DIY Candle Making, Scented Candles

The craft of candle making has its roots in the Middle Ages, back when it was known as “chandlery.” It quickly became a profitable career, as sources of light were vital for homes, travelers at night, businesses, streets, religious ceremonies, and entire villages. These first candles were made from wax consisting of tallow, which is the fat from cows or sheep, and wicks. Tallow thus became the standard candle-making material in Europe. Tallow candles retained an unpleasant beefy, fatty odor, but a more pleasant alternative was also introduced in Europe at the time: beeswax candles. Their wax was naturally produced by honey bees and they were used in churches and royal events for their sweet scent. Their limited availability meant they were expensive, and only the church and the upper class could afford to buy them. Tallow was established as the more commonly used candle in households.

Several other civilizations had their own techniques for creating sources of light. Ancient Egyptians created torches or “rushlights” by soaking the core of rush plants or seeds in animal fat, but the difference between them and true candles is that they did not have wicks. The Ancient Romans created candle wicks by rolling papyrus and dipping it in melted animal fat or beeswax. Early Chinese candles were made from a combination of the wax excreted from an indigenous insect and from particular seeds. The candle shapes were molded in paper tubes with the wicks created out of rolled rice paper. Japanese candle wax was extracted from tree nuts, and Indian candle wax was created by boiling the fruit of the cinnamon tree.

BENEFITS OF CANDLE MAKING

Aside from the romantic, meditative, therapeutic ambiance and pleasant scent they provide, a major benefit of DIY candles is that they are less expensive than store-bought candles. Brand name candles are especially costly, but candles that are less harmful to health can be created for a fraction of retail prices.

The majority of candle brands create paraffin candles, as this material results in candles that are more economical to produce than any other candle fuel. The disadvantage of burning a paraffin candle was that it had a low melting point and emitted harmful byproducts such as carbon monoxide. Although stearic acid was added to resolve the problem of the low melting point, the issue of unhealthy vapors remained; paraffin candle fumes can contain a number of carcinogens including Acetaldehyde, Acrolein, Benzene, Formaldehyde, Polychlorodibenzo-p-dioxins, Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons and Toulene. Burning paraffin candles can potentially cause skin irritation, organ toxicity, and neurotoxicity problems. DIY candlemakers can ensure that their candles are paraffin-free by using paraffin-free wax or beeswax. The wicks of store-bought candles can also be culprits when it comes to causing health issues, as they might not be free of additives like zinc and lead, which release harmful chemicals when burned. Environmentally-friendly wick options are available such as those that are 100% cotton.

Any heat-resistant containers can be used to house the final homemade candle. A jam jar is one example of a repurposed/reused container that would work well. This means they produce less waste, giving them the added benefit of being eco-friendly. Using a jam jar to house a candle prevents the need for the customary plastic packaging used to wrap individual candles.

NATURAL (BEESWAX) CANDLES VS. STORE-BOUGHT CANDLES

Store-bought candles are largely paraffin and tend to drip when burned, but a properly trimmed pure beeswax candle will not drip, as long as it is in an environment that is free of drafts that would cause a flame disturbance. If a paraffin candle does not drip, that means it contains additives that make the wax act like beeswax to prevent it from dripping as much as it normally would.

Paraffin candles are a byproduct of the oil industry, so even extracting the non-renewable petroleum that will be refined to create the paraffin beeswax causes pollution. Using beeswax candles supports the business of beekeepers, who care for bees. This, in turn, supports crop pollination. Collecting and processing beeswax does not pollute the environment and is a renewable source. Beeswax is used in its original state, so it does not undergo bleaching or hydrogenating, and it does not require the use of large areas of land.

Compared to the petroleum scent of paraffin, a pure beeswax candle has the natural sweet smell of honey and does not contain any synthetic ingredients nor does it require any synthetic additives. Paraffin candles require additives like colors and fragrances to release a pleasant scent.

The type of wax in a candle will yield a difference in light quality as well. Paraffin candles emit a light that is similar to that of incandescent light bulbs, which can be tiresome to the eyes. Beeswax candles emit a light that is brighter and that is often equated to the brightness of sunlight.

MOST COMMONLY USED CANDLE WAXES

  • PARAFFIN is the oldest and most traditional candle-making wax. It is the least expensive and readily accepts colors and scents. Paraffin wax should be melted until it reaches between 50°C – 60°C (122°F – 140°F).
  • BEESWAX is the best option for those who seek all-natural products. It’s natural, subtle aroma and golden color mean that colors and scents do not need to be added; however, this also means that the natural scent will interfere with any fragrance additive and the added scents will not be effectively incorporated into the melted wax. Beeswax should be melted to a temperature between 62.7°C – 79.4°C (145 °F – 175 °F).
  • SOY is generally made with soybean oil but is sometimes blended with other waxes such as beeswax and paraffin. Colors and scents can easily be added to this wax. Soy wax should be melted until it reaches between 76.6°C – 82.2°C (170°F – 180 °F)

ADDITIVES

AROMATIC OILS (SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCE OILS OR ESSENTIAL OILS): To add aromatic oils to wax, it is important to know the “flash point” of the desired scent. This is the temperature at which the scent evaporates and cannot be detected anymore due to overheating. For instance, adding a fragrance with a flash point (evaporating point) of 65 °C (149°F) to wax that melts at 80 °C (176°F) will cause the fragrance to be heated above its flash point and the scent will evaporate as the wax cools and sets. When the candle has fully cooled, no scent will remain.

It is also important to have the correct ratio of aromatic oil to wax, as adding too much of the oil can affect the stability of the candle, potentially causing it to curdle or sweat while setting. It can also create a thin layer of oil at the top of the candle.

To ensure that the correct amount of aromatic oil is added to the wax, the oil should be measured in weight, not volume. This will prevent any miscalculations caused by the varying densities of different aromatic oils. The following is the formula for calculating the amount of aromatic oil in candle wax:

[grams of wax used in a single candle] x [percentage of aromatic oil you wish to use] = [grams of aromatic oil you will need per candle]

Although the number of aromatic oils used in candles will vary depending on the type of wax used, the most common amount to use is 6% which is the same as 1 oz. (28.34 grams) per pound (0.45 kg) of wax.

It is important to remember that nose blindness can occur when adding scents to candles. This is a form of sensory adaptation that happens when the sense of smell becomes so accustomed to the scent that it smells less intense than it actually is. For this reason, taking frequent breaks away from the scent is highly recommended to prevent candles from being too strongly scented.

Colorants: There are specific oil-based dyes meant for candles, as regular food coloring will not work in candles due to the fact that they are water-based. The manufacturer’s guide or the dye bottle will provide information about the amounts of dye required to achieve specific colors and concentrations.

candle making colors

For example, a rose-scented candle is most often expected to be red or pink in color, as that is the natural and most popular color of the traditional rose with the archetypal sweet aroma.

There are two types of colorants for candles: pigments and dyes. Pigments are used to color the exterior of the candle. Dyes, which are melted into the wax itself, color the entire candle thoroughly. As long as both types of colorants are used as intended, they will not pose any health risks.

  • PIGMENTS are the ideal colorant for colored candles that will not be as susceptible to fading, as they do not migrate or bleed; the different pigments will not merge or blend into each other as the candle burns. On the downside, because they are powders and do not dissolve, pigments do not usually burn well due to the suspension of their fine color particles. If mixed into candle wax, they will cause the flame of the finished candle to smoke excessively or to flare up, or they will not travel up the wick, which will cause it to become clogged and to burn out. Instead of combining them into melted wax to color a candle throughout, it is better to paint them onto the outside of a finished candle. Though pigments can be mixed together to create an endless number of colors, many of them are already mixtures of several colors and adding too many colors to a melted candle mix might lead to a muddy color rather than an attractive, vibrant shade. Mica pigments are a popular colorant for candles. They are shimmery powder dyes made of silicate minerals. These powders reflect light and when added to candles they create a sparkling effect.
  • DYES come in both liquid and powder form. Dyes dissolve in liquids and do not usually clog wicks, as they burn easily when added to candle wax. They generally have a minimal effect on the way colored candle burns. On the downside, this type of colorant often leads to a bleeding candle. This means the candle’s colors will move into each other or “migrate.” Dyed candles also tend to become unstable when exposed to any source of UV light, which leads to their colors fading.
  • LIQUID CANDLE COLORING DYES are wax-soluble, highly concentrated, and will not leave suspended sediment that sometimes results from using powdered dyes. Their solubility means that colors will not migrate in a candle; however, the color can still fade when exposed to UV light. Generally, 1 oz. (28.34 g) of liquid dye can color 125 lb. (56.69 kg) of wax to a medium shade. 4 to 8 drops per pound of wax is the ideal amount to use. Using more than 10 drops of dye per pound of wax might cause candles to have a chemical smell. The maximum amount of liquid dye is 30 drops per pound (453.59 g) of wax, and using more than this can lead to a clogged wick. Melted paraffin wax will not mix with liquid dye, so the powdered dye is suggested.
  • POWDERED CANDLE DYES are the most concentrated of all candle dyes. To promote better dispersion and to reduce the number of undissolved powdered dye particles in the wax, these colors can be dissolved in a small amount of melted stearic acid or blended with a fragrance oil before being combined with the wax. The temperature at which they dissolve most effectively in wax is 80 áµ’C (176 áµ’F). Once the wax reaches this temperature, the powdered dye can be stirred in. To prevent any clumps of color, ensure that the powder has properly dispersed. Powdered dyes can also be mixed together to create myriad other colors. The amount of powdered dye is measured by weight as a percentage of the amount of wax being used in the candle.

The following measurements can be used to determine the starting point for each kind of shade:

  • For lighter shades: 0.1%
  • For medium shades: 0.15%
  • For darker shades: 0.25%

The following formula can be used to calculate the amount needed to color a candle:

[grams of wax used in a single candle] x [percentage of dye flakes] = [grams of dye flakes you will need per candle]

To achieve the desired color, adding the dye in stages is recommended. Begin with small amounts, such as a pinch, and increase the amount until the ideal color is reached. To see what the final color will be while the wax is still melted, scoop a small amount of melted colored wax onto a spoon and run cold water over it to cool it. The candle’s final color will show on the spoon.

