Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
Sometimes what we think is a passion fades, replaced by a calling to do more.
It has been a trying year, and to make matters worse, what I thought was possibly
legitimate, twice, did not pan out.
I am getting ahead of myself.
For the last year, I have had a calling that I ignored. I wanted to write, I said.
I had what I thought was an aromatherapy job with hospice patients–right up my alley.
It turned out to be a scam because the email was bogus. Shame on them.
Then, I thought I had an opportunity to copywrite for an essential oil distributor, but when I told them what I was asking as far as pay…well….
So–shame on me.
To say I wasn’t depressed or disappointed was not true, but I talked to myself, prayed and talked to Jesus or at Jesus…to guide my way. I had more than one occasion where the way was brought forth and I ignored it.
Again, shame on me.
Christian End of Life Guide (Doula) is what I have been called to do.
Stay tuned, I am looking to be certified by the end of the year and to incorporate my aromatherapy knowledge into my practice. Who knows, maybe I can retire sooner than I had planned.
That is why we can say without a doubt or fear; “The Lord is my Helper, and I am not afraid of anything that mere man can do to me.”He 13:6
How many people in the United States go to the doctor for back pain?
A 2012 NIH study shows that 11% of Americans had pain every day with 17% reporting severe levels of pain. Forward to 2016, where a CDC published article shows that 20% of adults in the United States has chronic pain.
Can essential oils with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-blocking therapeutic properties help my back pain?
The American College of Physicians guidelines for back pain generally recommend over-the-counter pain medication or an NSAID such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. NSAIDS relieve pain by preventing COX enzymes from working. COX-2 inhibitors like celecoxib or Celebrex block COX-2 enzymes. Some doctors prescribe prescription pain relievers.
Many people do not see a doctor for acute back pain unless it is injury specific, treating with rest and ice.
Can essential oils with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-blocking therapeutic properties help my back pain?
If you study the data sheets of essential oils look for analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antinociceptive properties. These data sheets are available from sellers of essential oils. There is a long list of essential oils that have pain modulating properties and numerous chemical components.
Oils that are high in the chemical components a-pinene, linalool (linalool) and menthol have analgesic properties. Also oils that are high in camphene, b-myrcene, and b-pinene have anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties. There are many other oils that have these therapeutic properties, but I am just listing a few here.
Let’s look at menthol and menthone which bring us to peppermint essential oil.
Peppermint (Mentha x peperita) is known for its cooling and pain-relieving properties because of these components. It is in many over-the-counter remedies such as Icy hot, most BenGay products and Biofreeze. Like these products, your own DIY products are for localized areas and for short term use. Robert Tisserand states that a maximum dermal use of up to 5% is safe. (2nd Edition Essential Oil Safety, Tisserand Young, 2014).
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has the chemical components of linalool @ 27% and linalyl acetate @ 46%. Research shows that an eight-session manual acupressure with lavender oil (3% lavender oil; used as the massage lubricant) over a three-week period in patients with nonspecific subacute neck pain (32 patients) or low back pain (61 patients) significantly alleviated the neck and back pain and improved movements of the cervical and lumbar spine.
Koulivand, P. H., Khaleghi Ghadiri, M., & Gorji, A. (2013). Lavender and the nervous system. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM, 2013, 681304. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/681304
In a 2017 study, Lavender angustifolia showed a reduction in pain of patient’s post-surgery for colorectal cancer. Using an inhalation of 1% lavender or 1% linalyl acetate, the study showed significant reduction to pain versus the control group.
So Hyun Yu, Geun Hee Seol, “Lavandula angustifolia Mill. Oil and Its Active Constituent Linalyl Acetate Alleviate Pain and Urinary Residual Sense after Colorectal Cancer Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial”, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2017, Article ID 3954181, 7 pages, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3954181
And finally, the other chemical component that has analgesic properties is a-pinene.
A-pinene of significant percentage, let’s say above 30% is found in pines @ around 40% for most, cypress @ 51%, juniper berry @ 36%; frankincense @ 45%. Again, it is important to check the GC/MS reports for your individual oils.
Studies of mice and frankincense oil (Boswellia carteri) revealed higher anti-inflammatory and anti-analgesic effects, compared to mice administered with water extracts. Relatively more clinical studies have been found in scientific literature considering α- and β-pinene-containing plants than essential oils.
To date, most of the investigations have not studied the bioavailability of α-pinene and β-pinene in the human body, though these terpenes have antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergic properties. Although several in vivo, and more recently, few clinical studies have assessed the pinenes biological effects, further efforts are needed to deepen knowledge in this field.
Salehi, B., Upadhyay, S., Erdogan Orhan, I., Kumar Jugran, A., L D Jayaweera, S., A Dias, D., Sharopov, F., Taheri, Y., Martins, N., Baghalpour, N., Cho, W. C., & Sharifi-Rad, J. (2019). Therapeutic Potential of α- and β-Pinene: A Miracle Gift of Nature. Biomolecules, 9(11), 738. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110738
If alleviating pain the natural way is for you, look into a consultation that offers you the personal attention you require! I provide custom-made blends that work harmoniously with your body to enhance your well-being.
Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.
Aromatherapy with essential oils of chamomile, lavender, marjoram and rosemary can significantly reduce agitated behavior in AD patients (Ayaz et al., 2017).
In the case of essential oils, the highest α-amylase inhibitory activities were produced by oregano leaf and lemon myrtle. The highest AChE inhibitory activity was produced by sage and was significantly higher from the rest of the essential oils. Lemon myrtle and rosemary exhibited moderate AChE activity, significantly higher than lavender, peppermint and oregano.
The nutraceutical potential(s) of fresh herbs that are commonly used in the Mediterranean diet (basil, lavender, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme) were compared by assessing their antioxidant, antidiabetic and neuroprotective activities. The highest antioxidant activity was found in extract from fresh oregano leaves, while the highest α-amylase and AChE inhibition were found in lavender leaves extract, followed by the lavender flowers extract and sage extract. α-Amylase inhibitory activities were correlated to AChE inhibition.
The consumption of fresh or powdered herbs from the mint family in culinary doses can help boost memory. This effect is enhanced if combined with the use of essential oils, topically as aromatherapy, by inhalation, and/or by ingestion.
Agatonovic-Kustrin, Snezana MSc Pharm, PhD1, *; Kustrin, Ella2; Morton, David W.3. Essential oils and functional herbs for healthy aging. Neural Regeneration Research: March 2019 – Volume 14 – Issue 3 – p 441-445 doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.245467
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) The energetic qualities of chamomile are grounding and calming. The oil can increase the actions of antidepressants. Even topically it can have an interaction with codeine and tamoxifen. (See tisserand young 2nd edition Essential oil safety, pg. 243).
As a tea, chamomile can be used as a mild relaxant; brewing under 4 minutes to avoid bitterness. Note that if allergic to ragweed, there might be an allergic reaction to chamomile. Also, Chamomile contains coumarin which is a natural blood thinner; avoid or check with medical authorities if taking a blood thinner.
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) is classic for anxiety, sleep, and mood modulation due to the chemical components linalol and linalyl acetate. The uses of lavender essential oil are well known and documented. A study at the University of Florida in 2017 found that the use of lavender had the biggest effect on the frequency of agitation episodes for which a statistically significant decrease was observed, especially in the 70 – 85 age group.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. 1,8-cineole) Long known for memory enhancement, rosemary also can increase the ability to be alert. Safety data: The use of rosemary with the 1,8-cineole component at 42% should be used with caution in those with asthma.
Rosemary has been used as a memory enhancer.
Marjoram (Organium marjorana) Not the first essential oil that you would think could be used for calming the agitative state, but this oil has CNS properties that sedate and calm the mind. Marjoram and lavender blend well together when diffused.
Oregano (Origanium vulgare) Although the essential oil oregano is listed in a study for dementia patients, I have read that oregano could increase agitation due to the hot nature of the oil. I would not Use, as there are other oils which are better served for this use. The chemical component in oregano is carvacrol, which should not be used with people who are diabetics, those taking blood thinners or any blood disorders, before or after major surgery, or those with a history of peptic ulcers. Oregano oil is not recommended to diffuse or with an inhaler.
