It is said that in Arabic, ‘elemi’ means something like “As above, so below” and indeed, in ancient times it was honored and revered as an oil of the gods. The Egyptians used it as one of the ingredients in their embalming rituals, enabling the soul of the person to transcend this world into the next. Other cultures used it for centering in their meditation practices, bringing their higher awareness down to the consciousness. Thus “As above, so below” seems a very appropriate name for this exquisite oil. But elemi has therapeutic properties as well as spiritual qualities.
The resin of elemi is extracted from the Canarium Luzonicum tree and then is steam distilled into an essential oil. It has a fresh woody, lemon-like odor that lifts the spirits and creates a festive environment. It definitely is a “feel-good” oil.
Appropriate for the winter months with colds and flu so prevalent, elemi works well in an aroma lamp to keep germs at bay. It is also good for bronchitis, catarrhal conditions and serves as an expectorant. Elemi loosens phlegm and eases coughs when rubbed (in a carrier oil) on the chest. In the dark gloomy wintertime, elemi is a jovial oil to burn in order to brighten the atmosphere and enliven the spirits, especially when one is feeling sick or under the weather.
Elemi is a wonderful skin care product which encourages rejuvenation of the cells and builds tissue, thus decreasing wrinkles and softening tired, aging skin. Its preservation properties must be why it was included in the embalming process! When diluted and used in compresses, its antiseptic action makes it useful for wounds, scar tissue and abscesses.
As mentioned before, this essential oil was used in meditation practices in earlier times. The ancients knew of its ability to calm and center the psyche and allow for deeper internal awareness. It calms the nervous system and eases stress and tension, thus encouraging inner peace and tranquility. Its psycho-spiritual effects are balancing as well as strengthening, bringing a sense of inner joy and self-actualization. In meditation elemi offers us a glimpse into the darker world of the psyche, shining a light into the recesses of our soul. Like venturing down the winding hallways in an ancient pyramid, elemi brings us to the core of our awakening spirit, and touches upon our ancestral heritage and lineage. It unfolds our inner mysteries to our consciousness in an unexpectedly jubilant way, taking us on a path away from fear and anxiety into hope and trust. Truly it is an oil to bring our higher knowing to a reachable tangible place. As the gods above, so we are all gods here below.