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Essential Oils Blog

Tag Archives: wellbeing

When Life Gives You Elevens

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist


Almost exactly two years ago, this happened.

I got in the car, turned it on and this was the odometer exactly. I could have missed it, or I could have been driving. But, that wasn’t the case. I believe the image was there to get my attention.

Up until this point, I had been seeking answers about certain life situations, but I had been spinning a bit.

The opportunity of witnessing the odometer turn to a perfect 100,000 hit me like a ton of bricks. My immediate thought was “what am I supposed to know from this?” You see, I don’t believe in coincidences. I do believe in messages. More on that in a moment.

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Millie On My Mind

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist


Meet Miss Millie!

In honor of National Pet Day, observed annually on April 11, I wanted to introduce you to my new companion, The Magnificent Miss Millie!

We commemorate National Pet Day by celebrating our love for our furry friends. Just as importantly, this day was created to bring awareness to potential pets in need through rescue or adoption, or by bringing assistance to a loved one with a pet who may be suffering from illness or financial setbacks. [1]

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The Ultimate Guide to Allergies and Essential Oils

Allergies happen, and they’re not fun.

You’re not alone! 40-60 million Americans suffer from allergies every year.

Allergies affect everyone differently, ranging from mild sniffles to severe breathing issues and constant itching.

We’ve all been there: When it feels like your eyes just won’t stop watering, or you’ll never stop sneezing. Why even bother wearing makeup when you have to blow your nose every 30 seconds?

We’ve put together a definitive guide to allergies and essential oils to help you out:

 

What’s an allergy, and what causes them?

Allergies are an abnormal reaction to an otherwise harmless substance, like animal dander, pollen, mold, or certain foods.  An allergy sufferer’s immune system identifies these things as being bad for the body, even when they’re not.

Allergy symptoms are different for everyone,  ranging from minor irritation (sniffles and itching) to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening emergency (in other words, really, really bad news). While most allergies have no true “cure,” there are ways to ease the symptoms associated with them.

 

How can essential oils help minimize the effects of this seasonal threat?

Essential oils are super concentrated, aromatic liquids extracted from different parts of plant known to help ease symptoms associated with many different issues. Essential oils are also an excellent choice to help ease symptoms associated with allergies, plus they’re a safe (and all-natural) option.

Used for both healing and aromatic benefits, essential oils can help ease symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.

 

Ways to utilize essential oils to support respiratory relief include:

 

These are our top 5 best essential oils for symptom relief:

Our team of Plant Therapy Certified Aromatherapists have nailed down the the top 5 essential oils that help ease symptoms associated with seasonal allergies:

 

There are several ways these Essential Oils can help:

Get on-the-go relief: Personal inhalers are great little tools that you can keep in your pocket or purse. They can go almost anywhere with you, and last for 3-4 months once you’ve mixed them. Perfect for pollen season!

Here’s how to mix your Essential Oils for a personal inhaler:

  1. You’ll need empty personal inhalers, with cotton wicks. Place the wicks in a small glass bowl.
  2. Add 6-8 drops of one of the top five essential oils listed above.
  3. Gently roll the wick through the oil, making sure it is all gets absorbed.
  4. Place the wick into the inhaler and snap the end cap into place.

Get relief at home: Try using one of the top five essential oils listed above in your diffuser at home. 6-8 drops diffused for about 60 minutes will not only make you whole house smell great, but also gives you relief from the respiratory discomfort.

All of the above essential oils are also KidSafe! Which means your whole household benefits, not just the grown-ups.

Get instant relief with a face steam: Use one drop of Fir Needle in a very warm (not boiling!) bowl of water. Position your head over the bowl and cover with a towel for 5 minutes, keeping your eyes closed.

Breath deeply, and let the aroma of Fir Needle penetrate into your lungs.

TIP: Don’t use this technique with small children, and take care to avoid burning yourself with the warm water.

 

Synergies to support overall respiratory health:

Another great option to help during this time are our 2 synergies created to help with seasonal pollen threats.

Adults can use both synergies, but Clear Again is not KidSafe and not recommended for children under the age of 10.

Use these synergies in a personal inhaler, in your favorite Plant Therapy aromatherapy diffuser, or a diffuser locket.

