Essential Oils Blog

May Oil of the Month – Eucalyptus Dives

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“Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,

Merry, merry king of the bush is he,

Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, kookaburra,

Gay your life must be!”

-Marion Sinclair

Maybe you sang this song as child, like I did,  but may not have been aware of which tree the words were referring to. This song refers to the great Eucalyptus tree-of which there are over 700 species, originating in Australia. Plant Therapy recently visited Australia and was able to see these wonderful trees up close-complete with Koalas!

 

 

There is a mountain range in Australia called “The Blue Mountains”. These mountains are covered with Eucalyptus trees and this is what one author had to share;

“The blue is not only the effect of distance but is also caused by the mountains’ characteristic blue haze. Their Eucalypt-dominated vegetation disperses fine drops of volatile oil into the atmosphere. The oil drops increase the risk of fire, perfume the air and scatter, with great visual effect, the blue light rays of the spectrum.”  (1)

Plant Therapy currently carriers two of the Eucalyptus varieties, Globulus and Radiata. For the month of May we are excited to feature Eucalyptus Dives as our Oil Of The Month. Many of you will be excited to know that you can have your Eucalyptus and use it on your kids too! Yes, this Eucalyptus is KidSafe.

I leaned about this at an essential oil conference I attended. An Australian oil expert took pity on me and my congestion at the time. I had experienced bronchitis a few weeks prior and although I was over the worst of it, I still had some residual effects. He took me aside, and said, “try this!” He then put several drops of Eucalyptus Dives on a tissue and told me to breathe it for a while. I did take a whiff of the tissue every few minutes for about 20 minutes, and then realized my lungs had relaxed and I quieted way down.  I was very excited to hear that we would be carrying this essential oil.

There are other qualities to love about Eucalyptus Dives as well. This refreshing, uplifting oil would be great in a sports blend to help with muscle or joint discomfort or  in a foot bath for those tired feet at the end of a day.  It would also be good diffused for seasonal threats and in a blend for cleaning.

 

Here is a recipe for you to try using Eucalyptus Dives:

Sports Master Blend (for sore muscles)

12 drops of Eucalyptus Dives

8  drops of Juniper Berry

6 drops of Roman Chamomile

6 drops of Marjoram

Blend together and use in a 3% dilution in your favorite Plant Therapy Carrier Oil for localized treatment or add 5-8 drops of blend to a diffuser or personal inhaler.

 

Download Product Template Sheet Here

 

Although many of us would love to go see the gum trees for ourselves in Australia, most of us will have to be content to enjoy Plant Therapy’s great Australian essential oils such as Eucalyptus Dives, Eucalyptus Globulus, Eucalyptus Radiata, Tea Tree, Australian Sandalwood, Fragonia, Kunzea, Blue Cypress, Balm Mint Bush, Buddha Wood, Boronia and last , but certainly not least, Rosalina.

I am grateful to Australia for the beautiful and beneficial essential oils that they produce. I am excited to learn about the latest Oil of the Month, Eucalyptus Dives, and to reap the benefits also. I feel it is a great addition to our collection and to yours.

 

Let us know how you use this essential oil and how it has benefited you!

 

___________________________________________________________________________

Sources:

(1) “The Greater Blue Mountains” area world heritage nomination

 

Balancing Our Whole Being

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By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist


In our last blog, “What Does Holistic Have to Do With Our Health” from the Essential Education series, we discussed the meaning and impact of of holistic health practices on our whole being. Essentially, we are caring for our whole person – bringing balance to mind, body, and spirit – for a restorative sense wellbeing.

We also discussed a specific self-care practice combining massage, hydrotherapy (through bath or shower) and aromatherapy to create a synergy for our senses. This allowed us to support our whole health at home in the tradition of Hippocrates, the Father of Western medicine, made modern by aromatherapy pioneer, Marguerite Maury.

Holistic health practitioners continue to incorporate another teaching of  Hippocrates:

 

Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.”

To sustain optimal well being our mind, body and spirit consistently strive for balance. In Eastern Medicine and Energy Medicine, we think of balance in our natural energy flow. In Western Medicine, we think of this as homeostasis. This is the natural healing force within each of us.

Chronic disruption to our equilibrium can challenge our whole being beyond its ability to compensate and rebalance. This impacts our capacity to heal and can lead to dis-ease.

 

In addition, to the “aromatic bath and scented massage” as discussed in “What Does Holistic Have to Do With Our Health,” we have available to us many other self-balancing techniques from both ancient and modern traditions to incorporate into our self-care routines.

Because many of us experience nervous tension and worry that takes us out of balance, I’ve offered three options to help restore our mind, body and spirit in this situation.  I encourage you to  explore and experience what works best for you. Know you can begin with the mind, body or spirit after determining which area is of most concern, but each option can help to restore balance to our whole being.

All are designed as options for when we are on the go. We may not always have the time to be in a quiet space, but we can always create our own inner quiet space regardless of where we happen to be.

As always, aromatherapy can play a significant supporting role by creating a synergy with our other self-care practices. As we discussed previously, the intention of holistic aromatherapy is to help bring balance to mind, body and spirit to encourage our own natural healing process. With this in mind, we are going integrate aromatherapy with the practices below for a more expansive experience.

 

CALMING THE MIND

Experiencing meditation, along with aromatherapy, can help quiet our busy, repetitive, or anxious thoughts allowing us to balance the physical and subtle bodies. This also allows us to be in the present moment, go inward for introspection and hit the reset button.

Quiet Mind

This helps to quiet busy thoughts and expand our ability to go inward.

6 drops Basil Linolool (Ocimum basilicum)

6 drops Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)

3 drops Sandalwood (Santalum album)

Add to a personal aroma inhaler

 

Aromatic Meditation in Seven Simple Steps:

(Adapted from Yoga Journal June 2014) [1]

  1. Choose an aromatherapy blend and inhale deeply in each nostril. (see above)
  2. Find a quiet place to sit comfortably
  3. Gently close your eyes.
  4. Notice your breath, without trying to control it.
  5. Breathe gently through your nose and bring your focus to each inhalation and exhalation.
  6. Count each breath
  7. When you find thoughts coming to the surface, simply notice them like clouds floating by (without judgment) and return your attention to counting your breath.

 

 

RELAXING THE BODY

Manual tension release provides support for the physical body to relax and rebalance. This aromatic head massage, adapted from the ayurvedic experience, can relieve tight discomfort in the head and neck to create a cascade effect throughout the body helping to ease your mind, body and spirit back into a state of relaxation.

Heads Up

This is also helpful if you experience excruciating head and neck tension that can side-line you feeling unwell.