    • CONCENTRATED CANDLE DYE BLOCKS are molded blocks of wax containing colorants. They do not require any additional weighing, as the exact amount of dye has already been calculated and incorporated into each block. Vendors might provide color charts and directions for how to achieve each color swatch. The same color block will make various color concentrations simply by varying the amount of wax used with a single dye block. The appearance of color will vary in different types of wax but color blocks generally do not produce colors as vibrant as the ones created by liquid dyes and are best suited for attaining soft colors. The recommended starting rate is 0.5 oz. (14.17 g) of dye block in 5 lb. (2.26 kg) of wax. For a darker shade, black coloring block can be added. Lighter shades will fade faster than darker ones. To use a color block in candle wax, the desired amount of color is shaved off and added to the melted wax. To prevent specks of color from settling at the bottoms of candles, ensure that the color block is fully combined with the wax before it is pouring into the mold.
    • CANDLE DYE CHIPS are available in any color and often come in diamond or circle shapes. Only one chip is required per pound of wax. Dye chips are most convenient for dying small amounts of candle wax, whereas powders, liquids, and blocks are best suited for dyeing large amounts.

Caution: Using too much of any kind of colorant in candles can suppress the throw of the scent and impact the melt pool of the candle, which is how quickly the candle burns and finishes.

CANDLE MAKING TOOLS AND INGREDIENTS

FOR AN 8 OZ. (226.79 G) AROMATHERAPY CANDLE

  • A Double Boiler or 2 pots for a makeshift Double Boiler
  • 8 oz. (226.79 g) of desired wax
  • A cotton wick
  • A sharp knife
  • Aromatic oils (optional)
  • A wooden spoon, spatula, or stick to stir the wax and to break up large chunks of wax
  • An 8 oz. (226.79 g) heat-resistant container for the final candle OR an 8 oz. (226.79 g) mold (optional)
  • A Candy/Candle/Meat Thermometer to take the temperature of the wax in order to add fragrances and to know the best time to pour the wax into the container
  • 2 Pen(s)/Pencil(s)

HOW TO MAKE AN AROMATHERAPY CANDLE

FOR AN 8 OZ. (226.79 G) AROMATHERAPY CANDLE

  1. Prepare the work area with newspaper or paper towel to make for easy cleanup, as wax droplets can land anywhere and be laborious to scrape off. Set up newspaper or paper towels around your work area. Use the newspaper/paper towel as a place on which to set tools such as the thermometer and spatula. Having the containers and wicks laid out before beginning the process will provide more efficiency.
  2. If the wax does not already come in small pellets, cut the block of wax into smaller chunks with a sharp knife.
  3. Melt the wax in the double boiler by filling half the bottom pan with water and, for an 8 oz. (226.79 g) jar, place half a pound of wax in the top pan. Stir the wax until the big chunks have all been broken up. After 10-15 minutes, the wax should be melted entirely. At 71 áµ’C – 76 áµ’C (160 – 170 áµ’F), remove the wax from the heat.
  4. Cut the wick to fit the height of the container. Tape or wrap the extra length of the wick around the pens or pencils so that the wick stands upright when placed inside the container. These writing utensils should be placed across the top of the container to keep the wick in place at the center of the jar as the wax is poured in and as it cools later. Some wicks have stickers on the bottoms to help them adhere to jars. Other options include sticking the wick in place with super glue or dabbing the bottom of the wick with melted wax. Hold the wick in place until the glue or the wax hardens.
  5. An aromatic oil can be added to soy wax, paraffin-free wax, or beeswax at the temperature best suited to its flash point, which is the point at which the scent evaporates. For example, if an aromatic oil’s flash point is greater than 80 áµ’C (176 áµ’F), add the oil before the wax gets hotter than 80áµ’C (176 áµ’F). The amount of oil for the wax will be determined by the strength of the scent and the amount of wax. Stir in the fragrance until it can be smelled through the wax mixture and until it is evenly distributed. Stir in the aromatic oil for a minimum of 2 minutes to ensure it has been fully mixed into the wax. Allow the wax to cool down to 54 áµ’C – 60 áµ’C (130-140 áµ’F) before pouring the wax into the container. This is the optimal temperature range at which to pour the wax, as the candle will set better this way than if poured when it is hotter.
  6. While pouring the wax into the prepared containers, keep a light hold on the wick to ensure it stays centered, as the heat from the wax might dislodge the wick from its place at the bottom of the container, especially if the wax was also used to hold the wick in place. Do not pour all the wax into the container at once – save some in the double boiler until the initial pour sets inside the container. To add the remainder of the wax to the candle container, repeat the melting process.
  7. As the candle sets, a sinkhole will likely form in the center of the candle and the edges of the candle will likely pull away from the insides of the container. To fix this, simply top up the container with the remainder of the melted wax. Do not fill the candle container all the way to the top, as space will be needed for the wax to melt when the candle burns.
  8. Allow the candle to cool. Paraffin candles generally take 24 hours to cool, Soy candles generally take 4 – 5 hours to cool, and Beeswax candles generally take 6 hours to cool. Allowing them to solidify at room temperature overnight will yield the best result, as the gradual cooling process will prevent cracks in the wax.
  9. Trim the wick of the finished candle to 1/4″ (6 mm). A wick that is longer than this will produce a sooty flame. If a scented candle has a long wick, the fragrance will not disperse and will instead be burned up quickly. This is because a small wick means a smaller flame, which means the candle burns slowly and lasts longer. This gives the scent a chance to emerge rather than being consumed. A long wick will also cause the flame to flicker and it might curl back into the wax as the candle cools and hardens.
  10. When cleaning up wax, it is easier to wipe it off of tools while the wax is still in liquid form. Washing it down the drain in liquid form will cause the drain to be clogged when it hardens. If it hardens before it can be easily wiped off, it is also easy to scrape off of most items.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

In order to ensure safety and good results while making candles out of wax made from scratch, always be aware of the temperature of the wax by using a thermometer. The fumes of wax that are overheated can cause severe illness, especially if the area is not ventilated.

To prevent fire hazards, keep wax away from open flames at all times and never leave wax unattended, not even when it is being melted in a double boiler. In the case of a wax fire, do not put it out with water or with any water-based fire extinguisher. Wax is an oil and applying water to it might cause the blazing wax to splatter. Any tiny fires that accidentally occur inside the melting pot can be extinguished by putting the lid on it. The most important candle making equipment is a fire extinguisher.

To prevent skin burns, use heat-resistant gloves or pot holders when handling the melting pot, hot containers, or heated equipment. Wearing loose clothing will also be beneficial in the event that hot wax sprays onto clothing, as tightly fitted clothing will allow the heat to travel immediately through the fabric onto the skin. Skin that comes in contact with heated wax should have cold water applied to it immediately and the wax should be peeled off.

Ensure that the candle making routine is always mindful.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

IN ESSENCE…

    • There are 5 classifications of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: Ylang Ylang Extra, Ylang Ylang I, II III, and Ylang Ylang Complete. The numbers refer to the number of times Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is distilled through fractionation.
    • Used in aromatherapy applications, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil soothes stress, anxiety, sadness, tension, and sleeplessness. Its aphrodisiac quality is reputed to boost the libido to enhance sensuality between a couple.
    • Used cosmetically or topically in general, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is known to balance and regulate oil production in the skin and hair, while also soothing inflammation and irritation. It enhances circulation, encourages the growth of new skin and hair, contributes and maintains hydration, conditions, and prevents infections.
  • Used medicinally, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil effectively facilitates the healing of wounds, enhances the health of the nervous system, reduces the stress exerted on the nerves, balances blood pressure levels, and stabilizes the heart rate.

HISTORY OF YLANG YLANG OIL USAGE

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, pronounced “Ee-lang Ee-lang,” receives its common name from the repetition of the Tagalog word “ilang,” meaning “wilderness,” which is where the tree is naturally found. The wilderness to which it is native or in which it is cultivated includes the tropical rainforests of the Philippines, Indonesia, Java, Sumatra, Comoro, and Polynesia. The Ylang Ylang tree, scientifically identified as the Cananga odorata botanical, is also sometimes referred to as The Fragrant Cananga, The Perfume Tree, and The Macassar Oil Plant.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is derived from the steam distillation of the plant’s sea star-shaped flowering parts. It is known to have a scent that can be described as sweetly and delicately floral and fresh with a fruity nuance. There are 5 varieties of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil available in the market: In the first 1-2 hours of distillation, the distillate obtained is called Extra, while grades I, II and III of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil are extracted in the following hours by specifically determined fractions of time. The fifth variety is referred to as Ylang Ylang Complete. This final distillation of Ylang Ylang is typically achieved after it has been distilled for 6-20 hours. It retains the characteristic rich, sweet, floral scent; however, its undertone is more herbaceous than the previous distillations, thus its general scent is lighter than that of Ylang Ylang Extra. The name ‘Complete’ refers to the fact that this variety is the result of a continuous, undisturbed distillation of the Ylang Ylang flower.

In Indonesia, Ylang Ylang flowers, believed to have aphrodisiac properties, are sprinkled on the bed of a newlywed couple. In the Philippines, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is used by healers to address cuts, burns, and bites from both insects and snakes. In the Molucca islands, the oil was used to make a popular hair pomade called Macassar Oil. In the early 20th century, after its medicinal properties were discovered by a French chemist, Ylang Ylang Oil came to be used as a potent remedy for infections of the intestines and for typhus and malaria. Eventually, it became popular around the world for its ability to promote relaxation by easing the symptoms and effects of anxiety and harmful stress.

Today, Ylang Ylang Oil continues to be used for its health-enhancing characteristics. Due to its soothing and stimulating properties, it is reputed to be beneficial for addressing ailments associated with women’s reproductive health, such as premenstrual syndrome and low libido. Additionally, it is beneficial for calming stress-related ailments such as anxiety, depression, nervous tension, insomnia, high blood pressure, and palpitations.

YLANG YLANG OIL BENEFITS

The main chemical constituents of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil are Linalool, Geranyl acetate, Germacrene-D, beta-Caryophyllene, Benzyl Acetate, Geraniol, Methyl p-Cresol, Methyl benzoate, Geranyl acetate, Farnasene, and Benzyl benzoate.

