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Essential Oils Blog

All posts by Plant Therapy

Essential Oils for Sleep

Essential Oils for Sleep2:00 am…2:20 am… 2:47 am ….still no sleep.

There’s nothing worse than sleepless nights. Sometimes it goes on for days, sometimes for months or years. But no matter how long it lasts, it’s miserable.

There are tons of reasons for lack of sleep. Noise, exposure to electronic devices,  hormone changes, stress, or worry: Take your pick. And whatever the reason, not sleeping can seriously affect your health.

 

Essential oils can promote relaxation, helping with falling asleep.

Essential Oils for SleepCalming not only to the mind but also to the body, these oils can help to quiet intrusive thoughts, and relax tense muscles, promoting sleep. Plant Therapy has some great synergies just for this purpose.

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Top 5 Essential Oils: Tyler’s Picks

By Tyler Hagan, Aromatherapist

Hello everyone! My name is Tyler Hagan, and I’ve had the privilege  of working for Plant Therapy since October of 2017. I spend almost all of my time in our lovely Facebook group, Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR), but you can often times find me answering your questions via email. 😊 I have been a long time customer of Plant Therapy and a long time member in SEOR. Aromatherapy is my biggest passion in life, and I love being able to work with others to spread safe essential oil knowledge far and wide.

Prior to being employed by Plant Therapy I was a preschool teacher for several years. I’ve worked in several childcare settings, developmental preschools, elementary schools, and churches. Teaching has always been one of my biggest passions in life.

I am happily married to my best friend and we have one little guy together, and I have two lovely stepkiddos . Besides spending time with my family, I also enjoy reading, whipping up DIY projects in the kitchen, watching movies, organizing, and gardening. Our favorite family pastime is camping, when the weather permits.

One of the hardest tasks I’ve encountered working at Plant Therapy is narrowing down my top 5 essential oils. I love SO many different essential oils, it’s hard to just pick 5, however, I’ve narrowed it down to the following essential oils below.

Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum, is easily my #1  favorite essential oil. It is very uplifting, and it gives me that extra emotional boost I need throughout the year. For someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, it is a must to help keep my chest clear and breathing strong. It’s a big feature in my Free and Clear inhaler blend for my adventures in the great outdoors.

top 5 essential oils

Free and Clear Inhaler Blend

Cedarwood Atlas Cedrus atlantica, is a close second. It’s sweet yet spicy aroma is extremely calming and can be used to settle the crazy emotions and tension that follow a long, busy day. I love to diffuse it alongside my third favorite oil, Vetiver Vetiveria zizanioides.

For those that have never used Vetiver Vetiveria zizanioides, you must give it a try! It’s earthy, smoky aroma is just what I need at the end of the day to calm the constant chattering in my head. It also helps keep me calm and healthy throughout the year, which is always a huge plus.

One thing I struggle with daily is getting out of bed in the morning. Ask anyone who knows me, I am not a morning person, and I’m not exactly fun to be around straight out of bed. After many years of struggling, I found essential oils, and my life has forever been changed. And it’s all thanks to my fourth and fifth favorites, Grapefruit Pink Citrus x paradisi, and Bergamot Citrus bergamia. These two oils, blended together in the diffuser, is Tyler’s Saving Grace.

 

top 5 essential oilsTyler’s Saving Grace Diffuser Blend

*You can substitute the steam distilled for cold pressed. It will change the aroma slightly, but it’ll still be uplifting and energizing. 😊

 

February Oil of the Month – Douglas Fir and Silver Fir

Trees Of Winter

I used to live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The presence of Douglas Fir trees dotted our landscape for many miles. It is a rugged and strikingly beautiful terrain. The fragrance of these giants is also present, as you breathe in that sweet and balsam-like aroma everywhere.  It is cleansing, grounding, uplifting, and restoring.

Plant Therapy gives us the gift of Fir trees this month with not one, but two essential oils. Douglas Fir and Silver Fir are the featured oils for the month of February. As they were going around the office to preview, I became excited for our customers as I took in the scent of the oils, one at a time.  Douglas Fir essential oil has that familiar conifer scent with a subtle apple note to it. The Silver fir is different, yet also inspiring and boosting to the mind.

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Essential Oils in the Bath

 

The only thing more relaxing than a bath at the end of a hard day is perhaps adding a little of your favorite essential oil or essential oil blend and letting the aroma surround you. The busy thoughts dissipate, the sore, tired muscles relax and one can even momentarily drift off.

