Zinziba and the art of “banishing”

“Hand Effigy” made with LEGO bricks, exhibited in The Art of the Brick at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (2015)

For Christmas, I “requested” and received an aromatherapy diffuser as a gift. My intent was to use it to diffuse essential oils that I had bought out of curiosity and later realized I would not be using in my perfumery experiments any further. So far, it’s working out well.

One of these essential oils was zinziba, or Lippia javanica. I was intrigued when browsing the catalog of raw materials as I had never heard of this plant and remembered a perfume from The Body Shop that I liked many years ago called Zinzibar, although that was mainly about ginger. It wasn’t expensive, so I bought a small vial, but upon smell found it too medicinal, and upon reading confirmed that it wasn’t really a perfumery ingredient.

I started diffusing it, and decided to find out what its aromatherapeutic properties were, although I’m not currently focused in that direction to any extent. Apparently, beyond its usefulness as a pest repellent and reliever of cold and cough, zinziba is also good for “banishing spirits.” I also came across an anecdote about a healer who fell ill herself and had to be told that she was holding on to too many pieces of information as though they were items to be collected for later use—hence the aura in her room being one of having too many “things” even though the space was physically minimalist.

As I inhaled the mist of this “wild verbena” that reminded me of mint tea (and something slightly peppery), it occurred to me that I kind of did that as well—after all, “knowledge is power,” is it not? Some tidbits that I had seen or heard were certainly valuable in later interactions with people, as mentioning them again showed that I’d paid attention to them, etc. However, a lot of it was indeed extra and unnecessary, if I really stopped to think about it. For someone who already prides herself on being on top of “digital cleanup” even before it became a part of the recent, greater collective push for positive environmental impact, it was refreshing to realize that I could do even better.

As someone who tends to hold on actively to things that I consider “meaningful,” I can learn to embrace the transient nature of certain things.

The magic “delete” function just got even more magical.

[Update: I don’t recommend using a diffuser with zinziba essential oil. It does not dissolve in water or alcohol and forms greasy lumps along the plastic walls, making cleaning a much bigger hassle than it should be.]

2 thoughts on “Zinziba and the art of “banishing”

  1. What can I say? I was happier 5 minutes ago before I decided to look up “digital cleanup”: now I want to go and start deleting everything 🙂

    I think that remembering things, as much as possible, is good: whatever you’ll put in your memory today will be what you’ll remember 20-30 years from now when your current memory gets worse 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we’re on the same page—I’m trying to clear precious memory space for the things I want to remember 20–30 years from now, instead of a bunch of random useless things. 😉 Not sure if that’s possible, but I’ll try.

      Liked by 1 person

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