Essential Oils Blog

The Wonderful Wide World of Aromatherapy + GiIVEAWAY

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While many new users of essential oils are enthusiastic about these awesome and awe-inspiring treasures provided by nature, it is also important to know about the wonderful wide world of aromatherapy, which they actually create.

Aromatherapy is a natural healing practice using the pure and natural concentrated essences from aromatic plants to enhance the wellbeing of mind, body and spirit, support our innate healing process, and improve quality of life. 

Aromatic essences are concentrated chemical constituents isolated from whole plant parts such as flowers, leaves, woods and roots. Most commonly, these are in the form of essential oils, which are either distilled or mechanically expressed. Aromatic essences also include extracts and absolutes, which are isolated by means of solvent or CO2 extraction.

While forms of herbalism and aromatic healing have been practiced since ancient times, aromatherapy itself is a specific branch with roots dating back only about 1,000 years when stills were first introduced. Modern aromatherapy is most often credited to 1937 when the term was first coined by cosmetic chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse after studying the therapeutic benefits of essential oils.  

Today, aromatherapy is employed in many ways, including the perfume and cosmetic industries, skincare, bodywork and spa treatments, medical and clinical healing by trained practitioners, and to provide psychological and spiritual support.

Aromatherapy is most often used in the forms of inhalation and topical use determined by which approach meets the specific need, as well as environmental use such as home care. There is also a specific branch of aromatherapy, called aromatic medicine, which includes some internal use as determined by those who have formal, advanced training, and is not for the home enthusiast or casual user.

While the use of essential oils and extracts is generally safe, we at Plant Therapy strongly encourage users to become familiar with the appropriate role of aromatherapy to create realistic expectations, as well as safe practices to prevent potential adverse reactions.

It is the chemical composition, as well as the very complexity of the composition, that provides these aromatic essences with the therapeutic value created in nature. Because these essences are extremely concentrated, these little powerhouses pack a potent punch that requires knowledge about proper application, such as blending, dilution rates and proper storage. We at Plant Therapy, with our team of Certified Aromatherapists, are here to support you.

Aromatherapy is a very expansive and dynamic field and there is always more to learn for beginners to professional practitioners alike. It is something about which we are very passionate, and we hope you will enjoy this very exciting opportunity to expand your own learning.

 

Plant Therapy is very excited to be giving a free  Aromatherapy Certification course to one lucky winner. The course is offered through Aromahead Institute  and is valued at $1995.

NOTE: The winner will be responsible for purchasing essential oils and all other supplies needed for the course. Plant Therapy offers a special discount to aromatherapy students while they are enrolled. The winner can contact aromatherapist@planttherapy for further details on student discounts.

 

Click here to enter.

 

Homemade Gelatin Air Fresheners!

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Mmmmmmmmm. These smell divine! In my search for homemade Gift Ideas, I found THIS post about homemade Gelatin Air Fresheners using essential oils! Who would have guessed?! I think they are beautiful, they smell wonderful,  and make the perfect gift for anyone!

What you will need: 

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Directions:

Bring one cup of water to a boil in the small saucepan. Add the gelatin. Whisk until smooth and gelatin has dissolved. Once gelatin is dissolved add the salt and second cup of water. Set aside.

Add the essential oils and food coloring to the jar. Dump the gelatin mixture on top and stir. Allow to cool.

gelatin finished

Aren’t these great! They smell so good and I think they are  so cute. I used a large size gelatin to get a texture. I wanted to be able to stir mine when the smell got low. I love the way it turned out.  Nobody would guess that you made these yourself. Plus, they are not full of all of the toxic perfumes!!

This post contains affiliate links which support Africa Heartwood Project. This means they will receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. To learn more about Africa Heartwood Project click here.

An Attitude of Gratitude

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By: Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

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I have a confession to make …

I have been a bit grumpy lately. Not outright, and not outwardly to others, but out of character for me. The munchkins in my mind have been mighty reactive lately. I have been easily irritable and paltry on patience.

“Wait. What?” Didn’t I just post a two-part blog on A Cup of Compassion? Yes, I did. And, this is where having a practice of living a compassionate life helps. Because others don’t need to be exposed to my grumpy gremlins. So, while inwardly, my mind might be sparking at so many small things, I did my very best to keep my mouth from outwardly speaking in a snit to others.

