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Tag Archives: calming

When the Mind Runs Amok

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

With a new year, many of us start a fresh set of intentions for improving our health and wellbeing. So, we count steps walked and clock miles ran. We count calories and reps at the gym or laps in the pool. And, some of us measure our BMI, numbers on the scale, or the inches around our waist.

But, what about counting our breath?

Wait. What? Why?

Ok, let me back up a bit.

We often put the focus squarely and solely on the measures of our physical health. But, ehnancing our emotional and mental health is just as important.

If you follow my blogs, you know I am an advocate for the mind, body, spirit connection and the impact it has on our wellness. When our whole being is in balance, we can find our own optimal level of wellbeing.

Our best of  intentions for improving our vitality can be overtaken by our lack of attention to our state of mind.  For a balanced equation in measuring our wellbeing, the mind most definitely matters. In fact, it is actually mission control.

 So, what does this have to do with counting our breath?

When, our thoughts and emotions are out of balance, it can create havoc with our overall wellbeing. The good news is we actually have a built-in mechanism to take charge of where our mind travels. Simply counting our breath can help rebalance to our being. Coupling our breaths with an aromatic companion can create an even more enhancing experience.


When the Mind Runs Amok

Many of us, myself included, have a tendency to let our minds run away with us. I think of it as the mind running amok. Sometimes, I begin to worry or feel anxious solely because I am imagining all that can go wrong down to worst-case scenario for things that have yet to happen. This is especially true if I am about to experience change or make a big decision. Instead of focusing on faith that all will be well, I can “what if this, and what if that” myself into feeling fissures of fear.

Now, before I go on, I want to clear up any possible confusion. We aren’t talking about a deep sense of worry or anxiousness from significant situational, physiological to psychological issues.

Situational issues might include life’s major stressors such as divorce, job change or loss, financial change, a move, death or serious illness and so on. Physiological imbalances may include chemical imbalances in the mind and body that affect a healthy state of mind to the point of debilitating anxiousness, worry or sadness. Psychological issues could include PTSD, phobias or other mental, emotional impairments.

I have dealt with all of these, and while there are things I could do to help myself,  I also needed the help of qualified health practitioners in partnership with my self-care.

But, what if outside of those significantly serious scenarios, we have a tendency toward worry? To imagine worse case scenario when it doesn’t necessarily exist? Can we support a happier state of mind through self-care? 

The Short Answer is “Yes.”

Most of us know if we are “worriers.”

Worry is exhausting on all levels of our being and can diminish our ability to be well.

When we begin to remove worry as a constant source of distress, our whole being has the ability to rebalance and replenish. If left in a chronic state, continued distress of the mind leads to stress in the body, which can take a toll on our mental and physical health.



You can read more about this in:

Take a Breath and Cool Your Jets

But, by becoming aware of our worry when we are in the moment,  we can take control and switch our mind from autopilot run amok to a conscious state where we may steer our thoughts to back to slow and steady.

And, we can do this simply with two natural tools when we find our thoughts tail spinning for reasons not based in our current reality.

Are you ready? Here’s what we need:

  • Our own natural breath
  • Aromatherapy as an amazing ally


Calming Your Mind in the Moment:  Counting Your Breath and Aromatic Anchors

Let’s start with deep breaths and aromatic anchors. We can create a positive association in the brain by connecting a supportive affirmation with a soothing scent to make an aromatic anchor. In this way, we can quickly send a message to our mind that all is well when we subsequently smell the same scent again. This is a great practice to have when you find yourself wandering into worry and need to flip the switch.

First, we want to create an affirmation that is calming to us when our mind in a state of calamity. An affirmation is a positive thought used to replace a negative thought stated in the present tense. I like to use “all is well,” for example, but it is important to use what works for you.

We can enhance this experience by creating a practice combining our affirmation with counting deep breaths. When I was a child, and my emotions became stormy, my mom always told me to take deep breaths and count to three. Naturally, our mothers were right because we now know the deliberate act of slow, deep breathing sends signals to the brain to turn off the stressed state.

Next, we can choose an aromatic synergy that is soothing to us and supports the positive state of mind we are seeking. For this practice, I recommend either adding your synergy to a personal aromatherapy inhaler or diffuser jewelry so it can be with you to whiff when needed.

