Essential Oils Blog

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!

Remove Toxins and Purify Your Life

As the new year rolls around, many people set goals to live a healthier life. Usually this entails a new diet, an exercise regimen, or quitting harmful habits such as smoking cigarettes. Each a noble pursuit.

However, there is another health goal that often goes overlooked, but could make a huge difference in the health of you and your family. And in many ways, it’s a goal that’s even easier to achieve.

This year, resolve to reduce the everyday toxins present in your home.

By committing to small changes each and every day, the health benefits you reap will ensure you and your family have a healthy and happy life.

Below are three simple ways to reduce toxins and purify your life.

1. Natural Air Purifiers

Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. All this time spent indoors and the onus is put on outdoor air quality, instead of the air Americans are breathing inside their homes and offices.

Some ways to naturally protect yourself from indoor airborne toxins include:

  1. Clean carpets regularly. Carpets can be a gateway to toxins and keeping them clean will help reduce the amount of airborne toxins produced from them.
  2. Use safe, natural cleaners to replace your traditional household cleaners.
  3. Take shoes off at the door.
  4. Diffuse air-purifying essential oils to help keep the air clean from airborne toxins. Add a few drops to your favorite aromatherapy diffuser and diffuse according to directions. Some essential oils that are great to diffuse for this purpose are:

2. Remove Chemicals and Clean Naturally with Essential Oils

A major way to reduce everyday toxins present in your home is to quit cleaning your home with them.

Many household cleaners have harsh chemicals that can affect our overall well-being. Replace toxic chemical cleaners and soaps with natural cleaning solutions using essential oils.

Here’s a list of 15 of the best essential oils to destroy germs and maintain a sanitary environment (this is by no means an exhaustive list as many essential oils carry these same benefits):

It’s always a good idea to test a small, inconspicuous spot with new cleaners to ensure there are no undesired results.

For some great DIY cleaning recipes here are a few of our favorites at Plant Therapy:

Multi Purpose Spray 
What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:

Simply spray and wipe. This recipe is great for floors, counters, mirrors, and windows. *If you have little ones at home, Germ Destroyer is the KidSafe option.

By committing to small changes each and every day, the health benefits you reap will ensure you and your family have a healthy and happy life.DIY Soft Scrub
What you’ll need:
  • 12 ounces baking soda
  • 4 ounces Castile Soap
  • 0.5 ounces water*
  • 0.5 ounces white vinegar
  • 30 drops of essential oil (Use from the list mentioned above; I used half Tea Tree and half Germ Fighter)
What you’ll do:

Spread the paste, let sit for 5-10 minutes, and scrub away!

Click Here for more natural cleaning recipes!


3. Lead and Asbestos Toxins

Now that you’ve conquered the air, it’s time to tackle what could be hiding in the structural aspects of your home. Both asbestos and lead were once used in construction of homes. Asbestos was used in building materials through the 1970s because of its ability to resist heat, fire, and electricity. The material can be found in insulation, floor/ceiling tiles, wallpaper, furnaces, and much more.

Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma cancer. The cancer develops after asbestos is disturbed, particles are released into the air and inhaled where they can embed in the lining of organs. The disease may develop in the lining of the lungs, heart, and abdominal cavity. Symptoms of the disease are dependent on where the cancer develops, but he most common form of the cancer is pleural mesothelioma, developing in the lungs.

Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma:
● Chest Pain and Body Aches
● Chronic Coughing
● A Buildup of Fluid in the Lungs
● Fatigue
● Fever/Night Sweats
If your home was built through the 1970s hiring an asbestos professional to inspect your home can prevent a battle with cancer later in life.

Lead is commonly found in paint in older homes. If your home was built before 1978 there may be lead-based paint on your:
● Walls
● Window Sills
● Doors/Door Frames
● Banisters
● Porches

If the lead paint is in good shape it is usually not a problem. But if the paint is peeling, chipping, cracking, damaged or damp, lead poisoning may occur. Symptoms of lead poisoning in children can be severe — affecting both mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal in children.