In retrospect, and through introspection, I understand where my patience veered off the peaceful path. First, there are some deep waters bubbling to the surface that clearly need my attention. Second, I had not been as diligent with my self-care routines for mind, body and spirit because I let myself get too busy for more than a few days. But, when I am very busy is when I most need to take care.

So, I was in dire need of an attitude adjustment.

And, I got one.

As I was confessing and venting my maddening muddle headedness to my acupuncture physician, she simply asked:

“What are you grateful for?”

The question stopped me short. And, immediately created a shift.

What am I grateful for?

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While I lay on the table for my treatment, I used the time to meditate on gratitude. And, this change in my focus changed how I felt my body. My sense of stress cleared way for a calming sense of peace.

An attitude of gratitude, not only reframes our perspective, it helps bring us back from the brink of repetitive negative thinking.  In Food for Thought, we discussed how chronic negative thoughts can impact not only the wellbeing of our mind, but also our body and spirit.

 

What are you grateful for?

This subtle change can create a substantial shift  to help reframe our focus from negative thinking to the positive potential. It is one way to get ourselves to mindfulness in the moment from a mindless myriad of thoughts.

But, I want to be clear here … focusing on what you are grateful for is not to meant to be used as a diminishment of your feelings. When you are feeling blue, or angry, or anxious and you or someone says “yeah, but you should be grateful for …. “ this can invalidate your  emotions. And, while how you feel and how you think may be linked, they are actually separate streams of your being.

After I broke my neck, and before I did work to mend my mind and spirit, I had an enormous amount of stress and trauma suffusing my whole being. And, when I mentioned this, I can’t tell you the number of people who patted me on the arm and simply said “well, you should be grateful you are alive.” Well, ummmm, yes. Actually, I was. Very much so.

But, I was struggling while moving forward in a new reality. So, I stuffed the feelings down and slapped a smile on my face because I thought that was expected of the kind of “can do girl” I am. And, that caused some delays in healing my overall wellbeing. Faith, gratitude and positive thinking were vital to my recovery, but dealing with what lay beneath was critical. Two streams of being dealt with simultaneously.

What we are talking about here is simply a another practice of positive thinking for every day things and our every day being so that negative thoughts don’t become chronic negative emotions, and so that any immediate tension in our mind does not feed distress throughout our body.

What are you grateful for?

Researchers have found those focused on gratitude are happier and more optimistic,  have a greater sense of wellbeing, less visits to the doctor’s office, and enhanced relationships. Focusing on gratitude is another form of mindfulness – focusing on the now and what we do have, rather than waiting until a later date for something else externally to make us happy. [1] Studies in positive psychology have also shown a regular practice of gratitude reduces stress, enhances immunity, and promotes a healthier lifestyle. [2]

With Thanksgiving under our belts, we have been reminded to reflect on our blessings. But, rather than one day, this presents a perfect opportunity to create a personal practice of gratitude, not only for now, but for our ongoing essential wellbeing.

We don’t need to make a big splash, just a simple subtle shift will suffice. As always, using essential oils in your practice can significantly support your whole being creating your own personal aromatic blessings.

Here are some suggestions for how you might incorporate an attitude of gratitude into your daily self-care routine.

 

AN AROMATIC ANCHOR AND AFFIRMATION

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As we discussed in in Food for Thought Part II, we can choose a scent, unique to our own needs, to create an aromatic anchor. When we inhale this scent, continually thinking of a positive thought, our brain creates an association.

Later, we can simply sniff the scent to break a negative thinking pattern and bring our mind to our positive thought, also known as an affirmation. In this case, our affirmation would be something for which we are grateful.

Affirmations are always stated positively and in the present tense.

 

“I am grateful for ______________” (fill in the blank).

Inhale while while you are repeating the affirmation to yourself.

Affirmation Blend

This can work well with a single scent and an personal inhaler to carry with you. In her book “The Blossoming Heart,” Robbi Zeck recommends melissa to support affirmations of gratitude. [3] You can, however, choose whichever scent is meaningful, uplifting and positive for you.

 

AN INTENTION OF GRATITUDE

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Intentions  are another way of keeping us grounded.  They can help bring us back to our center if we find ourselves adrift in our thoughts.

You can use a statement of gratitude to set your intention for the day upon waking, and to help turn off of negative thoughts prior to sleep.

