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Essential Oils Blog

Tag Archives: sunshine

September Oil of the Month – Lemon Tea Tree

Get ready to rumble! Plant Therapy’s September Oil of the Month is a fighter. The relatively small tree/bush hails from Australia and grows well in the rainforest as well as on the dry rocky terrain. But it is also a champ because it will be in your corner and help you to feel your best, emotionally and physically.

This contender is best used in a  diffuser blend for a few reasons. It will send an uppercut to seasonal threats and a jab to foul odors as well. It will help you to focus and stay on task. This steam distilled essential oil has constituents that are known to stop some minor respiratory issues in their tracks. In a study at Charles Sturt University, Leptospermum petersonii, when diffused, was helpful in combating several types of organisms that can cause problems throughout the body. (1)

 

 

If you are guessing that this citrusy Australian essential oil is also a worthy opponent against tiny outdoor pests, you are right. You can diffuse for 30 minutes beforehand in the area that you are going to be at, and it will go the distance with these little challengers. You could also instead create a DIY outdoor candle. We’ve provided an easy recipe below for you.

Lemon Tea Tree is a strong oil, so be sure to use in small amounts so as to not irritate your skin. It is not a KidSafe oil. If used topically, we recommend a maximum dilution of 0.7%, which is about only 1 drop of the Lemon Tea Tree to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. Of course, that 1 drop can be used in a blend with other essential oils, preferable non-citrus oils. A blend of essential oils such as Copaiba, Frankincense Frereana and Cypress would be great for sore joints. Whether you decide to apply topically or diffuse,  you’ll want this heavyweight in your corner.

 

Outdoor Candle

What you will need:

What you will do:

  1. Melt beeswax in a double boiler.
  2. Remove wax from heat and stir in Lemon Tea Tree.
  3. Carefully pour hot wax mixture into a canning jar, leaving ¼” space from the rim.
  4. Wrap 1” of the wick around pencil and place wick in wax, balancing dowel on the jar.
  5. Allow to cool.

 

Download Template Product Sheet HERE:

 

Sources:

(1)PubMed.com(2010)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19952013

Reflections of a Summer Lover

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist


Oh happy days are here!

I am a child of summer.  And, my inner child remains happiest in the season of the sun. This I have learned about myself.

Summer is when my spirit feels most buoyant and unbound. Joy is easier to access as it readily bubbles to the surface.

If winter is the hibernal season, and spring is of renewal, for me summer is a  season of sustenance.

Our mind, body and spirits are nourished by the abundance of sunshine and daylight, the refreshing array fresh fruit and vegetables, the heady scent of summer blooms, and the frequency of the dazzling dragonflies. For many, these beautiful, blessed dragonflies — whose magical beauty shimmers under the summer sun —  represent and remind us of the ability to reflect light for the greater good.

I arrived in this world as a native to perpetually sunny Southern California. Though I was born in December, it was as summer-like, bright, 85-degree-day.

Reflecting back, I realize my spirit has always sought the sun  ever since  to find and create summer for my soul wherever I happen to be.

As a child in Southern California there was joyful abandon playing outdoors and walking barefoot in the grass, especially with the heady scent of the orange groves at the end of our street.

Later, I lived by the beach there and spent every summer day of my teen-age years barefoot in the sand and jumping through the waves.

To this day, I prefer my feet unbound to feel more grounded. If I am not barefoot, then flip flops are the footwear of choice. From my perspective, you cannot have too many pairs.

In my early adulthood, I moved to the Midwest for work. That’s when I quickly realized I needed sunlight and warmth to feel vital and nourished. What I had taken for granted, now needed to be recreated. If it was going to take awhile for summer to come to me where I was, then I needed to go in search of  summer.

Winters breaks became tropical getaways to the Caribbean where the season of the sun was only a flight away.  Immediately upon arrival, my whole being was transported by the soft air, shimmering waters, and the sun in the sky. Not only did my body thaw, but any tension I carried immediately melted away.  Breathing in the sea breeze allowed me to clear the clutter in my head, returning back to real life with a sense of renewed clarity.

