The Aromatics of Peppermint Oil

Menta Piperita

 Peppermint (botanical name Menta Piperita) is basically a hybrid plant – a cross between the spearmint and watermint. Although the herb is native to Europe, presently it is grown across the globe. This perennial herb possesses numerous therapeutic properties that were identified and used by the Indians, Egyptians, and Chinese since the ancient times. In order to avail the detoxifying attributes of the peppermint, the ancient Romans used to make wreaths with this herb and wear them as crowns during festivities. Owing to its sharp and spicy fragrance, peppermint is well accepted by most people.

The peppermint plant usually grows up to a height of 30 cm to 90 cm. The plant has smooth stems that are squares in cross section. The rhizomes or subterraneous roots of the plant are fleshy and travel far and wide, while the bare roots are fibrous. The plant bears deep green leaves with reddish veins that are 4 cm to 9 cm in length and 1.5 cm to 4 cm in width. The peppermint plant bears purplish blooms that have four-lobed corolla in whorls around the stem. The plant usually blossoms between mid and late summer.

The essential oil extracted from peppermint not only has a soothing effect, but it also rejuvenates the skin and is tremendously resourceful for domestic use. The oil possesses a clearing aroma that is effective in fighting fatigue and, at the same time, very stimulating. Use of this essential oil enhances the capability to concentrate as well as brings clarity of thoughts and decisions. Peppermint essential oil is said to be inspiring and revitalizing.

 

It may be mentioned here that irrespective of the herb, all essential oils are prepared solely using the herbs or the plants. This denotes that the essential oils do not enclose any outside element, such as moisturizer, which could dilute their attributes or potency. As a result, whenever bottles containing essential oils are opened, they exude an exceptionally strong smell.

 

Peppermint essential oil is beneficial for people enduring headaches, asthma, cramps, fainting, colic, flatulence, nausea, and fevers. It is known to be highly effective in relieving pains associated with these conditions. This oil also has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of insomnia, distress, tension, anxiousness, lethargy and/ or vertigo (light-headedness).

 

The essential oil extracted from peppermint can be used in various ways. Some of the different uses of peppermint essential oil are briefly mentioned below.

Provided you have a water spritzer (a container for two different liquids or drinks), fill it up with water and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to it. If the bottles are small, you need to add just 15 to 20 drops of the oil, while you may add 20-30 drops of oil in medium-sized bottles. Shake the mixture of oil and water thoroughly and gently spray it on your bedding, curtains and also carpets as an alternative to a room deodorizer.

Get a small pot filled with water for boiling over a stove top. Add three to five drops of peppermint essential oil to the water and inhale the aromatic vapor. While doing so, ensure that you take deep and slow breaths enabling the mixture to infuse your lungs.

In aromatherapy, peppermint can be effectively used as a massage oil to alleviate a number of conditions. However, as in the case of any essential oil, remember to dilute the peppermint essential oil blending it with any suitable carrier oil before use. In fact, the moisturizers present in carrier oils help to make the skin smooth and softer – supple to touch. As the concentration of peppermint essential oil is extremely high, only a few drops (one to three) of it need to be added to a little amount of carrier oil.

These days, there are several stores that sell ceramic oil burners meant for aromatherapy. Generally, these ceramic oil burners have the appearance of archetypal, glass milk bottles, but are smaller having a small, detachable, saucer-shaped lid, underneath which one can position a tea-candle. When you have lit the candle, replace the lid and pour in a small quantity of peppermint essential oil in the lid. As the candle will heat the oil in the lid, the sharp and spicy aroma of peppermint will infuse the air. This will help to refresh your senses.

Peppermint-Oil

 

You may also put in two to three drops of peppermint essential oil on a handkerchief and fold it before placing it under a pillow. While the delicate aroma of the oil will not be too intense for your nose, it will help in ensuring sound sleep.

As mentioned earlier, peppermint essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic properties and is, hence, used to treat a number of conditions. Its health benefits are many and some of them are briefly discussed below.

  • Since peppermint oil possesses potent antiseptic properties, it is very helpful in dental care. This oil not only helps to get rid of foul breath but also aids the gums and teeth to fight germs. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that peppermint essential oil forms the active ingredient in toothpaste. In addition, like clove oil, peppermint essential oil is highly effective in healing toothaches.
  • The essential oil extracted from peppermint is also effective in alleviating digestive problems while promoting digestion. On many occasions, people add a few drops of peppermint essential oil in a glassful of water and drink it following a meal with a view to facilitating digestion. The digestive properties of peppermint essential oil make it an excellent tonic for those enduring poor appetite. This oil also possesses carminative properties and, hence, is effective in expelling gas formed in the stomach and intestines, thereby, providing relief from flatulence and bloating. In addition, this essential oil is also useful when one is suffering from an upset stomach or motion sickness. Initial research has established that a blend of peppermint essential oil and caraway oil can also be used to effectively treat heartburns.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also a good home remedy to cure a headache and nausea. Topical application of watered down peppermint oil on the forehead is helpful in providing relief from headaches.
  • As in the case of the majority of the essential oils, peppermint essential oil also has the aptitude to alleviate tension, depression as well as mental exhaustion. These actions of peppermint essential oil are attributed to its ability to revitalize and refresh. This oil is also helpful in providing relief from nervous anxiety and restiveness. It is also known to be an effective remedy for insomnia.
  • Peppermint essential oil is rich in menthol content and, hence, is helpful in clearing the congestion in the respiratory tract. It also possesses potent expectorant properties which help it to draw out mucus and phlegm from the lungs, providing instant, albeit provisional, relief in several respiratory problems, such as cold and cough, sinusitis, nasal congestion, bronchitis and even asthma. Owing to these actions of peppermint essential oil, it is widely used in several formulations for cold rubs. Massaging or rubbing the cold rubs enclosing peppermint essential oil on the chest helps to get rid of nasal congestion as well as blockage of the respiratory tract almost instantly.
  • The essential oil extracted from the peppermint plant also possesses analgesic properties and, hence, it can be used topically to get relief from pains and aches. Peppermint essential oil encloses calcium antagonism which is believed to facilitate in providing relief from pain. This oil also has a cooling nature, which is effective in bringing down high temperatures during fever.
  • It is important to note that peppermint essential oil is highly effectual for colonoscopy, gastroscopy, and also during double-contrast barium enema (the inducement of a barium salt suspension into the rectum and colon before taking an X-ray). In such cases, peppermint essential oil is applied intraluminally (a lumen inside the space of a tubular structure, such as an artery or intestine). Presently, scientists are studying the additional benefits of the oil’s anti-spasmodic properties.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also known to augment blood circulation throughout the body.
  • It has been found that the essential oil extracted from the peppermint plant possesses the property to relax the muscles. Also, relaxing the stomach muscles helps in alleviating irritable bowel syndrome. Initial findings of several types of research have proved this action of the oil, but the scientists are yet to determine the precise manner in which it works.
  • As mentioned before, peppermint essential oil contains high amounts of menthol which is beneficial for the health of the skin. Owing to the presence of menthol, using this oil topically on the skin brings forth a cooling effect. In addition, this oil nurtures dry skin and removes the problems associated with oily skin.
  • Peppermint essential oil also helps to fortify the immune system, thereby, enhancing the body’s capability to fight against diseases. In addition, this essential oil also helps to safeguard the body against several ailments.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also extremely beneficial for our hair. It brings forth a calming effect when applied to the head and facilitates getting rid of dandruff and lice. In addition, peppermint nourishes the hair follicles and makes the hair appear glistening.
  • Although researchers are still trying to ascertain the anti-cancerous properties of peppermint essential oil, it is generally believed that this oil is helpful in treating cancer. However, peppermint essential oil is said to be effective in curing tuberculosis.
  • Many herbalists recommend the use of peppermint essential oil for people suffering from urinary tract infections (UTI). Nevertheless, it needs to be mentioned that the scientists are yet to ascertain the use of peppermint essential oil for this purpose.