It can be wonderful or it can be miserable if essential oils are not added to the bath correctly. As aromatherapists, we have heard stories of major irritations,  including to children, from something seemingly benign as citrus oils or Lavender. Usually, it is the delicate area that hits the water first, but it can be anywhere on the body.

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Essential Oils and Preventing Hair Loss

When considering hair loss treatments, natural remedies may prove helpful.

Hair is more than just a protective covering for our noggin. For most people, it means much more. It’s often the first thing people notice about us. It is part of our identity, our expression and creativity. It is part of our vanity and youthfulness. And, for some, it’s a statement.

Hair care products continue to rise in popularity and in dollars every year as we search for that perfect panacea for flowing tresses.

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January Oil of the Month: Massoia Bark

Plant Therapy is all about making our customers happy and thinking outside the box. When the recent vanilla shortage left us without that sweet, buttery, decadent scent, we came up with Peru Balsam for December’s Oil of the Month. For January, we have a different yummyness (technical term).

Massoia Bark, whose botanical name is Cryptocaria Massoy or Massioa, is steam distilled from the bark of the Massoia tree. This exotic beauty comes to us from Indonesia.

Massoia Bark, whose botanical name is Cryptocaria Massoy or Massioa, is steam distilled from the bark of the Massoia tree.This oil is valued for it’s unique scent, which is perfume-like. It has a buttery, sweet scent. It reminds me of a pastry shop or cookie.

The main constituent within this essential oil is Lactone. It is what is responsible for the creamy, coconut-like aroma. The Lactone, a rare constituent in essential oils, is  also responsible for the irritation to the skin. Consequently, we do not recommend Massoia Bark for kids, nor for topical use. It is meant for diffusing and aroma only.

Click Here to download the Massoia Bark info sheet.

This calming and decadent essential oil is great for emotional needs and to pamper yourself.  It is not for little runny noses. It is not for cleaning. It is not for toenail problems. Massoia Bark is simply a great diffuser oil that works great while you are soaking in the tub, while you are dreaming of your next vacation, and while eating chocolates!

Here is a diffuser recipe for just such an occasion
If you are a member of Plant Therapy’s Oil of the Month Club, how have you enjoyed Massoia Bark? Let us know in the comments section!

Top 8 Essential Oils for Sore Muscle Relief

Essential oils can help provide relief from sore, achy muscles and joints.

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.

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December Oil of the Month – Peru Balsam

Vanilla is one of the most popular scents worldwide. That sweet, decadent ingredient is used in everything from foods to cosmetics to essential oils.

However, as you may recall from a recent blog post titled, “Vanilla, Vanilla, Where Art Thou? The Story Behind the Vanilla Bean Shortage,” we explained what has happened with the vanilla crop and the reason for the current worldwide shortage.

When we at Plant Therapy learned that we would no longer have that rich, sweet scent of Vanilla… well, it was a sad day.

Peru Balsam to the rescue!

The blog linked above also mentions another oil — Peru Balsam — which has been December’s Oil Of the Month.

Peru Balsam has that sweet scent;  a coconut, vanilla aroma that brings the joy back to blending. Like vanilla, it is calming and comforting. It is a quiet, happy scent that finds that child in you and makes you stop, close your eyes and take it all in.

Click Here to Download the Peru Balsam Info SheetThis special find smells heavenly, but does have some cautions. It is a good oil for diffusion, but if used topically we recommend keeping the dilution to 0.4%. That means, for application to the skin, it would be best in a blend. It can add that hint of something sweet that would go perfectly with Lemon, Sweet Orange, Yuzu, Lavender, Rose Absolute, Sandalwood, and of course any of the Cedarwoods (what doesn’t go with Cedarwood?).

Here is a wonderful diffuser blend that will help you relax, decompress and wind down.

Take 5 Diffuser Blend

3 drops of Peru Balsam Essential Oil

2 drops of Bergamot

1 drop of Lime

2 drops of Patchouli

Mix and add to the water in your AromaFuse Diffuser or personal diffuser.

November Oil Of The Month – Cubeb

The Oil of the Month is Cubeb!

