Make Fragrant Essential Oils: Warrior’s Spirit for Courage

This Warrior’s Spirit blend promotes courage and protection as well as physical and emotional support.

• 12 drops lavender oil
• 6 drops carrot seed oil
• 3 drops black pepper oil
• 3 drops angelica oil
• 3 drops myrrh oil
• 2 drops sage oil

Natural Perfumery

Craft evocative personal scents using natural ingredients, which lend delicate nuances to fragrances and evolve over time.

Thanks to the art and science of aromatherapy, we now appreciate the profound links between aroma and health; scents are processed in the amygdala, the same area of the brain that processes emotions. Because of the integration of scent and emotional processing, making natural perfume can contribute to our well-being. Perfume creation, which involves active olfaction and a total focus on the sense of smell, has been compared to concentrative meditation — it can help eliminate stress and bring about a sense of calm and peace. Not to mention, making perfume gives you the opportunity to develop your sense of smell!

Creating your own fragrances isn’t difficult. Maybe you already know that you prefer a certain type of perfume — an aroma that you identify with and that makes you feel good. Maybe you’d like to make a perfume to comfort, to uplift your spirits, to promote self-confidence, or for meditation. Or maybe you’d like to wear perfumes that reflect the season or evoke a specific mood. The possibilities are endless, and trying new combinations is part of the fun.

Natural Perfume Components

Natural perfumes made with essential oils and absolutes won’t be the same as commercial, alcohol-based perfumes. Essential oils are extracted from aromatic plants by steam distillation, or by physical expression, as in the case of citrus oils. Absolutes are made by solvent extraction; they’re aromatically similar to the plant but are very concentrated and best appreciated when highly diluted. Rose, jasmine, and orange blossom are the most popular absolutes. They’re expensive so you could use an infusion in jojoba oil as a budget-friendly alternative.

In mainstream perfumery, synthetic aroma chemicals dominate. This means that when a modern synthetic fragrance is applied, the effect is often linear — the perfume doesn’t substantially change its character from application until it has faded from our perception. The scent of perfumes made with extracts from aromatic plants, however, will evolve on our skin after application; we’ll first sense the top notes, then the middle notes at the heart of the scent, and finally the lingering base notes. Commercial perfumes are constructed for their initial impact and presence, their persistence, and for sillage — the trail of fragrance left in the air when the wearer walks by. Oil or wax-based natural perfumes are more subtle, and will usually fade more quickly. However, what’s lost in bombastic impact is more than made up for by the gentleness and beauty of naturally derived ingredients, and by the mood benefits of the aroma.

Fragrant Harmonies

Natural perfume isn’t composed randomly. To create a successful perfume, you’ll need to understand the olfactory relationships between essential oils, their volatility (which determines which scents are top, middle, and base notes), their diffusiveness, and their odor intensity.

The scent of every essential oil is made up of many chemical components, each of which has its own olfactory characteristics, and the components’ relative proportions have a major impact on the overall aroma of the oil. For this reason, some essential oils, such as rose or jasmine, are complex enough to make good single-ingredient fragrances, which are instantly recognizable. If you combine three essential oils, you create a new odor sensation, although you’ll still be able to discern the presence of the individual oils. But by combining five or more oils, you’ll create a completely new scent, which we’ll struggle to discern the individual ingredients of because hundreds of chemicals will be constituents contributing to the aroma.

In perfume, the initial impact is given by the “top note,” or the aromatics that evaporate most quickly; the heart of the scent is composed of “middle note” aromatics, defining the theme of the perfume; and less volatile “base note” aromatics anchor or fix the scent, giving it persistence. The oil or wax base of a natural perfume will also decelerate evaporation to an extent, which is why a natural perfume takes a little longer to make its presence known. By contrast, alcohol-based conventional perfumes are highly volatile.

In addition to the broad top, middle, or base category a particular aromatic might belong to, aromatic connections will be running throughout the perfume, because many essential oils share aromatic constituents. These form what we might think of as aromatic bridges, which will bring cohesiveness and harmony to your blend; aromatic contrasts will add drama and excitement.

Choose a Theme

When crafting a personal scent, you might want to create a soliflore, where one floral fragrance dominates; or a more sophisticated bouquet, which might be floral, herbal, or based on fragrant woods, soothing balsams, citrus, or vanilla. Each of these ideas can be fused so you might choose a floral-balsamic composition or an herbal-woody-spicy scent.

You can also create a more abstract scent that reflects seasons, places, or feelings. Evoke a walk in the forest with conifer oils or a tropical garden with sumptuous ylang-ylang. You could even use vanilla and citrus to make a fragrance inspired by the aroma of cakes baking!

Follow Your Nose

Top notes: Citrus is commonly used as a top note, because of its high volatility. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) has a fresh citrus top note and sweet citrus body, with lemony, floral, peppery, and lavender-like nuances — elements that can bridge with many other scents. Use the furanocoumarin-free (FCF) version to eliminate the risk of phototoxicity, which is a burning reaction from topically applied essential oils that are triggered by exposure to sunlight. Other citrus top notes include yellow grapefruit (C. paradisi) for sharpness, lime (C. aurantifolia) for lightness, mandarin (C. reticulata) for freshness, and yuzu peel (C. junos) if you like a stronger aromatic citrus presence. Many citrus essential oils and aromatics are phototoxic, though the risk is minimized by using steam-distilled essential oils; research the aromatic you plan to use before adding it to a scent.

Herbal top notes give freshness to a blend; try using bergamot mint (Mentha citrata), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and petitgrain (C. aurantium).

Floral top notes include the green scent of neroli (steam-distilled C. aurantium var. amara) and damask rose (Rosa x damascena), which gives a gentle freshness, lift, and harmony.

Spicy top notes include black pepper (Piper nigrum) for light warmth and lift, and caraway seed (Carum carvi) for sweet warmth and intrigue. Versatile coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum), with sweet, spicy, woody, floral, and citrus notes, can act as a bridge.

Middle notes: Floral heart notes can be as defining or as subtle as you wish. Heady Jasminum grandiflorum absolute should be used sparingly for its intense, diffusive, warm floral fragrance. Like rose and orange blossom absolutes, it makes for a classic floral heart. Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) is intensely sensual, and it makes a good soliflore. Rose absolute (Rosa x centifolia) will make a smooth, rich, sweet soliflore, or can be the dominant floral in a composition. In small amounts, its delicacy can transform fragrances. Orange blossom absolute (solvent-distilled from Citrus aurantium var. amara) is a rich and heavy floral that should be used sparingly. It can make an interesting soliflore with neroli as a top note. A little ylang-ylang extra (Cananga odorata var. genuina) goes a long way; it’s diffusive, sweet, rich, and tropical. In small amounts, it lifts and harmonizes blends.

For an herbal heart, try sweet, fresh lavender absolute; rose geranium (Pelargonium spp.); or sweet, diffusive Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) for its apple notes.

Citrus oils evaporate quickly, making them difficult to use in the heart of a scent. However, litsea (Litsea cubeba) is fresh, sweet, sharp, and lemony, and has reasonable tenacity.