Being mindful of the studies and safety concerns with patients having dementia, the use of lavender, rosemary and marjoram essential oils and the herb chamomile can be utilized.
The use of oregano essential oil should be used with extreme caution because of the safety issues with medications and disorders.
To get started with using essential oils, check out 6 Easy to use essential oils – Just Essentials Today by going to: https://www.justessentialstoday.com/product/6-easy-to-use-essential-oils/
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”Col 3:23
There are many causes of fall allergies.
Ragweed, mold and dust mites top the list.
Ragweed (Ambrosia L.) commonly confused with Goldenrod (Solidago L.). The plant has green to pale yellow flowers on branched stems. Ragweed pollen can be carried by the wind for miles. Many people have ragweed allergies.
Mold and mildew also cause problems in the Fall. For an in depth look at mold, check out https://moldhelpforyou.com. It grossed me out, so if you want to learn more, go there. All I can say is clean it.
Dust mites is another sort of thing that grosses me out, I change my sheets regularly and spray with a lavender linen spray. Ew. Bugs. Again, people are allergic.
Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nose, which is what we are trying to help ease with essential oils. While allergies cannot be cured, medication can alleviate symptoms. If you would like to modulate those symptoms with essential oils, read on.
Do a Google search and see how many people have rhinitis, the answer could be 39 million, or 50 million, whatever the number, that is a lot of people. Hay fever has been around since the mid-1500’s, mostly attributed erroneously to roses.
The symptoms of rhinitis, sneezing, runny nose, and nasal obstruction can be a nuisance at best. A study in 2015 used sandalwood, geranium and Ravensara for allergy relief. The study found that usage of the essential oils helped with symptoms.
Would these work? Let’s look at the data sheets and see…
Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. The essential oil contains over 30% citronellol and 15 % geraniol. It is interesting to note that those therapeutic components have been stated to kill dust mites.
Sandalwood (Santalum album) contains santalols which have analgesic properties.
So, I would personally say that neither of these oils would be my first choice in a home remedy to modulate the symptoms of rhinitis.
What other essential oils would help?
Anti-histaminic components of oils are those oils that help to relieve those runny nose and nasal symptoms. A few oils on that list are sweet marjoram, tea tree, german chamomile, lavender, and helichrysum.
Sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) contains over 30% terpinene-4-ol and smells better than most tea tree oils which also contains terpinene-4-ol.
German chamomile (Matricaria recutitia) has been cited in studies having antiallergic and bronchoconstriction relief, as it contains a-farnesene and b-farnesene.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has many properties, cited by Kim and Cho 1999, and Tisserand, Young 2014 reference. The allergy modulation here is not rhinitis, but skin related.
Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) is another oil cited for anti-histaminic properties, again, for skin, not nose.
I have 2 inhaler blends that I use for allergies.
The first one is:
7 drops Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
3 drops Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
3 drops Thyme ct. linalool (Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool)
2 drops Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus dives)
So, Why did I use these oils?
Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) has anti-inflammatory properties, used to decongest. Not to be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) bornyl acetate and camphene chemical components make this oil good for allergies and sinus infections.
Thyme ct. linalool (Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool) Linalool has been found to reduce inflammation in the sinuses. There are times when lavender is not a wanted aroma.
Eucalyptus (dives) not globulus (Eucalyptus dives) I opt for less 1,8-cineole due to asthmatics in the family. Feel free to use other eucalyptus chemotypes here.
The second one I use for over 10-year-olds:
2 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis)
2 drops Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)
1 drop Pine-scotch (Pinus sylvestris)
1 drop Black spruce (Picea mariana)
2 drops Pinion Pine (Pinus edulis)
Orange (Citrus sinensis) d-limonene is anti-inflammatory and analgesic. I use orange here for that purpose and to tie all the oils together.
Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) used for respiratory issues, instead of eucalyptus.
Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris), Black spruce (Picea mariana), and Pinion pine (Pinus ponderosa) are all added for the anti-inflammatory effects and all symptoms sinus.
Enjoy the upcoming fall weather with a little help from your essential oils.
So, we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”Hebrews 13:6
I’m one of those people that gets scrapes, scratches, bites from the time the first crocus appears in the Spring. Let’s look at natural healing with essential oils and herbs.
When thinking about bites, scrapes, and rashes, the first thing that comes to mind is cleaning the wound, followed by pain relief, and protecting the wound from infection.
Aloe vera gel (Aloe barbadensis) Aromatics International has a great aloe vera gel product that is not a jelly. I love it for making blends. On the label it says that it is “organically grown and 99.75% aloe”. Aloe is a go-to for burns.
Bee stings, mosquito bites and the like can be treated with a dab of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) right out of the bottle or lavender hydrosol would work for larger rashes and brush burns. Lavender contains linalool and linalyl acetate which has many therapeutic benefits such as being anti-inflammatory, antifungal, analgesic, antibacterial, and skin healing.
Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) can be used neat on wounds the same way as lavender. The only exception is not to use them on puncture wounds. I have a recipe for an itch stick that has lavender, helichrysum, peppermint and german chamomile. Wonderful for those mosquito bites that I always get.
German Chamomile (Chamomila recutita) helps to reduce inflammation due to the constituent b-farnesene. It also has antinociceptive properties which means it blocks the pain sensory neurons.
Scrapes and rashes benefit from a calendula or chamomile wash or hydrosol. Chamomile’s antihistamine properties make it wonderful for any kind of rash.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is used for wounds and rashes. Calendula infused oil is also used in my antibiotic-like product. Works wonders for cuts, scratches, scrapes, and the like—just do not use it for puncture wounds because of the comfrey in it.
Plantain (Plantain minor) (Plantain major) used crushed in the field for soothing bites and stings. Chew it up into a poultice and apply. Infused oil is also in my homemade first aid salve, which is used where you would use an antibiotic-like product. The plantain root is an antivenom for rattlesnake bites, the leaves can also be used.
In the Spring here is an easy salve to make with chickweed (Stellaria media) that may be growing in your yard.
Pick a handful of chickweed (Stellaria media).
Chop it up, let wilt overnight. Measure out about 1 cup.
In a pot, add 1 cup of carrier oil, and the chickweed.
Slowly infuse the chickweed and oil for several hours. Use very low heat, so not to burn.
When infused, add 20-28 grams of beeswax. Melt and pour into tins. Keeps 1 yr.
“You must serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your food and water. I will take away all sickness from among you.”Exodus 23:25
Sweaty socks and hot shoes can lead to athlete’s foot.
Dermatophytes cause athlete’s foot or tinea pedis. The major dermophyte is Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
Wash your feet daily with soap and water. Dry them and keep them dry, not wearing the same sweaty or wet socks for too long. Use a foot powder that has antifungal properties.
There are many oils that have antifungal properties. Oils such as tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), oregano (Organum vulgare), thyme ct. thymol (Thymus vulgarus ct. thymol) and lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) are familiar and readily available. Other oils that can be used are: lemongrass (Cybopogon flexuosus, melissa (Melissa officinalis), which are both high in the chemical component phenol. Clove bud (Eugenia caryophyllata) has a distinct aroma.
Tea tree oil with the chemical component terpinene-4-ol. It also has a tell-tale aroma that many find too medicinal. The easiest way to mask the smell is to synergize the blend with something that smells better; like lavender.
Peppermint foot mist
3 drops tea tree oil
9 drops peppermint oil
14 ml aloe vera – not gel.
14 ml witch hazel.
Mix in a 1 oz. spray bottle. Gently shake before using. Let dry.
5.5 grams arrowroot powder
3 drops tea tree oil
2 drops lavender oil
Mix well. Place in shaker bottle.
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.”Ephesians 5:6
Please note that I am not a medical doctor. The use of essential oils is to promote health and wellness. If you have medical issues, seek professional advice.
A day in the kayak doesn’t have to end in sunburn. Safely use essential oils in the summer.
Well–what does that mean?
It means that if you are in the house, and use a lotion that has certain oils in it, you have no worries. On the other hand, if you use that same type of lotion in the summer–let’s say after a shower. You decide to go out and weed the flower beds later—forgetting about the lotion. You could have a reaction to that lotion from being out in the sun.
