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Essential Oils Blog

Tag Archives: aromatherapy education

When All is Said and Done, It’s Really an Individual Journey


Many people ask, “What is an essential oil that will be a foolproof treatment for….” Well, the truth is while there are generalizations, there are exceptions and what might work for one, might not work for another. That is to say, although some specific essential or blends have been successful in helping many, it’s not a guarantee that it will work for all. There’s more of a guarantee that there will be a few that it won’t work for.

When I discovered essential oils, years ago, I used them ignorantly and luckily didn’t become sensitized to essential oils or harm myself using them. Most of the time, they just sat on the shelf, because I didn’t know exactly what to do with them! Gradually, I began reading and researching and when I began working for Plant Therapy, a whole new world opened up for me. It was an aha moment as I became educated on safe methods and I learned just how effective and powerful that essential oils can be. I also learned more about the many constituents (the natural chemical compounds in oils) that essential oils contain. Not all of these chemicals or combinations are right for everyone. For instance, for children, there are safer, gentle oils that Plant Therapy recommends and we label them KidSafe® . For the elderly, Wintergreen or Cinnamon Leaf would not be my first choice, as they are strong oils with cautions. For some on medications, I might choose another oil than Chamomile German, which can have interactions with some medications.

Concerning myself, I have realized that I have a sensitive system, and some essential oil are better choices than others. So, while one oil, may be calming for someone, it may not be for me.  For many, Lavender is the definite choice when it comes to a calming oil. Although I love it and find it useful for many purposes, I don’t find it calming for my individual makeup. When the topic of scent comes up, we all have our druthers on which essential oils smell the best. Or I may have different preferences for blends addressing discomfort or skin issues than another. I absolutely love Vetiver, while others might find it unappealing. Others love the florals, and for me they are overpowering. I also love Chamomile Roman to calm and balance one’s system, and to help with swelling. Others, sadly, may not give it a chance because they don’t love the scent. The wonderful thing about essential oils though, is that they are multi-taskers and many address similar issues. So if you are wanting a calming essential oil, but aren’t crazy about the Chamomile Roman, don’t be discouraged. There are other options.  Some examples of other calming oils are; Bergamot, Orange Sweet, Cedarwood,  Patchouli, Vetiver and Melissa.

When someone says to me, “That essential oil doesn’t work.” I may smile just a bit, as I ponder that all of Plant Therapy’s essential oils are of the highest quality and have been tested several times to verify that. I like that a specific oil is not just tested once, and then those are the results that our customers will see forever, but every single batch of essential oils that comes into Plant Therapy is tested, so you know exactly what you are getting.  So, I know that although this person may not have found the perfect fit for them, it may be very effective for someone else’s body chemistry.  Also, it’s interesting that essential oils blended with other essential oils create a new synergy. It can be even more effective than if used alone. If someone doesn’t care for plain Lavender or Cedarwood Atlas, perhaps blending it with Orange Sweet or Bergamot, may make it your favorite oil blend ever.

Plant Therapy stands behind of it’s essential oils, and our customers can rest assured that if they are not 100% satisfied, they can receive a full refund, so there are no risks in purchasing an oil that you may not be sure that you will like. It certainly is a journey, and as we learn more and study each oil, and experiment a bit, we will find what works for us and how to use these precious substances to make our life better. Remember that like a lot of things, using essential oils is a journey, and oftentimes more enjoyable, when taking your time, learning along the way, and deciding what works best for your personal needs.



Dill Weed Essential Oil

By Kimberly Daun, Certified Aromatherapist


I was super blessed to have had 4 enjoyable pregnancies, outside of the awful first trimester.  That first trimester I was constantly nauseous.  I know people crave odd foods when they’re pregnant, for me, the only thing I could keep down was pickles!  I remember one day when I was taking my 2 and 3 year olds to playgroup, I was sick but so hungry at the same time.  The thought of pickles made me salivate so I took a little detour and got the biggest jar of pickles the grocery store had.  I then sat in the car and proceeded to eat every single pickle, even drinking some of the juice!  I remember how shocked I was that not only did I keep it all down, but it helped to settle my stomach.  As I began learning about herbs and essential oils it made so much sense to find out that Dill Weed is one of the most recommended essential oils for an upset stomach.

