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DIY Hand Sanitizer

DIY essential oil hand sanitizer

If you live in the Northern United States, it’s likely that your tree, flower, and grass pollens are just beginning to ramp up. That means itchy eyes, a nose that doesn’t want to inhale oxygen anymore, and that constant throat tickle that just won’t seem to give up — no matter how fervently you try to hack it up! Young and old alike, if you suffer from these seasonal pollen threats, you understand the discomfort. Last month we addressed allergies and essential oils more in depth here, so give that a read if you need a little relief.

But now we’re going to address another important body part associated with seasonal threats: Your hands! The hands that itch, that hold the tissues, that touch your sensitive, uncomfortable face and throat. They need to stay clean, otherwise your condition will just get worse. No one wants to deal with being sick and having a bad case of mid-Spring sniffles at the same time.  

The quick fix is often hand sanitizer, especially if hand soap and water isn’t available when you need it. Instead of going to the store to buy a sanitizer, which is often primarily made up of ethyl alcohol, try this quick and all-natural alternative!

DIY essential oil hand sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Pour Aloe Vera Jelly into a flip top bottle.
  2. Add 18 drops Germ Fighter OR KidSafe Germ Destroyer
  3. Shake well to mix oils.
  4. Use a dime size squirt of the gel as needed on your hands and rub in.

This is such an easy way to make your own hand sanitizer, without all of the drying properties of alcohol. And, because this recipe calls for our Aloe Vera Jelly, there isn’t even a need to add a preservative. It doesn’t get much easier than this!

If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher!

Thank you teachers from Plant Therapy

It’s May! Birds are singing, flowers are blooming — or, winds are howling and rain is torrential (depending on where you live!) — and all across the country, teachers are working hard to keep their students motivated during grueling end-of-year exams. From preschool to high school, students are becoming increasingly zoned out of school work, and tuned up for summer fun. This means there’s no better time than now to show teachers the appreciation they deserve!

As an indisputably integral part of any society, teachers make lasting contributions to their communities, and to the students they teach. That’s why National Teacher Day, celebrated during National Teacher Appreciation Week, is held annually in the U.S. to recognize their sacrifices, generosity, and unwavering enthusiasm to build up successful students.

So what can we do to show teacher’s how much we appreciate all of their hard work? Here are a couple of ways to incorporate the amazing therapeutic benefits of essential oils into quick, affordable, and classroom-friendly gifts for that special teacher in your life!

DIY KidSafe Multi-Purpose Cleaning Spray (a safe, all natural way to keep those germs away from the classroom!)

What you’ll need:
To use:

Spray and wipe.  This can be used on floors, counters, mirrors, and windows! Be sure to use 60 minutes before your students arrive or after they leave for the day. 

 *Store in the fridge and use within one week (or add a preservative to reduce concerns of bacterial growth; learn more about preservatives here).

DIY Hand Lotion

The hands of a teacher go through a lot during the day. This energizing and mood-boosting mix of essential oils, with the nourishing properties of Shea Butter and Sunflower Carrier Oil, give those hands some very deserved pampering.

You can use most of this weeks new oils in this super simple lotion recipe. This makes 4 ounces and has a shelf life of 1 year with proper storage.

What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
  1. Measure ingredients.
  2. Mix together with a hand mixer
  3. Transfer lotion from the mixing bowl to bottle (frosting bags are nice, clean ways to transfer!)

Want to show your appreciation even more? Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note or email to truly express your gratitude. Also, you may consider giving back to teachers by getting more involved. Volunteering in the classroom, donating supplies, or attending school board meetings will give you a better understanding of the challenges faced and your school district and all of their educators.

DIY Fresh-Squeezed Margarita Essential Oil Synergy

Happy Cinco de Mayo from Plant Therapy!

DIY Fresh Squeezed Margarita Essential Oil Synergy

This synergy was created for you by Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

(For Diffusion)

This juicy, fresh and fruity citrus synergy strikes all the same notes of its festive, hand crafted namesake. Enjoy the therapeutic benefits of aromatic inhalation any time (without the downsides of the drink).

This synergy is calming to the emotions, easing to nervous tension, uplifting to the spirit, soothing to the mind, and an all around support to your sense of happy, just like a real margarita!

