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Magnesium: What is all the hype?

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What is magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral that our bodies need to function properly. Magnesium can be found in many food sources such as green, leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, fish, beans and lentils, and even dark chocolate! I wanted to share why it’s so amazing and a few recipes you can add to your magnesium lotion if you choose to make it! Click here to view the DIY Magnesium Body Pudding

Why do we need it?

Magnesium is responsible for or involved in over 300 functions in your body! Hormones are your body’s messengers, when their function is disrupted so are many of your bodily functions. Being deficient in magnesium can cause mood swings, hormone disruptions, migraines, anxiety, and muscle issues just to name a few. Things can quickly become unbalanced. You may notice weight gain, unwanted hair growth, lack of sexual desire, and other issues. Since your sleep cycle is also regulated by hormones, your good night’s rest may be impacted by low magnesium levels. Muscle health and function is related to magnesium levels, as well. Without enough magnesium you may lose muscle tone, have cramps or tics and may even experience muscle soreness or fatigue.

With soil depletion from crops so common, it can be difficult to consume all the magnesium you need by just eating foods high in the mineral. To balance this, we must turn to supplementation. You have a choice of taking a supplement in pill form. Such pills or capsules are generally highly refined and contains filler and binders. Not your best choice! Let’s look at a better way to get magnesium into your body!

Why use it transdermally (through the skin)?

We already know that the skin is our bodies biggest organ. Responsible for keeping water out and our organs, muscles and bones in. Our skin is truly amazing. Among it’s virtues is the ability to absorb certain things and allow our body the best use of those materials. We learned a bit about how our skin functions in this fashion in a recent post called “Are there driver oils?

When we use magnesium on our skin, it has near instant access to our bloodstream and can be assimilated by the  body! This is the most efficient method for using magnesium. Creating a magnesium lotion or using magnesium flakes in the bath are the two best ways to get it into/onto the skin. To get even more bang for your buck, you can add some calming or relaxing essential oils to the mix and have a good nights sleep or relaxing afternoon!

Click to see Monday’s blog post on how to make a magnesium body pudding. It’s divine and you can customize it with your essential oils! Check out below for a few ideas:

We hope that this gives you some insight into why magnesium is so amazing. As always, please be in touch with us via email if you have any further questions, concerns or comments. We can be reached at aromatherapist@planttherapy.com. You can also join our Facebook page Safe Essential Oil Recipes to share your favorite recipes with like-minded members!


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Essential Oils & Emotional Issues

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Emotional Concerns: 

Emotional concerns effect many people. Whether it’s just a slump or an indication of a larger issue. We have very busy lives and not feeling, emotionally, at our best can really impact our days. Feeling anxious or overwhelmed is easy to do with our busy schedules and hectic lives. Make sure the house is clean, get to work & school on time, prepare dinner, homework, get everyone to bed, more clean up or laundry and fall into bed exhausted. It’s daily life at it’s finest.

Please, if you feel it’s warranted, seek out the help of a professional. It may be beneficial to speak to someone regarding your concerns. Perhaps a professional can give you some tips on how to better cope or to work through what you are feeling! We all need help, sometimes we just need to reach out and ask!

Can Aromatherapy be useful?

Let’s take a look at how we can use essential oils to brighten mood and lift spirits! Do you recall the blog post on inhalation? If not, click here to refresh your memory Inhale! The underused power of smell. You’ll remember from this post that we discussed how scent can be a powerful reminder of happier times. This is what we hope to accomplish with mood. In order to boost our mood, we need to pick scents we love.

Generally, there are a few oils that are perfect at the job of mood lifting. These are mostly monoterpenes, which are light, airy and uplifting energetically. According to Warren and Warrensburg (1993) who found that certain aromas create different responses in people’s mood. In this study, subjects rated scents in varying emotional categories ranging from {positive} stimulating to relaxing, and {negative} from stressful to apathetic. Some fragrances were noted to have positive effect on mood, while others made no difference or even resulted in negative feelings.