Dill is such a great addition to any garden as it attracts ladybugs, who eat aphids, making it wonderful tool for organic gardening.  You can also harvest Dill leaves at any point during the year. I do container gardening yeararound (I often bring the containers inside during the winter) and my boys just love being able to pick off, eat, and enjoy the plants all year.  It helps to keep their digestive system balanced.  I also keep a roller bottle of Tummy All Better (which has a main ingredient of Dill Weed) for the upset stomach that often accompanies seasonal illness.  In ancient Greek and Roman Cultures, Dill was seen as a sign of wealth.  Soldiers would apply it to their wounds to help promote healing.  The Conqueror Charlemagne used to provide Dill on his tables to help those guests who may have indulged in a bit too much food at his banquets. [1]

To get the essential oil all aerial parts of the plant are steam distilled.  Plant Therapy currently sources our Dill Weed Essential Oil right here in the USA.  Although it is best known for digestive support there are many other uses.  It is helpful with head tension, ease symptoms associated with a normal menstrual cycle, and encourage restful sleep. [2]  Dill helps to calm, balance emotions, ground, and promote emotional harmony. [3]  My top five uses for Dill are:


1 ounce Carrier Oil, 18 drops Dill Weed (massage on abdomen)

Massage on abdomenal area.

Sleep Diffuser Blend

2 drops Frankincense Serrata, 1 drop Dill Weed, 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop

Roman Chamomile

Head Tension

1 ounce carrier oil, 8 drops Peppermint, 6 drops Dill Weed

Massage on temples and down the back of the neck.

Menstrual Issues

Diffuse –  3 drops Palmarosa, 2 drops Dill Weed, 2 drops Ylang Ylang Extra  

Grounding Diffuser Blend

3 drops Cardamom, 2 drops Cedarwood Himalayan, 2 drops Dill Weed, 1 drop Patchouli



What do you use Dill Weed  Essential Oil for?



[1] World Healthies Foods, “Dill,” [Online]. Available: [Accessed 27 December 2016].
[2] V. A. Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Novato: New World Library, 2016.
[3] J. K. &. R. Bull, Aromatherapy & Subtle Energy Techniques, CreateSpace, 2015.



April’s Oil of the Month – Finger Root

By: Diane Mishler, Certified Aromatherapist


The plant that April’s Oil of the Month comes from is well known in southeast Asia, Thailand, Indonesia and parts of China. Finger Root, also known as Chinese Keys, Chinese Ginger and Krachai is wildly grown in lush, dense forests. It is also cultivated and grown commercially, as it’s such a popular product.

The name, Finger Root, comes from the rhizome, which resembles long fingers. It’s from the Ginger family, which has over 1200 species. The plant which is an ornamental in many yards and looks similar to any lily or orchid, is easy to grow in shady, moist places. It has a lovely pinkish flower and an earthy, mildly spicy aroma.

Thai people use the plant for culinary purposes, and people in Southern China use it for medicinal purposes. Many feel that it can help with the digestive system and nausea and to clear congestion. It’s purported to help with swelling and discomfort, and makes a great oil for those with minor back or joint discomfort. The essential oil as well can help with these issues and is also helps to dispel excessive, busy, worrisome thoughts.

Here is a recipe using Finger Root Essential Oil that can be used for achiness and soreness and also as a chest rub for congestion. When I used this I also received the side benefit of a good night’s sleep!


Respiratory/Joint Support Blend                                                                          

1 ounce of unscented Olive Lotion

6 drops of Finger Root

4  drops of Kunzea

3  drops of Sweet Orange

3  drops of Fragonia

Mix eos into lotion well, and apply whats needed to problem area.

All is Well Blend  (for personal inhaler)

4  drops Finger Root

3  drops of Lime

2  drops of Grapefruit

2  drops of Clary Sage

2  drops of Patchouli

Apply drops of eos to wick in personal inhaler. Relax!

Download Product Template Sheet here.

Top Three Uses For Lavender Infused Vinegar!

In Pregnancy and Nursing Safety – Part 1 we learned that essential oils should only be used sparingly while pregnant and often times it is best to limit oil usage to relieving unpleasant pregnancy symptoms. In Essential Oils and Babies – What the Research Shows we also learned that although not completely restricted, exercising caution with the use of essential oils with babies and small children is paramount.

