Market Report August 2018 {Essential Oils, Carrier Oils, Raw Materials}

The following report contains updates on the current trends in production and availability of the most in-demand Essential Oils, Carrier Oils, and Raw Materials sourced from around the globe.

patchouli (1)

Patchouli Oil

In Indonesia, the Patchouli supply has decreased, and the next yield is expected to be lower. It is currently an ideal time to make an investment in Patchouli stocks. Big buyers have recently entered the market and a large number of processors are purchasing new plant material at the newer price points. Given the current prices in the Indonesian market, the production of Patchouli in India is not likely to be reestablished; despite some cultivation in limited areas, most Patchouli is being used for the propagation of plants rather than for the production of oil. Despite the availability of organic production, albeit a limited one, Indian Patchouli Oil differs from the Indonesian oil; hence, natural product formulators looking to replace the Indonesian oil with the Indian oil may find that the latter does not match their preference.

frankincense-oil-relieves-congestion-hs-fb

Frankincense Oil

In India, the Frankincense gum harvest season came to a close as the Monsoon season began at the end of June. Because gum collection takes place in several regions, the crop yield varies and is dependent on numerous growth conditions; however, the average yield for Frankincense Essential Oil ranges between 4 and 9%. The anti-inflammatory properties of Frankincense derivatives have increased the value and popularity of their use in medicinal applications in the pharmaceutical industry. Frankincense prices remain high with a nominal competition. With increasing demand for this oil, the prices are also expected to keep gradually increasing. Frankincense supply remains stable and some large quantities may still be obtainable.

lavandula-angustifolia-mill

Lavender Oil (Bulgaria)

In Bulgaria, Lavender is harvested in the month of July. This year’s exceptionally low yield caused by excessive rains has resulted in an acute shortage of material available for distillation. Given this shortage, it is predicted that the demand will not be met. Current market prices in Bulgaria are 50% higher than last year.

tea-tree-oil-1

Tea Tree Oil

In Australia, Tea Tree leaves are harvested between May and November. This year’s steady rainfall has placed constraints on and has affected production to the point where there is no carryover stock. This current state of affairs is not expected to improve any time soon, thus oil prices are predicted to increase. The production season recommenced in June and has been expected to continue to August 2018.

In China, Tea Tree leaves are harvested between May and August. In August, the crop season also commences and carries on until October. Last year’s production was negatively impacted by continuous rains in the main areas of production, namely the regions of Guangdong, Guangxi, and Fujian. There is a tight market and, in the near future, the prices are estimated to continue increasing.

basil plant3

Basil Oil (India)

In India, Basil is harvested between the months of November and February. At present, it is challenging to obtain the Basil plant material.

market-report-aug-2018

Rosemary Oil (Spain)

In Spain, Rosemary is harvested between February and June. Oil samples that are currently available in the market are derived from wild harvesting, and the distillation of the first batches of oil is set to proceed. Despite the low availability of Rosemary, the market is calm at present, but the updates from local farmers are optimistic.

cinnamon-tree-23

Cinnamon Leaf Oil

In Sri Lanka, Cinnamon is harvested between the months of May and November. Due to a major drought in the growing region, the collection has decreased and the oil supply is low. A new crop was expected to have become available in larger quantities between July and August, an ideal time to meet the year’s requirements. The prices for Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil are unstable; however, this is partly because of the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee.

Market Report July 2018 {Essential Oils, Carrier Oils, Raw Materials}

The following report contains updates on the current trends in production and availability of the most in-demand Essential Oils, Carrier Oils, and Raw Materials sourced from around the globe.

Mint-leaves-2007

 

Mint (Mentha Arvensis & Menthol Oils)

In India, the main growing region for Mint is expected to experience a normal Monsoon season; however, there has been a delay in the onset of this beneficial rainy weather, which usually makes its appearance in mid-June. This postponement, likely to July, is not expected to have a significant negative impact on the production of Mint.

Between 2017-18, the production of Mint was approximately 30,000MT with a carryover stock of 6,000MT, making the total availability of 36,000MT. A decline in the carryover stocks and a strong export demand in the Indian market has led to an increase in Mint prices. India is expected to yield 35,000MT to 38,000MT of Mint Oil in 2018-19 if everything goes normal. Due to a major, worldwide shortage of Mint, there has been growing demand. Hence, throughout the year, there has been an upward trend in Mint prices.

lavandin-sumian

Lavandin Oil

In France, the Lavandin harvest occurs between mid-July and mid-August, with harvest and distillation taking place at the same time. Compared to the weather of 2017, which was characterized by a drought and freezing temperatures that destroyed 10-15% of the plantation and resulted in the crop having to be uprooted and replaced, the weather this year has been favorable for Lavandin cultivation. The months of April and May experienced plenty of rainfall, promoting the growth of lush fields. Due to the introduction of new plants in the production phase, there may still be a lack of material in 2018-2019 despite the possibility of having a favorable yield. In the South of France and in Spain, the temperatures are currently on the cooler end of the range, which will delay the harvest by a few weeks.

