Deep, earthy, and mysteriously alluring, in this episode we take a look at the Amavi Fortifying Blend. We've created this blend especially for the father's and special men in your life and we're excited to walk through the history of the individual oils inside.
This episode is sponsored by On Guard, learn more about this incredible blend here.
doTERRA: The name Amavi comes from the Latin saying, “Veni. Vidi. Amavi,” which translates to “I came. I saw. I loved.” This beautiful expression encapsulates the idea that life is a journey to be experienced. And that joy can be found in even the littlest of things.
Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful, and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field.
Today’s episode is brought to you by the doTERRA On Guard® Protective Blend. A powerful blend of essential oils, On Guard provides a natural and effective alternative for immune support when used internally. Your body does a lot for you, so why not get your guard up? Check out the link in our episode description to learn more.
Today we're excited to talk to you about our Amavi blend, a deep, earthy, and mysterious combination of Buddha Wood, Balsam Fir, Black Pepper, Hinoki, and Patchouli. If you're interested in learning more about the Amavi blend, make sure to click on the link in the episode description.
Remember, today we’re going to talk about some internal historical uses for some of these plants, but we want to remind you that the Amavi blend is for aromatic or topical use only. Any internal benefits discussed for the individual oils in the blend are not applicable to aromatic or topical use.
First we have buddha wood, which is native to Australia. Known commonly as “false sandalwood” or “desert rosewood,” buddha wood has been used as a substitute for the more well-known and expensive sandalwood. The tree itself has extremely aromatic wood, similar to that of sandalwood. But even with the similarities, both the scent and properties differ from sandalwood.
Buddha wood was first formally described in 1848 by the botanist George Bentham, who published the description in the book Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia by Thomas Mitchell.
In the recent past, the tree was wild harvested as a substitute for sandalwood. However, the tree has also been harvested and used for fence posts. Around 1925, an Australian chemist and Australian essential oil pioneer first tested the oil and noted its unique properties and recommended it as a perfume fixative.
One of many plants utilized by Aboriginal groups, buddha wood plants could often be found among the few possessions carried by nomadic groups because of its use in traditional wellness practices. They would use various parts of the plant, including the smoke from burning the leaves.
Buddha wood also featured heavily in ceremony by Aboriginal groups. Newborn babies were often washed with an infusion of crushed buddha wood leaves. And it was used particularly in coming-of-age ceremonies, reaching out to ancestors, or to say goodbye to deceased loved ones.
Next, we have Balsam Fir. Other names for this tree include balm of Gilead, northern balsam, silver pine, and blister fir. Balsam fir is native to eastern and central Canada, as well as the northeastern United States.
Unsurprisingly, the Balsam Fir has a long history with many First Nations as a resource in traditional wellness practices and the Chippewa First Nation reportedly used the gum and the essence of the root. Many other Nations used the tree in their wellness practices as well.
In modern day, balsam firs are often farmed on plantations. Many of these farms are family-owned, and techniques for taking care of the trees have been passed down through generations.
You may be surprised to learn that balsam fir trees are actually one of the greatest exports of Quebec and New England. Why, you may ask? Well, this particular species of fir tree is a popular pick for Christmas trees, due in large part to its rich fragrance, which feels like walking through the forest with fresh brush underfoot. In fact, these trees have been used six times as the US Capitol Christmas tree between 1964 and 2019.
Of course, this hasn’t been balsam fir’s only use. While most people may not find the fir too appetizing, it’s certainly edible and may help sustain you in an emergency. The resin has also historically been munched on like a very strong-flavored chewing gum.
For thousands of years, Native Americans used the tree for a variety of traditional wellness purposes. They also sometimes combined the tree’s resin with grease to make a fragrant hair oil. And its needles were used to brew tea and even served as a source of food.
In Ayurveda the tree’s essential oil is considered sacred and is often used in Abhyanga, the art of Ayurvedic massage. And it brings a beautiful, woody scent to the Amavi blend.
Black pepper is a plant native to South Asia and Southeast Asia whose history goes back thousands of years. There are even records that it’s been used in Indian cooking since at least 2,000 BC.
The lost ancient port city of Muziris in Kerala was famous for exporting black pepper and is mentioned in many classical historical sources for its trade with the Roman Empire, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Levant, and Yemen. Peppercorns were a much-prized trade good, often referred to as "black gold" and were even used as a form of payment. The legacy of this trade remains in some Western legal systems that recognize the term "peppercorn rent" as a token payment.
In Egypt, black peppercorns were found stuffed in the nostrils of Ramesses II, placed there as part of the mummification rituals shortly after his death.
Black Pepper was known in Greece at least as early as the fourth century BC, though it was probably an uncommon and expensive item that only the very rich could afford.
During the Roman empire, black pepper was a well-known, widespread, if expensive, seasoning. A third-century cookbook actually includes pepper in most of its recipes. Edward Gibbon wrote in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that pepper was "a favorite ingredient of the most expensive Roman cookery."
