Essential Oils Blog

Spring Cleaning Round-up!!

Let's Get Creative-900x200


We have some really great cleaning recipes on our blog. I wanted to take the opportunity to round them all up for you in one place. Plus, add a few new hints, tips and even a few NEW recipes! It’s almost time to throw open your windows, air out the house and get down to the business of spring cleaning! This time of renewal and rejuvenation always occurs when the weather warms up and the crocuses pop out of the soil! As we prepare to enjoy the sun again, let’s take a look at these great cleaning recipes!

All purpose cleaner

Carpet, Mattress and More… cleaning powder

Counter wipes

Now let’s take a look at some *new* recipes to the blog for spring cleaning!

Essential oils that may be helpful for these recipes:

  • Orange: Can help in cutting grease, fingerprints, and smells amazing
  • Lemon: That fresh, clean scent and lemon is also amazing for it’s grease cutting power
  • Lavender: A soft scent that is fantastic when used in cleaning products, especially for laundry applications.
  • Tea Tree: A wonderful disinfectant and helpful when cleaning in bathrooms!
  • Or try our “Spring Cleaning Set” that contains Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Citrus Burst and Germ Fighter.
Laundry Soap Bombs

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup grated soap, of your choice
  • 2 tbsp Epsom salt
  • 3 tbsp hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 20 drops essential oil of your choice

What you’ll do: 

  1. Combine “dry” ingredients in a medium bowl
  2. Combine “wet” ingredients in a separate measuring cup
  3. A little at a time, add the wet to the dry, stirring to combine
  4. Continue until all the wet ingredients are added. The resulting mixture will be slightly damp
  5. Use a small scoop or tbsp to place rounds onto parchment or sil-pat
  6. Allow to air dry for 8-12 hours. Once dry store in tightly lidded container
  7. Use 1 round per load of laundry, or 2 for those really dirty loads

Fabric Softener

This is a quick and easy project that leaves your clothes soft and with a hint of scent!

What you’ll need:

  • Epsom salt
  • Essential oils of your choice
  • A container for storage
  • A scoop, measuring spoon or other item to dispense the crystals

What you’ll do:

  1. For each cup of Epsom salt, add 10 drops of your essential oil
  2. Mix well
  3. Store in tightly capped container
  4. Use 1-2 tbsp per load of laundry. Place in your softer dispenser

Steel Appliance Polish

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. In glass jar or container, combine the vegetable oil with the 2-3 drops of your chosen essential oil
  2. Dab a small amount onto your soft cloth
  3. Use small circular motion, polish stainless steel
  4. Continue to buff until fingerprints, grime and smudges are removed

Tub & Sink Cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup Castile Soap
  • 1/4 cup washing soda
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 20 drops Orange Sweet, Grapefruit Pink, or Lemon essential oil
  • mold, small plastic container or other item to make a “bar” {see below for more information}

What you’ll do:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium glass bowl
  2. Mix well to blend together
  3. Press paste into mold and allow to dry for a few hours, until firm
  4. Once set, remove from mold (I used an old 4 inch round butter container)
  5. To use the bar: wet and rub the surface of your sink or tub. The bar will gently remove dirt and soap scum. Wipe clean with a damp rag. Rinse with cool water.
  6. Enjoy your beautifully clean tub or sink!
Window Spray

What you’ll need:

  • 12 ounces water
  • 0.5-1.5% Optiphen Plus*
  • 1 tbsp Ammonia
  • 1 tsp Rubbing alcohol
  • Essential oils of your choice

**If you choose not to use a preservative you will need to store it in the fridge.  Optiphen plus is a preservative which reduces the instance of bacterial growth in water-based products. We recommend that a preservative be used in any water-based products that you make at home. This is a great choice since it contains no parabens, no formaldehyde, and are not formaldehyde contributors. 

What you’ll do:

  1. Combine everything in a 32 ounce spray bottle
  2. Spritz windows, wipe with soft cloth
  3. Ta-da! Sparkling clean glass!!

Need some great recipe combination ideas for essential oils? Check out these ones to get you started:

Fresh Kitchen: 15 drops each Lavender & Lemon
Disinfecting: 15 drops Tea Tree, 10 drops Lemon and 5 drops Rosemary
Fresh & Fruity: 20 drops Sweet Orange, 10 drops Grapefruit Pink and 5 drops Vanilla
OR instead use one of our germ synergies (KidSafe Germ Destroyer or Germ Fighter!)

We sincerely hope that when the warm weather finally makes an appearance, you’re ready to get down to cleaning! Open up your home and let the sunshine in! These project only take a few minutes and will leave your home looking & smelling beautiful! If you have any questions regarding these or any other recipes you find on our blog, please be in touch by emailing us at [email protected] We look forward to helping you in any way that we can.

