Essential Oils Blog

Essential Oil Well-being: Be Gentle, Be Generous, Be Grateful

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist


Essential Wellbeing: Where mind, body and spirit meet aromatherapy.

As you may know, from reading my previous blogs, the catalyst for my own healing journey started with a traumatic injury. I mention this here because, in retrospect, there is actually a prequel to that moment in time.

Prior to the accident, I did not live a healthy life. I lived the idea of the “American Dream.” Marriage, dream house, well-educated, big job, nice car, travel to amazing places. Regardless of what it took for me, and what it took out of me, I persisted in how life was “meant to be.”

This led to living life in a persistently unhealthy way.

While I wasn’t always unhappy, the underlying threads holding together the fabric of my health were fraying.  Always battling my weight. Never enough sleep. Not enough energy for physical activity. No time for creative outlets. False energy in caffeine and sugar to keep up the go, go, go pace. And, I was living in a chronic state of stress to where I often didn’t even notice it wasn’t normal. As a result, I was also living with multiple chronic conditions caused by inflammation and autoimmune responses that my physicians at the highest levels of academic medicine couldn’t keep in check.

 I was heading for a health crisis.

One of my most insightful physicians led the integrative medicine department at the university medical center where I worked. She explained the connections between my mind, body and spirit, their impact on my health, and the effects of the life I was living on my whole being. She pushed me to make changes and warned of an imminent and more intensive break down to my health. This was also the physician who first incorporated aromatherapy into my wellness plan when she prescribed the sleep hygiene routine with lavender discussed in Slipping Into Slumber.

Newly divorced, and dealing with a new boss creating a hostile work environment, I didn’t heed her warnings. I couldn’t see how to make changes while my senses remained in fight or flight status and I continued to flail out of fear of failure. What I didn’t realize was I was failing myself, and my health was failing because of my inability to focus on feeling well. And then, I received word that I would require urgent surgery for what seemed an unexpected issue with an extended recovery period. During that rest period, I came to the conclusion that the solution was to simply surgically remove everything else that was unhealthy and, then, I would be well.

I was wrong.

It was indeed critical that I extricate myself from the influences of the extreme external stressors such as the ex-husband from an emotionally abusive marriage, the current hostile job environment, and the health issue requiring surgery. But what I failed to realize was the work that remained within in order to address the aftermath, as well as to correct my course so I could become well. So, l continued dashing down my life path, which I thought I had cleared of ongoing danger, until the night a horse ran right across my literal path as I drove down a dark and rainy road.

That was the catalyst that literally and figuratively hurtled me off my path that night. With it came the realization I had received the gift of a “do-over.” What I knew for sure was I wanted to do whatever it took to enhance my overall well-being. And, so, while I worked on my physical rehabilitation, I learned I also needed to work on my mind and spirit to truly begin to walk in wellness.

Working from Within

For me, there was no single “aha” moment of revelation illuminating the way in living color while working in those areas of my being that lie beneath. Instead, there has been exploration, experience and evolving — often with gifted healers to help guide the way. The process is active and it is intentional. It can take constant adjustment, like standing in a boat riding the waves, sometimes standing still, sometimes gently rocking, and sometimes getting tossed about.

I also learned there is no arrival at state of perfection in the practice of conscious wellness. Instead, I see the path toward optimal well-being as state of awareness in which we make a series of choices about what works best for us in mindful moments that make needed self-care a priority. An approach that nourishes our mind, body and spirit so that our whole being can flourish by bringing ourselves into a better state of balance.

In addition to the conventional care I required, I added many natural healing techniques to enhance the healing process for my whole being. Massage, gentle yoga, acupuncture, meditation, energy work, and of course, aromatherapy. I continue with these practices today to help sustain my well-being, and help me back on course when I wander off. And, in many ways I much healthier than I was in the years “before.”

Growing Well

As I continue to walk this path, what has came to me most recently is that rather than “getting well,” I am “growing well.”

And, this is an important distinction. Rather than passively waiting for a return to health, growing well is a more active, engaged and empowered process in my healing journey. It implies the intention of tending to yourself. Tilling deeper into the soil to turn over old thought patterns and remove blocks that are depleting our well-being. Plant and nourish new seeds so your whole being can better flourish.

In nature, plants produce essential oils to support their ability to flourish. We can incorporate the natural gifts of these aromatic essences into our own self-care routines to support our own ability to grow well. On its own, aromatherapy shines in supporting our practice of growing well by nurturing our mind and nourishing our spirit. Incorporated into our self-care routines, aromatic essences create a synergy that enhances and expands the experience.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding which practices work for you. What is important is finding what fits best for your unique needs.

If you are looking for some inspiration, you might like to start with the articles linked below. Each suggests some self care routines synergistically supported by aromatherapy.

Regardless of which road you choose to travel toward growing well, one thing I have learned for sure:  It is vital to tend to yourself with loving care. Like the planting of new seeds, we reap what we sow, and what we want is well-being that grows in a nourished and balanced environment, sprouting from a nurtured mind and spirit.

With this in mind, I have outlined below what I have come to call “My Three Be G’s for Growing Well” along with some aromatherapy options that you may consider to support you in sustaining that space for yourself.

My Three Be G’s for Growing Well

Be Gentle

  • Let go of expectation — don’t set time frames, measurements, or any other types of metrics to beat. If you need to see how far you have come, you can take a look back to where you started.
  • Invite, don’t push — be at peace with yourself, not at war.
  • Be resilient — be soft enough in your stance; flex, bend, and bounce back. 

