Essential Oils Blog

Plant Therapy’s Favorite Holiday Recipes Giveaway #2

 

Having three sisters and three brothers, getting together with the family is quite a fun experience any time of year. It is a tradition of ours to all go cut down our own Christmas trees. With the seven siblings, each with their spouse and kids, we now have quite a group. Sometimes we go the day before Thanksgiving or a day or two after, depending on everyone’s schedule. We go and get our permits ahead of time so that we are ready bright and early in the morning.

With an early start,  it is donuts and juice in the cars and trucks on the way up to the mountains. Once getting to the mountains, we suit up, as most of the time it is snowing and cold. It is so worth it. After searching for multiple trees – one for each family that goes and Mom and Dad’s – it is hours later when we break for lunch, which is usually sandwiches made from leftover turkey and some chips. After eating lunch, some return to tree hunting, while others play in the snow and some ride on ATV’s. Once all the trees are found and gathered, we get together at the cars and drink hot chocolate that was made early that morning to warm us up. Upon returning with our treasures to Mom and Dad’s, we diffuse a KidSafe blend and make clothespin diffusers or ornaments for the tree. One of the things that we will be diffusing this year is Sweet Goodness.

 

Sweet Goodness

3 drops of Lemon Essential Oil

3 drops of Marjoram Sweet Essential Oil

Just a simple blend of sweet goodness that is KidSafe®.

 

ENTER HERE!  

Plant Therapy’s Favorite Holiday Recipes Giveaway #2

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Plant Therapy’s Favorite Holiday Recipes Giveaway #1

By: Brodie Lapray, Certified Aromatherapist

 

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love Christmas decorations and how beautiful they make my home. I also enjoy the music, the lights, and of course all the goodies. I spend a lot of time baking with my kids around the holidays. Call me crazy, but I love snow and how it makes everything so beautiful. I love to play outside in the snow with my kids.

On Christmas Eve we get to spend time with the whole family, some of whom we only see once a year. Then it’s off to bed in new pajamas to wait for Santa. Christmas morning is the only day of the year when I’m excited to see my kids sneaking into my room at 4 am to inform me that Santa has come and asking if I could please get up. Christmas to me is spending time with the ones I love and making memories together.

Santa’s Cookies Body Butter is easy to make and smells like cookies. With over 24 hours of super-rich hydration, this deeply nourishing whipped body butter leaves your skin feeling moisturized and replenished. It also makes a great gift for Christmas, if you can give it away after smelling it.

 

Santa’s Cookies Body Butter

What you will need:

What you will do:

  1. Place all ingredients except the essential oils in a double boiler or glass bowl over simmering water.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until completely melted.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the essential oils.
  4. Place in fridge for 1 hour, or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. Using a hand mixer, whip for 10 minutes or until fluffy.
  6. Return to the fridge for 15 minutes.
  7. Store in a glass jar with a lid and keep in a cool place, as it may get too soft if it gets too warm.

 

From our home to yours, Happy Holidays!

 

ENTER HERE!  

Plant Therapy’s Favorite Holiday Recipes Giveaway #1

Creating An Aromatherapy Life Crisis Care Kit

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist


In a recent blog, “Lessons from Irma for Weathering Life’s Storms,” we discussed the many ways to help sustain our inner world when storms crop up creating crisis in our external environment.

As you may recall, with Hurricane Irma’s impending arrival, I evacuated within a small window of opportunity, northward and inland from my home on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Given the short time frame, and the need to travel lightly, I only brought with me what felt most necessary for sustaining life away from home, and for starting over should my home be irretrievably impacted. Fortunately, the worst did not come to pass.

When weathering life’s storms, aromatherapy can play a significant supporting role in helping you get through. It can be especially profound for our mental and emotional states as we navigate the uncertain road ahead. You may be wondering what I brought along from my aromatherapy stock and supplies. I promised to answer that question here in its own blog and the answers may surprise you.

As an aromatherapy practitioner, with professional training, I have a large stock of essential oils and extracts. Part of my role is not only to create synergies, but also to blend on demand to support what is needed to help bring balance to mind, body and spirit.

Like you, I treasure my supply and the role each and every aromatic essence plays in supporting our wellness. I also trust my instinct and ability to create restorative remedies. But, when push came to shove, I had two hours and 2 suitcases to take what I needed overall from my home on the road.

What to take from my aromatherapy stash to support myself and others? With the clock ticking down, there was no way to bring everything. And, bringing everything would not only bog me down, it wouldn’t be beneficial.

When you are experiencing crisis, it can leave you feeling drained and stressed. And, with so many details to handle, it can make it hard to focus. If you are also on the road and on the run, recalling your well worn recipes under duress can be difficult. And, the possibility of no power could create a recipe for disaster.

One of the items getting carried into the car was a standard, portable First Aid Kit with bandages and other supplies. That inspired me to create a companion Aromatherapy Life Crisis Kit unique to this situation.

And, it was imperative that I keep it simple.

In a moment of clarity, I realized I had on hand many of Plant Therapy’s synergies, as well as blendable bases for dilution, that I could grab to go as a readily available and accessible solution.

I created this Aromatherapy Life Crisis Kit to support the uniques needs and uncertainties for this particular situation.  I did not know if we would make it all the way to Atlanta, or how long it would take. I didn’t know what conditions we would find on the road, or what the weather conditions would be along the way and after we arrived. I  didn’t know how long I would be away. What I did know was these selections would allow me to support most situations for myself and others as the needs arose.