Later, I moved to New England with shorter winters, but also shorter summers. This meant ensuring that I savored every drop of summer while it was in season. I joined the tradition of spending idyllic long weekends on Cape Cod. Crossing that bridge from the mainland marked the point where I was able to let go of the go-go-go and relax into loafing.

Now, I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Another west coast for sunsets on the sea and walks on the beach framed by turquoise water and white sugar sand.  And, though actual summer  is a swelter, but most of the rest of the year we live in season as if it  is part of our daily life.  My challenge here is taking the time from daily life to enjoy living in paradise.

No matter where you live, and what your experience, you can always create your own summer for the spirit. Aromatherapy offers a natural opportunity to help create that buoyant and relaxed state of mind.   Even when you can’t break away to chase the sun, a sniff of the synergies evoking the sense of summer can transport you instantly to to a mini-break in your own mind’s eye.

For me, the sensory experiences of the summer season call for a switch to scents that are fresher and cooling  such as citrus and mints.

To help you get started, or to inspire you to create your own experiences, I offer below some summer loving synergies curated from my own collection to evoke favorite seasonal memories.

These were created for inhalation purposes to most readily connect with the mind and spirit. I prefer to make these in a personal inhaler to have with me when needed. You may also choose to use your diffuser, with the exception of the Beach Rose synergy because the rose otto 10% is diluted in vegetable oil, which can damage the unit.

 

I wish you an abundance of sun in your spirit!

 

Inner Child

This uplifting and cheerful blend helps restore my joy of the simple life on a sunny day during my childhood in Southern California.

2 drops Grapefruit Pink, Citrus x paradisi

2 drops Mandarin, Citrus reticulata

1 drop Spearmint, Mentha spicata

 

Mental Mojito

This refreshing and revitalizing scent helps when I need that sense of clear -headed clarity created after a Caribbean Vacation. 

3 drops Lime, Citrus x aurantifolia

2 drops Peppermint,  Mentha x piperita

 

Beach Rose  

This soothing scent is evocative of the slow days, sand dunes, and snow cones of Cape Cod where I crossed the bridge into a state of contentment and relaxation.

2 drops Rose Otto (Diluted at 10%)  Rosa damascena 

2 drops Sandalwood Australian, Santalum spicatum

1 drop BergamotCitrus bergamia

 

Sangria Siesta 

(for Inhalation)

This deeply relaxing and uplifting synergy is reflective of the lazy days of a Florida summer calling for loafing on the lanai for rest and reflection.

2 drops Davana, Artemisia pallens

1 drop Lemon, Citrus x limon

1 drop Lime, Citrus x aurantifolia

1 drop Orange SweetCitrus sinensis

The Sunshine State

By: Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

essentialwellbeingheaderimage2


In the midst of a recent tropical storm, spanning several days, I experienced a longing for the usual abundant sunshine to reappear. It’s not the drenching I mind so much. It is the lack of sunlight. A native Californian, my heart is happiest under the warmth and light of eternal summer. After living around the country for more than two decades, when it was time to take the healing of my mind, body and spirit to another level, I was called to return to the sun.

In Summer Solstice for the Spirit, we discussed the impact of harnessing the power of sunlight and aromatherapy to help bring illumination to areas of the spirit in need of deeper healing.

Sunlight also is vitally important to the optimal wellbeing of our body and mind.

Sunny Day Activity Web Size

First, it is necessary to our bodies for the production of Vitamin D. Known as the “Sunshine Vitamin,” Vitamin D provides broad-spectrum support of our wellness regulating at least 1,000 genes impacting virtually every tissue in our body.[1] Researchers now know Vitamin D is not only important for bone health, but also for neuromuscular function, immune function and regulation of inflammation. And, yet, it is believed up to 75% of the population is Vitamin D deficient. [2]

As researchers are looking at the links to our wellness, they are also investigating the balance between over and under exposure. Depending on geographic location and season, sunlight on a summer day “can be 1,000 brighter” than indoor lighting according to researchers.  So, for those who are inside most of the day, it can be important to get outside periodically to experience the health benefits of the sun.[3]

While supplements can help, research suggests between 5 to 30 minutes of sunshine a day, on the face, arms, legs, or back —  at least two to three times  a week — can help maintain naturally occurring adequate levels. Indeed, the Sunshine Vitamin can fill more than 90% of the dose needed by most folks.[4] During these brutally hot summer days on the Gulf Coast, I have been enjoying a daily15-minute walk in the early morning, after the sun has risen and  before the heat index takes hold, to start my day with Sunshine D.

