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.
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.
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.
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!
There’s nothing worse than sleepless nights. Sometimes it goes on for days, sometimes for months or years. But no matter how long it lasts, it’s miserable.
There are tons of reasons for lack of sleep. Noise, exposure to electronic devices, hormone changes, stress, or worry: Take your pick. And whatever the reason, not sleeping can seriously affect your health.
Essential oils can promote relaxation, helping with falling asleep.
Calming not only to the mind but also to the body, these oils can help to quiet intrusive thoughts, and relax tense muscles, promoting sleep. Plant Therapy has some great synergies just for this purpose.
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. What might work for one, might not work for another. That is to say, although some specific essential or blends have been successful inhelpingmany, 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 Leafwould 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.
Someone may say to me, “That essential oil doesn’t work.”
I may smile just a bit, as I ponder that all of Plant Therapy’s essential oilsare 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. 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. 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.
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. Not that I 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 understand. I understand why it has 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.
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 Pearlsis 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. Needless to say, I’m very grateful to have this essential oil to help my boys sleep peacefully.
Cypresshas 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. This offers optimal oxygen intake, allowing them to take nice, deep breaths.