Archive for August, 2011

Do you want to know a simple and inexpensive way to cool off in this summer heat? Make yourself some lavender water and spritz your skin whenever the heat is getting to you. All you need is a plant spray bottle and a bottle of lavender essential oil. You can keep the bottle in the refrigerator until you get ready to go out in the heat. Be sure to shake the mixture before you spray yourself. The recipe below uses lavender water but you can use other calming herbs like rose or chamomile to help ease your skin’s discomfort in the heat.

  • 8 drops of lavender (or another calming essential oil)
  • 1 cup spring or distilled water

Combine in a plant spray bottle like the one pictured above and shake well before using.


Tea Tree Oil

Author: Dr. Larita
08/25/2011

Deb and I were discussing the band aid on her finger one morning and she told me she had gone to the doctor because her finger was infected at the site of a hang-nail. He suggested she purchase tea tree oil to take care of the infection. We had discussed tea tree oil before because of its anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti viral properties and I thought it could possibly take the place of some of the antibiotic prescriptions she used so often.

Later in the day I smelled the strong scent of tea tree oil and I kept hearing the question, “What’s that smell?” Deb came into my office and we had a good laugh because she had spilled half the bottle of tea tree oil when she was changing her band aid but she didn’t want anyone to know that the strong smell was coming from her cubicle and anyway her finger was feeling a lot better. I told her that her secret was safe with me.


This is the last in a series of three blogs discussing techniques for using essential oils for aromatherapy. So far, we have talked about body methods and water methods for using essential oils. Today, I’m going to talk about ways to use them throughout a room.

Room Techniques

  • Candles – use 1-2 drops.  Light the candle and when the wax starts to melt, add the oils to the melted wax. Be careful not to get the oils on the wick because they are inflammable.
  • Diffusers – use 1-6 drops. Diffusers are specifically made for use with essential oils. There are many different kinds of diffusers and they can be heated by electricity or by candle flame. Be sure the bowl part of the diffuser is made of non-porous material so that it can be wiped clean before a different essential oil is used in it. The main idea is that the bowl is heated by the heat source allowing the essential oil molecules to be released into the air.
  • Light bulbs – 1-2 drops. Heat from light bulbs can release essential oil molecules into the air. You can put the essential oil directly on the light bulb before you turn it on or you can use a light bulb ring. Do not put the essential oil on a bulb that is hot because the oils are inflammable. Light bulb rings only work on the bulb type of light bulbs. They do not work on the new coiled, energy-saving type bulbs. Make sure the light bulb ring fits on your bulb before you add the oils.
  • Humidifiers – 1-9 drops. Add the essential oil to the water. Eucalyptus would work well for humidifiers because it is antiseptic and antibiotic.
  • Radiators – 1-9 drops. Add the essential oil to a cotton ball and place it by the pipe or somewhere that puts it in contact with the heat.
  • Room sprays – 4 -8 drops per 1 cup water. Use a new plant sprayer  and add warm (not boiling) water, add the essential oil and shake well before using. You can spray the mist into the air or on the carpets, curtains, and furniture. Do not let the water fall on good wood.
  • Water bowls – 1-9 drops. Pour boiling water into a bowl and add the essential oil. Close doors and windows and allow 5 minutes for the aroma to fill the room.
  • Wood fires – 1 drop per log. Use cypress, pine, sandalwood, or cedarwood essential oils. Put 1 drop on each log and let it soak for 30 minutes before using. The oil will be effective on the log for a long time so you can prepare logs in advance and use one essential oil log per fire.

Yesterday we talked about some body methods you can use to get the maximum effect from your essential oils. Today let’s talk about a different technique.

Water Techniques

  • Baths – use a maximum of 8 drops of essential oils in the bath or the amount directed for use in a particular recipe. First, close the bathroom door and run the bath, then add the essential oil and swish the water around. Soak in the tub for at least ten minutes while relaxing and breathing deeply. You can dilute the essential oils in a carrier oil before adding it to the water to help your skin feel silky smooth while also relaxing your body.
  • Bidet – use 2 – 3 drops of essential oil diluted in 1 teaspoon carrier oil. Run warm water from the bidet or from the tap, add the essential oil and swish it around so the oils don’t irritate mucous membranes.
  • Douche – only use this method if you are under the care of a naturopath. Add the essential oil to boiled and cooled water from the tap or warmed, bottled spring water. Shake the douche thoroughly before using.
  • Jacuzzi – use 3 drops per person using the jacuzzi.
  • Sauna – use 2 drops per 2 1/2 cups of water. Use eucalyptus, tea tree or pine essential oils. Mix the essential oils in the water  and throw it onto the heat source as usual. Only use one of these three oils because they are the only ones that enter the body with inhalation and exit by perspiration. All three oils are very beneficial as cleansers and detoxifiers.
  • Shower – as directed or use a maximum  of 8 drops essential oil. First, wash as usual in the shower. Then add the essential oil to your washcloth or sponge and rub it over your body quickly as you stand under the running water. Deeply breathe in the aromatic steam.
  • Sitz bath – as directed in your recipe or 2-3 drops. Run a bath to hip level or use a bowl or pan that is big enough for you to lower your behind into it. Add your essential oil and swish thoroughly so the oils don’t irritate your delicate mucous membranes.
  • Hand bath – use 2-4 drops of essential oil – soak the hands for a maximum of 10 minutes in a bowl of warm water.
  • Foot bath – as directed in your recipe or 2-6 drops. Soak your feet for twenty minutes in a bowl of warm water.