Signs of lead poisoning in adults:
● High Blood Pressure
● Joint and Muscle Pain
● Difficulties with Memory or Concentration
● Headache
● Abdominal Pain
● Mood Disorder
● Reduced Sperm Count
● Miscarriage

Home testing can be conducted to see if you and your family are at risk of lead poisoning.

The new year could be just the fresh start you need to reinvigorate your life through the use of less toxic materials. Taking the above steps now can ensure that come 2019 you’re in an even better place health-wise.

From Surviving to Thriving with the Power of Essential Oils

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

If you’ve followed my blogs, you are likely familiar with my backstory. Unhappily successful executive desperately wants to jump off the rapidly racing treadmill, is too afraid, and literally and figuratively gets run off the road in a life-threatening, life-altering blink-of-an-eye moment. Wakes up, literally and figuratively, to a new reality of re-learning how to move more step-wise through life in search of restoration and revitalization.

 That’s pretty much the skinny. So, why am I rehashing this again? 

Because it has been 10 years since the traumatic event that launched me onto this part of my life’s journey. I mark this milestone as the rebirth of my authentic self. And, truly, it has taken the entirety of that decade to really gain a more profound perspective about this phase of my path.

When we can free ourselves from the muck by re-focusing from the life-altering to the life-affirming, we can shift from surviving to thriving and find our own sense of optimal well-being.

The key to gaining my well-being was getting myself unstuck in order to find my way forward. So, in honor of that process and progress, I want to share what I have learned about getting out of my own way. My hope is that my story helps others who also want to be on their own way after a traumatic event.

 And, here is the short story.

After any type of trauma we can become mired in a mental morass that may keep us from moving forward. When we can free ourselves from the muck by re-focusing from the life-altering to the life-affirming, we can shift from surviving to thriving and find our own sense of optimal well-being.

 So, let’s talk about that.

Trauma affects us on all three levels of our existence: mind, body and spirit.  It rocks our whole being and upends how we know to be in the world. With physical trauma, modern medicine has rendered many miracles, of which I am one.[1] Yet, when we experience a traumatic illness or injury, it challenges the very definition of clinical recovery — returning to our former state of health and functionality. [2]

We contend with acute and chronic changes to our physical state; such as functional limitations; our emotional state, including a sense of loss, fear, anger, stress and anxiety; and our spiritual state, including questions about the very purpose of our existence. And, we may feel challenged about how to integrate these changes into our very core essence.[3]

These are the things I have experienced in my own personal journey. I have also learned they are a commonly shared experience calling for recognition and research in the clinical community in order to better support those who have survived traumatic illness and injury. [4] [5]

When we experience a trauma, we often see our lives as before and after. The thing that happened could be my story if I stopped there. An ending to what I saw as my life before. We see this with folks who define their sense of self by their condition long after the thing that happened.

Moving a step beyond, we can also become mired down in the longer-term aftermath, stopping at the sense of surviving.  What I wanted was to move beyond these first two stages to a sense of thriving. And, it was the thing that happened that pushed me off that perpetual treadmill propelling onto a new trajectory to get unstuck from the muck.

Please understand, while I perceived this perspective early on in my mind, it hasn’t been simply a flip-of-a-switch, but rather a lot of work rewiring into the deep recesses of my being that formerly framed how I lived my life.  For me, that part of my journey has taken me nearly a decade of delving deeper into self-care, self-love, and self-acceptance, to truly let it seep down to the level of my soul.

Getting Stuck in the Surviving Stage.

Because, initially, I didn’t know how to be in my new world, I kept trying to retreat into the old by holding onto my former ways to be who I thought I should be. So, I tried to wrap myself in a super hero cape and carry on. In reality, I was trying to fly with a false security blanket that was not keeping me safe. On the surface I projected a sense of being fine. Sitting just slightly below the surface was a swirling storm of disordered emotions holding back my healing. Here’s just a sample:

Not fully accepting what had happened and what I needed to happen to support my healing: I would push too hard  and too fast to be “before Ellen” and the Universe pushed back delaying my healing through several setbacks. “I don’t have time for this. I need to get back to work.”