Spicy oils make good partners for flowers and woods and can sit within the heart of a perfume. Clove Bud (Eugenia caryophyllata) is perfect for spicing up rose fragrances. Use it minimally; the scent is powerful, and the oil can irritate the skin. Cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) should also be used sparingly.

Woods and resins for heart notes include Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), which imparts woody and smoky notes; Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), which gives a mild “pencil shavings” aroma; and frankincense (Boswellia carterii), which offers a fresh, resinous effect. Both frankincense and Eastern red cedar reach the top notes while staying in the heart. Frankincense suffers from overharvesting for the essential oil trade, so be sure to seek out sustainably sourced oil if you wish to use it. Conifers usually make their presence felt in top notes, but are tenacious enough to stay in the heart.

Base notes: These oils all act as fixatives as well as fragrance elements. If you’re looking for a balsamic, ambery, rich effect, try the resin of rock rose (Cistus ladanifer) or myrrh (Commiphora myrrha).

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is distinctive and complex and will add character to blends with its persistent, earthy, herbaceous notes. Vetiver (Vetivera zizanoides) is a rich, sweet, woody, earthy aroma, with remarkably persistent musky notes.

Sandalwood (Santalum album) is the base of many traditional attars; blend it with rose or jasmine to create a simple, beautiful scent. The scent is sweetly woody and persistent, with balsamic and musky notes. Sandalwood is often overharvested in the wild; seek sustainable sources for this oil.

Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) is sweet, rich, and warm, with woody and even tobacco notes. The solvent-extracted absolute is quite expensive, so the budget-friendly way to use it is to buy vanilla-infused jojoba oil, to which you can add your other ingredients.

The given recipes are only a few examples of perfumes you can create. Adapt them to suit what you have available — or what you prefer — and don’t be afraid to substitute fragrances or vary the proportions of aromatics. Enjoy; it’s your perfume!

Natural Oil-Based Roll-On Perfume Recipe

This oil-based roll-on perfume recipe is easy to adjust to your personal fragrance preferences, and fragrance-infused carrier oils expand the possibilities.

Yield: 0.35 ounces (10 milliliters) liquid perfume.

 

Pack your preferred personal scent into a roller ball bottle to have on hand throughout the day. Note that the provided measurements will give a concentration of around 5 percent essential oils. You shouldn’t use more than 2 drops of absolute per 0.35 ounces (10 milliliters) of carrier oil.

Ingredients:

  • 10 drops essential oils and absolutes (see “Oil-Based Perfume Variations,” below)
  • 0.35 ounces (10 milliliters) jojoba oil
  • A colored-glass roller-ball bottle

Instructions:

  1. Add your heart notes directly into the bottle, and smell as you go, in case you need to adjust.
  2. Next, add the base notes, and, again, remember to smell after every drop. You can always add more, but you can’t subtract.
  3. Finally, add your top notes.
  4. When you’re happy with the aroma, fill the bottle to the shoulder with jojoba oil, fit on the roller ball and lid, and invert the bottle gently several times to thoroughly distribute the oils in the jojoba.
  5. Give your composition a name, label the bottle, and note the formula.

Oil-Based Perfume Variations

Essential oils are extremely concentrated and must be sufficiently diluted in a carrier oil to be used safely on your skin. Don’t adjust the proportion of aromatics to carrier oil in these recipes. All the following quantities are calculated for 0.35 ounces (10 milliliters) of liquid perfume.


Tropical Flowers

Top: 2 drops lime

Heart: 3 drops ylang-ylang

Base: 5 drops sandalwood

Variation: Use vanilla-infused jojoba as the carrier for a creamy effect.


Herbal Bouquet

Top: 3 drops bergamot mint, 2 drops rose, and 2 drops lavender

Heart: 1 drop rose geranium, 1 drop Roman chamomile, and (optional) 1 drop lavender absolute

Base: 1 drop patchouli or vetiver


Meditation

Top: 2 drops Bergamot and 2 drops neroli

Heart: 2 drops frankincense

Base: 2 drops Myrrh and 2 drops sandalwood

Rosewood Oil: “Bois-de-Rose” Benefits

Prized as a decorative tree and used to make furniture, chopsticks, and show pieces, rosewood is a versatile and durable tree that grows abundantly in Brazil. But rosewood is more than just a raw material used in manufacturing. The popular fragrant oil of the same name is extracted from its wood. Keep on reading to learn more about rosewood oil.

What Is Rosewood Oil?

rosewood oilRosewood oil is extracted from Aniba rosaeodora, an evergreen tree that’s indigenous to Peru and Brazil. Rosewood, also called “bois-de-rose,” is a member of the Laurel (Lauraceae) plant family along with camphor, cinnamon, bay, and cassia. This aromatic tree can grow up to 40 meters high and is distinguishable by its reddish bark and yellow flowers. Many rosewood rain forests have been cut down to accommodate the high demand for this sturdy lumber, although legislation now requires planting a new rosewood in place of every tree that’s been cut down.

Rosewood oil has a characteristic aroma that’s warm, spicy, woody, fruity, floral, and enlivening. This characteristic aroma makes it an established ingredient in high-class perfumery and soap-making, especially during the early 1900’s, which caused deforestation of the tree.

Due to rosewood oil’s high price, however, manufacturers turned to cheaper alternatives, such as Chinese Ho oils from Cinnamomum camphora, as well as synthetic linalool. This allowed rosewood forests to thrive once again.

Uses of Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil’s alluring fragrance has been widely lauded in the perfume industry, but its therapeutic properties are less well known. Aromatherapists use it to help treat depression, as it is said to impart feelings of happiness and strength. Rosewood oil also calms the mind and prompts hormone secretion. It also works as an aphrodisiac as it stimulates your body and libido allowing you to relax and let go of stress and mental clutter.

Another popular use of rosewood oil is for skin care. It has tissue-regenerating properties that help prevent wrinkles and premature aging, and also works well for preventing a variety of skin conditions. You can use it to reduce the onset of pimples, acne, and blackheads while controlling the amount of sebum secreted by your oil glands. Rosewood oil also has wound-healing actions, making it an ideal first-aid remedy for cuts and insect bites.

To get rosewood oil’s therapeutic effects, you can:

  • Diffuse it using a vaporizer.
  • Dilute it in a carrier oil, and then place a drop or two on your skin or the affected areas that need healing. Note: DO NOT use it on facial skin without diluting it in a mild carrier oil first. You can also use it as a massage oil.
  • Add it to your bathwater. Use it while showering: after soaking for at least 3 minutes in steamy shower, turn the water off, put five to seven drops of the oil in the palm of your hand, and distribute it all over your wet body. The oil will penetrate very quickly and you can rinse it off if you prefer.
  • Mix it your favorite lotion or cream. Add a drop or two to your favorite moisturizer to reap its anti-aging benefits.

Rosewood oil also works as an effective insect repellent that repels mosquitoes, bugs, and ants. It can also work as a room freshener. Simply add 15 drops per 2 ounces of distilled water, and then spray as desired.