As an expecting Mom, who wants to lessen the amount of harsh chemicals used in my home, such as chlorine and bleach, these guidelines left me in a bit of a pickle. While I love to use essential oils in homemade cleaning products, I want to limit my growing baby’s exposure both while in the womb and once he arrives. After doing some research, I stumbled upon the wonderful cleaning properties of infused vinegar. Lucky for me, I even had dried lavender on hand to create lavender infused vinegar. I can’t tell you guys how much I love this stuff!



To create lavender infused vinegar add 1 cup of lavender buds to 3 cups of vinegar. Let the mixture infuse for 2-6 weeks. I went with 4 weeks and it was just perfect!

Here are a few ways I have used it so far:

Surface Cleaner

1 part lavender infused vinegar

2 parts water

Add to a spray bottle, shake well, and get to work! I use this as a cleaner for counters, windows, mirrors, etc.

Fabric Softener

Add ¼ a cup of lavender infused vinegar to your washers final rinse cycle. Not only does this make your laundry smell great but it really softens!

Soothing Bath

Add one tablespoon of lavender infused vinegar to a warm bath to soothe away worries and nourish the skin.


If you have children under the age of two and would like to use essential oils in cleaning products, we would encourage you to use them while your little ones are in a different room. Once the area has cleared for 30-60 minutes your babies can return to the area.

For additional DIY cleaning products be sure to check out our blog post The Best Homemade Cleaning Products

My Travel Kit – Part 2

By: Diane Mishler, Certified Aromatherapist


For those of us who do not live in New York , certain words are conjured up when contemplating visiting this great city. For me, it’s synonymous with words like excitement, bustle, sophistication, food, traffic, and diversity. A great place to experience and it will take more than one trip in your life to even touch all that it has to offer.

A few of us Aromatherapists from Plant Therapy went to the Big Apple to attend the Healthy Brands Showcase, which featured vendors from different companies. We also attended classes on CO2 distillation. We are always learning so we can be better informed and offer safe information and education to our customers. Travel to any city, although fun and wonderful, can also mean stress, exhaustion, exposure to illness, headaches, digestive issues, sore muscles and other issues that can cut into the enjoyment of a trip.

There are some products that I bring along on a trip to make the experience better. Plant Therapy’s convenient pre-diluted synergy roll-ons can be quite helpful. I make sure that I include some that will help me wind down from a busy day. Some of my favorites are Tranquil, Tension Relief and Worry Free. They help  quiet the mind, relax the body and bring a more peaceful feeling when everything around you is different from what you are used to.

If the foods in New York don’t tempt you, then you are a stronger person than the three of us. There were signs screaming, “Pizza!”, “Cheesecake!”, “Bagels!” and so many other delectable treats. What could we do? We didn’t want to be rude. For me personally, part of an excursion is trying out the local fare. Repeatedly doing this, added to a hectic schedule, and one can start to feel like your digestive system is “off”. I like to use the DiGiZen roll-on applied to my tummy when I feel a little nausea or indigestion. It soothes and can often divert digestive disaster. I wouldn’t be without it when traveling.

There are so many people in New York City! It’s like a never-ending sea of bodies that you are in the middle of, hoping that you don’t drop something or lose a shoe. It’s amazing and fascinating, but it is also a place where the odds of picking up something that you didn’t start out with can increase. I make sure I bring Germ Fighter or if kids are along on a trip, Germ Destroyer instead. They both can help keep one safer from seasonal threats. Immune Aid or Immune Boom are also great for helping to lend support to us when we are feeling run down or in need of help to our Immune systems.

A convenient item to bring along on a trip are Plant Therapy’s personal inhalers. Be sure to check out this helpful Blog article that we have that explains how to use them – Personal Inhaler Tips and Tricks. They are lightweight, won’t spill and they can be easily tucked in a pocket or purse. Inhalation is a powerful method when using essential oils and these will definitely come in handy.

One other product that can be very helpful is our Aloe Vera Jelly. It’s wonderful as a carrier to your essential oils because it penetrates well, doesn’t leave you oily, and feels light on the skin. It also can be used as a hand sanitizer when a synergy like Germ Destroyer is added.

Travel is always fantastic, but it’s good to be home. My body and mind seem to relax a notch when I get off of that final plane. I take with me many cherished memories and sometimes new friendships. I am content for a short while. Hmmm, I hear there’s a lavender Farm near the ocean in Washington….

Essential Oil Education – Cajeput

By: Kimberly Daun, Certified Aromatherapist





Legend has it that when Captain Cook explored Asia he brought with him seeds that floated to the shores of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, and that is how the Cajeput tree came to be in Southern Asia.