 

Neutral Carriers for Blending

4 oz Fractionated Coconut Carrier Oil

8 oz Olive Lotion – Unscented Base

4 oz Organic Healing Balm

4 oz Castile Soap Unscented

4 oz Aloe Vera Jelly Unscented

4 oz  Neutral Grain Alcohol (Everclear) 151 Proof

 

Containers and Other Supplies

Personal Aromatherapy Inhalers

1 oz PET Plastic bottles

1 oz PET Plastic jars

Disposable gloves

Blank Labels

 

Pre-Blended Synergies 

These are the synergies I chose especially to help soothe mind and body. While I packed these synergies specific to this situation,  in general, these selections could support the stressors brought by many of life’s storms.  Just be sure you are familiar with any cautions the synergies might carry and any contraindications you or others may have due to your unique health situations. Note: If you have children, you could substitute KidSafe synergies for use for both the little ones and adults alike. 

You may note that some of these synergies may overlap slightly in the type of support they offer. I wanted a choice of options for myself and others not knowing which might work best in unknown situations, as well as the option to rotate.

Blues Buster ™ — to uplift my mood and support my emotional wellbeing

Brain Aid ™ — to help clear brain fog when I needed to focus

Citrus Burst ™ — uplifting and refreshing to the senses and the air

DiGiZen ™ — for an upset tummy when life has you outside of your nourishing norms

Germ Fighter® — when life has knocked you off base, your immune system needs support from seasonal threats

Invigor Aid ™ — help for fighting fatigue from sleepless night and relentless tension

Let It Go ™ — because sometimes you literally have to lock the door, leave your life behind, and go

Meditation ™ — to calm the conscious mind and clear the way for contemplation

Muscle Aid ™ — to soothe those sore, achy muscles that come from over exertion

Rapid Relief ™ — to reduce the perception of pain when your body feels wrecked

Relax ™ — for both body and mind even in the midst of chaos

Sleep Aid ™ — just a little extra support to slip into slumber

Tension Relief ™ — to tackle tension around the head and neck

Tranquil ™ — to help reduce a sense of anxiousness

Worry Free ™ — to calm, comfort and help reduce nervous tension

 

All items were placed in self-sealing plastic bags, and then, inside an insulated, soft sided portable cooler for ease in carrying and in case we hit heavy rains or flooding. This also created a place for everything and having everything in its own place so I could easily access what I needed time and again while my mind was in a muddle.

May your own journey be smooth sailing. Should you find yourself weathering a life storm, I hope you may take inspiration for creating your own Aromatherapy Life Crisis Kit unique for your own needs.

October Oils of the Month – Bergamot Mint and Caraways Seed CO2

It certainly was not a trick this month, but a treat! Plant Therapy sent out two products! Bergamot Mint and Caraway CO2 were the features for October.

Bergamot Mint is a KidSafe essential oil that might have a surprising scent to you. It smells similar to Lavender essential oil, with a touch of mint and citrus. Much of the research point to it being a relaxing and calming oil. Although in the Mint family, Bergamot Mint is a gentler oil and is KidSafe. It can be used for respiratory issues, congestion, sore muscles or joints due to over-exertion, and for nausea.This calming oil from India, distilled from leaves, would be great in DIY body care products such as lotions, soaps and in candles. It is cooling and soothing and a great choice as a balancing blend for agitated emotions.

The other feature this month Caraway Seed CO2, also KidSafe, is a treat for rye lovers! One whiff of this will remind you of a loaf of fresh rye bread. It is a warming and fortifying CO2. It can help settle a queasy or crampy tummy and would be great in a blend with Peppermint for such issues. It also would mix well with oils like Bergamot, Cypress or Balm Mint Bush for a respiratory blend.

You can use these two separately or you might want to try this recipe which could help with intestinal issues or congestion.

 

Tummy and Congestion Helper

4 drops of Bergamot Mint

3 drops of Caraway Seed CO2

10 ml Fractionated Coconut Oil (or carrier of choice)

Pour essential oils into an empty 10 ml roller bottle and then top off with carrier oil. Gently shake or tip back and forth to mix. Apply to the abdomen for nausea or chest for congestion.

We hope that you enjoy your double treat this month and put these to good use!

 

Download  Bergamot Mint Product Template Sheet HERE:

 

 

Download Caraway Seed Product Template Sheet HERE:

 

DIY Bath Fizzies

calming-the-child-bath-lifestyle-photo-2

I recently have seen a lot of recipes for bath fizzies. I became so excited because I remember using these when I was little! I wanted to see how my children would react the first time they saw them, and was a little afraid they would love them so much they would want to use all of them (which they did)!

The thing I loved most about this recipe was how you could use essential oils! How perfect is that! Not only do you get amazing bath fizzies, but you get to make them therapeutic too! I decided that I wanted a batch for when I need to relax. My children needed a batch for when they needed to CALM down. And my family needed a batch for when we were sick.

Bath Fizzies:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 oats

Mix dry ingredients together until completely combined and smooth. (I ground up oats in my blender and added about 1/4 cup of that too. It protects the skin from irritants and helps soothe skin that’s itchy or irritated.)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp of Almond Oil (softens and re-conditions the skin)
  • 3/4 Tbsp of purified water
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of Essential Oil

-Worry Free/Relax: Lavender, Relax, Tranquil, Worry Free, or Peppermint (I love the tingly sensation)

-Calming for Children: Calming the Child, Lavender, or Nighty Night

-Sick family: Germ Destroyer or Sniffle Stopper

-Skin problems: Soft Skin, Skin Soother, or Silky Soft

-Aches: Muscle Aid, Rapid Relief, Growing Pains, or Tame The Pain

  • 1/4 tsp of Meadowfoam  Carrier Oil (preserves the oils)
  • 1/2 tsp of Borax (an emulsifier)
  • witch hazel in a spray bottle (you will have to put it in a spray bottle)
  • natural colorant if desired (I left mine white)

Whisk all of the wet ingredients and Borax together in a large bowl.form in hand (2)

Drizzle slowly onto the dry ingredients and blend thoroughly.

