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How to make a compress!

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Have you ever wondered what it means to make a “compress”?   Compresses are a long-overlooked home remedy that has become a lost art. A compress is actually very easy to make, takes simple ingredients, and it works! Let’s take a look below to see how to create your very own compress.

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Compresses work by the application of heat or cold to a local area of soreness and/or swelling.  Cold compresses draw heat away from a compromised area, thereby limiting swelling and pain.  Hot compresses speed blood flow to an area and can ease muscle spasms, relieve congestion, or even draw pus from a minor wound closer to the surface.

Cold compresses are especially good for life’s minor lumps and bumps, such as a twisted ankle or “bonk” on the head from an open cabinet door.  To make a cold compress, pour 1/4 cup very cold water and 1/4 cup chilled hydrosol into a small bowl. Place a washcloth or soft piece of flannel into the liquid and let it soak for a minute.  Wring out the cloth until it’s still wet but not dripping liquid everywhere. Fold the cloth over and place on the affected area, leaving it on until the cloth is no longer cool.  (By folding the cloth, you’ll then be able to flip it over to the “cool” side once during the treatment.)  Cold compresses can be applied as often as once every hour.

Hot compresses can be very helpful for concerns such as menstrual cramps, muscle spasms from a twisting or lifting injury, and in “drawing” a minor abscess.  To make a hot compress, heat 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup hydrosol until it feels very warm on the inside of the wrist, just as you would test baby formula. The water should be very warm, but not hot enough to burn the skin.  Soak the cloth as described in the cold compress instructions, wring out, fold, and apply to the affected area.  Cover the area with a small towel or plastic wrap to help hold the heat in the compress longer.  Hot compresses can be applied as often as every two hours.

Hydrosols are the aromatic waters obtained during steam distillation of plant materials. Essential oils and aromatic waters contained within the plant material are forced out during the distillation process. Both are conveyed through a condenser and then to a collecting chamber where the essential oils float on the hydrosol’s surface and can be decanted away, leaving aromatic waters which have their own soothing properties.  For cold compresses, helichrysum, calendula, chamomile, or lavender  hydrosols are all great choices. For hot compresses, depending on the particular concern, chamomile, lavender, geranium, eucalyptus, or marjoram hydrosols would be helpful.

If you like, you can choose to add essential oils to your compress.  Add a drop or two of lavender, Roman chamomile, German chamomile, or tea tree to a half-teaspoon of carrier oil and stir; add to the cold or hot water, stir, and proceed to make the compress as instructed.

Finally, another option is to add 1/4 cup of Himalayan sea salt per cup of water/hydrosol (stir to dissolve) before soaking your compress cloth. This can also provide soothing relief.

Compresses are a wonderful tool to add to your household “first-aid” kit for life’s little aches, pains, scratches, and bumps!  If your symptoms fail to be relieved or are otherwise worrisome, be sure to call your medical provider for advice.

We want you to learn as much as you want to about essential oils and how to use them safely. If you have any questions, comments or other concerns, you’re welcome to email us at aromatherapist@plantherapy.com. Or come join us on Facebook at Safe Essential Oil Recipes!

 

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Ambient Diffusion

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We often talk about diffusers and how to use them. However, what if you don’t have one? Ambient diffusion is your answer – this simply means allowing the essential oils to scent the air without any mechanical means or through the use of heat. Remember those bags of potpourri that line the shelves of craft stores in the fall & winter? That is an excellent example of passive or ambient diffusion. There are a few other ways you can accomplish this outlined below.

Aromastones can be handmade by you using a porous clay and simply rolling to into small shapes. You can decorate them if you wish, but don’t use paint of any kind – this won’t allow the essential oil to absorb. Clay decorations are another fun way to passively diffuse essential oils. These shapes can be round or even cut outs. Think fun cookie cutters! Get your kids involved, this is one where they can express their creativity too.

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Dried fruit, pinecones and other items from nature. Go on a scavenger hunt with your kids and gather up small twigs, pinecones, leaves and other fun organic items. Bring them in (be sure to check them for hitchhiking bug, then shoo those outside) and place them in a pretty bowl. Now, add a sprinkle of your favorite scent and leave it sit on your hall table or bathroom vanity!

Finally, check out out aromashell diffuser. This little guy gently heats the oil that you drop into a metal pan. It’s inexpensive and a nice way to scent your home without overdoing it!

As always, we want to hear from you! Contact us by emailing Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com for any questions, concerns or comments you may have. You can join our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes and participate in lively conversation with other essential oils users. We have your safety in mind – so come hang out with us to learn even more! We look forward to seeing you there!


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DIY Cayenne Salve

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I often like to highlight the other products, aside from essential oils, that Plant Therapy has to offer. Our beeswax is awesome, since it comes in this easy-to-measure pellet form. I just love the smell, it reminds me of being outside after the hay has been mowed! Our carrier oils are fabulous, and whatever one you choose it’s sure to be a winner. Finally, these awesome round, twist-up tubes! They all come together in this lovely balm that can be used for your sore muscles or aching back after a long day on the sports field or in the garden! No need to rub it in, the tube does all the work!