LINALOOL is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Sedative
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Analgesic
  • Anti-depressant

GERANYL ACETATE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-inflammatory

GERMACRENE-D is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Stimulating
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Decongestant
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Insecticidal

BETA-CARYOPHYLLENE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Neuro-protective
  • Anti-depressant
  • Antioxidant
  • Analgesic
  • Anxiolytic

BENZYL ACETATE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Fragrant (sweet, fruity, floral, and reminiscent of Jasmine flowers)
  • Sedative
  • Anti-spasmodic

GERANIOL is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-septic
  • Analgesic

METHYL P-CRESOL is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Disinfectant
  • Anti-bacterial

METHYL BENZOATE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Spasmolytic
  • Sedative
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anesthetic
  • Anti-inflammatory

GERANYL ACETATE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-septic
  • Anti-viral
  • Energizing
  • Stimulant
  • Warming
  • Diuretic
  • Aphrodisiac

FARNESENE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Calming
  • Sedative
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-bacterial

BENZYL BENZOATE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Insecticidal
  • Antimicrobial
  • Fragrant (faintly balsamic and sweet)

ylang ylang

Used in aromatherapy applications, Ylang Ylang Oil is known to soothe feelings of stress, anxiety, sadness, tension, and sleeplessness. Its pleasant floral scent, which has been described as both delicate and powerful, makes it an ideal ingredient for use in perfumes for both men and women as well as in aromatherapy applications. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is reputed to have anti-depressant properties that not only address negative feelings, including nervousness, shock, and fatigue, it also promotes positive feelings of cheerfulness and optimism, thus uplifting the mood. Its aphrodisiac quality is known to boost libido to enhance sensuality between a couple by addressing the mental and emotional factors that sometimes hinder a romantic mood. With a deeply sweet, bright, spicy and stimulating scent nuanced with traces of Jasmine, Neroli, and Banana, Ylang Ylang Oil is a popular ingredient in cosmetic fragrances and other cosmetic products. When sprayed or diffused to freshen the air in an indoor environment, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil blends well with Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lavender, and Sandalwood essential oils.

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Ylang Ylang Oil is best known for balancing and regulating oil production in the skin and hair to prevent excessive dryness and oiliness. It soothes inflammation and irritation of the body and the scalp while strengthening skin and hair. It addresses acne as well as hair loss by enhancing circulation, encouraging the growth of new skin and hair, contributing and maintaining hydration, conditioning, and preventing infections with its anti-microbial properties. By calming the mind and body, it promotes the faster onset of sleep and arouses sensuality.

ylang ylang ingredient

Used medicinally, Ylang Ylang Oil works to effectively facilitate the healing of wounds by preventing cuts, scrapes, and burns, among other types of minor injuries, from becoming infected by harmful bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Its nervine property is known to enhance the health of the nervous system by strengthening it and repairing any damage it might have undergone. By reducing the stress exerted on the nerves, it helps reduce the chances of causing potential nervous disorders. Its hypotensive quality is believed to balance blood pressure levels, enhance circulation, and normalize the heart rate.

 Ylang Ylang Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

    • COSMETIC: Anti-seborrheic, Protective, Stimulating, Moisturizing, Oil-Regulating, Clarifying, Conditioning, Anti-inflammatory, Brightening, Freshening, Smoothing, Strengthening
    • ODOROUS: Anti-depressant, Aphrodisiac, Sedative, Energizing, Soothing/Calming, Hypotensive, Nervine
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-seborrheic, Anti-depressant, Anti-septic, Hypotensive, Nervine, Sedative, Anti-inflammatory

YLANG YLANG OIL USES

Used in aromatherapy applications, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil can be diffused in an essential oil burner or electric diffuser to stabilize emotions, inspire feelings of relaxation, and create a hospitable atmosphere. For an aromatherapy blend that naturally enhances energy by addressing problems like constant tiredness, fatigue, body aches, and exhaustion, diffuse 2-3 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil. This is also known to immediately boost the mood, sedate the mind and body to alleviate factors leading to insomnia and lower the body’s stress responses such as palpitations. Diffusing Ylang Ylang has the added benefit of working as an agent that enhances the inclination to socialize. Furthermore, it is a circulation stimulant and an aid for improved digestion and metabolism. Alternatively, a single drop can be added to bedsheets or to a small area of clothing that will not directly or constantly brush against the skin.

To create an aromatherapy diffuser blend that promotes positivity, happiness, and optimism, combine 2 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 2 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil and 1 drop Bergamot Essential Oil. To create a natural aphrodisiac blend that can also be applied as a roll-on perfume, first pour 15 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil and 5 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil into a small glass bowl. Using a toothpick or a chopstick, mix the two oils together thoroughly. To this mix, add 2 tsp. of Grapeseed Carrier Oil and thoroughly blend it in with the other oils. Using a syringe, transfer this oil blend to a 10 ml roller vial. This perfume can be applied to pulse points, such as the collarbone, neck, wrists, and inner elbows.

Used in cosmetic applications, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil can be diluted and applied to the skin to maintain its health. To reduce the signs of aging, to soothe irritation, and to generally protect the skin, simply dilute 1-2 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil in 1 Tbsp. Coconut Carrier Oil or Jojoba Carrier Oil, then gently massage it into the face 1-2 times daily.

To create a relaxing aromatic bath that is simultaneously romantic, combine 15 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 10 drops Geranium Essential Oil, 10 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil, and 2 cups Dead Sea Salt in a glass bowl. Pour this salt blend into a bathtub under hot running water. Before entering the tub, ensure that the salt has dissolved completely. Soak in this calming and balancing bath for 15-30 minutes to stimulate better circulation and to promote an affectionate mood.

For a conditioning hair treatment, that enhances the health, luster, and texture of strands, mix 2-3 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil into a 2 Tbsp. of Coconut Carrier Oil. Next, massage this blend into the scalp and smooth it down over the strands to the hair ends to prevent tangles, to soothe dandruff, and to reduce the chances of hair loss. Before showering, massage this blend into the scalp and hair, and allow it to soak for 20 minutes before washing it out with a regular mild shampoo. Alternatively, it can be diluted in Jojoba Carrier Oil or even in a regular conditioner.

For a massage oil blend that soothes tired muscles, combine 4 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 4 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil, 4 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil, 2 drops Bergamot Essential Oil, and 60 ml (2 oz.) Carrier Oil of personal preference. Suggested carrier oils include Argan, Macadamia, Olive, Sesame, or Sweet Almond. Next, cap the bottle and shake it well to thoroughly combine all the oils. Allow the mixture to sit for a couple of days to ensure thorough mixing. When it is ready to be used in a massage, pour a dime-size amount into the palm of the hand, rub the hands together, and massage the oil over the body. For the added benefits of other essential oils that are reputed to have aphrodisiac properties, dilute 5 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 3 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil, and 3 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil in 1 tsp. of a Carrier Oil of personal choice. This enticing blend can be massaged onto the inner thighs before bed.

For a moisturizing and oil-balancing face cream with antioxidant effects that slow the look of aging, 1-2 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil can be added to a usual face cream. Alternatively, to make an all-natural face cream that exhibits the benefits of Ylang Ylang and that is valuable for use on combination skin, first combine ½ cup Shea Butter, 2 Tbsp. Rose Floral Water, and 1 Tsp. Vegetable Glycerin in a blender. Once the mixture has been blended into a creamy consistency, which will be white in color, scoop the emulsion into an amber glass jar. To this, add 5 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 3 drops Geranium Essential Oil. Next, using a thin stick such as a chopstick, thoroughly incorporate all the oils into the cream. To use this moisturizer, gently massage a pea-sized amount into the skin. If stored in a clean, cool, dry place when it is not in use, this cream may be able to last for 6-12 months.

For a nourishing and hydrating body lotion that lifts, tones, protects and promotes the faster healing of skin, first place ¼ cup Olive Carrier Oil, ¼ cup Coconut Carrier Oil, ¼ cup Beeswax, and ¼ cup Shea Butter in a glass bowl. Place this bowl in a saucepan filled with water, then place the saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Stir together all the ingredients. After they have thoroughly combined, remove the bowl from the heat, allow it to cool down, and place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Once the mixture hardens, take the bowl out. Next, with a regular mixer or a hand mixer, beat the blend. Once it reaches a fluffy and whipped consistency, mix in 2 Tbsp. Vitamin E liquid from a broken supplement gel followed by 20 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 10 drops Frankincense Essential Oil, and 10 drops Myrrh Essential Oil. Once more, mix the combination until all the ingredients are thoroughly fused. Spoon this blend into a glass container. To apply this lotion, use the fingers to scoop a small amount into the hands, rub it between the palms, and massage it into the preferred area of skin. To store this lotion, keep it in a cool place when it is not being used.

To promote hair growth by stimulating circulation while eliminating the bacteria and inflammation that may cause hair loss, first pour ½ cup of Coconut Carrier Oil into a clean dark dropper bottle or container. Next, add 10 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 10 drops Rosemary Essential Oil, and 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil. Cap the bottle and shake it well to thoroughly combine all the oils. 1-2 hours before showering, massage this conditioning blend into the scalp and hair and allow it to soak. When it is time for a shower, wash it out with a regular mild shampoo. This will leave hair feeling silkier and looking shinier Alternatively, a conditioning hair oil can be made by diluting 15 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil in ½ cup Sweet Almond Carrier Oil.

For a hair perfume or body spray that allows strands and skin to emit a long-lasting and pleasantly intense scent, combine 7-10 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 2 tsp. Aloe Vera Gel Juice and 45 ml (1 ½ oz.) distilled water inside a 60 ml (2 oz.) spray bottle. Shake the bottle to thoroughly blend together all the ingredients, then spray it on the hair or on the skin as a regular spray-on perfume.

Used in medicinal applications, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is known to stimulate circulation, ease pain and inflammation, and soothe mental ailments such as nervousness and sadness. To create a massage oil that is reputed to have all of these effects, first, pour ½ cup of Coconut Carrier Oil into a 120 ml (4 oz.) amber glass bottle. To this, add 15 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil. Replace the bottle cap and shake the bottle well to ensure the oils are thoroughly combined. This massage blend can be applied to the feet, scalp, back, or hands.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil’s anti-depressant, sedative, and anti-spasmodic qualities are known to address and reduce the mood swings and cramps associated with pre-menstrual syndrome. For a remedial massage blend that balances hormones and naturally eases these unpleasant symptoms related to the menstrual cycle, dilute 5 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 1 drop Clary Sage in 2 Tbsp. of a Carrier Oil of personal preference. This massage blend can be applied to the lower abdomen and the lower back to release stiffness, pressure, aching, and cramping.