The bottom line here is scent is very individual. We can make general statements about certain oils, like we did in What are Therapeutic Properties?. This allows us a good starting point, but recipes still may need tweaking in order to work as desired!

Which oils should I choose?

As I have already mentioned, this is a very personal choice. For years I couldn’t even smell spanish rice. When I was a kid, we had it for dinner and later that evening I became violently ill. Needless to say it was years before I could smell it and to this day I can’t eat it. We associate memories, good or bad, with the smells around us. If you don’t like lavender, please don’t choose it simply because it’s generally useful for relaxation. There are many choices! Here are a few general essential oils that can be useful during emotions that are sometimes associated with stress, anxiety or depression:

  • Basil (linalool) – the high linalool content of this oil makes it ideal for calming! Using in conjunction with bergamot and/or citrus oils, basil can be useful in calming the mind and body.
  • Bergamot – this bright, fresh oil is excellent for brightening mood and lifting spirits. When used with Neroli and vanilla, it is one of my favorites during those moments where I feel overwhelmed!
  • Frankincense – one of the most frequently used oils and when blended with Cedarwood or Sandalwood, frankincense can be useful to relax and focus the mind. Creating a relaxing and mediative space in order to rejuvenate the spirit!
  • Geranium – An uplifting and balancing essential oil. Best blended with deep scents like vetiver or patchouli. Geranium has a very strong, floral scent and when combined with either of those grounding, calming scents can create a very relaxing environment.
  • Lavender – the quintessential relaxing scent. Use in combination with deep, resinous scents like Frankincense to create calm and peace or with lighter citrus notes to provide a lift in mood.
  • Neroli – a lovely, floral scent that is lovely when combined with bergamot and vanilla. Also fantastic blended with lavender!
  • Roman Chamomile – a light, fresh scent that blends beautifully with small amounts of geranium and lavender. This relaxing oil is so nice when used in a bath prior to bed!
  • Citrus oils essential oils from citrus fruits are very uplifting and can boost mood, energy and mental focus. Most citruses blend well with the essential oils mentioned above, and typically in larger quantities.

Some usage ideas:

  1. Create a personal inhaler. I have done this for myself, my kids and several friends. Take it with you for an on-the-go pick me up.
  2. Take a nice bath, pamper yourself a bit then get a good nights rest. Here’s a wonderful article, Creating an Aromatherapy Bath
  3. Create your own personal diffuser blend and use this on days you are feeling overwhelmed.

 

It’s important to remember that aromatherapy is just one tool in the toolbox to assist with emotional concerns. A proper diet is another key factor, using herbal preparations is another and finally plenty of rest can be useful in the reduction of stressful or anxious feelings.  Please be in touch if we can assist you in any way.

 

 Sources:
Battaglia, Salvatore 2002 The complete guide to aromatherapy, 2nd edition
Rhind, Jennifer 2012 Essential Oils: A handbook for aromatherapy practice, 2nd edition

 


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Essential Oils & Auto-immune Disease

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What is an autoimmune disease?

We hear this word so often as part of our current culture. I began to wonder just exactly what an auto immune disease was. So I looked it up, and according to Wikipedia:

Autoimmune diseases arise from an abnormal immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body (autoimmunity). 

In other words, your body fights itself and the natural functions that occur daily. Yikes, no wonder it’s such a large concern! There is a huge list (more than I ever knew) of autoimmune diseases online. Frankly I was shocked. I recognized some of the disorders listed, but had no idea they were considered auto immune disorders. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Thyroid disorders
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Lupus
  • Gluten, dairy or soy intolerances
  • Multiple sclerosis and
  • Atopic dermatitis just to name a few.

What do we need to be concerned about when dealing with autoimmune diseases and essential oils?