General properties

  • antibacterial
  • antiseptic
  • antispasmodic
  • carminative
  • stimulant
  • stomachic
  • tonic

Blends well with

General uses

  • abdominal pains
  • acne
  • anorexia nervosa
  • bites
  • bruises
  • colic
  • coughing
  • mouth thrush
  • mouth ulcers
  • nausea
  • painful menstruation
  • stings
  • stress
  • swollen gums
  • toothache

Precaution

Although the essential oil extracted from peppermint possesses several therapeutic properties, it is said that this oil negates the efficacy of a number of homeopathic medications. Similar is the case for the essential oil derived from eucalyptus.

Rosemary Oil; Benefits of Therapeutic Use

Rosemary is a fragrant herb that is native to the Mediterranean and receives its name from the Latin words “ros” (dew) and “marinus” (sea), which means “dew of the Sea.” It also grows in England, Mexico, the USA, and northern Africa, namely in Morocco. Known for its distinctive fragrance that is characterized by an energizing, evergreen, citrus-like, herbaceous scent, Rosemary Essential Oil is derived from the aromatic herb Rosmarinus Officinalis, a plant belonging to the Mint family, which includes Basil, Lavender, Myrtle, and Sage. Its appearance, too, is similar to Lavender with flat pine needles that have a light trace of silver.

Historically, Rosemary was considered sacred by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Hebrews, and Romans, and it was used for numerous purposes. The Greeks wore Rosemary garlands around their heads while studying, as it was believed to improve memory, and both the Greeks and the Romans used Rosemary in almost all festivals and religious ceremonies, including weddings, as a reminder of life and death. In the Mediterranean, Rosemary leaves and Rosemary Oil was popularly used for culinary preparation purposes, while in Egypt the plant, as well as its extracts, were used for incense. In the Middle Ages, Rosemary was believed to be able to ward off evil spirits and to prevent the onset of the bubonic plague. With this belief, Rosemary branches were commonly strewn across floors and left in doorways to keep the disease at bay. Rosemary was also an ingredient in “Four Thieves Vinegar,” a concoction that was infused with herbs and spices and used by grave robbers to protect themselves against the plague. A symbol of remembrance, Rosemary was also tossed into graves as a promise that loved ones who passed away would not be forgotten.

It was used throughout the civilizations in cosmetics for its antiseptic, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties and in medical care for its health benefits. Rosemary had even become a favorite alternative herbal medicine for the German-Swiss physician, philosopher, and botanist Paracelsus, who promoted its healing properties, including its ability to strengthen the body and to heal organs such as the brain, heart, and liver. Despite being unaware of the concept of germs, people of the 16th century used Rosemary as incense or as massage balms and oils to eliminate harmful bacteria, especially in the rooms of those suffering from illness. For thousands of years, folk medicine has also used Rosemary for its ability to improve memory, soothe digestive issues, and relieve aching muscles.

Rosemary Essential Oil’s chemical composition consists of the following main constituents: α -Pinene, Camphor, 1,8-Cineol, Camphene, Limonene, and Linalool.

α -Pinene is known to exhibit the following activity:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-septic
  • Expectorant
  • Bronchodilator

Camphor

  • Cough suppressant
  • Decongestant
  • Febrifuge
  • Anesthetic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-inflammatory

1,8-Cineol

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-spasmodic
  • Anti-viral
  • Cough suppressant

Camphene

  • Anti-oxidant
  • Soothing
  • Anti-inflammatory

Limonene

  • Nervous system stimulant
  • Psychostimulant
  • Mood-balancing
  • Appetite suppressant
  • Detoxifying

Linalool

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

Used in aromatherapy, Rosemary Oil helps reduce stress levels and nervous tension, boost mental activity, encourage clarity and insight, relieve fatigue, and support respiratory function. It is used to improve alertness, eliminate negative moods, and increase the retention of information by enhancing concentration. The scent of Rosemary Essential Oil stimulates the appetite and is also known to reduce the level of harmful stress hormones that are released when involved intense experiences. Inhaling Rosemary Oil boosts the immune system by stimulating internal anti-oxidant activity, which in turn fights ailments caused by free radicals, and it relieves throat and nasal congestion by clearing the respiratory tract.

Diluted and used topically, Rosemary Essential Oil is known to stimulate hair growth, reduce pain, soothe inflammation, eliminate headaches, strengthen the immune system, and condition hair to make it look and feel healthy. Used in a massage, Rosemary Oil’s detoxifying properties can facilitate healthy digestion, relieve flatulence, bloating and cramps, and relieve constipation. Through massage, this oil stimulates circulation, which allows the body to better absorb nutrients from food. In cosmetics for hair care, Rosemary Essential Oil’s tonic properties stimulate hair follicles to lengthen and strengthen hair while slowing the graying of hair, preventing hair loss, and moisturizing dry scalp to relieve dandruff. Traditionally, Rosemary Oil combined with Olive Oil in a hot oil hair treatment has been known to darken and strengthen hair. The anti-microbial, antiseptic, astringent, antioxidant, and tonic properties of this oil make it a beneficial additive in skin care products that are meant to soothe or even treat dry or oily skin, eczema, inflammation, and acne. Effective for all skin types, this rejuvenating oil can be added to soaps, face washes, face masks, toners, and creams to achieve firm yet hydrated skin that appears to have a healthy glow that is free of unwanted marks.

Rosemary Essential Oil’s refreshing and energizing aroma can be diluted with water and used in natural homemade room fresheners to eliminate unpleasant odors from the environment as well as from objects. When added to recipes for homemade scented candles, it can work the same way to freshen the scent of a room.

    • COSMETIC: Stimulant, Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Anti-fungal, Anti-bacterial, Astringent, Disinfectant, Antioxidant.
    • ODOROUS: Anti-stress, Cognition-enhancement, Psycho-stimulant, Stimulant, Decongestant.
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Detoxifying, Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Carminative, Laxative, Decongestant, Antiseptic, Disinfectant, Antiseptic, Anti-nociceptive.