For an anti-septic oil blend that can soothe or diminish the appearance of acne, wounds, rashes, boils and ingrown hairs, first, pour 2 tsp. of Witch Hazel Distillate into a 10 ml (0.33 oz.) bottle. To this, add 2 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil and 2 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil. Apply this blend to the affected areas.

YLANG YLANG OIL VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

YLANG YLANG ESSENTIAL OIL (#1, #2, and #3)

Botanical Name: Cananga odorata

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Steam distilled from flowers

Country of Origin: Madagascar

Qualities of Each:

    • All the varieties share a scent that is characterized by a base note with a medium aroma. Their fragrances can be described as sweet, exotic, and floral; however, each higher grade has a slightly less-sweet aroma than the previous grade.
    • Ylang Ylang Essential Oil I: Has the sweetest, brightest scent of the 3 grades and is best suited to aromatherapy applications.
    • Ylang Ylang Essential Oil III: Has the heaviest/darkest scent and is the grade best suited to the manufacturing of scented soaps, candles, shampoos, and other bath and body products.
  • All Varieties: Have anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, euphoric, and sedative properties. They are reputed to tone the nervous and circulatory systems, regulate blood pressure, and calm heart palpitations. They balance sebum production and stabilize several other body functions.

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR YLANG YLANG OIL

Ylang Ylang Oil should never be ingested due to its toxicity. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Ylang Ylang Essential Oil without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. The oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised: diabetes, cancer, low blood pressure and other heart-related ailments, peptic ulcers, liver damage, bleeding disorders, skin disorders, or hormone-related ailments. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.

Prior to using Ylang Ylang Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the Essential Oil in 4 drops of a Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Ylang Ylang Oil must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Ylang Ylang Oil include sensitization, rashes, headache, and nausea.

Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this essential oil as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

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Foot Detox: Know the Facts

Foot Detox: Know the Facts, Top Benefits, and Recipes

When you think about detoxing, you probably think about detox diets, colon cleansing, or fasting. But, in recent years, detoxing through the feet has gained popularity. Proponents say foot detox therapy eliminates toxins from the body, increases energy, offers immune support, and improves overall health and well-being. However, foot detoxes are not without controversy. Does detoxing through your feet really work, and are there any side effects? What different techniques exist for a foot detox? Read on for answers to these questions and more.

What Is a Detox?

Detoxing, short for detoxification, is intended to eliminate or neutralize toxins throughout the body. Toxins are virtually everywhere, including in the foods we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and common home products. There are approximately 85,000 chemicals regulated under the United States Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) but the Environmental Protection Agency has only banned or restricted use of a handful of chemicals, including chlorofluorocarbons, asbestos, radon, lead, and hexavalent chromium. Unfortunately, many of these are persistent organic pollutants that stay in the environment long after their use is discontinued.

Toxins accumulate in the liver and colon, and there are many detox techniques that can neutralize and help move them out of the body. Toxins are also removed through the body’s natural elimination routes such as sweating, breathing, urinating, defecating, and during menses.

What Is a Foot Detox?

Foot detoxes are intended to remove toxins and metals from the body by drawing them out through the feet. There are a variety of techniques for detoxing through the feet, including foot masks and scrubs, detox foot pads, acupressure, and ionic foot soaks. Proponents believe that a foot detox helps make the body’s pH level more alkaline. It’s also thought to deactivate a variety of harmful organisms. Some health care providers, including chiropractors and holistic health centers, offer foot detox baths and charge high prices for the service. Foot detox baths are also sold in stores for at-home use.

Benefits of Doing a Foot Detox

  • May remove toxins
  • Reduces swelling
  • Calms the body
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Improves mood
  • Burns calories
  • Encourages normal blood sugar
  • Boosts cardiovascular health

Since the feet are rich with nerve endings and sweat glands, it seems like the ideal place in the body to detox and de-stress. There’s no denying that soaking your body or just your feet in hot or warm water is calming. But hot detox foot baths may also help reduce swelling, boost your immune system, and improve your overall health and mood. A recent study even found that, like exercise, hot baths can help burn calories, boost cardiovascular health, and encourage normal blood sugar. People who advocate for detoxing through the feet say that it can ease mental distress while improving sleep and overall well-being.

Further, the manufacturers of the ionic foot baths claim their product eliminates alcohol, acids, alkali, bleach and chlorine, detergents, emulsifiers, synthetic dyes and fragrances, toxic metals, pesticides, petrochemicals, preservatives, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Detoxing with the right kind of foot pads can also have unique benefits. The best detox pads stimulate the kidney acupressure point to release tension and support overall health.

Does Detoxing Through Your Feet Really Work?

There has been some controversy around whether certain types of foot detox methods – specifically ionic foot baths and detox foot pads – actually work. Certain television shows have even looked at whether ionic foot bath detox methods did what was claimed.

Most proponents of foot baths believe that the water changes color as a result of toxins leaving the body and accumulating in the water. In reality, placing metal electrodes in the bath’s saltwater produce rust in a rapid manner through electrolysis. The color the water changes to has nothing to do with the toxins. In fact, the electrolysis will change color even without feet being placed in the foot bath.

A 2012 study in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health looked at urine and hair samples from people who had used a foot detox bath and were unable to find evidence that the bath eliminated toxins from the body.

However, another study found that regular use of ionic foot baths decreased the amount of aluminum and arsenic present in the body. One practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine reported that ionic foot baths made the body less acidic and more alkaline after just one use. Additionally, this alkaline state lasted 48 hours after use.

6 Different Ways To Do a Foot Detox

Ionic foot baths aren’t the only way to do a foot detox. In fact, there are a variety of ways to detox the body through the feet, including Korean and Chinese acupressure-based foot soaks, detox foot pads, foot scrubs, masks, and soak recipes that use naturally detoxifying Epsom salts, Bentonite clay, and other ingredients.

Ionic Foot Bath

Ionic foot baths operate by sending an electrical current through a tub of water, which causes the water molecules to divide and create negative oxygen ions. Once enough are present in the water, the body absorbs them through osmosis, which is the movement of compounds from higher to lower concentration. Some newer devices also produce positive ions.

The foot bath process is quick and simple. You soak both feet in the bath which is filled with warm salt water. An electronic array is also placed in the foot bath, which sends a direct current into the water. The combination of the water, salt, and the array are meant to generate negative ions by separating oxygen and hydrogen from the water, neutralizing charged particles in the body and drawing toxins with the opposite charges out.

Don’t be fooled by infomercials claiming that the dark water that comes out of the ionic foot bath water is toxins from your body, or that different toxins create different colors. The color of the water is caused by a reaction of the salt water and the electrolysis array, which creates rust. The ability of these ionic foot baths to detox the body through the feet has come under scrutiny, and there are conflicting reports on whether they work.

Acupressure-Based Foot Soaks, Foot Massage, and Foot Spas

Korean and Chinese foot spas have been around for thousands of years, and these unique therapy experiences are expanding in popularity across the U.S. The feet are like roots of a tree, and the sole or bottom of the foot contains hundreds of nerve endings and acupressure points that can be massaged to help certain parts of the body.

During a session at a foot spa, feet are soaked in a hot bath solution, followed by a foot and leg massage. The foot massage is the focus and stimulates acupressure points in the feet that correspond to different organs in the body to release tension, improve circulation, and support overall health and vitality. Acupressure and reflexology help balance the chi or energy in the body, encouraging better circulation, restful sleep, and normalization of health ailments ranging from head pain to digestion. And of course, soaking one’s feet in a warm bath and massaging the pressure points on the feet promotes relaxation.

Do-It-Yourself Foot Soak

You can also create a do-it-yourself detox foot bath at home using warm or hot water, Epsom salt, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Have a partner massage your feet at the reflexology points in the diagram that corresponds to any issues you deal with, or do the foot massage yourself.

Reflexology points diagram.

When selecting essential oils, lavender is a great choice. Not only is it calming, but animal studies have shown it to normalize liver and kidney disruptions caused by exposure to certain pesticides. Another option is tea tree oil, which is powerful against germs. If the aroma of tea tree is too potent for your tastes, mix it with lavender for a mild, pleasant scent.

Foot Masks

One simple way to do a foot detox is to use a clay foot mask to clean and detoxify the feet. It relieves stress at the end of a long day, too. Foot masks can soften skin and tackle toenail fungus, surface fungus, odor, and athlete’s foot. I recommend do-it-yourself recipes because they are completely free of any chemical additives, which defeat the purpose of a detox.

Bentonite clay offers benefits as a detox agent and is safe for both internal and external use. Bentonite clay has naturally occurring positively charged ions that draw out negatively charged toxins, including those in pesticides and toxic metals. Other studies have found that Bentonite clay has properties that fight against mycotoxins and aflatoxins from mold.

Here is my favorite DIY clay foot mask recipe:

Clay Foot Mask

Combine these ingredients in a small bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar one tablespoon at a time, until the clay mask becomes a thick paste. You may not need all of the apple cider vinegar, so add it slowly and gradually until the mask is the consistency you desire. Add more clay as needed. Once the ingredients are combined to a thick paste, spread it on both feet and allow it to fully dry. Recline in a comfortable chair during this process. After 30 minutes, wash off the foot mask and dry your feet.

Foot Scrubs

Like a foot mask, a foot scrub can also clean and detoxify the feet, reducing odor and preventing fungal infections if you use essential oils with antifungal and antibacterial properties. Foot scrubs also exfoliate dead skin from the feet.

Here is my favorite DIY clay foot scrub recipe:

Detox Foot Scrub

Combine the ingredients in a bowl, stirring well to spread the essential oil throughout the mixture. Apply to each foot, rubbing the grainy salt mixture gently along the sole, in between the toes, on the top of the foot, and around the ankles for at least five minutes per foot. Spend extra time on the sole, applying pressure to the reflexology points that correspond to any areas where you need improvement. This coarse mixture exfoliates the skin as well as provides detoxification from the essential oils you choose.