4 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

3 drops Marjoram, Sweet (Origanum majorana)

2 drops Basil Linalool (Ocimum basilicum)

2 drops Helichrysum Italicum (Helichrysum italicum)

2 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

2 drops Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis ct 1,8-Cineole)

Add to a 10 ml roller bottle and top with jojoba oil. Note, this is a 5% blend meant for spot treatment and short-term use.

 

Aromatic Ayurvedic Head Massage

(Adapted from Massage Bodywork Magazine Sept/Oct. 2008) [2]

  1. Apply your aromatherapy blend (see above) to your temples. Gently massage with your fingertips in circular pattern. Continue for at least one minute.
  2.  Next,  you may wish to apply a small amount of the aromatherapy blend to your fingertips.  Gently “shampoo” your entire scalp in small circles with your fingertips. Begin at the temples and move toward the back of the head. Continue for at least one-minute.
  3. Finish by gently “combing” the scalp with your fingertips. Begin with fingertips above the forehead, at the hairline, and comb over the top of the head and toward the neck and shoulders. Repeat up to 10 times

 

 

SOOTHING THE SPIRIT

Reflexology is the practice of bringing various aspects of the body back into balance by working through corresponding reflex points on the foot. These steps are intended bring our energy back downward from our head toward our feet soothing nervous tension felt in our physical and emotional bodies and regrounding us into a present calming state.

 

Balance Points

In practicing yoga, you become aware of centering your weight on the four corners of your feet so that your posture is in balance and you feel firmly balanced. This blend creates that sense of feeling squarely centered and grounded. 

2 drops Fragonia (Agonis fragrans)

2 drops Sandalwood (Santalum album)

1 drop Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)

1 drop Ginger CO2 (Zingiber officinalis)

Add to 1 oz unscented lotion.

 

Soothing Scented Reflexology Release

  • Apply only the smallest amount of lotion to cover the first foot, without being slippery.
  • Warm up the foot with gentle massage of the sole and top surface using gliding stroke with your fingertips and thumb.
  • Next, you are going to work with the Solar Plexus Point, known as the “panic button.”
  • The Solar Plexus Point is located just under the balls of your feet, in the very center of the two. Often you will feel tension when it is pressed.
  • Practice deep breathing by gently and slowly inhaling into the lungs and exhaling completely.
  • Gently press your thumb into this point and and circle in a clockwise direction until you feel a release of tension.
  • You may finish using both thumbs in a “diaphragm spread” by simultaneously pulling each thumb under the balls of the foot, from the center outward toward the edges.
  • Repeat other foot.

 


Sources:

[1] Quinn, Corina. “Reset Your Health.” Yoga Journal June 2014: 22. Print.

[2] Weber, Kristine Kaoverii., and Neil Sutherland. Healing Self-massage: Over 100 Simple Techniques for Re-energizing Body and Mind. London: Collins & Brown, 2005. Print. cited by  Smith, Laurie Chance. “Soothe Stress With Self-Massage || Massage Therapy Articles.”Massage Therapy: Everybody Deserves a Massage. Associated Massage and Bodywork Professionals, Sept. 2008. Web. 23 May 2017.

DIY Deodorant

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By: Kimberly Daun, Certified Aromatherapist

 

I was recently talking to a friend of mine about traditional deodorants.  Our conversation was eye opening as she enlightened me to just how harmful they can be.  Upon conducting research, I found there to be aluminum in virtually all store bought brands.  Not being entirely sure what that would do to my body, I decided to find out for myself.  Some of the most alarming side effects are that it clogs your pores and therefore minimizes your ability to sweat.  My initial response to that information was, well, isn’t that what deodorant is supposed to do?  However, our bodies were made to sweat, as it in an effective and healthy way of eliminating toxins.  I think we already have enough hygiene products that we don’t feel entirely comfortable using, or even some where we avoid the ingredients label all together.  I set out to find a homemade deodorant recipe that I felt was safe and would help me maintain my hygienic sanity as two of my boys approach their teen years.  As an added bonus, it’s only 1/3 of the cost of traditional deodorants. After some trial and error, the best one I have found is the following coconut oil deodorant recipe.

 

Baking Soda: I use this often to neutralize odors around the house.  It helps balance your’ body’s PH levels keeping you smelling nice. You know your skin the best, if you feel like this ingredient is a bit abrasive for you then replacing it with arrowroot powder will give you the same results. If replacing it entirely doesn’t resonate with your skin type either you can use both baking soda and arrowroot powder and find a good balance of both. Luckily with this recipe you can fine tune it to you or your family’s needs.

Arrow Root: Absorbs excess moisture and the contains calcium chloride to help balance your PH levels.

Corn Starch: Rather than blocking your pores, like store bought deodorant, it helps to absorb excess moisture.  It can help soothe skin irritation, relieve issues caused by warm/damp environments, and keep your underarms nice and dry.

Virgin Coconut Oil: This is another ingredient that helps keep your body balanced and eliminate skin conditions that can potentially cause an unpleasant odor.  The high content of Lauric Acid found in coconut oil offers a nice support to your immune system.

Bentonite Clay: This is my favorite ingredient because it actually HELPS your body by drawing out toxins, keeping your lymph nodes clear.  Your lymph nodes are a part of your body largely responsible for fighting infection, illness, and eliminating things the body doesn’t need or may be harmful.  Keeping your lymph nodes clear is necessary for a fully functioning immune system. How cool to add an extra boost to your health by using your deodorant, and it doesn’t stain!

Tea Tree:Essential Oil: Warm and damp places are an ideal place for fungus and other germs, aka our underarms on any given day. Luckily, Tea Tree Essential Oil is a great remedy for the unwanted substances and whatever odor could accompany them. Tea Tree has a high content of Terpinen-4-ol which is what makes unpleasant odor lose the battle. If you struggle with skin sensitivity or razor burn Tea Tree can also help with bumps, break outs, and general skin irritation. Because of its immune boosting constituents it has health benefits that extend far beyond your underarms. Not only do I LOVE the aroma of Tea Tree but it was also the first essential oil I was introduced to so it has a special place for me. Because, of the previous factors Tea Tree was the best options for me, however if you want a bit more soft and synergistic aroma, Lavender is a really fabulous addition.  Not only does it help with odors but it also has a very calming effect on the mind and body.

Beeswax I used this to ensure the deodorant would stay solid at room temperature.  We throw these in our gym bags and I would hate to open it up to a melted mess when I need deodorant the most!  Not to mention the benefits of vitamin A for your skin and immune system.