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY ROSEMARY OIL

Rosemary is a perennial bush that often grows on the sea cliffs of Spain, France, Greece, and Italy. The leaves of the aromatic Rosemary bush have a high oil concentration, and it is part of an aromatic family of herbs, which also includes Lavender, Basil, Mint, and Oregano to name a few.

Rosemary is a hardy plant that can withstand frost, but it also loves the sun and thrives in dry climates where the temperature is between 20ᵒ-25ᵒ Celsius (68ᵒ-77ᵒ Fahrenheit) and does not drop below -17ᵒ Celsius (0ᵒ Fahrenheit). Though Rosemary can grow in a small pot inside a home, when grown outside, the Rosemary bush can reach a height of approximately 5 ft. Due to its adaptability to various ecological conditions, Rosemary plants can vary in appearance in terms of their colors, the sizes of their flowers, and the aromas of their essential oils. The Rosemary plant requires adequate water drainage, as it will not grow well if it is over-irrigated or in soils with a high clay content, thus it can grow in the earth that ranges in soil type from sandy to clay loam soil as long as it has a pH range of 5,5 to 8,0.

The upper side of Rosemary leaves are dark and the undersides are pale and covered in thick hairs. The tips of the leaves begin to sprout small, tubular pale- to deep-blue flowers, which continue to bloom in the summer. Rosemary Essential Oil of the most superior quality is obtained from the flowering tops of the plant, although oils can also be obtained from the stems and leaves before the plant begins to flower. Rosemary fields are usually harvested once or twice a year, depending on the geographical region of cultivation. Harvesting is most often done mechanically, which allows more frequent cutting due to higher yields from rapid regrowth.

Before distillation, the leaves are dried either naturally by the heat of the sun or by using driers. Drying the leaves in the sun results in poor quality leaves for producing oils. The ideal drying method involves the use of a forced air-flow drier, which results in better quality leaves. After the product is dried, the leaves are further processed to have the stems removed. They are sieved to remove dirt.

HOW IS ROSEMARY OIL EXTRACTED?

Rosemary Essential Oil is most commonly extracted through the steam distillation of the plant’s flowering tops and leaves. After distillation, the oil has a watery viscosity and can be colorless or pale yellow. It’s powerful and refreshing smell is herbaceous and similar to mint with an undertone that is characterized as woody and balsamic.

USES OF ROSEMARY OIL

The uses of Rosemary Essential Oil are abundant, ranging from medicinal and odorous to cosmetic. Its many forms include oils, gels, lotions, soaps, shampoos, and sprays, to name a few suggestions for homemade products.

Used in aromatherapy, the woody, evergreen scent of Rosemary can promote relaxation and boost alertness as well as brain function, thereby improving memory. To relieve stress while studying and maintain concentration, diffuse Rosemary Essential Oil in the room for a maximum of 30 minutes.

Diluted with a carrier oil and used topically, Rosemary Essential Oil’s detoxifying and anesthetic properties can boost immunity by recharging the body’s detoxification system. By diluting Rosemary Oil in a carrier oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil and massaging it into the lymph nodes, the body will be stimulated to more rapidly eliminate waste and to soothe digestive ailments. Its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties make it an ideal essential oil for relieving muscle aches and pains. For a massage oil that reduces pain, blend Rosemary Oil with Peppermint Oil and dilute the blend in Coconut Oil then rub on tender muscles and aching joints.

Rosemary Essential Oil’s anti-viral, anti-microbial, and antiseptic properties make it a natural homemade multi-purpose cleaning spray to cleanse indoor environments and eliminate harmful bacteria therein. A dilution of Rosemary Oil in distilled white vinegar and water make a spray cleaner that is suitable to wipe down surfaces like countertops.

A GUIDE TO ROSEMARY OIL VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

 

ROSEMARY VARIETY & BOTANICAL NAME COUNTRY OF ORIGIN BENEFITS OF OIL
Rosemary (Morocco) Essential Oil

Rosmarinus Officinalis

Found in:

  • Morocco
Believed to:

  • soothe inflammation
  • strengthen the body
  • eliminate harmful bacteria
Rosemary Essential Oil (Spanish)

Rosmarinus Officinalis

Found in:

  • Spain
Believed to:

  • improve memory
  • soothe digestive issues
  • relieve aching muscles
Rosemary Organic Essential Oil

Rosmarinus officinalis

Found in:

  • Spain
Believed to:

  • relieve nasal congestion
  • reduce fever
  • relieve muscle and joint pain

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR ROSEMARY OIL

As per NAHA guidelines, we do not recommend the ingestion of essential oils. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using Rosemary Essential Oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women and those taking prescription drugs are especially advised not to use Rosemary Essential Oil without the medical advice of a physician. The oil may have a negative effect on the fetus and potentially lead to miscarriage. Rosemary Essential Oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7. Those with high blood pressure should avoid using this oil, as it may further elevate blood pressure.

When applied topically, Rosemary Essential Oil should be used in dilution – a carrier oil such as Almond, Coconut, Jojoba, Olive, or Hemp is recommended – and in small amounts, as using the oil directly or in high concentrations can potentially cause skin irritation. A skin test is recommended prior to use. This can be done by diluting the essential oil in a carrier oil and applying a small amount to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Rosemary Oil must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Rosemary receives its name from the Latin term “Dew of the Sea,” as it is native to the sea cliffs of the Mediterranean region
    • Rosemary belongs to an aromatic family of herbs that includes Basil, Lavender, Myrtle, and Sage.
    • Rosemary was considered sacred by ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Hebrews, and Romans, who used it to improve memory, incense, protection, and as a reminder of the life and death cycle, among other uses.
    • Rosemary Essential Oil of the most superior quality is obtained from the flowering tops of the plant.

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.

Dilution of Essential Oils for Topical Application: What You Need to Know

Although essential oils are absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream somewhat more readily when applied undiluted than when used in diluted form, this is not a good practice because the risks of experiencing skin irritation and sensitization (a type of allergic reaction) increase greatly when undiluted essential oils are put on the skin and the risk of systemic toxicity and drug interactions also increases. I want to repeat that because it’s important – using undiluted essential oils on the skin substantially increases the risk of skin irritation and sensitization reactions and also increases the risk of systemic toxicity and drug interaction.

Risk of Systemic Toxicity

While the risk of systemic toxicity from a reasonable external application of the essential oils used by responsible aromatherapists is very low, the occurrence of skin sensitization reactions has been increasing in the United States as a few companies here have irresponsibly recommended the topical use of undiluted essential oils. Even lavender essential oil, which was once considered by most aromatherapists to be safe for undiluted use, is now being found to produce sensitization in some individuals, apparently as a consequence of over-use in undiluted applications.