The Composition of Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil’s high linalool content (86 percent) makes it highly useful for industrial applications. Linalool is modified into many derivatives that are essential to the food flavoring and fragrance industries.

Meanwhile, other components of rosewood oil like a-pinene, a-terpineol, camphene, neral, myrcene, geranial, 1,8-cineole, benzaldehyde, linalool oxides, and limonene  are responsible for its health-promoting effects. This oil works as a stimulant, antidepressant, analgesic, antibacterial, and antiseptic.

Benefits of Rosewood Oil

rosewood oil benefitsI believe that rosewood oil is a wonderful herbal oil to have at home, as its sweet and pleasant aroma can greatly delight your senses. However, there’s a lot more to this oil than its enticing aroma. Here are some of the benefits of rosewood oil:

  • Relieves pain. Rosewood oil is a mild analgesic (not as strong as other herbal oils) that can help alleviate headaches, toothaches, and muscle and joint pain.
  • Heals wounds. This oil’s antiseptic properties help prevent wounds and cuts from getting infected, as well as stimulate faster healing.
  • Helps treat colds, coughs, and sinusitis. It has the ability to regulate smooth muscle contractions, helping control bronchial disorders such as asthma.
  • Works as an aphrodisiac and stress reliever. It can help treat impotence or frigidity, arousing sexual desire and improving sexual performance. Rosewood oil’s fragrance also has a calming and relaxing effect on your mind and body.

How to Make Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil is extracted from the wood chippings or shavings of the rosewood trunk. This oil is produced via steam distillation, which works by vaporizing the oil and the active ingredients in it so they can be extracted and condensed. This extraction method helps assure that you are getting a pure and high-quality rosewood oil.

I advise you to be very stringent when buying rosewood oil, as some brands may be adulterated or have been infused with other carrier oils, which will lower the potency. Choosing a  rosewood oil that’s produced by a reputable manufacturer is crucial

How Does Rosewood Oil Work?

Rosewood oil’s high alpha-pinene content is responsible for its impressive antibacterial properties, while the chemical components geraniol, nerol, 8-cineole, linalool, and limonene are useful for tissue regeneration. Studies have also shown that the topical use of rosewood oil can help destroy pre-cancerous and cancerous cells without adversely affecting healthy skin cells.

To take full advantage of its therapeutic benefits, Rosewood oil can be applied topically, inhaled, or vaporized. It is rarely taken orally. As with other herbal oils, I do not recommend ingesting or applying this oil without the supervision of a qualified health practitioner.

Is Rosewood Oil Safe?

side effects of rosewood oilRosewood Oil is may be highly beneficial, as long as it’s used in moderation and properly diluted. It blends well with citrus oils like orange, neroli, bergamot, lime, lemon, and grapefruit, as well as floral oils like lavender, jasmine, and rose.

Rosewood oil is non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing. However, I still advise doing a skin patch test before using this herbal oil.

Side Effects of Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil has no known side effects. But despite its safe profile, children, pregnant women or nursing moms should not use this oil without the advice of their physician. Rosewood oil, especially at full strength, is not recommended for very young children as well.

People with sensitive skin should also be careful when using rosewood oil. If you see any signs of irritation after using this oil, stop using it immediately and contact your health care provider.

Can You Eliminate Stress with Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential plant oils to improve well being. The oils are often placed in diffusers and allowed to permeate the air. It’s a practice that’s been used for centuries to address psychological and other issues. Ancient Egyptians employed the use of essential oils and other plant substances for massages, bathing, and healing. One of the major uses of aromatherapy in the US is for stress management.

How Aromatherapy Works

Some of the methods of aromatherapy include aerial diffusion (typically with an oil burner), topical application, and inhalation. It’s even occasionally administered vaginally, rectally, and orally for things like infection and congestion. Many practitioners use only natural essential oils since synthetics don’t provide the same benefit as the natural compounds. Synthetic fragrance oils may also contain chemical additives that can irritate the skin if applied topically.

Aromatherapy and Massage

Massage is another stress-relieving technique that commonly employs essential oils, incorporating touch and the physical manipulation of joints and muscles to relieve tension and stress. When you go for a massage, ask your masseuse if they can use essential oils geared toward soothing, relaxing, and de-stressing. You may be able to bring your own oil to the session.

Aromatherapy for Stress Relief

Aromatherapy is very popular today for stress relief. It offers a natural, organic alternative to pharmaceutical substances and works to enhance lifestyle modifications that further reduce stress. These natural lifestyle modifications are of course exercise, diet, meditation, and proper sunlight exposure. One primary application method for essential oils is indirect and direct inhalation. Through inhaling the oils (from a safe distance, of course), the brain reacts by slowing down. This elicits a deep level of relaxation.

Stress can hinder digestion, immune function, and increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. While you may not be able to always eliminate a negative situation, aromatherapy is one effective way to combat the emotional upheaval that accompanies stressful events. Simply by reducing your negative emotions that surround a certain situation, you begin to change the way you think and act, thereby minimizing the situation.

The Dangers of Unmanaged Stress

  • Stress can affect your blood sugar levels, leading to hunger and, eventually, insulin insensitivity.
  • Many people who do not properly manage their stress experience weight gain.
  • Premature aging is another possible danger of not properly managing your stress levels.
  • General pain throughout the body can be a side effect of unmanaged stress.

The Best Essential Oils to Try First

Some of the most popular essential oils with stress-relieving properties include geranium, peppermint, lavender, jasmine, chamomile, and lemongrass. Add aromatherapy to your arsenal as you fight against stress. The benefits can be quite effective, and the ease of use makes it a great choice.

How to Use Essential Oils

Be sure to read your labels to make certain that your oil contains organic, all-natural essential oils. Because oils are concentrated, they can irritate the skin without a natural and benign carrier oil. Never apply essential oils to the skin without properly diluting it in a carrier oil like jojoba, olive, and coconut oil. You can apply the oils to clothes, handkerchiefs, pillows, and just about anything. One method of using aromatherapy is simply applying oils to your hands and breathing in the oil deeply.

Recommendations for Stress Management

We all have stress and stressors in our life. Although stress has a negative connotation, it’s actually not inherently bad. Stress challenges you. It makes you tougher and more resilient to adversity. If you survive it—and recover from it—you grow stronger and learn from it. This is true of both psychological (mental) and physiological (physical) stress.

However, stress needs to be handled properly; when external stress becomes internal, it affects the body. Prolonged, uninterrupted exposure to stress slowly and gradually erodes the immune system. The physical manifestation of stress in the body increases your susceptibility to sickness and decreases your ability to recover from illnesses—both temporary and long-term.

When Psychological Stress Becomes Physiological

Stressful situations produce emotional reactions. This emotional reaction, be it fear or anger, sets off a hormonal response that activates the nervous system’s emergency survival mode. This chemical response to external forces has real health implications.