 

What you’ll need

 

What you’ll do

  1. Over a double boiler melt beeswax and coconut oil.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk in dry ingredients and essential oils.
  4. Pour into Twist Tube.
  5. Let sit until hard.

 

I specifically wanted to stay with a 1% dilution for my essential oils since we’ll be using this often.  This will help minimize the risks associated with sensitization.  This is my FAVORITE natural deodorant recipe, and has given me the option of never going back to expensive and unsafe store bought deodorant.  Using this natural deodorant helps me to smell nice and boost my immune system.

 

 

What are your favorite essential oils to combat unpleasant odors?

 

 

What Does Holistic Have to Do With Our Health?

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By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist


Those of us attracted to natural health and healing often hear, and use, the word holistic, as in “holistic health” and “holistic aromatherapy.” But, do we really understand the true essence of its meaning?

What exactly does holistic mean? And, what does it really have to do with our health?

Does it mean:

Natural health?

Alternative health?

Eastern medicine?

Something else?

So, let’s discuss. I believe it is important we understand its historical and present significance so that we may make informed choices about how to use and practice holistic health within its intended context.

The word holistic is derived from the Greek “holos,” which means “whole, entire, or complete.”[1] When we look at something holistically, we are viewing the “whole” entity made up of interconnected and interdependent parts, rather than focusing parts themselves as independent elements.[2]

Distilled down to its fundamental level, holistic health and healing very simply means we are looking at our “whole person,” or “whole being.”

So what does that mean?

In holistic, or “whole person” health, we see our whole being made up of mind, body and spirit. And, these interconnected elements of our existence must be in balance within ourselves, and with our environment, for us to experience optimal wellbeing.

Eastern traditions of healing have been approached care of the whole person for more than 3,000 years. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), originating in China, and Ayurveda from India, both stress the mind, body and spirit connection, as well as the need for balance in our natural energy flow for optimal health.

Ayurvedic medicine utilizes diet, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises and massage as means to support balance.[3] In TCM, acupuncture, diet, herbal remedies, and gentle movement such as Tai Chi are used to restore a state of harmony.[4]

 

What is considered the advent of modern western medicine also began as a holistic approach more than 2,500 years ago. Hippocrates, acknowledged as the Father of Western (or Modern) Medicine, is credited with taking medicine out of the supernatural and into the natural world among western health practitioners. Rather than a punishment from the deities, he believed that disease was a result of imbalances within our mind, body and spirit, as well as environmental factors.

Hippocrates also believed the body contains its own natural self-healing mechanism that seeks and requires balance for good health. Thus, he saw the role of the health practitioner was to help bring the whole person back into balance, as well as looking at sources that may be the cause of imbalance.[5] In treating the individual rather than the disease, Hippocrates employed natural healing therapies such diet, hydrotherapy, movement and massage.[6]

By the 17th century, the belief that mind, body and spirit existed as one interconnected aspect of our being fell out of favor. Due to religious doctrines of the time, this concept created interference in the advancement of medicine. Rene Descartes, credited, as the Father of Modern Philosophy, argued the mind and body were separate entities.

This revised view of the body as a biological collection of mechanical parts allowed for the study of anatomy and physiology paving the way for many medical advances we benefit from today. Today, this biomedical approach is still the primary practice, more than 300 years later, where health is defined as the absence of disease with a focus on how to eliminate biological factors that cause disease. But, it is also argued this view has created limitations in in our understanding and advancement of healing the person as a whole.[7]

Any practice that did not fit within the parameters of the biomedical approach became mistrusted and marginalized. Once outside the mainstream, holistic medicine became synonymous with alternative medicine. Worse, alternative medicine became the recipient of an even greater negative connotation due to those who preyed upon the desperately ill from the shadows by promising false cures that stemmed from neither modern medicine nor ancient traditions.

In 1998, Congress founded the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to test the efficacy and safety of treatments available to patients who were pursuing them outside of mainstream medicine.[8]

As research showed many modalities, such as massage and acupuncture, to be safe, soothing and not interfering with conventional treatments, they began to find acceptance under the now coined “complementary” health status. This implied a treatment considered “in addition to” conventional medicine vs. the alternative “instead of.”

With continued study validating the efficacy of these natural approaches, the newly renamed Center for Complementary and Integrative Health in 2015 renewed efforts to encourage increased research into holistic modalities and new study methodologies to suit their nature.  [9]

While scientific exploration continues to verify, explain and reveal new information about efficacy and safety, it may take time to unlock the many mysteries of the natural healing arts. In the meantime, many argue the documented use and effectiveness handed down through the ages creates a valuable body of historical evidence based upon trial and error and replicated empirical demonstration.

When it comes to holistic health, we seem to have come full circle from Hippocrates to Harvard. Whole-person healing is enjoying a resurgence of research across our major academic medical centers under the headings such as mind/body medicine, systems biology and functional medicine. And, many top teaching hospitals offer natural healing modalities as part of their clinical practice for their patients. Holistic healing combined with conventional medicine is referred to as integrative health or medicine creating a sense of working together in synergy.

In the meantime, holistic health practices continue to thrive on their own, offering either Eastern and Western approaches. Whole-person approaches such as acupuncture, massage, yoga and aromatherapy have become mainstream for the masses as people experience the benefits of balancing their beings.

One modern, yet historically familiar, definition of a holistic health practitioner is as follows:

Holistic health practitioners believe that the whole person is made up of interdependent parts, and if one part is not working properly, all the other parts will be affected. In this way, if people have imbalances (physical, emotional, or spiritual) in their lives, it can negatively affect their overall health.”

With this in mind, practitioners may call upon both conventional and natural methods of healing from both the Eastern and Western traditions, not only to treat symptoms, but most importantly to look at source issues that may be leading to health concerns.[10]

 

Where does aromatherapy fit in?

Aromatherapy is the perfect partner in caring for your whole person. Approached in a holistic way, these aromatic essences can impact the wellbeing of our whole being – mind, body and spirit – putting nature in our hands to use as support for coming back into a healing state of balance.

In “The Wonderful Wide World of Aromatherapy,” we discuss dynamic and diverse ways  in which aromatherapy is practiced. The modern approach to holistic aromatherapy was introduced in 1961 by Marguerite Maury. Drawing upon the practices of both Eastern and Western holistic health, Maury sought to integrate aromatherapy in a way that would impact the psyche, physiological and psychological needs of each unique individual.[11]

Today, the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy defines the practice as:

The art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.  It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.”

Maury’s use of aromatherapy to enhance our whole being through aromatic massage echoes the often-quoted dictate of Hippocrates.

The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and a scented massage every day.”