This is how it would work all together.

  • Choose your affirmation to repeat during times of worry
  • Choose your aromatic synergy to help soothe your senses
  • Create a personal inhaler
  • Use the following deep breathing exercise when needed


An Aromatic Deep Breathing Exercise:

  1. Hold the inhaler under one nostril while gently holding the other nostril closed.
  2. Begin to repeat your chosen affirmation to yourself.
  3. Inhale your aromatic synergy gently, deeply, and slowly down into the lungs, feeling your belly expand, to the count of 3.
  4. Hold a moment.
  5. Exhale slowly, through the mouth, to the count of 3.
  6. Repeat on the other side.
  7. Repeat on each side if desired.


 Suggestion for Creating Your Own Synergy

This is one of my all-time favorites for letting go of worry and bringing myself back into balance, especially when I find myself in a heightened state after the fact, or when I become aware of it beginning to bubble up from below:

Add the following to a personal aromatherapy inhaler:

6 drops Geranium Bourbon Pelargonium x asperum

6 drops Neroli Citrus x aurantium

3 drops Orange Sweet Citrus sinensis


Suggestions for Ready Made Synergies

Worry Free – blended to support a relaxed state of mind during times of tension and anxiousness.

Grounded Foundation — helps to soothe, calm and relax when you are feeling distressed by encouraging a sense of safety and security.


Calming Your Mind as as a Practice: Counting Your Breath and Aromatic Meditation

Because thoughts are things that can have real effect on our wellbeing, it is important to learn to drive our own mind, rather than letting it run amok.  This is where meditation can make a great impact.

You read more about the many benefits to our wellbeing in:

M is for Meditation

When we talk about the practice of meditation, it can create a variety of impressions depending on what you’ve heard or experienced. And, for those of us who are worriers, we don’t want the idea of this to be overwhelming.

What we are really talking about is simply a practice of calming the mind and learning to taking control of our thoughts, rather than letting our thoughts control us.

And, this  practice of calming the mind works wonderfully both as a preventive measure and to  be prepared when we become aware of thoughts heading in a wayward direction.

To keep this simple, here we also use the practice of counting the breath and aromatherapy. Here, again, aromatherapy is a great ally by helping to calm the mind, creating a sense of peace, and opening us to a higher state of consciousness.

For meditation, I like to use my diffuser, but you can also use a personal aromatherapy inhaler before you begin.

Seven Simple Steps to Aromatic Meditation

  1. Choose an aromatic blend.
  2. Find a quiet place to practice. Noise canceling ear phones with soothing music may help.
  3. Start your diffuser (for no more than 60 minutes) Or, inhale from your personal aromatherapy inhaler.
  4. Sit in a comfortable position and gently close your eyes.
  5. Simply focus on your natural breath and begin counting each breath.
  6. Thoughts may bubble up.  Just notice them, let them go without emotion or judgement like they are floating on by.
  7. Return to counting your breath.


Suggestions for Creating Your Own Synergy

I like this particular synergy when I am meditating to calm my mind run amok. I find it centering, clarifying and uplifting to support me in seeking a more clear state of mind.

3 drops Grapefruit Pink Citrus x paradisi

1 drop Lemon Citrus x limon

1 drop Buddha Wood Eremophila mitchellii



Suggestions for Ready Made Synergies

Clear Intuition — helps to quiet the conscious mind, encourage introspection and connect to a higher state of consciousness while remaining grounded in peace.

Meditation Synergy Blend — helps to take you into a calmer, more meditative state of mind.


I hope you find these practices combining counting your breath with aromatherapy as a companion helpful in easing your mind when you tend to wander into a state of worry. To truly enhance our overall wellbeing and vitality, it is important to care for our whole being. So, while you are focused on counting your steps to feel more fit, don’t forget to include a practice of counting your breath to create more calm on your journey toward the most fabulous feeling you!

Emilee’s Top 5 Essential Oils

Hi Everyone! My name is Emilee Hughes. I’ve had the privilege of being employed by Plant Therapy for a little over three years now, and have been an Aromatherapist for the past year and a half. You will often see me posting on our Safe Essential Oil Recipe group on Facebook, or you may have worked with me through email. I have a passion for teaching people how to use essential oils safely — especially with their children — and I love having the opportunity to work with all of you!