Be Generous

  • Give yourself the gift of time for self-care and for the process to play out. Don’t set a timer on your forward progress.
  • Self-care is not selfish. It is putting on your own oxygen mask first to be prepared for what comes and where you are needed next.
  • You are a gift and you have gifts to share. Being well enough to share your gifts also allows you to be in your purpose.

Be Grateful 

  • Rather than battle your body, be grateful for what it endures on your behalf. Thank yourself, don’t berate yourself.
  • Frustration and irritation create blocks in the road.
  • Being sidelined by illness or injury is never a blessing. But, the time created can be used to re-calibrate, restore and renew. Use it well.

Be Gentle, Be Generous and Be Grateful can serve as affirmations to gently remind ourselves to come back to a positive place in our journey to grow well. When we combine these with aromatherapy, we can create an aromatic anchor to help bring us back when we find we have wandered away simply by inhaling our chosen scent. For this reason, and as always, it is important to choose what you feel best supports your own sensibilities.

When supporting emotional or spiritual needs, inhalation is the best approach. You could add 15 drops to a personal aromatherapy inhaler, add about 5 drops per 100 mL of water to your diffuser, add 1 or 2 drops total to aromatherapy jewelry, or create up to a 2% dilution and apply to pulse points with a roller bottle to smell (6 drops essential oils to 10 ml carrier oil).

I have included a recipe below, as well as some ready-made synergies to help inspire you on your way as you choose your own path to growing well.

A Suggested Synergy to Make:

Flourishing Spirit

3 drops Ho Wood Cinnamomum camphora

1 drop Elemi Canarium luzonicum

1 drop Spearmint Mentha spicata

Evoking the sweetness of life, Flourishing Spirit can create a feeling of infusing the spirit with an expansive sense of wellbeing. Soothing, calming and uplifting, the scent can support feelings contentment and compassion while gently encouraging balance to mind, body and spirit to fortify our vitality and instill a sense of renewed vibrancy.

Cautions: None known when diluted properly.  It is recommended that spearmint be diluted to 1.7% or less when applied topically on its own. For purposes of this blend, you will be well within range if the total blend is diluted 2% as recommended for topical application.

Or, Choose a Ready Made Synergy:

Loving Compassion — From Plant Therapy’s Chakra Synergy line, this comforting and calming synergy helps to nourish the heart center and spirit. This scent invites positive energy and encourages a joyful outlook promoting unconditional love, compassion and acceptance, including for ourselves.

Calming the Child — a staff and customer favorite from the KidSafe® line, this synergy is fantastic for folks of all ages in need of some soothing to the senses. Calming and uplifting, this synergy supports a sense of serenity with its happy, sweet scent.

Tell us what you think! How do you intend to: Be Gentle, Be Generous and Be Grateful? Let us know in the comments below. 

Essential Oils for Better Sleep

How did you sleep last night?

This simple question may not be something you think about, but perhaps you should. According to findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1), more than one-third of Americans are sleep-deprived, meaning millions of groggy people are struggling to pull themselves out of bed every day. There’s a good reason why the energy drink industry is an explosive multi-billion dollar business! Being sleepy during the day can cause potentially hazardous outcomes, especially when driving drowsy, and those caffeinated drinks are immediate stimulates. But it’s important to remember they are only brief quick-fixes for the very serious problem of sleep deprivation.

Regularly skimping on sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and other metabolic diseases. When feelings of excessive sleepiness begin, it is often accompanied with irritability and overactive emotions. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to cognitive problems, such as difficulty focusing, slowed speech, impaired memory, and an inability to concentrate.

Most of us learn about the importance of quality sleep when we are young; however, as adults, those recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep become so elusive. With all the daily to-dos, demands from work, home, or school, sleep tends to get pushed aside. For whatever reason, something so critical to our health and well-being falls off our list of priorities, and our bodies respond immediately. A good night’s sleep isn’t just good for your energy level the next day — when asleep, our bodies are hard at work repairing, replenishing, and replacing cells, while also releasing growth hormones to rebuild muscles and joints.

Unfortunately, regularly getting a full night of restful sleep is a lot easier said than done. And if your sleep routine has been inconsistent, it may take a while to re-train your body (see aromatherapist Ellen Brenner’s Slipping Into Slumber article to learn how).

Prescription and over-the-counter sleep medications usually have a pretty long list of side-effects. Some are even known to be addictive, and over time may impair cognitive abilities.

Thankfully, there are several all-natural ways to improve your sleep, so if you are really serious about getting more quality snooze time, try these suggestions:
  1. Using essential oils for a good night’s rest is an all-natural alternative worth trying. Plant Therapy offers a variety of synergy blends and single oils to fit your sleep needs. Using Relax Synergy is a great way to promote a peaceful, tranquil state of mind and wind down after a stressful day.  Sleep Aid Synergy was specially designed by our Certified Aromatherapists to help calm your mind and body into relaxation before going to sleep. If you have children in your home, consider trying KidSafe Nighty Night Synergy, which promotes a calming and peaceful atmosphere to help safely lull your little ones — and you! — into a deep and restful sleep. Single oils, such as Lavender, Mandarin, Vetiver, and Rose Absolute are known for their relaxing and balancing properties, making them perfect additions to your bedtime routine. It’s important to remember that everyone is made up a little differently; what helps you fall asleep and stay asleep may be different than someone else, so don’t be afraid to try different essential oils to learn what works best for you.
  2. Add some daily exercise into your schedule! Don’t fret over what time is “best” to get your workout in — just do it! People who work out regularly sleep better and longer than those who don’t. Set aside a little chunk of your day to get your heart rate up, join a HIIT program, or sign up for yoga.
  3. Limit your screen time before bed. TVs, computers, phones, tablets… these are all brain stimulates that can make it a challenge to fall asleep if you use them too close to bedtime. The light emitted from electronics is known to promote wakefulness and inhibit the release of your body’s sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Many electronic devices have an option to reduce their output of blue light by using warmer colors to the light up the screen, which causes less restlessness before bedtime if you absolutely have to have an electronic device on.
  4. Assess your sleep space. Is your bedroom always a mess? Is it too cold or too warm? Does your mattress cause you to wake up with a sore back? The environment you sleep in seriously impacts your ability to sleep well. Take a good look around your room and see where improvements can be made. While buying a new mattress may not be in your budget right now, quick changes like decluttering or adjusting the thermostat can create a more ideal sleep space.
  5. Eat and drink lightly before bed. Eating too much food before sleeping can overload your digestive system, affecting how well you are able to sleep. Try to finish eating at least one hour before you head off to bed. If you want to lower the odds of getting up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break, try to stop drinking about two hours before bed; waking in the middle of the night when nature calls can make it hard to fall back asleep quickly.