What kind of reaction? How do I prevent it?
Redness, burns, itching, blisters, permanent skin discoloration are some of the reactions that you can have by not diluting the oils you use with enough carrier oil. Phototoxic oils have a maximum dermal level. If you use the product with levels over these amounts, it is best to avoid sun exposure for at least 12 to 18 hours after applying, unless you can cover your skin.
The good news is not all citrus essential oils are phototoxic!
Those are: Bergamot (FCF), Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), cold pressed Lemon (Citrus limon), distilled Lime (Citrus aurantifolia).
There is no risk in using a product that has been washed off the skin such as shampoo, soap or body wash.
So enjoy and have fun in the sun!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”Mt 11:28
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.1 Corinthians 15:58
To my Dad,
Who has always had the faith, the love and the patience with me as I sometimes took the crooked road–
Thank you for being there for me.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Years ago, before I started using essential oils, I had Tums everywhere. I used them when I felt wonky, for heartburn or just an unsettled stomach. Like I stated in previous blogs, I haven’t purchased or used over-the-counter medications for these issues in years. It all started with a few simple inhalers. My favorite was ginger for nausea.
Ginger is known for calming the stomach related to nausea. It is an antispasmodic which calms convulsions. It neutralizes stomach acid aiding in digestion.
Common name: African ginger, black ginger, race ginger.
Ayurvedic/TCM name: Fire & Wind; Hot, dry, light Yang.
Energy: Hot, dry
Parts used: Rhizome
Chemical components: Shogaol and zingerone. It protects oils and fats from rancidity.
Native to: Tropical Africa, Asia. Can grow in Hawaii, southwestern US, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.
Actions: Antispasmodic, stimulating and expectorant.
Preparations: Herb–Tea, tincture, capsules, candied, culinary.
Essential oil– Use as a massage oil for joint and muscle pain.
Inhaler–15-20 drops in a large cotton wick for nausea, indigestion etc.
Uses: Tea for stress, tension and nausea. For nausea drink 3 cups of tea per day. for colds and flu, 1 cup every 2 hours.
Recipe: 5-6 slices (or 2 Tbsp. shredded, or 1/2 tsp. powdered)
1 cup boiling water.
Lemon if desired. Steep 15 minutes.
Fresh root decoction: for chills, and phlegm with a thick cough.
Dried root: Use 2 (500 mg.) capsules 30 minutes before travel; 1-2 more if symptoms persist.
Note: Better than Dramamine for motion sickness according to a Brigham Young University and Mount Union College study.
There are many recipes for candied ginger, which I have made and loved. I make a ginger syrup that I freeze and use in my soda stream. I also have used ginger in homemade kombucha. It’s all good!
Experiment and Happy Blending,
“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”Mark 5:34
There are people that I have run across with talking about essential oils that do not like lavender. Let’s face it, lavender essential oil is everywhere and in everything. Today, I ‘d like to make some cool things without lavender. Inhalers, rollerballs, and diffusers are easy when using essential oils. Let’s make a set of inhalers to use every day.
You can buy inhalers on Amazon. I use the larger wick for adults, the smaller for kids.
The first blend is lemon, orange, and grapefruit. All in the Rutaceae family, these monoterpenes contain the chemical compound d-limonene. They are all wonderful as mood enhancers. What a cheerful way to wake up!
“wake me up blend”
9 drops sweet orange (Citrus sinensis)
5 drops grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
6 drops lemon (Citrus limon)
The second blend is for that head that needs attention. Spike lavender is a monoterpenol, like lavender, in the Lamiaceae family, but with camphor and 1,8-cineole components. These two components are used to modulate headache symptoms. One note, be careful with asthmatics and 1,8-cineole. Always test to see if they are triggered by these oils. Ravintsara is a monoterpene in the Lauraceae family with 1,8-cineole is good for this blend. Frankincense is a monoterpene in the Burseraceae family. This resin has anti-inflammatory and analgesic therapeutic properties. It is grounding and smells wonderful.
“my head hurts blend”
8 drops spike lavender (Lavendula latifolia)
5 drops ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphor ct. 1,8-cineole)
6 drops frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
When you need to focus on your work and need a boost, the following oils will get you there.
We talked about frankincense and lemon; this blend also has cardamom. Cardamom is a member of the Zingiberaceae family with mostly esters and oxides. The 1,8-cineole content is around 30%. Even though cardamom is thought of for digestion it is great for this focus blend because it has a calming and sedative quality.
“focus on my work blend”
10 drops frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
5 drops cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
4 drops lemon (Citrus limon)
The last blend is to help fall asleep without the aid of lavender.
Cedarwood is a member of the Cupressaceae family and is a sesquiterpenol. This oil has sedative and stress relieving properties. Sandalwood is also calming and sedative, a member of the Santalaceae family and is a sesquiterpenol. Patchouli, a member of the lamiaceae family is an anti-depressant. Another sesquiterpene, vetiver is a member of the poaceae family. It has CNS sedative properties.
“let me fall asleep blend”
6 drops cedarwood (Cedrus virginiana)
5 drops patchouli (Pogostremom cablin)
4 drops vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
3 drops sandalwood (Santalum album)
Check out my latest project…a new 21-page pdf just in time for summer! See my products page.
Enjoy the blends and inhalers-until next time.
“you of little faith, why are you so afraid?”Mt 8:26
Home remedies are great and I absolutely hate having to run to the store. Check out all about trauma oil.
I absolutely love Bioron’s arnica cream, Bioron founded in 1932. I use it for swelling and bruising most of the time. The tube has a long shelf life, which is why it is still a go-to product for me. The homeopathic ingredient at work in this cream is Arnica montana. The second item that is great for swelling, bruising and inflammation is Trauma oil. The herbs used in trauma oil are: calendula, arnica, St. john’s wort. Each item has its own therapeutic properties all blended together to be excellent in your first aid kit or medicine cabinet.
Arnica (Arnica montana) Arnica is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic herb. It is used to relieve swelling, bruises and inflammation for strains and sprains etc.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) Calendula is an anti-inflammatory, and wound healing herb.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) What comes to mind is that this herb is popular for depression. Why is it in my trauma oil? St john’s wort can treat wounds, treat pain, and modulate inflammation. It has been noted to be antiviral and antimicrobial. Blend all these herb-infused oils together for trauma oil. There are many websites that sell trauma oil, or you can make your own. Personally, I buy mine.
Trauma oil can be used for boo-boos on young children with no essential oils added.
It has a slight aroma, is mildly oily and golden in color.
In addition to all the essential oils that we use like tea tree and lavender, trauma oil with essential oils like black pepper, cypress and spike lavender are a powerhouse for helping alleviate inflammation and pain. Great for a medicine cabinet, backpack or travel kit!
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) essential oil has been studied for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory properties. The main components of this oil are d-limonene and B-caryophyllene. Using a 1% dilution in your blends will keep this spicy oil within safety guidelines.
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) essential oil—another great oil for inflammation due to a-pinene.
Spike lavender (Lavendula latifolia) doesn’t smell quite like lavender angustifolia, thanks to the camphor-like properties of this oil. The 1,8-cineole is the analgesic and anti-inflammatory component of this oil. Safety concerns with epileptics, pregnant women and children are to be noted here.
Keep trauma oil in mind when blending for all of the first aid needs of your family.
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”Rom 12:13
How fitting that the last blog post in this series on flowers of the Bible falls on the first day of Spring. Yay! The winter where I live in Pennsylvania had little snow and a little ice. It was very disappointing to someone who loves the snow. Update: we did have 3 more inches of the wet white stuff last week.
My original list of flowers from one source is anemone, crocus, cyclamen, hyacinth, iris, scarlet turk’s cap lily, Madonna lily and narcissus.
The Jerusalem Perspective dated Sept. – Dec. 1994 page 18, the article “Lilies of the field”, by Gloria E.M. Suess. The article Gloria wrote in 1994 stated that “the lilies referred to in Mt 6:28 and Lu 12:27 are NOT Madonna lilies. They do not grow near the sea of Galilee.”
