With so many bugs and viruses circulating at the present time, it is very easy for the more health-conscious amongst us to level-up our daily cleansing routine. In particular, the use of alcohol-based hand-sanitisers are seeing a huge increase right now as a first line of defence in the war against disease. Quick and easy to apply, it is no wonder that this method is a go-to for so many, but, as with most things in life, overuse of the process does have its drawbacks.
The Alchemical Perspective
To better understand the process that occurs when utilising an alcohol-based product on the skin, it is helpful to refer to the ‘Ancient Arte of Alchemy’, where all Universal machinations are seen in the light of the ‘Three Principles’; Sulphur, Salt and Mercury. Whereas today’s ‘intelligentsia’ are those that have spent years specialising more and more in their chosen niche, the wise ones of old went in the other direction, preferring to simplify their view of the world by viewing all things in terms of the three principles and their interactions. As these three principles are ever-present within any aspect of creation, observation of their behaviour within one realm must surely apply to any other by way of analogy, and so a broader understanding of the world could be reached. At least, that is how the Alchemists saw things, and in today’s climate, the truth likely falls somewhere in between these two extremes. To simplify the alchemical perspective of the Vegetable Kingdom, however; Sulphur is analogous to the soul of the plant - that which makes it unique in its realm – and is represented by its essential oil. The Salt would be the physical body of the plant, while Mercury manifests as the ethanol that is produced by all vegetable matter - or to the alchemist, the shared Universal Spirit. (And yes, this is why alcohol is referred to as 'spirits' even in today's parlance.)
The simplest alchemical experiment involves placing an amount of a specific herb into a mason jar, covering the plant-matter in high-proof alcohol, and leaving for an extended period – usually forty days – whilst shaking the jar daily. This experiment will result in a basic ‘herbal tincture’, wherein the Sulphur/Soul/Essential Oil of the plant is separated from its Salt/Body by virtue of the Mercury/Spirit/Ethanol. Today’s modern chemist would view the result as simply that the alcohol has drawn out the herb’s essential oils from the plant – which is in itself a correct evaluation. The Alchemist, however - via the Law of Analogy - would view the same process as the Universal Spirit drawing out the Soul from the physicality of Matter. Both interpretations have their merit, but at its core, the procedure itself proves one important insight; alcohol draws out and stores oil!
Saving Your Soul
Applying this wisdom to the use of hand-sanitisers, then; it is a small step to see how overuse of alcohol-based products can draw out all those essential oils stored within the body, and in particular the skin. These oils are essential for maintaining the balance of friendly bacteria and life-sustaining nutrients that keep us looking young and vital, and so regular use of many of today’s products can leave us depleted in this area - and from the alchemical perspective – lacking in soul! In addition, the sebaceous glands - connected to each hair follicle - react to the loss of oils and nutrients by kicking into overdrive, which can result in an oilier skin on the surface, while the deeper layers are stripped of these essential materials. This can lead to all kinds of skin complaints such as cracking, redness and irritation. Definitely a sign that the three principles are out of balance!
Thankfully, there is a way of countering the negative consequences of excessive sanitisation (which can sometimes be unavoidable, especially in today’s climate). Fragrant Earth recommends our Rubbing Alcohol Spray with Lime essential oil; great to cleanse the hands as well as for disinfecting hard areas around the home, it has all the sanitising effects of rubbing alcohol at 90%, with the energising, cleansing, and immune-system-supporting properties of Lime essential oil; the perfect solution to maintain the balance that Nature intended, and preserve your very soul! To get yours today, click on the link below:
From all of us here at Fragrant Earth, we wish you a safe and balanced flu-season, and a warm and nourishing Spring!