Don’t let sleeplessness control your life! Regularly getting a full night of restful slumber is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. Making small adjustments to your evening routine can make huge positive changes for your health, and we hope you consider adding some aromatherapy into your nighttime environment to really settle down and get the rest you deserve!

We want to hear from you! What are your tips and tricks for getting a good night’s rest? Share in the comments below. Maybe something you share will help someone else — after all, we at Plant Therapy are here to support one another on our well-being journeys!

References: (1) https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/

When You Have a Case of the Mondays

Let’s face it:  Sometimes the biggest threat to achieving our personal goals is the momentum-blocker known as Monday. It’s the dreaded day after the delightful weekend, and we can often feel uninspired, cranky, or tired. We all know how it feels to have “a case of the Mondays.” Symptoms of this may include:

  • Bad mood
  • Sense of Restlessness
  • A lack of motivation
  • Tiredness
  • A longing for the upcoming weekend
  • Not feeling like you can face the long week ahead
What can we do to beat back the Monday Blues?

Stay on top of these symptoms with essential oils! Plant Therapy’s Blues Buster Synergy is a great option to help ease these symptoms. Here are several ideas that incorporate essential oils to help you come out on top when you have a case of the Mondays:

Start a New Monday Morning Routine

Why not incorporate a new Monday routine into your life? A great way to start your morning to help ease a case of the Mondays is to diffuse an uplifting scent in your aromatherapy diffuser. Blues Buster synergy is an uplifting, bright aroma that was formulated to increase your sensory and emotional well-being. Starting your Monday off with this aroma will help get your week started on the right foot, so that you can charge into the workweek with a positive mindset.

“Never Miss a Monday”

This is a common phrase that is thrown around social media, referring to the mantra of never skipping a Monday workout. But this doesn’t have to be limited to only working out. You can use this mantra to make sure you look at Monday from a different perspective. Never missing a Monday can mean you will always set aside time for yourself to work on personal development and growth, set aside time as a family to just be together, or set aside your “me time” to focus on something you enjoy, i.e. reading a book, watching your favorite show, cooking something new, etc.  Add Blues Buster to your personal aromatherapy inhaler and sniff before you start the activity — that way, the aroma will be linked to your Monday activity.

Sleep

Making sure you get a good night’s rest on Sunday night can help your Mondays not seem as daunting. About an hour before bedtime, add Relax Synergy to your favorite body care product and rub on the shoulders. This relaxing massage method will help ease the tension from the day, which will promote a relaxed state and help you unwind after a busy weekend.

Count Your Blessings

Take a moment out of your Monday, add Blues Busters to your personal inhaler or diffuser, inhale, and start counting your blessings. What are you thankful for and what are some positive aspects in your life? With the combination of a mood-enhancing aroma and positive thinking, your “case of the Mondays” will soon disappear as you focus on what you are thankful for.

The Monday blahs can seem like a looming giant, but being proactive with some of these ideas, combined with essential oils like Blues Buster, you can turn Monday into your favorite day of the week! Start your week off right, and make Monday a day to look forward to.

What techniques do you use to break the Monday Blues? Tell us in the comments below! You never know, a suggestion you share may make a huge difference in another reader’s life. We’re all in this together!

Top 8 Essential Oils for Sore Muscle Relief

Did you know: The No. 1 most common New Year’s resolution, according to a 2015 Nielsen survey, is to “Stay fit and healthy.”

With weight loss and health atop most people’s New Year’s to-do list, more exercise is essential. The extra physical activity can often lead to sore muscles.

Our New Year New You goal at Plant Therapy is to help you succeed in 2018. That’s why we’ve created this essential oils reference guide to relieving sore muscles and achy joints.

Rapid Relief

This popular blend is helpful for sore joints and discomfort that comes with over exercise, aging joints, or that occasional bump and minor injury. It contains warming oils that help with circulation which will bring relief. This is great is a blend with our Aloe Vera Jelly or with a carrier oil or butter. Rapid Relief is one of the pre-diluted roll-ons featured in Plant Therapy’s New Year New You Set!

Black Pepper

Yes, Black Pepper is good for tummy issues and for respiratory congestion. But did you know, Black Pepper is also very helpful for sore muscles? The major constituents in this versatile essential oil, b-caryophyllene and d-limonene, make it a good choice for soothing swollen, sore muscles.

Roman Chamomile

Many people know that Roman Chamomile can be calming to emotions. The great thing about this essential oil is that it is also calming to your skin and body tissue as well. It reduces tightness and swelling, and relaxes those knots that can build up after a strenuous workout or a stressful day.

Marjoram

I didn’t used to pay much attention to Marjoram. I owe Marjoram an apology.  Sweet Marjoram has many attributes; it is supportive to the immune system, it is calming to the mind, it helps with digestion and cramping, it is there for seasonal threats, and of course it is great at relieving body and muscle discomfort and swelling. Good thing Marjoram is “sweet” and doesn’t hold a grudge!