 

 

 

 

Intention Blend

This blend helps create a sense of bliss for me, which is the state I want to reach and experience. The combination of this blend with a gratitude intention can help support the mind, body and spirit in reaching a relaxed state. It can be used equally morning and night, and throughout the day either in your diffuser or personal inhaler.

This blend is Kidsafe.

2 drops ho wood

2 drops kunzea

1 drop sandalwood

 

MEDITATE ON GRATITUDE

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You can create a gratitude meditation – a form of mindfulness focused on a positive phrase. When I do a relaxation mediation I often focus on phrases such as peace and calm. Or a phrase such as “all is well.

In a gratitude meditation, I might use “I am grateful for_______” to center my mind as I focus gently on my breath inhaling and exhaling. If you need help getting started, see “M is for Meditation” for some simple steps.

 

 

Meditation Blend

I love this blend for helping to mellow the mind for meditation. These can inspire a sense of peace and calm, while opening the mind for reflection.

2 drops ho wood

1 drop blue cypress

1 drop buddha wood*

1 drop ginger co2

  • This was a featured Oil of the Month. If you do not have it, you can increase blue cypress to 2 drops.

 

KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL

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For folks who like to make lists, keep a journal, or simply write down their thoughts, a gratitude journal could fill the bill. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, and the entries don’t need to be extraordinary.

Just the simple act of writing down our gratitude thoughts can reinforce our feelings, help us progress toward healthier goals and provide more clarity to the positive things happening in our lives. [4]

 

 

Positive Thinking Blend

I love this blend for  unwinding a sense of restlessness in the mind and inspiring a sense of hope to heart and soul. This could be diffused to support your practice of positive thinking.

This blend is KidSafe if you use bergaptine free bergamot such as the one Plant Therapy carries. 

3 drops of bergamot

3 drops of copaiba balsam

3 drops of sandalwood

 

What am I grateful for? 

While I can’t say I am grateful for the car accident that interrupted my life, I AM grateful for the opportunity to reshape the trajectory of my life into what is most important to me.

I am grateful for the entire journey that brought me back to natural healing where my passions and ability allow me to express myself in creative, healing ways that help others while creating balance in my own wellbeing.

I am grateful for my loved ones who have supported me in being my authentic me, whether they always saw me as me, or supported me in coming back to me.

And, I am so very grateful for Plant Therapy, and all of you, for creating and sustaining an amazing community, inside and out, in which to gather, share and support in our learning, healing and life journeys.

 

What are you grateful for?

 


Sources:

[1] Publications, Harvard Health. “In Praise of Gratitude – Harvard Health.”Harvard Health. Harvard Medical School, Nov. 2011. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.

[2] Heubeck, Elizabeth. “Boost Your Health With a Dose of Gratitude.” WebMD. WebMD, 11 Jan. 2006. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.

[3]Zeck, Robbi. The Blossoming Heart: Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation. East Ivanhoe, Victoria, Australia: Aroma Tours, 2014. Print.

[4] Carter, Sherrie Bourg, Psy.D. “The Benefits of Adding Gratitude to Your Attitude.” Psychology Today. Psychology Today, 25 Nov. 2013. Web. 08 Nov. 2016.

November Oil of the Month – YUZU

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By: Kimberly Daun, Certified Aromatherapist

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It isn’t known if it was intentional or unintentional, but the Yuzu is a wonderful, possibly accidental, hybrid that is now primarily grown in Japan.   It is a beautiful combination of the citrus fruits Ichang Papedas and Mandarin Oranges.

If you’re lucky enough to ever have the opportunity to visit a farm full of Yuzu you can expect a bright experience.  You’ll be surrounded by trees covered in varying hues of greens to bright oranges.  The fruit resembles a small grapefruit, averaging about 3 inches in diameter.

These small fruits are very aromatic and their tart aroma is ever present.  It’s so strong that you can almost taste the exotic citrus.  I find the aroma to be very uplifting, helping to minimizes worry and tension.

It is a very unique and hardy citrus fruit. Most citrus trees require very warm environments, but Yuzu will continue to grow in places with winters that have temperatures that go as low as 15 °F.  They are fairly low maintenance and don’t require a lot of attention to thrive. (Wikipedia, 2016)

A gentleman named Tim living in North Carolina shared his wonderful journey of growing his very own Yuzu.  He bought a small tree and before he transplanted it from a pot to the ground (at 18 inches) it produced a fruit!  Three years after transplanting he was harvesting in excess of 40 fruits from the tree.  He specifically mentioned his preference to grow fruit trees due to their lower maintenance (compared to a vegetable garden).  (Tim, 2012)

For over 200 years it has been a Japanese tradition to bathe with the whole fruit floating in the water.  It is said to help soften skin, clear clutter from the mind, boost the immune system, and support upper respiratory health.