Stress produces a physiological response—your heart races, your face and body feel hot, you sweat, and your breathing may become shallow and fast. Inside your body, your muscles tense and prepare to act. Your blood pressure increases, your liver floods your blood with sugar, your pupils dilate, and you become hyper-aware of your surroundings. This phenomenon is called the fight-or-flight response, and it’s an evolutionary advancement that developed to help you survive when your life is at risk.

Although the stressors of modern humans look less like wolves and more like an overstuffed agenda or an upset client, your body still responds or rather overreacts, to these situations as if they come with claws. Daily stress pushes the fight-or-flight response to be on all the time. High-stress events activate the autonomic nervous system and produce the symptoms described above and inhibit the body’s detoxification process. Generalized stress, like worry that nags at the back of your mind, is more insidious. It flies under the radar, but still has the same hormonal, neural, and physical effects on the body.

How Stress Management Affects Your Health

Unrelenting stress eats away at the body and weakens resolve. Emotional and mental stress causes stress at the cellular level. Your mental state, mood, productivity, and health all crumble when you’re constantly subjected to stress and anxiety. This state leads to both an overactive and underactive immune response that many scientists believe is the root cause of many chronic diseases. Thus, it stands to reason that when you find effective ways to manage stress, you’ll not only improve your standard of life, you’ll support your health. The following are a few beneficial effects of stress maintenance and how stress can negatively affect your health.

Preserves DNA Integrity

Telomeres are the stretches of DNA on the ends of chromosomes that don’t contain genes but they do protect your chromosomes from degradation—sort of like the cap on the end of a shoelace. Although telomere shortening is a normal part of aging, not taking care of stress accelerates the process. People who are constantly stressed out, or who had stressful childhoods, have even more exaggerated shortening. You might be 35, but if you’ve lead an extremely stressful life, you could have the telomere length of someone much older. Stress management helps you maintain the length of your telomeres and protect the integrity of your DNA.

Encourages a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

When you’re not stressed out, you’re better equipped to plan for healthy living and more suited to carry out those actions. For example, if all your mental energy is spent worrying about a house repair, it’s easy to forget to pack a healthy lunch and put yourself in a position where you’re forced to eat unhealthy food on the go. It doesn’t stop there; people who are chronically stressed tend to be more reactive than proactive and engage in unhealthy habits like overeating, drinking, smoking, avoiding physical activity and not sleeping enough. These behaviors can become a downward spiral that leads to even greater psychological and physiological stress.

Promotes Weight Maintenance

If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight, stress management is something that needs to be at the top of your mind. There are many important you cannot overlook. Levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, rise when stress levels rise. This hormone increases insulin levels and causes blood sugar to drop—it’s essentially the catalyst that sets off your appetite and incites cravings for unhealthy food. Research concludes that the more stressed you feel, the more you overeat. Long-term stress will most assuredly lead to weight gain.

Impacts Cardiovascular Health

Effective stress management has the potential to positively impact cardiovascular health in two ways. First, many activities that reduce your physical response to stress—such as exercise—are, in their own right, an important part of maintaining heart and blood vessel health. Additionally, stress can elevate blood pressure and heart rate to not only degrade your cardiovascular health but even increase your risk for arterial hardening, hypertension and therefore stroke and heart attack.

Supports Digestive Health

Maintaining a calm nervous system is essential for proper digestion. When your body perceives danger (the fight-or-flight response), it halts all nonessential, energy-intensive processes, including the rest-and-digest response. Chief among these is digestion. Acid reflux, ulcers, diarrhea, and constipation are other symptoms that manifest when you’re constantly stressed out.

Speeds Recovery Time

When the immune system is on high alert, it has trouble prioritizing its tasks. So instead of healing a bruise or cut, it’s putting out smaller fires in other areas of the body. Studies related to wound healing reveal that psychological stress impedes the body’s ability to repair itself.

How to Manage Stress

To thrive under stress, you have to take the opportunity to de-stress. This might mean making time to do the things you enjoy, getting adequate exercise and sleep, and taking breaks when you need them instead of powering through your exhaustion. Stress management techniques can foster recovery from the physiological response to stressful events.

  • Time Management
  • Prioritize Daily Breaks
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Deep Breathing Exercises
  • Cultivate a Healthy Gut
  • Get Enough Sleep
  • Take a Mental Health Day

Time Management

When you cram things into your schedule that you know you can’t accomplish, you only set yourself up for failure and inevitable disappointment for not living up to unreasonable expectations. There’s certainly a lot you can accomplish in a day, especially if you work on your time management skills, but be mindful of your capabilities. First and foremost, give yourself realistic time frames and plan breaks to collect your thoughts and prepare for your next commitment. Give yourself a buffer in case things run long or go wrong.

Prioritize Daily Breaks

Working lunches and desk lunches at the computer have become the norm in offices everywhere. Although the effort to stay productive comes from a good place, sometimes it’s just good to step away. Your brain isn’t capable of staying perfectly focused for hours-long stretches and trying to force it to do so just adds stress to it. Taking a break to refocus and recharge is key to recovering from life’s daily stresses.

Exercise

Exercise is the most underutilized stress reliever. Many complain of not having time to work out, but what they mean is that they’re too exhausted to go to the gym or even step outside for a walk. Getting enough daily physical activity not only relieves stress, it also helps you sleep better—another key element to relieving stress. Ironically, working out helps you feel more energized because it releases feel-good neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.

Meditation

Meditation has been practiced in the East for millennia and is a practice that offers real, measurable, observable effects. Comparing MRIs and PET scans of people who meditate regularly to people who don’t show a remarkable difference in their brains. Meditators have more gray matter in the hippocampus—the area of the brain that controls the autonomic nervous system. Meditation relieves stress, helps you control your emotions and thoughts, tune out distractions, and improve your memory and ability to think. It’s also my favorite way to relieve stress. There are many meditation techniques.

Deep Breathing Exercises

When you feel stressed, your breathing becomes shallower. Shallow breathing activates the autonomic nervous system and feeds the stress response. Deep breathing exercises force you to slow down. It reduces blood pressure, increases the amount of oxygen that diffuses into your blood in the lungs, and relieves feelings of anxiety.

When you’re feeling stressed, take nine deep breaths to calm down. Inhale and exhale through your nose. At the top of your inhale, leave your throat open (your epiglottis, technically) and continue to inhale. See if you can breathe in just a little deeper for a second or two, then slowly exhale to the count of 8. Repeat this nine times, elongating the duration of your inhales and exhales as you continue.

Cultivate a Healthy Gut

Within the gut live the helpful probiotics that support many important functions, including digestion and immune response. You can cultivate a strong, robust community of bacteria by incorporating fermented, probiotic-rich food, such as kombucha into your diet. Alternately, a daily probiotic supplement can also provide a steady supply of beneficial probiotics and act like a vitamin for the gut. People who have a healthy, diverse gut microbiota appear to be more resistant to some of the negative health consequences of stress. It turns out that some probiotics help regulate human fear and anxiety responses.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential to cognitive function. Too little sleep worsens stress by affecting memory and the ability to focus. There’s really no question about it—a good night’s rest is the best way to feel less stressed and reduce the physiological toll of stress.

