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Aromatherapy: Essential Oils Cleaning Spray

Essential Oil Cleaning sprayBrilliant leaves, crisp apples, and chilly temperatures herald the coming of fall and winter. Unfortunately, red leavesalong with the changing of the season also comes exposure to colds and flu. Let’s be proactive and explore some ways we can stay as healthy as possible during the next few months. In my next few posts, I’ll explore how aromatherapy and herbs can support us through the fall and winter.

One of the most basic things we can do to fight nasty bugs is to keep our homes clean. I know, it’s a battle, especially with children in and out of the house, but here’s an essential oil cleaning solution that will help you quickly mop up messes and leave a lovely aroma behind. No chemically smell here.

Aromatherapy Spray Cleaning Solution

Keeping your home clean can help prevent the spread of germs that make us sick. Perhaps you love using essential oils in creams and for inhalation, but haven’t considered using them while cleaning. Well, with the antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties of

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the main therapeutic actions of each oil as it pertains to cleaning (I’m not covering all their properties, e.g. for healing or emotional issues, just cleaning). Historically, these oils have been known for the following properties:

  • Eucalyptus: antibacterial, antiviral
  • Lavender: antibiotic, antiseptic
  • Lemongrass: antibacterial, anti fungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral
  • Rose geranium: antibacterial, antifungal
  • Tea tree : antibacterial, anti fungal, antimicrobial, antiviral

By no means does this cover all of the EOs that would be useful in a cleaning solution. This one includes some of my favorites. How about you? Have you concocted a cleaning recipe that works wonders for you? Let us know about it in the comment section.

Here’s to a healthy fall and winter!

Aromatherapy for Cleaning: Spray Solution
Author: 
Recipe type: cleaning
Serves: The synergy yields enough for 4 14-oz spray bottles.
 

Use this lovely-scented spray for general cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom.
Ingredients
  • Eucalyptus (radiate or globulus is fine) 5 drops
  • Geranium 6 drops
  • Lavender 9 drops
  • Lemongrass 7 drops
  • Tea Tree 6 drops
  • 14 oz of filtered water

Instructions
  1. Mix this synergy of essential oils and store in a colored, glass bottle.
  2. Fill a spray bottle with 16 oz of water and add 8 drops of the synergy to the bottle.
  3. Shake well before spraying.
  4. Keep out of reach of children.

 

 

 

 




5 Ways To Use Essential Oils for Relaxation

Aromatherapy, stress,If you’re human, you’ve been stressed. Whether it’s an accumulation of little irritants or an unexpected tragedy, stress has reared its ugly head in your life. It’s no respecter of persons. Almost every age group is vulnerable to certain stressors.The question is, How do you handle it?

Does it rule your life, or do you take measures to combat it? I’m hoping it’s the latter, because I’ve got some suggestions of essential oils for relaxation.

You probably already know that short- and long-term stress affect bodily functions such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, digestion, adrenal production, and neurological processes. Short-term stress can actually help us to react quickly in fight-or-flight situations. Long-term stress, however, can be detrimental to our health if not handled properly. So let’s cover some general tips and then explore aromatherapy for stress relief.

General Tips to Handling Stress

  • Energize with Exercise. If you’re feeling revved up, destress with a physical activity. Three of my favorites are Nordic pole walking, cycling, and paddle boarding. Find what you like and get out there  and move, as long as you’re healthy enough for physical activity. Check with your doctor if there’s any question.
  • Add dietary and botanical supplements. Taking a multivitamin may help compensate for any shortfalls in your diet. I like to take a natural foods-based supplement.
  • Eat healthier. Cut down on sugar and eat more leafy greens and other fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Calm Your Spirit. I like to read scripture, memorize Bible verses, and pray to help me calm down. Deep breathing exercises also help to slow down your body and mind.

Essential Oils for Stress Relief

In the late 1960s, Herbert Benson, MD, found a counterbalancing effect to the stress response called the relaxation response.