Not everyone who uses undiluted essential oils will develop sensitization reactions, and those who do will generally only have problems after repeated use of the same undiluted oil. However, for those unfortunate people who do experience these often avoidable reactions, the experience can be very distressing as it can be accompanied by severe itching that lasts for days. This may leave the affected individual more likely to develop such reactions to other topically applied substances in the future. Why would anyone want to take such risks when diluted essential oils are much safer and work very well to achieve the desired therapeutic effects?

Reasonable Dilution Rates

Here are reasonable dilution rates for several methods of topical use of essential oils:

Procedure Recommended Range of Essential Oil Concentration
Full-body Massage 1.5 – 3%
Facial Care 0.2 – 1.5%
Bath & Body Products 1.5 – 4%
Wounds / Necrotic Skin Ulcers 5 – 15% (in a small area)
Localized Pain 5-15%
Other Localized Issues 3-10%

These are general guidelines and extra care must be utilized with essential oils that are known to be sensitizing, irritating and/or phototoxic, some of which have specific maximum dermal concentration levels.

Using Essential Oils

Two of the most popular ways to use essential oils is by inhaling them {smelling them} and by applying them to the skin {in a massage oil or facial oil}. To obtain the benefits of aromatherapy, essential oils can also be added to bathwater, skin creams, and lotions; used to scent bedding, clothing, and laundry; and incorporated into homemade air fresheners. A diffuser {a device specially designed to disperse essential oils into the air} can be used to fill an entire room with fragrance.

Inhaling Essential Oils:

Add a few drops of essential oil to a piece of cloth or a cotton ball. To make a steam inhalation, add three to five drops of essential oil to a pot of steaming water. Steam provides a vehicle not only for inhaling essential oils but also for carrying the essential oils to your skin. Position your face about 12 inches over the steaming water, drape a towel over your head, and breathe the steam for a moment or two. Remove the towel and take a few breaths of fresh air. Repeat the process for a maximum of 5 to 10 minutes.

Applying Essential Oils to Your Skin:

To protect your skin from irritation, always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil {a vegetable or nut oil} such as sweet almond, grapeseed, sunflower, olive, jojoba, apricot kernel, kukui nut, or hazelnut oil.

Aromatic waters are another easy and pleasant way to use essential oils on your skin. To make aromatic water, add 10 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of water in a spray bottle. To use, thoroughly shake the mixture, then mist your body and face, being sure to close your eyes before you spray.

Essential Oils and Their Properties:

Essential oils are highly concentrated sources of plant compounds. Many of them have healing properties, but they should never be taken internally.

  • Herb: Carrot seed {Daucus carota} – Property: Stimulates and regenerates skin cells; good for dry and mature skin.
  • Herb: Chamomile, German {Matricaria recutita} – Property: Anti-inflammatory; soothes sensitive skin and sore muscles; relaxing, uplifting aroma; might help ease insomnia
  • Herb: Clary sage {Salvia sclarea} – Property: Eases muscle tension and menstrual cramps; helpful for oily skin; relaxing, euphoric aroma
  • Herb: Eucalyptus {Eucalyptus globulus} – Property: Antibacterial, decongestant; clears sinuses and bronchial tubes; stimulating aroma
  • Herb: Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens} – Property: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal; stimulates and regenerates skin cells; helpful for mature skin; relaxing aroma
  • Herb: Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia} – Property – Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal; general first aid; stimulates and regenerates skin cells; helpful for sensitive and mature skin; calming and relaxing, might help ease insomnia
  • Herb: Lemon {Citrus limon} – Property: Antibacterial, antifungal; helpful for oily skin; uplifting aroma; might help ease stress and insomnia
  • Herb: Peppermint {Mentha x piperita} – Property: Antibacterial; uplifting, stimulating aroma
  • Herb: Rose {Rosa x centifolia or R. x damascena} – Property: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory; stimulates and regenerates skin cells; helpful for mature skin
  • Herb: Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis} – Property: Soothes muscle aches; stimulates circulation; helpful for mature skin; stimulating aroma
  • Herb: Tea tree {Melaleuca alternifolia} – Property: Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory

Palmarosa Essential Oil

Palmarosa is a very skin-protective essential oil.

In “The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy,” Salvatore Battaglia says that it hydrates skin, has antiseptic properties, balances all skin types regulates sebum production (the oil that your skin produces) and can stimulate cellular regeneration.

Palmarosa essential oil is also deeply supportive of restoring strength, opening your heart, and boosting immunity. It’s perfect for massage sessions and warm baths right before bed (when its soothing influence on the nervous system help you slip off to sleep).

Here are a few Palmarosa blends that can help you get to know this essential oil like a friend.

Use Palmarosa essential oil in a natural bug spray.

Going for walks, spending time outside with friends, or working in your garden can be so relaxing . . . assuming you don’t get eaten alive by bugs!

That’s where Palmarosa essential oil can help. It’s very protective of your personal space and repels insects that might bite or sting your skin. I like to use it in natural bug repellent.

Here’s one of my favorite recipes. Combine these ingredients in a 4 oz (120 ml) spray bottle:

  • 4 oz (120 ml) German Chamomile hydrosol (Matricaria recutita)
  • 8 drops Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini motia)
  • 8 drops Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
  • 4 drops Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)
  • 6 drops Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

This blend smells amazing! It has no harsh scents that can sometimes “repel” people from bug repellents. I recommend making a fresh bottle of it every few weeks since it’s not made with a preservative.

 


 

Add Palmarosa to soothing massage blends and bath oils.

Have you ever had a massage and felt so relaxed, reassured, and healthy afterward—but found yourself wishing for another massage a few days later?

One way to re-inspire that sense of comfort is to use the same aroma in a bath salt that was used during your massage. Scent affects the limbic system (the seat of our emotions), so our bodies respond to it quickly.

I’d like to share an essential oil blend that you can use in a base of jojoba massage oil as well as bath salts:

  • 6 drops Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini motia)
  • 4 drops Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)

You can blend those oils into a base of either:

  • For massage oil: 1 oz (30 ml) jojoba wax (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • For a bath salt: 1 oz (30 ml) natural salts (I like pink Himalayan salts) and 1 tablespoon of jojoba wax

To make your massage oil, add the essential oils and jojoba to a 1 oz (30 ml) glass jar, close the lid, and shake.

To make your bath salt, simply put the salt in a 1 oz (30 ml) container, and drop the oils and jojoba right into the salt, stirring as you go. This makes enough for two baths (I use about 5 drops of essential oil per bath), but if you like the blend you can increase the recipe. The bath salt doesn’t include a preservative, so if you do increase the recipe just be sure to make a fresh jar every few weeks.


 

Dust mites don’t like Palmarosa!

Dust mites. Nobody wants to talk about them because nobody feels like they can do anything about them.

Dust mites live on dust, which is easily collected by your bed linens (and upholstery, and carpet, and all over your house!). They cause a lot of allergies.

Fortunately, there are natural ways to reduce dust mite infestations. The Mayo Clinic has a great list of tips.