Mix with your hands until all of the ingredients are combined.

Lightly spray the mixture 2-3 times with witch hazel.

form in hand (1) The mixture should just start to hold together when pressed in your hand, like slightly moist fine sand. If it’s not sticking together, spray a little more witch hazel.

Pack TIGHTLY into molds. I ordered these fun ones off of Amazon.com, but you could use anything really.  Even a small (1/4 cup) measuring cup.  packed in forms (2)

Let the bath fizzies dry and harden overnight before you pick them up.

 packed in forms (1)

You did all this hard (OK maybe not that hard) work, now it is time to take a fizzie and go relax in the bath!

 

*UPDATE

My children are loving the bath fizzies! They usually fight over who gets to put it in the bath. The are always wanting more than one! The best part about these fizzies though is how soft my children’s skin is becoming. My almost 18 month old usually has really bumpy skin, maybe eczema. Since we have been using these bath fizzies, yes just these past few days, his skin has become sooooo soft! I love rubbing his little arms when he comes out of the bath!

I am so excited that not only are these fun and my kids love them, but they are making their skin so much healthier! Thank you bath fizzies!

This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Plant Therapy and it’s representatives are not intending to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Lessons from Irma for Weathering Life’s Storms

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist


I began the drafting this post from Atlanta, Georgia where I evacuated from my home on the Gulf Coast of Florida, which was located in the path of historic Hurricane Irma. As I finish this blog more than a month later, I am grateful to have escaped all but some displacement, stress and inconveniences.

Others were not as fortunate, and as I finish this blog there are still many suffering not only from Irma, but also from Harvey and Maria.  And, while the East has been drenched, the West has been parched with folks there suffering terribly from the raging wildfires. I want to acknowledge their significantly more serious situations and note that I am simply sharing what I learned from my own personal experience in the hope that it may help should your life’s journey suddenly become stormy. As always, with a life crisis, do not hesitate to access professional support as needed.

While I have been exposed to hurricanes, and hurricane season, for a number of years (a Floridian fact of life) this one felt different. Irma intensified quickly and, then, she didn’t set her compass for a distinct location until the last minute. Instead, she led us on a wild chase as we raced to do what we could and must to avoid her destructive forces from a direct hit of unknown determination.

When you live in certain locations, planning and preparing for the possibility of a hurricane comes with the territory. But, for myself, and for many, the intensity and unpredictability of Irma caused chaos creating a storm within us mirroring the force of nature coming at us.

Two critical lessons I have learned about the healing process after a crisis both start from the inside out.

The first practice is to pause to restore and rebalance. The other is to savor that solitude so I may hear my soul speak.

It is only in this quiet space, with my whole self, that the lessons I seek reveal themselves for next steps in my life journey. What this looks like, for me, is to support mind, body and spirit in a restful and introspective state while opening myself to higher consciousness. In this way my spirit can show my mind the information I need to see through my sense of intuition.

Once I reach the part of my being that is  internal, I am then able to ask of the Eternal,  “What am I meant to learn/know?” After doing so, I let that thought go from my conscious mind, before I drift into a mindful meditation trusting the answer will return to me when I am ready to receive it. Sometimes, it is immediate and sometimes the information arrives much later at an unexpected moment when my mind is again quiet. But, it always comes as a sense of clarity where I can “clearly see” consciously what I couldn’t before.

Here is what came to me.

While Irma was her own event, she also acted as a natural life metaphor bringing me the following message. What worked well in weathering this storm, would also serve well in weathering any other stressful life crisis suddenly blowing in to buffet our sensibilities and our unbalance our sense of being in the world.

In that spirit, here are the Lessons from Irma for Weathering Life’s Storms that I wanted to share. I hope you will bear with me as this blog is a bit longer than usual. Irma had a lot to say.

Looking back, for me, there were three distinct stages of the crisis that sustained intense levels stress over a period of several weeks. Each meted out and merited its own message.

 

The Arrival of Seriously Significant Storm

Prep and Plan But Be Prepared to Change – over a series of hours and days, it seemed that no matter which way I planned to go to get out the way, Irma’s path followed my every move. This required discarding the plan and making new preps sometimes on the spot multiple times in day. When the wind keeps changing directions it is important to be resilient.

 

You Can Run, But Nature Runs It’s Course – at the last possible go time, driving what is normally a seven-hour distance northward and inland to Atlanta seemed the best course of action. And, then, Irma locked in her GPS to follow. We ended up at a safer distance from the intensity and a direct hit, but there was going to be no total escape from the storm. Eventually, you are going to have to turn and face the circumstances.

 

Do Not Hesitate to Ask for Help – there are many people who love me, but assumed I had it handled. What we needed was a place to stay out of the way. When we thought of whom to ask, we hesitated because of the last-minute imposition. Yet, when we called, she was relieved. She had heard we were going in another direction, but that plan had been scrapped the day before while things were moving quickly. She was ready to help. Don’t assume someone knows what you need. Help them help you if they are able.

 

Don’t Take In the Alarm of Others – while busy planning, re-planning and rebooting those plans, I was trying my level best to stay calm and focused. In that time, I received an incredible amount of messages from folks who were anxious on my behalf. What they mostly transmitted, however, was simply a sense of alarm without specific support that was rational, reasonable or doable. Absorbing all that anxious energy finally sent my own anxiety over the edge taking  me off course into a melt down for a short period of precious time. While there a hurricane around you, you do not have to bring the storm into your soul.

 

Choose Your Planning Partners Wisely – it is simply impossible to think of everything yourself. Look to those who know you best, and whom you know will come through with concise and sound information specific for you and your situation. For me, this was my best friend, who was also my roommate, and who was evacuating with me. In spite of the stress, we worked in sync keeping a synergy to our energy so we could do more than we thought possible. My Mom, from across the country, dispensed some insightful advice through the distance to help sort out some simple solutions to smooth the way and sooth the stress. Carefully choose  whom to take along for the ride so you may depend on their ability to help navigate the crisis.  