The article went on to state that the actual Biblical flowers “of the field” were any of the following:
Scarlet crowfoot (Ranunculus asiaticus)
Corn poppy (Papaver subpyriforme)
Mountain tulip (Tulipa montana)
Crown anemone (Anemone coronatia)
Sword lily- gladiolus (Gladiolus atroviolaceus) or (Gladiolus italicus)
Some of the Scripture referring to flowers:
“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus.”Isa 35:1
My beloved has gone down to his garden,
To the beds of spices,
To browse in the gardens,
And to gather lilies.
I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine;
He browses among the lilies.
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you-you of little faith!”Lu 12:27-28
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow.”Mt 6:28-29
Hopefully now it won’t snow anymore and I can get out to the garden and plant my peas, spinach, and radishes.
Happy planting and God bless,
The previous post was about bitter herbs of the Bible. This is post is about Herbs of the Bible. They include dill, marjoram, and mint among others. I wanted to take the time during Lent to learn where these herbs are referenced in Scripture.
According to Duke’s Medicinal Herbs of the Bible, dill is named shiveth or in Arabic sabth and was grown by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Today we use dill liberally in pickles whether they are fermented or in vinegar.
Dill was a tithing herb used by ancients for flavoring and in medicine.
References to dill in Scripture—
Mt 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you Hypocrites? You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin.”
Lk 11:42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs,”
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) Zohary did not believe that the coriander we use today was the coriander spoken of in the Bible, because the plant does not grow in the desert.
References to coriander in Scripture—
Nu 11:7 The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin.
Ex 16:31 The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made of honey.
The plant translated “caraway” in the NIV, “fitches” in the KJV and “dill” in JND is actually a plant known as black cummin, Nigella sativa, and no relation to the well known herb, cummin. In some notes, cumin is listed as a tithing herb. It is native to the Mediterranean region since the days of Isaiah.
Fennel is not listed in Duke’s Medicinal Herbs of the Bible 3rd version. In the NIV version of the American Woman’s Bible, the section on herbs of the bible has fennel listed. I am thinking that the fennel was supposed to be caraway. From that text, “The aromatic hot-tasking herbal seeds were an Eastern substitute for black pepper. The spicy oil from the seeds increased the appetite and saliva flow.” Caraway and fennel are of the same family, can sort of be used interchangeably but not always. Caraway is more earthy, and when heated to bring out the flavor, spicier.
References in Scripture—
Isa 28:25-27 “When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?
While researching for this blog, I read that Marjoram known to the Israelites as sheep’s sorrel. That is not true. Sheep’s sorrel is (Rumex acetosella). It is accepted that this species (Organum syriacum) is indeed the hyssop mentioned in the Bible. Hyssop was used to purify the Alter in the Temple, to purify lepers, etc.
Our forefathers were familiar with it as an herb and as food, as a ritual plant and as a medicinal plant. Besides being the most common herb, Marjoram (hyssop) was also used during antiquity as a disinfectant: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean” (Psalms 51: 7). It was used for disinfecting the Alter, as well as anyone who touched a leper. The expression “from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall” (1 Kings 5: 13) caused many to erroneously think that the hyssop is the smallest of plants, and mosses were called hyssop in the past. However, this is actually a reference to the name of the smallest tree, and hyssop is considered a tree for this purpose, since its stems from previous seasons are indeed lignified. The Torah mentions different aspects of uses for hyssop: on Passover in Egypt (Exodus 12: 22), in purifying the leper (Leviticus 14: 4), in the burning of the red heifer (Numbers 19: 6), and for sprinkling on a dead person (Numbers 19: 18).1
References in Scripture—
Ex 12:21-22 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin.
Nu 19:6,18 The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool and throw them onto the burning heifer.
Then a man who is ceremonially clean is to take some hyssop, dip it in the water and sprinkle the tent, and all the furnishings and the people who were there.
1Ki 4:33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls.
Ps 51:7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
Probably horsemint, used for cooking, medicine and worship It was often strewn in synagogues to reduce bad odors.
Reference in Scripture—
Mt 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you Hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin.”
Lk 11:42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs,”
While John 19 describes ancient burial practices, it is far more than that. Here we have two men who boldly identified themselves with what would be viewed as a failed leader. At one time they may have feared man, but not now. Their lives were inalterably changed by Jesus. As a final act of devotion, they boldly request the battered body of Jesus and tenderly prepare it for burial.
The plant called aloe here is unique in the Scripture. It is not the aloe mentioned in Psalm 45:8 and elsewhere in the Old Testament which is probably derived from an Asian tree. The New Testament aloe is Aloe barbadense, an interesting plant no longer known from nature. Aloe is a low growing perennial with thick, fleshy leaves filled with a gelatinous material that was used as an embalming fluid in Egypt. Today, the extract of aloe is used as a balm for burns and as a skin ointment.
The amount of aloes would be more than adequate for embalming. With no fragrance of its own, mixed with the myrrh aloe would enhance and retain fragrance. 2
Page 72 (Duke) “it seems to be the most important Passover herb and is mentioned in the Torah. Uses for the roots and young leaves, eaten as spice, pickle, potherb or salad ingredient. Sliced roots cooked and eaten like turnips.
Frankincense, a gum resin used in ceremonies, symbolizing holiness.
Reference in Scripture–
Ex 30:34 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices-gum resin, onycha and galbanum-and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred.”
Mt 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Myrrh, a gum resin, and a symbol of Christ’s future suffering.
Reference in Scripture–
Mt 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Ps 45:8 All your robes are fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia;
SS 3:6 Who is this coming up from the wilderness like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense, made from all the spices of the merchant?
SS 4:14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices.
“that same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs”Ex 12:8
Throughout the Bible the term bitter herbs caught my eye…what kind of bitter herbs? I was curious to know more. Ancient Mesopotamia, which includes Iraq, eastern Syria and southeastern Turkey today and ancient Egypt have totally different species of plants. Researchers have tried to list the medicinal plants of the Bible, which has many discrepancies due to species, language and time.
Zochar Amar, professor in the Department of Land of Israel Studies has done extensive research on valid plant names, narrowing the list down to 75 medicinal plant names. His work is still ongoing due to the language barrier between Hebrew and Aramaic terminology of plants.
“This article cites problems of working with identification and misunderstandings in the original Hebrew version. The old translators of the Bible, e.g., King James version (1611) and others, were not familiar with the original Hebrew, nor with the flora of the Holy Land. So, sometimes they mentioned names from their local floras; this might have been done deliberately to make plants more familiar to their own readers.” (1)
Danfi, A. Bock, B. 2019. Medicinal plants of the Bible–revisited. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethomedicine.
From McClintock & Strong, “Biblical Cyclopedia”. “Bitter herb-occurs two places in scripture: Ex 12:8. For Moses commanded the Jews to eat the lamb of Passover with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The second Passover in the wilderness of Sinai Nu 9:11. It is far more probable that scripture denotes whatever bitter herbs were obtainable in the place where the Passover was eaten. The first directions were in Egypt and the second in Palestine which would have different “bitter herbs”.
“but they are to do it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight. They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.”Nu 9:11
5 types of bitter herbs
If we look at the list of 5 bitter herbs above: Wild lettuce, endive, garden endive, nettle and coriander, how were they eaten? We know fresh nettles sting, so it is highly doubtful that they were eaten fresh. Same is to be said for thistle, and chicory.
chicory, called the “liver’s friend” by the Egyptians and consumed in large amounts. It was thought to purify the blood and liver.
From the NKJV American Women’s Bible: the list of bitter herbs were Chicory, dandelion, endive, lettuce, sorrel, and watercress.
In the scripture all the bitter herbs listed with the exception of watercress, are referenced in Ex 12:8, Nu 9:11 as bitter herbs. Endive, a bitter tasting tall, leafy plant, is also referenced in Ge 2:5 as a plant. Endive is related to chicory and used as salad greens.
Dandelion leaves were used as a vegetable and the root was used for making medicine. Lettuce was a weedy, bitter-tasting plant with yellow flower heads. Sorrel, known to the Israelites as sheeps’ sorrel, has a sharp, bitter taste that combined well with other greens to improve their flavor.