It is with this holistic health advice in mind, from historical to modern perspective, that we can recreate our own whole-person restorative experience. We will combine aromatherapy with hydrotherapy and massage in a self-care routine as outlined below.

No worries if you don’t enjoy the bath. Benefits can also be enjoyed under the sensory-soothing spray of the shower. Bonus if you have a massaging-type shower head.

 

 

1) Choose a Synergy (or, use these as inspiration to create your own)

 

Balancing Bath Soak

2 drops fragonia

2 drops bergamot

1 drop ho wood

Helps to soothe and balance the mind, body and spirit.

 

 Bathe the Day Away

2 drops ho wood

2 drops palo santo*

1 drop rose otto 10%

Helps to harmonize the mind, body and spirit with a sense of inner peace and overall wellbeing.

*Palo Santo was a recent offering through the Oil of the Month club.

 

Fresh Awakening

2 drops bergamot

2 drops rosemary

1 drop spearmint

Relaxing to the body, awakening to the mind, while inviting joyful energy to the spirit.

 

Revitalizing Rain

2 drops frankincense carteri

2 drops spearmint

1 drop eucalyptus globulus

Uplifting and invigorating to the mind, while soothing to the body. Calming and clarifying, while promoting inner-contemplation.

 

2) Create a Bath or Shower Blend

 

For a Bath Blend:

5 drops (total) essential oil blend

1-2 T unscented, natural body wash

Mix well. Then, add:

½ c Epsom salts

Add to running water and soak. 

 

For a Shower Blend:

5-10 drops (total) essential oil blend

1 oz unscented, natural body wash

PET plastic squeeze bottle

Shake vigorously

May multiply blend per ounce based on the ratio above

 

3) Experience a Self-Massage in Bath or Shower:

  • You will need a natural bristle bathing brush (I have one with a long handle for the shower and detachable brush for the bath).
  • In the bath, apply unscented soap or body wash, while soaking in your aromatherapy blend.
  • In the shower, apply your shower gel with essential oil blend.

 

Self-Massage Steps:

  • Use comfortable, circular strokes
  • Apply your strokes so the flow of circulation moves toward the heart.
  • Start at the top of an area first, working upward toward the heart then move to the areas below to work upward.
  • Start with the left side, then work the right side in the following order:
  1. Upper Arm. Lower Arm
  2. Upper Leg. Lower Leg
  3. Switch Sides.
  4. Then, move to:
  5. Chest. Abdomen
  6. Upper Back. Lower Back (Don’t forget the buttocks)

This will provide you with a full body massage. Bonus if you massage your head with your fingertips. A head massage could also be completed while washing your hair.

 


Sources:

[1] “holo-“. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 3 May. 2017. <Dictionary.com

[2] “Holistic.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 02 May 2017.

[3] “Ayurvedic Medicine.” The Free Dictionary. Farlex, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

[4] “Traditional Chinese Medicine: In Depth.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 23 Mar. 2017. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

[5] “Hippocrates.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Apr. 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

[6] Osborne, David K. “HIPPOCRATES.” Greek Medic2007. GreekMedicine.net, 2007. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

[7] Mehta, Neeta. “Mind-body Dualism: A Critique from a Health Perspective.” Mens Sana Monographs. Medknow Publications, Jan. 2011. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

[8] “NCCIH Facts-at-a-Glance and Mission.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 03 June 2016. Web. 02 May 2017.

[9] “Objective 1: Advance Fundamental Science and Methods Development.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 03 June 2016. Web. 02 May 2017.

[10] “What Is Holistic Medicine?” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

[11] Shutes, Jade. The Dynamics of Blending: A Guide to Blending and a Reference Manual for Essential Oils and Base Materails. Willow Springs, NC: NW College for Herbal and Aromatic Studies, 2011. Print.

 

Homemade Sunscreen Concerns and Myths

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You will not be hard pressed to find do it yourself (DIY) articles on the Internet to make your own sunscreen. DIY sunscreen formulation is not for everyone. There are a number of factors involved that requires a cosmetic formulating background in addition to very specific equipment. There are also “natural” products on the market that are claimed to have SPF protection, with only mere anecdotal evidence at best to back up those claims. I hope to clear up these issues and help to show that perhaps sunscreen should be left to the professionals.

Zinc Oxide

Nanoparticles should be avoided in sunscreen. The reason for this is that the nanoparticles in zinc oxide break down in the presence of UVA rays and generate free radicals (1). The latest and greatest in sunscreen is the use of non-nano zinc oxide. These zinc particles sit on the outermost layer of your skin, the stratum corneum, absorb and reflect ultraviolet rays, protects your skin, all without the generation of free radicals.

Non-nano zinc oxide DIY recipes are all over the Internet. Many however are missing a very important key point, the DIY portion of how to properly disperse your dry ingredients fully into the liquid ingredients. To do this effectively and fully, you need what is called a high sheer mixer and a lot of knowledge. Without it you will not be able to accomplish even distribution of the zinc oxide in your sunscreen. What does this mean? Your sunscreen will have “holes”, allowing UVA and UVB rays to penetrate your skin, making it ineffective.

Let’s look at that concept a little bit further.

Measuring the viscosity and looking at particle size will not tell you about how your sunscreen will behave on the skin when it is applied, for this you need to examine the rheology of your product. Rheology is the study of the flow of liquids and crèmes; essentially the consistency and ease of spreadability (2).

If you are not properly and thoroughly mixing your sunscreen with the high sheer mixer, and the rheology or spreadability is not consistent, the thickness will not be consistent, this is where the holes in you sunscreen come into play.

You could send your sunscreen in for testing (mandatory when selling out in the marketplace), anticipating to have an SPF of 30 based on your ingredients, to learn that it only has an SPF of 10, and with holes.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a sunscreen testing labs only rub the products gently into the skin. The more vigorous rubbing that we typically do when applying sunscreen to ourselves and children results in a thinner application and an even more unreliable SPF protection factor .

Supplies

In addition to the high sheer mixer, there are numerous other pieces of equipment that are needed. When working with zinc oxide, you need to be sure to have a particulate filter respirator. There are dangers to inhaling the particulates of zinc oxide (3). Hot plates, proper thermometers and other miscellaneous safety gear are necessary. The cost of all of this equipment is not for the faint at heart.

To reiterate, it is not enough to use a simple mixer or immersion blender to properly make your own DIY sunscreen using zinc oxide.

SPF Myths

Carrot Seed Essential Oil

Often times carrot seed oil and carrot seed essential oil are confused.