The question of substitution…


There is a question I get many times a day “What can I substitute for _________________?” In some cases this is a simple switch. Most citrus oils can be interchangeably. Although there are a few exceptions – just like there is to anything in life. Mandarin and Tangerine are especially useful for calming while Grapefruit and Lime are wonderful for putting a pep in your step. This also depends on what you’re combining in a blend.

There are times when there is no simple answer. I’ll use an analogy: you wouldn’t substitute baking soda for baking powder in a recipe. They have different functions, even though they both say “baking”. A straight up substitution is not always possible. In order to illustrate my point better I will use some examples. For each let’s look at what each oil DOES in the recipe. Then we can find appropriate oils to use in place of one if we don’t have it. It’s the action of each oil we are looking at, not just the oil itself.

Example 1:

Find a “recipe” for pain that contains Frankincense, Ginger and German Chamomile. Here is what each oil is “good for” in this blend:

  • Frankincense (serrata) can be helpful in reducing inflammation and any achiness due to arthritis or joint pain.
  • Ginger, can be useful in relieving muscle tension and creating a sense of warmth which can increase blood flow and reduce pain.
  • German Chamomile is also very useful for inflammation and can be helpful for dull aching pain.

So what we have is a list of things that are very good at reducing inflammation, creating warmth and assisting in the alleviation of pain. Now, what if I don’t have Frankincense? I want to look for something that is similar on a chemical level, meaning it contains the same constituents in similar percentages.

How do I find that out?

A GC/MS is the answer! These aren’t super easy to read and even I am still learning the small details that you can take away from a report like this. The more you learn, the better you can figure out the intricacies of the chemical makeup of the essential oils.

Another way to to take a look at therapeutic actions. Frankincense is useful for inflammation and reducing the pain from arthritis. So you’d want a similar action from another oil. Two that come to mind are copaiba and marjoram. Either would be acceptable as a substitution if you didn’t have frankincense.

Example 2:

Finding a recipe for cough and cold that contains Fir Needle, Palmarosa and Cedarwood. BUT, I don’t have Fir Needle!!! Using the same process as above we can find something else to use in our blend. First, let’s take a look at chemical makeup. We also need to take a look at what Fir Needle does. Use the search function on the blog to find other profiles and spotlights.

Once we have this information, we can choose another oil with similar properties. Ones that I would suggest to replace Fir Needle would be Rosalina or Pine – since we want to encourage  better or easier breathing along with loosening mucus. Each of those have similar actions and can be useful as a substitute.

I hope this gives you a better of idea of why the question “What can I substitute for ______?” is one that doesn’t always have an easy answer. Don’t get frustrated, or give up. We’re here to help! Contact us at [email protected] and let us help you through creating a blend or using different essential oils since you don’t have a particular one on hand. We do ask that you let us know if you are taking medications, have any medical concerns (like high blood pressure, diabetes, etc) or other things you’d think we’d need to know to assist you best! We look forward to helping you.

Hydrosol Profiles: Lavender


Everyone has enjoyed the profiles we have been doing on essential oils. I figured it was time to learn more about our hydrosols. Every few weeks we will feature a different hydrosol, show you more about that specific one, and then give a few ways you can consider using it in your home or with your family or pets.

First up, Lavender.

Lavender hydrosol is great for any skin type and is soft & gentle on the skin. You might expect this hydrosol to smell strongly of lavender. Don’t be fooled when you open it and it doesn’t. The scent is lighter and earthier than lavender essential oil you might be used to. Take a look at this profile and then check out the ideas for use below the graphic! This is printable {click the one at the bottom to print}, so go ahead and start a new notebook or folder of hydrosols for your reference collection!

 

Suggestions for use:

  1.  When dusting furniture, spray your dust rag (lightly) with Lavender hydrosol and wipe surfaces. You’ll leave a wonderful scent behind and find the chore a bit less mundane.
  2. Freshen your pets’ coat by spritzing with a 50/50 dilution of Lavender hydrosol with distilled water as you groom. Not only will this reduce static & unease with grooming, but also leave your pets fur refreshed.
  3. Mist bed linens, freshly laundered clothes or pet beds with Lavender hydrosol, for a calm relaxing environment in every area of your home.

If you have questions, comments or other concerns please contact our aromatherapists at [email protected]. Also, please join us on Facebook in our Safe Essential Oil Recipe Group.

Discover Plant Therapy – The People behind the scenes!

 

 

You may know this logo, right?
You may even use some of our products.

However, what you may not know is there is a tireless team of awesome staff, fantastic customer service agents and a warehouse full of people so nice, you’ll want to get to know them better! Plant Therapy is an essential oil company with just over 30 employees and I’m not sure that I’ve had more fun in a 72 hour period than I did when I took a trip to Twin Falls, Idaho in December of last year. For those of you who don’t know, I am one of Plant Therapy’s on-staff Certified Aromatherapists. I work from home, in the great state of Kansas, and this was my first opportunity to see all the behind the scenes action in Idaho! You’re in for a treat – I am going to introduce you to these amazing people!