In 2008, a study published in the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology demonstrated that dust mites do not like geraniol, a naturally occurring component in many essential oils. Spray geraniol on a piece of linen, and dust mites will vacate the area.

Palmarosa essential oil has a very high concentration of geraniol. So guess what you can use it for?

Here’s an excellent linen spray recipe that helps keep those dust mites away!

  • 8 oz (240 ml) water in a spray bottle
  • 60 drops Palmarosa essential oil (Cymbopogon martini motia)
  • 20 drops Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)

To get the most out of your linen spray, first, wash your linens in very hot water. Then use the spray several times a day. The ingredients are very skin-friendly and relaxing, so it’s nice to wrap yourself up in the sheets at the end of the day.

I recommend making a fresh bottle of this blend every few weeks since it’s not made with a preservative.


 

Four cooling summer blends with Palmarosa essential oil.

Palmarosa is a great essential oil to use for summer Aromatherapy blends! It’s cooling and soothing, can repel insects (and those smaller “bugs”—microbes), and supports immunity.

So I’ve got four suggestions for blends you can make with Palmarosa to get a head start on summer.

  • A jojoba massage oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • A body cream to help you sleep (You can use your favorite unscented natural cream.)
  • A bedtime bath salt (I like pink Himalayan salt.)
  • A linen spray (1 oz/30 ml of water is a great base.)

Now I’m going to share a few great essential oils to use together in these carriers, and let you get creative with coming up with your own aromas. Try Palmarosa with Sandalwood in the massage oil, or Palmarosa and Patchouli in the bath salt. Just add one drop at a time to each blend, to be sure you like the aroma you’re creating.

  • Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini motia)
  • Sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum)
  • Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)
  • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

The rule of thumb when blending for children is to use about 5 to 6 drops of essential oil for every 1 oz (30 ml) of the carrier.

For adults, you can use 10 to 15 drops for every 1 oz (30 ml) of the carrier.

For the body cream and linen spray, I suggest making your blends fresh every few weeks, since they are not made with preservatives.


 

Palmarosa is a great ingredient for natural soaps.

One of Palmarosa essential oil’s main components is geraniol, which makes it especially cooling, antifungal, and destructive to viruses and bacteria.

Does it sound like a great ingredient for natural homemade soap? (It is!)

Here’s a recipe for luxurious foam soap you can use in your office or bathroom. It also makes a great travel soap.

  • 40 ml castile soap
  • 10 drops Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini motia)
  • 10 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)
  • 2 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

You can make this blend in a 50 ml foam soap pump (which I like to get at Aromatics International). Once you pour the castile soap into the bottle, you’ll see there’s a little room left—that’s intentional because when you screw on the lid, the liquid will rise (you don’t want it to spill over).

This foam soap is especially reliable if you’ve got any cuts or scrapes on your hands. Its anti-inflammatory and bacteria reducing effects are gentle, yet effective.


 

Get to know Palmarosa.

Palmarosa essential oil’s gentle effect on skin, combined with its strong actions against germs and microbes, makes it a wonderful go-to oil for a wide variety of potent yet nourishing blends. And it smells amazing!

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 Few Soothing And Nurturing Skin Care Recipes To Tempt You!

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.

Soothing Foot Bath.

This relaxing foot soak will work wonders for your entire body.

Use a large dishpan or kiddie tub if you don’t have a special foot tub.

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 drops lavender essential oil

1 drop rosemary essential oil

1 drop bay essential oil

1 drop geranium essential oil

Rose petals {optional}

1. Fill the soaking pan or tub with enough warm water to cover the feet.

2. Stir in the sea salt until it dissolves. Use your toes to stir, if you wish. Add the essential oils, mixing them well. Float rose petals on the surface.

3. Soak your feet in the basin for 10 minutes, or until the water has cooled off. Pat your feet dry with a towel.

Eucalyptus Foot Lotion.

Use this rich and refreshing foot lotion to follow the *Soothing Foot Bath, or simply to salve sore feet.

1 tablespoon almond oil

1 teaspoon avocado oil

1 teaspoon wheat germ oil

10 drops eucalyptus essential oil

1. Put all the ingredients in a small, sterilized glass bottle with a tight-fitting stopper. Shake the liquid vigorously until it is completely combined.

2. Store the bottle in a cool, dark place. Shake well before using.

Love Your Feet Cream.

Our feet take a lot of abuse.
Here’s a special treatment to apply to dry, cracked feet that will leave them soft and pretty and costs less than a visit to the salon for a pedicure.
1 ounce grated or shaved beeswax
3/4 cup almond oil
1. Place the beeswax and almond oil in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir together until they are blended and the wax has melted. Remove from heat and pour into two 4-ounce sterilized containers with tight tops.
2. Allow mixture to cool before applying to feet. Spread on feet at night before bedtime. Wear a pair of clean cotton socks over the cream. In the morning, your feet will be much softer.

Leg Massage Cream.

Treat yourself to a massage from your knees to your toes with this easy-to-make cream especially for the legs.
3 tablespoons anhydrous {water-free} lanolin
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apricot oil
1. Put all the ingredients together in the nonreactive top of a double boiler over simmering water. Heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the lanolin has liquefied.
2. Pour the mixture into a sterilized 4-ounce jar with a tight-fitting lid and allow to cool. Keep in a cool, dark place.

Strawberry Foot Scrub.

Can’t get to the spa for a luxury treatment for those tired feet?
Work this simple and sweetly scented natural scrub into your feet and feel like a queen.
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 fresh strawberries
1. Pour salt into a mixing bowl. Add the oil and stir to combine. Remove caps from strawberries and slice or chop them. Add strawberries to the salt and oil mixture and mash with a potato masher or fork. The resulting mixture should be chunky but well blended.
2. Rub this mixture onto your feet, massaging the balls of the feet and the heels. If desired, use a body puff or foot brush. Rinse off and coat feet with a gentle lotion.
Makes enough for one treatment.

Inspiration for Winter Skin {Any Time of the Year}

When the weather is cold and dark, nature still provides us with seasonal herbs to help us look and feel our best. Warm, pungent cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and mace emit a comforting and delicious aroma while evergreens like juniper, fir, and cedar offer a crisp and invigorating breath of fresh air.
Here are a few recipes that incorporate these fragrant herbs.

Rosemary and Juniper Skin-Smoothing Scrub

Grapefruit, rosemary, and juniper essential oils are often used in cellulite-reducing formulas. While I certainly can’t promise that this blend of essential oils will eliminate cellulite, I will say that these herbs are reputed to improve skin tone, promote healthy circulation, and reduce water retention. Pure sea salt has a scrubbing texture that cleanses, purifies, and exfoliates dry winter skin while hazelnut oil moisturizes and tones. Hazelnut also has gentle astringent and skin-toning properties. {If you can’t find hazelnut, jojoba oil is a great substitute}.
1 cup fine sea salt
1/2 cup hazelnut oil
4 drops juniper essential oil
4 drops rosemary essential oil
6 drops grapefruit essential oil
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Place in a wide-mouth plastic jar with a tight lid. To use: Rub gently all over the body. Rinse. Yield: one application.