Carrot seed essential oil is extracted from the seeds of Daucus Carota through steam distillation, labeled as carrot seed essential oil (volatile oil). Carrot seed oil is produced by pressing the oil from the seeds of the carrot plant, like you would produce other vegetable and seed oils, labeled as cold-pressed carrot seed oil or just carrot seed oil (non-volatile oil).

There is a myth that carrot seed essential oil carries an SPF of 40, but this is not accurate. Volatile essential oils carry an SPF of approximately 1-7, respectively. Non-volatile oils carry an SPF of approximately 2-8, respectively (4).

The product that was analyzed that perpetuated the carrot seed essential oil myth actually contains zinc, therefore the product has an accumulated SPF of 40 (5).

Red Raspberry Seed Oil

A study published in the Journal of Food Chemistry claimed that raspberry seed oil has an SPF of 28-50. The study makes the following bold claim: “The optical transmission of raspberry seed oil, especially in the UV range (290±400 nm) was comparable to that of titanium dioxide preparations with sun protection factor for UVB (SPF) and protection factor for UV–A (PFA) values between 28-50 and 6.75-7.5, respectively (Kobo Products Inc., South Plainfield, NJ)”(6).

The study however, points to no reference of proof of this large range (28-50) of SPF protection. Please do not take this one statement as confirmation that raspberry seed oil has this level of SPF. Remember as I stated above, non-volatile oils carry an SPF of approximately 2-8, respectively. This is likely the accurate SPF protection factor in this case.

Benefit VS Risk

When looking at the challenges that are presented with getting zinc oxide to stay properly and evenly disbursed, you can see that the risk is too great to have an ineffective DIY product. Essential oils as well as carrier oils do not in themselves carry an adequate SPF protection.

Do to all of these issues, we at Plant Therapy do not recommend making your own sunscreen, but rather to purchase a non-nano zinc oxide based sunscreen for yourself and your family.

 

References

(1) Nanoparticles, free radicals and oxidative stress. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49580656_Nanoparticles_free_radicals_and_oxidative_stress

(2) Houlden, R. (2017) Viscosity Versus Rheology : What’s the difference and why it is important to the formulation chemist. Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists Conference 2017

(3) Zinc toxicology following particulate inhalation. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2796768/

(4) In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140123/

(5) Efficacy Study of Sunscreens Containing Various Herbs for Pro­tecting Skin from UVA and UVB Sunrays. Retrieved from: http://www.phcog.com/article.asp?issn=0973-1296;year=2009;volume=5;issue=19;spage=238;epage=248;aulast=Kapoor

(6) Characteristics of raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) seed oil. Retrieved from: http://www.lotioncrafter.com/reference/oomah.pdf

Leslie Moldenauer, CHNC, HHP, Certified Aromatherapist, has been studying natural living and holistic wellness for over 10 years. Leslie is a trusted resource that covers essential oil safety and encompasses all that natural living has to offer.  She is passionate about providing education and tools to help others make decisions regarding safety above all things when utilizing aromatherapy in the home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Way to the Happy Mom-Releasing Mom Guilt

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You know… you’re not failing.

I know you have felt that way many times. Did you plop your child in front of the television so you could get a moment to yourself? Let them play on electronics just a little bit longer so you could do something as simple as take a shower? Cook a frozen pizza so you could sit outside and read a magazine?

Dishes piled up in the sink?

Had to wash a load of laundry a couple times because you could not get to fold it before it was completely wrinkled?

Lost your temper because you had to ask your children to pick up their things a dozen times?

…..none of these things make you a failure as a mother.

A mother’s love for her children is championed as unconditional and all encompassing. But guess what, love is even difficult for mom’s. It requires self-control, selflessness, and incredible amounts of patience. It is a day-to-day commitment that we at times do not even offer ourselves. Why do you beat yourself up when you falter?

Motherhood is challenging as we are constantly being pulled in countless directions. We wear many hats, and juggle them all day long. There is no guilt in being exhausted after that.

Some guilt is showing us that our love for our children is infinite, and that is a beautiful thing. Beyond that you are only harming yourself. The goal is to separate the unproductive and unearned feelings of guilt from the kind that helps us improve.

What do I mean by this?

Did you forget an event at your child’s school? This may be a valid time for a little guilt, but take appropriate action by adding things to your calendar as soon as you know about them. Grow from the lesson that the feeling brings.

Left your child unhappy with a babysitter so that you could join a friend for dinner or go to that yoga class you have been missing out on? Let that guilt go! You need that time, and in the end everyone will be happier for it.

Hey mom’s guess what? Behind every great kid is a mom who is afraid she is messing it all up. We are all alike, we are all human….no one is exempt from these feelings and we all want to do the best we can….but I am here to tell you that you already are!

YES YOU ARE!

Mom A.K.A. “The Entertainer

Hear me when I say this, you do not need to entertain your children all day long. They thrive on special, quality time with you of course, but they need to learn to entertain themselves. They need time to do nothing. If you do not foster this at a young age you will find yourself with children that cannot entertain themselves…and you do not want that. All too often, children are micromanaged and over-scheduled. This leaves everyone unhappy.

In the end they will be much happier with time to themselves while you take the time that you need to treat yourself right. I am not talking about doing all of those things on your to do list such as having no dishes in the sink, or all of the laundry done. I mean do things that are just for you! Practice self-love!

 

Self-Care Mom Style

Make your Lists

I have recommended this exercise many times over the years with great results. Make a list of all the things you can think of that make you happy. Spend 15 minutes on this exercise. Do you like to read, paint, sing, dance, do yoga, spend time in nature, read a book, or take a bath? Make the list as thorough as you can. Begin incorporating one of these things into your life everyday. Be diligent in making the time.

Take a Bath

This blend is incredibly useful at the end of the day to relax and unwind.

Mix the following essential oils in a glass bottle:

Lavender Lavandula angustifolia 20 drops
Ylang Ylang Canaga odorata 15 drops
Marjoram Origanum marjorana 10 drops
Neroli Citrus x aurantium 2 drops

Take 1-2 tsp fragrance free shampoo or Solubol and add 3-5 drops of your oil blend.

Mix to bath after water has been run.

(Optional 1 tbsp carrier oil such as jojoba)

Slide in and relax Mom. You deserve it!

*If you do not have access to a tub, this blend can also be used in a diffuser with great results.

Guided Imagery

Need to transport yourself somewhere but have no time to do it? Yep, sounds like every mom I know! Guided imagery or guided visualization is a great tool to use when you need to take your mind to a quiet, blissful sanctuary.

