Essential Oils 101 – Juniper – Lemongrass


  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm (Mellissa)
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass

Juniper Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Juniper essential oil has long been known as an antiseptic, sudorific (induces sweating), antirheumatic (slow rheumatoid arthritis down), depurative (purifying and detoxifying), antispasmodic, stimulating, stomachic (promoting the appetite or assisting digestion), astringent, carminative, diuretic, rubefacient (causing redness of the skin to increase blood circulation), vulnerary (wound healing) and tonic.

Health benefits: It protects wounds against becoming septic, increases sweating, cures rheumatism and arthritis, purifies blood, eliminates spasms, stimulates functions, is good for the stomach, makes gums stronger and stops haemorrhaging, reduces excess gas, promotes urination, brings colour to the skin and promotes quick healing of wounds.

Lavender Essential Oil (Middle/Top)

Properties: Lavender essential is calming, sleep inducing, analgesic (pain relief), aphrodisiac, disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal.

Health benefits: It is beneficial for treatment of issues with the nervous system, insomnia, pain relief, urine flow, respiratory disorders, skin care, hair care, blood circulation, indigestion and immune system health.

Lemon Balm (Melissa) Essential Oil (Middle)

Properties: Lemon balm essential oil is commonly used as an antidepressant, cordial, nervine (calm the nerves), emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow), sedative, antispasmodic, stomachic (promoting the appetite or assisting digestion), antibacterial, carminative, diaphoretic (inducing perspiration), febrifuge (reduce fever), hypotensive, sudorific (induces sweating) and a tonic.

Health benefits: It reduces feelings of depression, cures nervous disorders, opens blocked menses, sedates inflammation, reduces spasms, and is good for the stomach. It inhibits bacteria, removes gas, increases perspiration and removes toxins, reduces fever, lowers blood pressure and boosts the health of your immune system.

Lemon Essential oil (Top)

Properties: Lemon essential oil is an antiseptic, antiviral, astringent, aperitif, bactericidal, disinfectant, febrifuge (reduce fever), restorative and a tonic.

Health benefits: It protects wounds becoming septic, inhibits viral and bacterial growth, strengthens gums, and stops hair loss, lifts skin, induces firmness in muscles, stops haemorrhaging, fights infections and cures fevers.

Lemongrass Essential Oil (Middle/Top)

Properties: Lemongrass essential oil is an analgesic (pain relief), antidepressant, antimicrobial (kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth), antipyretic (prevent or reduce fever), antiseptic, astringent, bactericidal (kills bacteria), carminative, deodorant, diuretic, febrifuge (reduce fever), fungicidal, galactogogue (increases the flow of a mother’s milk), insecticidal, nervine (calm the nerves), sedative and a tonic.

Health benefits: It relieves pain, fights depression, inhibits microbial growth, reduces high fever, protects wounds from being septic, strengthens gums and hair, reduces haemorrhaging, kills bacteria, eliminates gas, reduces body odour, promotes urination, reduces fever, stops fungal infections, increases milk, kills insects, strengthens nerves, soothes inflammation and nervous disturbances.



Information provided is for personal information and interest only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and does not offer medical advice or treatment for any condition. It is recommend you consult your doctor or aromatherapist if you are pregnant, nursing, take medication, have any health/medical conditions and want to include using essential oils.


Cob in foil on the fire

A friend of ours rang us up the other day and offered us a fish which he had just caught.  How can one refuse such a generous offer.  Even better was the gift of it being scaled, gutted and filleted.  BONUS!  Thanks Bernie, you are a star.

Cob in foil 1

All ready to be wrapped up an put on the coals

With having Pete home the last while and the weather being so lovely in the evenings, it is no surprise that we braai (barbecue) just about every other night and enjoy dining al fresco.

This cob was so moreish that we have enjoyed it twice in one week.  Now to wait for another kind offer of more fish or get on the river and catch one ourselves.  You can substitute the cob with any other fish – the simple flavours will compliment anything from sole to stock fish.

There really is no recipe for this, more a guideline, a un-recipe if you like.