You can also apply Sneezy Stop to the chest or neck, when diluted at a 1-3% with your favorite carrier oil. And Clear Again when diluted at a 3-5% ratio. This method is great for night time, and lets the oil do it’s work while you sleep.

 

From Surviving to Thriving with the Power of Essential Oils

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist


If you’ve followed my blogs, you are likely familiar with my backstory. Unhappily successful executive desperately wants to jump off the rapidly racing treadmill, is too afraid, and literally and figuratively gets run off the road in a life-threatening, life-altering blink-of-an-eye moment. Wakes up, literally and figuratively, to a new reality of re-learning how to move more step-wise through life in search of restoration and revitalization.

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5 Natural Ways to Manage Stress

Natural stress relief is possible with aromatherapy.

As we continue on this pathway toward a new, better you, one resolution that many people are making is: Manage stress better.

This subject can seem a little daunting to talk about because there are so many coping techniques — and what works for one, might not work for others. But hopefully this article will help you learn which essential oils and techniques, together, can help you manage stress and become a better you.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Stress occurs when you perceive that demands placed on you — such as work, school or relationships — exceed your ability to cope. Some stress can be beneficial at times, producing a boost that provides the drive and energy to help people get through situations like exams or work deadlines. However, an extreme amount of stress can have health consequences, affecting the immune, cardiovascular and neuroendocrine and central nervous systems, and take a severe emotional toll”.(2)

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Essential Oil Well-being: Be Gentle, Be Generous, Be Grateful

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

Essential well-being. Where mind, body, and spirit meet aromatherapy.


Essential Wellbeing: Where mind, body and spirit meet aromatherapy.

As you may know, from reading my previous blogs, the catalyst for my own healing journey started with a traumatic injury. I mention this here because, in retrospect, there is actually a prequel to that moment in time.

Prior to the accident, I did not live a healthy life. I lived the idea of the “American Dream.” Marriage, dream house, well-educated, big job, nice car, travel to amazing places. Regardless of what it took for me, and what it took out of me, I persisted in how life was “meant to be.”

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Essential Oils for Better Sleep

Thankfully, there are several all-natural ways to improve your sleep, so if you are really serious about getting more quality snooze time, try these suggestions.How did you sleep last night?

This simple question may not be something you think about, but perhaps you should. According to findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1), more than one-third of Americans are sleep-deprived, meaning millions of groggy people are struggling to pull themselves out of bed every day. There’s a good reason why the energy drink industry is an explosive multi-billion dollar business! Fatigue during the day can cause potentially hazardous outcomes, especially when driving drowsy, and those caffeinated drinks are immediate stimulates. But it’s important to remember they are only brief quick-fixes for the very serious problem of sleep deprivation.

Regularly skimping on deep rest can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and other metabolic diseases. When feelings of excessive sleepiness begin, it is often accompanied with irritability and overactive emotions. Sleep deprivation can cause cognitive problems, such as difficulty focusing, slowed speech, impaired memory, and an inability to concentrate.

Sleep like a baby again

Most of us learn about the importance of quality sleep when we are young; however, as adults, those recommended 7 to 8 hours of snoozing become so elusive. With all the daily to-dos, demands from work, home, or school, sleep tends to get pushed aside. For whatever reason, something so critical to our health and well-being falls off our list of priorities, and our bodies respond immediately. A good night’s rest isn’t just good for your energy level the next day — when asleep, our bodies are hard at work repairing, replenishing, and replacing cells, while also releasing growth hormones to rebuild muscles and joints.

Unfortunately, regularly getting a full night of restful sleep is a lot easier said than done. And if your nighttime routine has been inconsistent, it may take a while to re-train your body (see aromatherapist Ellen Brenner’s Slipping Into Slumber article to learn how).

Prescription and over-the-counter sleep medications usually have a pretty long list of side-effects. Some can become addictive, and over time drugs may impair cognitive abilities.