Watercress was used for ‘salads’ and for medicinal purposes. It was high in vitamins and iron. Dt 32:2 as ‘new grass’.
“Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.Dt 32:2
So, as you can see, there are many differences of opinion, points of view and just plain differences in types of information on bitter herbs, herbs, medicinal herbs and flowers of the Bible.
Next blog is on Herbs of the Bible, be sure to check it out.
“Around 75%–90% of doctor visits in the United States are in some way related to stress.”
(According to the American Institute of Stress)
The statistic above is frightening, meaning that we are all stressed enough to visit the doctor about it. How we manage stress can be modulated with the use of essential oils. It’s one less reason to go to the doctor.
Like in the previous blog on sleep which can be read at www.justessentialstoday.com/sleep, oils for mood are similar but not exact. Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) is similar due to the relaxing qualities, but Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) is not because it is uplifting.
Most citrus oils are antidepressant in nature, who doesn’t love the smell of oranges?! Sweet orange is uplifting, calming and sedative. It is safe for children and adults alike. The only safety concerns are because of using an old oil that can produce skin sensitivity because of oxidation. Citrus oils only have a shelf life of 2 years, so check the dates of distillation. (That blog was covered back in August, check it out www.justessentialstoday.com/checking).
Grapefruit and lemon essential oils are phototoxic, so sweet orange is a great substitute when outside.
Other oils to use would be lavender and Rose (Rosa damascena). Lavender is in so many health and beauty and laundry products. It is classic for helping to relax before going to bed thanks to linalool and linalyl acetate. Rose is a wonderful floral oil and is great for stabilizing mood. An affordable substitute for Rose is Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens).
I love burning Frankincense resin (Boswellia cartierii). So, the oil is one of my go-to oils in my box. I like making a stock blend, then using it in an inhaler, diffuser or blending in a lotion.
Rose has a very strong floral aroma, so 1 drop in a blend is all that is needed.
4 drops Sweet orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis)
1 drop Rose essential oil (Rosa damascena)
30 ml unscented cream or lotion
The lotion above is a 1% dilution, safe for children. I had my granddaughter help with this blend, and it met her approval.
Inhaler, diffuser or spray ideas:
Diffuse a couple of drops of lavender and orange essential oils 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off.
Orange and grapefruit are uplifting in diffuser or inhaler.
Lavender, orange and frankincense can be blended for anxiety.
In 2 oz. (60 ml) distilled water
10 drops sweet orange (Citrus sinensis)
5 drops ylang ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuina)
2 drops frankincense (Boswellia cartierii)
To use: Shake and spray around the room.
I hope that using these oils uplifts the mood of you or those that you love,
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
The research says that young adults need approximately 8 hours of sleep.
Physiologically, adolescents and young adults tend to have a delayed circadian preference and are “night owls”. Existing evidence does suggest an association between sleep and GPA. Students who obtained more sleep (long sleepers, ≥9 hours) had higher GPAs than short sleepers (≤6 hours): GPAs were 3.24 vs 2.74 on average. More evidence exists to support an influence of sleep patterns rather than sleep duration on GPA. (1)
The lengthy list of central nervous system sedatives in essential oils include:
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia), Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides), German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Opopanax (Commiphora guidotti), and Patchouli (Pogostremom cablin). The components that are relaxing in Lavender are linalool and linalyl acetate. Vetiver, opopanax and patchouli are grounding and have an earthy aroma. Studies found that german chamomile has CNS relaxing qualities, the aroma is herbal and fruity.
I love diffusing lavender for 30 minutes before bedtime or using a linen spray to help nod off to sleep. Vetiver, patchouli, opopanax, frankincense, myrrh, and nutmeg oils are all grounding. Sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) can also work in blends.
Sweet orange contains d-limonene that has a calming and anxiety relieving effect which makes it a great oil for a children’s blend. You don’t have to stick with Lavender as a sleep aid when using essential oils.
Change it up by trying a blend of lavender, ylang ylang and vetiver in a carrier oil. Or if patchouli is too strong, try blending with cedarwood and opoponax in a carrier oil. Any of these blends makes a good inhaler to keep by your nightstand.
Everyone has preferences to what essential oils they like and dislike, for instance, I would much rather drink a cup of chamomile tea than use German chamomile essential oil in a blend. To me the oil overpowers blends and is offensive, and that is the beauty of aromatherapy, there are so many different oils to choose from!
I love chamomile tea.
Chamomile tea, lavender, and patchouli sachets, along with valerian also work in the herb side. Valerian has that unique smell that some find offensive, so it is nice to blend with a better smelling herb. Skullcap and passionflower are nice additions to tea blends.
1. Hershner, S. D., & Chervin, R. D. (2014). Causes and consequences of sleepiness among college students. Nature and science of sleep, 6, 73–84. https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S62907.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!”PSALM 136:1
I started this post after reading an article concerning the vitamins soluble in water. Did that make a difference in my tea? Should I be concerned? After hopefully trying to find studies on the subject, I found that there wasn’t much written about the subject. Americans have minimal issues concerning the lack of vitamins B and C in the diet. We aren’t deficient in these vitamins. While we know that cooking methods in vegetables matter, it barely effects our tea.
Water is the best solvent for herbs. Hot or cold? 1 minute or 20? What is the best way to brew, steep or make tea to get the most nutrients from the herbs that you are using?
White tea– steep 1 minute. Green tea–steep 2 minutes. Black tea– steep 4 minutes. Chamomile tea — steep no longer than 2 minutes or it is bitter. Do you look on the back of your tea box, bag, or can? The Lemon ginger tea that I am drinking says to steep 3-5 minutes at 190 to 210 degrees. It all seems confusing. Should it be so confusing?
I put peppermint or mint in everything I make. I don’t like the taste of many herbs, which is why I started studying aromatherapy. If I couldn’t stand a tea, how was I going to get my family to drink it? Heck, my grandkids won’t even taste honey!
So, when I brew something, if I don’t like the individual components or in this case, herbs. They don’t go in the blend.
Sore throat tea:
Sage (1 teaspoon dried) and ginger root (1/4 teaspoon dried).
Sweeten with a little honey if needed.
Bring water to a boil, simmer ginger for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add sage and steep for 15 minutes.
Strain and sweeten if desired.
Equal parts peppermint, lemon balm and chamomile.
For one serving, use 1 teaspoon each for 8 ounces of water.
Steep 3-4 minutes.
Sleepy time tea:
Equal parts chamomile, skullcap, lemon balm and burdock.
For one serving: use 2-3 teaspoons of tea per 8 ounces of water.
Cover with boiling water and steep for up to 15 minutes.
Everyday tonic tea:
Peppermint, chamomile, lemon balm, oat tops, dandelion root, schisandra berries, orange peel.
For one serving use 1 teaspoon of tea per 8 ounces of water.
Cover with boiling water and steep for up to 15 minutes.
“May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”PSALM 20:4
I read somewhere that there are over 700 species of eucalyptus in the Myrtaceae family.
Image by sandid from Pixabay
The chemotype Globulus (Common name- blue gum) is probably the best known and is a native of Australia.
Most species are in the Oxide chemical family with 1,8-cineole being the most prominent component. These oils are good for clearing the head when experiencing a sinus issue. The oil is a stimulant and works to perk one up when tired.
The species of globulus, smithii and radiata have the highest percentage of 1,8-cineole.
Species Percentage of 1,8-cineole
Eucalyptus globulus 65-84%
Eucalyptus smithii 77%
Eucalyptus radiata 60-64%
Eucalyptus macarthurii 28-29%
Eucalyptus dives 0.56%
The popular therapeutic benefits of these oils are for cold and flu relief: relief of congestion and as an expectorant.
Eucalyptus macarthurii (Common name-Wooly-butt gum) has 44% of the chemical component geranyl acetate. This component has analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal and choleretic modulating properties. What does that mean? This oil is good for blends other than for a cold. A muscle rub blend, foot cream, and as a digestion blend.