Sometimes when I smell my essential oils I like to close my eyes and picture myself surrounded by the plants in their native environments.  Fortunately, I have an incredible imagination and with my eyes closed and the essential oil bottle close, I can transport myself to far off lands.  Every so often I get lucky and come across a documentary of someone enjoying in person, what I have only had the pleasure of enjoying in my mind.  Watching these documentaries gives me such an accurate look into what my dreams turned into reality would look like.

Cajeput was one such plant that I found a great documentary on. It took me deep into forests filled with majestic Cajeput.  I learned so much about where Cajeput originates, its incredible resiliency, and the preservation efforts in Vietnam.

My current batch of Cajeput was sourced by Plant Therapy from Indonesia.  The leaves and twigs are steam distilled to get the essential oil known as Melaleuca cajuputi.  This is the same family as Tea Tree, also known as Melaleuca alternifolia; although similar, each has its own unique properties.  Cajeput contains higher concentrations of 1,8 Cineole making it a better choice for upper respiratory support.  It also contains a higher percentage of limonene making it helpful with digestive issues, outdoor annoyances, and cleaning products.  [1]


My top 5 uses for Cajeput are:

  1. Digestive Support

1 ounce carrier oil, 6 drops Cajeput, 6 drops Ginger Root, 6 drops Cardamom

  1. Respiratory Support

In a steam bowl place 2 drops of Cajeput and inhale deeply

  1. Bug Bites

1 ounce carrier oil, 8 drops Cajeput, 8 drops Peppermint

  1. Lip Sores

1 ounce coconut oil, 5 drops Cajeput, 4 drops Ravensara, 2 drops Melissa, 2 drops Sandalwood

  1. Joint Discomfort

1 ounce carrier oil, 6 drops Cajeput, 4 drops Rosemary, 4 drops Clove Bud, 4 drops Black Pepper


[1] A. Deckard, “14 Uses for Cajeput Essential Oil,” Healthy Focus, 13 May 2015. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 21 December 2016].




February Oil of the Month – Blue Yarrow

If you were to mention the words Achillea Millifolium, most would not know what you were referring to.  If you were to say “Blue Yarrow”, most would have at least heard of it, and many have seen it, as it grows in most every state in the US and in many different countries.

For many years, Native Americans have recogmized this plant as a digestive aid and as a help for other ailments. It was referred to by some tribes as a “Life Medicine”.

Blue Yarrow, has such a long and fascinating history.  Its’ history begins with its botanical name, Achillea millefolium, named after the Greek myth Achilles.  It is said that when he was wounded in battle, the Goddess Aphrodite used Blue Yarrow to treat his wounds.  He was said to have gone onto the battle field with the yarrow to assist his fellow wounded soldiers.  It was later recorded as being used on soldiers during WWI to dress their wounds, stop bleeding, promote healing, as well as help prevent infection. [1]

Even today Blue Yarrow is renowned for its ability to help support the healing of damaged skin.  It promotes healthy immune function and minimizes the length of seasonal illness.  Emotionally, it is helpful with harmonizing your mind and body, promoting courage, and increases intuition. [2]

My top 6 uses for Blue Yarrow are:

  1. Ease the appearance of Eczema

1 ounce Hemp Seed Carrier Oil, 6 drops Blue Yarrow, 6 drops Juniper Berry, 6 drops Palmarosa, massage onto areas of concern

  1. Soothe illness, ease discomfort from fever, and support respiratory function[3]

1 ounce Fractionated Coconut Oil, 4 drops Blue Yarrow, 6 drops Manuka, 4 drops Lemon, 4 drops Cypress, massage onto chest

  1. Minimize joint discomfort

1 ounce Olive Lotion, 6 drops Blue Yarrow, 4 drops Rosemary, 4 drops Myrrh, 4 drops Roman Chamomile

  1. Promote Courage

In a personal inhaler, 4 drops Blue Yarrow, 4 drops Laurel Leaf, 4 drops Ho Wood, 3 drops Lavender Fine

  1. Increase Intuition

Diffuse 2 drops Blue Yarrow, 2 drops Clary Sage, 2 drop Jasmine, 2 drop Grapefruit

  1. Promote Healing of Cuts and Scrapes

In a roll on, 10 ml Hemp Seed Carrier Oil, 2 drops Blue Yarrow, 2 drops Lavender, 2 drops Helichrysum Italicum


Download Product Template Sheet Here


What is your favorite Oil of the Month and how do you use it?