Thankfully, there are several all-natural ways to improve your sleep. So if you are really serious about getting more quality snooze time, try these suggestions:
  1. Using essential oils for a good night’s rest is an all-natural alternative worth trying. Plant Therapy offers a variety of synergy blends and single oils to fit your needs. Using Relax Synergy is a great way to promote a peaceful, tranquil state of mind and wind down after a stressful day.  Sleep Aid Synergy was specially designed by our Certified Aromatherapists to help calm your mind and body into relaxation before going to bed. If you have children in your home, consider trying KidSafe Nighty Night Synergy, which promotes a calming and peaceful atmosphere to help safely lull your little ones — and you! — into a deep and restful sleep. Single oils, such as Lavender, Mandarin, Vetiver, and Rose Absolute are known for their relaxing and balancing properties, making them perfect additions to your bedtime routine. Remember, everyone is made up a little differently; what helps you fall and stay asleep may be different than someone else. So don’t be afraid to try different essential oils to learn what works best for you.
  2. Add some daily exercise into your schedule! Don’t fret over what time is “best” to get your workout in — just do it! People who work out regularly sleep better and longer than those who don’t. Set aside time in your day to get your heart rate up, join a HIIT program, or sign up for yoga.
  3. Limit your screen time before bed. TVs. Computers. Phones. Tablets. These are all brain stimulates that can make it challenging to fall asleep if you use them too close to bedtime. The light emitted from electronics promotes wakefulness and inhibit the release of your body’s sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Many electronic devices have an option to reduce their output of blue light by using warmer colors to the light up the screen. This causes less restlessness before bedtime if you absolutely have to have an electronic device on.
  4. Assess your sleep space. Is your bedroom always a mess? Is it too cold or too warm? Does your mattress cause you to wake up with a sore back? The environment you sleep in seriously impacts your ability to snooze well. Look around your room and see where you can make improvements. While buying a new mattress may not be in your budget right now, quick changes like decluttering your room or adjusting the thermostat will create a more ideal sleep space.
  5. Eat and drink lightly before bed. Eating too much food before sleeping can overload your digestive system, affecting how well you are able to sleep. Try to finish eating at least one hour before you head off to bed. Stop drinking about two hours before bed to lower the odds of getting up in the middle of the night. Waking in the middle of the night when nature calls can make it hard to fall back asleep quickly.

Don’t let sleeplessness control your life! Regularly getting a full night of restful slumber is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. Making small adjustments to your evening routine can make huge positive changes for your health. We hope you consider adding some aromatherapy into your nighttime environment to really settle down and get the rest you deserve!

We want to hear from you! What are your tips and tricks for getting a good night’s rest? Share in the comments below. Maybe something you share will help someone else — after all, we at Plant Therapy are here to support one another on our well-being journeys!

References: (1) https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/

When You Have a Case of the Mondays

Start your week off on the right foot, beat the Monday Blues, and achieve your weekly goals. Let’s face it:  Sometimes the biggest threat to achieving our personal goals is the momentum-blocker known as Monday. It’s the dreaded day after the delightful weekend, and we can often feel uninspired, cranky, or tired. We all know how it feels to have “a case of the Mondays.” Symptoms of this may include:

  • Bad mood
  • Sense of Restlessness
  • A lack of motivation
  • Tiredness
  • A longing for the upcoming weekend
  • Not feeling like you can face the long week ahead
What can we do to beat back the Monday Blues?

Stay on top of these symptoms with essential oils! Plant Therapy’s Blues Buster Synergy is a great option to help ease these symptoms. Here are several ideas that incorporate essential oils to help you come out on top when you have a case of the Mondays:

Start a New Monday Morning Routine

Why not incorporate a new Monday routine into your life? A great way to start your morning to help ease a case of the Mondays is to diffuse an uplifting scent in your aromatherapy diffuser. Blues Buster synergy is an uplifting, bright aroma. Plant Therapy’s team of certified aromatherapists formulated it to increase your sensory and emotional well-being. Starting your Monday off with this aroma will help get your week started on the right foot, so that you can charge into the workweek with a positive mindset.

“Never Miss a Monday”

This is a common phrase thrown around social media, referring to the mantra of never skipping a Monday workout. But you can use this mantra to make sure you look at Monday from a different perspective.

Never missing a Monday can mean:

  • Always set aside time for yourself to work on personal development and growth.
  • Make time for family.
  • Set aside “me time” to focus on something you enjoy, i.e. reading a book, watching your favorite show, cooking something new, etc.

Add Blues Buster to your personal aromatherapy inhaler and sniff before you start the activity. That way, the aroma will be linked to your Monday activity.