This mini-master blend that can be scaled up or down depending on how you plan use it. Add this to your diffuser, or use for passive diffusion with candle melts, reed diffusers, etc., added according to your recipe.  And, if you want to take this synergy with you on-the-go, just add to a personal aromatherapy inhaler by tripling the recipe. If you choose use topically, please refer to the cautions listed below.

KidSafe: This synergy is KidSafe when diffused.

Cautions: Follow recommended diffusion times. For topical application, Cold Pressed Lime essential oil is phototoxic. To avoid this, we recommend a maximum dilution of 0.7% for topical applications. For topical use, you may substitute Lime Steam Distilled, which is not phototoxic.

 

DIY Essential Oil Lip Balm – Perfect for Mother’s Day!

DIY Essential Oil Lip BalmGet your lips ready for a sweet springtime smile!

This DIY lip balm is a quick and easy way to keep your lips healthy and soft with all natural, nourishing products! Also, it’s another great way to say “Thank you” to the special mom of your life this Mother’s Day!

This recipe calls for our Love Vanilla Synergy. It is an exceptionally sensual blend of Vanilla Oleoresin and Ylang Ylang Complete. The warm and inviting scent of Vanilla mixed with the sweet and exotic aroma of Ylang-Ylang makes for a very enticing treat for your lips!

Just a quick note – Love Vanilla is not a KidSafe synergy. If you’re interested in making a wonderful kid-friendly lip balm, check out this blog!

DIY Essential Oil Lip Balm What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Place beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water {double boiler}
  2. Heat until melted
  3. Once melted, stir in essential oils
  4. Pour into tins or tubes
  5. Allow to cool before capping

This is a great project to do with a friend, so they can hold your lip balm tubes. This recipe cools quickly, so once you’re ready to pour, move quickly and have your friend tap the lip balm tubes to settle the mixture as you pour.

*Recipe makes enough for 3 tubes or 1 circular tin. To make more than that, please multiply by number of items you want to make.

Essential Oil Fire Ant (Bug Bite) Remedy

essential-oil-fire-ant-bite-remedy

This synergy recipe comes straight from one of Plant Therapy’s Certified Aromatherapists: Ellen Brenner! 

PSA: It’s summer, which means it’s also Fire Ant (and other mean insect) season!

I know this because my foot just got completely chewed up by fire ants in a split second while I was getting the mail. I’ll save you the details, but I couldn’t get those spawns of Satan off my foot and ankle and out of my shoe fast enough. Ouch!!

Thankfully, I have a great essential oil synergy recipe I created from a previous episode to put out the fire. Unfortunately, I did not have a current batch mixed. Trust me when I say you can’t blend it fast enough standing on one foot, trying not to cry, and creatively cursing all at the same time!

So, this is your annual PSA to have some mixed and ready to go to soothe the symptoms of those bites and stings. Especially those hellacious ones that burn and itch all at once:

essential-oil-fire-ant-bite-remedy Fire Fighter blend:

* If you have Chamomile German CO2, even better. Just reduce to 1 drop vs 3 of the essential oil.

KidSafe®: Yes

Cautions: Blue Cypress should not be used during pregnancy or with breastfeeding mothers. Chamomile German may have certain drug interactions. If choosing Chamomile German CO2, we recommend a 0.1% – 0.2% dilution for topical use.

Instructions: Mix in a PET container. Apply as needed up to 4x a day. This is a 3.5% dilution and is meant for short term use on local areas.

Remember Last Month? Try this Kumquat Recipe!

Hello, Oil of the Month club members! Do you still have your Kumquat Oil? If you haven’t already used up this refreshingly bright and juicy treat, try this amazing recipe created by our Certified Aromatherapist, Ellen Brenner. Perfect to send some happy vibes to your senses, while helping sweetly freshen your living space!

Fruity Fresh

2 drops Kumquat Fortunella japonica

2 drops Bergamot MinMentha citrata

1 drop Chamomile German CO2 Matricaria chamomilla

KidSafe®: Yes

Cautions: For Chamomile German CO2, we recommend a maximum dilution of 0.1% – 0.2% in blends for the skin.

 

This mini-master blend can be used in your diffuser or tripled for a personal aromatherapy inhaler. You can also dilute it appropriately in your favorite carrier oil for topical application.

Looking for more great recipes? Check out Ellen’s OOTM post using the bright and beautiful aroma of Kumquat!

Do Essential Oils Affect Your Dreams?