Peppermint oil supports the gallbladder and overall digestive system. It’s an important part of the foot scrub because it leaves a tingly clean feeling. You can add any essential oil, but lemon, lemongrass, and juniper have particularly helpful detoxification properties. Lemon oil supports the immune system and helps detoxify the liver. Lemongrass is an anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant powerhouse. Juniper oil supports liver function and detoxes the liver, colon, skin, and lungs. Pick your favorite!

Detox Foot Pads

Detox foot pads cause the feet to sweat and draw circulating toxins out of the feet. However, not all foot pads are created equally.

Like foot massages that focus on ancient acupressure or reflexology points, effective foot pads tap into the ancient science of reflexology. In addition to being very relaxing, reflexology stimulates areas on the feet that correspond to different organs and muscles in the body. This helps to release tension, improve circulation and support overall health and vitality.

Unlike other brands, our 100% organic Detox Foot Pads use carbon-titanium adhesive to boost both bioelectricity and blood flow through the feet and body. The foot pads specifically stimulate the kidney acupressure point to encourage detoxification. Our detox foot pads are made with organic, all-natural ingredients like bamboo extracts, herbs, and tourmalineTourmaline is a gemstone that emits far infrared radiation (FIR). Studies have found that FIR – specifically from ground tourmaline – promotes cell repair and helps defend cells against damage from X-rays, and normalizes joint swelling and other issues.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Therapists who offer foot detoxes – particularly the ionic foot spa and foot soaks – caution that some people should exercise caution and seek advice from their healthcare provider before using these therapies, including:

  • Children under age 5
  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • People who have pacemakers, electrical implants, and organ transplants
  • People who have diabetes, congestive heart failure, or who are on dialysis
  • People with open sores on their feet

You can experience a “healing crisis” from any detox, including a foot detox. When the body releases accumulated toxins, you may experience fatigue, headache, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and flu symptoms. A healing crisis doesn’t usually last longer than three days. If you have symptoms for longer or the symptoms are especially disruptive, consult a healthcare provider immediately.

In contrast, our detox foot pads contain organic, natural ingredients, and can safely be used by people of all ages. The only side effect might be a slight chance of allergic reaction by certain individuals, as with any product.

DISCOVER WAYS TO RELAX WITH LAVENDER OIL

A RE-CAP OF LAVENDER OIL

Lavender Essential Oil is an eminent and versatile oil that can be used on almost any part of the body for almost any ailment. It can be used in numerous body care products ranging from skin and hair care to emotional care through aromatherapy. Though the positive effects of Lavender Oil are unseen in aromatherapy, they remain powerful and have beneficial impacts on interconnected body systems. Lavender Oil is famed for its ability to treat aches and pains regardless of whether they are experienced emotionally or physically. This article highlights a small element of possibilities that can be achieved with the advantages of Lavender Essential Oil.

    • When diffused, Lavender Essential Oil can relieve headaches and nausea, and it can promote easier breathing by working as a decongestant. It can deodorize stale air, fabrics, and body odors.

 

    • In a massage, Lavender Essential Oil effectively soothes many types of pain, both mental and physical. It boosts circulation, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens muscles.

 

    • In a bath, Lavender Essential Oil can soothe inflammation, cold symptoms, and stimulate the body’s immune function through its anti-microbial properties.

 

  • In cosmetics, Lavender Essential Oil stimulates cell regeneration, detoxifies pores, and relieves itchiness associated with dry skin.

USING LAVENDER OIL IN A DIFFUSER: GET BETTER SLEEP

When diffused, Lavender Essential Oil’s soothing fragrance can relieve headaches and nausea and it can promote easier breathing by working as a decongestant. It can deodorize a room, linens, or the body. Its calming, sedative quality is known to promote rest and relaxation, helping it to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Although diffusing is now commonly associated with electric diffusers, homemade natural sprays and reed diffusers can also be used.

Both Chamomile and Lavender have scents that are considered relaxing. In fact, because Lavender also repelled bedbugs and lice, it was stuffed into special pockets that were sewn into nightcaps. These days, ‘dream pillows’ are often stuffed with Lavender, Chamomile, and Hops and can be tucked under pillowcases. The following is a recipe for a spray, which may be easier to make and use:

 


 

  1. LAVENDER DIFFUSER BLEND TO INDUCE SLEEP
Ingredient Amount
Chamomile Essential Oil 1 drop
Lavender Essential Oil 9 drops
Neroli / Vetiver Essential Oil 3 drops
Sweet Orange Essential Oil 2 drops

These oils can be used in a spray bottle, an electric diffuser, or in a reed diffuser; however, the water-to-oil ratios will vary, depending on the method of diffusion and the water capacity of the electric diffuser. Follow the instructions below is using a spray bottle.

 

Instructions

  1. Put oils into a small spray bottle and fill with 60 ml / 2 oz. distilled water.
  2. Shake the bottle to thoroughly combine the blend.
  3. Spray over the bed or onto pillows just before bedtime.

 

  1. LAVENDER DIFFUSER BLENDS TO IMPROVE SLEEP
Ingredient Amount
Lavender Essential Oil 4 drops
Bergamot Essential Oil 3 drops
Ingredient Amount
Lavender Essential Oil 4 drops
Bergamot Essential Oil 1 drop
Patchouli Essential Oil 1 drop
Ylang ylang Essential Oil 1 drop

 

Instructions

  1. Add the essential oil blends to an electric diffuser.

SOURCE: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller & David Schiller

USING LAVENDER OIL IN A MASSAGE: RELIEVE STRESS & PAIN

Lavender Essential Oil can relieve various types of pain such as pain associated with improper digestion, wounds, bloating, muscle aches, joint pains, backaches, and sprains. Diluting it with a carrier oil and using it in a massage can stimulate the intestinal movement that prompts the gastric fluids required for proper digestion. This can help relieve stomach pain, flatulence, vomiting, and diarrhea. Inhaling the aroma of a massage oil that is infused with the soothing scent of Lavender Essential Oil will also ease the emotional pain associated with stress and depression, allowing the user to also relax mentally.

 

  1. LAVENDER MASSAGE BLEND FOR STRESS RELIEF
Ingredients Amount
Carrier Oil (Sweet Almond, Avocado, or Grape Seed suggested) 7 t.
Bergamot Essential Oil 5 drops
Mandarin Essential Oil 4 drops
Lavender Essential Oil 4 drops
Lemongrass Essential Oil 3 drops

 

Instructions

  1. Mix the essential oils inside a dark glass or PET plastic bottle.
  2. Dilute the blend by adding the carrier oil.
  3. Massage onto chest for comforting and penetrating warmth.

 

  1. LAVENDER MASSAGE BLEND FOR MUSCLE PAIN
Ingredients Amount
Carrier Oil 4 t.
Lavender Essential Oil 2 drops
Rosemary Essential Oil 2 drops

 

Instructions

  1. Mix the essential oils in a dark glass or PET plastic bottle.
  2. Dilute the blend by adding the carrier oil.
  3. Massage gently onto the body for pain relief.

USING LAVENDER OIL IN A BATH: RELIEVE STRESS AND COLD

When used in a bath, Lavender Essential Oil stimulates the body’s immune function through its anti-microbial properties, which can combat the harmful effects of contaminants on the skin by inhibiting bacterial growth and reproduction. Inhaling the fragrance of bath water scented with Lavender Oil, which shows anti-inflammatory activity, can relieve inflammation that causes not only a sore body but also sinus pressure and headaches. Its decongestant and expectorant properties make Lavender Essential Oil beneficial for reducing or relieving respiratory issues such as coughs, colds, and the flu. It does this by loosening phlegm and mucus in the nose and throat to facilitate their elimination. Its anti-bacterial activity fights respiratory infections and inflammation from ailments such as bronchitis, laryngitis, and tonsillitis.

Adding Epsom salts to a bath boosts circulation, and relieves a tired and aching body of pain, joint inflammation, and abdominal cramps. Soaking in a salt bath with Lavender relieves tension in the body as well as tension headaches. Sore feet can also find relief from bathing in this therapeutic and stimulating combination that additionally helps detoxify the body and improve digestion.

 

  1. LAVENDER BATH BLEND FOR COLD AND PAIN RELIEF

 

Ingredient Amount
Carrier Oil (Jojoba or Sweet Almond Oil suggested) 4 fl. oz. (125ml)
Lavender Essential Oil 10 drops
Frankincense Essential Oil 5 drops
Marjoram Essential Oil 5 drops
Cedarwood Essential Oil 1 drop

 

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a dark glass or PET plastic bottle.
  2. Pour into a warm bath.
  3. Stir ingredients thoroughly into bath water.
  4. Soak in the bath.
  5. Store remaining oil in a cool, dark place outside of the bathroom, which can become humid.

 

  1. LAVENDER AND BATH SALT BLEND FOR BODY ACHES
Ingredient/Material Amount
10-by-10-inch square of muslin/cheesecloth/toe of nylon stocking 1
Lavender Buds 1 cup
Lavender Essential Oil 20 drops
String/Yarn Long enough to tie around a small pouch and hang from bathtub tub into the bathwater
Epsom Salt or Dead Sea Salt 1 cup
Baking Soda (Optional) ½ cup

 

Instructions

  1. Place Lavender buds in the center of cloth/toe of the stocking.
  2. Add the essential oil to the buds one drop at a time.
  3. Gather all the material to create a loose pouch and tie together with the string/yarn.
  4. Run the bath water and pour the salt and baking soda directly under the running water to ensure they dissolve.

USING LAVENDER OIL IN COSMETICS: SOOTHE INFLAMMATION AND ITCHING

Used in a moisturizing cosmetic product such as a cream, lotion, or even in a facial steam, Lavender Essential Oil detoxifies, unclogs, tones, and brightens the skin, relieves itching, and can help treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. In facial steams, the steam facilitates decongestion of the nasal passages caused by allergies, colds, or flu symptoms. The soothing and stimulating aroma not only reduces anxiety, fatigue, and stress but also leaves a cool, clean scent in the home.

By adding moisture to the skin, the cicatrizant properties of Lavender Essential Oil facilitate the soothing of skin that is in need of healing due to dryness, burns, cuts, scrapes, or other damage. Lavender Essential Oil also fights the look of aging by smoothing the look of wrinkles and boosting circulation, which nourishes and oxygenates the skin to keep it looking healthy and rejuvenated.