Deep Forest Detox Bath

Before you get rid of your holiday tree or wreath, consider saving some of the needles to use in this calming bath. This formula is particularly nice if you have needles from the fragrant balsam fir greens, but the scent of most evergreens, such as fir, pine and cedarwood, are calming and helpful for detoxifying. Most of us can use a little post-holiday detox session.
1 cup sea salt
1 handful pine or fir needles {fresh or dried}
5 drops fir essential oil
5 drops cedarwood essential oil
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight plastic or glass container. To use: Tie a generous handful of this mixture into a muslin bag, square of cheesecloth, or an old, thin, washcloth. Draw a warm bath and add the herbal mixture. Soak for at least 20 minutes.

Eastern Spice Body Powder

I discovered the sweet, spicy scent of mace on a trip to my favorite spice shop. Not to be confused with the self-defense spray {originally manufactured under the name “Chemical Mace”}, the herb mace refers to a lace-like outer covering found on nutmeg seeds. It has a softer and sweeter scent than nutmeg, with a delicious hint of spice. The exotic and heady scent is well-suited to massage oils, perfumes, and bath products. Use a small, handheld coffee grinder to powder the dried mace for this recipe. {Mace adds a delicious flavor to coffee, but if you don’t want the two to mix, use a separate grinder.}
2 teaspoons dried mace, ground
1/2 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
Combine ingredients thoroughly. If you desire a little extra “spice,” add ground cinnamon powder as well. Store the powder in an airtight container. To use: I prefer using a wide-mouth tin or jar and applying the powder with a soft fabric “puff.” However, you can also use a shaker powder or even a salt or cheese shaker to store and apply the powder.

Sweet Spice Milk Bath

This was a recipe I came up with as I was cleaning out my spice cupboard to make room for a batch of fresh new baking spices. The combination of the old spices smelled so divine, I had to create this recipe, and I’ve made it many times since. You can use any combination of spices that you have, but I find this recipe works best when it relies heavily on cinnamon and cloves, with smaller amounts of the other herbs. Milk baths in the winter are soothing and moisturizing to dry, winter skin, and don’t have the mess or slipperiness of a bath oil. I use a non-fat dry milk powder in this recipe because it’s easy to find and fairly inexpensive. If you’d like to make this recipe a bit more luxurious, substitute a full-fat dried milk powder. You can usually find this in the refrigerated section of your health food store.
1/4 cup dried spices, such as cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and clove
2 cups dried milk powder
 Combine all ingredients; stir well. Store extra milk bath in an airtight container.
 To use: Add 1/2 cup to a tub full of warm water and soak.

Body Care Extras

Skin and hair aren’t the only pieces of your body care puzzle. Healthy and beautiful lips and nails are every bit as important to appearance, left untended, they can become quite irritated.

Chapped Lips

Rough, cracked lips not only feel uncomfortable but also look unattractive. You can protect your lips from summer’s drying heat {and winter’s wind and cold} with a soothing herbal lip balm. The balm I recommend is a good alternative to petroleum oil-based ointment sticks that can dry out your lips more than moisturize them. Indeed, many people complain that lip balm sold in stick form makes their lips even drier, and they find themselves needing more and more of it.

Herbal lip balm comes in a tasty selection of flavors, including orange, tangerine, lemon, and vanilla. If your lips are very chapped, avoid essential oils that sting, such as peppermint. Plastic lip-balm containers that snap shut can be purchased in stores that sell backpacking supplies.

Honey Lip Balm for Chapped Lips

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 ounce shaved beeswax

1 teaspoon honey

10 drops lemon essential oil or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oil in a pan. Stir in honey and essential oil or flavoring. {Expect a little residue at the bottom of the pan from the extract and honey.} Pour the balm into lip-balm containers while still warm {be sure the mixture is not too hot or it will melt the plastic containers}.

Fungal Infections

Fungal skin and nail infections can be extremely annoying, not only are they unsightly and uncomfortable, they are also difficult to eliminate. Ringworm, which causes athlete’s foot and occurs most often on the feet, scalp, beard, fingernails, and toenails, is one of the best known, but there are many different types of fungal infections. Jewelweed, garlic, yellow dock, pau d’arco, the lichen Usnea and the fresh husk of black walnut all contain compounds that deter fungal growth. {The tincture of jewelweed and usnea are particularly good, but they are also extremely hard to find.} Many herbs high in essential oils are also antifungal, especially tea tree, oregano, lavender, eucalyptus, rose, rose geranium and myrrh. Small amounts of peppermint relieve the itching associated with many fungal infections.

A herbal salve can be used on fungal skin infections, but your best bet is a herbal vinegar and/or a bentonite clay dusting powder to dry out the moist environment in which fungus thrives. Although dabbing a gourmet vinegar on your skin may seem odd, oregano and garlic vinegar’s make excellent remedies. Vinegar itself directly destroys fungal infections, and its effectiveness is increased by adding eight drops of tea tree essential oil per ounce of vinegar.

tea tree oilMy brother found great success using herbs to fight fungal problems. He had a terrible case of athlete’s foot which he thought he had picked up at the gym. He tried various pharmaceutical preparations, but they only brought temporary relief. After a few days, these preparations always made his feet burn and feel worse than the athlete’s foot itself. Because his feet were so raw and because herbal vinegar stung, he used a salve containing tea tree and lavender essential oils. At first, his feet did not look any better, but they certainly felt better, much better, in fact. It took only a few days for the crusty rings to start subsiding. He still needs to use the salve every once in a while when the athlete’s foot flares up again, but he says the attacks are happening less often. Part of the reason for this may be his discovery that it helps to wear shoes that keep the feet well-ventilated and as dry as possible. He also noticed that the fungal infection becomes worse whenever life becomes stressful.

Antifungal Vinegar

4 ounces vinegar {for extra strength, use oregano vinegar}

2 tablespoons tincture of pau d’arco

1/4 teaspoon each tea tree and lavender essential oils

1/8 teaspoon peppermint essential oil

Combine ingredients. Apply a few times daily with cotton balls or swabs or use a compress soaked in vinegar to cover a large area. I use oregano vinegar. You can make this yourself or buy a culinary oregano vinegar.

Antifungal Dusting Powder

1/4 cup bentonite clay

1/8 teaspoon each tea tree and lavender essential oils

Combine clay and essential oils in a plastic bag. Drop in essential oils, tightly close bag and mix well by turning bag over a few times and breaking up any clumps. Let sit three days, then store in an airtight container.

nail care

Nail Care

Your fingernails are subjected to daily assault. Detergents, fingernail polish, glue for artificial fingernails, formaldehyde-based nail hardeners, and household chemicals are just a few of the attackers. You can protect your nails by wearing gloves while washing dishes or hand-washing clothes, and by avoiding contact with gasoline, paint, and other harsh chemicals. Nail polish, lacquers and especially nail polish remover are very drying to nails, often causing them to crack and split. If you use these products, choose formulas without formaldehyde and add half a teaspoon of castor oil to every ounce of an acetone polish remover to moisturize nails and surrounding skin.