Dreams can be amazing and unpredictable experiences. On any given morning you may recall dreams that were wonderfully entertaining, downright bizarre, unforgettably terrifying, or anything in between. Why our brain creates these stories during sleep may still be a mystery, but we do know that a healthy dream cycle relates directly to our emotional and physical well-being [1]. If you want to know how essential oils can promote positive dreams or influence the way a dream plays out, read on!

Why would essential oils influence dreams?

Anything that impacts our emotional state is likely to shape the dreams we have. So, since smells are processed in the brain’s limbic system (which deals with our emotions and memories), even the slightest whiff can arouse powerful feelings. Also, getting to a state of deep sleep is necessary if you are interested in lucid dreaming – dreaming that you are consciously aware of and can, to some extent, control.

Research has shown that external stimuli present during sleeping can affect dream content [2], so let’s take a look at a few essential oils and blends that have been repeatedly linked to better sleep, improved dream recall, and may help create dreams that are vivid and pleasant – helping you get the most out of your nights sleep!

If you’re looking for a wonderfully crafted blend of essential oils to soothe your emotions and set you up for a night of positive dreams, Plant Therapy’s Sweet Dreams Synergy may be just right. Made with Orange Sweet, Juniper, Coriander, Blue Tansy, and Rose, this slightly sweet and spicy aroma is perfect for both children and adults. It is designed to keep bad dreams at bay so that you or your child can rest peacefully without the mental stormy stories that can destroy a good night of sleep. This synergy also comes in a super quick and easy pre-diluted roll-on!

Try this recipe to create an irresistible balm with Sweet Dreams Synergy:

What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
  1. Melt beeswax, cocoa butter, and coconut oil in a double broiler (or glass bowl over simmering water).
  2. Remove from heat and add 30 drops Sweet Dreams Synergy.
  3. Stir well!
  4. Add glitter (optional)
  5. Pour into tubes, cap it up, and allow to cool completely.
If you want to try single oils to make your dreams sweeter, give these a go in your diffuser or dilute with a carrier oil and use it as a chest or neck rub:

Rose: Popular for its distinct and unforgettable aroma, this essential oil demonstrated its ability to help people have rosier dreams in a study supported by the University Hospital Mannheim in Germany [3]. The rich floral scent has calming properties and helps relax the mind before sleep.

Lavender: This sweet and floral goody is full of therapeutic benefits, particularly relieving restlessness and producing a perfectly calm and tranquil environment. Its use for sleeping has been recorded for centuries; John Parkinson, a famous 17th-century London botanist, wrote that lavender is “especially good for all griefs and pains of the head and brain.” This makes it ideal to put a positive spin on dreams and help you wake up feeling refreshed and positive.

Jasmine: Another sweet and flowery scent, Jasmine is known to aid in deeper and more restful sleep, which leads to pleasant dreams. One study conducted by researchers at the Wheeling Jesuit University found that Jasmine is almost as effective as conventional sleeping aids for falling and staying asleep. The study’s participants were also noted to wake up and remain more energetic, compared to participants who slept in an unscented room [4].

Sandalwood: Revered for centuries to help reduce nervous tension and quiet the mental chatter that often keeps us from falling asleep. The rich, sweet woody aroma is known to improve the quality and duration of sleep. One study published in 2000 by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health found that one of the natural compounds found in Sandalwood, called santalol, notably improved the test subject’s sleeping patterns. Regular deep and restful sleep will keep those happy dreams rolling along!

Got your oils? Don’t forget these tips for sweet dreams!
Keep it clean!

Wash your bedding regularly, at least once every other week. Not only will this keep your bed free of bacteria and fungi growth, it will keep it smelling oh-so-fresh!

Try this DIY linen spray for some extra sleepy-time goodness:

What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
  1. Add Vodka or Witch Hazel to the spray bottle until almost full.
  2. Add the essential oils.
  3. Allow the oil to meld with the Vodka or Witch Hazel for at least one hour.
  4. Shake well and spray down your bed for a relaxing atmosphere!
Start a dream journal!

Keep a journal and a pen by your bed. When you wake up, write or draw about your dreams. Not only is this therapeutic to the mind, but you may see patterns in your dreams over time. This practice may also increase the intensity of your dreams and the brain’s recall ability when you wake.