Wind down a few hours before bed to fall asleep more easily. This, of course, means putting your devices away and turning off the television. Treat yourself to an herbal tea and meditate to ready your mind and body for a good night’s rest.

Take a Mental Health Day

Taking a day or two to rejuvenate your mental and physical well-being can be instrumental in achieving mental and emotional balance. Give yourself permission to take the time you need. You’ll be a better, more productive person. Schedule and plan for longer vacations, too. Leave the country if you have the time and means to do so. One study found that vacationers who traveled abroad came back happier.

How to Curate a Tranquil Environment

There are many small changes you make to your daily routine and environment to curate a tranquil environment. Here are my top recommendations:

  • Let in as much diffused natural light as possible; harsh, inadequate, or irritating lighting has a very real effect on your stress level.
  • Surround yourself with plants, even a simple succulent or lucky bamboo on your desk will do. Adding a little greenery around you helps relieve stress.
  • Take a stroll through a park to help lower your stress level.
  • If a noisy environment is an issue, get a pair of noise-canceling or over ear headphones to shut out auditory annoyances. Play relaxing music or white noise to de-stress.
  • Aromatherapy is an effective means of significantly reducing mental stress. Add a few drops of essential oil of bergamot, lemon balm, lavender, or sage to your humidifier to enjoy the benefits. If you don’t have a humidifier, rub a drop between your hands and inhale.

Sustainable Changes for Stress Management

Effectively managing stress isn’t something you should do every-so-often when things pile up and you feel overwhelmed. You need to incorporate stress management techniques into your day, every day. It needs to be viewed with the same importance as eating.

Identify a few areas for improvement and commit yourself to improve. If you’re lacking regular and consistent restful sleep, ask yourself (honestly) what’s standing in your way and change it. If you can find time for a few hours of television but have “no time” to exercise in any form, you may need to make an honest assessment of your priorities and make a few adjustments.

But, don’t try to change your entire life overnight. It’s not reasonable and it never sticks. Doing a little every day is much better for building the momentum that will serve you well over the long-term.

In Essence; Spring Aromas

There’s something special about spring. Spring makes things new, it revitalizes your surroundings. The sun warms the earth, seeds begin to sprout and flowers bloom. It awakens the senses from a dormant state that winter engulfs. It is like a new beginning. It’s like the definition of hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had, or that events will turn out for the best. It is as if starting anew.

Aromatherapy can help us harmonize ourselves with the movement of the incoming season. Let’s take a look at some regenerating essential oils that you can incorporate this Spring…

  1. Lavender Its name in Latin “lavare” means to wash or to clean. Lavender is harmonizing to the spirit and when inhaled, it can calm an agitated mind and lift the mood almost instantly. Reduces stress and overall tension while bringing luster and balance to the skin.
  2. Palmarosa also known as “Indian geranium oil” is such a delight! Its light, citrusy-grassy-rose aroma is warming to the body, relaxes tight muscles, lessens pain and reduces inflammation*. Its sweet perfume is healing, regenerating and uplifting to the mood.
  3. Bergamot “Sunshine in a bottle.” It allows us to “relax and let go” and gives a feeling of freshness, joy, and energy in cases of sadness and depression caused by fatigue and unreleased tensions and frustration.
  4. Geranium The oil of balance. Geranium balances overall and is a beautifying oil that can help us be more productive, reconnect with ourselves and “feel life” again. 
  5. Coriander It refreshing and spicy aroma is grounding and soothing. Diffuse in the air to give the room a little spruce.
  6. Lime Detoxifying and purifying, lime enhances circulation and is revitalizing. Its sharp aroma enhances energy and mental clarity.
  7. Scotch Pine The fresh aroma often reminds us of the hiking through the forest. It is purifying, warm and cleansing while helping keep us alert and mentally clear. Dilute with a carrier oil and massage to soothe sore muscles and joints after gardening or strenuous workouts.
  8. Roman Chamomile transition into spring with ease with this precious oil. It can help bring emotional stability in times of nervousness, restlessness, exhaustion, stress, tension, grief, and depression.
  9. Lemongrass Strengthening of the nervous system, anti-infectious, and eases muscular aches and pains, among many other things. It helps us concentrate when we need to think clearly and is uplifting and energizing.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Bergamot Oil

Bergamot “Sunshine in a Bottle” (Citrus bergamia)

Sunshine in a bottle”, as many Aromatherapists can relate when we refer to Bergamot. Just a drop or two can elevate the mood and bring smiles almost instantly. The oil of Bergamot we carry is extracted through cold pressing the peel of the Bergamot fruit and is grown in the Ivory Coast. It is named after the Italian city of Bergamo in Lombardy, where the oil was originally sold.

Bergamot Essential Oil is a balancing oil that can be used to lift the spirit in times of depression, melancholy, stress or tension; while also calming anxiety, nervousness, stress, and fear. It is considered in Aromatherapy as a relaxant and sedative.* As a matter of fact, it is one of the most studied essential oils for helping with anxiety and its effects can be enhanced with other essential oils.

It gives a feeling of freshness, joy, and energy in cases of sadness and depression caused by fatigue and unreleased tensions and frustrations.  Bergamot helps us to “relax and let go” especially when we have pent-up feelings. It reminds us that life is good for promoting optimism and lifting off our shoulders physical and emotional tension.
It also stimulates hormone secretion and thus helps maintain proper rates of metabolism.

Interesting facts: Bergamot is a hybrid of the bitter orange and lemon.  It was and still is a primary ingredient in one of the first ‘eau de cologne’ formulas, and continues to this day to be found in a number of ‘high end’ perfumes and colognes. Earl Grey Tea is lightly flavored with a hint of Bergamot.

Feeling stressed? Take the time to inhale the sweet, exotic citrus aroma of Bergamot. Here are more ways you can use it…

Bergamot Blends well with:
Lavender, Basil, Clary Sage, Cedarwood,  Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Peppermint, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Ho Wood and all citrus oils such as orange and tangerine.

Bergamot is found in the following Eternity Blends: HappinessAnxietyClear MindConfidence, and Stress Relief.

“Rays of Sunshine”- Make this synergy by adding the following in a 5ml Amber bottle:
2 tsp Bergamot
1 tsp  Sweet OrangeTangerineClementine or Blood Orange (your choice)
½ tsp Geranium

How to use this Synergy:

  • Add a few drops to your diffuser to brighten up the room.
  • Make a room spray: Add up to 80 drops of the synergy first to a 4oz aluminum bottle with atomizer. Add witch hazel. Mix. Then add purified water.
  • Make a massage oil to lift away stress and tension. Mix 10-12 drops + 1oz carrier oil in an amber glass bottle.
  • Add a drop or 2 to a tissue and inhale when in need of a quick “pick me up”.

 

** Caution: Citrus essential oils and the sun do not get along. Do not use photosensitizing essential oils prior to going into a sun tanning booth or the sun.