[1] V. A. Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Novato: New World Library, 2016.
[2] K. &. Bull, Aromatherapy & Subtle Energy Techniques, CreateSpace, 2015.
[3] P. &. Cantele, The complete aromatherapy & essential oils handbook for everyday wellness, Toronto: Robert Rose, 2014.

Essential Oil Education – Myrrh

By: Kimberly Daun, Certified Aromatherapist

Let’s talk about a less common, less understood oil, Myrrh!

Hippocrates revolutionized the medical field during his life in 460-370BC.  He mentions Myrrh more than any other plant in his writings.  This is significant because plants were their primary form of medicine.  Even thousands of years ago is was seen as a precious and useful plant.

Much like obtaining syrup from a maple tree, to get Myrrh the bark of the Commiphora tree is cut.  It oozes out in droplets, is allowed to dry, then scraped off the trunk.  Many people use Myrrh in this raw form.  However, we take it a step further to get the essential oil by steam distilling this hard resin.

For thousands of years, and through present day, Myrrh is used for a wide variety of purposes: rejuvenating the appearance of skin, reducing the perception of pain and inflammation, supporting gum health, and calming the mind.  Here are a few recipes incorporating Myrrh to aid in young, beautiful, vibrant hands and assisting with muscle discomfort.

Moisturizing Hand Cream

Shea butter is very moisturizing  with tons of Vitamin E, making it a great choice to breathe new life into dry hands.  The honey is moisturizing and helps brighten dull skin, all while helping to slow the aging process.  DermiSoothe is ideal for moisturizing and repairing dry skin. I chose Fragonia I because I find the beautiful aroma to be very calming, it is also soothing to sore joints.  Myrrh helps to repair damaged skin.  German Chamomile CO2 helps reduce the signs of aging, smooth skin, and offer relief for sore muscles and joints.  Bergamot helps to brighten the skin making it the perfect final touch for this fabulous cream.

What you’ll need;

What you’ll do;

  • Over a double boiler, on medium, mix and melt together Shea, DermiSoothe, & Honey.
  • Put in fridge until it hardens (about a half hour for me).
  • Whip essential oils into butter.

To use;

A little of this goes a long way so start out with small amounts.

to ease sore muscles or joints, try using this recipe in your cream:

6 drops Black Pepper

5 drops Myrrh

4 drops German Chamomile CO2

3 drops Marjoram


How do you use Myrrh in your home?


Cohen, J. (2011, June 27). A Wise Man’s Cure: Frankincense and Myrrh. Retrieved from History:


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






Getting to Know Your Essential Oils — Part 2

By: Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

Perhaps one of the most frequent questions we receive is “what oil can I substitute” for another oil in a blend? The best answer to this is truly getting to know your essential oils a bit more. So, let’s discuss one way to do that.

By now, you hopefully have read:

  1. The Wonderful Wide World of Aromatherapy; and
  2. Welcome to Essential Education

In the first, we gave you a bit more background that connects us to the world of aromatherapy – the field of natural healing arts which makes use of essential oils and extracts. One does not exist without the other. And, we will expand upon this as we go along.

We, then, introduced the new Essential Education blog series and encouraged you to become more familiar with each of your essential oils. We provided a worksheet to guide you in collecting and processing information about your oils both on paper and through your senses.

So, now, we are going to continue to get to know our oils, but we are going to reverse the process. Rather than starting with the oil, we are going to start with the concerns we wish to support.

Before we continue, I’d like to make a point about natural healing, aromatherapy, and essential oils and the role they play. Let’s go back to the definition of aromatherapy from the Wonderful Wide World of Aromatherapy:

“Aromatherapy is a natural healing practice using the pure and natural concentrated essences from aromatic plants to enhance the wellbeing of mind, body and spirit, support our innate healing process, and improve quality of life.”

 As a natural healing art, aromatherapy is a complement to support your body’s built-in healing mechanisms. This is important to keep in mind when you are thinking about why you want to use essential oils, how to appropriately introduce them into your family’s wellness care, and what you can reasonably expect to achieve.