To utilize this great tool, get comfortable, preferably laying down, and begin to focus on your breath. Close your eyes and transport yourself to your favorite place. Take in all of the sights, smells, and sounds. Five to 10 minutes in your happy place will leave you both relaxed and energized. A great addition to this is your favorite blend. Here is one of mine!

Master Blend

WA Sandalwood Santalum spicatum 10 drops
Atlas Cedarwood Cedrus atlantica 6 drops
Sweet Orange Citrus sinesis 4 drops
Neroli Citrus aurantium 2 drops

Place drops in diffuser (as indicated on box instructions)

Affirmations

As a mom, we will all make mistakes, but how we bounce back from them is important. Rehashing mistakes over and over again is tiring. You cannot go back and change it, so you must move forward. Tell yourself you did your best, and keep going. I like using affirmations during times like this. You can pair it with an aromastick to help center you to be able to quickly move forward.

Here are a few examples:

 I will let go of how I think today is supposed to go and accept how it is.

Just as the needs of my children matter, so do my own.

I am the exact parent my child needs and have no need to compare to others.

I am doing my best, and that will always be enough.

Confidence and calming aromastick

Sweet Orange Citrus sinesis 7 drops
Bergamot Citrus bergamia 5 drops
Roman Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile 3 drops

Place these oils on the cotton wick of an inhaler, and insert into casing. Use as needed alongside your chosen affirmation.

 

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there. – Robert Browning

 

There are going to be days when your cup runs over with joyful moments that brings tears to your eyes, and others that may make you want to run away….but one thing is for sure, you my dear are awesome! Don’t you forget it!

Happy Mother’s Day 

 

Leslie Moldenauer, CHNC, HHP, Certified Aromatherapist, has been studying natural living and holistic wellness for over 10 years. Leslie is a trusted resource that covers essential oil safety and encompasses all that natural living has to offer.  She is passionate about providing education and tools to help others make decisions regarding safety above all things when utilizing aromatherapy in the home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essential Oil Education – Copaiba Balsam

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By Kimberly Daun, Certified Aromatherapist

Copaiba Balsam is a an Oleoresin obtained by tapping a tree for its resin.  Plant Therapy currently sources its Copaiba Balsam from both Brazil and El Salvador,  and since we provide batch specific GC/MS reports it will be easy for you to figure out where your bottle is from.  Its aroma is smooth like milk chocolate, and has a gently wooded scent.

Copaiba is primarily from deep in the majestic Amazon rain forests.  The Amazons’ alone produce 500 tons of oil-resin each year. [1]  It has a 2-3 year shelf life when stored in a cool and dark environment, giving you plenty of time to use this oil.

It has a unique chemical constituent; Beta-Caryophyllene.  You’re probably asking yourself, B what?!  Don’t worry, I’ll break it down!  Beta-caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene also found in significant amounts in Black Pepper,   Beta-caryophyllene is a major constituent credited with targeting parts of the brain which help minimize feelings of nervousness and worry.  It is also credited with easing feelings of sadness and discouragement. The specific findings of this study were published online in the journal Physiology & Behavior. [2]  This main constituent is also credited with minimizing the perception of inflammation and discomfort. It is  excellent at giving you an immune boost and helping you avoid  seasonal threats. [3]

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s the synergy of all constituents that really gives an essential oil its power.  Knowing about the individual constituents gives you a better basis for blending for a specific purpose.  Copaiba Balsam is made up of more than 85% constituents in the sesquiterpene family, making it highly sought after to help reduce the perception of inflammation, help you to feel grounded, and assist in healing broken skin.

 

My top 5 uses for Copaiba Balsam are:
  1. Ease Joint Discomfort

1 ounce carrier oil, 6 drops Copaiba Balsam, 6 drops Marjoram, 6 drops Frankincense Serrata

  1. Upper Respiratory Support

Diffuse 3 drops Copaiba Balsam, 3 drops Eucalyptus Globulus, 2 drops Fir Needle

  1. Emotionally Grouding

Diffuse 3 drops Copaiba Balsam, 2 drops Frankincense Carteri, 4 drops Sweet Orange

  1. Assist in healing cuts and scrapes

1 ounce carrier oil, 6 drops Copaiba Balsam, 8 drops Lavender, 4 drops Helichrysum Italicum

  1. Sooth Sore Throat

1 ounce carrier oil, 18 drops Copaiba Balsam

 

[1] Wikipedia, “Copaiba,” [Online]. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copaiba. [Accessed 5 January 2017].
[2] Leaf Science, “β-Caryophyllene: A Terpene For Anxiety and Depression?,” [Online]. Available: http://www.leafscience.com/2014/07/08/b-caryophyllene-terpene-anxiety-depression/. [Accessed 6 January 2017].
[3] Aromahead Institute, “Therapeutic Components List,” Aromahead Institute, [Online]. Available: https://www.aromahead.com/online-course/aromatherapy-certification-program/reference/general-reference/therapeutic-component-list. [Accessed 7 January 2017].

 

*This statement has not be evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Plant Therapy and its representatives are not intending to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

Phototoxic Reactions to Essential Oils

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There are specific essential oils that cause what is called photosensitivity. There are two reactions associated with this, phototoxicity and photoallergy, which carry varying degrees of severity. These phenomena occur when essential oils, primarily cold-pressed or expressed citrus oils, are applied to the skin and then exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. Why does this happen? What are the signs? What are the risks? How can we avoid these reactions?

Photosensitivity, or sun sensitivity, is inflammation of the skin induced by the combination of sunlight and essential oils, particularly the chemical class of furanocoumarins (FCs). This causes redness (erythema) of the skin, much like sunburn. To be clear, both the essential oil and the UV light are required for this reaction to occur.

Phototoxic Essential Oils

As I mentioned earlier, there are very specific essential oils that carry these risks. There are also very specific safe percentages listed for topical use via scientific research that you can find on the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) website (1). Here are the topical limits for essential oils that have phototoxic potential:

Angelica Root Angelica archangelica 0.8%
Bergamot Citrus bergamia 0.4%  **(Plant Therapy‘s Bergamot is Bergapten free and is not phototoxic)
Bitter Orange (Cold/Expeller Pressed) Citrus aurantium 1.25%
Cumin Cuminum cyminum 0.4%
Grapefruit (expressed) Citrus paradisi 4.0%
Lemon (Cold/Expeller Pressed) Citrus limon 2.0%
Lime (Cold/Expeller Pressed) Citrus aurantifolia 0.7%
Mandarin Leaf Citrus reticulate 0.17%
Rue Ruta graveolens 0.15%
Taget Tagetes minuta 0.01%

If you are going to make product using these oils, it is important to consider weighing your oils of measuring by volume for accuracy. Understanding that this currently may not be an option for all of you, I will go over Lemon Citrus limon to show what 2.0% looks like.