I married my best friend in July of 2015 and we welcomed our first child in May of 2017. My son is the light of my life and motivates me in everything I do. My favorite hobby is snuggling my cute little love bug, but I also enjoy fishing, kayaking, camping, and hiking. Basically anything that gets me outdoors. When I have a free moment I also enjoy reading, exercising, and cooking. 

Since I’m nursing my little guy, I try to limit my use of essential oils and use them only as needed. I don’t use them daily, but I have found safe ways to continue to implement them in my life. For mothers who are pregnant or nursing, please be sure to check out Pregnancy and Nursing Safety – Part 1 and Part 2 blog series. 

Narrowing down my favorite essential oils was difficult, but it was a fun challenge to take on! Here are my Top 5 essential oils and the reasons why I love them so much.

Neroli Citrus x aurantium, has always held a special place in my heart. Leaving my son for long periods of time can be difficult and I have found that I need a little extra emotional support. Just a quick sniff and the delightful, vibrant scent of Neroli takes me to a happier place. It is one of the most effective essential oils when dealing with grief, nervous tension, and exhaustion. I love to combine it with Sandalwood and Yuzu in my Momma Don’t Worry inhaler blend.

~ Momma Don’t Worry ~

5 drops Sandalwood Australian Santalum spicatum

2 drops Yuzu Citrus x junos

1 drop Neroli Citrus x aurantium

This beautiful blend can be used in an inhaler or diffused. For topical application dilute to 2%.

Next up is Kunzea Kunzea ambigua. For those who haven’t used this oil yet, I would definitely recommend it! My back, shoulders, and arms get seriously overworked from packing around a 19-pound 5-month-old all day. There is nothing like Kunzea to help soothe my sore, aching muscles and help reduce tension. I also love to add it to my facial serums when a pesky blemish pops up, as it helps to soothe redness and reduce swelling.

Many are familiar with the wonderful properties of my next must-have oil,  Helichrysum Helichrysum italicum. It is often used in blends for skin concerns, as it supports healing and helps improve the appearance of imperfections. After having my baby, I was left with a lot of “stretchies” and this essential oil has really helped to reduce the appearance. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my Tiger Stripes! They remind me of the miracle of life and how strong my body is; however, I wouldn’t mind if they were tamed a bit. The lovely, sweet, warm, herbal woodsy scent also helps to tame my mood.

~ Tame The Tiger ~

20 drops Lavender Lavandula angustifolia

14 drops Helichrysum Italicum Helichrysum italicum

10 drops Frankincense Frereana Boswellia frereana

4 drops Sandalwood Australian Santalum spicatum

Dilute to 2% and apply to stretchies. Add 5-8 drops to your diffuser to melt away worries.


Rosalina Melaleuca ericifolia is also a must-have in my collection, especially when the seasons start to change. It gets cold outside, and we become more susceptible to seasonal illness. Rosalina shares some similar properties with Eucalyptus however, it is gentler and safer for children and nursing mothers. When I do come down with a bug, I can’t live without this DIY Vapor Rub!

Last, but certainly not least, is our KidSafe Shield Me synergy. My husband and I are avid fishermen and love the great outdoors. Unfortunately, this leaves us very susceptible to a wide variety of outdoor annoyances. This synergy has come in handy time and time again, and it is perfectly safe for breastfeeding moms. I love to use our DIY Outdoor Wipe recipe for easy application.

Do you use any of Emilee’s Top 5? Let us know your favorite ways to use these oils in the comments below!

Sleep, Glorious Sleep!



2:00 am…2:20 am… 2:47 am ….

There’s nothing worse than experiencing a phase of sleepless nights. Sometimes it goes on for days, sometimes for months or years. There can be many reasons for lack of sleep. Everything from noise, exposure to electronic devices,  hormonal changes, stress, and worry. Whatever the reason, it can be very taxing and even affect your health.

Lack of sleep can cross barriers of cultures, age, and sexes, although research has shown that usually older adults experience it more and a greater number of women suffer from it than men.{1}

Some essential oils can be of help to some for falling asleep; being calming not only to the mind but also to the body. They can quiet busy thoughts and relax tense muscles. One needs to only diffuse a synergy such as Plant Therapy’s Sleep Aid, or Sweet Dreams or Nighty Night to feel your body relaxing and your mind letting go. My personal pick is Tranquil to help me wind down. Sometimes, it just a matter of getting a little extra help to get one to sleep, and then you are able to stay asleep.