First, I want to tell you about my trip.

I hate flying! I’d rather have walked, but I don’t have a covered wagon and 6 months to travel, so I flew. I arrived in Twin Falls in the afternoon, and let me tell you – it’s a sweet little town! I toured the warehouses (yes there are TWO!) and met my co-workers. That evening was the company Christmas party – you can tell how much they enjoy working with each other, it was a blast! The next day I was able to really see how the customer service team takes care of our customers! They are amazing, but you already knew that. I was amazed at the efficiency and kindness with which they go about assisting our customers with all their questions & concerns. Leaving Twin Falls the following morning, I felt I had a much better appreciation for how Plant Therapy operates. Let me tell you – our customers are at the heart of every decision that is made!

* Now, I have the privilege to introduce you to the operation & the people behind the scenes! *

My first stop was the fulfillment warehouse. I was shocked to learn they had JUST moved in a few days before my trip. They accomplished this overnight & seamlessly resumed operations the next day (all during the CHRISTMAS SALE, too!) WOW – that is dedication. Right?

The next day I got to hang out with our awesome customer service team: WOW! They are the sweetest (and busiest) people I have met!! I also got a chance to meet my fellow Aromatherapists – in person! While we work together on a daily basis, behind the scenes and with our customers, it was a great chance to get to know each other more personally and chat about how to make our customers’ experience even better!

Then, I got to see order fulfillment in action! Ms. Vicki is most hilarious person & she really loves making sure your orders are packed and get safely underway to your house! I am only sorry that I didn’t get a picture of her! She is seriously one of the funniest people I met on my trip! This is a fulfillment station. Each packing expert works in one of these large cubes. Every bottle of essential oil is within an arm’s reach and they can quickly & efficiently get your order prepared for shipment.

Finally, I got to sit down in a meeting with Chris (Owner, Plant Therapy), Paul (COO – Plant Therapy) & Retha and we discussed all the FUN new products, the upcoming changes we can expect, and a few other surprises that you all will see throughout this coming year! Who’s excited now? I know you’ll be on the edge of your seat to see all the awesome new stuff we’ve cooked up for you!

Thanks for tagging along on my trip to Idaho! It was a blast and I am grateful for the experience! I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes glance at how we work for you! If you have any questions, concerns or other comments you can email us at [email protected] or [email protected].

Blending 101 (part 2)


In a follow up to the Blending 101  post from last month, let’s continue to look at blending techniques so that you feel more confident in creating your own aromatic masterpieces!

Blending for your diffuser! Sometimes I do this “on the fly” and just add oils that I know will go nicely together. Other times I blend with specific concerns in mind. Let me show you how I take on that challenge.

First, I choose an oil that I’d like to be the “main event.”

In many cases this is the one with the therapeutic properties I’d like to highlight, such as Lavender for relaxation. Now, I’ll take a look at our website at www.planttherapy.com and click on that particular oil! Notice that there is a lot of information to be found on the description page! One is “Blends well with:” and gives a list of other oils that compliment or enhance the scent/therapeutic properties of the oil you’ve chosen {see below}. Once again, we want to define an intention for this blend. My intention is to create a relaxing, yet uplifting environment. So take a look and notice that Bergamot is among the oils that may blend well with Lavender. I love the uplifting and calming properties of Bergamot as well. So now I have Lavender and Bergamot. I also know that I love deep, grounding scents (you may not, or this may not fit your intention) so I am also going to choose Patchouli.

To create this blend, I will use the method noted in Blending 101 and keep track of my drops using hash marks. In your notebook, give your recipe a name, note the oils used and how many drops. If you enjoy the scent, now you can replicate it. If you don’t, make a note on what you would change next time!  Many of my favorite diffuser blends have been “happy accidents” where I don’t think too hard about it, but since I know what I like and what my intention is, it becomes easy to choose essential oils that work well together to quit that purpose! To do this, you can make use of the suggested uses section of the description. This gives you some ideas how you might use this oil. By NO MEANS are these the only way it can be used. Take the intention of the oil, and apply to other areas of your life!

Other helpful hints:
  • Citrus oils can brighten deep scents if you’re not particularly a fan of essential oils like patchouli or vetiver.
  • To round out cloying, overly sweet or strong floral scents, use a grounding oil in small quantities (1 drop usually is plenty) to round out the scent. Grounding oils include patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood, or frankincense.
  • Mints and citruses go beautifully together and are often favorites for when you have company or guests!

For further questions, comments or concerns please contact us at [email protected]

Valentines Day DIY


Valentines Day should be a day where you show your significant others, children & friends how much they mean to you {well, we really should do this every day, but let’s make a special effort for this occasion!} Why don’t we create some lovely small items to gift to your loved ones this Valentines Day!