5ml……3 drops lemon essential oil in carrier oil=2%
10ml……6 drops lemon essential oil in carrier oil=2%
15ml……9 drops lemon essential oil in carrier oil=2%

Drops sizes can vary and sometimes bottles pour a lot faster than we would like. I recommend using a pipette to measure out your drops for consistency. I have included in the references a couple of links to scales that may be of interest to you.

There are a few things to understand in regards to using a phototoxic oil on the skin.

#1-The reaction may not occur right away. It can occur within 36 to 72 hours later in the form of moderate to severe topical reactions, but the general advice is to avoid the sun or tanning bed for 12-18 hours after application of any of these oils.

#2-When you stay below the above percentages you greatly lower your risk, but there is still a potential to have a reaction, such as if you are taking a medication that increases the effects of the sun (see#3).

#3– Certain medications increase the effects of the sun. Specific drugs in the class of antibiotics, allergy medications, NSAID’s, anti-depressants, vitamin B3 (niacin) and even certain herbs such as St. John’s Wort just to name a few, increase the effects of the sun. If taking these medications, you may need to use extra precautions with any of these essential oils used topically.

#4-It is not just topical use you need to be concerned about. If you are taking any phototoxic essential oil internally you need to be concerned too. We know average time frames to avoid the sun or tanning bed for topical use, internal use is not as easy. You do not need to be concerned about diffusing or other means of inhalation.

#5– When used individually, formulating the math for your phototoxic essential oil can be calculated quite easily using the guideline above. If you are using more than one oil that has phototoxic potential, the total percentage of those oils in your formulation will need to be reduced (it is cumulative). The percentages need to be reduced so that the total amount of furanocoumarins in your blend is accounted for.

#6– It is stated that wash off products are less of a concern but you must consider how long the oils were left on the skin before washing off.

Phototoxic Reactions

In phototoxic reactions, the skin’s appearance resembles sunburn, and the reaction is generally acute. The onset is typically fast, but remember in some cases it can take 36-72 hours to see a reaction. The reactions can extend beyond the typical redness of sunburn to severe burning, hyper pigmentation changes, and painful blistering.

These phototoxic reactions do damage the DNA. In the absence of UV light, phototoxic chemicals do not cause this damage (2).

The phototoxic reaction usually resolves with peeling and sloughing off of the skin with a few days time. It will be imperative to care for your skin as you would any other wound to avoid or minimize scarring (no essential oils).

Photoallergic Reactions

Photoallergic reactions have an added dynamic. In addition to the symptoms in phototoxicity, hyper pigmentation includes post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (raised, inflamed darkened skin) of the skin accompanied by intense itching. This resembles eczema and can be much longer lasting. This is an allergic reaction so subsequent exposure can result in more severe reactions.

Closing

The good news is, when we know how to use essential oils safely we greatly reduce these risks. Be sure to be aware of what is in your blends as well as any product you are buying in the store. Always read your labels. Stay safe and enjoy the summer from all of us at Plant Therapy.

 

References:

(1) International Fragrance Association IFRA. Retrieved from: http://www.ifraorg.org/en-us/standards-library/s/phototoxicity#.V9VaSpMrJn4

(2) Phototoxic and Photoallergic Reactions. Retrieved from http://rihuc.huc.min-saude.pt/bitstream/10400.4/1340/1/Phototoxic.pdf

Scales

#1 American Weigh Scale

#2 Smart Weigh Premium Scale

 

Leslie Moldenauer, CHNC, HHP, Certified Aromatherapist, has been studying natural living and holistic wellness for over 10 years. Leslie is a trusted resource that covers essential oil safety and encompasses all that natural living has to offer.  She is passionate about providing education and tools to help others make decisions regarding safety above all things when utilizing aromatherapy in the home.

What Are Hydrosols And Why Should You Try Them?

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The word hydrosol is a chemistry term meaning “water solution”. It is derived from the Latin hydro, meaning, “water”, and sol, for “solution”(1). Hydrosols, also known as hydrolats, floral water, or plant water is what is remaining after steam distillation, after the vapor is cooled and the oils are separated.

In a little bit more detail, when distilling plant material in a still, the steam fills the container, and as it rises, it causes the glands of the plants to burst and release the oil of the plant into the steam. The oil rises through a condenser and collects in a separate vessel. This is the essential oil. The fragrant water that was steamed with the original plant material is the hydrosol.

Every distillation will have some resulting hydrosol, but know that some distillers are devoted as artists to distilling strictly for the hydrosol.

Even though hydrosols have been around for as long as the distillation of plant material, their use in aromatherapy is still a relatively new practice. True hydrosols contain tiny micronized droplets of essential oils suspended in the water. This is very different from a glass of water that has essential oil and a dispersant added, giving them a much broader and subsequently safer range of use. Some hydrosols smell like the plant from which they are derived, some are lacking in smell all together, but know that in no way makes them void of therapeutic properties.

“Every liter of hydrosol contains between .05 to 0.2 % of volatiles, which equates to 500-2000 mg (milligrams)”(2), the amount will vary depending on factors such as the water solubility of plant components and the parameters of each distillation.

Storage

Similar to essential oils, hydrosols are best stored in the refrigerator at a constant temperature, no light or heat. They are best in dark containers, but if you are storing properly in the fridge, this is much less of a concern. As hydrosols are a water solution, it is important to know your supplier and make sure they are of good quality. Know that when purchased from a quality distiller that they are relatively stable.

Shelf Life

Most every product you purchase has some sort of shelf life, hydrosols included.

Let’s take a look at the various hydrosols that Plant Therapy carries in regards to their shelf life (when stored properly).

Calendula Calendula officinalis-Stable, 2 years
Helichrysum Helichrysum italicum-Very stable, at least 2 years, possibly much longer
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia­-Very stable, at least 2 years, possibly much longer
Melissa (aka Lemon balm) Melissa officinalis-Very stable, at least 2 years, possibly much longer
Peppermint Mentha piperita-Moderately stable, 1-2 years
Roman Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile-Very stable, at least 2 years, possibly much longer
Rose Rosa damascena-Stable, 2 years
Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia-Moderately stable, 1-2 years

Unlike essential oils that have a more finite shelf life, hydrosols have many factors involved that determine theirs. They are affected by quality of distillation, conditions of storage, and packaging. You may find it helpful to mark the bottles with the date they are opened, and an estimate of their expiration.

What Is pH All About?