 

Focus on What is Immediately Important – I always thought I knew everything I would pack and take if we ever had a hurricane on the way. For the all the reasons outlined above this was not my reality. While I did not know which direction I would be heading, what I did know was I needed to be nimble. What that meant was I needed to be able to carry what I brought to manage within my abilities. That realization helped me quickly focus on what was would literally fit into two suitcases, a small tote and my handbag. Turning the lock in the front door, and leaving my car behind as I left, I felt confident I could create a new life from the few things I carried. Letting go of what was helped me lighten the load while traveling toward the unknown. 

Note: As an aside, you may be wondering what I brought from my precious stash of essential oils and supplies.  I wrote about this in an upcoming  companion blog. I thought  the lessons I learned there merited their own mention. Look for this followup to publish shortly. In the meantime, you will find some supportive synergies for this blog below.

 

Find The Time to Keep Your Gas Tank Full – growing up in earthquake country this was a mantra my Dad had drilled into me. You never knew when there would be any kind of personal or environmental emergency and so  it is important to be prepared. Irma’s direction for landfall in Florida became apparent as one day drew to a close. By early the next morning, the gas stations in the local area were drying up. I had just filled up my tank the day before for the week ahead and was never so glad I had listened to my Dad. Just as importantly, it was the close of a holiday weekend. I had spent the last few days relaxing and restoring my body, mind and spirit. Having been rested rather than run down was never more important for being able to take the trip ahead. Taking the time to top off your tank of energy reserves ensures you don’t get unexpectedly stuck or sidelined.

 

What Can Seem Impossible Can Be Possible – if you had told me that we were going to make an arduous trek in the car over 16 hours in one day, I might not have even tried. With my spinal cord injury, and my friend only 8 weeks post major surgery, the notion would have seemed daunting for the two of us. We knew the trip in traffic would take longer than the normal 7 hours and so started out early on a day we hoped we had timed to miss the worst of it. We were wrong. Taking turns resting and driving we crawled forward mostly in middle lane to see and steer around any upcoming chaos coming our way. Staying focused on navigating the road right in front of us kept the fear at bay for how far we had yet to go. After we safely arrived, we were both dumbfounded at the distance we had covered. A significant journey forward happens one step at a time, with lots of stops and starts, and by focusing your navigation on what is immediately in front of you. 

 

Anchoring While Weathering the Storm

Restore Your Power Supply At Every Opportunity – once we arrived in Atlanta, we had two full days to rest, restore and replenish ourselves and our supplies and we took full advantage of the opportunity.  Irma arrived on at our doorstep in the evening of day three downgraded to a tropical storm.

While Florida would have weathered that reduced intensity well, this was Atlanta’s first ever experience which she was not built to withstand.  Predictions that the high winds would topple massive amounts of old growth trees taking out the power lines on the way down proved correct.  (As an aside the dark humor of my mind kept me humming in my head the old Vicki Lawrence song “That’s the night the lights went out in Georgia.”) When you find even small pockets of time, take that time to prepare for the next wave by restoring to shore yourself up again. 

 

Ration Your Energy Between Recharges – the unparalleled force of the storm winds left behind an unprecedented power outage for most of the population of the Atlanta region, as well as other areas of the state. And, backup crews were already handling a one-two punch in Texas after Hurricane Harvey and in Florida following Hurricane Irma.

What that meant for Atlanta was that time and patience were going to have to prevail. For three days we were faced with no electricity to power our sources of outside information including, most importantly, our phones. So, we powered down to battery saver mode and also to the off position so we need only recharge our phones rarely by way of car charger because we also needed to reserve our gasoline. While you are weathering the storm it is important to conserve what energy you have left lest you become totally run down and offline. 

 

Mind Your Mind – sometimes , when we are in crisis mode, our worst enemy is our own mind. We can whip up a host of worries, or we create peace by managing our mindfulness. Repetitive negative thinking creates distress in the mind and stress in the body.  Below are the practices that helped me steer back on course when I drifted toward doubt and worry. Ruminating on what may or may not be down the road is a waste of much needed energy.

  • Draw On Your Inner Reserves –powering down my connection to outside world cleared the way to cultivate calm in my inner world. Being oddly out of touch also created longer time lags I didn’t always take in my day-to-day world. Here was an opportunity for more spacious periods of meditation especially important at this time get in touch with my own innate wisdom.

 

  • Stay in the Present – when I was connected to the TV and phone, what was coming through was a barrage of gloom and doom. This created a sustained sense of anxiety and a stressful sense of needing to know about things I could not control nor deal with at present: Is the power out at home? How is traffic getting back? Did the water crest the bridge cutting off the route home? Is my roof leaking like the neighbors’ homes? These were all important questions, but without answers days in advance.  With the power out I just needed to focus on what was important in that moment.

 

  • Gratitude Helps Get You Through – when my mind did wander to the worst case scenario, I would start to feel overwhelmed. So, I refocused my mind on large and small mercies. I was safe. I had a place to stay. A comfortable bed in my own room. Hot water. Temperatures in the area were cool. My best friend was with me. Folks were looking in on us and helping how they could. My things were insured. I had what was most important with me. I had work I enjoyed and family and friends I love. I could start again.

 

  • Use Your Imagination For Visualization when I found myself imagining the worst, it only created worry. Instead, I would visualize what I wanted to see as a good outcome. I also used my mind’s eye to see peaceful pictures that would soothe the spirit. Regardless of what I would find later, I had to the power to choose to change the channel on the pictures I was seeing in the present time.