I have created 3 DIY projects for you today. Once geared towards kids, one that can be given to your friends & family and another that can be shared with your significant other. Need a great EASY gift, try our Romance Set – in convenient roll on form!

What you’ll need:

Sugar Shower Cubes:
Massage Oil:
Lotion bars:
Sweetheart Diffuser Blend: 

What you’ll do:

Sugar Shower Cubes:
  1. Add 6 ounces of sugar to a medium glass bowl
  2. In separate bowl, melt remaining ingredients (except essential oils) until all liquid
  3. Combine oils/butters with sugar
  4. Add essential oils
  5. Mix well
  6. Pat into silicon molds
  7. Allow to sitting fridge for 30 minutes to firm up
  8. Use in the shower to scrub arms & legs to soft, smooth skin!
  9. Store in the fridge for best use, they got a little “mushy” if not kept cool.
Massage Oil:
  1. Add carrier to 2 ounce dropper bottle
  2. Drop in the following amounts of essential oils 12 drops sandalwood, 5 drops ylang ylang, 5 drops vanilla, 1 drop of cinnamon leaf and 1 drop of jasmine.
  3. Place lid on the bottle and mix well by rubbing bottle between palms
  4. Enjoy a massage with your significant other 😉
Lotion bars:
  1. Warm a medium pan with water on the stove
  2. Weigh all ingredients into glass dishes
  3. Place all ingredients, except essential oils, into a larger glass bowl or measuring cup
  4. Place glass bowl over pan of simmering water
  5. Melt butter, oil & wax
  6. Remove from heat and stir in 36 drops of essential oil
  7. Pour into silicon molds
  8. Cool
  9. Package

The Great Cinnamon Debate

 

It’s all so confusing. Common names, botanical names. Where do I begin? Let me try to break it down so it is simple & easy to understand. One of these is not “true” cinnamon, but is probably what you buy as cinnamon in your local grocery store spice aisle. Cinnamon can create a feeling of warmth and increase blood flow to the areas where it is applied. It is a scent we associate with the holidays, family and good food! Why don’t we take a closer look at these similarities and differences. Hopefully, we can understand these subtleties and make a choice regarding which ones might be right for you! 

Cinnamon Cassia is the outer bark of an evergreen tree native to Asia {China, specifically} and is botanically related to cinnamon (Sri Lankin). However, this isn’t “true” cinnamon. Warming and uplifting, Cinnamon Cassia essential oil is also one of the most potent antibacterial and antifungal essential oils. It may be used for almost any antiseptic or disinfectant purpose, though it must be used with great care. Cinnamon Cassia oil can be very effective for flu. In Chinese medicine, Cassia is used to ‘dispel cold’ and relieve pain, especially in the lower back. Known for its spicy fragrance, bring back the holiday memories by diffusing equal parts of Cinnamon Cassia, Clove Bud, and Orange Sweet. There are a few cautions to note, when using cinnamon cassia, we recommend a maximum dilution of 0.05% for topical applications. It should not be used while pregnant or nursing. 

Cinnamon Leaf, cinnamomum verum, is true cinnamon. It is also from an evergreen tree, this one native to Sri Lanka. Steam distilled from the leaves of this evergreen, Cinnamon Leaf essential oil has been used as an anti-inflammatory and local anesthetic for many years. It is very therapeutic and if used in the right dilution, can be an effective essential oil for acne, chronic pain and inflammation. Combine Cinnamon Leaf and Clove Bud at 0.6% dilution in your favorite carrier oil to help with chronic pain. Cinnamon Leaf is also considered a great oil to ease the symptoms of cold and flu. Diffuse in the air to help combat a sickness. It should be noted that there are also cautions that should be taken into consideration when using this essential oil. We recommend a maximum dilution of 0.6% for topical application.

Cinnamon Bark, from the same plant/tree as Cinnamon Leaf, is one of the primary antifungal and antibacterial essential oils, though it should be used with great care (less than 0.1%) on the skin. Diffuse Cinnamon Bark with Orange and Vanilla for a pleasant, antimicrobial effect when there has been sickness. Or mix with Patchouli and Palmarosa for an exotic, spicy fragrance. There are a few cautions, we recommend a maximum dilution of 0.1% for topical applications. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Cinnamon is a mucus membrane irritant, can cause coughing or irritation to nose, eyes and mouth. Additionally – if used on the skin, it can cause redness or irritation to the skin which looks like a rash. For these reasons we recommend avoiding it with small kids – especially those who can not or aren’t able to explain if they are feeling uncomfortable while it’s being used.

If you have questions or concerns regarding any of this information, please emails one of our Aromatherapists at [email protected] or join our Facebook page Safe Essential Oil Recipes.