Last year, the harvest yield for Lavandin Grosso was around 1300 tons, which was unfortunately not enough. At this time, it is too soon to project this year’s harvest yield in France, but it is likely to be the same as last year, considering the drought in the growing regions. It is still not known how this will affect the yield, production, or prices in Spain. In France, the market demand for Lavandin is still very high, and with all the crops having been sold during the year, there is no leftover. In France, there has been a slight increase in price, as there is more demand than there is production. Due to the lack of stock, the market is tense.

lavandula-angustifolia-mill

Lavender Oil

In Bulgaria, the current unfavorable weather, which is characterized by rainstorms and icy rain, is leading to the destruction of many crops, including Lavender. The distillation yield is also very low, which indicates that there will be a shortage of oil volumes from Bulgaria. Subsequently, this will cause an increase in prices for both organic and conventional Lavender. Normal weather patterns were expected along with a large crop, which may have yielded over 400 tons of oil, but the rain that began at the end of June and that has continued until now, has caused most planting areas to be inundated; thus, the main issue continues to be the availability of the crop, which is down a minimum of 50%. As expected, the current demand for Lavender is remarkably high. Ukrainian and Russian producers are facing the same situation, having had to stop their production due to heavy rainfall.

neroli flowers

 

Neroli Oil

In Tunisia, favorable weather conditions have benefited the Neroli harvest, leading to a consistent and abundant yield. There has been a high market demand for Neroli, and the distillers’ eagerness to buy led to an increase in Neroli prices throughout the harvest, causing the prices to reach a historic high. The distillation yields have remained at average levels. Compared to previous years, the concrete production of Neroli has been stable; however, the steady demand has led to a 20% increase in prices. Tunisian production volumes are stable and could potentially increase in the coming years, due to new planting projects that are currently in progress.

In Morocco, the Neroli harvest took place under unfavorable weather conditions characterized by low temperatures, frequent rain, and little sunlight. Although the harvest season usually ends in early May, the latest harvest season was exceptionally long, lasting from the end of April to mid-May. Although the rainfall and cold temperatures negatively impacted the distillation yields, which saw a decline of nearly 40% below normal levels, there was a decent volume of harvested blossoms. This year’s Moroccan production volumes are below market expectations, due to the weather conditions; however, there has been an upward trend in production.

Litsea Cubeba oil

Litsea Cubeba Oil

In China, crop seeding for Litsea Cubeba will begin at the end of July, and new oil will become available between the end of August and early September. The crop sizes are expected to be the same as last year’s, that is, not large. Due to high labor and production costs, the pricing is expected to stay firm for new crops, and according to some reports, there is little urgency for farmers to collect.

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Geranium Oil

In China, the rainy weather has prevented further production of new Geranium Essential Oil. The oil from the early season was low in Geraniol content, not having more than 4%, thus the carryover – with 6% Geraniol – was priced much higher. According to reports, the current demand is low, suggesting that buyers are waiting for better quality. With its eye on Chinese prices, Egypt has also started to raise its prices, asserting that this year’s crop is not as large as last year’s and that there is no more carryover.

A Safe Bug Spray That Really Works: Natural Mosquito Repellent

Summer is prime time for enjoying the outdoors. But more often than not, there’s a dark cloud hanging over that backyard barbecue: bugs – and especially mosquitoes. These blood-seeking fun busters expertly follow their senses right to your skin. But if you can repel them with one quick application of bug spray, then what’s the problem? It turns out that many old-fashioned bug sprays contain neurotoxic ingredients that may increase cancer risk. But, worry not – there are plenty of nontoxic essential oil blends that repel the bugs, without the bite to your health.

Why Should We Use Natural Mosquito Repellent?

Mosquito bites are not just annoying. They can also transmit diseases such as malaria, Zika, and dengue fever, among others. So, it’s important to guard against them. Mosquitoes are guided by their sense of smell, which is equipped with hundreds of odor-receptor proteins, and they’re attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale, our skin odors, and sweat. Although none of these can truly be avoided, there are plant-derived all-natural essential oils that repel bugs and are completely safe for humans. The best part is that natural insect repellents not only have a fresh, clean scent but, most importantly, they are safe to use at any frequency and can be used in place of traditional toxic bug sprays like DEET and picaridin. Plus, natural bug sprays usually have a variety of essential oils to repel a variety of mosquitoes at once.

Of course, if you do get bitten, there’s still hope. Try natural home remedies for mosquito bites.

