“Above the people, my head in freedom, like the cypress, I uplift…” — Hafiz, Persian lyric poet
I recently spent some time in coastal northern California, graced by the presence of some majestic Cypress trees. Cypress trees are conifers, or cone bearing trees (and sometimes, shrubs), that can live for thousands of years. In Iran, where they are a favorite of gardeners, there lives one Cypress tree estimated to be 4000 years old.
Ok, call me granola, but I’d like to hug that tree, or better yet, sit and listen to it. I’m pretty certain our Cypress grandfathers might have a life lesson or two up their long limbs. Used extensively in ancient Roman funerary rites and still used today as the principal cemetery tree in both Western and Muslim cultures, this tree has long been associated with death. Interestingly enough the essential oil is known to ease grief. It is said to increase emotional stamina, helping one carry on after great trauma or crisis. This applies not only to the emotional body, but can also apply to physical trauma as well. This makes it a beautiful oil to gift to someone who has sustained severe injury or suffered loss.
No need to wait for such trauma of course, Cypress is lovely oil for daily use. It is antiseptic and deodorant, helpful for poor circulation, coughs, lung congestion, cellulite & varicose veins. Try adding a couple drops of the essential oil to some olive or jojoba oil and massage into the skin anywhere you wish to improve circulation. For coughs, head colds or after a good cry, make yourself a steam: add a couple drops of the oil and some chamomile flowers to a pot of water after it has boiled, cover your head with a towel and breathe a little clearing comfort on in.