 

Small Mercies Can Help You Feel Whole – at one rest stop along the way, I got a good look at myself in the mirror. After three days of panicky prepping, a poor night’s sleep, a quick and early departure and many demanding hours on the road, I indeed looked and felt like an evacuee. My clothes had been grabbed for comfort not style and now felt grubby. My hair was dirty and in disarray. I had been sweaty from the heat and stress.  And, I was exhausted and undernourished from snacks at short gas station stops.

By the time we finally reached Atlanta,  I couldn’t have felt further away from my own sense of humanity. I nearly cried with relief when I discovered there was a tub in the guest bath, complete with Epsom salts and bath gel so I could take an aromatic bath to ease my bones and spirit before sleep. When you are under duress some things, no matter how small they may seem, can contribute to your sense of self when you need it most.

On that note:

  • Little Luxuries Are Important –bringing only things that I could carry meant keeping it simple for my toiletries.  Yet, as I was grabbing to go , I also instinctively popped in two little luxuries that would fit – the sumptuous face serum and cream set I had just purchased. It wasn’t about the money. It was the intuitive need to have something nice to help support my sense of self when things seemed down.

 

  • Pack More Underwear Than You Think You Will Need. Seriously. I’m not sure there is a life lesson here except that your mother was right. I underestimated how long I would be away and what my circumstances would be in Atlanta. When the power finally came back on there in the middle of the night — bringing back to life the washer and dryer — it was literally just in time for me to refresh my supply to shore up my sensibilities.

 

The Aftermath of The Storm

Make Way for Your Own Disaster Relief – After a week away, when I finally arrived home, I found myself feeling like washed up debris from the storm surge. My natural energy flow was spent and my spirit felt scattered to the four winds. My thought patterns were short-circuited making it hard to concentrate and recall things.

With my brain not fully functioning, I had to keep asking what day it was and couldn’t complete thoughts and sentences. Emotionally, I was torn between wanting to put everything away and be back to “normal,”  or to keep everything packed “just in case.” In talking with several others, this shared experience seemed a common occurrence that was taking some time and support to shake off.

I recalled, on our way north to Atlanta, the only vehicles heading south were the convoys of military and power repairmen setting up to be in position for the aftermath of the storm’s wrath. On the return trip home we were again accompanied on the road by more convoys of military and power repair trucks, as well as disaster relief organizations.  Over the next few weeks, they were everywhere getting the population back on the grid and  it was a timely reminder that I needed to do the same to get myself up and running personally. It is vital in the aftermath to take the time to attend to whatever restoration and rejuvenation you need to shore up your sense of wellbeing in your whole being.

Over the next several days, the sky was blue and clear. I slept, took hot showers, ate hot meals, gathered groceries and the gardeners came on schedule. Though I was starting to feel a sense of grounding, I needed a greater sense of support.

As always, aromatherapy can be of great comfort during times of crisis  to support restoration, self care and repair.

Below are the synergies I rotated through my diffuser, during the post-crisis mode, that helped me the most to decompress. For a look at what I brought with my on the road as an aromatherapy crisis care kit, please look for the follow up blog coming shortly.

After the Storm Synergy

2 drops Fragonia Taxandria fragrans
2 drops Eucalyptus Dives* Eucalyptus dives
1 drop Lemon Myrtle* Backhousia citriodora

*These were released as part of Plant Therapy’s Oil of the Month Program. Check back to see if they will stocked for general sale. 

This synergy helped me rebalance in my energy flow, uplift my spirit, focus my thoughts, gently jump-start my sense of vitality, clear the air and my respiratory system, and ward of some threatening scratchiness and sniffle that were threatening.

Additionally, Plant Therapy had just released their new Chakra Synergy line to help create balance in our wellbeing. I chose the following:

Grounded Foundation – this helped me to pull my scattered energy back into my body and rebalance and reground while help to soothe the spirit. I used it with the affirmation “I am safe. All is well.”

Self Manifestation — though sometimes we have no control over which way the winds will blow us, we are empowered in how we deal with the storm. I used this synergy with meditation to replenish this sacred center of empowerment to reaffirm and remember that I can do more than I ever thought possible.

 

My wish for you is that your journey always be smooth. Should you run into stormy weather, my hope is that you will find some inspiration in these “Lessons from Irma for Weathering Life’s Storms.” Knowing our own situations and needs are unique,  I would love hear back from you on what you have learned in working your way through your own life’s storms. You never know who you might help!

Diane’s Top 5 Essential Oils

 

I am Diane Mishler. In addition to being a Certified Aromatherapist, I am also a Licensed Massage Therapist. I have been married for 34 years to my best friend. We have three children and five grandchildren. I love meeting people and am one of “those people” in the grocery store who will start up a conversation with people that I don’t know. I feel like I’m at the stage in my life when I can let go of life’s emotional expendables, pursue dreams, and help others more fully.

I love learning and putting knowledge to work. Essential oils are a perfect outlet for me and I love to curl up with a good book about constituents at the end of a long day! I also love to cook, travel, and be with my family. I’d like to share my favorite essential oils with you. Of course, it’s asking the impossible to pin your favorites down to 5, but I absolutely love these:

 

Cedarwood Himalayan Cedrus deodara , to me, smells amazing.  When I inhale Cedarwood, I wish that I had the lung capacity of an opera singer! The scent is so effective and calming for me that simply inhaling it takes me to another place. I also love Cedarwood because it has great skin properties. It calms and nourishes the skin and I’ve used it in facial blends. One of my most favorite uses is when I have a sore throat caused by either irritation, allergies, or even muscles, I dilute Cedarwood Himalayan to 2% and apply to my neck in the sore spots; within minutes I feel relief.