Essential Oil Mosquito Repellents

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

Lemon eucalyptus oil (also referred to as PMD) is a hydrodistilled byproduct of lemon eucalyptus and shouldn’t be confused with the essential oil of eucalyptus itself. In concentrations above 30 percent, lemon eucalyptus oil has been shown to provide the same amount of protection for the same amount of time as DEET- and picaridin-derived sprays. Due to its efficacy, it’s one of the few natural ingredients included on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) list of effective mosquito repellents, in addition to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority-approved list.

Lemon eucalyptus is also a natural insecticide that is nontoxic to humans. In fact, some research shows that an all-natural blend of essential oils containing lemon eucalyptus was greater than 95 percent effective, compared to DEET (which was 100 percent effective) at repelling mosquitoes, for up to three hours. That 5 percent disparity seems small, but it represents the difference between a safe and potentially toxic spray.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil, like thyme and oregano, is naturally toxic to certain mosquitoes and ticks while providing a natural antioxidant effect on humans. This makes it an effective oil to help naturally repel mosquitoes while being beneficial to human health.

Thyme Oil

Thyme oil contains monoterpenes, naturally derived plant extracts that are shown to be as effective as DEET at repelling mosquitoes. Some research also finds that monoterpenes may repel bugs for longer than DEET.

Greek Catnip Oil

You may only know catnip as a feline’s favorite herb, but researchers at Rutgers University have crafted a catnip that not only entertains cats for longer but, more importantly, also has higher concentrations of mosquito-repelling essential oils. Catnip, a member of the mint family, has been shown to suppress the feeding receptors of mosquitoes in multiple ways, which means a more effective natural bug spray.

Other Effective Natural Bug Repellents

Geraniol is naturally derived from rose and citronella oils and has been shown to be an effective insect repellent. Citronella (which is often used in backyard tiki torches and anti-bug candles), along with a vanilla extract, is a powerful essential-oil combo for naturally repelling mosquitoes, even remaining up to 71 percent effective one hour after application. Citronella extract can even repel ticks better than DEET, according to some research.

Other natural essential oils that make an ideal bug spray include peppermint, holy basil, rosemary, and tea tree oil. Peppermint, in addition to geranium, contains menthone, an all-natural extract from essential oils that may repel mosquitoes up to 90 percent effective for up to two hours, compared with DEET, which repelled for only 15 minutes at the same 1 percent concentration. Extracts of cumin and cinnamon are also proven effective mosquito repellents. Plus, eating foods like garlic, vinegar (for example in salad dressing), lemongrass, and chili peppers may help prevent mosquito bites.

DIY Recipes

Try this DIY homemade bug spray recipe with essential oils (EOs):

Ingredients

  • Lemon eucalyptus oil
  • Citronella oil
  • Pure vanilla extract or vanillin
  • Distilled water
  • 1 16oz spray bottle
  • Optional: Witch Hazel

Directions

  1. Mix eight to 10 drops each of lemon eucalyptus oil, citronella, and either pure vanilla extract or vanillin (a vanilla-extract alternative made from wood pulp) into a small spray bottle.
  2. Fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water.
  3. Add an optional splash of witch hazel to soothe itchy skin.

You can increase the amount of essential oil based on your preferences, but, generally, the higher the EO concentration, the more repellent it will be. Remember to always dilute EOs and never use them directly on the skin in undiluted form. Also remember that due to evaporation, natural bug sprays made with essential oils will lose efficacy fairly quickly, so reapply every hour.

The common decorative plant Lantana camara, also known as big sage, red sage, or wild sage, can be mixed with Ocimum gratissimum, (aka clove basil, wild basil, or African basil) to make a natural bug repellent. Try this recipe made from dried plants:

Equipment

  • Food processor or another grinder

Ingredients

  • Wild sage
  • Clove basil
  • A liter of 50 percent ethanol or a liter of 50 percent methanol
  • Distilled water
  • 1 16oz spray bottle
  1. Start by air-drying the leaves at room temperature for two weeks.
  2. Then, grind 500 grams of wild sage and 325 grams of clove basil leaves into a powder in a food processor or other grinder to increase the surface area exposed to the liquid.
  3. Add this to one liter of either 50 percent ethanol (or methanol) and water to extract the most metabolites from the plants, which will not be extractable with water alone.
  4. Let the mixture sit for at least three days, shaking it three times per day. The ethanol should mostly evaporate.
  5. Strain the leaves out with cheesecloth and pour the liquid into a small spray bottle. Add distilled water to fill.

Other Ways to Avoid Mosquito Bites

Reapply Often

Essential-oil-based bug sprays have one big disadvantage – they dissipate more quickly than toxic bug sprays. So just as with sunscreen, make sure you reapply at least once every hour when outdoors.

Avoid Peak Times

Mosquitoes tend to overheat as they’re feeding and are also disrupted by light, which is why they come out to feed at night. If you’re going to be outside for extended periods of time, try to avoid being stationary outside at dusk and night.