Also called Java pepper, this essential oil is warming and has an enticing, wonderful scent. The herb and oil have long been used as an aphrodisiac and to create an intimate mood. It’s been mentioned in books as early as the 4th century. Now it is often used for blends to help in various situations, from soreness to massage. This essential oil is popular in use around Asia for its beneficial properties.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PLANT THERAPY’S OIL OF THE MONTH CLUB. 

Cubeb’s botanical name is Piper cubeba, and comes from Indonesia. It is in good company. You may have also heard of the botanical name Litsea cubeba. This refers to May Chang, which is from a different pepper plant and has a lemony scent. Of course, we also have Black Pepper, which has the botanical name Piper nigrum, and comes from India. These are all lovely, useful oils — Black Pepper being the only KidSafe pepper essential oil that Plant Therapy carries. 

This peppery pleasure is extracted from dried berries of the plant using the steam distillation method. This oil is mainly comprised of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. This means that it has properties that can be helpful for issues associated with swelling and body discomfort, due to overexertion or aging joints. It can also help with digestive issues and diluted with a carrier oil  and massaged clockwise into abdomen may bring relief from several “irregular” symptoms and from bloating. Cubeb can be stimulating and supportive for proper digestion. It also helps with symptoms associated with menstrual issues, can help to alleviate congestion, and help to promote clear, unlabored breathing.

Cubeb would blend well with Lavender, Geranium, Cardamom, Cedarwood, Allspice, Clove, Ylang Ylang and Rosemary.

Questions about Cubeb — or any other essential oil? Email our staff of Certified Aromatherapists: [email protected]

 

A blend that you might enjoy trying containing Cubeb would be this one for legs and feet;

Achy Legs and Feet Gel

Mix well and massage a quarter size amount into each leg, foot area.

Vanilla, Vanilla, Where Art Thou? The Story Behind the Vanilla Bean Shortage

The worldwide vanilla shortage has caused many companies like Plant Therapy to seek solutions.

Once upon a time in a beautiful land a strange and sad happening occurred. There was a dark cloud that came over the land and suddenly, there was a great shortage of Vanilla CO2! There was wailing and gnashing of teeth as people wanted to make DIYs, and to diffuse this beautiful, calming product,  and to include its delectable sweetness in blends.

People ran to Plant Therapy, knowing that if anyone would have it, they would! But alas, they too were unable to obtain it.

Where has all the vanilla gone? 

Vanilla is from an orchid plant and is grown in Madagascar. This country has roughly 79% of the world’s vanilla fields. Due to the shortage, the price of vanilla per pound has gone up from $11 per pound in 2011, to $193 per pound in 2016. This very labor-intensive crop takes 3-4 years from the time vanilla is planted until they can harvest. Then, it can take an additional 3-6 months to cure the beans. There are only approximately 3,000 tons of vanilla produced each year. Due to challenges in nature, vanilla in short supply — such as drought and cyclones. [1] [2]

Bottom line? 

Vanilla, of course, is in big demand for food products. It’s also a main ingredient in skincare products and perfume.  However, due to the short supply, companies are having to find substitutions or discontinue production.

Likewise, at Plant Therapy, we have felt the effects of this vanilla shortage and have had to make adjustments. We currently cannot offer Vanilla CO2 sold individually. We do have Vanilla Oleoresin, and a few blends with vanilla.

Peru Balsam to the rescue!

Peru Balsam does have a scent very similar to vanilla.  Like vanilla, it can be calming and comforting. It can ease nervous tension and promote tranquility.  It creates that “homey” atmosphere and is complementary to many other essential oils. We have used this in holiday blends as a substitute for vanilla in synergies that are not KidSafe. Caution is needed, as Peru Balsam can be irritating to the skin if used above recommended amounts. So, please follow instructions on label or website.  

We are always looking to provide essential oils and other products that our customers find helpful, pleasing, and affordable. We also strive to be a transparent company, and we hope this will shed light on the background challenges that we face, and our quest to serve our customers in the best way possible. 

 

Sources:

[1] cbnews, 2017, Vanilla Bean Shortage in Madagascar drives up prices in the U.S.  CBS This Morning.   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vanilla-bean-shortage-madagascar-drives-up-us-prices/

[2] Fieldhouse, Crystal, Ecology Skincare,  2017, What the Worldwide Vanilla Shortage means for Ecology Skincare. https://ecologyskincare.com/worldwide-vanilla-shortage-means-ecology-skincare/


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