 

  1. LAVENDER BLEND FOR A FACIAL STEAM
Ingredient Amount
Distilled water 3 cups
Lavender Essential Oil 4 drops
Geranium Essential Oil 3 drops

 

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly cleanse skin.
  2. Boil 3 cups of distilled or purified water.
  3. Remove the water from the heat and allow it to cool in a bowl for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the essential oils to the water and stir.
  5. Place the bowl somewhere stable and comfortable where you can sit for 10 minutes.
  6. Drape a large bath towel over your head, shoulders, and the bowl.
  7. Lean over the bowl with your face 10-12 inches away from the water, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax.
  8. Ensure that your eyes are closed during the entire steam, as the oils may irritate open eyes.

 

Lavender Essential Oil is known to effectively condition hair and control hair loss. This is due in part to its anti-depressant and sedative properties, which are beneficial for alleviating the stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia with which hair loss is commonly associated. By diluting Lavender Essential Oil in a natural shampoo and regularly massaging it into the scalp, the increased blood circulation will enhance hair growth, condition the hair, treat dandruff and lice, and strengthen hair while improving a negative mindset.

 

  1. LAVENDER AND SANDALWOOD CONDITIONING SHAMPOO
Ingredients Amount
Shampoo Base 100 ml
Sandalwood Essential Oil 10 drops
Lavender Essential Oil 6 drops
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil 4 drops

 

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a clean, dark container.
  2. Use a small dab to lather hair, then rinse.
  3. Repeat, if necessary.
  4. Follow up with a conditioner or rinse.

 

  1. HERBS AND OILS FOR MORE BEAUTIFUL HAIR

Sometimes a little extra help is needed to keep hair beautiful, especially during harsh weather and times of stress. The following are some ideas to inspire self-pampering. Heavier oils can be cut with a bit of Glycerine if preferred.

 

Carrier Oils that have proven to be excellent for hot-oil treatments are:

  • Argan Oil (for all hair types and fine hair)
  • Avocado Oil (for dry hair – very heavy – blend a very small amount of other oils or glycerine)
  • Calendula Herbal Oil
  • Coconut Oil (for greasy hair)
  • Jojoba Oil (for all hair types and fine hair)
  • Oat Oil (for seborrhea – very heavy – blend a very small amount with other oils or glycerine)
  • Olive Oil (for dark hair – very heavy – blend a very small amount with other oils or glycerine)

 

Essential Oils that may be blended include:

  • Chamomile (for fine hair, and blonde hair)
  • Chilli (for hair loss)
  • Cinnamon Bark (for red and auburn hair)
  • Clove Bud (for auburn hair)
  • Lavender (for all hair types)
  • Rosemary (for dark hair, and thinning gray hair)
  • Sage (for dark hair)
  • Thyme (for dark hair)

 

Instructions

  1. Gently heat 4 T. of the chosen Carrier Oil.
  2. Remove from heat and add 30 drops of the chosen Essential Oil(s).
  3. Massage sparingly into dry hair, focusing especially on the ends. Massage into scalp, if it is very dry.
  4. Wrap hair with plastic wrap, then wrap over this with a towel.
  5. Leave in for at least 1 hour.
  6. Shampoo well, repeating if necessary, then condition as usual.
  7. If there is enough oil left for another treatment, store in a clean container and refrigerate.

 


A LIST OF ESSENTIAL OILS IN THIS RECIPE ARTICLE

Chamomile Essential Oil: This oil can improve negative moods, which are commonly associated with sleeplessness. It’s soothing, sedative property promotes the relaxation required for a restful sleep state.

Neroli Essential Oil: Inhaling the alluring, relaxing, uplifting scent of this oil can reduce blood pressure, stress, and feelings of grief. It is known to effectively sedate body and mind to promote the onset of sleep.

Vetiver Essential Oil: The aroma of this warming, balancing oil has a grounding and sedative effect on the mind. This decreases obsessive, paranoid, phobic, and anger-induced tendencies. Vetiver is known for its ability to stimulate blood circulation and to alleviate aches, pains, and general physical exhaustion. By doing this, it reduces stress and pressure in body and mind.

Sweet Orange Essential Oil: This essential oil is known to prevent fungal infections and to inhibit the growth of further bacterial growth, which is useful for disinfecting wounds.

Bergamot Essential Oil: This energizing oil is known to boost blood circulation and to reduce nervous tension, stress, and anxiety, which in turn replaces negative mental states with feelings of joy, refreshment, and vigor. The relief of heavy emotional stressors such as sadness may lead to reduced blood pressure, increased relaxation, and better regulation of the sleep hormones serotonin and dopamine, which may lead to better sleep.

Patchouli Essential Oil: Patchouli is a sedative oil that is known to relieve tension and uplift negative moods by stimulating the hormones responsible for experiencing pleasure. By relaxing the mind and body, it reduces symptoms of insomnia and promotes restful sleep, which results in improved metabolism and cognition.

Ylang ylang Essential Oil: This oil is thought to have a euphoric effect on the mood, which helps reduce nervous conditions such as anxiety, tension, and palpitations. It is known to reduce high blood pressure and, being beneficial for regulating rapid heartbeats and breathing, it reduces other negative emotions such as anger and frustration.

Sweet Almond Carrier Oil: This carrier oil provides an intense hydration suitable for all skin types. This skin-softening lubricant is almost odorless and is packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and essential fatty acids. Skin will look and feel nourished and revitalized.

Avocado Carrier Oil: This carrier oil is an odorless healing oil that is silky to the touch and is easily absorbed by the skin. Its anti-wrinkle and regenerative properties prevent the early onset of visible signs of aging by keeping the skin hydrated, nourished, elastic, and soft.

Grapeseed Carrier Oil: This is a light, fast-absorbing oil that promotes the speedy healing of wounds and minimizes the look of scarring. It is odorless and is not known to stain sheets. Skin, being the largest organ, excretes the most toxins from the body thus boosting blood circulation.

Mandarin Essential Oil: This sedative oil relaxes the nerves and promotes feelings of calm, eliminating stress.

Lemongrass Essential Oil: This calming oil is commonly used to relieve anxiety, irritability, and sleeplessness, improving the length and quality of sleep.

Carrier Oil of your choice: Carrier oils help to dilute essential oils before topical application, as their potency can be harmful when used in high concentrations without dilution. Carrier oils also help essential oils remain on the skin longer without quickly evaporating.

Rosemary Essential Oil: This analgesic and anti-inflammatory oil stimulate blood circulation, which is vital to managing pain and which makes it a popular remedy for arthritis, muscle and joint pains, and headaches. It promotes faster healing for wounds by facilitating the process of coagulation.

Frankincense Essential Oil: This oil has a grounding scent and promotes easy breathing. It induces feelings of tranquility, contentment, and relief from the physical and mental efforts of the day, thus proving to have properties that combat depression and anxiety, which are common factors in sleeplessness. It is known to reduce heart rate and blood pressure and to allow the body to reach an ideal body temperature that is conducive to sleep.

Marjoram Essential Oil: This oil relieves pain and spasms associated with ailments such as cramps and pulled muscles. Its antiseptic property protects against viruses and fights against bacteria that make wounds septic, thus promoting faster healing. By stimulating circulation, it warms the body, helps reduce mucus and coughing, and relieves arthritis.

Cedarwood Essential Oil: This antiseptic oil helps the body combat harmful bacteria, and its expectorant properties can clear the respiratory tract by loosening the phlegm that causes congestion.

Steaming Water: Applying steam to the face increases circulation and perspiration, which cleanses the pores of dirt and removes dead skin cells. It plumps and firms skin cells to make the face look fresh and youthful.

Geranium Oil: The sweet, floral scent of this uplifting oil offers relaxation to body and mind. It is known to improve mental function and to boost the moods of those who suffer from anger, anxiety, and depression.

Sandalwood Essential Oil: This oil is known to clean and clear the scalp of dandruff while soothing the senses with its sedative fragrance. It stimulates hair growth and strengthens hair while adding moisture and enhancing its natural shine.

DIY Herbal Facial Steam

As traditional winter wellness practices for our sinus, herbal steams are also appropriate for welcoming spring, as they are a powerful herbal tool for clearing out stagnation and supportive to moving lymph. They are a great way to wind down from a busy day, and a lovely holistic practice to gently nourish the skin, soothe and warm the eyes, face, neck, and jaw.

While inhaling the rich vapors of aromatic plants, the essential oils released from a hot water infusion penetrate the airways and can have an immediate effect on the sinuses and lungs, encouraging deep breathing, and brightening to dull and congested winter skin.

Herbal steams have long been used as a way to help support the body’s natural defenses and are an excellent ally for children and adults alike. The warm touch of steam on the face during the colder days is something appreciated by all, especially when the steam is magnified by powerfully fragrant herbs that are soothing and invoke clarity.

A classic way to prepare a steam is to create a ‘tent’ with a towel over your head. You simply need a pot and a towel. Some of the best preparations are the simplest, so keep it easy!

Below are two uncomplicated yet effective steam recipes that can be prepared quickly as a comforting and soothing practice 1 or twice a week.

For immune and lung support:

Add a handful of herbs rich in essential oils that are traditionally used for supporting the Immune system- often the ones you find in your spice cabinet.

There you can find thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary, peppermint… all rich in volatile oils, ready to be released and breathed in. For a more instant effect, try adding other herbs such as eucalyptus, lavender and essential oils.

For brightening and renewing winter skin:  Herbs like lemon balm, rose, lavender and calendula are great. Add in a drop or two of essential oil, and you have a home spa!

I recommend steaming in the evenings where you can then wind down, stay hydrated and enjoy deep, restful sleep!

RECIPE:

  • 1 large stock pot
  • 16 cups of water
  • A handful of dried herbs
  • A few drops of essential oils—eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint (optional)

Bring water to a boil. Turn off the stove, remove from heat source and secure to make sure you won’t get burned!

Add herbs and immediately cover. Place towel over your head, remove the lid and create a tent over the pot. Deeply inhale for at least 10 minutes, adjusting accordingly. The power of a steam is in the vapor…

Steams can be done multiple times a day and are gentle enough for anyone. I recommend re-using the herbs, if possible, for at least 2 rounds.

Cheers to good health!