Each hydrosol has a unique pH, or pH range. They can vary due to the same conditions that make it’s essential oil counterpart constituent levels vary such as: altitude, harvest times, soil conditions, etc. The specific pH is important, and it is one a few indicators of shelf life/spoilage.

All hydrosols are acidic by nature, none will reach a pH at or higher than distilled water, which is 7.0.

Through testing, any major change in the pH in a hydrosol may indicate spoilage. You can test your hydrosol upon receipt, and retest at specific intervals to determine this for yourself. Suzanne Catty says: “Generally hydrosols with a pH of 5.0 or less last longer than hydrosols with a pH over 5.0. As a very broad rule of thumb, I rate those under 5.0 pH at two years and over 5.0 pH at twelve to eighteen months” (3).

Beyond testing pH levels, look for cloudiness, floating particles, or growth. Any of these indicates spoilage.

To keep bacteria out of your product, do not touch the primary bottle with your hands or applicator; instead pour what you want into another container before doing your formulating. This will greatly reduce your risk of cross-contamination.

Hydrosol Uses

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s talk about some of their uses.

Hydrosols are much gentler than essential oils, so they are great for small children. Most applications for adults can be undiluted, but no harm will be done to dilute them at first to see how they work for you. Dilution does not mean just water, think lotion or crème, aloe vera gel, or even milk, animal derived or otherwise.

Hydrosols for Children

Before you begin using essential oils topically on small children, I recommend trying hydrosols.

Melissa or Roman Chamomile Hydrosol can be added (1tsp is sufficient) to a baby’s bath, for the discomforts of diaper rash, and to help sooth the irritation of cradle cap. Here is a great recipe for diaper rash:

Lavender Hydrosol is wonderful for an upset child diluted into a lotion and applied as a nice soothing massage from mom or dad.

Hydrosols should be the go to for teething pain, as essential oils on the gums is not recommended for babies and small children. Roman Chamomile Hydrosol on a clean finger or cotton ball onto the gum is very effective.

*Know that like essential oils, not all hydrosols are recommended for children, such as peppermint (noted below). Please do you due diligence and research this for yourself.

Skin Cleansers, Toners, Rinses

Hydrosols are wonderful for the skin as toners, cleansers, rinses, aftershave; you name it. Calendula, ChamomileHelichrysum, Lavender, and Rose Hydrosols are among the many choices for topical application on the skin.

Roman Chamomile hydrosol would be a wonderful cleanser on a cotton pad. As an anti-oxidant, and mild circulatory stimulant, Tea Tree Hydrosol would be a great toner. Once you begin to use them on the skin, trust me when I say you will be in love!

Lotions and Crème

Hydrosols can be added to lotions and creams as well for luxuriously soft skin. Keep in mind the shelf life of the hydrosol you are using. If your product will be sitting on a shelf in a storefront/made in bulk/sold to another entity, a preservative will be necessary. At the very least, you need to indicate on the label that it does not contain one, and state the estimated shelf life.

Rose and Lavender Hydrosols are two favorites to add to your favorite lotion, no perfume needed.

Summer Favorites

Peppermint Hydrosol is a go to in a spritzer bottle for cooling down on a hot summer day. It can also be used for the hot flashes of menopause or if fever is present (neither hydrosols or the essential oil counterpart reduces a fever, just provides cooling comfort).

*Peppermint should not be used on children under 3 years of age.

Internal Use

At last, a method of internal use in water that is safe! YES! Hydrosols can be used internally. You can utilize hydrosols to flavor your water and skip the many side effects of using essential oils. Using fresh, uncontaminated hydrosols are of great importance here.

Tea Tree Hydrosol can be very useful as a mouthwash to simply freshen up, or to soothe a mouth/throat irritation. Use 1:4 parts hydrosol to water.

Very specific hydrosols can be used to help soothe eye irritation. Among the only ones that are considered safe in the eye include Roman and German Chamomile Hydrosols. Make absolutely sure they are fresh. I recommend putting a little into a spray bottle, spraying a closed eye, and then blinking it in.

Hydrosols can be used for relief for minor pregnancy woes such as morning sickness and digestive upsets. Reach for 1 tsp Melissa Hydrosol in a tall glass of water.

Closing

As you can see, hydrosols are often the underused and sometimes unknown underdog in the aromatherapy community. This is not due to their lack of therapeutic benefit. Experience how hydrosols can work for you and your family today.

 

References

(1) Catty, S. (2001) Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy. (p 9) Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press

(2) Harman, A. (2015) Harvest to Hydrosol. botANNicals

(3) Catty, S. (2001) Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy. (p 147) Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press

 

Leslie Moldenauer, CHNC, HHP, Certified Aromatherapist, has been studying natural living and holistic wellness for over 10 years. Leslie is a trusted resource that covers essential oil safety and encompasses all that natural living has to offer.  She is passionate about providing education and tools to help others make decisions regarding safety above all things when utilizing aromatherapy in the home.

April’s Oil of the Month – Finger Root

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By: Diane Mishler, Certified Aromatherapist

 

The plant that April’s Oil of the Month comes from is well known in southeast Asia, Thailand, Indonesia and parts of China. Finger Root, also known as Chinese Keys, Chinese Ginger and Krachai is wildly grown in lush, dense forests. It is also cultivated and grown commercially, as it’s such a popular product.

The name, Finger Root, comes from the rhizome, which resembles long fingers. It’s from the Ginger family, which has over 1200 species. The plant which is an ornamental in many yards and looks similar to any lily or orchid, is easy to grow in shady, moist places. It has a lovely pinkish flower and an earthy, mildly spicy aroma.

Thai people use the plant for culinary purposes, and people in Southern China use it for medicinal purposes. Many feel that it can help with the digestive system and nausea and to clear congestion. It’s purported to help with swelling and discomfort, and makes a great oil for those with minor back or joint discomfort. The essential oil as well can help with these issues and is also helps to dispel excessive, busy, worrisome thoughts.

Here is a recipe using Finger Root Essential Oil that can be used for achiness and soreness and also as a chest rub for congestion. When I used this I also received the side benefit of a good night’s sleep!

 

Respiratory/Joint Support Blend                                                                          

1 ounce of unscented Olive Lotion

6 drops of Finger Root

4  drops of Kunzea

3  drops of Sweet Orange

3  drops of Fragonia

Mix eos into lotion well, and apply whats needed to problem area.

All is Well Blend  (for personal inhaler)

4  drops Finger Root

3  drops of Lime

2  drops of Grapefruit

2  drops of Clary Sage

2  drops of Patchouli

Apply drops of eos to wick in personal inhaler. Relax!

Download Product Template Sheet here.