Geranium Essential Oil: Creating A Complete Balance

There is so much to say about the “flower of constancy”. Its elegant aroma is fresh, green and sweet with a strong rose note. Its sweetness increases as it evaporates into the atmosphere. A strong oil that is also light and soft at the same time that eases mental stress and worries, while lifting the spirits. So, did that grab your attention to want to know more? This is one of my all-time favorite Essential Oils that I keep in my travel kit. I make sure I never run out of Geranium Essential Oil.

The oil is distilled from the leaves. The name Geranium derives from the Greek word geranos or ‘crane’ because the seed pods resemble the shape of crane’s bills. It has been used widely in perfumery and soap manufacturing since the 19th century. There are more than 700 varieties of Geranium, however, only about 10 provide the Essential Oil. In the Victorian era, scented Geraniums were grown along the edges of pathways or placed pots indoors in the winter where women’s wide crinoline skirts would brush past and release their pleasant scent. Who would have thought that people went to such great lengths to steal these precious flowers from others gardens just to get their hands on them? There is something addicting about Geranium…

Regenerate Your Body and Mind

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is considered among Aromatherapists as oil to promote overall balance. Geranium has a way of transmitting feelings of strength and security, therefore used to calm both chronic and acute anxieties as well as depression; especially involving exhaustion and fatigue due to over-work. It is used to reconnect us to “feeling life”. Because life can throw us a lot of curve balls, Geranium can help us reconnect emotionally and start to “feel” again…to have a thirst for life and its enjoyments or pleasures. It can bring us back to center, grounding us to help us see things clearly and take charge.

This majestic oil can help balance emotions and promote a sense of inner peace and well-being. Being sedative and uplifting when needed, it is an ideal essential oil for stress-related disorders such as tension headaches, anxiety/depression, agitation, mood swings, frustration, fatigue, and muscle aches.

Be Productive

Do you ever get that feeling of being “stuck”? This oil is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to strengthen the flow of Qi-energy and is blood circulating, and also helps to clear and dispel stagnation. This makes it especially helpful for you to put your visions and thoughts into action.

Reproductive and Endocrine System* 

Geranium is used in Traditional Aromatherapy to help cope with hormonal imbalances during menopause and PMS and the baggage that comes with it such as hot flashes, menstrual cramps, water retention, mood swings and more. It supports the adrenal cortex to help balance the hormones. It is famous in Aromatherapy to help cool a hot temper! Because it helps us to release tension and negative emotions, it can be used to encourage feelings of sensuality as well.

Beauty

Geranium Essential Oil is commonly used by skin care specialist during facials because it is very nourishing and balancing to the skin. It is soothing to the mucous membranes and helps to cleanse and balance sebum production from oily to dry skin while restoring tone. It makes a great body treatment or massage oil for cellulite. Geranium Essential Oil is one of the few that has been used successfully against the MRSA bacteria in laboratory studies.

A Perfect Fit

Geranium blends well with many oils including Bergamot, Lemon, Grapefruit, Lavender, Clary Sage, Orange, Peppermint,  Frankincense, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, and Eucalyptus.

Geranium Essential Oil’s benefits in Aromatherapy are so diverse. From balancing the body and mind, easing nervous tension and anxiety*, to promoting productivity when feeling “stuck,” Geranium Essential Oil helps to put us back on track where we want to be. Its aroma is strong, sweet, yet at the same time is elegant and soft. It has “Yin” properties; therefore it’s a superb oil for women to keep in their Essential Oil kit.

Since there are so many great benefits from the “oil of balance” I wanted to share some very useful recipes that you can incorporate into your Aromatherapy life.

Soothe the Skin: Use in the bath or massage on the body.
4 drops Geranium
2 drops Frankincense
1 Tbsp. Almond Oil

Peaceful Sleep: Add the following to the diffuser in your bedroom.
3 drops Geranium
2 drops Lavender
1 drop Orange

A Brush of Ahhh: To refresh your mind and/or intrigue your partner, add one drop to your hairbrush and brush into your hair.

Body powder– To feel beautiful and sensual mix the following in jar with a tight lid, and allow to sit for a day before using.
5 drops Geranium
2 drops Ylang Ylang
¼ cup Corn Starch or Arrow Root Powder

Chill Out Bath: Calm Irritability, sit back, relax and inhale. Mix with 1 cup Epsom salts + 1 tbsp castile soap + Apricot Carrier Oil (or any carrier oil of your choice)
4 drops Geranium
4 drops Tangerine
2 drops Lavender
1 tablespoon Apricot Carrier Oil

Balancing & Uplifting Massage & Body Oil: This makes an excellent massage oil to promote Geranium’s balancing properties while helping release overall tension. Mix the following in a 2 oz. amber glass bottle.
8 drops Geranium
6 drops Lavender
5 drops Bergamot
4 drops Grapefruit
2 oz. Grapeseed Oil or any carrier oil of your choice

Bye, Bye Baby Blues– A blend that can help moms cope with post-natal blues. Make a body oil by diluting in 2 oz. of your favorite carrier oil (ex. Almond, Grapeseed, Olive) inside an amber glass bottle. You may also use as a diffuser blend by mixing 2 drops of each.
10 drops Geranium
10 drops Grapefruit
5 drops Orange

Anxiety Ease Blends– Use the formulas below as you wish in the bath, in your diffuser or as a massage oil.

Massage Oil – Dilute in 1 oz. carrier oil (ex. Almond, Grapeseed, Olive) inside an amber glass bottle. Gently massage over your pulse points, abdomen and behind your neck and shoulders.
3 drops Geranium
4 drops Clary Sage
7 drops Bergamot

Diffuser
3 drops Geranium
1 drop Clary Sage
3 drops Bergamot

Bath
Mix with 1 cup Epsom salts + 1 tbsp castile soap:

•4 drops Geranium
•4 drops Bergamot
•2 drops Clary Sage

Inner Peace – Diffuse in the air of a sense of calm and to promote happiness.
2 drops Geranium
2 drops Frankincense
2 drops Orange

Geranium is wonderful, isn’t it?! What do you like to do with it? Please let us know in the comment section down below.

Spring Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for the Season of “Wood”

Spring Aromatherapy: Did you know you can use aromatherapy to tame the seasonal imbalances of Spring?

Classical Chinese Medicine recognizes five steps in the transformation of matter (Yin) into energy (Yang) and energy back into matter. Yin and Yang are primordial forces that together form the basis of everything that exists and their ceaseless transformation from one into the other is what creates and destroys everything around us, including our health. This process of transformation is reflected in the cycles that we see all around us, including the cycle of birth, growth, and death as well as the cycle of the changing seasons.


These five phases correspond with the five seasons: Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
 Each season relates to a specific element, specific bodily organs, specific emotions and other factors that are briefly described, in part, in the accompanying infographic. According to this traditional system, each season presents characteristic challenges to our health and psychospiritual well-being and an understanding of seasonal challenges can help us maintain states of well-being throughout the year.Classical Chinese Medicine recognizes five steps in the transformation of matter (Yin) into energy (Yang) and energy back into matter. Yin and Yang are primordial forces that together form the basis of everything that exists and their ceaseless transformation from one into the other is what creates and destroys everything around us, including our health. This process of transformation is reflected in the cycles that we see all around us, including the cycle of birth, growth, and death as well as the cycle of the changing seasons.