Use Plants

Certain plants can help repel bugs, so why not place a few of what are referred to as spatial repellents around your yard and home to help fight against mosquitoes? Citrus plants such as lemon and orange have been used to repel bugs in mosquito-borne-illness-prone regions such as Tanzania, as is the eucalyptus plant. Cinnamosma fragrans, a plant found in Madagascar and South America, has also proven to be an effective bug-repellent plant.

Cover Your Body

Mosquitoes are attracted to sweat and can more easily bite the bare skin. So if you can, cover up as much exposed skin as possible to avoid bug bites.

Get Rid of Standing Water

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, which is the number one reason to make sure your pots (indoor or outdoor) have good drainage. If you have a bird feeder, a water feature, or a pond in your garden, consider installing a small solar-powered fountain agitator to keep the water agitated enough to keep mosquitoes from laying eggs.

The Dangers of Traditional Mosquito Repellent

DEET, or N, N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, was first developed in the 1940s by the U.S. military to repel bugs by effectively “blinding” them to human scents besides carbon dioxide. But after decades of use worldwide as a bug repellent and crop insecticide, some research has found that DEET may be unsafe.

Toxic Chemicals Have Side Effects

First, DEET contains harsh chemicals that can potentially trigger tumor growth or seizures in mammals (including humans). Breathing difficulties have also been reported at high concentrations, as has the temporary burning of the skin and mucous membranes. DEET is also unsafe for small children and pregnant women. It also may have immune-suppressing effects and can suppress acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, which means it can have neurotoxic effects.

Not 100% Effective on All Mosquitoes

Not all mosquitoes are repelled by DEET. Even though it’s long-lasting, it’s still not 100 percent effective against all mosquitoes.

Damages Clothing

DEET can slowly dissolve nylons and plastics. Spraying it on these types of fabrics may damage your clothing over time.

Also,

There are many ways to naturally protect yourself from bug bites – and specifically mosquito bites – without covering your skin with unsafe chemicals like DEET. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find your right mix of plant extracts and essential oils to create your own bug spray and repel bugs naturally.

Natural Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites

Few things are more annoying than the itching and scratching that accompanies a fat, juicy mosquito bite. When a mosquito bites us, we itch due to the residual saliva left behind from the insect’s feasting on our blood! Fortunately, just as Mother Nature has honored us with the presence of these buzzing nuisances, she has provided us with some natural home remedies for mosquito bites.

Here are some of my favorite and most-effective natural ways for relieving and treating painful and itchy mosquito bites. I’ve been using these remedies for years, as the mosquitos can get really bad here in Texas. In fact, you may be surprised to find that most of these remedies are common things that you can easily find in your home.

12 Remedies to Treat Mosquito Bites at Home

1. Vinegar

When you first notice the itchy bite, try applying a small amount of vinegar directly to the bump. If you have many bites, you may want to take a very hot bath in a tub filled with water and 2 1/2 cups of vinegar. I would personally recommend using organic apple cider vinegar.

Aloe Vera

2. Aloe

Aloe vera is another excellent remedy for mosquito bites, as well as many other conditions. Not only will it help ease the itching and swelling from the bit, but it will also aid in healing the wound. You can use fresh inner leaf gel directly from an aloe plant or organic aloe juice. They both work well at providing relief.

3. A Dry Bar of Soap

Another remedy for mosquito bits is to rub a bar of dry soap directly on the bite. This will help provide temporary relief to the itching. Remember to wash it off thoroughly after the itch fades away.

4. Baking Soda & Water

Another simple remedy for mosquito bites is to make a thick paste of baking soda and water. Then apply this paste generously to the affected area. You should feel the swelling and itching subside shortly afterward.

5. Onion

Other than making you produce tears, a fresh slice of onion can also help take the sting out of a bite. Simply place a fresh slice on the affected area for several minutes until the itching subsides. Be sure to wash the area thoroughly afterward.

6. Toothpaste

For quick relief from mosquito bites, try applying a small amount of all-natural peppermint or neem-based toothpaste. Allow the paste to dry and leave for as long as desired.

7. Raw Honey

Simply, take a small amount of honey and apply directly to the bite. Honey also has anti-microbial properties that can help prevent infection. I would personally recommend using local raw honey.

Lemons

8. Lime and/or Lemons

I usually apply a small amount of lime juice directly to the bites. Lemon juice also works well. I have also heard that rubbing the bite with the lemon or lime peel helps, but I usually prefer to use the juice. This also helps in keeping the wound from becoming infected from the grit and grime of fingernails.

9. Essential oils

There are many essential oils that can help provide temporary relief for mosquito bites. My favorites are tea tree, rosemary, neem, lavender, witch hazel and cedar oil. Take a small amount and dilute it with water, then apply directly to the bite.