Plant Therapy offers several blends formulated with sleep in mind, and there are excellent singles as well. There are so many different choices and I like to experiment with different essential oils in order to find the perfect blend to help me fall asleep and stay asleep. One blend I might diffuse includes Vetiver, Orange Sweet,  Chamomile RomanCedarwood Himalayan, and Frankincense Carteri. I would use amounts similar to this:


Just One Sleep Blend

1 drop of Vetiver Vetiveria zizanoides

2 drop of Orange Sweet Citrus sinensis

1 drop of Chamomile Roman Chamaemelum nobile

3 drops of Cedarwood Himalayan Cedrus deodara

2 drops of Frankincense Carteri Boswellia carteri


Here is a chart that Plant Therapy has put together to help you get some zzzzzs;

Download Sleep Chart HERE :



({1}University of Maryland Medical Center,

What’s the Best Essential Oil for… ? Well, the Truth is…


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 oils 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.



A New Respect for Lavender


If you were on a game show, and they asked, “Name an essential oil.” I am sure that the host would say, “Survey says, Lavender!” Even if people have never used it, they probably have heard of it, or may even know that it is helpful for calming. It is in so many products, like soaps, body washes, shampoos, lotions, candles, ointments, and much more.

I recently had the opportunity to go to a Lavender festival in Washington state. I really don’t need much of an excuse to go near the ocean, but throw in a Lavender festival, and I had it booked 6 months ago! I apparently wasn’t the only one with the idea, for as we drew nearer, it took 2 hours to drive 16 miles. When I saw the first farm and Lavender field, I knew it was all worth it. The beautiful, straight, colorful rows were so overwhelmingly striking. My husband, being the great sport that he is, let me take it all in and patiently waited and listened to me go on and on. I walked through the romantic, perfumed, variegated fields of many varieties and colors and gained a greater appreciation for Lavender. I always valued this versatile essential oil, which was originally used in medieval times to ward off plague and disease (it’s a natural deterrent and kept the fleas at bay), but now I understood. I understood why it’s earned its place in the hearts of essential oil lovers.

Lavender is actually in the same family as mint. There are dozens of varieties of Lavender and it was a surprise to see the assorted colors. Pinks, Whites, Blues and many shades of the well-known Purple. There is even yellow Lavender. The flower heads varied a bit in appearance from variety to variety. The sterile hybrid of Lavender, called Lavandin Lavendula x intermedia is actually what is used for the “Lavender” scent in many products. Lavandin is a cross between true Lavender Lavendula angustifolia and Spike Lavender (Lavendula latifolia).  Lavender Essential Oil has more Esters, which is balancing and calming, and helpful with swelling.  Spike Lavender has more Oxides and also alcohol, which help with congestion, respiratory issues and for fighting seasonal threats. So Lavandin, has the qualities of both. We also have Lavender Fine, which is also Lavendula angustifolia, but a different variety grown in France and has a lovely softer scent.

The size of the plant also varied, from small compact shrubs to large, tall bushes. We toured about 6 farms, and each field was striking and almost as calming to view as the essential oil is itself. At B & B Farms in Sequim, WA, we were told that the biggest problem with growing Lavender, is over-watering and poor drainage.  He mentioned that the essential oil was extracted mostly from the unopened flowers, as this produced the most oil. He talked about that it took about a tote full of tightly compacted Lavender to produce just several ounces of essential oil. We saw as they sickled by hand the bunches of Lavender to be used for drying and how they bundled them and hung them in the barns to dry.

As we smelled that sweet, flowery scent wafting from farm to farm and I couldn’t help but think of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, lying down in the fields of flowers (albeit not Lavender) and going to sleep. I thought of its calming properties, how I have used it to help with muscle or joint pain. That it’s the first thing that I grab for a minor burn or bee sting. How it is good in cleaning products, body products and for skin issues.  It was a wonderful experience for a fan and student of essential oils. I’m grateful that I could go and that I could share it with our customers and Facebook members of our Safe Essential Oil Recipe group. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook old standbys when there are so many new, exciting essential oils coming out.   I feel that Lavender was put here to help us and benefit us and we would do well to learn more about it. I am including a couple of recipes that I hope you will like.