 

Bergamot Citrus bergamia almost pushes the Cedarwood Himalayan out of the top spot. It was very close and in some instances, it might win. Bergamot has such a lovely citrusy scent with a spicy undertone. It reminds me of and transports me to the beautiful Italian orchards from which it’s harvested. It’s so vivid, bright, and cheerful, it’s hard to feel sadness or worry around Bergamot. It’s like a best friend. It helps me with respiratory issues, tickly throats, and congestion. When I use Bergamot for these issues they can become minimized. I also find it helpful for skin issues and irritations, and in addition, Plant Therapy’s Bergamot is not phototoxic.

 

Personal Inhaler 

4 drops Bergamot

3 drops Cedarwood Himalayan

2 drops Cardamom

2 drop Chamomile Roman

Add to an Aromatherapy Inhaler and inhale throughout the day when a tickly throat occurs to feel relief.

 

Oh Vetiver Vetiveria zizonioides, how I love you. When my mind won’t stop and I need to slow down in the evening, you are there for me. It doesn’t take a lot, just a drop or two with some other oils in a diffuser blend or personal inhaler, and it does the trick. Vetiver is also wonderful for swelling and cooling. This and its relaxing properties make it nice in a massage blend for sore, hot muscles or joints.  It also helps with worry or lack of sleep as it sweeps away worrisome thoughts from your mind. It can be useful for skin issues, like blemishes, red, dry, patchy skin, and for minor wounds.

 

Tranquil Synergy is one of Plant Therapy’s synergies that I’ve chosen. As I only had a couple of spots left, I had to choose carefully and Tranquil speaks to me. It is a beautiful blend that calms, which helps me peel away excess thoughts so I can focus. It has those citrus notes that I love as well as earthy elements too. Tranquil is great diffused and you will soon find your breathing slowing down just a little and remembering what is good in life.

 

Wood Spice – mmmm. So warm, inviting, and spicy! I love the way the 5 essential oils in this synergy blend together, and they seem to improve with time. I’m definitely seeing a pattern here. I seemed to have picked relaxing, calming oils for my top 5 picks and this must be what I need at this time. Wood Spice is something both women and men will love and it may solve many quarrels! It is grounding, soothing to frayed nerves, and would be great in a lotion, massage oil, or even perfume. I put it in soaps at a low dilution or an aromatherapy inhaler to help me through an intense day.

 

Personalized Soaps

What you will need:

  • 1 lb  Melt and Pour Soap Base
  • 20-25 drops  Tranquil or Wood Spice  (or another synergy of your choice)
  • Soap coloring
  • Silicone molds
  • Rubbing Alcohol (at least 91% alcohol to help reduce bubbling)
  • Clean spray bottle (For Rubbing Alcohol)

What you will do:

  1. Melt the Melt and Pour Soap Base in a microwave safe bowl in increments of 20 seconds, stirring each time, until melted.
  2. Add coloring and essential oils, and mix.
  3. Spray silicone mold with rubbing alcohol.
  4. Pour soap into molds and spray tops of soap again with alcohol.
  5. Let set for a few hours before removing from mold.  The number of soaps will depend on the size of the mold.

 

It’s been such a positive experience becoming a Certified Aromatherapist and working at Plant Therapy. I’ve learned so much from having to do research, interacting with our great customers, and working with such wonderful, knowledgeable co-workers. I appreciate having the opportunity to share my 5 favorite essential oils with you and hope that if you haven’t given these a try, that you might in the future.

 

Stay tuned for more of our Aromatherapists’ Top 5 Picks!

Natural Skincare Routine: Dry Skin DIY Recipes

In this installment of our Natural Skincare Routine series we will discuss using essential oils, hydrosols, and carrier oils for dry skin.

Many are plagued by dry skin, especially during the cold, harsh winter months. Dry skin is characterized by having nearly invisible pores, red patches, a dull and rough complexion, visible lines, and a lack of elasticity. This skin type can be prone to cracks, irritation, and inflammation and can be made worse by harsh cleansers, hormones, indoor heating, and weather changes. Using a natural skincare routine that utilizes products with humectant and emollient properties can be very beneficial.

Products for Dry Skin

Carrier Oils: Almond, Apricot Kernel, Argan OrganicAvocado, Evening Primrose, Jojoba, Meadowfoam, Rosehip , Sunflower Organic, Tamanu.

Carrier Oil Blends: DermiSoothe and Near Perfection  

Oil Cleanser: Oil Cleanser for Normal/Dry Skin

Hydrosols: Helichrysum Organic, Lavender Organic, and Rose Organic.

Essential Oils: Bergamot, Carrot Seed, Frankincense Frereana, Geranium, German Chamomile, Lavender, Neroli, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Roman Chamomile, Rose Absolute, Sandalwood.

Cleansers

Using the wrong cleanser can easily create chaos for your skin and it can take weeks to calm the irritation and roughness after using such a product. To help our customers that tend to be dry, Plant Therapy created our Oil Cleanser for Normal/Dry Skin. To use this cleanser rub four to six drops into dry hands and apply evenly over dry face. Wet the face and massage gently. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel. Avoid the eye area when washing the face or using as a moisturizer.

Many essential oil users also like to use the Oil Cleanse Method which you can read more about here. If you do attempt to use this method I would recommend reducing the amount of castor oil as it can be very drying to already parched skin.

We recommend cleansing the face twice daily, once in the morning and once before bedtime.

Toners

Toners are often used after washing your face to help finish the cleansing process and help with the appearance of pores. Hydrosols are great options to use as toners but it is important to choose the right ones for your skin type. As noted above we recommend Helichrysum, Lavender, and Rose for dry skin. Try the following blend for a well balanced toner:

Dry Skin Toner

What you’ll need:

2 ounces Rose Hydrosol

1 ounce Lavender Hydrosol

1 ounce Helichrysum Hydrosol

What you’ll do:

Mix together in a 4 ounce bottle and spritz the face after cleansing. Refrigerate between uses.