We want to be conscious that we are not further inflaming or boosting immune function, since auto-immune diseases are the immune system attacking your body. You don’t want to double your body’s effort in attacking itself! Essential oils you may consider leaving out of your stash are: Palmarosa, Rosalina, Immune Aid or Immune Boom. Any essential oil that is listed as an immunostimulant should be avoided or used only occasionally in low doses.

It’s a good idea to understand that while essential oils are very useful, they are not the perfect solution for every situation. Some times using a hydrosol or an herbal preparation are necessary and safer! Before using a new product always consult with a Natropathic Physician, Certified Aromatherapist or other qualified health professional.

Put in the time to do the research, keeping in mind that marketing is a powerful tool. Seek out sources other than a company websites or sales persons. There are many books, websites and other information you can find that are not linked to any one company. Learn more about the concern you want to address and ask professionals who will consult with you before beginning any new regimen.

So can you still use essential oils?

Short answer, yes. Choose oils that do not have an immune stimulating effect. This is a challenge, as many essential oils can stimulate the immune response to varying degrees. Here is a limited list of essential oils that you can consider using with no (or very little) boost to the immune system.

  • Cajeput essential oil has long been used for sore throats and it’s antiviral action makes it a great option for cold sores. Cajeput is also used to help with pain such as muscle stiffness, muscle cramping and menstruation. Diffuse Cajeput essential oil to help relieve the symptoms caused by the flu or cold. It can also be added to a bath or massage oil to help with aches and pains. For relief from an insect bite or skin ailment, add a small amount to your favorite carrier oil and apply twice a day. It’s also a great mosquito repellent.
  • Cinnamon Cinnamon Leaf essential oil has been used as an anti-inflammatory and local anesthetic for many years. It is very therapeutic and if used in the right dilution, can be an effective essential oil for acne, chronic pain and inflammation. Combine Cinnamon Leaf and Clove Bud at 0.6% dilution in your favorite carrier oil to help with chronic pain. Cinnamon Leaf is also considered a great oil to ease the symptoms of cold and flu. Diffuse in the air to help combat a sickness or combine equal parts of Lemongrass, Lavender and Cinnamon Leaf to use as an insect repellent.
  • Citronella essential oil is popularly used as an insect repellent. Combine equal parts of Citronella, Lemongrass and Cinnamon Leaf, add to water or witch hazel and use as an all-natural insect or head lice repellent. To help combat cold and flu, diffuse into the air equal parts of Citronella and Cinnamon Leaf. Add to your favorite carrier oil to help with perspiration. Add 1 drop of Citronella and 2 drops of Tea Tree to 1 Tablespoon of Coconut oil to use on fungal skin infections.
  • Clary Sage essential oil is the perfect hormone balancing oil to help ease symptoms caused by women’s issues. It can be used to treat PMS, hot flashes, depression, anxiety and insomnia. For menstrual pain, combine Clary Sage with Geranium, Marjoram and Carrot Seed. Research suggests that for some people, Clary Sage essential oil is more effective anti-stress oil than Lavender. Add to your favorite carrier oil and use as a daily moisturizer or diffuse into the air for its mood-enhancing properties
  • Clove Spicy and heart warming, Clove Bud essential oil is one of the primary antibacterial and antifungal essential oils. It is also widely know for easing pain, notably when caused by dental problems. It is a natural ant-inflammatory and local anesthetic. It is also an immune booster and is great for combating cold and flu when diffused. Use a low dilution and massage with your favorite carrier oil on the outer jaw to help with a toothache or massage over painful joints. Similarly, massage over the abdominal area for indigestion, nausea or to warm the body.
  • Cypress essential oil can be used to ease breathing and may be helpful for people with asthma. It can be used to relieve tight muscles, rheumatism and the swelling and pain of varicose veins. It is also useful as a deodorant. For this, add equal parts of Cypress, Sandalwood and Lavender to your favorite carrier. Diffuse Cypress into the air to help ease breathing.