Geranium

Geranium isn’t just a rosy smelling essential oil! It is a force to be reckoned with in combating discomfort and swelling. Both of our Geraniums, Bourbon and Egyptian can be interchanged and both address sore muscles and even sore joints due to over-exertion. In addition, it helps with skin issues, with mood, and also inhibits the growth of bacteria.

Tension Relief

As a massage therapist, I find this blend very helpful for sore shoulder muscles and tight necks. It can loosen those tight tendons and muscles, and help your neck and head move more freely. Dilute to 2-3% with a carrier oil and have someone massage it into that area for an “ahhhh” feeling.

Muscle Aid

A natural choice to help one feel better after trying to relive your athletic high school days! Muscle Aid was formulated by Plant Therapy’s Certified Aromatherapists and essential oil expert Robert Tisserand. It combines some powerful oils (Wintergreen, Camphor and Pine) to bring relief.

Muscle Aloe Jelly

This is a convenient blend for weekend warriors and many of our customers love it! It dries quickly and goes to work to help reduce the achy soreness that comes from a marathon, an intense gym workout, or playing with the kids.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution to exercise more? Finish a triathlon? Simply be more active? Tell us about it in the comments below, and let’s support one another on our wellness journeys!

Can Essential Oils Help Me Lose Weight?

Can Essential Oils Help Me Lose Weight?

This is a good question, and the answer may surprise you.

Humans have a keen sense of smell. Scientists know that when we are hungry, our bodies boost the performance of our sense of smell in order to improve our chances of finding food (1). This is a survival mechanism. When we are hungry, food smells and tastes amazing, leading to the easy conclusion that if we let ourselves get too hungry, we are very likely to overeat.

Scientific research shows that we prefer sweet smells, and that strongly sweet scents such as chocolate often triggers feelings of hunger and leads to overeating or binge eating, while “neutral” sweet smells actually curbs appetite. A scientific study asked 3,193 overweight people (mostly women) aged 18-64 to inhale a variety of what was considered neutral sweet smells: banana, green apple, vanilla, and peppermint, three times in each nostril whenever they were hungry. After six months, the participants lost an average of five pounds per month (2).

It makes sense that smell plays a large part in our hunger cues. If humans’ olfactory systems become enhanced when hungry, it is reasonable to believe that suppressing smell may decrease appetite.

In consideration of essential oils, inhalation is the single most effective way to receive their benefits. When aromas reach the olfactory bulb, it is not only the limbic system (emotional center) that is triggered; the hypothalamus in your brain is triggered as well. The hypothalamus is the portion of your brain that is connected to satiety. Odor molecules actually inform your brain that you have eaten enough and you are full. You see, it is not only our stomach that dictates our hunger!

Specific essential oils can be used in an inhaler to curb our food cravings. We know based on the above study that certain smells work better than others; but remember, we are not all the same, so personal experimentation may be in order. One thing is for sure: The aromas of essential oils can definitely play a role in weight loss through curbing cravings.

For this cause, Plant Therapy’s team of Certified Aromatherapists created Munchy Stop Synergy (reformulated in late 2017). This blend is designed to help manage hunger cravings, promotes healthy eating habits, and help reduce the desire to snack between meals.

Munchy Stop blends the 100% pure, undiluted essential oils of Copaiba, Grapefruit Pink, Tumeric CO2, Lemon Myrtle, and Yuzu.

We hope that this clears up any questions you had in regards to using essential oils for weight loss. If you have any further questions or need clarification, please comment below or reach out to one of our on-staff aromatherapists:  aromatherapist@planttherapy.com.

References

(1) Scent and how it affects appetite and satisfaction. Retrieved from: https://www.escoffieronline.com/scent-and-how-it-affects-appetite-and-satisfaction/

(2) Hirsch, A.R., Gomez, R. (1995) Weight reduction through inhalation of odorants. J Neurol Orthopedic Medical Surgery. 16:28-31

Natural Brain Boosters

Do you have goals set for this new year? Maybe you have your heart set on learning something new or following a personal passion; maybe your sights are set on getting a raise at work or acing that final exam.

Unfortunately, sometimes our goals require a lot more motivation and focus than we can seem to muster. During those long days at work or hours spent spilled over a textbook, time seems to slow down, making us feel foggy, unfocused, and exhausted. Our mind will start searching for any kind of stimulation to perk up, and giving into those distractions only moves us further away from achieving what we want. Don’t let your goals get derailed every time your mind loses focus on the task at hand — stay sharp with the help of essential oils known to help boost your cognitive abilities!

For a quick fix for a foggy brain, you can count on Plant Therapy’s unique blend of brain-boosting essential oils in Brain Aid Synergy.  A few deep inhalations of this citrusy, herbaceous, woodsy, and minty aroma will invigorate your mind to keep it going strong all day long. This feel-good blend was created by our Certified Aromatherapists to refresh and awaken your mind when mental fatigue is slowing you down. The essential oils in this blend can profoundly change the way your brain is processing information, which in turn helps you to remember more and keep you laser-focused on your task.

For kids with busy brains who struggle concentrating, Plant Therapy’s KidSafe A+ Attention is a calming and balancing blend of oils that safely and naturally keep them focused.

Single Oils Good For Brain Power

There are also some wonderful single oils that will help you regain clear-headedness and motivation. Rosemary 1,8-Cineole is one of the most popular oils for brain power and is known to help long-term memory. The compound that makes Rosemary so distinctive is 1,8-cineole, which aids a brain chemical linked to learning and memory.

