Archive for December, 2019

Welcome to the turning of the year!

by Andrea Butje Guest Author


Aromatherapy for inspiration and quiet times.

I love to spend time reflecting on the year, and dreaming and planning for the future. It’s so important to give ourselves space for this—to take a few steps back and slow down, especially if we’re usually “going, going, going,” as so many people’s busy schedules ask them to do.

So I want to share a few ways we can give ourselves this quiet time, open ourselves to peace and inspiration, and feel uplifted.

Journaling and meditating are great practices. I like to schedule my journaling for the morning, so I’m sure to have this time for myself before the day’s events pick up. I wake up, light some incense, and settle in for fifteen minutes of reflective journaling. It’s a great way to use Aromatherapy for inspiration.

If you prefer to diffuse essential oils rather than light incense, here’s a diffuser blend that can help you get into the right state of mind:

Dream and Plan Diffuser Blend

  • 4 drops Clary Sage (Salvia sclerea)
  • 3 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis)
  • 3 drops Siberian Fir (Abies sibirica)

A lot of people schedule reflection time at the end of the day, too—it’s a good way to come down and relax. I like to use different oils at the end of the day than at the beginning. Resin oils and florals are just right! You can diffuse them, or use them in a bath salt blend (like the one below). Warm baths can really encourage your mind and body to let go. (This is enough for one bath. If you want to make more to have on hand, I recommend making a fresh batch every few weeks.)

Reflect and Relax Bath Salts

  • 2 oz (56 gm) Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 1 drop Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
  • 2 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 3 drops Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

If you want to get a little creative and use Aromatherapy for inspiration…

I’ve listed some oils you can use in your own recipes and blends (just to get your creative juices flowing!):

  • Geranium (Pelargonium roseum x asperum)
  • Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
  • Orange (Citrus sinensis)
  • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
  • Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
  • Siberian Fir (Abies Siberica)
  • Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)
  • Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

Closing out one year always means preparing for the next, so these blends are just right for endings, beginnings, and transformation. Have fun with them!

Thanks to Andrea Butje at Aromahead.

Hangover Aromatherapy

Author: Dr. Larita

It’s New Year’s Eve, one of the biggest party nights of the year and many people are planning to drink in the new year. Too much alcohol leads to dehydration and most of us have suffered the other yucky sensations like nausea, headache, and dizziness. I don’t drink anything stronger than sparkling cider or sparkling grape juice but I remember those sensations as if it was yesterday.

If you plan on drinking for New Year’s Eve or any other time, you can take some preventive measures such as drinking a higher quality liquor, drinking plenty of water before you drink alcohol as this slows down the absorption rate and helps the body to cope better. You can also take at least 1000 mg of vitamin C before going to sleep. People always say to drink black coffee to help you sober up but that only makes things worse. Drink plenty of water after drinking alcohol too because that will help to flush the toxins out of your body. Unfortunately, you’ll feel tipsy again until you go to the bathroom a couple of times.

These morning after essential oils will help return your body to its pre-alcohol state: juniper, sandalwood, grapefruit, lavender, carrot, fennel, rosemary, and lemon. Make your own blend from this list, using  a total of 6-8 drops in a bath or 4 drops in an inhalation.

You have been running at full speed for the last month trying to get it all done before December 25. You have worn yourself to a frazzle and your body is about to go on strike. Maybe you made it until you picked up (or at least supervised the kids picking up) the wrapping paper on Christmas morning. Now that the kids are playing with their new toys and before you reach full burnout, let me tell you about an essential oil blend that can help you relieve the holiday stress you may be suffering.

It is very important to build up your energy with exercise to avoid exhaustion. Exercise helps you to fight fatigue, strengthens your heart and  sends endorphins from your brain into your whole physical system, thus empowering you with a sense of well being.  Rub the following synergistic blend of essential oils all over your body before exercise and before holiday shopping.

  • 5 drops grapefruit
  • 4 drops cypress
  • 2 drops geranium

Mix these oils together in these proportions and then use 5 drops per 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. The next blog will extend this information with another blend that will help you to relax.

Reduce Travel Stress

Author: Dr. Larita

We are traveling by plane today and it is a huge pain. I know there are people who love flying all over the world, but I do not count myself among the jet-setters. Packing, making sure all of my carry-on liquids are less than three ounces, getting through traffic to the airport- it’s all a huge hassle to me. I get very stressed out, so this holiday season I am traveling with with a  diffuser to use in my hotel room and a bottle of lavender for relaxation.

At home I use full size aromatherapy diffusers filled with citrus fresh grapefruit and lavender essential oils. The scents really help me unwind after a long day. With my travel diffuser I was able to recreate the relaxed atmosphere I have at home in my hotel room. It was wonderful to be able to unwind in a beautiful smelling room after a stressful day of travel. It also put me in a good frame of mind before I spent the week visiting relatives.

The fragrance of certain essential oils will evoke memories of favorite Christmas’ past or start new memories for your family. These scents can be used any other time of the year too and will elicit the happy memories associated with Christmas and family. The Christmas essential oils are cinnamon, clove, bay, pine, cedar wood, mandarin, orange, tangerine, frankincense and myrrh.