10. Salt Paste

Take finely ground salt and mix with a small amount of water until you have a thick paste. Apply this salt paste directly to bite. I personally use Himalayan salt and find it works best, but iodized salt will also work. The important thing is to make sure it’s finely ground.

Garlic

11. Garlic

Try rubbing a piece of raw garlic on the wound. It is possible that you will feel a small amount of mild burning, but you should feel some major relief afterwards. This is not one that I use with my children, and is wise for to use caution when using this natural remedy. The smell of garlic (and neem) will also help repel the mosquitoes from biting you more later.

12. Ozonated Olive Oil

Ozonated olive oil is a natural health remedy in which olive oil is slowly infused with oxygen over a period of 3-6 months. This process changes the oil to an off-white topical cream that can soothe a variety of conditions. It speeds healing and alleviates swelling and redness from insect bites. Simply apply the cream directly to the bite, and the itching and swelling should stop within minutes.

Long Hot Summer Days, Cool Down With Peppermint Rose Water Mist

Lately, the thermometer seems to be creeping up and up. Iced tea is being gulped down like water and summer tunes are in constant rotation. With things heating up, we often find ourselves looking for ways to refresh inside and out. Ideally, we’d like to spend most of our time lounging by the pool with some Hibiscus Iced Tea, but we reserve that for weekends. When we’re working hard during these long, hot summer days, we like to tone and refresh our skin with this Peppermint Rose Water Mist.

Witch hazel and rose petals are featured in this recipe, and both contain astringent properties which tone and tighten tissue. This is a great feeling for faces that have been exposed to a little too much heat! Roses are traditionally recognized for their ability to open up the heart and help us to feel love and tenderness. We’ve also included lavender essential oil, which is very relaxing, and peppermint to help you to feel refreshed and a bit cooler under the summer sun.

TradMed_Embed01_July_DIYMist-_v1-forweb

This recipe is quite simple. You should be able to find all the ingredients at your local health food store.

Materials
2oz spray bottle
Liquid measuring cup or funnel

Ingredients
Equal parts water, witch hazel and rose water (enough to almost fill a 2oz bottle)
12 drops lavender essential oil
8 drops peppermint essential oil

Directions
1. Pour the liquids into your spray bottle. You can use a liquid measuring cup or funnel to make this a bit easier and less messy.
2. Carefully add the essential oils.
3. Screw on the cap and shake vigorously.

 

We suggest adding a label with a list of ingredients and the date. That way, you’ll remember what you used. Then you can enjoy a few sprays of this refreshing mist to the face after a long day in the garden, a day at the beach or anytime you need to feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Make sure to keep your eyes closed when spraying, and be sure to wash your eyes out with fresh water if they accidentally get sprayed.

Now you have a bottle full of plant power for all the sunny days to come!

The Heat: Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke/Sunstroke

The symptoms of heat exhaustion or heatstroke can start slowly and appear innocent, but this is a potentially dangerous situation, especially among the young and elderly. A person might feel dizzy, faint, nauseous, or drowsy. They might be confused or disoriented, have a headache, fever, rapid heartbeat, or hyperventilation. A temperature over 104 degrees F {40 degrees C} is a sure warning sign unless the person has just momentarily become hot from exercising in the sun. When the body’s thermoregulation system is overwhelmed, the person stops sweating which is a sure sign of trouble, especially if the skin becomes hot and dry and flushed red. Also, the person can be feeling cold and shivering, even though heatstroke is the cause. It’s easy to think that heatstroke won’t happen in humid conditions, but humidity reduces the evaporation of perspiration and so keeps heat in. Whatever the circumstances of heat exhaustion, heatstroke, or sunstroke, it is important to get medical attention as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, get the person out of the sun and into the cool. Remove any unnecessary clothing. Attempt to cool them down in any way possible, using cool water sponging, cool compresses, a water spray, or regularly replaced cold, wet towels. Key areas to try and cool down are the head, neck, armpits, wrists, and groin. If nothing more than water is available, pour it over the person’s head and over the key areas. As soon as possible, get the person in a cool shower or, better still, into a bath of cool water. This option, however, is not advisable if the person is elderly or has cardiovascular disease, because it can raise blood pressure.

If pouring water over the body, apply 1 drop of neat eucalyptus radiata to the back of the neck. When sponging, use ice-cold water with eucalyptus radiata and lavender oils added and continue for at least 24 hours. One quick dowsing with water will only lower the body temperature by one-hundredth of a degree, which isn’t going to be enough. Alternatively, if immersing the person in a cold-water bath, add 4 drops each of eucalyptus radiata and lavender essential oil. Apply neat lavender or eucalyptus radiata to their temples, the back of their neck, and the solar plexus – the upper abdomen – and have them breathe deeply.