Moisturizers

While both the cleansers and toners listed above offer some emollient properties, it is important to also use a moisturizing agent for dry skin after cleansing. Both our DermiSoothe and Near Perfection carrier oil blends are great choices and can be applied right after the cleansing process.

For severely dry skin you can create this helpful DIY Moisturizing Cream:

What you’ll need:

2 ounces Shea Butter Refined

2 ounces DermiSoothe Carrier Oil Blend

4 ounce bottle

What you’ll do:

Measure ingredients and mix together using a hand mixer. You can then transfer the lotion from the mixing bowl to the empty bottle (I use a frosting bag). Apply directly to parched, irritated skin.

Masks

Once a week it is good practice to apply a moisturizing mask to the skin. Here are two of my favorite DIY masks for dry skin:

Oatmeal Mask

What you’ll need:

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup cooked oatmeal

1 teaspoon Almond

1 teaspoon Avocado

3 drops Roman Chamomile

2 drops Frankincense Frereana

1 drop Rose absolute

What you’ll do:

Mix ingredients together and gently apply to the face, avoiding the eye area. Let the mask sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off the mask with cold water and gently pat dry. Follow up with a moisturizer.

Soothing Shea Mask

What you’ll need:

1 tablespoon Shea Butter

1 Tablespoon Jojoba

1 Tablespoon Aloe Vera Jelly

3 drops Bergamot

2 drops Sandalwood

1 drop Chamomile German

What you’ll do:

Add the essential oils to a tablespoon of Jojoba and then combine with the rest of the ingredients. Apply the mask and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off the mask with cold water and gently pat dry. Follow up with a moisturizer.

If you are diligent with following this routine you can drastically improve the appearance and bring moisture back to your skin.

 

What products do you use in your daily skincare routine?

 

1] The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness by Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele

2] The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

3] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-skin/symptoms-causes/syc-20353885

LeAnna’s Top 5 Essential Oils

 

Hello everyone, I am LeAnna Magee.  I am a single mom of two amazing boys. We are a family that loves sports. One of us always has a game or practice to be played. I play on a coed softball team and bowl with a group of amazing ladies in a men’s league. My boys play soccer, basketball, and also bowl. If there was more time I know we would do more but there are only so many hours in the day. With an activity every day, sometimes two, we are very busy. When we are not participating in a sporting event, we are in the mountains camping and enjoying nature. We love to shoot and hike.  I enjoy cooking but do not have a lot of time with our busy schedule. I also like to try to fix and install things on my own.  As an aromatherapist,  essential oils have become so important. The task of just picking 5 has been near impossible, but here goes.

My most favorite and go-to oil is Black PepperPiper nigrum. Being a sports family this helps with our discomfort after a long game; eases my achy joints as I am not a spring chicken anymore, but still love to play. We have found it great for those bruises when you catch the softball with your shin instead of your glove or your opponent uses your leg to kick instead of the soccer ball.

Recipe

1 ounce Aloe Vera Jelly

6 drops  Black Pepper

Apply to affected area.

 

My 2nd choice is Spring Blossoms Synergy. This blend of oils is so uplifting and puts a spring in my step when I am feeling down or need a pick me up. Neroli,  Orange Sweet, and Lime are a perfect combination to keep me going, during the long winter months when the only sport we can play where we live is bowling. We sometimes feel a little down when we want to get out, but can’t due to the weather. No recipe needed here, just diffuse.

 

Next is Helichrysum Italicum Helichrysum italicum. This oil is great for so many things. It reduces the appearance of scars and playing sports all the time we end up with our share of bumps and bruises. It is also used for emotional feelings and to help boost immune function. I, as well as many others, struggle with just getting through some days and this is my go-to oil for this. It helps make me feel in control and empowered.

Recipe  

10 ml Roller bottle

1 ounce  DermiSoothe Carrier Oil Blend

3 drops  Helichrysum Italicum

3 drops Black Pepper

 

Another essential oil that is widely used in my house is Grapefruit Pink  Citrus x paradisi. Some mornings after a short night, whether it is because of a late night game or some laundry that just has to be done by morning, I need a pick me up. I then turn to Grapefruit. It is so fresh and uplifting, this helps me get through my mornings and my co-workers are not on the end of my grouchiness due to lack of sleep.Ten drops in an aromatherapy inhaler and you are ready to go.

 

And last, but not least is Bergamot Citrus bergamia. This oil is calming and grounding; it helps when I have a lot going on and I just need to step back and assess what is most important. It helps me realize that teenage boys will be boys and they are not always going to have perfect grades and make the best decisions, but they too, are learning and growing. I refer to this oil as my mental wellness oil. This oil can also help with those sore, tired muscles that we feel after a long day of sports. It is such a great and diverse oil.

Recipe

1 ounce of Healing Balm

3 drops of Bergamot

1 drop of Black Pepper

2 drop of Helichrysum Italicum

Blend together for the perfect muscle rub.

Black Pepper plant

 

I could list so many more oils but we are limited to 5 in this article. There are always so many new oils and products that Plant Therapy comes out with all the time, but I find these few simple oils my go-to oils to keep my household going and happy. Being a Certified Aromatherapist at Plant Therapy and working with our great staff and customers is a great blessing every day. Being able to share a few oils with you has been a joy. I hope they will help you as they have helped me and my boys.

 

Stay tuned for more of our Aromatherapists’ Top 5 Picks!