Sleep

Making sure you get a good night’s rest on Sunday night can help your Mondays not seem as daunting. About an hour before bedtime, add Relax Synergy to your favorite body care product and rub on the shoulders. This relaxing massage method will help ease the tension from the day, which will promote a relaxed state and help you unwind after a busy weekend.

Count Your Blessings

Take a moment out of your Monday, add Blues Busters to your personal inhaler or diffuser, inhale, and start counting your blessings. What are you thankful for and what are some positive aspects in your life? With the combination of a mood-enhancing aroma and positive thinking, your “case of the Mondays” will soon disappear as you focus on what you are thankful for.

The Monday blahs can seem like a looming giant, but being proactive with some of these ideas, combined with essential oils like Blues Buster, you can turn Monday into your favorite day of the week! Start your week off right, and make Monday a day to look forward to.

What techniques do you use to break the Monday Blues? Tell us in the comments below! You never know, a suggestion you share may make a huge difference in another reader’s life. We’re all in this together!

Can Essential Oils Help Me Lose Weight?

Aromatherapy, along with a healthy diet and exercise, can help you lose weight.
Aromatherapy, along with a healthy diet and exercise, can help with weight loss.
Can Essential Oils Help Me Lose Weight?

This is a good question, and the answer may surprise you.

Humans have a keen sense of smell. Scientists know that when we are hungry, our bodies boost the performance of our sense of smell in order to improve our chances of finding food (1). This is a survival mechanism. When we are hungry, food smells and tastes amazing, leading to the easy conclusion that if we let ourselves get too hungry, we are very likely to overeat.

Scientific research shows that we prefer sweet smells, and that strongly sweet scents such as chocolate often triggers feelings of hunger and leads to overeating or binge eating, while “neutral” sweet smells actually curbs appetite. A scientific study asked 3,193 overweight people (mostly women) aged 18-64 to inhale a variety of what was considered neutral sweet smells: banana, green apple, vanilla, and peppermint, three times in each nostril whenever they were hungry. After six months, the participants lost an average of five pounds per month (2).

Diffusing the right essential oils can help curb appetite, and assist you to lose weight.
Diffusing the right essential oils can help curb appetite, and assist you to lose weight.

It makes sense that smell plays a large part in our hunger cues. If humans’ olfactory systems become enhanced when hungry, it is reasonable to believe that suppressing smell may decrease appetite.

In consideration of essential oils, inhalation is the single most effective way to receive their benefits. When aromas reach the olfactory bulb, they not only trigger the limbic system (emotional center), it triggers your hypothalamus, too. The hypothalamus is the portion of your brain that is connected to satiety. Odor molecules actually inform your brain that you have eaten enough and you are full. You see, it is not only our stomach that dictates our hunger!

Therefore, specific essential oils can be used in an inhaler to curb our food cravings. We know based on the above study that certain smells work better than others; but remember, we are not all the same, so personal experimentation may be in order. One thing is for sure: The aromas of essential oils can definitely play a role in weight loss through curbing cravings.

For this cause, Plant Therapy’s team of Certified Aromatherapists created Munchy Stop Synergy (reformulated in late 2017). We designed this blend to help manage hunger cravings, promote healthy eating habits, and help reduce the desire to snack between meals.

Munchy Stop blends the 100% pure, undiluted essential oils of Copaiba, Grapefruit Pink, Tumeric CO2, Lemon Myrtle, and Yuzu.

Here are 5 more single oils that can help you along your weight loss journey:

Peppermint can boost energy levels, which can help maximize your workouts. Not to mention, its soothing properties can help soothe sore muscles after exercise.

Lemon is also a stimulating oil. It promotes a positive mood, which will keep you in a positive mindset.

Lavender and Bergamot are calming, relaxing oils. Over-stressed people tend to overeat, or eat unhealthily. Naturally, if you can lower your stress level, you can better avoid stress-eating (also known as emotional eating).

Grapefruit Pink, diluted to 1% in a carrier oil, can be applied topically to the abdomen to aid with digestive upset.

We hope that this clears up any questions you had in regards to using essential oils for weight loss. If you have any further questions or need clarification, please comment below or reach out to one of our on-staff aromatherapists:  aromatherapist@planttherapy.com.