Aromatherapy is one technique that can be used to elicit the relaxation response. This can help bring about many positive changes in the body, including reduction of blood pressure, slowing of heart rate, increased production of endorphins, and improved insulin response just to name a few things. So now let’s look at five different ways you can use aromatherapy to help alleviate stress:

Five Methods of Aromatherapy Application

  1. aromatherapy inhalerAromatherapy Inhaler — An inhaler is a small plastic bullet-shaped container with a cotton center infused with essential oils. Aromatherapists make these for all different purposes, including stress, allergies, and colds. I love inhalers as they easily fit in your pocket or purse. When you feel the need, just whip it out and take a whiff. They are quick, convenient, and last for months.
  2. Essential Oil Salt Baths — If you don’t have a tub in your home, no worries. Anyone can do a foot or hand salt bath and still get wonderful results. I, unfortunately, am in the no-bathtub club, so I purchased a large bowl and I use that. A current favorite of mine is a lemongrass and tea tree oil foot bath (recipe on link) with Epsom salts (or sea salts). Lavender is another favorite. *Caution: People with high blood pressure or diabetes need to consult their doctor before using salt baths.
  3. Diffusors — Diffusing essential oils with an ultrasonic or nebulizer-type diffuser is a wonderful way to quickly absorb the benefits of essential oils. Rather than letting it run continuously, try running it for about 15 minutes out of every hour. If you don’t have a diffusor, put a few drops in a bowl of warm water and set it in a place where neither children nor pets can get into it.
  4. Direct palm inhalation — In this method, put a drop of essential oil in the palm of yLavender creamour hand, rub both hands together, and inhale the fragrance. I like to use lavender for this, since it is safe to use undiluted.
  5. Massage with essential oils diluted in oil, cream, or salve — One of my favorite ways to use lavender is in an essential oil cream that I quickly make using an unscented pre-made aloe cream. I apply this after showering and enjoy the delightful scent for the next few hours. You can also try any of the other oils I have listed below or a synergy of a few of them. When you’re creating a blend for stress, it’s important that you like the smell, because even if an oil is know for it’s stress-reducing properties, if you don’t like its smell, it will most likely make you feel more stressed.

Here are a few essential oils for stress that have used historically: bergamot, lavender, Roman chamomile, marjoram, ylang ylang, geranium, jasmine, rose, vetiver, and cypress. This list is by no means comprehensive, just some to get you started.

Try any or all of the above suggestions the next time you’re feeling stressed, and please share any suggestions you have in the comments below! If you’d like me to create a blend for you, please contact me or check out my workshops for hands-on creation of your own products.

 

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Quick Essential Oil Body Creams

Lavender body creams, lavender essential oilAs an aromatherapist, I love experimenting with making body creams and body lotions from scratch. It’s fun adding herbal oils I have infused myself and experimenting with different butters, herbs, and essential oils to get that perfect blend and product.

Sometimes, however, I don’t have the time to make a luscious body lotion from the beginning to end. I need a quick product that will mix up in minutes but still have the healing properties and lovely scent I want. I’d like to share with you my go-to cream that I use when I don’t have time to make one and then show you how easy it is to customize it to your liking.

Favorite Body Cream

Find an unscented cream that you like and keep a supply of it on hand to use for blending with essential oils. My favorite is called ABC Cream (you can click on the link to purchase a jar of it from my online store). You may already have one of your own that you like.

Take the clean, empty jar and fill it half-way with the body cream. Now, decide which essential oil(s) to DSC_6718use. You can choose your EO based solely on its scent, by its purpose, or a combination of both. For example, if you love the smell of lavender, then you may choose lavender because of its fragrance. If, however, you have a certain purpose in mind for your cream, then you will want to choose an EO based on its historical therapeutic properties. You may also create a blend of about three to five oils. Each of the oils enhances the effect of the other. If you are blending for fragrance, open each vial you are considering for a blend and carefully hold all of them under your nose, wafting the fragrance so you can see if it’s pleasing to you.

Here’s a chart of some of my favorite essential oils to help you choose. Of course, there are many others to explore as well.

Essential Oils
Essential Oil  Benefits
Bergamont  Antidepressant; uplifting; phototoxic, so use sunscreen
Clary Sage Women’s Oil; antispasmodic; PMS; cramps; mood swings
Eucalyptus Affinity with the respiratory system; expectorant; antimicrobial
Frankincense Analgesic; anti-inflammatory; anti-microbial; stress; immune enhancer; irritated skin; mature skin
 Geranium (Rose)  Balancing; mood swings; astringent; anti-inflammatory
 German Chamomile  Anti-inflammatory; soothing for skin
 Lavender  Sedative; soothes anxiety; mood swings; irritability; scars; stings/bites; burns (great added to ABC cream for sunburn)
 Lemongrass  Antimicrobial; analgesic; antifungal; add to DIY cleaning formulas
Peppermint Analgesic; relieves nausea; muscular aches and pains; cooling
Rosemary Stimulating; affinity with respiratory system; enhances memory; use with caution if you have epilepsy or high blood pressure
Ylang Ylang Aphrodisiac; calming; nourishing (can lower blood pressure, so use cautiously if you have low blood pressure.