Those of us in the Northern hemisphere are now beginning into the season of Spring. This is when our hot, bright, active Yang energies are beginning to rise and our cool, dark, passive Yin energies are starting to lessen. This is the season of pushing, rising, expanding energy and exuberant new growth. Now we are called on to shake off the sleepiness of our winter hibernation and hit the ground running. It’s important to take advantage of Spring’s opportunities for new growth but equally important to avoid overdoing it. This is where Spring Aromatherapy can be quite beneficial.

In Classical Chinese Medicine, Spring is considered a challenging time because the sudden surge of Qi can cause or aggravate imbalances and blockages.  My Chinese acupuncturist, who is the third generation of his family to practice Chinese Medicine, describes Spring as “a very dangerous time” because not only are all living beings experiencing the surge of Qi, the climatic influences are also unstable and the characteristic winds and temperature fluctuations of the season demand flexibility and adjustment at all levels of body, mind, and spirit. Spring is a time when any constitutional weaknesses may be especially aggravated by both the weather and the dietary and lifestyle choices you make. It’s wise in Spring to accommodate to windy conditions and fluctuating temperatures by maintaining appropriate attire and eating a well-balanced diet that is appropriate for your constitutional type. Inappropriate diet, over-work, and substance abuse of any kind are especially likely to have negative health consequences during Spring. Ironically, the typically drunken Spring break festivities that many college students engage in typify some of the worst things you could do at this time of year in terms of nurturing your health and wellbeing for the coming cycle.

The element associated with Spring is Wood. The organs for this element are the Liver and gallbladder. In Chinese Medicine, these organ systems are said to be responsible for circulating Qi, storing and directing the blood, harmonizing digestion, directing body movement, and ensuring the flow or release of substances and emotions at the proper time. These functions have far-reaching effects in the body and common physical symptoms of disharmony in these organs include spasm, constriction and pain (especially in muscles), digestive problems, menstrual issues, headaches, sleep disturbance, allergies and skin problems.

The core emotion associated with the Wood element is anger and the aspect of Spirit that especially comes into play in this season is the Hun, or so-called Ethereal Soul. The Hun represents that part of the soul that survives the death of the body and that connects us to the collective unconscious. It governs dreams and visions and imbues us with a sense of purpose and “direction” in life, as well as cognitive and emotional movement and adaptability. In Spring, we may be more vulnerable to anger and irritability and to feeling that we lack purpose. Just as living in harmony with the energies of the season can help prevent physical symptoms, it can also help reduce or prevent some of these emotional and spiritual conflicts.

Each element is also associated with specific herbs and essential oils that are said to belong to that element and are believed to help maintain and restore balance in that element.

Essential oils that have been said by practitioners of this ancient system to belong to the Wood element include the following:

  • Bergamot
  • Grapefruit
  • Helichrysum
  • Lime
  • Peppermint
  • Petitgrain
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Spearmint
  • Yarrow

Essential oils of other elements that may also be helpful during Spring include these:

  • Frankincense
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Marjoram
  • Melissa
  • Myrtle
  • Niaouli
  • Orange (sweet)
  • Rose Otto
  • Spikenard

As you move into the Spring season, use this time to nurture your dreams and visions in order to connect with your purpose in life. A dream group, led by an experienced dreamwork facilitator, can be a great avenue for exploring what your dreams are trying to tell you. As long as you don’t have any medical contraindications, this is a great time to take a gentle yoga or Tai Chi class, as these practices will help you avoid or release blockages and keep your body moving, supple and flexible. Pay attention to and honor your body’s normal cycles (especially in terms of the cycles of wakefulness/work and sleep/rest). As you become more active after winter’s relative rest, ensure adequate intake of fluids to support the proper elimination of stored toxins and wastes. The tradition of “Spring house cleaning” is based on the fact that getting rid of the clutter that has accumulated over the winter, opening things up, and getting better organized will clear the way for growth and help you manifest your dreams and visions in a practical way. Just as it is in the rest of nature, Spring is our time for resurrection and rebirth at all levels of body, mind, and spirit – allow the awakening in nature to inspire you to make the most of it.

Laurel Essential Oil

Laurel Leaf essential oil has a fresh, spicy scent that opens your lungs and your mind.

It’s invigorating and inspiring.

Laurel has a host of therapeutic properties. I like to remember that it’s associated with achievement and victory. So it’s a great helper when it comes to clearing away anything that stands between you and your best—that’s why it’s good for healing so many issues! (That’s how I like to think of it, anyway!)

Stay focused and clear with Laurel.

I especially love using Laurel for decongestion and mental focus. It is the perfect companion when you have a cold or allergies but still has to go to work.

Use 5 drops of this stock blend in your diffuser.

Ingredients:

  • 10 drops Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
  • 10 drops Rosemary ct. camphor (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. camphor)
  • 20 drops White Spruce (Picea glauca)
  • 10 drops Distilled Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)

 


 

Massage sore muscles with Laurel Leaf essential oil.

Have you ever seen someone win a race and be crowned with Laurel leaves? This is a practice from ancient times that has survived to today.

When we think of Laurel Leaf essential oil (sometimes called Bay Laurel or Sweet Laurel), we can think of a cheering section to help us stay energized and go the distance.

So if you need a massage oil for sore muscles, perhaps resulting from a cold or flu (Laurel is excellent for respiratory issues!), Laurel is a great choice for your blend. It soothes, encourages, and energizes.

Here’s a recipe you can try for your next massage.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz (60 ml) jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 6 drops Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
  • 8 drops Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct camphor)
  • 15 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis)

 


 

Use Laurel Leaf for respiratory health.

When I make a blend for respiratory support, I know I can rely on essential oils that contain the chemical component 1,8 cineole.

1,8 cineole is antiviral, antimicrobial, mucolytic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory. It’s present in oils like Laurel Leaf and Eucalyptus, which are famous respiratory helpers.

Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite Aromatherapy inhalers that I use to support my lungs and sinuses. I carry my inhaler with me and use it to prevent myself from getting sick. If I’ve forgotten to bring it along and happen to get sick, I rely on it even more.

Stay Healthy Inhaler

  • 3 drops Laurel Leaf (Laurus nobilis)
  • 5 drops Saro (Cinnamosma fragrans)
  • 4 drops Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora ct. 1,8 cineole)

Directions

You can get blank Aromatherapy inhalers at Amazon. They look like little lip balm tubes, and inside there is a cotton insert. Just drop your essential oils on the cotton insert, then snap the inhaler closed. To use it, just raise it to one nostril, pinching the other closed, and inhale.

 


 

Wash up with Laurel Leaf essential oil.

Laurel Leaf essential oil doesn’t want anything to slow you down, least of all a cold. It’s a wonderful anti-infectious agent, so it can “deactivate” microbes before they get in your system.