A sense of cheating death and potential doom. When every doctor ever looks at my medical history it goes like this: Looks at chart.  Looks at me. Looks at chart again. Looks at me in stunned disbelief. Then, says, “Wow! No one usually survives and/or walks away from that.” Me to self: “Whoa! What the heck? That’s a heavy load and that’s scary.

Which leads to guilt. I did not feel I deserved to fully experience my feelings about loss and fear. “Why me and not others? Others have it worse. I should be grateful and not complain.”

 Then, existential pressure. I felt like I had been given the gift of a do-over and wanted to get it right. As an over achiever,  I handled this like a burden not wanting to mess it up, rather than seeing that experience as a blessing. “Why did I survive? What am I meant to do?” I must make this meaningful.”

So… I just totally disconnected.  My emotions were too messy and scary and I didn’t have the skills to know how to process them. I also did not understand they were part of the package.

I thought I was giving off the vibe of “I’m fine. Really. I am sincerely grateful for what I have and just want to move forward.” However, I learned that I was actually giving off the vibe of numbing out.  Rather than dealing with the mental and spiritual aspects of what happened, I was creating further distress by divorcing myself from what I felt. Because what I felt about what happened was scary and I was the girl who stood on her own two feet.

By focusing solely on my physical needs while neglecting my emotional and spiritual needs, I was creating a fragmentation in caring for my whole person. I was fighting the forces of nature and the factors of my own functional facility. And, I was trying to get back on the treadmill I knew, rather than facing the future.

My fear of moving forward caused me to get worse, not better. This literally caused a  repetitive replay of taking one step forward and two steps back in my functional ability. Treading water. Trying to survive. Wanting more, but not seeing how that was possible. What I wasn’t seeing was how I was standing in my own way, based on what I believed.

And then, the traumatic event finally went from breakdown to breakthrough. But, rather than happening after the immediate injury, it happened in an instant two years later.

In my struggle to push back and perform at previous levels from before, I hurt myself significantly for the second time in two years after the initial accident. It was enough to scare my rehabilitation specialists. The miracle workers had successfully put my body back together three times, and each incident had its own challenges. This time, while I had been slow to grasp the gravity of my situation, I was finally scared straight.

That was my “aha” moment: It was time to seek support for my mind and spirit, as well as my body, so that my whole being could heal.

This is what I learned.

While I wanted to keep a positive outlook, I was not dealing with the challenging emotions associated with the trauma because I believed they served no purpose. I thought they would drag me back, but in actuality, they were causing me to be stuck.

With the help of a gifted healer to support my mental, emotional and spiritual needs, I learned what you believe and what you feel are different tracks of your being. One is an aspect of your mental state and the other arises from your emotional state. When they are not in alignment, it can create a sense of dissonance or disharmony.

Because of my inability to cope, my mind managed to disconnect from the trauma that had occurred, creating a state of dissociation. I wasn’t experiencing my feelings, but they were there below the surface creating significant disturbances.

I learned how to begin to untangle the two. I learned that life-long beliefs could be changed, especially if they are keeping us unhealthy. And, I learned to experience my negative emotions while feeling safe so they could be exorcised.

Perhaps, most significantly, I learned when we try to recover our old life, to the day before the thing happened, we are trying to go backward. This keeps us stuck in the surviving stage, or even relapsing further as I did in the thing-that-happened stage. But, when we choose to reclaim our lives, we can begin to move forward from surviving to thriving.
Moving from Surviving to Thriving

The clinical miracle workers had worked their magic. But I wanted to more fully experience reclaiming my life, even if I moved forward by fractions.

The mind matters. Much of what was holding me back was myself in my own mind. Letting go of negative thought patterns and self-limiting belief systems helps liberate our spirits and better supports the ability of our bodies.