Lovely Lavender for the Nervous System

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia and other species)

There are many species of lavender, and any aromatic species can be used. I grow Lavandula angustifolia in my garden for harvesting and usually grow a few different varieties to experiment with. Lavender is not a herb that grows wild in the northeastern United States.

Lovely lavender calms the nervous system, heals burns on the skin, and disinfects harmful bacteria in the digestive tract. You can drink the tea, wash burns with it, cook with it, and even put it in your bucket to wash your floors and walls. This will not only act as a disinfectant, it will smell lovely and bring a peaceful vibration into your home.

Lavender is a physical ally in so many ways. Scientific research has shown that it contains a class of molecules called monoterpenes. One of these is perillyl alcohol, which has been shown to help stop cancer cells from dividing. Lavender is also a spiritual ally, helping bring ease and sweetness into our lives.

USES:

Use dried lavender flowers and leaves for teas, infusions, baths, oils, sprays, honey balls, or as part of a smoke blend. You can make a soothing lavender bath by adding a half-gallon of lavender tea into your bath water, or grinding dry leaves and flowers and mixing them with sea or Epsom salts. Add one tablespoon or more of this mixture to a bath. Do what’s pleasing to your senses in terms of how strong or mild a lavender aroma you like.

If you are adding essential oil of lavender to a bath, make sure you add it (5-10 drops) after the bath is filled so that it doesn’t dissipate and waste the oil. You can also make your own fresh lavender flower and leaf infused oil. If you use that in your bath, add about a tablespoon when the bath is about half full, and swirl it around to blend it in. It creates a fragrant, beautiful blend and helps in situations on the whole continuum from simple calming to post-traumatic stress healing.

Lavender tea is pain-relieving, muscle-relaxing, anti-depressant, and helps to soothe an aching or breaking heart. For any of these last purposes, it can be used alone or combine it with oat straw.

Lavender helps with tension headaches and anxiety. Herbalist Kiva Rose shares this observation and advice: “Lavender is appropriate as a nervine when a person is anxious, confused and has a wrinkled forehead that can’t relax. The forehead will give it away every time.”

Another lovely way to use your lavender is an infused honey. This helps with agitation, the blues and bitter grief.

Lavender tea helps ease insomnia. It is a relaxing, restful sleep herb. It’s theorized that chemicals in lavender in lavender interact with the reticular activating system (RAS) in the brain that controls the wake-sleep cycle to induce restful sleep. That may be—or it may be the lavender-hued woman who rises up out of the plant to stroke your hairline like a loving mother (probably right over the area of your reticular activating system) who soothes you to sleep. Or perhaps it’s both, and they are different expressions of the same effect!

You can put a small bag of dried lavender under a pillow, and spray lavender water onto pillows and other bedding for restful sleep and especially to relieve nightmares. I’ve had very good results using lavender for children and adults with nightmares. Here is an easy spray recipe:

Lavender Spray – Variation II

  • Dried lavender flowers
  • Quart Jar
  • Spray bottle
  • Water

Put 1/8 cup of good-quality dried lavender flowers into a quart jar. Cover with boiled water. Cap and steep for 20 minutes. Decant promptly, squeezing the flowers to retrieve the past of their oils. Fill your spray bottle with the lavender infusion. Keep refrigerated with not in use to prolong the shelf life of this preparation. You can also add one drop or more of the essential oil to help preserve it.

This spray is an indispensable aid when traveling, whether by plane, bus, train or in your own car. I carry a bottle with me almost everywhere. In any public place, your lavender spray will calm and refresh you, and lift your spirits. Its antiseptic oils will help to disinfect germs. You can spray it on your hands and face. It’s very lovely, and people almost never object to it. In fact, more often than not, they ask for some too. I’d love to hear what creative applications you come up with – share your ideas with me in the comments below.

Source:

Healing Magic, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Green Witch Guidebook to Conscious Living

Hungary Water, Lavender Washes and More…

Lavender Antiseptic Wash.
This is a favorite treatment for eczema, cuts, acne and minor burns.
Take a good handful of the flowers and boil together with half a liter of water for ten minutes. Filter and allow to cool before using.
Since Roman days this has been used in hot baths, to relax the body, and it is known to have a marked effect on the peripheral nervous system. It has also been widely used as a gargle for sore throats and sore or infected gums, due to its antiseptic properties and relaxant effect on the nervous system.
Hungary Water.
1-gallon brandy or clear spirits {equal to 16 cups}
1 handful of rosemary
1 handful of lavender
1 handful myrtle
Handfuls are measured by cutting branches of the herbs twelve inches long. A handful is the number of such branches that can be held in the hand. After measuring, the branches should be cut up into one-inch pieces, and put to infuse in the brandy. You will then have the finest Hungary Water that can be made.
Soothing Massage Oil.
1/2 cup safflower or sunflower oil
Dried pot marigold petals
12 drops essential oil of rose geranium
12 drops essential oil of lavender
10 drops essential pine oil or oil of cypress
Place the safflower oil in a glass jar and add as many freshly dried pot marigold petals as possible.
Cap the bottle and place in the sun for 4-5 days. Filter off the petals and squeeze out any retained oil from them before discarding. The oil will now be deep orange and fully charged with the active healing principles of calendula. Mix the other essential oils into the infused oil of marigold, bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Hungary Water{2}

Rosemary reinvigorates. As the legend goes, at age seventy-two, Queen Isabel of Hungary was crippled by gout and rheumatism. Her master herbalist concocted a reviving water for her, originally only with the intent of relieving her physical pain. The water was administered in daily vigorous massage. Not only was she soon moving, dancing as well, her former beauty and youthful aura was also revived. Hungary Water has been popular ever since. The original 14th-century formula called for one-and-a-half pounds of fresh flowering rosemary tops added to one gallon of alcohol and distilled. Should you happen to have distilling equipment, you can experiment with that, but modern versions also proliferate. Here’s one formula:

1 ounce infused water of dried rosemary and vervain

4 drops essential oil of rosemary

4 drops essential oil of May Chang

2 drops essential oil of German or Hungarian chamomile

2 drops essential oil of peppermint

1 drops essential oil of neroli

8 ounces vodka or other scent-free alcohol

1-ounce orange blossom water

1- ounce rose water

  • Make the herbal infused water by placing equal proportions of dried vervain and rosemary in a metal bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Steep for 15 minutes and strain out the botanical material.
  • Blend the essential oils and add them to the vodka in an airtight bottle.
  • Next, add the infused flower waters. Shake vigorously.
  • Ideally, this beauty potion should now be allowed to mature for 6 months {giving the bottle a good shake every week} to gain full strength, however as it’s pretty hard to wait that long, give it as long as you can.

Although it lacks a historical tale to equal Hungary Water, the following bath formula can be prepared quickly and simply, perfect for when you just want to feel {and maybe appear!} a little younger. Rosemary and patchouli are both plants of profound psychic power: Both are reputed to ease the physical signs of aging as well as helping to maintain a youthful heart.

Both have powerful aromas. Adjust the formula to please your nose. You can also use this formula for bath salts, a salt scrub or body oil.

Four Thieves Vinegar

This recipe came from my Great Grandmother’s Journal.

Four Thieves Vinegar.
This antiseptic vinegar is attributed to a gang of four thieves who robbed the bodies of victims of the plague in Marseilles in 1722. They washed their bodies with it, frequently disinfecting their hands, and sprinkled it on their clothes and around their houses. It is said that all four survived without infection.
Actually, it is not surprising that this famous aromatic vinegar was so successful. Many of its ingredients are among the most powerful natural antibiotics in the world. Another case of empirically gained knowledge long preceding that obtained by scientific investigation.
*Infuse garlic cloves, lavender flowers, rosemary, sage, calamus root, mint, wormwood, rue, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a glass flagon of wine vinegar and leave sealed in the sun for 3-4 weeks to release the powerfully antibiotic oils into the vinegar. Filter, pour into smaller bottles, add a little camphor and seal until ready for use.

Making Botanical Perfumes and Colognes

Did you know that most perfumes and colognes are manufactured using synthetic chemicals, even petroleum? Many of these ingredients do not need to be listed on the labels but are known allergens, hormone disruptors, and irritants. The majority have never even been studied for cosmetic use! This is pretty scary, but the good news is that we can easily create our own perfumes and colognes from natural ingredients. Not only are they safer, but many botanicals also have therapeutic properties that are grounding, energizing, relaxing, stimulating, uplifting, and balancing. True, these fragrances will need to be reapplied more often than their chemical counterparts, but they are much better for our minds and bodies.  If in need of a little sprucing up during the day, carry a small bottle of your favorite aroma in your purse. You can even make special formulas like a relaxing blend for stressful situations or something energizing for afternoons that drag. The options are endless!  Below are several blends that I have played around with, but feel free to concoct your own special recipes.

 

Orange Spice Cologne

A warming, spicy, and exotic blend that will lift spirits invigorate senses, alleviate stress, mental fatigue, and tension. The aroma is delightfully reminiscent of Chai tea.

  • 1 organic Cinnamon Stick
  • 25 organic whole Cardamom Pods
  • 15 organic Cloves
  • 1 organic Vanilla Bean – cut into small pieces
  • 1 fresh organic Orange peel – zest only
  • 8 oz Vodka

Crush spices in a mortar and pestle. Combine with Vanilla Bean pieces, Orange peel zest, and vodka in a glass mason jar. Cap tightly and shake once or more per day. After 2-6 weeks, strain the spices and pour the infused liquid into a glass bottle with a mister top. Simply add more spices if you desire a stronger cologne.

Citrus Cologne

A fresh citrus scent with herbal notes, this uplifting aroma is stimulating and revitalizing.

  • 1 fresh organic Lemon peel – zest only
  • 1 fresh organic Grapefruit peel – zest only
  • Organic essential oil of choice, examples: Basil, Chamomile, Lavender, or Peppermint
  • 8 oz Vodka

Combine Lemon and Grapefruit peel zest in a glass mason jar and add vodka until the liquid rises above the peeled zest by at least 1”.  Cap tightly and shake once or more per day. After 2-6 weeks, strain out the citrus peels and pour the resulting cologne into a glass bottle with a mister top. Add 2 drops of essential oil for each tablespoon of finished cologne. Add essential oil if you desire a stronger cologne.