Other chemotypes of eucalyptus such as
Eucalyptus citriodora also called Lemon-scented gum, has no 1,8-cineole component. The citriodora chemotype has 66-86% of the chemical component citronellal. This oil is an aldehyde, used as a bug repellent, for its anti-inflammatory modulating affect, and to calm.
Eucalyptus dives (Common name-Blue peppermint gum) is great for moving mucus; use as a chest rub (diluted) or a steam. Other uses for Eucalyptus dives is to treat tired feet in a relaxing foot bath after a long day on your feet. The refreshing scent is also good for cleaning the house. Eucalyptus dives can help even and tone the skin, especially for those prone to blemishes.
Melbourne pharmacist, Joseph Bosisto established a distillery in 1854 to gather the oil of E. radiata. He exhibited his oil at seventeen exhibitions between 1854 and 1891. Pearson, Michael. “The Good Oil: Eucalyptus Oil Distilleries in Australia”, Australsian Historical Archaeology, 11, 1993.
Eucalyptus is for more than just cold and flu season, and the lack of 1,8-cineole in the dives chemotype makes it great to use in households with younger children. Blend with lavender, cedarwood or orange for a blend to promote relaxation (lavender), clear breathing (cedarwood) or lift spirits (orange).
Use in an inhaler or diffuser following safety guidelines: Remember the eucalyptus chemotypes that are high in 1,8-cineole can suppress the Central Nervous System (CNS) and may impair breathing. Be safe in usage for children under 10 and those with asthma.
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It’s easy to use inhalers for a cold, read more to learn how.
Let’s start with making inhalers for healthy adults, using a total of 15-20 drops of essential oils.
For a cold, I love the conifers–pines, firs and spruces because most of them smell like a Christmas tree!
The therapeutic component of an essential oil is what makes it work. In conifers one of the components is a-pinene. A-pinene is antiviral and b-pinene is antibacterial, both are antispasmodic. Great for chest congestion when dealing with a cold or flu.
So, with that in mind, try this Three pine inhaler for adults:
5 drops Norway pine (Pinus resinosa) a-pinene @ 44%; b-pinene @ 34%
5 drops Pinon pine (Pinus edulis) a-pinene @ 37%; b-pinene @ 9%
5 drops White pine (Pinus strobus) a-pinene @ 27%; b-pinene @ 40%
For children over 6 years of age, use 7-8 drops:
You can substitute Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) for Norway pine; Conifers such as Black Spruce (Picea mariana) or Siberian fir (Abies siberica) for pines.
An Antiviral inhaler for a spasmodic cough–For adults:
For kids over 5 years of age (using 7-8 drops):
3 drops Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) a-pinene @ 40%; b-pinene @ 32%; camphene @ 3%
2 drops Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) terpinen-4-ol @ 41%; a-terpinene @ 10%; y-terpinene @ 21%
2 drops Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) a-pinene @ 54%; d-3-carene @ 23%
1 drop Spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia) 1-8-cineole @ 23%; linalol @ 45%
What is a-terpinene? and what is cineole?
Camphene breaks down mucus. Terpinene-4-ol is antiviral, antibacterial and antispasmodic. A-terpinene and y-terpinene are antiviral and antispasmodic. d-3-carene breaks down mucus, 1-8-cineole is an airborne antimicrobial, an antiviral, and breaks down mucus. Lastly, linalol is an airborne antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial, and an immunostimulant.
To boost immunity for adults and children over 6:
5 drops Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) linalol @ 27%; linalyl acetate @ 45%
2 drops Spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia) 1-8-cineole @ 23%; linalol @ 45%
5 drops Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) d-limonene @ 96%
3 drops Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) geraniol @ 15 %
The addition of geranium blends nicely with the lavender, the geraniol component is an airborne antimicrobial and antibacterial. Knowing the therapeutic components helps determine what essential oil to use.
The annual insurance benefit selection. Picking a plan. Paying more for coverage. Paying more for doctor visits. Paying more for prescriptions. Paying more.
The answer could be natural health care: Aromatherapy, herbalism, or other natural alternative paths.
It’s late, your child has an infected cut, maybe it’s a splinter that you can’t see. As parents, grandparents, and caregivers, we want to take care of our families. What works here? Maybe it is a splinter, grab the ichthammol or drawing salve and cover with a bandage. Maybe it’s an infected cut, make sure the area is clean, add a drop of tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil is a wonderful antimicrobial. A 2017 study has shown that tea tree can help with MRSA. So, if tea tree is that powerful, it can help with a tiny cut that is infected.
A headache…bring out the lavender essential oil dab a bit on the temples. Lavender has been shown to relax. For ease on the go, keep an inhaler of lavender in your bag. I’ve used a blend of lavender, peppermint and rosemary in a carrier oil to ease the pain of gout. How about a blend of frankincense, lavender, sweet basil, roman chamomile in jojoba to massage on the back of your neck after a long day at work?
Sweet orange essential oil, grapefruit, lemon, lime, the citrus oils that smell of sunshine! They naturally make us smile when we take in the aroma that their cold-pressed peels produce.
Eucalyptus with its 1,8-cineole or menthol in peppermint are in many over the counter cough and cold preparations. Is there a way that we can utilize them? A natural way to make our families or ourselves feel better?
Maybe you don’t want to use essential oils, how about herbs? For thousands of years people have been using plants to support their health. Indigenous people, our elders, maybe even you already use herbs in cooking. Who of you hasn’t used ginger for nausea?
Food, if not allergic, can be just as important as the medicine we take. We all know that excess sugar is bad, excess salt is bad, excess fat is bad. So, I’m not going to focus on that, but let’s be real here. If you make a few lifestyle changes, like I did, you will feel better. You will start to lose weight. Things that were tasty, well, might not be a craving for you anymore. Eating well is a lifelong process.
Sleep is important. It is the way that your body heals. If you don’t get enough sleep…you know.
And exercise. Yeah, we should all do that.
All these things are important in an aromatherapy consultation. If you are ready to take that journey, read about what is involved. Let us start your natural wellness journey together.
Give thanks on this day. Happy Thanksgiving.
You know when you open the jar—the aroma of the unrefined coconut oil is luscious.
It makes me want to put my hand in there and grab a piece…. smells delicious.
Coconut belongs to the family of the Cocos nucifera L. It is a tree that is cultivated for many uses cosmetic, nutritional and medicinal. There are many products that come from the coconut, and I am only concerned about the oil here today, which comes from the fruit of coconut and is cold-pressed.
The oil has medicinal properties such as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antimicrobial. The oil is moisturizing sinking into the skin, reported to be good for eczema and psoriasis.
Shelf life: 2-4 years
Viscosity: Solid, melts at 76.
Comedogenic index of 4: high to clog pores.
Aroma: Coconut aroma in the unrefined oil.
Fractionated coconut oil made from coconut oil. The coconut oil is heated to high temperature to remove the solid parts of the oil. The only thing is that fractionated coconut oil is odorless, tasteless, and never gets solid-even in the refrigerator.
Most butters and DIY blends have unrefined coconut oil. I have used it for lip balms, salves, and deodorants. The benefit is that the butter does not get grainy like unrefined shea butter does. Shea butter can start out being ok, then get grainy because it was not cooled down quickly enough.
One of my favorite carriers.
Castor oil comes from the Ricinus communis/Palma christi plant which is a treelet originally from Africa. The entire plant including the seeds are poisonous. It contains an irritant substance that poisons the blood. The oils is safe, because the poison remains in the seed.
Castor oil is cold pressed from castor beans, then heated to clarify. It has a thick viscosity with a greasy feel. The aroma is neutral, and the color is slightly yellow. The shelf life of castor oil is 5 years or less. I had some that looked moldy, and I know it wasn’t 5 years old. The oil had no off aroma or rancid smell, it just looked bad. Out in the trash it went.
Castor oil contains Ricinoleic (ris-uh-noh-lee-ik) acid 85-95% : linoleic acid 1-5%; Oleic acid: 2-6%, A-linolenic acid and undecylenic acids. The therapeutic properties of ricinoleic acid are: Antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. Ricinoleic acid is used in pigment, printing ink, and textile finishing. It is sometimes added to Turkey red oil and dry-cleaning soaps.