Although the person with heatstroke may not feel thirsty, they should drink plenty of liquids. If you can’t find rehydration packs in the local stores, make up your own as described below**. Heatstroke can develop over days and takes a few days to recover from it. Keep an eye on the patient throughout this time.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps can occur after unaccustomed exercise and perspiration, with loss of body fluid and electrolytes. Drink plenty of water and take rehydration drinks, or make your own and massage the legs with the following oil:

Heat Cramps

Geranium: 2 drops

Eucalyptus Radiata: 3 drops

Blend together and then dilute by adding 3-5 drops to each 1 teaspoon {5mL} of carrier oil.

Prickly Heat

Prickly heat {miliaria rubra} is a rash of tiny blisters that can look like little pink or red spots. Caused by blocked sweat glands, it is extremely itchy. It can affect any part of the body, and the best line of action is to keep as cool as possible and expose the area to air only cover with light cotton clothing.

Apply a splash to the area, made by diluting 6 drops each of eucalyptus radiata, lavender, and chamomile roman to a teaspoon of alcohol {vodka is fine} and shaking it all in a large cup of spring water. Warm baths are very soothing if you add to them 4 drops each of eucalyptus radiata and lavender essential oil.

Including baking soda in the bath is a good solution. If you can use this method, you only need lavender oil, but – and this is important – add the lavender to the baking soda and mix them together before putting in the bath; don’t just put them in separately. Below are the amounts you will need for various age groups. If wanting to help a baby, try to get hold of calamine lotion. Add 2 drops of chamomile german {or chamomile roman} and 2 drops of lavender to 2 tablespoons {30 mL} of calamine lotion. Alternatively, bathe the baby in a warm bath, ensuring the folds of the skin are thoroughly dried afterward.

Baking Soda Blend for Prickly Heat: Babies

Baking soda: 1/2 cup

Lavender: 1 drop

Mix the lavender essential oil with the baking soda thoroughly before adding a small amount to the bath. If the baby is under 12 months, this quantity is enough for four baths; if between 12 and 24 months, this makes enough for three baths.

Baking Soda Blend for Prickly Heat: Children Age 2 to 7 Years

Baking soda: 1/2 cup

Lavender: 2 drops

Mix the lavender essential oil with the baking soda thoroughly before adding to the bath. This quantity is enough for two baths.

Baking Soda Blend for Prickly Heat: Children Age 8 to 10 Years

Baking soda: 1/2 cup

Lavender: 3 drops

Mix the lavender essential oil with the baking soda thoroughly before adding to the bath. This quantity is enough for two baths.

Baking Soda Blend for Prickly Heat: 11 Years to Adult

Baking soda: 1 cup

Lavender: 3-4 drops

Mix the lavender essential oil with the baking soda thoroughly before adding to the bath.

**Rehydrating Blend

Drink plenty of fluids to replace those lost and take a rehydration formula drink to replace electrolytes. If you can’t get one, make your own:

Bottled water: 1 pint {475 mL}

Sugar: 3 level teaspoons

Salt: 1/4 teaspoon

Lemon essential oil: 1 drop {or fresh lemon or lime juice}

Mix together well and drink one small glass at a time.

A warm bath with 4 drops each of geranium and ginger essential oil diluted in a small amount of carrier oil often helps to calm the nerves, and at the very least it will make you feel better.

The Sun; Overexposure to Sun, Sea, and Wind

summer solstice sunDespite repeated warnings that skin cancer is caused at least in part by exposure to the sun, people still flock to the beach, where they lie prostrate, soaking in as much sunshine as they can. Hopefully, they are wearing a high factor sunscreen. But lying on the beach more than half naked with nothing much to do does provide the perfect opportunity to make a detailed note, in writing, of the mole’s we have. And as we seldom lie on the beach alone, our companion can examine the back of our body too. Making a mole map might turn out to be the most useful souvenir you take home with you, especially if you update it regularly to identify any new moles or any changes in existing ones.

One important thing to remember when using essential oils in the sun is that a few of them are what are known as photosensitive oils. This means they could increase our skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

Sunburn can vary considerably in degree. If the burn is severe and there is blistering, medical assistance may be required. If there is simply redness or a feeling of skin tightness and soreness, one effective first aid treatment is the miraculous oil of lavender.

As with all burns, it’s crucial to first get the heat out of the skin, so fill a sink or bath with cold water, add ice if possible, and immerse the sunburnt area as soon as you can. Then apply 1 or 2 drops of neat {undiluted} lavender essential oil over the sunburned area, bearing in mind that 1 or 2 drops of lavender will go quite a long way. You don’t need to overdo it; simply make sure that the lavender has covered the reddened area. If you haven’t got any lavender with you, use chamomile instead. Then, if you have it to hand, cover the area with cooling aloe vera gel. Pregnant women should not use lavender in this way, but they can use the aloe vera gel on its own.

If you do this, by morning hopefully you won’t notice a thing if you weren’t sunburned too badly. But do stay out of the sun for at least three days, even if the area looks perfectly fine.