Pepper was so valuable that it was often used as collateral or even currency. The taste for pepper, or at least the appreciation of its monetary value, was passed on to those who would see Rome fall. Alaric, king of the Visigoths, included 3,000 pounds of pepper as part of the ransom he demanded from Rome when he besieged the city in the fifth century.
Marco Polo testifies to pepper's popularity in 13th-century China when he relates what he is told of its consumption in the city of Kinsay. He "heard it stated by one of the Great Kaan's officers of customs that the quantity of pepper introduced daily for consumption into the city of Kinsay amounted to 43 loads, each load being equal to 223 lbs."
In the Middle Ages, pepper was still an item exclusively for the rich, but as trade routes started to expand and it became more and more available, it started to become more of an everyday seasoning among even those of average means. And today, pepper accounts for 20% of the spice trade around the world.
Like many eastern spices, pepper was historically both a seasoning and part of traditional wellness practices. Pepper appears in the Buddhist practices as one of the few wellness items a monk is allowed to carry. Black pepper was also believed to be useful in all sorts of situations and multiple sources from the fifth century onward recommended pepper as a natural wellness product.
Next we have another tree: Hinoki. Now, hinoki, or Japanese cypress, has been grown, treasured, and considered sacred in Japan for centuries. It's known for its very high-quality timber and has been used as a building material for temples, shrines, traditional Noh theaters, and even ritual baths.
During the feudal era in Japan, it’s said that five beautiful and majestic trees were planted and selected as the most valuable. They were known as the five trees of Kiso and one of these trees was hinoki.
Hinoki is quite particular about its growing environment and only grows within this area of the world. It’s extremely sensitive to any impurities that might be around it and the trees suffer if they're trying to grow in polluted environments. Because of this, they only thrive in areas where the air and the water around them are pure. Many people believe that this purity is reflected in the wood's appearance. It's a very light-colored wood with a natural clear resin that permeates the pores throughout, creating a natural protection.
Hinoki wood has been prized throughout history as a building material for sacred buildings because of its incredible durability. Studies of structures built with hinoki wood show that it actually continues to increase in durability for about 200 years, even after it's been cut. In fact, the oldest wooden structure in the world is in Japan and was built using this wood about 1,300 years ago, and today 65% of that original wood still remains. Not only that, but people say that the scent of hinoki, one of the things it is most famous for, can still be smelled today, 1,300 years later.
Hinoki wood was specifically used in building temples and shrines for the Shinto religion. Trees in the Shinto religion are considered sacred, and according to an ancient Shinto belief, a god descended to a high pine on an elegant mountain to exist in a large or very old tree. And throughout the history of the Shinto beliefs these trees have continued to be seen as sacred. And sacred places in Shinto have been marked by shrines for many years.
Hinoki wood has also been used in Shinto ceremonies and rituals. One excellent example of this is the Sanbo, which is a ceremonial stand used to bear food offerings in Shinto temples. The stands of course are sacred in the religion and are usually made of unpainted hinoki wood.
We mentioned the scent of hinoki earlier, when hinoki wood is cut or scrubbed, it emanates a very pleasing lemon smell, which is highly prized in Japan and used in traditional Japanese stick incense for its light and earthy aroma. And it makes a fantastic addition to the Amavi blend.
Finally, we look at one of the deeper, herb-y notes in this fragrance: Patchouli. The word patchouli itself means “green leaf” and is an important ingredient in East Asian incense. Patchouli is also used widely in modern perfumery, by individuals who create their own scents, and in modern scented industrial products such as paper towels, laundry detergents, and air fresheners.
Patchouli wasn’t introduced into western culture until the 1840s, even though it had been utilized in Asia for centuries before that. As beautiful, luxurious cashmere and silks made their way through trade routes from Asia and Egypt to Europe, they were packed with fragrant patchouli leaves to protect them.
When European trade merchants would open these trunks on arrival, they would be met with the warm, earthy aroma of patchouli, and the scent would linger on the fabric even after it had been purchased. In fact, the smell of patchouli became so completely intertwined with the luxurious, exotic materials that after a time if a silk or carpet didn’t smell like patchouli, merchants along the trade routes would doubt that it was authentic.
People just fell in love with the rich, exquisite scent that was distinctively all its own. So, in Europe, Patchouli went from simply a way to protect fabrics to an upscale fragrance and continues to be utilized in colognes and fragrances around the world.
Patchouli has also been used in traditional wellness practices where it grows naturally. In the Philippines, an infusion of patchouli leaves has been used internally and given to women. In Thailand, blends of patchouli with other herbs were often recommended for many different reasons. In Ayurveda, patchouli has also been heavily utilized in many different instances. And finally, in traditional Chinese practices, patchouli was frequently used and also thought to nourish the Yin and calm the spirit. In the Amavi blend, patchouli brings a rich base note that lingers with you throughout the day.
All of these essential oils come together to create an amazing blend that we know you and your family will love.
Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you want to try any of the products you learned about, click the link in the episode description or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today. And remember, today's episode was brought to you by the On Guard Protective Blend. A powerful blend of essential oils, On Guard provides a natural and effective alternative for immune support when used internally. Your body does a lot for you, so why not get your guard up?