So, with this in mind, the next step is to inventory your issues for which you would like support and begin to build a list of oils that match that concern.  My suggestion is to start with your top 3-5 primary concerns. You can then compare this list of concerns and supporting oils to the inventory of the essential oils you have on hand (or would like to have on hand) that you created from Welcome to Essential Education. Keep in mind many oils have overlapping and multiple purposes. 

Here is a downloadable and printable worksheet you might like to use as a guide:


Download and Print Worksheet Here


For your basic research for reputable information here are some suggested sources. There are many other good resources, but in the beginning, and for this exercise, let’s keep it simple:

Plant Therapy Website:  usage and safety info is listed for each oil. This information is compiled by Plant Therapy in consultation with  Robert Tisserand who is respected as the foremost expert on essential oil safety.

Safe Essential Oil Recipes: this Facebook group is focused on safe usage information shared by members and Plant Therapy and monitored by Plant Therapy’s certified aromatherapists. This is a closed group, so if you are not already a member, you can request to be added.

Reference Books: Three books I like for the home user, written by long-standing respected authors and leaders in aromatherapy are:

“The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness” by Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele

“The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy(2016, Revised  25th Anniversary Edition) by Valerie Ann Worwood

“Aromatherapy: A Holistic Guide to Natural Healing with Essential Oils” (2015 edition) by Valerie Gennari Cooksley, RN

As you compile your worksheets, you will see that each essential oil has multiple actions affecting mind, body and spirit. And, while some of the key uses of your essential oil choices may overlap, some of the other aspects may not be beneficial for what you are trying to achieve.

Here are some examples:


For discomfort of tight and kinked up muscles in a local area:

Roman chamomile   (chamaemelum nobile)

Body: Strong support for relieving tight muscles

Mind: Relaxing. Excellent in supporting sleep.

Cautions: None known.


Peppermint  (mentha x piperita)

Body: Strong support for relieving tight muscles.

Mind: Stimulating. Excellent for enhancing alertness and sense of energy.

Cautions: Not safe near the faces of children. Not safe during nursing. Maximum dilution of 5% for topical use.


  1. Which would you choose before bedtime?
  2. Which might be helpful for a morning massage?
  3. Which would be safest to use with children?


Ok, so taking the multiple uses of many essential oils a step further, let’s look again at peppermint. But this time, let’s say our concern is digestive distress.


For digestive distress:

Peppermint  (mentha x piperita)

Body: Helps to ease a queasy stomach

Mind: Stimulating. Excellent for enhancing alertness and sense of energy.

Cautions: Not safe near the faces of children. Not safe during nursing. Maximum dilution of 5% for topical use.


Spearmint (mentha spicata)

Body: Helps to ease a queasy stomach.

Mind: Calming and uplifting. Reduces emotional agitation.

Safety Concerns: Max dermal application of 1.7%.


  1. Which would you choose for children?
  2. Which would you choose before bedtime?
  3. Which can you use for a stronger topical application if the above are not concerns?


I hope you find this exercise helpful for focusing on your concerns for which you would like support, getting to know which essential oils can be the most beneficial, and making the best and most appropriate choices based upon your needs.

In our next blog, we will begin to discuss blends based upon what we know so far:

  • How essential oils and aromatherapy support our wellbeing
  • Getting to know our essential oils
  • Choosing the most appropriate essential oils for our concerns

I  look forward to our next Essential Education discussion!



Cooksley, Valerie. Aromatherapy: A Holistic Guide to Natural Healing with Essential Oils. The Woodlands, TX: Floramed, 2015. Print.

Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, & Well Being. San Francisco, CA: Conari, 2013. Print.

Purchon, Nerys, and Lora Cantele. The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness. Toronto, Ontario: Robert Rose, 2014. Print.

Tisserand, Robert, and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety. A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Second ed. N.p.: Churchill Livingstone, 2014. Print.

Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 800 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty, and Safe Home and Work Environments. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016. Print.

Welcome to Essential Education

By: Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

With another new year, we are excited to launch an entirely new blog series! As you may know, we are not only passionate about essential oils, we are passionate about education and educated use.

The mainstream use of essential oils continues to explode. Holy cow, I was in a major, national department store chain over the holidays and ran smack into a display of diffusers and essential oils in the fragrance section as a seasonal offering. Yep! If this iconic store has jumped on the bandwagon (let alone other big box stores), essential oils have reached a new level of exposure.