You get the wonderful relaxing aromatic benefits while being figuratively (and literally if you do the above) bathed in therapeutic benefits.  Due to Yuzu being so high in Monoterpenes it’s therapeutic properties include:

  • Immune Support
  • Respiratory Support
  • Circulation Support
  • May minimize the perception of pain and inflammation (Aromahead Instutue, 2016)

 

I decided that since a traditional Yuzu bath is typically done during winter solstice that now is the perfect time to enjoy this wonderful Japanese tradition, Essential Oil Style!

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Mix essential oils into Hemp carrier.
  2. Combine oil to salt.
  3. Pour under warm running water.

To use:

Climb into the warm water that immediately calms the mind and body.  Close your eyes and take several deep breaths, enjoy the calming and uplifting feeling that rushes over you from the aroma of the Yuzu.  Enjoy your bath and just pretend you’re on vacation in Japan!

 

Yuzu Product Template Sheet

 

Aromahead Instutue. (2016). Monoterpenes. Retrieved from Aromahead: http://www.aromahead.com/online-course/aromatherapy-certification-program/reference/chemical-families/monoterpenes

Tim. (2012, September 1). Yuzu-A Cold-hardy and Very Unique Citrus. Retrieved from Tim’s Backyard: http://timsbackyard.blogspot.com/2012/09/yuzu-cold-hardy-and-very-unique-citrus.html

Wikipedia. (2016, September 11). Yuzu. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuzu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plant Therapy’s Favorite Recipes and Giveaway #8

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Plant Therapy's Holiday Giveaway
Plant Therapy’s Holiday Giveaway

“Hustle and Bustle Holiday Hot Bath”  

By: Brodie Lapray

Kid Safe: Yes

After all the hustle and bustle of shopping for the holidays a nice hot bath can be relaxing and a wonderful self-indulgent way to the end of a busy day. And, of course, one of the best ways is with essential oils. Hustle and Bustle Holiday Hot Bath is a blend that relieves stress, eases achy legs and feet. It also removes toxins from the body leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to go again the next morning.

What you’ll need;

 

What you’ll do;

Measure out ½ cup of Pink Himalayan Salt and place in a glass dish. In a separate dish mix the Master Blend together. Add Master Blend to salt by using a pipette and making sure to mix constantly. This will make 2 baths by just adding ¼ cup to each bath. Himalayan Salt is one of the purest salts there is and has many healing properties to support a healthy mind and body and when mixed with essential oils, it’s like magic.

 

3 lucky winners will receive all the essential oils to make the master blend.

Includes 10 ml bottles of  Lavender, Frankincense Carteri, and Vetiver; and a 5 ml bottle of Sandalwood.

Plant Therapy’s Favorite Recipes and Giveaway #8

Plant Therapy’s Favorite Recipes and Giveaway #7

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Plant Therapy's Holiday Giveaway
Plant Therapy’s Holiday Giveaway

“Grinch be Gone”  

By: Pat Burdick, Certified Aromatherapist

Kidsafe:  Yes

One of my greatest goals has been to create an environment in my home that made my family want to be there!  Grinch be Gone helps me achieve that goal!  It’s light, clean, and refreshing aroma offers a refuge of peace and tranquility.  It offers an uplifting, energizing experience every time I use it!

Master Blend Ingredients;

  • 20 drops Bergamot (calms the mind and lifts the spirit)
  • 14 drops Sweet Orange (helps with nervous tension, sadness)
  • 3 drops Sandalwood (Helps to quiet mental chatter and is wonderfully calming, which helps reduce nervous tension and agitated emotions)
  • 5 drops Neroli (comforting and effective essential oil when dealing with grief, nervous tension, or exhaustion)

What you’ll do;

Diffuse: Add 5 -6 Drops and enjoy!

Blend: Add 9 drops per ounce of carrier for a 1% dilution.  Use unscented lotion or another favorite carrier to nourish the skin.

Personal Inhaler: Add 15 drops

2 lucky winners will receive all the oils to make this recipe.