Fish in Foil


Fish fillet of choice
Olive oil
Coarse salt
Black pepper
Lemon zest
Fresh Dill


  1. Place the fish on a piece of tin foil.
  2. Place all of the ingredients over the fish.
  3. Wrap the fish in the foil tightly.
  4. Hand the package to your husband to cook over the coals.
Cob in foil 2

No prizes for this pic but the fish was delicious!

Garden Update

Spring is in the air – oh joyful and happy times!  I am most grateful that we had a mild winter and the joys of spring have come up in wonderful colours in our garden.   Spring seems to start earlier and earlier each year – maybe it’s just me getting older…

We have the most lovely loquat tree in the top corner of our garden.  If memory serves, we got it as a small potted plant from my brother-in-law Derek from his Plettenberg Bay garden.    I’m never sure what to do with the fruit, other than make jam, so sadly I usually leave the birds to feed to the hearts content.  Soon the fruit will be a beautiful yellow.


We have two lemon trees.  The older of the two seems to be diseased with the skin of the lemons and branches getting odd spotty growths which rub off easily.  The fruit however is unaffected and I have yet to find juicier lemons.  Our second tree came about after slicing open a lemon for a gin an tonic and found one of the pips had started sprouting inside the lemon.  Pete just popped in the ground, et voila, one lemon tree later which produces the most perfect lemons.


Our fig tree has sprouted figs on a bare tree!  Poor tree must be a tad confused – there are no more than two dozen teeny tiny leaves at this stage and nearly as many figs.  Doubt these little fellows will develop properly, let alone ripen as it is far too early in the season.  When we pruned the tree, I took a few cuttings and  stuck them in potting soil after dipping them in hormone growth powder and it seems to have worked!  I am not getting too excited just yet, hence the lack of photos of the cuttings.

first fig

Our two strelitzia plants are both thriving at the moment.  Each plant has no less than 5 flowers in glorious bloom.  They make for the most beautiful cut flowers and last an age in a vase.


Yay!  My sweet peas have finally started flowering.   The rambling plants look much like a weed sadly and have a tendency to take over but I just love the look and smell of the flowers – definitely one of my favourite smells and it’s a delight to see small vases all over our home of these pretty flowers.

sweet peas

We have three arum lilly plants in our lapa/braai area and all 3 have started producing the biggest lillies we have ever had.  I often have a tall vase filled with arums in our entrance hall standing at attention waiting to greet guests.

arum lillies

Our peach tree literally went from blossoms with no leaves to leaf laden branches with two remaining blossoms before I could get any photos.  No sooner had I taken this photo when a gust of wind come up and blew the pink petals to the ground.

peach blossom

Last but by no means least, are a few chilli plants which I have planted in one of the three box/window planters in front of Pet’s workshop.  I am a little undecided what to plant in the other 2 – possibly marigolds or maybe even some herbs.

chilli plant

I can’t wait to get back in the garden again.  Here’s to a wonderful summer!

Sorry if I am absent from your blogs’ this week, I am away for the week and will catch up with you all next week again. 🙂

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I have a fantastic recipe for Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins but I am always up to trying a new recipe, especially if it is quick and easy.  I saw this recipe (originally a cake but you all know I like to make individual portions) over at The Hungry Mum.  When I try a new recipe, I always make it as stated.  The flavour of these muffins are spot on but I wasn’t entirely happy with the texture – they were a little heavy.  Take two with a slightly amended method, replace the butter with oil, add salt, one less egg et voila, a lovely light muffin which made for a lovely pudding with a scoop of ice cream.  Thanks Hungry Mum.  I hope you don’t mind that I amended the recipe.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Slightly adapted from The Hungry Mum


½ cup sunflower oil
¾ cup caster sugar
2 extra large eggs
¾ cup milk
5 tsp lemon zest
2 cups self raising flour
½ tsp salt
7 tsp poppy seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Line 12 muffins pans with paper cases.
  3. Beat the oil and sugar together.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until foamy.
  5. Add the milk and lemon zest.
  6. Fold in the flour, salt and poppy seeds.
  7. Divide the mixture between the 12 muffins pans and bake for 15 to 16 minutes.