DIY CayenneSalve

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do: 

  1. Measure 1/2 cup carrier oil of choice into saucepan
  2. Add 2 tsp of cayenne powder to the carrier oil
  3. Warm over low heat for about 30 minutes, then turn off and allow to cool
  4. Strain to remove the cayenne solids from the oil
  5. Return the oil (now a beautiful orange) to heat and re-warm
  6. Weigh, then set aside, 1 ounce of beeswax (approx. 2-3 TBSP)
  7. Once oil is warm, add beeswax and allow to melt
  8. Pour into tubes, allow to cool until solid

 

Next time I make this for myself, I am considering using 1 tsp cayenne and 1 tsp ground ginger to infuse my oil. Rub this lovely balm into your skin to soothe any minor discomfort you may have! The tube provides great application without worry of getting it onto your hands (and later in or near your eyes, ouch!). If you do get some on your hands, be sure to wash well!

As always, we want to hear from you! Contact us by emailing Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com for any questions, concerns or comments you may have. You can join our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes and participate in lively conversation with other essential oils users. We have your safety in mind – so come hang out with us to learn even more! We look forward to seeing you there!

 


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DIY hemorrhoids pads

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It’s sort of an unspoken thing – people get hemorrhoids. How can we deal with them in a discreet and more natural way? Well – I set out to create my own hemorrhoid pads at home! This is an easy project, and I bet you have much of it on hand! Let’s get started:

What you’ll need:

  • witch hazel hydrosol
  • cypress essential oil
  • 20-25 cotton rounds {I got the larger ones}
  • glass container to store

What you’ll do:

  1. Measure out about 1/4 cup of witch hazel hydrosol
  2. Add 9-18 drops cypress essential oil (9 = 1% dilution, 18 = 2% dilution)
  3. Place cotton rounds into container
  4. Pour hydrosol/essential oil mixture over the pads
  5. Use as needed to relief of symptoms of hemorrhoids

Wasn’t that simple? Be sure to let me know how this works out for you!If you have questions or concerns regarding any of this information, please emails one of our Aromatherapists at Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com or join our Facebook page Safe Essential Oil Recipes. 


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Retha’s Top 5 Chart

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If you missed the first installment in this series, you can find it here: Christina’s Top 5 Chart. Retha was kind enough to share her “Top 5” picks that she uses in her own home with her family.

Retha's Top 5

 

Although we all hold similar levels of education, we still choose differently. I think this speaks to the many wonderful uses for essential oils and that there is no “one size fits all” recommendations that can be made. This is why it’s so important to consult with a local Certified Aromatherapist to discuss your concerns. While we can make general recommendations, a much better recommendation can be made by someone local to you based on your health history, medications and other factors.

If you have questions, or concerns regarding any information you have seen in the blog, please contact us by email at Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com for a more in-depth conversation! We are happy to assist you in any way we can.


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Spring Cleaning Round-up!!

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We have some really great cleaning recipes on our blog. I wanted to take the opportunity to round them all up for you in one place. Plus, add a few new hints, tips and even a few NEW recipes! It’s almost time to throw open your windows, air out the house and get down to the business of spring cleaning! This time of renewal and rejuvenation always occurs when the weather warms up and the crocuses pop out of the soil! As we prepare to enjoy the sun again, let’s take a look at these great cleaning recipes!

All purpose cleaner

Carpet cleaner

Microfiber couch cleaner

Carpet, Mattress and More… cleaning powder

Counter wipes

Now let’s take a look at some *new* recipes to the blog for spring cleaning!

Essential oils that may be helpful for these recipes:

  • Orange: can help in cutting grease, fingerprints, and smells amazing
  • Lemon: that fresh, clean scent and lemon is also amazing for it’s grease cutting power
  • Lavender: A soft scent that is fantastic when used in cleaning products, especially for laundry applications.
  • Tea Tree: a wonderful disinfectant and helpful when cleaning in bathrooms!
  • Or try our “Spring Cleaning Set” which contains Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Citrus Burst and Germ Fighter.

 

Laundry soap bombs

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup grated soap, of your choice
  • 2 TBSP epsom salt
  • 3 TBSP hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 20 drops essential oil of your choice

What you’ll do: 

  1. Combine “dry” ingredients in a medium bowl
  2. Combine “wet” ingredients in a separate measuring cup
  3. A little at a time, add the wet to the dry, stirring to combine
  4. Continue until all the wet ingredients are added. The resulting mixture will be slightly damp
  5. Use a small scoop or TBSP to place rounds onto parchment or sil-pat
  6. Allow to air dry for 8-12 hours. Once dry store in tightly lidded container
  7. Use 1 round per load of laundry, or 2 for those really dirty loads

 

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This epsom salt fabric softener is super simple and has great results!

 

Fabric softener

This is a quick and easy project that leaves your clothes soft and with a hint of scent!