Brittle nails that crack easily indicate possible dietary problems. Healthy nails need a sufficient amount of calcium, magnesium, protein and silica. Drinking a tea made of equal parts oat straw, nettle, and horsetail or taking capsules or tinctures of these herbs daily can improve your nails from the inside out since these herbs are high in silica and other minerals important for nail growth. Supplements of GLA in the form of evening primrose, borage or black currant seed oil also help.

How else can you achieve beautiful fingernails?  Soaking them in herbal teas or oils of comfrey, oat straw and horsetail strengthens nails and cuticles, the thickened skin at the base of your fingernails. For fungal problems, first, soak your nails in the Antifungal Vinegar, then follow by rubbing in the Nail Soak Oil.

Antifungal Vinegar

4 ounces vinegar {for extra strength, use oregano vinegar}

2 tablespoons tincture pau d `arco

1/4 teaspoon each tea tree and lavender essential oils

1/8 teaspoon peppermint essential oil

Combine ingredients. Apply a few times daily with cotton balls or swabs or use a compress soaked in vinegar to cover a large area. I use oregano vinegar. You can make this yourself or buy a culinary oregano vinegar.

Nail Soak Oil

2 tablespoons jojoba oil

4 drops each lavender and sandalwood essential oils

Combine ingredients. Soak nails in the mixture for 10 minutes. Buff nails to stimulate circulation and bring out a healthy shine.

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Neroli essential oil is obtained from the flowers of the Seville orange trees. This essential is obtained by water distilling the orange blossoms since they are very fragile and, hence, cannot undergo the steam distillation process. The aroma of neroli essential oil has a lot of resemblance to bergamot. Neroli essential oil possesses an invigorating and typical, zesty fragrance with a sweet and flowery tinge. The flowers are usually collected manually during the period between late April and early May. Going by history, the late 17th century Duchess of Bracciano and Princess of Nerola in Italy, Anne Marie Orsini was the first to introduce the quintessence of the bitter orange tree as a fragrance to perfume her gloves and her bath. It is believed that ever since the term neroli was used to denote this essence.

It may be mentioned that the neroli essential oil is considered to be among the most valuable and pricey natural oils available in the market. While this natural oil is obtained from the aromatic white flowers of the Seville orange trees, it is one of the most expensive natural oils since several tons of flowers of this species is required to obtain just one pound of the essential oil. This essential oil possesses numerous aromatic properties and, in aromatherapy, it is used to treat as well as prevent several medical conditions. While neroli essential oil has a relaxing and soothing impact on the nervous system, its use also facilitates alleviating conditions, such as depression and fretfulness that are associated with mental stress or tension.

Neroli essential oil is rejuvenating in every sense and, hence, it is a beneficial element in several skin care products, particularly those that are meant for treating dry skin and associated problems, such as acne, dermatitis and inflamed skin conditions. In addition, neroli essential oil is also a wonderful remedy for mature skin (skin of the elderly people), stretch marks and scars. It is known to tone up the complexion of the skin as well as soften wrinkles. Neroli essential oil also has industrial use and is often used in the manufacture of colognes, perfumes, and toilet waters. Like in the instance of most other essential oils, using a little amount of neroli essential oil will sustain for a prolonged period. This natural oil obtained from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree is not only versatile in use and utility but also blends easily with almost all other essential oils.

As aforementioned, neroli essential oil is obtained from the flowers of the bitter orange tree and is considered to be very pricey natural oil. The blossoms of the bitter orange tree are petite, whitish and highly scented. It also needs to be mentioned again that neroli essential oil is not obtained by steam distillation, but by a method is known as solvent distillation using water. This is primarily owing to the fact that the blossoms of the bitter orange trees are very fragile and cannot endure steam distillation.

The essential oil extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange trees possesses several therapeutic properties and, hence, is used to treat a number of conditions or physical and mental disorders. This natural oil possesses sedative as well as stimulant properties that are beneficial for the nervous system. It can be used to treat most of the problems related to stress and tension having an emotional origin. In addition, neroli essential oil is widely used to treat conditions, such as heart palpitations, diminish nervous anxiety and cure insomnia or sleeplessness. Deep inhaling of the aroma of neroli essential oil as well as massaging a few drops of this natural oil blended with jojoba oil on the solar plexus helps to soothe and comfort the body and the mind. The same effect is experienced when one uses this as a natural perfume or diffuses the oil in little quantities. In fact, in aromatherapy, neroli essential oil is believed to be among the most vital aromatics while treating depression and nervousness caused by tension and anxiety.

neroli-oil-1024x576

Neroli essential oil is also considered to be one of the most beneficial oil for women, especially for the skin care of elderly women. For treating mature skin, this natural oil needs to be blended with rose Otto and clary sage oils for utmost benefits. The oil’s relaxing characteristics are passed on to the cells, which are rejuvenated. In addition, use of neroli essential oil is also useful for people having sensitive skin. Most importantly, the essential oil extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange trees has been proved to be beneficial for the female reproductive system, especially in providing relief from menstrual cramps. When using this oil for this particular therapeutic purpose, add neroli essential oil to your bath or bring down its concentration to around 10 percent by adding it to apricot kernel oil and massage the blended oil on the abdomen. This will help to provide relief from menstrual cramps immediately.

The essential oil obtained from the flowers of the bitter orange trees possesses anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial and anti-spasmodic properties. These properties of this natural oil help it to treat intestinal problems. In order to cure intestinal disorder with neroli essential oil drop a few drops of the oil in your bath or dilute it and massage the oil on the abdomen. In addition, massaging diluted neroli essential oil on the abdomen is very useful in treating stomach problems caused by stress and mental tension.

Neroli essential oil has varied use in aromatherapy. It has been reported that the fragrance of this essential oil is effective in successfully treating conditions, such as shock and nervous depression. Use of this natural oil also helps in relaxing the body and the mind and alleviates certain conditions that may appear to be critical. Neroli essential oil is known to provide relief from several hopeless situations related to mental disorders. In aromatherapy, the essential oil extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange trees may be used in burners and diffusers to increase the atmosphere in a room. Its use in this manner helps to bring in an air of peace and comfort.

As has been discussed earlier, neroli essential oil possesses several therapeutic properties and is, therefore, used to treat different conditions. Below is a brief account of the condition-specific utilities or benefits of this natural oil that may benefit you. Just go through the list and you may find it suitable for treating some medical condition you might be enduring.