Basil Linalool is also an excellent choice if you’re looking to improve focus and refresh your mind. Though it is widely used as a popular culinary herb, Basil also helps restore mental alertness when inhaled, and clears the brain fog. The refreshing aroma of Basil also reduces excitability, helping you settle down and focus better on a singular task.

Likewise, to ward off a dwindling attention span, Cedarwood Atlas is known to support focus and quiet a racing mind with its grounding, rich, earthy aroma.

And last but not least, Peppermint is also a powerful brain energizer that stimulates the mind, supports memory, focus, concentration, and mental performance. Fragrant and familiar, Peppermint will wake up the mind and help boost your productivity.

Usage Tips:

I like to carry personal Aromatherapy Inhalers. These compact inhalers are small enough to carry with you in your pocket or purse. Add a few drops of Brain Aid Synergy, and reach for it anytime you need a boost of brainpower!

Another great option is to diffuse Brain Aid (or other mind-sharpening oils). I like to use my Diffuse on the Move, plugged into my laptop when I’m working on an important project.

We want to hear from you! What essential oils help give your mind an extra boost? And what are your goals this year that will require some extra brain power? Comment below, and let’s help support one another to be awesome!

Use Essential Oils to Quit Smoking

Making the decision to quit smoking is a complete life-changer, benefiting your mind, body, and wallet tremendously! But quitting is hard; whether it’s you who wants to be smoke free, or you’re a friend trying to support a loved one’s struggle to quit, essential oils may be exactly what you need to help get rid of cigarettes for good.

The nicotine in cigarettes stimulates the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and digestive system. When the nicotine is gone, cravings set in, making it very challenging to keep away from opening that pack for “just one more.”

This is where essential oils come in! Certain essential oils are known to curb cravings and lessen the intensity of cravings dramatically. In particular, Black Pepper is a known favorite to aid in quitting smoking because when inhaled it stimulates the respiratory system in a way that mimics cigarette smoke. Because of this, the body can sustain longer periods of comfortably being without a cigarette, which means fewer cravings.

Unfortunately, cravings aren’t the only side effect to overcome. For many smokers, nicotine withdrawal symptoms also include increased feelings of stress, nervousness, irritability, exhaustion, and difficulty sleeping. For these unpleasant feelings, using oils known to uplift your spirit and ease tension can help provide relief when it’s needed the most. Oils such as Lavender, Chamomile, and Ylang Ylang are calming and help to relax nervous tension. Citrus oils like Lemon, Grapefruit Pink, and Orange Sweet are refreshing and bring about a brighter mood, which helps stave off those feelings of irritability.

Plant Therapy’s Let It Go Synergy Blend is packed with mood-boosting oils, making it a perfect choice when those withdrawal symptoms try to take control.

To quit smoking, a personal inhaler can be critical to success. Personal inhalers are compact and discreet, so they are easy to reach for when the physical habit of smoking a cigarette comes along. Holding an inhaler in your hand psychologically takes the place of a cigarette. Breathe in deeply to calm the cravings and tension.

Using essential oils to help ease withdrawal symptoms can give you or someone you love the strength and comfort needed to finally kick the habit for good. Below are some more ways essential oils can be used to help bring relief when quitting.

~ Head Tension ~

What you’ll need:

Roll-on Bottle, carrier oil of choice
2 drops Peppermint
2 drops Frankincense Carteri
2 drops Eucalyptus Globulus

What you’ll do:

Apply this as needed to the temples and back of the neck to relieve tension in that area.

~ Phlegm Cough ~

What you’ll need:

Himalayan Salt Inhaler

What you’ll do:

Use inhaler for 10 minutes each morning and each evening every other day during the first few weeks of quitting.

~ Upset Stomach ~

What you’ll need:

Roll-on Bottle, Carrier Oil of choice
2 drops Cardamom
2 drops Peppermint
2 drops Ginger

What you’ll do:
Apply directly to the abdomen as needed. Use in a personal inhaler throughout the day whenever needed.

~ Easily Frustrated ~

What you’ll need:
Aromatherapy Inhalers
7 drops Sandalwood
5 drops Cardamom
3 drops Neroli

What you’ll do:
Inhale throughout the day when needed to reduce feelings of irritability.

~ Difficulty Sleeping ~

What you’ll need:

Aromatherapy Diffuser
4 drops Marjoram
2 drops Roman Chamomile
2 drops Vetiver

What you’ll do:
Diffuse intermittently during sleep to promote restfulness.

Get a Natural Energy Boost with Essential Oils

Welcome to the new year! If you’ve decided to make some resolutions, we here at Plant Therapy want to help you keep those promises you made yourself. Want to run a marathon or follow through with a new exercise plan? Want to maximize your productivity at work or at home? How about dedicating more play time with the kids after a long day at work?

Those are great goals, but they require a certain ingredient for success:  Energy!

Instead of reaching for that second or third cup of coffee, try reaching for an essential oil instead. Use energizing oils to lift you out of midday grogginess, motivate you to get to the gym, or simply to fight off fatigue and make the most of your day.

Energy Synergy

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the unique blend of essential oils our amazing team of Certified Aromatherapists have developed to make Energy Synergy. This stimulating blend is a sure-fire way to add some pep in your step. The uplifting oils of Orange Blood and Geranium Egyptian help to ease away tension from daily stress and balance emotions; Peppermint and Lemon add an energizing burst that keeps you alert and focused; Ginger Root and Eucalyptus Globulus bring warmth and healthy circulation to revitalize your mind and body.

Use Energy Synergy to help you stick with your New Year’s Resolutions and super-charge your day!