References

(1) Scent and how it affects appetite and satisfaction. Retrieved from: https://www.escoffieronline.com/scent-and-how-it-affects-appetite-and-satisfaction/

(2) Hirsch, A.R., Gomez, R. (1995) Weight reduction through inhalation of odorants. J Neurol Orthopedic Medical Surgery. 16:28-31

Get a Natural Energy Boost with Essential Oils

Plant Therapy's New Year New You Set

Welcome to the new year! If you’ve decided to make some resolutions, we here at Plant Therapy want to help you keep those promises you made yourself. Want to run a marathon or follow through with a new exercise plan? Want to maximize your productivity at work or at home? How about dedicating more play time with the kids after a long day at work?

Those are great goals, but they require a certain ingredient for success:  Energy!

Instead of reaching for that second or third cup of coffee, try reaching for an essential oil instead. Use energizing oils to lift you out of midday grogginess, motivate you to get to the gym, or simply to fight off fatigue and make the most of your day.

Use Energy Synergy to get a boost of natural energy. Energy Synergy

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the unique blend of essential oils our amazing team of Certified Aromatherapists have developed to make Energy Synergy. This stimulating blend is a sure-fire way to add some pep in your step. The uplifting oils of Orange Blood and Geranium Egyptian help to ease away tension from daily stress and balance emotions; Peppermint and Lemon add an energizing burst that keeps you alert and focused; Ginger Root and Eucalyptus Globulus bring warmth and healthy circulation to revitalize your mind and body.

Use Energy Synergy to help you stick with your New Year’s Resolutions and super-charge your day!

Single Oils for Energy

Now, as great as our Energy Synergy is, you don’t want to forget about all the amazing single oils that can help boost you out of a low energy slump! Use them alone or try your hand at mixing up your very own blend! If you need some help figuring out what works well together, visit that oil’s product page for a list of suggestions.

First, Peppermint (and Organic Peppermint). You know it and you love it. Fresh, cool, and unmistakable, this popular essential oil will invigorate your mind and body.

Balm Mint Bush is highly uplifting and intensely refreshing. Its aroma differs from Peppermint because of its crisp eucalyptus notes, which is ideal for an energizing burst.

Speaking of which, Eucalyptus Globulus is another fantastic choice to lift your spirits and focus your mind. It also brings warmth to the body and promotes healthy circulation; when your body feels good, it responds with elevated energy levels.

The spicy oils of Cardamom and Black Pepper (and Organic Black Pepper) are also warming, stimulating and uplifting. Great for an energizing burst.

Additionally, citrus oils are powerful energy boosters. Both Lemon and Grapefruit oils (including Organic Lemon and Organic Grapefruit) have energizing, crisp, and uplifting scents that work as immediate stimulates.  A quick inhale of either will give you a burst of mental clarity — they’re known to be very effective mood-boosters, too.

Last but not least, give Yuzu a try. Zesty and refreshing, this is a mood-lifter and great energy booster.

Now we know which essential oils to use for a burst of energy. But what are the best ways to use them?

Energy Synergy is a natural way to boost your energy. ~DIY Recipe: Energizing Shower Disc~
What You’ll Need:

What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • you won’t add essential oils until you’re ready to use them, after baking

What you’ll do:

  1. Mix baking soda and water to form a thick paste
  2. Press into silicon mold of your choice
  3. Bake at 200 degree for 30 minutes
  4. Shut off oven, allow to cool
  5. Then move to counter and allow mold to sit overnight
  6. Un-mold after 24 hours
  7. Store in airtight container

To use, place on the back of the shower floor, not directly under water spray but close enough that some water hits it. Note that these are PLAIN and you can customize them by adding 5-8 drops of the essential oil of your choice (Energyfor the morning, Sniffle Stopper for a younger child with a cold, etc) They are pretty and functional!

 

Personal Aromatherapy Inhalers Try a personal Aromatherapy Inhaler. They are compact and convenient. Carry an energy boost wherever you go for an instant pick-me-up.

Or, try Diffuse on the Move, the portable, compact travel diffuser that allows you to enjoy your oils anywhere there’s a standard USB or 12V port. Use it in your car on the way to work or the gym.

We want to hear from you! Which essential oils give you energy? How do you use essential oils in your everyday life? Share in the comments below!
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