But, here’s the thing. I feel there is a huge disconnect happening with essential oils from aromatherapy. From  that potent little powerhouse we see as drops from the bottle and the nature of how it got there. And, from safe, appropriate use to anything goes.

When I got started in aromatherapy in the late 1990’s, aromatherapists generally purchased their essential oils from a few, reputable, boutique suppliers. The aromatherapists and suppliers knew their way around the best use of essential oils for their intended therapeutic outcomes.

The few home enthusiasts could find some good solid brands, with a selection of a few oils, at health food stores and places “hippies” hung out. Many times, these supplies were also displayed with featured “how to” books written by reputable leaders in the field.

My very first guide book was “Aromatherapy: A Holistic Guide to Natural Healing with Essential Oils” by Valerie Cooksley, RN who is still widely recognized as an aromatherapy educator and leader today. I still have her book, originally published in 1996, though it is dog-eared, splattered, marked up and has pages falling out.

My new very favorite resource is “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy  — 25th Anniversary Edition,” by Valerie Ann Worwood. The aromatherapy team reviewed this updated and revised version and loved is so very much, Plant Therapy is now offering it through their bookstore (and I made sure my own mom got it).  This is a fantastic guide for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike.

Our aromatherapy team loves sharing our knowledge with you and will continue to do so. As our community continues to grow, and Plant Therapy continues to grow, one thing has become clear. Folks are hungry to learn. We hear you and, as always, we want to be responsive. And, we want to honor that appetite for learning.

And, we believe it is time to get back to basics. Many of you are new, many are home enthusiasts, and many just want to keep expanding your horizons. Having access to safe recipes is a great way to get started. But, many of you want to branch out and grow. And, we want to encourage you to plant a foundation so you feel confident to move from memorization to exploration. To understand the how and why of safe and appropriate use and well as have the confidence to create your own blends.

If you haven’t had a chance to read The Wonderful Wide World of Aromatherapy,” please start with this blog. It is actually the prequel to launching this series and it launched one lucky winner to the opportunity for formal aromatherapy education at the Aromahead Institute.

We realize not everyone has that opportunity, nor may not be ready just yet. We recognize that many in our community are at various levels of their essential oil and aromatherapy journey. We hope each of you finds something essential to your education.

By no means is this meant to be a replacement for formal classes in aromatherapy education, nor reading essential oil educational and reference books, but rather a supportive nudge toward new knowledge with a basis in safe and appropriate use for the home enthusiasts.

So, here is the basis for this blog series. Our intention is to:

  • Discuss how to use essential oils within the wide world of aromatherapy.
  • Distill down some basic, essential education into blogs with bite-sized bits of beneficial information.
  • Instill the confidence to take the next steps in learning from memorization to exploration.
  • Provide a synergy of info from topics such as using specific essential oils, to how to best use them, to simple ways to blend.


Getting to Know Your Essential Oils — Part 1

To get started, the first thing I would like to encourage is simply to get to know your oils. This is an exercise to not only instill confidence and competence, but also to connect us with the nature from which they come rather than the bottle from which they drop.

If you have a large collection, you might wish to start with your top 5 or 10. Or, start with those you with which you are not familiar. You may have some new additions to your collection. Or, you can even go back and test yourself to see what you know and if there is more to learn. But, start with a few at a time.

This may seem overly simplistic at first, but it is the very first thing I do when I get a new oil with which I have little or no experience. And, I have received several lately, so I will be doing this along with you.

You will find attached a printable worksheet as a guide for the basic knowledge for each oil. Even if I have print outs from other sources, the act of writing things down helps the info to stick to my brain. Or, you can use this as inspiration for creating your own worksheet for a binder or your computer files.

Download Printable Worksheet Here


But, just sit with your oils. Don’t worry about blends, or creating. Just be and breathe with them. Get to know them as good and trusted friends. Open the bottle and put a drop on a cotton ball or fragrance test strip.

Get to know their smell, what part of the plant they came from, how they were extracted, and what their best uses are. The worksheet will guide you through the exercise. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers at first. The blanks will show you what you still need to research and learn. You can get basic information from the Plant Therapy website and blogs. And, you can find more detailed information in books by reputable aromatherapy educators such as those listed above.

I hope you  will enjoy creating these inventory worksheets for future reference while you create a deeper relationship with your oils.

In the meantime, I look forward to meeting you back here for next steps in getting to know our oils!

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