Christmas Blend House Spray

Dilute this blend in 1 1/4 cups of water a plant spray bottle and always shake before spraying.


The last two days, we have discussed ingredients to use in winter skin care scrubs that will banish the chill of winter and perk up the holiday blahs. Exfoliating skin with a scrub a couple of times a week encourages cell turnover and hydrates, repairs and rejuvenates winter damaged skin. When you add a feel good essential oil to the mix, it will lift your spirits too.

Skin Scrub Recipe:

  1. Scoop 1/12 cups of an exfoliant into a bowl. We discussed baking soda, epsom salts, oatmeal and sea salt.
  2. Mix in 3/4 cup of a carrier oil like olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil.
  3. Add 5 drops of a mood altering essential oil like vanilla, lavender, sandalwood or peppermint essential oil. (Remember start with just one drop of peppermint until you can tell if it is irritating to your skin or not.)
  4. You can also spoon in 1 teaspoon of a beautifying powder like ginger to lighten and brighten discoloration, turmeric to ease muscle pain and swelling, seaweed to improve lymph flow and flush trapped fluids or charcoal to absorb acne causing bacteria.

To use your scrub, massage the scrub onto your skin for 2 minutes during your shower using circular motions and then rinse. This shower scrub makes a great personalized last minute gift. Just double the above recipe, pour it into a 16 ounce Mason jar and shake well. Add a festive ribbon and tag to make an easy and festive holiday gift.

Yesterday we listed carrier oils and exfoliants to use for winter skin care. Essential oils can affect your mood and if added to your skin care scrub, you can change your mood by using these oils.

If you want to feel:

  • Happy – add vanilla essential oil, it promotes feelings of joy, comfort and serenity.
  • Sleepy – add lavender oil, it calms anxiety and restlessness and can encourage sleep.
  • Calm – add sandalwood essential oil, it decreases blood pressure for added relaxation. Try adding a blend of both lavender and sandalwood.  These two work well together.
  • Energized – add peppermint oil. Its menthol boosts alertness and enhances focus. Start with only 1 drop of peppermint, it can be irritating to sensitive skin.


The coldness of winter, the holiday shopping rush and the short, dark days can often take their toll on out minds and bodies. You can beat seasonal bothers like these and uplift your mood using essential oils and specific carrier oils.

Use these carrier oils when you want to:

  • Soften rough patches – use olive oil because it’s squalene property provides deep and lasting hydration.
  • Firm crepinesss – use coconut oil because its fatty acids plump skin to diminish the appearance of fine lines.
  • Tone sagging – use avocado oil because its phytosterols stimulate collagen and elastin to tighten skin.

You can use an exfoliant like baking soda, epsom salts, oatmeal or sea salt with your oil depending on your skin type to make a skin scrub that will repair your skin. Use baking soda for oily skin, it absorbs excess oil and balances your skin’s pH. Use epsom salts if you have sensitive skin, its magnesium soothes irritated skin. Use oatmeal if you have dry skin, it’s beta-glucans seal moisture into your skin. If you have combination skin, use sea sat. Its crystals slough off dead cells and its sulfur dries up oil. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the essential oils to add to your exfoliant that will elevate your mood.

Gallstones are most often formed by solidified cholesterol in the gallbladder. This is usually identified by your physician when you go in for pain in the area. Doctors can prescribe treatment for stones and sometimes surgery is necessary depending on how bad your symptoms become. If you catch the problem early on, you may be able to help yourself with aromatherapy. Please see your doctor first and determine if aromatherapy and the use of essential oils can help you before having any surgery.

Treatment for gallstones is mostly through diet with surgery only necessary in severe cases. Try using massage over the area of the gallbladder (below the liver on the right hand side of the diaphragm) to relieve or reduce the pain. The best essential oils to use are lavender and rosemary.  You can add either or both of these oils to a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba.

Rosemary essential oil may also be helpful for another common disorder, inflammation of the gall bladder. Besides using these oils for massage, try excluding or at least reducing fats from your diet.  At least keep fats in your diet to a minimum and it is best to use vegetable fats rather than animal fats.

Depression affects people in different ways and from different causes. Nature has given us many plants to relieve the symptoms of depression, we just need to use them. There are antidepressant essential oils which are diverse in the ways in which they affect depression so it is important that the best essential oil is chosen for your depression symptoms. For example, it would not be helpful to use a sedative oil if the depressed person feels tired and lethargic.

If the depression is in the form of restless irritability and the inability to sleep, that might be the very oil you need. Chamomile, clary-sage, lavender, sandalwood and ylang-ylang are all oils that are both antidepressant and sedative. Just the opposite of that are bergamot, geranium and rose. They are all oils that that can help lift the mood without sedating the person. Sometimes, anxiety is part of the depression. Neroli is the most helpful essential oil for that kind of depression and if you mix the neroli with it, jasmin is believed to increase confidence in self and in your ability to overcome difficulties.

A massage therapist is very important for a depressed person because of the contact with another person but baths are very helpful too. Baths not only can be taken on any desired day,  they cause the depressed person to do something for him or herself. Also, when using essential oils in the bath, you can change the oil you use every time or blend different oils together depending on your mood.

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December 2019