Fresh Floral Cologne

This relaxing cologne can be made with fresh blossoms straight from the garden! The flowers help ease depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, hyperactivity, irritability, tension, and exhaustion.

  • Fresh or dried organic Rose Petals
  • Fresh or dried organic Chamomile flowers
  • Fresh or dried organic Lavender flowers
  • Vodka

Combine all ingredients in a glass mason jar and add vodka until the liquid rises above the flowers by at least 1”. Cap tightly and shake once or more per day. After 2-6 weeks, strain the flowers and pour the resulting cologne into a glass bottle with a mister top.

 

Woodland Perfume

I love this blend! It truly smells like the forest. Uplifting, grounding, meditative, and comforting.

  • 4 drops Spruce essential oil
  • 2 drops organic Fir Needle essential oil
  • 2 drops organic Cedarwood essential oil
  • 1 drop organic Vetiver essential oil
  • 1 drop organic Bergamot essential oil
  • 1 tsp organic Jojoba Oil

Drop all essential oils into a glass bottle and roll between palms to evenly mix the oils. Add Jojoba oil, and roll again. Add additional essential oils if you desire a stronger perfume.

Sweet Summer Perfume

A relaxing and warming blend reminiscent of summer, with a lightly floral aroma complemented by hints of spice and cedar. Especially useful during times of stress, anxiety, irritability, or depression.  A great lift-me-up during the cold and dark winter months!

  • 10 drops organic Lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops organic Chamomile essential oil
  • 4 drops organic Cardamom essential oil
  • 1 drop organic Cedarwood essential oil
  • 1 drop organic Geranium (Rose) essential oil
  • 1 tsp organic Jojoba Oil

Drop all essential oils into a glass bottle, and roll between palms to evenly mix the oils. Add Jojoba oil and roll again. Add additional essential oils if you desire a stronger perfume.

Refreshing Perfume

Rejuvenating, uplifting, energizing and stimulating. This blend is good for mental clarity, lack of focus, and fatigue.

  • 13 drops organic Peppermint essential oil
  • 13 drops organic Rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops organic Lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops organic Sage essential oil
  • 5 drops organic Juniper Berry essential oil
  • 1 tsp organic Jojoba Oil

Drop all essential oils into a glass bottle and roll between palms to evenly mix the oils. Add Jojoba oil and roll again. Add additional essential oils if you desire a stronger perfume.

The Art of Bathing

I love baths because they force me to slow down, to luxuriate, to tune-in to my inner self, and soothe my outer aches. Baths teach me how to take time for myself; reminding me of the importance of nurturing and self-care. And let’s be honest, there are not many things more gratifying than to sink down, letting the water rush over you, and just breathe.

For centuries, humans have used baths to heal, cleanse, rejuvenate, and detox the mind, body, and soul. As far back as 2000 B.C., Egyptians practiced bathing rituals to cure their ailments. In the Old Testament, people soaked in mineral waters for physical healing. Many cultures in our people’s history have adopted similar attitudes towards water and have recognized and implemented the health and spiritual benefits of bathing. Sadly, like many natural discoveries, bathing to heal one’s maladies has been superseded by modern medicine. Taking time to soak one’s injury or illness away, is a lost tradition that our modern, fast-paced lives have sacrificed for the sake of ‘the quick fix.’

Bathing is a beautiful, preventive care that focuses on the inner and outer body and helps to restore health and natural function. Baths have been proven to physically relax tense muscles, open pores, encourage digestion, as well as, soften the skin, assist in detoxification, boost the immune system, and promote restful sleep. Hot baths are recommended to treat muscle aches and joint pain due to their ability to dilate the blood vessels, which allows greater blood flow and oxygenation to the affected area. The hot water also heats up the body and causes it to sweat, which releases toxins and purifies the blood.

Bathing is not just for the body, it has been scientifically proven to emotionally alter moods, calm the mind, relax the nervous system, and reduce certain symptoms associated with illness and disease. It is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce stress, balance hormone levels, and strengthen one’s overall well-being.

Now that we have discussed all the incredible physical and emotional benefits that go along with bathing, let’s talk about the ceremony of bathing:

As you know, I love baths; anytime, anywhere. And I love my bath time, even more, when I intentionally create an environment that stimulates all my senses and amplifies the waters healing benefits.

Let’s first start with setting the tone of the room. Candles, plants, and music can transport you and your bath into another realm. They are a way to send your intentions into the surrounding space, wrapping you up in an experience of self-love. I first place beeswax candles around my tubI then trim lavender, sage, or rosemary from my garden. I love to place the herbs around my tub to bring mother earth into my space. After my bath, I hang the herbs upside down to dry. Plants absorb energy and I love placing the dried herbs in my room as a visual and energetic reminder of my healing journey. Lastly, I like to incorporate sound into my healing experience, letting its soothing vibrations aide in opening my heart.

Now it’s time to prepare the bath and infuse the water with relaxing salts, gemstones, and essential oils to magnify the water’s medicinal properties. My moon mama taught me to place the gemstones under the running water to energize the bath and help prepare the water for the ceremony. I then pour my bath salts infused with plant powders to help bring water and earth medicine together and strengthen their healing potential. Lastly, I pick an organic essential oil depending on what my body and soul need. A few drops in the water and the bath is ready for me to submerge, begin to gloriously relax, and let the water work its magic.

I hope by now you are dreaming of heading home, drawing your own bath, and feeling for yourself the extraordinary, restorative powers of ceremonial bathings.  If you love this idea as much as I do, but unfortunately don’t have beeswax candles, essential oils, gemstones, or even bath salts at home, don’t worry; our moon mama friend over at Gemstone Organic is looking out for you. She has created ceremonial bath sets that are focused on these curative elements.  In each one, she has intentionally put specific candles, oils, bath salts, and gemstones together; to not only rejuvenate the body but also to align with and heal each chakra center.

Debra has placed so much love, attention, and care into each Ceremonial Chakra Bath Sets to ensure each piece works with the others to create a holistic, healing experience. She carefully chose the gemstones, bath salts, plant powders and essential oils to ground the energy body and work with the specific chakra center that needs some tender, loving care. These chakra bath sets intentionally unite water, gemstones, and plants to work together towards healing each chakra center. The Ceremonial Chakra Bath is more than just its individual parts. It brings the elements of water, earth, air, and fire together to amplify the experience and help you practice radical self-love. In today’s world, we all need more time dedicated to self-care not just for us, but also to help us take care of our loved one. For it is known, we can’t take care of others if our own cup is empty, so drop into a bath, and let the curative power of water fill your cup up!

A Herbal Ritual: Bath Therapy

When building your herbal apothecary, many people do not consider adding classic beauty products like floral toners, infused oils, bath salts, or luxurious lotions–but beauty care is an integral part of healing. Just as tinctures and teas can promote healthy digestion and relaxation,* herbal self-care rituals encourage whole body wellness and nourish the spirit. For example, golden calendula flowers infused in oils can promote a radiant complexion and the simple addition of lavender essential oil to baths can relax the spirit. And while these spa-like practices and products may seem more indulgent than necessary on the surface, we believe in the wisdom of age-old rituals when it comes to wellness.

Bathing is actually an ancient therapeutic practice called balneotherapy. Romans recognized the importance of water therapy and even provided public bathhouses for citizens. Ayurvedic healers use steams, baths, and cold water plunges to maintain health based on your constitution–also known as doshas—and promote circulation.* Almost all ancient cultures prescribe therapeutic bathing rituals to promote overall wellness and calm the skin, our body’s largest organ.

Herbs and oils have long been combined with bath therapy to relax the mind, soothe sore muscles, and promote supple skin.* These days, many bath products and cosmetics include harmful ingredients, like heavy metals and toxic carcinogens. Even worse, some commonly used products are also tested on animals. Verifying with The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Guide to Cosmetics is a great way to ensure the quality of your favorite products, and we highly recommend checking labels to make sure they are made cruelty-free. While more and more companies are selling ethically made or sourced natural products, it’s often more satisfying to make products yourself. We’ve crafted two herbal bath recipes that are simple and soothing: our Spring Tea Bath Blend and our Flower-Powered Sea Salts.

Flower-Powered Sea Salts

A relaxing blend to calm your nerves and soothe sore muscles.

Time: 5-10 minutes

Servings: 5 jars

Materials:

  • 5 six-ounce jars
  • Labels
  • Big mixing bowl
  • Spoon for mixing

Ingredients

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup sweet almond oil (or healthy oil of choice, like jojoba or sesame oil)
  • ½ cup dried calendula petals
  • 1 cup dried rose petals
  • 1 cup coarsely ground, Kosher sea salt
  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 4-6 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop of Moroccan blue chamomile oil

Instructions:

  1. Start by blending the dry ingredients together in the large bowl, then slowly pour in the almond and essential oils while stirring.
  2. Add the mixture to the jars, and label them with their ingredients and the date crafted.
  3. Add a couple of tablespoons to each bath to enjoy a deep state of calm.

Spring Tea Bath

An aromatic herbal blend to support your lymphatic system and nourish your skin.

Time: 5-10 minutes

Servings: Enough for five baths

Materials:

  • Five 5” x 7” sized muslin bags or cheesecloth
  • Big mixing bowl
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Cooking twine or cotton string (if using cheesecloth)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried lavender flowers
  • 1 cup dried rose petals
  • 1 cup dried chamomile flowers
  • 1 cup dried calendula petals
  • 1 cup dried red clover blossoms

Instructions:

  1. Pour flowers into a mixing bowl and blend them together.
  2. Fill each muslin bag with the flower mixture or use cheesecloth and twine to create a small pouch.
  3. Tie shut and use one bag per bath. The bag can be tied to the water spout for the hot water to run through, or simply placed in the tub to float like a tea bag in an infusion.

Whether you are drawing a bath infused with medicinal herbs or lathering on a natural and nourishing lotion, these healthy habits are fundamental to whole body wellness. In this busy era, it can often be hard to fully show up for ourselves and commit to these simple acts of self-love. When we weave herbs into wellness, these practices become even more enticing, like a sweet treat we want to indulge in again and again.

Keep in mind that healthy skin and healthy bodies are also fueled by whole foods, proper hydration, and regular sleep. For more natural beauty care tips, check out Stephanie Tourles’s Organic Body Care Recipes or Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbs for Natural Beauty.