to the mind and heart. Maybe these reasons are why tuberose essential oil is so expensive!

More expensive than most rose attars, pure tuberose essential oil is difficult to find. “If you want to be precise, there is no ‘essential oil’ of tuberose. The flowers won’t stand up to the high temperature of water/steam distillation. Therefore a solvent, usually hexane, is used. Solvent extracted oils are absolutes. Some aromatherapists will not use them, as they believe there are traces of the solvent in the oil, even if only on a vibrational level. I disagree with this in general, and use absolutes quite often, however, it is case by case, as I often will choose to use only distilled oils in a blend.” Trygve Harris, Enfleurage, New York City.

“But this is where phytol enters center stage…the product of the amazing Phytonics process, conceived and developed by Peter Wilde in England. Phytonics uses low pressure, involves no heat and uses a solvent which is recyclable; it produces an essential oil that requires no additional processing unlike other concretes and, remarkably, does not emit by-products that damage the endangered ozone layer.” Eva-Marie Lind, Dean of the Aromatherapy Department of the Australasian College of Herbal Studies.

Make Your Own Tuberose Soap

As listed above, you can buy tuberose online at Enfleurage. It’s available as a jojoba-based roll-on perfume and the pure absolute is sold in small sizes. However, if you want to make tuberose soap for only a few dollars, you can do so by using tuberose floral wax. If you’d like the recipe, check out my eBook 12 Easy Melt and Pour Soap Recipes.

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Basic Aromatherapy, Part 1

By Lisa Maliga

Copyright 2008-2014

photo of essential oils by lisa maligaAromas are all around us…Think about how you encounter them every day from roses in the garden, a cup of steaming hot cappuccino or soothing jasmine tea, basil that infuses spaghetti sauce, and fresh citrus juices. Noses can often detect hundreds of scents a day, and of those, the aromas of plants, fruits, barks and roots are able to do more than just feed us. Leaves from the tea tree plant not only heal cuts and burns, but the essential oil is strong enough to use as an all-purpose cleaner. The lavender flower yields an oil that can ward off insects, reduce stress, scent linens and get rid of bruises. Peppermint oil is a natural way to bid farewell to unwanted houseguests like bugs and mice, but it can also remind you of Christmas.

Did you know that the sodas and flavored bottled waters you drink contain essential oils? That the common vanilla flavor you find in ice cream is made from dark brown vanilla pods? Perfumes and colognes contain numerous blends of essential oils. High quality soaps, shampoos, bath oils, body powders and lotions all include varied essences of flowers, plants and fruits.

I had many successful experiences using pure essential oils, and I have read and heard of so many others enjoying relief from pain, healing of skin problems, awakening of positive spirits, etc. For example, before I had my own bath and body products business, I had to find a full time job. That prospect didn’t make me enthusiastic, yet after applying a small dab of lemon essential oil, diluted in a jojoba oil carrier base, I was feeling cheerful and positive. This in turn came through in the interview and I was hired that afternoon.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a therapeutic natural practice that can be used to advance health, beauty and a sense of ease. It involves using pure essential oils with various methods, including bathing, inhalation and massage. Aromatherapy is derived from two words: Aroma means scent and Therapy means treatment. This scent/treatment has evolved over the centuries and across continents.

In his book “The Art of Aromatherapy” Robert B. Tisserand examines what happened to mankind during the twentieth century: “Our minds have run away with us, and as we have become more obsessive, so we have become steadily more neurotic. As doctors increase their knowledge of disease so disease becomes more tenacious and widespread. As new drugs are formulated and marketed, the harm done by those drugs increases proportionally.”

Aromatherapy works in harmony with your body. Side effects from properly administered dosages are absent. Your body becomes stronger as it’s fed the complex nutrients of purity from essential oils, not something synthesized in a lab and deprived of all its components. There are no new essential oils—only the same, reliable plant life that has been used successfully for thousands of years. Combining the rich and fragrant oils of rose, jasmine and neroli, for example, may appear to be a new twist to you, but guaranteed this expensive blend of floral oils have been utilized for an individual with an overactive mind [stress!] some other time and place.

Click here to read: Basic Aromatherapy, Part 2