Essential oils can be used in various ways and today we’re going to discuss body techniques which are excellent methods to incorporate essential oils into your life.

Body Techniques

  • Perfume – dissolve your essential oils (the strength is up to you) in a light carrier oil and apply to the body as you would perfume.
  • Tissue or handkerchief – apply 1 drop and sniff as needed.
  • Inhaled as a Vapor – use 2-3 drops  of essential oils. Pour hot water into a bowl, add the oil, cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl with your face about 10 inches away and with your eyes closed. Breath deeply through your nose for 1 to 3 minutes, take a break and do it again as needed or until the water cools.
  • Massage oil –  use a maximum of 5 drops to each teaspoon of carrier oil or as directed in a particular recipe. Purchase a brown glass bottle and measure out your base oil. You can use sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, shea oil, coconut oil, etc. Add the essential oil and blend it into the carrier oil by turning the bottle upside down several times and then rolling the bottle briskly between your hands. You only need about a teaspoon of this mixture poured into the palm of your hand to massage the whole body.

We will continue this blog this week with two other techniques for using essential oils.


Trembling that is not related to a physical ailment like Parkinson’s disease can be helped with aromatherapy. I remember my Uncle Albert’s hands were always trembling, probably because he was an over the road truck driver. I bet this treatment would have helped him, had I known about it then. Yesterday, my husband did the yard trimming with a weed eater and we have a large corner lot so there was a lot of trimming to be done. When he came in, his hands and arms were trembling noticeably so I rubbed his body with the following essential oils: 2 drops of narcissus, 4 drops of nutmeg and 2 drops of lemon diluted in 2 teaspoons of sweet almond oil.

Since it was his hands and arms that were trembling, I rubbed the oil over his right arm, across his chest, down the other arm and over both hands. Within two to three hours, the trembling had lessened significantly. You can use the same treatment again within six hours if needed.  If the trembling is in the lower part of your body, rub the oil (use about the size of a quarter in the palm of your hand) over your lower back, hips, legs, and feet. You may need help with this part, but you should also rub it all down your spine and about a hands width on either side of your spine. If you don’t have anyone to help, just get as much of your spine as possible. Narcissus essential oil is very expensive and many places don’t carry it so if you can’t find it or don’t want to pay so much for the little amount you need to use, you can use chamomile essential oil instead. It is much more reasonably priced.

 


Aromatherapy and romance are natural partners so it is logical that the seventh part in our series of essential oil uses in the home concerns the bedroom.  If you want essential oils that will keep your bedroom smelling dreamy and enhance the romantic experience, you will want to make a special blend and keep it separate from the regular household essential oil formulas. For a synergistic romantic bedroom blend, spray the following formula in the air and on carpets: 8 drops palma rosa, 1 drop ylang-ylang, 2 drops clary-sage, 2 drops nutmeg, and 4 drops of lime mixed in 2 ½ cups of water.

  • Other great scents of a more general nature to use in the bedroom include chamomile, geranium, lavender, or lemon.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, use a diffuser with a relaxing oil like chamomile or clary-sage on it.
  • You can also wash, dry and store your linens with essential oils (see Essential Oils at Home V) to aid sleep.
  • Put a cotton ball with one drop of your favorite scent on it in the corners of your bedroom closet.
  • Use essential oils on drawer liners and also line the floor of your closet. Don’t use more than one or two drops of oil because you just want a subtle aroma to keep the air fresh, not enough to interfere with your perfume.

Essential oils can be used in the living room to freshen carpets, curtains, and furniture. Make a carpet freshener powder by mixing 1 drop of essential oil per tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda or borax powder. Add the essential oil to the powder and mix it well in a blender. Allow the mixture to sit overnight before using it the first time. You can make as much as you want to have on hand and store it in a zip lock bag or a sealed jar. To use the carpet freshener, sprinkle it on your carpet, leave it there for a few minutes, then vacuum. You can also add the powder directly to your vacuum bag to stop odor; add 8 drops of essential oil to a cotton ball and put it inside the bag each time you change it; or simply add 8 drops of essential oil directly onto the bag.

To get rid of streaks on freshly cleaned windows, bunch up a sheet of newspaper, put a drop of lemon, lime or grapefruit essential oil on it and polish the glass with this combination. The essential oil soaks into the newspaper and combined with the newsprint it removes streaks and creates a sparkling finish. You get an added bonus when the sun hits the glass and warms the essential oil releasing a subtle fragrance into the living room.