Includes 5 ml bottles of Neroli and Sandalwood; and 10 ml bottles of Sweet Orange, and Bergamot!

Plant Therapy's Favorite Recipes and Giveaway #7

 

Plant Therapy’s Favorite Recipes and Giveaway #6

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Plant Therapy's Holiday Giveaway
Plant Therapy’s Holiday Giveaway

“I call it Heaven!”

By: LeAnna Magee

KidSafe:  Yes

I spent the afternoon yesterday trying to come up with a different idea yesterday. The more I thought about it and cleaned and did laundry. I was thinking that now that the house is all boarded up for the winter I use a lot more of my room sprays as the windows are not open and we do not have the fresh air flowing through the house.

What you’ll need;

What you’ll do;

  1. Combine ingredients and shake well before use.

10 lucky winners will receive all the essential oils to make the master blend.  Includes 10 ml bottles of: Bergamot and Black Pepper!  

Plant Therapy's Favorite Recipes and Giveaway #6

 

 

Plant Therapy’s Favorite Recipes and Giveaway #5

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Plant Therapy's Holiday Giveaway
Plant Therapy’s Holiday Giveaway

“Sleigh Ride Recovery Serum”

By: Kimberly Daun, Certified Aromatherapist

KidSafe:  No

I’ll be using this on dry/reddened/wind burned skin.  The winter is just full of awesome sports, but they are often quite hard on your skin.  Whether you like to ski, snowboard, sled, or even sleigh ride this is an incredible serum to moisturize and repair your skin after weathering the elements.  This is one of those recipes I keep for people to make as gifts for the outdoorsman who has everything!  It’s such a powerful combination of essential oils that work synergistically to keep your skin healthy and nourished.  

Master blend ingredients;

What you’ll need;

What you’ll do;

  1. Mix all ingredients in bottle.

To use;

Maximize absorbency if you apply when your pores are open, after a warm bath or shower is my favorite, most effective time to apply.  I also carry it with my snowboarding gear so I can use it throughout the day if my skin is feeling a bit tighter than I would like.  It pairs great with a nourishing DIY face mask and DIY night cream.

2 lucky winner will receive all the essential  oils to make this recipe.  

Includes 5 ml bottles of German Chamomile CO2, MyrrhLavender Fine, and Rose Absolute; and 10 ml bottles of Bergamot,  Frankincense Frereana, and Turmeric.

Plant Therapy’s Favorite Recipes and Giveaway #5

 

 

 

 

Plant Therapy’s Favorite Recipes and Giveaway #4

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Plant Therapy's Holiday Giveaway
Plant Therapy’s Holiday Giveaway

“Luxurious Skin Nourishing Hand Soap”

By: Diane Mishler, Certified Aromatherapist

KidSafe:  No

I like this recipe because not only is it fairly quick and simple to make but useful:) This recipe takes advantage of skin-nourishing essential oils that will keep your hands moisturized. These oils are kind and calming and make a lovely, fruity blend. Everyone uses hand soap and what friend wouldn’t want to receive one of these! I would put this blend in a pretty pump bottle and wrap it in cellophane with eye-catching ribbon to make it special. Or put it in a Christmas stocking or a dainty lacey bag with a drawstring. Put a personalized card on it and it’s ready to go!

What you’ll need;

What you’ll do;

  1. Mix ingredients well and put in bottle. This recipe is for a small amount, but you can double it or more and put in a larger bottle with a pump.

2 lucky winners will receive all the essential oils to make the master blend.

Includes 5 ml bottles of Helichrysum Italicum, Geranium Egyptian, Roman Chamomileand a 10 m bottle of Ylang Ylang Complete.

Plant Therapy's Favorite Recipes and Giveaway #4

 

This post contains affiliate links which support Africa Heartwood Project. This means they will receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. To learn more about Africa Heartwood Project click here.

 

 

Plant Therapy #MannequinChallenge

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How many of you have wondered what it is like to live a day in the life of a Plant Therapy employee? What better way for us to show you then to take you behind the scenes with the #MannequinChallenge.

Not exactly sure what the Mannequin Challenge is? How do you participate in this AWESOME challenge?

Simply stand still, frozen in action while a video is recorded of your shenanigans.

From ping pong tournaments to bottling and labeling, and even a little bit of mischief, here is an inside look of what really happens at Plant Therapy.