Turn off the lights, keep it quiet, and take away any excess stimuli that may negatively impact your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Remember, dreams occur during deep sleep, so if you want to experience your dreams to the fullest, the first step is to focus on your quality of sleep! Check out these blogs to learn more about how essential oils can give you a better night of sleep:

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR BETTER SLEEP

SLEEP, GLORIOUS SLEEP! 

BEST ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER RECIPES FOR SLEEP (KIDSAFE)

 

Have you ever tried using essential oils to influence your dreams? Have you noticed that certain oils affect your dreams more than others? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

References:

[1] Walker, Matthew. (2017, October, 24). Why your brain needs to dream. Retrieved from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/ item/why_your_brain_needs_to_dream

[2] Schredl, M., Atanasova, D., Hormann, K., Maurer, J.T., Hummel, T., & Stuck, B. A.  (2009, August, 11), Information processing during sleep: the effect of olfactory stimuli on dream content and dream emotions. Journal of Sleep Research, 18: 285-290. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2869.2009.00737.x

[3] Carroll, Rebecca. (2008, September, 23). Smells Influence Dreams, Study Says. Retrieved from https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/09/080923-smell-sleep.html

[4] Freeman, Bill. (2002, October 27). Jasmine Found to Encourage Restful Sleep. Retrieved from https://www.worldhealth.net/news/jasmine_found_to_encourage_restful_sleep/

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

4 drops Saro Cinnamosma fragrans

3 drops Ho Wood Cinnamomum camphora

2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum

2 drops Lemon Citrus x limon

1 drop Cedarwood Atlas  Cedrus atlantica

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

5 drops Bergamot Citrus bergamia

3 drops Pink Grapefruit Citrus x paradisi

2 drops Steam Distilled Lemon Citrus x limon

2 drops Steam Distilled Lime Citrus x aurantifolia

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

 

DIY Sensory Slime with Essential Oils

DIY “slime,” or Gak, is everywhere right now, and there’s a great reason for it. This gooey sensory toy is the perfect DIY craft for keeping kiddos entertained during Spring Break or Summer vacation, or even simply providing a calming sensory experience during dreaded Time Out tantrums.

DIY Sensory Slime with Essential OilsThe best part is the only supplies you need, you probably already have laying around in your kitchen!

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 tsp Borax
  • 1 10 oz bottle of clear glue (like Elmers)
  • Glitter, food coloring for color, or small seed beads for a sensory “crunch”
  • 6 drops of a KidSafe® synergy*
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Carrier Oil

DIY Sensory Slime with Essential OilsDirections:

  1. Add 6 drops of your favorite KidSafe® oil or synergy to 1 Tbsp Coconut Carrier Oil in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Microwave your  water until almost boiling. Stir in your Borax until it is completely dissolved (If you want colored slime, add 5-10 drops food coloring to your solution now as well).
  3. Combine your glue in a separate bowl with 6 drops of your KidSafe® essential oil + Coconut Carrier Oil mix (or your pre-diluted KidSafe® essential oil)
  4. Pour your hot water and Borax solution over the glue + essential oil mixture. Stir your liquid until a thickened slime forms on top of your mixture.
  5. Collect your slime with the spoon and transfer to a new bowl. Continue stirring your mixture until all of the slime has been skimmed off, leaving only water in your bowl.
  6. If you’re adding glitter, knead in your glitter or seed beads to the slime and work it in with your hands.
  7. Make sure you store your slime in a sealed container such as a Ziploc bag or Tupperware to keep it fresh!

Some great suggestions for scented slime:

Use your imagination (and your child’s) to create your own personalized DIY sensory slime!

Lucky Synergy

Our Lucky Synergy is back, but only for a limited time! If you’ve never enjoyed the bright, clean, cirtus-y aroma of this synergy, make this the year you do! The blend of Bergamot, Lime Steam Distilled, and Spearmint creates an energizing atmosphere that boosts confidence, brightens your day, and adds a spring to your step!

For some added fun, with every purchase of Lucky you get an exclusive Plant Therapy Lucky Scratcher. You have a chance of winning up to $250 worth of Plant Therapy products! Feeling Lucky?

To refresh tired feet, enjoy this relaxing foot bath…

What you will need:
What you will do:
  1. Add ingredients to a basin of warm water
  2. Put your feet in, sit back, and enjoy!

What’s your favorite way to use Lucky Synergy? Let us know in the comments below!

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