Oil Treatment for Hair

2 drops of Lavender or Lavender Fine

1 drop of Rosemary 1,8-Cineole

1 drop of Cedarwood Virginian

1 ounce of Argan Carrier Oil

Mix well and apply to hair and leave on for 30-60 minutes and then wash out. This can be used on hair once a week.


Muscle and Mind Relaxing Massage Blend

8 drops of Lavender

6 drops of Copaiba

4 drops of Marjoram Sweet

4 drop of Bergamot

2 drops of Chamomile Roman

2 ounce of carrier oil ( I like our Marvelous Massage Carrier Oil Blend)

Blend well and store in a glass or PET plastic bottle.


DIY Vapor Rub

By: Kimberly Daun, Certified Aromatherapist

We have had quite the month of sickness at my house.  First my husband spent 8 days with a cold, then I spent 5 days with it, and now both my 7 and 5 year old’s caught it.  They are coughing, suffering with a need to endlessly blow their noses, and just feeling achy and fatigued.  I typically diffuse for upper respiratory issues however we are in the middle of a move and I  don’t have access to my diffusers.

I remember the relief I got when my mom rubbed vicks on my chest when I was little, instantly helping me breathe a little easier.  Fortunately we are in the days of information, and I know that due to the artificial ingredients and chemicals unsafe for little ones that it isn’t the ideal choice for use with my children. I needed to make a safe alternative!

I’m always searching “how to boost immune system”, to take a multifaceted approach to supporting my kids’ health.  The essential oils I chose are powerful tools if you’re seeking ways to boost your immune system. I wanted to pack as much power in this recipe as possible, carefully choosing each ingredient based on its properties.  My intention was to both, help my sons’ breathe a little easier, and kick this illness as quickly as possible.  I absolutely love that Plant Therapy offers batch specific GC/MS reports so I can choose oils high in the constituents I’m looking for.  The percentages I list are for my bottles of essential oils, and if yours is from a different batch the percentages may vary.  I aimed for something a bit softer and easier to apply than a salve, this is more of an ointment consistency which is exactly what I was hoping for.

Beeswax Pearls is so fabulously versatile and I use it in many recipes primarily to harden whatever I’m making (deodorant, salves, chapstick).  For this recipe, it’s especially helpful to help hold the aroma longer than a carrier oil which quickly absorbs into our skin.  It also has vitamin A which nourishes the skin, and supports a healthy immune system.

Solid coconut oil has a high amount of Lauric Acid which is helpful in supporting a healthy immune system.  Due to having a high comedogenic level (can clog pores) I don’t use it in my facial products, even though it is moisturizing, but with application to the chest, I’m not concerned about clogging pores.

Eucalyptus Dives contains 40-55% piperitone and is a safe alternative to the cineole rich Eucalyptus Globulus or Radiata. It is jam-packed with therapeutic properties and is the perfect KidSafe choice to help stop sniffles, break up phlegm, clear up congestion, ward of seasonal threats, and shorten seasonal illnesses. This essential oil is great for helping my sick ones get better faster, helping my healthy ones stay healthy, and offer respiratory support to help them breathe with ease.

Rosalina has about 42% of the chemical constituent Linalool.  This constituent helps give your immune system a boost, minimize the perception of pain, and help suppress coughing.  It is also helpful at encouraging a restful sleep by calming both the body and mind.  Their coughing seems to increase at night and has caused some issues sleeping so I’m very grateful to have this essential oil to help my boys sleep peacefully.

Cypress has 50% Alpha-pinene which is helpful in warding off seasonal threats and shortening the length of an illness.  It is also helpful at relaxing the lungs and opening the airways to offer optimal oxygen intake, allowing them to take nice, deep breaths.


Vapor Rub

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Over a double boiler melt together the beeswax and coconut oil.
  2. Remove from heat and quickly stir in your essential oils.
  3. Pour into tins.
  4. Allow to cool.
  5. A shelf life of 1 year when stored in a cool and dark place.


4 Tablespoons of Beeswax Pearls = 1 weighed ounce

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil = 1 weighed ounce

*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.

Copyright © 2018 Plant Therapy Essential Oils. All Rights Reserved.