 

Sensational Synergy and Dynamic Duos

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist


One of the aspects I find amazing about aromatherapy is its core concept of synergy. Derived from the Greek “synergos,” synergy essentially distills down to “working together.” In practice, it is “the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements.” [1] Or, as we still commonly quote Aristotle today “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

To me, this is the true beauty of aromatherapy — “working together” for an even greater outcome. It is amazing to me that aromatherapy works in synergy on so many levels. What an awe-inspiring concept forming the foundation of this holistic healing art, not just between essential oil and concern, but also nature and our whole being.

Aromatherapy works in synergy with our minds, bodies, and spirits. The aromatic essences themselves don’t cure or fix anything. They support our beings coming back into balance so that all the aspects of our existence can restore and renew in our natural healing state.

Nature also creates synergy within the essential oils themselves. We can reduce each essential oil to its few primary constituents. But, as a whole, each aromatic essence may also have hundreds of minor constituents that in their entirety create its own synergy working together in a unique signature.

 

In our Essential Education blog, “Beginning Blending 1, 2, 3, we also discussed the concept of synergy. This is the proper name of undiluted essential oils blended together to create a therapeutic outcome greater than that of a single essential oil alone.

Within all these simultaneous levels of synergy in aromatherapy, you will also find what I refer to as “Dynamic Duos.” This is when certain paired essential oils can work exceptionally well together with an especially dynamic effect. Your salt and pepper or peanut butter and jelly of the aromatherapy world if you will.

I have outlined below three notable examples of Dynamic Duos I have learned about along the way and especially like to use. There are many more, of course, and you may find your own. These are just a few to illustrate this effect and get you started.

 

Lavender and Peppermint 

Lavandula angustifolia and Mentha x piperita

This pairing is an old standby for good reason. This synergy of Lavender and Peppermint makes a marvelous massage blend for issues in the tissues. It is especially soothing for nervous tension of the mind, accompanied by discomfort in the body from head to toe.  The combined effects are relieving and releasing to knots, tightness, and stiffness and for sore, tired, overworked muscles and joints.

 

 

Suggested Usage: Mix in a 2% dilution with Marvelous Massage ™ Carrier Oil Blend, Jojoba Carrier Oil, or Fractionated Coconut Carrier Oil. Use for all over body massage, foot massage, or tightness from tension around the head and neck.

 Enhancements: Choose any other complementary essential oils  to help enhance the effect on concerns such as: Marjoram Sweet Origanum majorana or Chamomile Roman Chamaemelum nobile for calming nervous tension and reducing stiffness and knots.

 Cautions:  Peppermint is not KidSafe.  Do not apply on or near the face of infants and children. We recommend a maximum dilution of 5% for topical applications.

 

 

Black Pepper and Helichrysum Italicum

Piper nigrum and Helichrysum italicum

Black Pepper is well known for its relieving action on discomfort in the body, especially for numbing the type that may be hot and throbbing. I use Black Pepper quite often in synergies especially for issues with my back and love the relief it brings. Along the way, I came across the suggestion to pair Helichrysum Italicum with Black Pepper for an even greater dynamic effect with this type of discomfort (I can’t recall the teacher, so if it was you please let me know)

Oh my goodness, what a difference! While the Black Pepper was soothing on its own, just a tad of the Helichrysum gave it a turbo boost in terms of the perception and duration of relief. Now, I always pair the two for these types of concerns. While Helichrysum can be pricey, you only need a small ratio in your synergy and if you suffer from these issues, the relief is priceless.

 

 

 

Suggested Usage: Combine to a total 3% dilution with Fractionated Coconut Carrier Oil in a 10 ml roller bottle for spot treatment and short-term use on the go.

Enhancements: Because this type of discomfort in the tissues may also create tightness and knots, you might add another warming, relieving, and releasing essence such as Ginger Root CO2 Zingiber officinale.

Cautions:   If adding Ginger CO2:  It is not KidSafe.  We recommend a maximum dilution of 1% for topical applications.

 

 

Rosemary 1,8-Cineole and Peppermint

Rosmarinus officinalis and Mentha x piperita

Oh, Rosemary 1, 8 Cineole and Peppermint, let me count the ways…here are three!

Rosemary 1, 8 Cineole and Peppermint create a perfect pairing for supporting the mind. Each provides its own unique and some similar benefits, but together these benefits become boosted. This duo can help with feeling alert and focused while helping to clear your mind; it can support concentration and memory; and, it can be invigorating and stimulating when dealing with mental fatigue.

Additionally, these two make a wonderfully stimulating massage blend to relieve and relax discomfort in the tissues and to support circulation.

They also make a dynamic duo in supporting the respiratory system from seasonal threats whether they are on board or if you have been exposed.

 

 

 

Suggested Usage: For the supporting the mind or respiratory system, the best approach is inhalation with diffuser or  aromatherapy inhaler. For the body, or to tackle all three issues with an invigorating massage, create a 2% blend with Marvelous Massage ™ Carrier Oil BlendJojoba Carrier Oil, or Fractionated Coconut Carrier Oil .

Enhancements: Lemon Citrus x limon makes a nice addition for its clarifying, clearing, refreshing, uplifting,  and energizing effects.

Cautions: Rosemary 1, 8 Cineole is not KidSafe. Do not apply to or near the face of infants or children. We recommend a maximum dilution of 4% for topical applications.

Peppermint is not KidSafe.  Do not apply on or near the face of infants and children. We recommend a maximum dilution of 5% for topical applications.

If including Lemon in a massage or other topical blend, we recommend a maximum dilution of 2% to avoid photosensitivity.  You can also use  Lemon Steam Distilled  to be safe in the sun.

 


Sources:

[1] “Synergy.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, www.dictionary.com/browse/synergy.

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

Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health & Well-being. London: HarperThorsons, 2014. Print.

Worwood, Valerie Ann. Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 800 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant … Recipes to Create Health, Beauty, and Safe Home an. Place of Publication Not Identified: New World Library, 2016. Print.