Single Oils for Energy

Now, as great as our Energy Synergy is, you don’t want to forget about all the amazing single oils that can help boost you out of a low energy slump! Use them alone or try your hand at mixing up your very own blend! If you need some help figuring out what works well together, visit that oil’s product page for a list of suggestions.

First, Peppermint (and Organic Peppermint). You know it and you love it. Fresh, cool, and unmistakable, this popular essential oil will invigorate your mind and body.

Balm Mint Bush is highly uplifting and intensely refreshing. Its aroma differs from Peppermint because of its crisp eucalyptus notes, which is ideal for an energizing burst.

Speaking of which, Eucalyptus Globulus is another fantastic choice to lift your spirits and focus your mind. It also brings warmth to the body and promotes healthy circulation; when your body feels good, it responds with elevated energy levels.

The spicy oils of Cardamom and Black Pepper (and Organic Black Pepper) are also warming, stimulating and uplifting. Great for an energizing burst.

Additionally, citrus oils are powerful energy boosters. Both Lemon and Grapefruit oils (including Organic Lemon and Organic Grapefruit) have energizing, crisp, and uplifting scents that work as immediate stimulates.  A quick inhale of either will give you a burst of mental clarity — they’re known to be very effective mood-boosters, too.

Last but not least, give Yuzu a try. Zesty and refreshing, this is a mood-lifter and great energy booster.

Now we know which essential oils to use for a burst of energy. But what are the best ways to use them?

~DIY Recipe: Energizing Shower Disc~
What You’ll Need:

What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • you won’t add essential oils until you’re ready to use them, after baking

What you’ll do:

  1. Mix baking soda and water to form a thick paste
  2. Press into silicon mold of your choice
  3. Bake at 200 degree for 30 minutes
  4. Shut off oven, allow to cool
  5. Then move to counter and allow mold to sit overnight
  6. Un-mold after 24 hours
  7. Store in airtight container

To use, place on the back of the shower floor, not directly under water spray but close enough that some water hits it. Note that these are PLAIN and you can customize them by adding 5-8 drops of the essential oil of your choice (Energyfor the morning, Sniffle Stopper for a younger child with a cold, etc) They are pretty and functional!

 

Try a personal Aromatherapy Inhaler. They are compact and convenient. Carry an energy boost wherever you go for an instant pick-me-up.

Or, try Diffuse on the Move, the portable, compact travel diffuser that allows you to enjoy your oils anywhere there’s a standard USB or 12V port. Use it in your car on the way to work or the gym.

We want to hear from you! Which essential oils give you energy? How do you use essential oils in your everyday life? Share in the comments below!

New Year, New You — From the Inside Out

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

Happy New Year!

If you are like me, the advent of a new year brings the desire for a fresh start. New Year, New You!

Tradition and popular culture tell us to set new goals and go, go, go! But, many of us find our resolutions lose our attention until the best of our intentions melt away with the winter snow.

Why?

Most often, our resolutions revolve around the most surface level of our beings — our physicality and our personality. On a physical level we often focus on our looks and fitness. Exercise more. Eat better. Lose weight. On a personality level, we might focus on better behaviors. Be kinder. Be more patient. Listen more.

While the desire and success of these outcomes are worthwhile, I believe we need to start by going below the surface, where our longer-term well-being is more deeply rooted within our inner selves. When we start from the inside out, we support whole being by removing blocks to our better selves.

Wait… What?

Our physicality and our personality are often the most visible to ourselves and others, so it can feel natural to want to start there. But, this can be akin to trying to tune up your car’s transmission by changing the tires.

When we start with making over our outward selves, we may be ignoring issues influencing us from within.  Left to fester, these concerns can manifest as symptoms we experience more externally.

If you ignore checking and changing the oil in your car’s engine, eventually you are going to run into transmission trouble. This is true with our own innermost workings as well.

So, I suggest switching gears. Instead of focusing first on resolutions for regimens to polish up our outsides, let’s start by setting our intentions to restore our sense of vibrancy from the inside out by releasing our natural energy flow.

Tuning In and Tuning Up our Chakras

In holistic approaches to care, we talk about mind, body and spirit. Together, these three interconnected aspects of our selves comprise our whole being and impact our overall well-being.

When we are working with the “spirit” part of our being, we can also refer to that as our subtle body. Our subtle body is that most amorphous part of our being. It includes our natural energy flow which we may be considered as our our life force. It is what animates us and brings a sense of vitality and vibrancy when we are in balance.

When this vital balance to our natural energy flow is disrupted by stress, negative thinking,  wounds or traumas, it can bog down and create blocks. Left over the long-term, these blocks can begin to impact our overall well-being.

One way of tuning in to our natural energy flow is through the chakra system which comes to us from ancient Ayurvedic medicine and modern energy balancing techniques. From this perspective, we have 7 major chakras aligned along our spine located in ascending order from base to crown. Each chakra  intersects with specific functions of our mind and body.

These chakras, which translate to “wheel” take in energy and move it throughout our beings as they turn. Our overall well-being depends on these chakras being open, and their ability to  move energy through a pathway of freely flowing open channels from one location to the next.

This state of being in balance supports our bodies’ own natural healing mechanisms. When our chakras are out of balance, it can bog down our vibrancy and sense of vitality leaving us feeling flat in mind and body. Disruptions in our energy flow, left unchecked, can create blockages that affect our ability to bounce back into a state well-being eventually appearing as physical concerns and conditions.

The good news is we have the ability to tune in and tune up by adding some self-balancing technique to our self-care routines.

Simple Ways to Start

This blog is not intended to deal with the deepest of imbalances, but rather to introduce you to some simple steps to get us started .  Like aromatherapy, the study of our chakra system and its effects on our wellness can be an endless exploration of study — an exciting one that I encourage, if it interests you.