Engaging in conscious wellness has been vital to restoring  whole-being balance. When our mind, body, and spirit are in balance we can better reclaim our lives. Holistic healing arts such as yoga, massage, energy work, acupuncture, meditation and aromatherapy have played a vital role in bridging the span between the limits of functional recovery and the unlimited potential of reaching my own level of optimal well-being.

Like many aspects of tending to our well-being, this has been a practice grounded in awareness and an ongoing series of conscious choices about my mindset one step after the next. And I have learned to call in the professional and personal support as needed all along the way.

The closer I came to mastering my mind, the easier it became to release the shackles that bound me from flying free. My outlook became sunnier, my emotions more centered. Work flowed more freely, and I was able to do more physically.

Where there was once resistance to the changes from fear, there is now more resilience to changes on the go, allowing me to bend and bounce while I re-balance and grow.

But, let me be real here. It has taken me almost 10 years to own my pathway. And that includes the before the thing that happened, the thing that happened, and the after the thing that happened as my journey in its entirety so far.

I don’t want to give the impression “I’ve arrived,” or I have reached “enlightenment.” I am just hoping to leave some lights on for others along the way from what I’ve learned so far. What I can say for sure: Learning these lessons has helped me realize my potential and my purpose and created a greater sense of wholeness and health.

Aromatherapy as an Essential Companion

Today, I am grateful I am able to blend my professional and personal passions with aromatherapy to create a synergy of support for myself, as well as others.

Aromatherapy came into my life many years ago in the “before” part of my journey creating the gateway to accessing natural healing arts.  Since then, aromatherapy has been a constant companion in my self-care. When the “after” came, especially after my “aha” moment, I incorporated aromatherapy in my healing journey, every step of the way, to help bridge that the gap in moving forward from surviving to thriving.

Aromatic essences excel in supporting challenging mental states while soothing the emotions. They can help to ease discomfort experienced in the physical body. And, they can help restore the spirit.  Most significantly, aromatherapy blends wonderfully into all of my self-care and self-balancing practices expanding the essential experience.

Here are just a few links you might find helpful about how to incorporate aromatherapy in your healing journey:

Food for Thought

Take a Breath and Cool Your Jets

M is for Meditation

An Achilles Heel to Healing

What Does Holistic Have to Do With Our Health

What Exactly is Subtle Aromatherapy

Chakra Synergies for Self Care

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

New You from the Inside Out

And, here is a synergy to especially support moving forward from Surviving to Thriving

For me, this synergy embodies all the attributes I seek in moving from surviving to thriving. It can be used to support us in letting go of what was, assist us in moving forward to reclaim our lives, and sustain us in our capacity to thrive.

This can be inhaled by placing in a diffuser, or a personal inhaler. Because the scent resonates so deeply with me, I also like to dilute it to 2% in a 10 ml roller ball bottle and wear it on my pulse points to gently waft over me as my own personal restorative perfume.


2 drops Black Pepper Piper nigrum

1 drop Sandalwood Indian Santalum album

1 drop Orange Blood Citrus sinensis

1 drop Peru Balsam Myroxylon balsamum

The intention of this synergy is to help us restore our overall sense of balance and well-being. It helps us to ground, strengthen and replenish our spirits while encouraging a sense of peace, calm and serenity for the mind. It uplifts the heart and promotes a sense acceptance, compassion and  optimism.

It supports the clearing of blocked energy and encourages healing on all levels of our being. And it helps us let go of challenging emotions such as fear, anger and frustration while promoting a sense of  courage, self-confidence and self-empowerment.

From my heart to yours, I wish you peace and empowerment on your journey from surviving to thriving.  May your whole being thrive in the light of your own personal optimal well-being.



Keim, Joni, and Ruah Bull. Aromatherapy & Subtle Energy Techniques: Compassionate Healing with Essential Oils. N.p.: CreateSpace, 2015. Print.

Shutes, Jade. The Dynamics of Blending: A Guide to Blending . Willow Springs, NC: NW College for Herbal and Aromatic Studies, 2011. Print.