Castor oil is used in over 80% of lip products.
I have used castor oil in blends that need to sit on the skin-say to use on a wart for example. The castor oil blend sitting on top of the skin allows the essential oils to do their thing. After all, this oil needs to be on the skin, not absorbed into the skin.
The comedogenic index rates how the oils used will clog pores. Castor oil is a heavy oil that will sit on the skin and not be absorbed quickly. Which is really weird because the comedogenic rating is 1–which means it is low on the list to clog pores. Other articles state that castor oil should be mixed with other carrier oils for use on the skin. Make sure that the carrier you buy is hexane free. The emollient properties make it an excellent carrier for psoriasis and eczema. Castor oil is great for lip gloss products. In a study I read stated that castor oil is used in 81% of lipsticks.
Next blog will focus on yet another carrier in the series, stay tuned.
Jojoba (Simmondsia californica)
Jojoba oil is not an oil, but a wax.
Jojoba oil is cold-pressed from the seed of the mature shrub. The shrubs are found in southern Arizona, southern California and northwest Mexico. Jojoba seeds contain from 40 to 60% of oil which is chemically classified as liquid wax because unlike most vegetable seed oils that are composed of triglycerides, jojoba oil consists of esters. Jojoba contains 97% mono-esters of long-chain fatty acids and alcohols (wax ester), a small fraction of triglyceride esters and docosanol (the active ingredient in OTC cold sore cream). It contains vitamin B, E and fatty acids.
The oil is odorless. The refined oil is clear and the unrefined oil is golden in color. The fact that jojoba is a wax, is great because it doesn’t go rancid like most carriers do.
Jojoba is good for all skin types because it resembles the natural oils of the skin (the sebum). Sebum dissolves in jojoba. The comedogenic index is 2-meaning it is moderately low tendency to clog pores and allows skin to breathe. Other oils that have a comedogenic index of 2 or less are: grapeseed, sweet almond and olive oil.
The emollient ability to protect and cleanse makes jojoba a good oil for everything from preventing diaper rash and wrinkle formation to using as a make-up remover. The high absorption rate allows jojoba to be used in many cosmetic preparations.
Used on the hair, it makes it shiny and silky and can be used for dry hair, to protect the scalp, with an addition of essential oils for a variety of needs.
Therapeutically it is antifungal, pain relieving and anti-inflammatory. It is a benefit to keep in mind when creating blends for certain situations. I use jojoba as the carrier in my roller ball blends. Remember that your blend will last as long as your shortest expiration dated oil. This could mean that you have a roller ball blend that is good for 6 months or one that is as long as a few years!
I hope you learned something about jojoba. Come back next time for information on another carrier oil.
“He fills my life with good things.”Psalm 103:5
It got me started on my aromatherapy journey, overhearing customers in pharmacies stating that they can just pour essential oils in the bathtub! Or rub it on their skin!
Below are products you cannot safely use with essential oils in the bath:
also from Robert Tisserand’s website–“Safety in the Bath.”
They are: Cornstarch, baking soda, epsom or regular salt, milk, witch hazel, aloe, glycerine, and alcohol.
Oil and water don’t mix.
If you want to use essential oils in the bath use Solubol.
For every 1 Tablespoon of product (jojoba, castile soap, shampoo or shower gel) mix in 5-20 drops of essential oils. Avoid any oil that is irritating to the skin, like peppermint, oregano or cinnamon to name a few. Do your research!
Robert Tisserand’s website has charts that are excellent on this subject. Also, the 2nd Edition of Essential Oil Safety is a must have for any aromatherapist.
Sign up for my FREE PDF an “Introduction to Aromatherapy”.
As always, Happy Blending,
God has made everything beautiful for its own time.Ecclesiastes 3:11
About that essential oil you just bought…
Can you rub it on your skin?
Today let’s discuss essential oil safety.
In last weeks blog on dilution, you can see the percentages suggested for various ages, issues, and other concerns. There are guides to make a 30 ml. stock blend that can be used to make smaller roller bottles.
Start with the weakest dilution, such as 1%. If that dilution is not working after 2 weeks, then make a blend that is a 2% product. A 3% dilution is for a specific injury, such as a sprain or strain. It is important to use this dilution for a short duration (10-14 days), then go back to a 2% dilution for daily use. Remember, always start with the lowest percentage of essential oils in a blend. A little goes a long way to help modulate any concerns.
Discontinue use if the product causes redness, rash, or burning. If discomfort or irritation occurs, stop using the essential oil blend. Apply a carrier oil to the affected area. Never use water to flush the oil off the skin, as this may increase discomfort.
There are a few oils that can be used neat, that means straight out of the bottle. Those oils are tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum).
Tea tree is an antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial oil. The scent is sharp and medicinal. Lavender blends well and tones down some of the sharp properties of tea tree.
A dab of tea tree oil can be used to clear up acne.
Lavender can be used neat applied to the temples for headache relief. Try adding a drop to a tissue, inhale to relieve anxiety. Lavender can also be used on the skin for blemishes.
Helichrysum has skin healing properties that are excellent for wound application, apply a drop on a cut.
Next week, I’ll discuss safety in the bath with essential oils.
As always, sign up for my email list for a FREE INTRODUCTION TO AROMATHERAPY PDF.
He fills my life with good things.Psalm 103:5
Dilution of essential oils is the most important thing to learn in aromatherapy.
It is aromatherapy 101 that teaches dilution. Most of the time, that is an easy equation to figure out:
5-6 drops per 30 ml of carrier. That should be the end of my blog…but it is not.
Dilution of essential oils is sometimes tricky, what size bottle, jar or tin are we using? Did we double or halve the recipe?
I do not want to make 30 ml of anything, just a 10 ml rollerball…. how much essential oil is that?
Or a 5 ml bottle—I use those a lot.
Uses for essential oils are in the chart below, note the dilution rate for specific issues.
Easy to use dilution tables for various sizes of bottles.
|1%||Face, children, pregnant women, immune compromised|
|Daily use, massage oils, larger area of body|
Specific injury of muscle, tendon or bone
|4%||Local area such as chest congestion|
5% or above Severe pain, muscle cramps, bruising
|Dilution||Bottle size||Drops of stock blend|
|1%||5 ml||1 drop|
|2%||5 ml||2 drops|
|3%||5 ml||3 drops|
|4%||5 ml||4 drops|
|5%||5 ml||5 drops|
|10%||5 ml||10 drops|
30 ml= approximately 2 Tablespoons (29.57 ml)
|Dilution||Bottle Size||Drops of essential oil|
|.50%||10 ml||1 drop|
|1%||10 ml||2 drops|
|2%||10 ml||4 drops|
|3%||10 ml||6 drops|
|4%||10 ml||8 drops|
|5%||10 ml||10 drops|
|10%||10 ml||20 drops|
|Dilution||Bottle Size||Drops of essential oil|
|1%||30 ml||5-6 drops|
|2%||30 ml||10-12 drops|
|3%||30 ml||15-18 drops|
|4%||30 ml||20-24 drops|
|5%||30 ml||25-30 drops|
Do your research on oils that have dermal restrictions, such as Phenols or Aldehydes.
Using these dilutions is important in helping to modulate various issues that may arise.
Whether it is a pulled muscle that needs a massage oil or a cough that just won’t go away. The dilution that you use will help get the results that you are looking for, all with safety in mind.
We fight too many battles that don’t matter. If a battle is not between you and your destiny, it’s a distraction. It’s the enemy trying to lure you off course when a new level is waiting for you. You have to learn to let things go.Luke 6:29
How does the inhalation of essential oils work in the body?
Aromatherapy is about our sense of smell or olfaction. Human behavior is influenced by smell. The smell of baking bread or rotisserie chicken in a grocery store. The floral scents of roses and lavender, the citrus of oranges, lemons and limes, the smell of conifers and pines.
We breathe in the essential oils (which are molecules), our nose has cilia which transports these molecules up to our sensory nerves called the olfactory nerve. This olfactory nerve enters the skull, connects to the limbic system and the olfactory cortex.
Well, that’s great but I just want to use my diffuser!
The easiest way to start with aromatherapy and essential oils is to use an inhaler.