What we want to do here, is to begin by checking under our hood to see where we might need to nourish and replenish our sense of vitality. If we can do a tune-up ourselves, great! But if there are more serious issues, it is always worth considering professional support.

Instead of waging war with our superficial selves, we are going to practice peace within our innermost selves. To tune into our own inner workings, we are going to look at some common imbalances with each chakra, see if they might inspire our own inner awareness, and add some simple self-balancing techniques.

Aromatherapy combined with practices to be present and purposeful in calming the mind, body and spirit, can create a wonderful synergy to enhance our experience in restoring our sense of balance, harmony and well-being within our whole being.

In this practice of subtle aromatherapy we use aromatic essences to help support balance in our natural energy flow by choosing those that can resonate with certain chakras . You can read our previous blog, “What Exactly is Subtle Aromatherapy” for more detailed information.

I hope this information will inspire you in getting started with a new and better you from the inside out, while encouraging you to continue your exploration to enhancing your wellness from within.

FREE DOWNLOAD:  PLANT THERAPY’S CHAKRA SYNERGY BOOKLET
Choosing a Synergy to Support Your Chakras

When you embark on an expanded study of subtle aromatherapy, you will find many ways to choose essential oils to enhance balance in your chakra system.

For the beginner, those on the go, and experienced practitioners alike, Plant Therapy offers the Chakra Synergy Essential Oils  for ease in accessing your practice.  Each synergy was created with the intention of supporting balance in for each of the unique chakras.

To invite inspiration and intuition, I have offered some examples below of experiences so common they get expressed in our everyday language. These are often outward reflections of an inner imbalance, though we may not have thought of them that way.

If you find these resonate with your experience,  you will find the chakra most often associated with these concerns, as well as suggested synergies and self-balancing practices. Please keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, but simply a guidepost to start you on your own exploration through introspection and greater self-awareness.

Click to Download “Choosing a Chakra Synergy Chart”

“She is such a worry wart.”

 Possible Imbalance: 1st Chakra/Root

Location: Base of Spine

In Balance: a sense safety, security, and trust in the world, while feeling grounded and present in our body.

Synergy: Grounded Foundation

Intention: Use to help ground, soothe, calm and relax when you are feeling disconnected and distressed. Helps to create a sense of security, protection and hope.

 

“I get bad vibes from her.”

Possible Imbalance: 2nd Chakra/Sacral

Location: Lower Abdomen

In Balance: Ability to experience emotional security, passion and pleasure in creative expression and connection to others.

Synergy: Joyful Creation

Intention: Encourages harmony, warmth, and enthusiasm in relationships. Helps to clear energetic blocks related to relationships and creative expression.

 

“She doesn’t stands up for herself.”  

Possible Imbalance: 3rd Chakra/Solar Plexus

Location: Solar Plexus

In Balance: Sense of self-esteem, self-worth, self-respect and self-confidence while retaining warmth and graciousness toward others.

Synergy: Self Manifestation

Intention: Strengthens our sense of self-empowerment with enthusiasm, stamina and motivation. Nourishes our sense of self-worth with courage, confidence and optimism.

 

“She is cold-hearted.”

Possible Imbalance: 4th Chakra/Heart

Location: Center of Breast Bone

In Balance: Open to love, acceptance, forgiveness and compassion for self and others

Synergy: Loving Compassion

Intention: Comforting and calming, this synergy helps to ease wounds of the heart and nourish the spirit. Promotes unconditional love for self and others with compassion and acceptance.

 

“She sounds so phony.”  

Possible Imbalance: 5th Chakra/Throat

Location: Center of Throat

In Balance Ability to identify and speak your true needs while in integrity with yourself and others.

Synergy: True Expression

Intention: Use this synergy to support clear communication in integrity with yourself and others. Helps to connect to our inner essence, as well as higher consciousness, so that we may know and outwardly express our authentic selves through truth.

 

“She has no vision.”

Possible Imbalance: 6th Chakra/Throat

Location: Center of Throat

In Balance: Ability to clearly “see” conceptually and symbolically through intuition, perception, visualization and imagination.

Synergy: Clear Intuition

Intention: Use this synergy to quiet the conscious mind and encourage introspection. Promotes the ability to “clearly see” through intuition, insights and clarity. Invites creation energy and inspires possibility.

 

“She seems to have lost her way.”

Possible Imbalance: 7th Chakra/Crown

Location: Top of Head

In Balance: Sense of connection to a higher consciousness, higher purpose, and higher self while remaining firmly grounded.

Synergy: Higher Connection

Intention: Use to help strengthen your purpose and ability to connect to higher spiritual consciousness. Gently encourages strength in our spiritual growth to know greater love and deeper purpose.

 

Choose a Mindfulness Practice

Subtle aromatherapy works best in combination with mindfulness practices to help bring balance to our well-being.  You may wish to  choose from these practices below, or perhaps you already have something that works best for you.

Intentionssetting a clear purpose and using your synergy with that purpose in mind.

 Suggested Usage: direct inhalation

 

Affirmationsreplacing negative thoughts positive thoughts in the present tense

Suggested Usage: direct inhalation, anointing

 

Visualization – using your mind’s eye to create a healing image on which to focus.

Suggested Usage: diffusion, direct inhalation, anointing

 

Meditationcalming the conscious mind to allow for inward introspection and higher information

Suggested Usage: diffusion, direct inhalation, anointing

 

Choose a Method of Application

Once you have chosen your chakra to bring into balance, selected your synergy for support, and focused on a practice to bring balance, it is important how best to integrate your aromatic essences to enhance your experience.

You will find below some suggested methods of application for the chakra synergies in combination with each mindfulness practice, but feel free to choose what works best for you.

