Galbanum is an ancient aromatic substance. The author of Exodus named it as a component of incense to use in the temple. It was used by the Romans in ritual anointings for springtime. If you are planning any sort of ritual use of the oils for the Spring Equinox, I suspect this could be the one.
Galbanum’s aroma is intriguing; very much a puzzlement, a reminder of an aroma remembered. My first impression was GREEN, vivid, in your face green, but not a leaf green. The mental image of fresh twigs, with buds waiting to burst into life seems right. My assistant decided it was the air of a green house, moist, rich with traces of living organisms, mosses, leaf mulch. It is complex and multi-layered, an oil I want to play with for blending.
I’m learning there are often physical links with the “energetic” uses of the oils… as in this oil, used ritualistically for rebirth/renewal is also wonderful for skin renewal. Galbanum is highly recommended by Jeanne Rose for healing old scars, and for wrinkle removal. One of my aromatherapy mentors says it sometimes has had some very strong emotional/psychic healing effects on some clients, especially in the area of childhood traumas and memories.
I have also seen it recommended in blends for easing the aches and pains of rheumatism, but it wouldn’t be my first thought for this sort of blend. Jennifer Peace Rhind recommends Galbanum CO2 for adrenal fatigue, perhaps blended with Black Spruce essential oil.
Galbanum is really a fascinating oil to work with, both for the aromatherapist and the perfumer. I’m tempted to try blending it with Lavender and or Geranium, or perhaps with some Fir Needle or Spruce, and with Carrot Seed and Rose Otto for mature skin care. This select extraction should be diluted as you would any other essential oil. A warning though, it has a tendency to move in and take over most blends, so you might want to blend with a very light hand.
It is often described as a top note, and yet many sources recommend it as a fixative. I would tend to think of it as a very green middle to base note, for blending purposes.
WARNING: Margeurite Maury cautions to avoid using it on young skin. Galbanum is not normally an irritant or a sensitizer, but may be a cross sensitizer with Benzoin and/or Peru Balsam. Please avoid working with it while pregnant.
**For other possible oils to avoid, please see our Contraindications page.
Certificate of Analysis:
Batch No: IR-331005