[1] The National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 29 Apr. 2009,

[2] Richomond, Therese S, et al. “Journey towards Recovery Following Physical Trauma.”Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 32, no. 6, 2000, pp. 1341–1347.,

[3] Richomond, Therese S, et al. “Journey towards Recovery Following Physical Trauma.”Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 32, no. 6, 2000, pp. 1341–1347.,

[4] Richomond, Therese S, et al. “Journey towards Recovery Following Physical Trauma.”Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 32, no. 6, 2000, pp. 1341–1347.,

[5] The National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 29 Apr. 2009,

5 Natural Ways to Manage Stress

Natural stress relief is possible with aromatherapy.

As we continue on this pathway toward a new, better you, one resolution that many people are making is: Manage stress better.

This subject can seem a little daunting to talk about because there are so many coping techniques — and what works for one, might not work for others. But hopefully this article will help you learn which essential oils and techniques, together, can help you manage stress and become a better you.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Stress occurs when you perceive that demands placed on you — such as work, school or relationships — exceed your ability to cope. Some stress can be beneficial at times, producing a boost that provides the drive and energy to help people get through situations like exams or work deadlines. However, an extreme amount of stress can have health consequences, affecting the immune, cardiovascular and neuroendocrine and central nervous systems, and take a severe emotional toll”.(2)

When we feel the weight of stress in life we can tend to feel upset, sad, angry, or uptight. We tend to lash out or close off to those we care the most about. That is why we came up with some safe, natural ways to help you manage stress and take care of yourself from the inside out.

Try These 5 Natural Stress-Reducers

Decompress From The Stress

In order to decompress from the stress, take a break from whatever is stressing you out. It might be easier said than done, but here are some suggestions you can use to do exactly that.

  • If you are a stay-at-home parent, getting “away” from your stress can be a little challenging. But you still deserve a timeout if your stress level has hit an all-time high. Grab your personal aromatherapy inhaler, add a few drops of Worry Free, and inhale. Put yourself in the closet, bathroom, or anywhere secluded for a “timeout.” Take a moment to relax and let the aroma take over your senses. Count to 10 (or 20, or 30, or however long you need) and then get back in the game! (Note: This technique works very well for on-the-job incidents, too.)
  • If your stress is created by something that you can’t literally “walk away from,” then just take a moment to pause and shift your focus to something else. Work on a crossword puzzle, do the dishes, or watch puppy videos on YouTube. Add Lavender and Sandalwood Australian to your aromatherapy diffuser as you finish that project on your to-do list, clean the house, or read a book that you enjoy to give your mind a mental break.
Aromatherapy with essential oils, along with activities such as yoga, exercise, and meditation, can help reduce stress.Get Active

Being physically active can really help your overall stress level. 

“When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. So it stands to reason that if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress… And conventional wisdom holds that a workout of low to moderate intensity makes you feel energized and healthy.

Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects”(3)

To get active, start by applying Energy Synergy Roll-On to your wrists and inhale. This will give your senses a safe, natural boost. Then, do 30 minutes of activity to get your heart rate up. This can include running, a workout routine, walking, biking, hiking, etc. When you have finished, apply Calming The Child Roll-On and inhale. With the endorphins released from your physical activity and the wonderful aroma of Calming The Child, your stressors will feel manageable and you will be ready to tackle your stress head-on.

Laughter is The Best Medicine

Being happy is a great way to reduce stress, and what better way to get happy than laughing? “Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you to release anger and be more forgiving… With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.”(4)

To help prepare for a moment of laughter, add equal parts of Bergamot, Patchouli, and Grapefruit Pink to your aromatherapy diffuser, grab a funny movie, book, podcast, or friend and laugh the day away. The combination of Bergamot, Patchouli, and Grapefruit Pink will create an atmosphere that is positive and uplifting, while freshening up the room with a wonderful aroma.

Social Support

When times are rough, grab a friend, a family member, or someone you trust. Lean on them to provide a listening ear. Their love and support can help you deal with your stress. 

Before you head out the door, grab your favorite aromatherapy diffuser necklace and add a few drops of Tranquil Synergy to the pad. Let the soothing aroma work its wonder as it assists you achieve mental relaxation. This will put you in a better state of mind as you chat with your friend, family, or loved one.