That’s why it’s the perfect ingredient for foam soap.

Here’s a recipe that’s easy to make, and perfect for the bathroom sink. You’ll need a 2 oz (60 ml) foam pump bottle.

Laurel Orange Foam Soap

  • 2 oz (60 ml) castile soap
  • 6 drops Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
  • 15 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis)
  • 10 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Directions:

I’ll bet you can guess the blending directions on this one! (Just put everything in the soap pump. Easy, right?)

You can find foam soap pumps at Amazon They have two sizes—50 ml and 250 ml. This recipe is for a 50 ml bottle. You’ll notice that the Castile soap doesn’t quite fill the bottle to the top. That’s because when you put the lid on, the liquid will rise, and if it’s too high it could overspill.

 


 

Get to know Laurel.

Spend a little time blending with Laurel, and you may find yourself connecting with it in more ways and getting different blending ideas.

National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy – Beyond Aromatics Conference – OCT. 24 – 27, 2018 – University of Utah Conference Center & Botanical Garden, Salt Lake City, Utah

October 24-27, 2018 The World of Aromatherapy IXClick here to see a review of our 2016 Conference in

Source: National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy – Beyond Aromatics Conference – OCT. 24 – 27, 2018 – University of Utah Conference Center & Botanical Garden, Salt Lake City, Utah

What Are The Health Benefits of Clary Sage Oil.

Clary sage, also known as Salvia sclarea, is a plant native to the northern Mediterranean Basin. It is widely used for medicinal purposes and as a spice.

Many parts of the clary sage plant can be used, including the leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds. In alternative health practices, clary sage essential oil is used in aromatherapy.

In this article, we take a look at the uses and suggested health benefits of clary sage oil. We will also look at whether there is any scientific evidence to back these claims up. We also examine how the oil is used, and what side effects could occur.

Uses for clary sage oil

Clary sage oil

Clary sage oil may have properties such as antidepressant effects, improved digestion, and stress relief.

Aromatherapists and related alternative health practitioners often use clary sage as an essential oil in their treatments, and supporters believe it has many health benefits.

People may use the oil for one or more of its potential properties, including:

  • antidepressant effects
  • anti-inflammatory effects
  • improved digestion
  • antibacterial effects
  • stress relief
  • improved circulation

Possible health benefits

Below is a list of possible health benefits for clary oil. It is worth noting that many of the studies listed below either involved small numbers of participants or were carried out on animals rather than humans.

Antidepressant effects

2010 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology investigated the antidepressant and stress-fighting effects of several different essential oils in rats. The oils used included clary sage, chamomile, rosemary, and lavender.

The study found that out of all the oils tested, clary sage oil had the most potent anti-stress effect.

The researchers concluded that clary sage oil could be an effective treatment for people experiencing depression. They also suggested that the effect of the oil was closely linked to the feel-good hormone dopamine.

Blood-pressure-lowering and anti-anxiety effects

study published in 2013 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that inhaled clary sage oil significantly lowered blood pressure and calmed the breathing of women with urinary incontinence undergoing assessment. The paper includes the suggestion that inhaled clary sage oil may be an effective way of promoting relaxation.

Another piece of research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that including clary sage oil in the food of animal subjects lead to a significant reduction in dominant and anxious behavior.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2017 found that an extract of clary sage had significant anti-inflammatory effects in rats. The researchers concluded that the clary sage extract could be an effective treatment for the inflammatory gum condition periodontitis.

It is worth noting that the study also found that applying the same clary sage extract 3 days before infection did not appear to have a preventive effect.

Improved mental function

Different sage plants have long been thought to improve mental function in various ways. A 2017 review looked at the effects of various sage plants, including clary sage. The author found that sage plants seem to be associated with improved memory, greater alertness, and potential Alzheimer’s-fighting effects.

The same review also noted the anti-depressant and anti-stress effects of clary sage mentioned above.

Antibacterial effects

Many essential oils, including clary sage oil, are thought to have antibacterial qualities. A 2015 study looking at the antibacterial effects of clary sage essential oil found that its antibacterial qualities worked against all strains of bacteria tested.

Clary sage essential oil was also found to reduce the growth of E. coli significantly and appeared to attack bacteria cells in several different ways.

Other research has also suggested that some of the chemical components of clary sage have anti-fungal effects.

2017 study comparing the antibacterial and antifungal effects of six different essential oils also found clary sage to have antibacterial and antifungal effects. However, these effects were less significant than most of the other oils that were tested.

How to use clary sage oil

essential oil burner

Clary sage oil may be diffused into the air with an essential oil burner.

As research has found positive effects of clary sage oil when inhaled, taken via the mouth, and applied directly to inflamed areas of the body, there are many options for how someone can use it. Users should make sure to select 100 percent essential oil.

Aromatherapy: Around 2 to 3 drops of clary sage oil can be mixed with water and other essential oils and diffused into the air via an essential oil burner. When vaporized, clary sage oil can help to fight bacteria and other germs in the air

Skin: Add about 6 drops of clary sage oil to 1 oz. of carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and rub directly onto a wounded area, or massage into skin. Add 3 to 5 drops of essential oil to the bathwater to soothe sore muscles and improve mood. When rubbed onto an injured area, it can have a direct antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anesthetic effect.

Oral: Add around 1 to 2 drops of 100 percent essential oil to tea, smoothies, or food for a soothing effect, and to help reduce inflammation in the gums. The Natural Standard Herb and Supplement Guide state that 25-50 microliters (or 1/2 to 1 drop) can be taken orally one to three times daily.

All of these uses appear to be safe and may be beneficial.

Side effects

Clary sage oil appears safe for use.

Various sources make claims about clary sage oil increasing estrogen in the body, but at least one 2017 study that investigated the estrogen-boosting effects of different essential oils did not seem to agree. The study did, however, suggest that geranium and rose otto essential oils might boost estrogen.

Other supposed risks or side effects of clary sage oil seem to be largely anecdotal and appear not to be well supported by research.

A reasonable precaution would be to test a small area of skin before applying the oil to large areas of skin and avoid using clary sage oil before driving or operating heavy machinery. People should also stop using clary sage oil and consult with a medical professional if any issues arise.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate essential oils. People who wish to use them should speak to their healthcare provider first and be sure to obtain the oils from a respected supplier.

Also,

A large body of research suggests that clary sage oil could have many health benefits.

These benefits include anti-depressant and anti-stress effects, likely connected to the hormone dopamine. These effects could make clary sage an effective natural remedy for low moods. It is worth noting that many studies do not involve large groups of humans, however.

Clary sage oil has also been shown to lower blood pressure, relieve anxiety, and be a great all-around stress buster. There’s some suggestion that, as a member of the sage family, it may even have a positive impact on memory and mental function.

Finally, clary sage oil has been shown to have excellent anti-inflammatory and moderate antibacterial effects, as well as anesthetic properties. It is worth keeping in mind, though, that clary sage oil does not appear to prevent inflammation but instead acts as a treatment for it.