Make your own furniture polish and banish chemicals and synthetic fragrances from your home with this recipe: melt 8 ounces of plain unrefined beeswax in a double boiler, add 2 1/2 cups of room temperature turpentine and put it aside. Boil 2 1/2 cups water and add 2 ounces of grated pure soap (purchase at the health food store) or grated castile soap and stir until melted, then sit it aside until it is cool but still warm. Slowly add the warm soap and water to the beeswax and turpentine a little at a time stirring constantly. Now add 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice and blend the entire mixture well. Store your furniture polish in a tin can or a small ice cream carton (a Ben and Jerry’s carton will work well and you get to eat the ice cream first.) You only need a small amount at a time to polish your furniture and you will be greatly rewarded for your work by the fragrance of the essential oil and the shine of your furniture.

Lastly, you can use a plant mister spray filled with 2 1/2 cups of water and 8 drops of essential oil to freshen  furniture, curtains, and carpets. Since the living room is where you spend time with family and friends you will want to choose the right blend of essential oils. A calming synergistic blend includes 8 drops geranium, 3 drops clary-sage, 5 drops lemon, and 3 drops bergamot. A stimulating blend to use on a lazy afternoon includes 8 drops of grapefruit, 4 drops lavender, 4 drops lime and 2 drops of basil.


Before washers and driers, our ancestors laid their clothes on lavender or rosemary plants to dry so that the scent would permeate the garments. Today we can use essential oils in the washer, dryer, drawers, and closets to keep our clothes smelling nice and to receive even more benefits.

Add 3-5 drops of lemongrass or lavender to your rinse cycle water for wonderfully fresh smelling clothes. For a more alluring fragrance, add ylang-ylang essential oil to the final rinse. During the cold and flu season rinse your bed linens with eucalyptus, rosemary, or pine essential oil to relieve coughs throughout the night. Use a rinse of peppermint essential oil when your children have whooping cough. If insomnia is a problem, rinse linen and nightwear with marjoram, chamomile, or sweet orange blossom essential oil to aid sleep.

Add 2 drops of essential oil to a 4 inch square piece of material and put it in the dryer with your clothes. To infuse your garments with a fresh scent use lavender, rosemary, or bergamot; for a floral scent use geranium, or palma rosa; for a romantic or exotic scent use ylang-ylang, jasmine, or rose essential oil.

Other uses for essential oils with clothing include:

  • Making a natural moth repellent by placing cotton balls with lavender, lemongrass, camphor, or rosemary essential oil on them between clothes in drawers.
  • Making fragrant drawer liners with no chemicals by cutting blotting paper to drawer size and dotting it with essential oils. Brush the paper with orris root powder which acts as a fixative and then shake the powder off and place the liner in your drawer.
  • Making a synergistic blend of 3 drops lavender, 2 drops sage and 5 drops of rosemary essential oil to add to sneakers and repel odor. Add this blend to a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda and mix well. Sprinkle the mixture into sneakers and leave overnight for fresh smelling shoes the next morning. Don’t forget to tap the soda out in the morning or you will be walking around with puffs of smoke coming out of your shoes.

Kitchen smells run the gamut from the wonderful aroma of freshly baked cookies to the stinky smell of burnt popcorn. Kitchens have a trash area where garbage is tossed, a spot for wet coats and muddy boots, and a corner for dog bedding and the cat’s litter box. Essential oils are a natural alternative to commercial air sprays because they cleanse the air for you instead of masking odors; they are harmless to food, humans, and the ozone; and many of them are antibiotic and antifungal so they may even help keep you from getting sick.

  • To cleanse kitchen surfaces add 4-6 drops of any one of the following essential oils to one pint of water: eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, lime, grapefruit, pine, or lemongrass. For a kitchen synergistic blend combine the following essential oils: 10 drops lavender, 15 drops lemon, and 5 drops eucalyptus. This mixture is disinfectant, antibacterial, and leaves a lovely fragrance when used on kitchen surfaces. You can add 8 drops of this formula to 2 1/2 cups of water in a plant spray bottle to spray the air or surfaces.
  • To kill germs on dishtowels soak them in a bowl of boiling water and 1 drop of eucalyptus, thyme, tea tree, or lavender. Let the towels soak  until the water is cool then wash as usual. This will keep your towels germ and bacteria free.
  • To lighten the chore of dishwashing and uplift your spirits at the same time, add 5 drops lime, 3 drops bergamot, 2 drops lavender, and 1 drop orange essential oil to your dishwashing liquid. The natural aroma of these essential oils will make a boring task take on a much lighter note. If you use a dishwasher, simply add 2 drops of lemon  essential oil to the detergent you use in your machine and stir it before closing the door.

Essential oils lose their therapeutic properties after about two years but do not toss them out! Put two drops at a time down kitchen drains to create a nice scent when hot water runs down. Also use them in the water you use to wash windows and trashcans both inside and out. Essential oils make kitchen work safer and much more pleasant.


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