Reflect and Meditate

Last, but not least, take some time out and meditate. In Certified Aromatherapist Ellen Brenner’s article “Doing Nothing is Doing Something” she says, “When we can turn off the stress, switch off the mental chatter and let our spirit just go with the flow, we support our body’s built-in mechanism to keep us in a state of balance”. We need to take time for ourselves to do nothing. Relax. Reflect. This recipe from “Doing Nothing is Doing Something” can be used in the diffuser, in a personal inhaler, or added to a cotton ball you place nearby.

Soothing Chai for the Soul (Inhalation Blend)

1 drop Cardamom

1 drop Cinnamon Leaf

1 drop Clove Bud

1 drop Ginger Root CO2

1 drop Black Pepper

You might also like to add:

1 drop Vanilla (CO2 or Oleoresin)

“This restorative blend is intended to support body, mind and spirit coming back into balance, especially after mental and emotional exhaustion, and a sense of depleted vitality on all levels. It is calming, comforting, uplifting, warming, grounding, soothing, stimulating, strengthening and rejuvenating. Helps to promote confidence, personal power, courage and stamina, motivation and intentions. Provides support for immune system and nervous systems and helps to clear blocks in our natural energy flow. Promotes clarity of the conscious mind and helps to connect to spiritual guidance and wisdom”.(1)

Stress is inevitable. But with aromatherapy and these helpful tips, hopefully you can manage your stress in a safe, natural way. Whatever life throws your way, reach for Plant Therapy essential oils and some of these proven stress-beating techniques!


1. Brenner, Ellen. “Doing Nothing is Doing Something.” Plant Therapy Blog,, 22 Dec. 2017.

2. Five Tips To Help Manage Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved January 05, 2018, from

3. Physical Activity Reduces Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved January 05, 2018, from

4. Robinson, Lawrence, et al. “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” Laughter is the Best Medicine: The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter,, Oct. 2017,

Aromatherapy DIYs For the Whole Family

Getting the family together for a fun family DIY project is a great idea for strengthening bonds and edifying essential oils in the home. Getting everyone together for a fun family DIY project is a great idea for strengthening bonds and edifying essential oils in the home.

Parents know there are not too many things more important than building a strong, positive relationship with our kids. Research shows that a greater amount of family time is related to more affectionate, loving, and intimate relationships.(1)

With that in mind, why not make the most of your time together? Even the simplest family DIY activity can turn into lasting memories for the whole family.

Here are some of our favorite KidSafe® essential oil recipes that everyone can do together. And while you’re all having fun measuring, mixing, and making a mom-and-dad-approved mess, you’ll create some useful items for everyone to enjoy!

KidSafe Family DIY Projects

Getting the family together for a fun family DIY project is a great idea for strengthening bonds and edifying essential oils in the home. What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
  1. Mix Avocado Carrier Oil with the A+ Attention.
  2. Add water and food coloring.
  3. Mix flour and salt together.
  4. Combine all ingredients. Add more flour as needed so that it’s not sticky.
Getting the family together for a fun family DIY project is a great idea for strengthening bonds and edifying essential oils in the home. What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
  1. Gently open the flaps on each side of your tissue box.
  2. Add 2-3 drops of Sneezy Stop on each side.
  3. Using a glue stick, reseal the sides.
  4. Now you have a lightly-scented tissues that can help promote your sense of well-being when your nose is runny.


Getting the family together for a fun family DIY project is a great idea for strengthening bonds and edifying essential oils in the home. 
What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
  1. Blend all ingredients well.
  2. Pour into a 16 oz. squeeze or pump bottle

Getting the family together for a fun family DIY project is a great idea for strengthening bonds and edifying essential oils in the home. What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
  1. Cut a roll of paper towels in half using an electric knife or serrated bread knife and place in container.
  2. Add carrier oils, Shield Me, and witch hazel to bowl and blend well.
  3. Immediately pour mixture over paper towels.
  4. Once soaked, you can easily remove the core.
  5. Seal with lid and use as you would any other wipes.