The cycle of the sun also affects the nature of our sleep and wake cycles. When we are exposed to bright sunlight in the morning, we sleep better at night.  This is because our natural rhythm is regulated by melatonin, a hormone produced during the dark hours making us sleepy, then switched off by daylight.

Lack of sleep itself has such a profound impact on our wellness it is deserving of its own discussion in an upcoming blog. Melatonin not only plays an important role in preventing insomnia, it also plays protective role with infection, inflammation and our immune system.[5]

Lack of sunlight can also significantly depress the spirits. Increased production of serotonin, the mood-boosting chemical manufactured in the brain, has been linked to sunnier days. Lack of sunshine, can therefore, lead to depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), especially in the winter months when there is less daylight. [6]

Researchers are also looking into links between Vitamin D deficiency and mood disorders such as depression and SAD.[7] There are many options for mood boosting therapies including lifestyle changes, light therapy, exercise, mind/body techniques such as yoga or meditation, supplements and medications. As with any form of depression, if SAD is significantly impacting your wellbeing, it is important to see your healthcare practitioner.[8]

So, here I sat on the other West Coast, the Gulf Coast of Florida, waiting for the sunshine to return as the skies continued to soak us in an unrelenting few days of darkness. What could I gather from these rare days of gloom? A few things emerged.  First, on dark days it is important to support our mood, whether the lack of light comes from our outer environment, or from within.  And, time slowed down by the storm allowed space for inspiration and creativity — a gift away from the day-to-day busyness. What better time to create some mood boosting aromatherapy blends?

Aromatherapy, of course, is an ideally supportive companion for helping to lift our mood, most especially through inhalation. Once smelled, the constituents from essential oils travel immediately and directly to the limbic system of our brain where mood and emotions are processed and stored. Many essential oils have been historically used just for this purpose, most especially citrus oils.

Here are a few of my favorite blends to get you started. These are proportioned for a diffuser. They may also be tripled for a personal inhaler.

Sunshine State

2 drops bergamot

2 drops lime

1 drop lemon

 Supports happy mood and positive outlook.

 

Sunny Side Up

 2 drops lime

2 drops spearmint

1 drop bergamot

 A happy, uplifting and mentally clearing blend.

 

Inner Child

 2 drops grapefruit

2 drops mandarin

1 drop spearmint

Lifts the spirits with child-like joy and optimism.

Finally, as I finish this blog, the days of abundant sunshine have reappeared, along with my normally sunny mood. I took my early morning walk and I am writing near a window that allows for abundant natural light to fill the room. But, during monsoon season here in the summer, I am prepared for the next time the gloom strikes down the sun and my mood.


Sources:

[1] Mead, M. Nathanial. “Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health.” Environmental Health Perspectives. U.S. Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Apr. 2008. Web. July 5.

[2] “Vitamin D: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.” National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 9 June 2016.

[3] Mead, M. Nathanial. “Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health.” Environmental Health Perspectives. U.S. Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Apr. 2008. Web. July 5.

[4] Penckofer, Sue, Joanne Kouba, Mary Byrn, and Carol Estwing Ferrans. “Vitamin D and Depression: Where Is All the Sunshine?” Issues in Mental Health Nursing. U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2010. Web. 05 July 2016.

[5] Mead, M. Nathanial. “Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health.” Environmental Health Perspectives. U.S. Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Apr. 2008. Web. July 5.

[6] “Unraveling the Sun’s Role in Depression.” WebMD. WebMD, 5 Dec. 2002. Web. 09 June 2016.

[7] Penckofer, Sue, Joanne Kouba, Mary Byrn, and Carol Estwing Ferrans. “Vitamin D and Depression: Where Is All the Sunshine?” Issues in Mental Health Nursing. U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2010. Web. 05 July 2016.

[8] “Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 12 Sept. 2014. Web. 12 July 2016.

 


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