What you’ll need:

  • Epsom salt
  • Essential oils of your choice
  • A container for storage
  • A scoop, measuring spoon or other item to dispense the crystals

What you’ll do:

  1. For each cup of Epsom salt, add 10 drops of your chosen essential oil.
  2. Mix well
  3. Store in tightly capped container
  4. Use 1-2 TBSP per load of laundry. Place in your softer dispenser

 

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After

Stainless Steel Appliance Polish

What you’ll need:

  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup Olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • 2-3 drops of orange or lemon essential oil
  • soft cloth

What you’ll do:

  1. In glass jar or container, combine the vegetable oil with the 2-3 drops of your chosen essential oil
  2. Dab a small amount onto your soft cloth
  3. Use small circular motion, polish stainless steel
  4. Continue to buff until fingerprints, grime and smudges are removed

 

Tub & Sink cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup castile soap
  • 1/4 cup washing soda
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 20 drops sweet orange, grapefruit or lemon essential oil
  • mold, small plastic container or other item to make a “bar” {see below for more information}

What you’ll do:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium glass bowl
  2. Mix well to blend together
  3. Press paste into mold and allow to dry for a few hours, until firm
  4. Once set, remove from mold (I used an old 4 inch round butter container)
  5. To use the bar: wet and rub the surface of your sink or tub. The bar will gently remove dirt and soap scum. Wipe clean with a damp rag. Rinse with cool water.
  6. Enjoy your beautifully clean tub or sink!

 

Window Spray

What you’ll need:

  • 12 ounces Water
  • 1 TBSP Ammonia
  • 1 tsp Rubbing alcohol
  • Essential oils of your choice

What you’ll do:

  1. Combine everything in a 32 ounce spray bottle
  2. Spritz windows, wipe with soft cloth
  3. Ta-da! Sparkling clean glass!!

 

Need some great recipe combination ideas for essential oils? Check out these ones to get you started:

Fresh Kitchen: 15 drops each lavender & lemon
Disinfecting: 15 drops tea tree oil, 10 drops lemon and 5 drops rosemary
Fresh & Fruity: 20 drops sweet orange, 10 drops grapefruit and 5 drops vanilla
OR instead use one of our germ synergies (Germ Destroyer or Germ Fighter!)

We sincerely hope that when the warm weather finally makes an appearance, you’re ready to get down to cleaning! Open up your home and let the sunshine in! These project only take a few minutes and will leave your home looking & smelling beautiful! If you have any questions regarding these or any other recipes you find on our blog, please be in touch by emailing us at Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com We look forward to helping you in any way that we can.


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Valentines Day DIY

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Valentines Day should be a day where you show your significant others, children & friends how much they mean to you {well, we really should do this every day, but let’s make a special effort for this occasion!} Why don’t we create some lovely small items to gift to your loved ones this Valentines Day!

I have created 3 DIY projects for you today. Once geared towards kids, one that can be given to your friends & family and another that can be shared with your significant other. Need a great EASY gift, try our Romance Set – in convenient roll on form!

 

What you’ll need:

Sugar Shower Cubes:

  • 6 ounces of sugar
  • 2 ounces of coconut oil {the solid kind!}
  • 1 ounce beeswax
  • 1/2 ounce cocoa butter
  • essential oils of your choice {I used Calming the Child}

Massage Oil:

Lotion bars:

  • 3 ounces cacao butter
  • 3 ounces coconut oil {the solid kind}
  • 3 ounces beeswax
  • silicone molds, hearts are a great choice
  • essential oils of your choice – kids love orange !! 

Sweetheart Diffuser Blend: 

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What you’ll do:

Sugar Shower Cubes:

  1. Add 6 ounces of sugar to a medium glass bowl
  2. In separate bowl, melt remaining ingredients (except essential oils) until all liquid
  3. Combine oils/butters with sugar
  4. Add essential oils
  5. Mix well
  6. Pat into silicon molds
  7. Allow to sitting fridge for 30 minutes to firm up
  8. Use in the shower to scrub arms & legs to soft, smooth skin!
  9. Store in the fridge for best use, they got a little “mushy” if not kept cool.

 

Massage Oil:

  1. Add carrier to 2 ounce dropper bottle
  2. Drop in the following amounts of essential oils 12 drops sandalwood, 5 drops ylang ylang, 5 drops vanilla, 1 drop of cinnamon leaf and 1 drop of jasmine.
  3. Place lid on the bottle and mix well by rubbing bottle between palms
  4. Enjoy a massage with your significant other 😉

Lotion bars:

  1. Warm a medium pan with water on the stove
  2. Weigh all ingredients into glass dishes
  3. Place all ingredients, except essential oils, into a larger glass bowl or measuring cup
  4. Place glass bowl over pan of simmering water
  5. Melt butter, oil & wax
  6. Remove from heat and stir in 36 drops of essential oil
  7. Pour into silicon molds
  8. Cool
  9. Package

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