Getting the family together for a fun family DIY project is a great idea for strengthening bonds and edifying essential oils in the home. What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
  1. Mix together all ingredients.
  2. Store in an airtight container or jar. (Recycled spice jars with the shaker tops work very well for this.)

Click here to download more KidSafe family DIY recipes!


Reference: (1) Crouter, Ann C. Head, Melissa, R. McHale, Susan M. Tucker, Corinna Jenkins. (2004). Family Time and the Psychosocial Adjustment of Adolescent Siblings and Their Parents. Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 66.

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

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

Essential well-being. Where mind, body, and spirit meet aromatherapy.

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

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

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

This led to living life in a persistently unhealthy way.

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

 I was heading for a health crisis.

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

Lavender essential oil and salt baths can help relax the senses.

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

I was wrong.

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

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

Working from Within

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

Plant Therapy essential oils help heal from within.

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

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

Growing Well

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Three Be G’s for Growing Well

Be Gentle

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

Be Generous

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

Be Grateful 

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

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

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

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

A Suggested Synergy to Make:

Flourishing Spirit

3 drops Ho Wood Cinnamomum camphora

1 drop Elemi Canarium luzonicum

1 drop Spearmint Mentha spicata

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

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

Plant Therapy's Chakra Synergy essential oils promote balance, inner peace and happiness. Or, Choose a Ready Made Synergy:

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

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

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

Essential Oils for Better Sleep

Thankfully, there are several all-natural ways to improve your sleep, so if you are really serious about getting more quality snooze time, try these suggestions.How did you sleep last night?

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

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

Sleep like a baby again

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

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

Prescription and over-the-counter sleep medications usually have a pretty long list of side-effects. Some can become addictive, and over time drugs may impair cognitive abilities.

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

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

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

References: (1)

When You Have a Case of the Mondays

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

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

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

Start a New Monday Morning Routine

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

“Never Miss a Monday”

This is a common phrase thrown around social media, referring to the mantra of never skipping a Monday workout. But you can use this mantra to make sure you look at Monday from a different perspective.

Never missing a Monday can mean:

  • Always set aside time for yourself to work on personal development and growth.
  • Make time for family.
  • Set aside “me time” to focus on something you enjoy, i.e. reading a book, watching your favorite show, cooking something new, etc.

Add Blues Buster to your personal aromatherapy inhaler and sniff before you start the activity. That way, the aroma will be linked to your Monday activity.


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

Count Your Blessings

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

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

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

Top 8 Essential Oils for Sore Muscle Relief

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

Essential Oils for Sore Muscle Relief

Rapid ReliefNew Year, New You 2018

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

Black Pepper

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

Roman Chamomile

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


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


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

Tension Relief

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

Muscle Aid

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

Muscle Aloe Jelly

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

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

Can Essential Oils Help Me Lose Weight?

Aromatherapy, along with a healthy diet and exercise, can help you lose weight.
Aromatherapy, along with a healthy diet and exercise, can help with weight loss.
Can Essential Oils Help Me Lose Weight?

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

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

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

Diffusing the right essential oils can help curb appetite, and assist you to lose weight.
Diffusing the right essential oils can help curb appetite, and assist you to lose weight.

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

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

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

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

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

Here are 5 more single oils that can help you along your weight loss journey:

Peppermint can boost energy levels, which can help maximize your workouts. Not to mention, its soothing properties can help soothe sore muscles after exercise.

Lemon is also a stimulating oil. It promotes a positive mood, which will keep you in a positive mindset.

Lavender and Bergamot are calming, relaxing oils. Over-stressed people tend to overeat, or eat unhealthily. Naturally, if you can lower your stress level, you can better avoid stress-eating (also known as emotional eating).

Grapefruit Pink, diluted to 1% in a carrier oil, can be applied topically to the abdomen to aid with digestive upset.

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


(1) Scent and how it affects appetite and satisfaction. Retrieved from:

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