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Guide to Saro Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

"Saro is a pleasant breath of fresh air," states Working With Unusual Oils, "sweeping through to boost your health or confidence when it is teetering." Saro essential oil (Cinnamosma fragrans), also known as mandravasarotra essential oil, is a lesser-known oil steam distilled from the leaves and sometimes twigs of a small tree native to the wet tropical forests of West Madagascar.

Plant family: Canellaceae (wild cinnamon family)

Aroma: Camphorous with a slight lemony/fruity note. The Heart of Aromatherapy describes the scent as reminiscent of soft eucalyptus.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Middle to top.

Is saro safe to use during pregnancy? Consult a professional.

Is saro essential oil safe for children? Do not apply to or near the face of infants or young children, due to the 1,8 cineole content. One source suggests not using the oil with children under age 6, while another says not under age 10.

Main components:

  • 1,8 cineole 46.0–53.0%
  • beta-pinene  5.0–8.0%
  • alpha-pinene 4.0–7.0%
  • terpinen-4-ol 3.0–5.0%
  • (+)-limonene 2.0–4.0%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

Saro Aromatherapy Benefits

The Heart of Aromatherapy: "Saro has a warmth to it that can be comforting when you need a little support to feel healthy, and it especially shines in blends for respiratory health and sore muscles." Uses for the essential oil include clearing mucus and congestion, easing coughs and sore throats, soothing allergies, calming inflammation, feeling relaxed and uplifted, and making natural cleaning blends.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Use saro to help relieve bronchitis, coughs, colds, flu, sinusitis, muscle pain and injury, cellulite, wounds, abscesses, and physical exhaustion.

The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness: In a massage oil, the pleasant aroma of saro lifts your mood and eases physical and mental exhaustion. The essential oil also supports the immune system and is a restorative for the liver and kidneys. Use the oil to help ease ear, nose, and throat complaints, including relieving congestion and reducing the pressure of sinusitis.

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume 2: Psychologically, saro stimulates the mind, promotes alertness, and promotes self-confidence and motivation. The oil is indicated for depression and ADD. Physically, the essential oil restores hypotonic/weak conditions and warms asthenic/cold conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the essential function of this oil is tonify the Qi and Yang, raise the Yang, and strengthen the Shen.

Eden's Garden: Emotionally, saro essential oil stimulates the mind and encourages a positive mood. Use the oil in a diffuser to help relieve stress and anxiety. Saro supports the immune and respiratory systems and may help relieve sinus congestion, sore throats, colds, flu, sinusitis, and seasonal allergies. The oil also soothes sore muscles and helps relieve pain.

Aromatics: Saro is a comforting oil during the cold season. Use the oil to support the immune system or to help restore health and natural breathing. Suggested uses:

  • To open up your breathing, use saro in an essential oil inhaler.
  • To relieve head tension, massage your scalp, shoulders, and neck with a saro blend. (Keep it away from your eyes.)
  • To purify the air, use saro in an aromatherapy diffuser.

Saro Essential Oil Uses and Blends

Base Formula suggests the following uses of saro essential oil:

  • To soothe muscle pain and inflammation, use a cold compress. To a bowl of cold water, add 2 drops black pepper, 2 drops lavender, and 1 drop saro. Dip a cloth in the water. Wring out the cloth and place it on the affected area.

  • For a revitalizing energy boost, diffuse 3 drops saro, 3 drops spearmint, and 2 drops basil.

  • To boost confidence, motivation, and energy, use this self-massage blend after your morning shower. Blend 1 drop saro, 2 drops lemon, and 3 drops patchouli in 1 tablespoon carrier oil or moisturizing lotion.

  • To help alleviate depression or anxiety, diffuse 3 drops lemon, 3 drops lavender, and 2 drops saro.

Cold, Flu, Sinus Blends

Steam Blend

Use this blend to relieve pain, congestion, and swelling associated with sinus colds and sinus headaches. Makes one 5-ml stock blend.

  • 20 drops saro essential oil
  • 20 drops eucalyptus dives essential oil
  • 10 drops white pine essential oil
  • 5-ml glass bottle with orifice reducer cap
  1. Add the essential oils to the glass bottle. Cap and shake gently.
  2. Label and store this stock blend in a cool, dark place.
  3. Use as needed for steam treatments or in a diffuser.

For a sinus steam, use one drop of the blend. Keep your eyes closed when using essential oil blends in a steam treatment. For added benefit, leave the bowl of steaming water out—the oils will continue to diffuse.

If you experience discomfort or nasal irritation, do not steam and diffuse a few drops of the blend instead.

Source: Essential Living

Alternative blend for steam (from Base Formula):

  • 3 drops saro
  • 3 drops ravensara essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil

DIY Chest Rub

Use this rub to relieve nasal congestion.

  • 1.5 ounces (3 tablespoons) soy wax
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 45 drops saro essential oil
  • 4-ounce glass jar
  1. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt soy wax and shea butter.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in oils. Transfer the mixture to a glass jar.

To use: Gently rub a dollop of the salve onto your chest and throat.
Source: Eden's Garden

Therapeutic Bath Salt for Aches and Pains

Makes an 8-ounce jar of bath salts (enough for about 8 baths). Use to soothe the body after a vigorous workout or to relax and unwind after a tense day at work.

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) natural (unbleached) bath salts
  • 20 drops saro essential oil
  • 10 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 10 drops frankincense essential oil
  • One 8-ounce PET plastic jar

Fill the empty jar with bath salts. Add essential oils directly to the salt and stir vigorously for at least one minute.

To use: Add about two tablespoons to your bath after the tub has filled. Soak and enjoy.

Source: Essential Living

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