  • In case you are suffering from depression and nothing seems to be working to alleviate this pathetic condition, it is advisable that you try using neroli essential oil. Used in aromatherapy, this essential oil not only helps to cure depression but also results in a happy feeling and uplifts your mood. This attribute of neroli essential oil makes its use widespread in aromatherapy.
  • In the instance of getting a wound or a cut and the physician not being readily available for administering an anti-tetanus injection, you may apply neroli essential oil, of course in a diluted condition, on your wounds or cut. The antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties of neroli essential oil will help to shield your wounds from becoming infected and tetanus. It has been proved that the oil obtained by solvent distillation of the blooms of the bitter orange trees is effective in healing as well as protecting wounds from getting infectious. Once you have applied this oil to your wound or cut, you can afford to visit your doctor at your leisure.
  • Owing to its anti-bacterial properties, neroli essential oil is very effective in eliminating bacteria – it is also known to be bactericidal. Bacteria are responsible for certain ailments and conditions, such as typhoid, cholera, food poisoning and some specific skin disorder and using this essential oil helps to cure all such diseases and conditions.
  • Another important characteristic of neroli essential oil is that during cold climates, its usage helps to keep one warm and does not allow him/ her to catch a cold or suffer from a cough. It facilitates the body to fight against these conditions caused by infections. In addition, the oil also possesses some expectorant properties that help in checking production of excessive mucus by the body and ensures that you breathe freely and have a sound sleep even during the winter months.
  • Neroli essential oil possesses the characteristics to heal wounds by forming scars on them (cicatrizant property). It has been established that this particular feature of neroli essential oil works much more effectively compared to any other anti-mark lotion or cream. In effect, neroli essential oil forms an important ingredient of several herbal anti-mark lotions or creams. Using neroli essential oil or lotions and creams containing this oil facilitates in erasing spots, blemishes and after-marks caused by boils, acne, chickenpox and other similar conditions.
  • Use of neroli essential oil encourages the growth of new cells as well as helps to maintain the health of the existing cells in the body. In other words, using this oil on a regular basis helps one to grow bigger, more powerful and healthier.
  • The antiseptic property of neroli essential oil not only helps to disinfect the body but also makes the surroundings germ free. When taken internally, the essential oil obtained from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree helps to heal various types of contagions – including those of the kidneys, colon, prostate and the urinary tracts. In addition, this oil is also effective in curing skin infections and also protects the body from all new contagions.
  • The aroma of neroli oil helps to shoo away all types of foul body odour. While you may choose to use this oil as a body perfume, it can also be used as room fresheners or vaporizers to clean the atmosphere of all foul odours. Doing this not only helps to make the room scented, but also sterilizes the place.
  • The anti-spasmodic property of neroli essential oil is effective in treating spasms and providing relief from coughs, cramps and aches due to spasms. It also helps to cure spasmodic cholera and relax the muscles alleviating pain.
  • At the same time, neroli essential oil obtained from the bitter orange trees is also stomach and beneficial for all types of stomach disorders. Use of neroli essential oil encourages digestion as well as enhances appetite.
  • Neroli essential oil also possesses sedative properties which help it to alleviate mental disorders, such as distress, nervous anxiety, depression and anger. Using this natural oil on a regular basis helps to relax the body as well as the mind.
  • Many herbalists often recommend neroli essential oil treat colitis (inflammation of the colon), neuralgia (acute spasmodic pain caused by damage to or failure of a nerve), fat cracks and diarrhea. Moreover, use of neroli essential oil also helps in losing unwanted weight.
  • As mentioned earlier, neroli essential oil is highly beneficial for the skin. Topical application of this natural oil on the surface of the skin makes the skin smooth, protects it from all types of infections and helps to make it appear fresh and healthy adding glamour. Use of neroli essential oil facilitates in sustaining the appropriate amount of moisture in the skin and also balances the oils present in the skin.
  • The essential oil extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange trees is responsible for maintaining the overall health of an individual. Its use ensures that the correct rate of metabolism and proper blood circulation are maintained by the body. In addition, neroli essential oil also helps to strengthen the immune system helping us to fight against various ailments.

General Properties

  • antispasmodic
  • antitoxic
  • aphrodisiac
  • sedative
  • slightly hypnotic
  • tranquilizing
  • uplifting

Blends Well With

Blends well with any essential oil but especially with citrus oils such as lemon and sweet orange

  • chamomile
  • clary sage
  • frankincense
  • geranium
  • patchouli
  • rose
  • sandalwood
  • ylang-ylang

General uses

  • aging skin
  • anorexia
  • anxiety
  • broken capillaries
  • bulimia
  • childbirth
  • colitis
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • fear
  • flatulence
  • frigidity
  • grief
  • high blood pressure
  • hysteria and panic
  • impotence
  • indigestion
  • insomnia
  • nervous dyspepsia
  • nervous tension
  • over-sensitivity
  • palpitations
  • rejuvenation
  • shock

Precaution

Neroli essential oil obtained from the aromatic flowers of the Seville orange or the bitter orange trees should never be used by patients undergoing chemotherapy for treating any type of cancer.

Lavender Aromatherapy and Labor Pain

Pain specialists rank the pain of delivery among the most severe in the human experience. To mitigate it, women at term use many treatments, including massage therapy, deep-breathing exercises, hypnotism, acupuncture, pain drugs, and anesthesia. Iranian investigators wondered if aromatherapy with lavender oil {Lavandula angustifolia} might also help.

The essential oil of lavender is a mainstay of aromatherapy. Many studies have shown that inhaling the pleasant fragrance helps treat stress, anxiety, and pain – even at concentrations so low it can barely be detected. Previous studies demonstrated that lavender aromatherapy relieves some of the pain of Caesarean section delivery and episiotomy. But other trials have shown no delivery-related benefits.

120 women pregnant for the first time participated in this study, published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. During labor, they rubbed either water or lavender between their hands. In the herb group, the fragrance filled the birth room. The aromatherapy group reported significantly less labor pain {p<0.001}.

Essential oil of lavender is highly concentrated. A drop or two is all it takes to noticeably reduce most pain. Essential oils are also highly toxic. Ingesting as little as a teaspoon can kill a child. Always keep essential oils out of the reach of children.

aromatherapy-essential-oils

Aromatherapy: The Sweet Smell of Pain Relief

Lavender essential oil has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory chemicals; it can soothe the soul and alleviate pain.
Ever thought of using your nose to help ease your pain?
Volatiles in essential oils can easily enter your body via your olfactory system and adjust brain electrical activity to alter your perception of pain.
Clinical aromatherapists commonly use lavender, peppermint, chamomile, and damask rose for pain relief and relaxation.
A report from Nursing Clinics of North America says that massage with lavender relieves pain and enhances the effect of orthodox pain medication. Lavender and chamomile oils are gentle enough to be used with children and, in blends, have relieved children’s pain from HIV, encephalopathy-induced muscle spasm, and nerve pain. Both oils contain anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic chemicals, and exert sedative, calming action.
Rose essential oil contains pain-reducing eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, and geraniol; but the report’s author suggests it may also alter the perception of pain because it embodies the soothing aromas of the garden.