Taking care of skin that’s been exposed to more than the usual amount of sunshine makes sense, and the following after-sun oils will also help repair it.

After-Sun Oil

Lavender: 10 drops

Chamomile-german: 5 drops

Geranium: 2 drops

Dilute in:

Sweet almond oil: 4 tablespoons {60 mL}

Sesame oil: 3 tablespoons {30 mL}

Apply as a body oil after showering or bathing, paying particular attention to areas of skin that have been overexposed to the sun.

After-Sun Bath Oil

Chamomile-roman: 4 drops

Geranium: 2 drops

Lavender: 2 drops

Dilute these after-sun bath essential oils in 1 tablespoon {15 mL} of jojoba oil and add it all to a bath. While in the bath, gently smooth the oil over the areas that have been exposed to the sun.

The following body and face oil is very effective in the drying conditions of wind and sun, such as experienced when skiing, sailing, or hiking.

Apres Ski, Sun, Sail, and Hike Oil

Chamomile-roman: 8 drops

Geranium: 8 drops

Lavender: 8 drops

Dilute in:

Jojoba oil: 2 teaspoons {10 mL}

Sesame seed oil: 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Evening primrose seed oil: 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Almond oil, sweet: 2 tablespoons {30 mL}

Blend the ingredients together well and use the oil every night before sleeping.

 

In Essence; Spring Aromas

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

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

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

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

Bergamot Oil

Bergamot “Sunshine in a Bottle” (Citrus bergamia)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to use this Synergy:

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

 

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

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.

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

What Is Lavender?

A whiff of lavender oil can trigger various sensations, and its sweet fragrance brings to mind rows and rows of beautiful blue-violet flowers under the summer sky. But if you look beyond lavender oil’s aroma, you’ll find that there’s more to it than meets the eye – or your sense of smell.

WHAT IS LAVENDER?

lavender oilLavender oil comes from lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), an easy-to-grow, evergreen shrub that produces clumps of beautiful, scented flowers above green or silvery-gray foliage. The plant is native to northern Africa and the mountainous Mediterranean regions, and thrives best in sunny, stony habitats. Today, it grows throughout southern Europe, the United States, and Australia.

Lavender has been used for over 2,500 years. Ancient Persians, Greeks, and Romans added the flowers to their bathwater to help wash and purify their skin. In fact, the word “lavender” comes from the Latin word “lavare,” which means “to wash.”

Phoenicians, Arabians, and Egyptians used lavender as a perfume, as well as for mummification – mummies were wrapped in lavender-dipped garments. In Greece and Rome, it was used as an all-around cure, while in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, it was scattered all over stone castle floors as a natural disinfectant and deodorant. Lavender was even used during the Great Plague of London in the 17th century. People fastened lavender flowers around their waists, believing it will protect them from the Black Death.

High-quality lavender oil has a sweet, floral, herbaceous, and slightly woody scent. Its color can range from pale yellow to yellow-green, but it can also be colorless.

USES OF LAVENDER OIL

lavender oil usesBoth lavender and lavender oil are valued for their fragrance and versatility. The flowers are used in potpourris, crafting, and home décor, while the essential oil is added to bath and body care products, such as soaps, perfumes, household cleaners, and laundry detergent.

Lavender oil is known for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. It also has antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifying, hypotensive, and sedative effects. Lavender oil is one of the most well-known essential oils in aromatherapy, and can be:

  • Added to your bath or shower to relieve aching muscles and stress.
  • Massaged on your skin as a relief for muscle or joint pain, as well as for skin conditions like burns, acne, and wounds. Make sure to dilute it with a carrier oil.
  • Inhaled or vaporized. You can use an oil burner or add a few drops to a bowl of hot water, and then breathe in the steam.
  • Added to your hand or foot soak. Add a drop to a bowl of warm water before soaking your hands or feet.
  • Used as a compress by soaking a towel in a bowl of water infused with a few drops of lavender oil. Apply this to sprains or muscle injuries.

I also recommend adding lavender oil to your list of natural cleaning products. You can mix it with baking soda to make an all-natural antibacterial scrub for your bathroom and kitchen.

COMPOSITION OF LAVENDER OIL

Lavender oil has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents. This oil is rich in esters, which are aromatic molecules with antispasmodic (suppressing spasms and pain), calming, and stimulating properties.

The chief botanical constituents of lavender oil are linalyl acetate, linalool (a non-toxic terpene alcohol that has natural germicidal properties), terpinen-4-ol, and camphor. Other constituents in lavender oil that are responsible for its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory properties include cis-ocimene, lavandulyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, limonene, and geraniol.

BENEFITS OF LAVENDER OIL

lavender oil benefitsLavender oil is known for its calming and relaxing  properties, and has been used for alleviating insomnia, anxiety, depression, restlessness, dental anxiety, and stress. It has also been proven effective for nearly all kinds of ailments, from pain to infections.