Because you are working with your spirit, or subtle body, we recommend you use these synergies at much less intensity than you would for your emotional and physical needs so as not to overwhelm the senses.

Inhalation Simply add 1 drop to a tissue or cotton ball, aromatherapy jewelry, a few drops to your diffuser, or gently breathe in from personal aroma inhaler.

Topical Application – dilute to 1% in jojoba carrier oil or organic fractionated coconut carrier oil. You may wish to anoint your chakra pulse points, or nearby areas of the body. For the first chakra, you may use the soles of the feet and/or touch behind the knees.

Combination – add drops diluted to 1% to the hands and then anoint the chakra, pulse point or body area desired. Then, bring the hands up to inhale and relax into a mindful balancing practice.

Essential oils to help you achieve your 2018 New Years Resolutions

You are going to be awesome in 2018, and Plant Therapy is going to help. It’s a new year, a clean slate, and all your resolutions are within reach!

Over the next month, Plant Therapy’s blog will be 100% dedicated to helping you achieve your goals through educational posts. As Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”

According to a 2015 survey by Neilsen, these are the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions. Any of them sound familiar?
  1. Stay Fit & Healthy
  2. Lose Weight
  3. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  4. Spend Less, Save More
  5. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
  6. Get Organized
  7. A Resolution to Not Make Resolutions 🙂
  8. Learn Something New
  9. Travel More
  10. Read More

INTRODUCING… NEW YEAR NEW YOU SET

To kick off 2018, Plant Therapy is excited to announce a new synergy roll-on set, available now, and for a limited time. 

Our team of Certified Aromatherapists considered the Top 10 most common resolutions. Then, we created a New Year New You synergy set specifically targeted at helping you achieve those goals. We are offering these 5 essential oils blends as pre-diluted roll-ons so that they’re convenient to use, and it comes in a Hard-Top Case to take on the go.

These Five Synergy Roll-Ons are specially designed to complement your wellness goals. Each 10 mL roll-on is pre-diluted with Fractionated Coconut Oil.

Energy        Rapid Relief        Munchy Stop         Brain Aid           Relax

Use Energy to give you a natural boost at the gym, and then apply Rapid Relief after your workout to ease achy muscles. Munchy Stop will help with your healthy eating goals, and Brain Aid will keep your mind sharp. Then, at the end of the day, apply Relax to reduce stress, wind down, and get better sleep.       

 

ENERGY

Sometimes you just need a little boost to make it through the day, but you don’t want to resort to strong coffee or energy drinks. Energy Synergy is a natural way to get your mind going in the morning and feel alert and awake throughout the day with no drop-off or crash.

Apply throughout the day for a natural boost. Formulated by Robert Tisserand, this blend will help energize your mind and body when you need to kickstart your morning, rev up your workout, or break through an afternoon slump!

How to use:  Simply apply to your wrist or neck and the invigorating aroma will keep you energized!  Apply Energy Synergy throughout the day, and it will wear off just in time to hit the hay.

 

RAPID RELIEF

“Exercise more” is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, and that means our muscles and joints will need some Rapid Relief. This synergy increases circulation, promotes healing, and alleviates aches and soreness!

We’re not as young as we used to be, and sometimes it’s nice to have a little relief for those aches and pains. Perhaps you pushed it a little too hard at the gym, or maybe you strained your back picking up kids. Whatever it may be, Rapid Relief is a natural and effective way to increase circulation, promote healing, and relieve that nagging discomfort.  

How to use:  For best results, apply to affected area. Lightly roll on the soothing blend and allow a few seconds to dry before covering with clothing.

 

MUNCHY STOP

Did you resolve to eat healthier in 2018? Ready to get back on track after devouring the holiday goodies? Munchy Stop is a natural way to reduce food cravings. This is the debut of Munchy Stop Synergy being offered as a pre-diluted roll-on!

We all have the best intentions, but this year will finally be the year you say NO to that extra cookie, sugary soda, or bag of chips!  Munchy Stop is a great way to reduce the cravings before you eat the calories you’ll regret later. Feel satisfied, eat less, and keep the pounds off with our natural blend designed to stop cravings.

How to use: Roll Munchy Stop on the palms of your hand, bring your hands to your face and take a few deep breathes. Then, massage the blend into your neck or arms.

 

BRAIN AID

Stay focused and on-task with this blend of refreshing, revitalizing, and invigorating essential oils. Have a big meeting today? Studying for a test? Clear that foggy mind with this pleasant, uplifting aroma, and get a burst of brain power!

Every now and then, there’s so much going on and so much to keep track of, your brain just needs a little motivation to keep up!  Use Brain Aid as a way to give yourself that much needed feel good moment on a stressful day. Let the mentally energizing scents clear up that afternoon fog, and help you stay alert for meetings, keep up with the kids, or the other 100 things on your to-do list.

How to use: Apply Brain Aid to your wrists, dab a little on each temple and massage in with your fingertips, or roll onto the back of your neck and gently massage in.

 

RELAX

After going a hundred miles per hour all day, sometimes it’s hard to relax and settle down. Whether it’s a stressful day at the office, or calming your mind after a busy day running errands, Relax promotes a peaceful mind and calms your senses. Stop your mind from running through the million items on your agenda for tomorrow and get the rest and relaxation you deserve.

You’ve been hustling to accomplish everyday tasks while also striving to achieve your New Year New You goals. At the end of the day, allow Relax help you wind down, de-stress, and receive the healthy rest your mind and body need.

How to use:  Apply to your arms or temple area and the soothing blend will help you relax when stressed or wind down after a long day.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?  Tell us in the comments below, and let’s help one another have an amazing 2018!