Purchasing inhalers is easy; your favorite essential oil supplier or Amazon sell them. They are cheap, and you can reuse them for your own personal use. In the beginning of my aromatherapy journey, I started with these 3 inhalers: one with ginger, one with lavender, and one with peppermint. I used antacids or acid reducing medications…you know that purple pill. My use of OTC medications has all but ceased except on a rare occasion, then I will use a chewable antacid. Peppermint is great for keeping alert while driving. One time I sprayed peppermint oil in my eye, but that story is for another day! The point is–we all start somewhere…and safety is important.
Inhalers have 4 parts, the wick, the tube, the cover and the cap.
To make an inhaler: place the cotton wick in a bowl. For an adult add 10-15 drops of essential oil to the bowl. (for children, use 7-8 drops of kid safe oils: lavender, sweet orange, cedarwood, etc). Move the wick around with a clean tweezers to soak up the oil. Place the wick in the tube of the inhaler-the part with the holes. Put on the cap, snapping it tightly and put the tube in the case, twisting closed. Label the inhaler: For example: Ginger for my belly, Peppermint to keep me awake; Lavender for relaxing and many more.
Like I said, I reuse my inhalers by disinfecting the inhaler parts, and use a new wick every so often. I keep them in an essential oil bag in my purse when I travel. Yay TSA!
I just made an inhaler for a nagging headache of almost equal drops (total 12) of frankincense, sweet basil and spike lavender. Surely helped ease that!
Using the diffuser is just as easy! Read the manufacturer directions on how many drops to use in the diffuser as they come in all different sizes.
The Aromahead Institute ACP course, taught to diffuse 30 minutes with the diffuser on, then 30 minutes off for safety reasons. For infants, it is recommended to diffuse and hour before having the child in the space, such as putting them to bed. Always have an escape route for your pets, remember that they might not like or be sensitive to the smells you are diffusing!
Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.Proverbs 16:3
Why is it so important to check the distillation date from the manufacturer?
Is that date even listed?
Well, lesson learned. I recently was going through all my essential oils.…
I have accumulated a lot from the aromatherapy certification program I had enrolled in. There was a supply list of all the oils to buy for the course, so I did!
After all, who does not want to get involved in the course and use the oils, smell the oils, make the blends, inhalers, and lotions?
When you buy the oil, that is not the date when it expires. When it expires is the distillation date.
Some of my oils were 2 years old when I bought them!
One oil, fennel, was 3 years old!
No offense, but I have expired sweet marjoram, fennel, laurel leaf and only 4 months to use the orange oil. The orange oil is a favorite, but cleaning with fennel? Laurel leaf? Don’t think so…. ☹
Let’s look at a few examples:
So if you look at the chart, you will see that the distilled date is 2 to 3 years before the date I bought the oil. The total life span for my use could only be 1 year! and when you are buying oils for a course, that’s a lot of money and waste.
I did find out from the seller of my oils that most oils are distilled once a year–some even less. I guess that is the case and point with Anise or the fennel oil.
The list below helps judge, but beware that your distilled date could be years earlier.
1-2 years Most citrus oils; orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit.
3-4 years Conifer oils; pines, firs, spruces. Bergamot, black pepper, Citronella, cypress, eucalyptus, laurel leaf, juniper berry, geranium.
5-8 years Lavender, rose, carrot seed, helichrysum, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood.
I hope my mistakes help someone else. I listened to a NAHA webinar from Penny Price a while back. she said: “Your box should have no more than 30 oils, learn to use them!”
Before clicking the BUY NOW button, check the DISTILLATION DATE!
It will save you aggravation.
What I am going to do with an outdated fennel and laurel leaf oil are beyond me. I thought that I had 2 years left on these oils. In fact, I thought I had 2 or three years left to use all these oils.
I am posting this as a precaution. It is so important that we safely and sustainably use essential oils. I feel that I have wasted precious product. This year my sweet marjoram and nutmeg expired in July. The orange oil will expire in September, with only 4 months of dating.
I think the company ought to put a disclaimer on the page that has short, dated oils.
Is there any way essential oils can protect from germs when going back to school? Is it hype? Or fact?
Hydrosols are a safe way to go, and trauma oil with no essential oils added are great for the little ones—infants and children under 5. If you are unsure, these are also a great starting point for school-aged children. Hydrosols are easy to find and great for topical skin use.
This post is going to focus on oils that can help keep us safer. Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Siberian Fir (Abies siberica) and how they are airborne antimicrobials. I use roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) and cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) frequently in blends for adults and children.
Roman chamomile has an apple-like scent, not in an overpowering way. I like the oil for its antispasmodic and digestive therapeutic properties. I have a blend that I use for diarrhea. Roman chamomile has analgesic actions too.
Atlas cedarwood is an oil that I substitute in place of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) a lot. It is great for the cough and cold season. I have a couple of diffuser blends with cedarwood, for when they are sick, as an inhaler for allergies, or on a shower tab for congestion relief.
Orange (Citrus sinensis) – I love orange! Who doesn’t? Kids love it. Orange essential oils is not phototoxic, it is safe for use with children in blends. Orange and lemon are in the Monoterpene chemical family.
Orange oil does not have the research to back the antiviral properties as much as the major component that is in the oil does. That is d-limonene which is at a percentage of 96% in orange oil. D-limonene activates white blood cells which are important for protecting against illness and disease.
White blood cells are also called leukocytes. Think of white blood cells as your immunity cells, always at war flowing through your bloodstream to fight viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders that threaten your health.
Lemon (Citrus limon) Is another citrus that most people recognize. The difference between orange and lemon is that lemon essential oils is photo toxic. Which means that using the oil then going outside in the sun is going to be a problem. Keep the dilution under 2 % dilution to be safe.
The chemical components in lemon oil are also d-limonene at 65%, y-terpinene at 10%, and b-pinene at 11%. As with orange, lemon has the antiviral properties due to the d-limonene. The b-pinene also has analgesic actions and the y-terpinene.
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) Not in the citrus family, but the Lamiaceae family. Love the mints! Peppermint is a monoterpenol, which is high in menthol and menthone.
Studies have shown that peppermint has antibacterial actions because of these chemical components. Peppermint is said to also have an antiviral potential, helping to stimulate immune function.
Remember– to follow good hygiene practices first to keep everyone healthy.
Many of you probably have favorite products with lavender. From room sprays and diffuser blends to lotions and butters, lavender can cover a range of issues. Lavender has so many uses and because it can be used neat or diluted it is great to carry in your bag. From headaches and muscle aches to sore throats–dab lavender neat on a blemish, on the temple for a headache; use a few drops of lavender in a carrier oil for a bedtime massage; or use in a lotion base for a sore muscle blend.
An inhaler is a great way to use essential oils without any mess for grade school children.
My granddaughter loves and asks to make her own inhalers.
For boosting immunity (ages 6-12): 3 drops lavender, 3 drops sweet orange, 2 drops lemon in an inhaler.
For congestion in an inhaler: 3 drops cedarwood, 3 drops lavender, 2 drops tea tree.
For getting rid of germs: 3 drops cedarwood, 2 drops orange, 2 drops lemon and 1 drop lavender in an inhaler.
Making stock blends for any of these combinations is a timesaving way to have oils ready to use when needed. All you have to do then is add a few drops to a diffuser when your family is sick.
Research and a few common oils can help protect everyone when returning to the classroom.
Be ready for the start of school.
Happy Blending, Crystal.
“An elementary treatise” is dictionary.com’s definition of introduction; “an essay, commentary, review, composition or discussion” among many related words.
I have revamped my blog to talk about all things essential oils and herbs and incense, and so on….it is a journey.
Some of the topics I’ve covered in the past are:
Summer and essential oils-how to stay safe in the sun.
An introduction to carrier oils-it’s not just jojoba.
Diabetes medication and essential oil use.
Trauma oil and first aid.
Unfortunately, my website went away…everything. All posts, pages etc. So I get to start over. So maybe there will be a blog that you see again, I’ll get everything back sooner or later.
In the meantime, sign up for my email list to receive a newsletter about all things essential oils, herbal and what not.