I am particularly fascinated by lavender oil’s potential in fighting antifungal-resistant skin and nail infections. Scientists from the University of Coimbra found that lavender oil is lethal to skin-pathogenic strains known as dermatophytes, as well as various Candida species. The study, published in Journal of Medical Microbiology,found that lavender oil kills fungi by damaging their cell walls (a mechanism that I believe could apply to bacteria and viruses as well). The best part is that this oil does not cause resistance, unlike antibiotics.

LAVENDER OIL CAN ALSO BE USED TO:

  • Relieve pain. It can ease sore or tense muscles, joint pain and rheumatism, sprains, backache, and lumbago. Simply massage lavender oil onto the affected area. Lavender oil may also help lessen pain following needle insertion.
  • Treat various skin disorders like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and wrinkles. It also helps form scar tissues, which may be essential in healing wounds, cuts, and burns. Lavender can also help soothe insect bites and itchy skin. According to Texas-based dermatologist Dr. Naila Malik, it’s a natural anti-inflammatory, so it helps reduce itching, swelling, and redness.
  • Keep your hair healthy. It helps kill lice, lice eggs, and nits. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCB) says that lavender is possibly effective for treating alopecia areata (hair loss), boosting hair growth by up to 44 percent after just seven months of treatment.
  • Improve your digestion. This oil helps stimulate the mobility of your intestine and stimulates the production of bile and gastric juices, which may help treat stomach pain, indigestion, flatulence, colic, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Relieve respiratory disorders. Lavender oil can help alleviate respiratory problems like colds and flu, throat infections, cough, asthma, whooping cough, sinus congestion, bronchitis, tonsillitis, and laryngitis. It can be applied on your neck, chest, or back, or inhaled via steam inhalation or through a vaporizer.
  • Stimulates urine production, which helps restore hormonal balance, prevent cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder), and relieve cramps and other urinary disorders.
  • Improve your blood circulation. It helps lower elevated blood pressure levels, and can be used for hypertension.

Lavender oil can help ward off mosquitoes and moths. It is actually used as an ingredient in some mosquito repellents.

HOW TO MAKE LAVENDER OIL

dried lavender flowersLavender oil is produced via steam distillation. The flowers are picked when they are in full bloom, where they contain the maximum amount of esters. It takes 150 pounds of lavender to produce just one pound of pure lavender essential oil.

You can also make a cold infusion by soaking lavender flowers in another oil. Try this recipe from BlackThumbGardener.com:

INGREDIENTS AND MATERIALS:

  • Dried lavender flowers
  • Mineral oil or olive oil
  • Jar
  • Cheesecloth or muslin
  • Sterilized bottle

Procedure:

  • Clean and dry your jar completely, and then place the dried lavender flowers in it. You should have enough flowers to fill your jar.
  • Pour the oil all over the flowers until they’re completely covered.
  • Put the jar in a place where it can get a good amount of sun, and let it sit for three to six weeks. The sunlight will help extract the oil from the flowers and infuse it with the base oil.
  • After three or six weeks, pour the oil through your cheesecloth and into a sterilized bottle.

HOW DOES LAVENDER OIL WORK?

Lavender oil’s effectiveness is said to be brought on by the psychological effects of its soothing and relaxing fragrance, combined with the physiological effects of its volatile oils on your limbic system.Lavender oil can be applied topically or inhaled as steam vapor. Although dried lavender flowers are can be made into lavender tea, I advise against ingesting the oil, as it may lead to side effects, such as difficult breathing, burning eyes and blurred vision, vomiting, and diarrhea.

IS LAVENDER OIL SAFE?

I believe that using natural oils like lavender oil is one of the best holistic tactics that you can incorporate in your life. However, there are a few important guidelines to remember when using lavender oil.

Using diluted lavender oil topically or in aromatherapy is generally considered safe for most adults, but may not be recommended for children. Applying pure lavender oil to your skin (especially open wounds) may also cause irritation, so I recommend infusing it with a carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil. Dissolving it in water also works.

Be careful not to rub lavender oil in your eyes and mucous membranes. If this happens, wash it out immediately. Lavender oil may also cause allergic reactions in people with unusually sensitive skin, so do a spot test before using it. Simply apply a drop of lavender oil to your arm and see if any reaction occurs.

SIDE EFFECTS OF LAVENDER OIL

Some people may develop an allergic reaction to lavender oil. There are also instances when people experience side effects such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, and chills after inhaling or applying the oil topically.

I advise pregnant women and nursing moms to avoid using this oil, as the safety of lavender oil for these conditions hasn’t been identified. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) also warns against using lavender oil when taking medications like barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and chloral hydrate, as it may increase their sedative effects and cause extreme drowsiness and sleepiness.