Once you have decided upon your essential oils, you need to figure out the dilution rate. For a healthy adult, a dilution range of 3 to 5 percent is good for body creams. For a 4 oz bottle, that would mean body cream, essential oilsyou would add a total of between 72-120 drops of essential oils.

Add your oils to the cream and mix well. Then add the rest of the cream and mix well again to evenly dispurse the essential oils through the cream. You could also mix this in a glass or stainless steel bowl and then add to the jar when you are finished, being careful to get all of the mixture.

And there you have it! Be sure you write down the dilution rate of the essential oils so the next time you make your body cream you’re ready. Enjoy! What blend did you come up with? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Make a Refreshing Herbal Sun Tea

Herb TeaIf you like making sun tea, you’ll love making an herbal tisane with herbs from your own garden — or someone else’s! This is a simple recipe, easily adaptable to whatever fresh (or dried) herbs you have on hand. I’ll give you some ideas on herbs that are great to use and share my recipe, but use your imagination and see what tasty combinations you can come up with too — that’s half the fun.

What Is a Tisane?

Just in case you haven’t heard of the word tisane, it is simply water infused with plant material that is not made from the true tea leaf called Camellia sinensis (black, green, white, oolong, etc.). Most people refer to a tisane simply as “herbal tea.”

Herbs for Tisanes

If you like to grow herbs, you probably have several types in your garden that would make a refreshing tea. Here’s a few to try: lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lavender, mint, bergamot (bee balm), lemon grass, chamomile, and pineapple sage.

For my recipe, I used  lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, and lavender. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide. Scroll to the bottom for a printable recipe card.

Lemon Lavender Herb Tea

Ingredients:

  • 2-quart glass jar
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh herbs
  • stevia, honey, sugar (optional)

IMG_1107Directions:

1. Snip the herbs from your garden. I bring a basket to put them in and also a measuring cup outside with me to get an idea of the amount I will need.

2. Wash the herbs. I use a biodegradable natural cleaner (Shaklee’s Basic H) and lightly mist them with the spray, rinse them, and pat dry. I use the spray because the neighbor’s pets like to visit my garden.

IMG_11283. Put all the herbs into the jar and fill with water. Take a wooden spoon or other utensil and push the herbs to help release some of their scent and oils.

4. Set the jar outside in a warm sunny place and let it infuse for 4-6 hours.

5. Bring it inside, strain the herbs out and discard or compost them, and sweeten to taste if you want. You can also include some fresh sweet stevia leaves while you are infusing if you’d like to try sweetening it that way too.

6. Add ice, a fresh herb sprig if you’d like, and enjoy!

What are your favorite herbs to use in sun teas? Just leave a comment below and thanks for reading!

 

Lemon Lavender Sun Tea
Author: 
Recipe type: beverage
 

Make a refreshing herbal sun tea to enjoy on a hot summer day!
Ingredients
  • 2 quart glass jar
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1½ -2 cups fresh herbs (lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, and lavender)
  • Stevia, honey or sugar (optional)

Instructions
  1. Snip the herbs from your garden.
  2. Wash the herbs with a safe, biodegradable cleaner, rinse, and pat dry.
  3. Put all the herbs in the jar. Fill with water and press the herbs down with a wooden spoon.
  4. Set the jar outside in a warm, sunny spot and let infuse for 4-6 hours.
  5. Bring inside and strain the herbs out and discard them or compost them.
  6. Add sweetener if desired.
  7. Enjoy!

 

 

 




Sweet Peace Aromatherapy Room Spray

Sweet Peace
Author: 
Recipe type: Aromatherapy Room Spray
 

Mix up this lovely room spray for a sweet, light fragrance.
Ingredients
  • 8 drops Lavender
  • 15 drops Vanilla in jojoba oil
  • 1.5 oz. Distilled water
  • 1.5 oz. Vodka 80 proof

Instructions
  1. Fill a 2-4 oz. spray bottle with the water and vodka. Add the lavender and vanilla. Shake well before each spray. Mist the room for a lovely fragrance.