  • Ginger  Traditionally used for its warming action, Ginger essential oil aids digestion, stimulates blood flow and helps relieve nausea, muscular or menstrual pain. Add 2 drops Ginger essential oil with 2 drops Coriander to 1⁄2 cup Epsom salt and run into a warm bath to help relieve lethargy, nausea, colds and sickness. When added to a carrier oil or lotion, it can help with joint pain, muscle aches, poor circulation and to disperse bruises. Use in a 2% – 5% dilution for topical use.
    Geranium The therapeutic properties of Geranium Bourbon essential oil include the being used as an astringent, haemostatic, diuretic, antiseptic, anti-depressant, tonic, antibiotic, anti-spasmodic and as an anti-infectious agent. This uplifting oil has a great all-over balancing effect and this extends to the skin, where it helps to create balance between oily and dry skin. Geranium Bourbon can also be used to relieve feelings of stress and anxiety, promoting a sense of inner peace. The strong smell of this oil is particularly good to ward off mosquitoes and head lice.
  • Juniper Berry When diluted into the air Juniper oil can be used for the treatment of addictions, nervous tension, over-indulgence of food and to stimulate the nervous system and bolster the spirit. Add a few drops to a warm bath to help with arthritis, cellulite, nervous tension, cystitis, pain in passing urine, gout, swollen joints, liver problems, muscle fatigue and overweight.
  • Laurel Leaf  essential oil has antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties and can be used to treat scars, acne pimples, boils and scabies. It is reportedly a tonic to the hair, aiding with dandruff and can be used to stimulate hair growth. Laurel Leaf Oil is known for its strong effects on the nervous system, its’ anti-spasmodic and analgesic properties making it mildly narcotic. Coupled with its sedative properties, it is used for neuritis, depression, anxiety, fear and psychosis. Its stimulating and warming properties are used to produce fire and warmth in one’s emotions, bringing awareness, courage and confidence.
  • Patchouli  For acne, dermatitis and eczema, add a few drops to a carrier oil or lotion and apply directly to affected area. Patchouli can be used as a deodorant or antiperspirant by adding 2-3 drops to a carrier oil and dabbing your underarms. Diffuse Patchouli essential oil into the air to help alleviate anxiety or repel insects. For athletes foot or fungal infection, add a few drops to a carrier oil and apply to infected area.
  • Roman or German Chamomile – Chamomile Roman essential oil is greatly known to help with insomnia. It also can be used to ease aches and pains in muscles and joints. It is a relaxing oil and is great to help with stress. Diffuse Chamomile Roman essential oil into the air to help with stress, migraines and depression. Add 1-3 drops each of Chamomile Roman and Chamomile German and 1 drop of Peppermint into a bath or favorite carrier oil to assist muscle aches or arthritis. Chamomile German (Blue) essential oil is widely known for its calming properties. In research involving teenagers with ADHD, German Chamomile oil had a therapeutic effect. All evidence shows that this essential oil reduces stress. Chamomile German is also an excellent anti-inflammatory and can assist with nasal allergies, cuts, wounds and muscles, tendon and ligament pain. It is one of my favorite oils to add to a warm relaxing bath. Add equal amounts of German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile and Peppermint to your favorite carrier oil and gently massage to ease muscle or joint pain.
  •  Valerian Diffuse Valerian Root essential oil into the air or add 2-3 drops to a warm bath to help combat insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, tension, headaches, panic attacks and muscle spasms.

Does this mean you have to avoid these oils forever? No, probably not. If you can work with your physician and a nutritionist or any other number of people to heal your body through proper diet, proper rest & stress reduction, and allow your body to do its job – there may be light at the end of this tunnel. In the meantime, you may create more of a problem. Here are a few links that May help explain why using items (be they herbal or otherwise) to “boost” immune function can be counterproductive when dealing with Autoimmune disorders.

http://www.hopkinslupus.org/lupus-info/lifestyle-additional-information/avoid/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/504626-rheumatoid-arthritis-melatonin/
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/boost-your-immune-system/

As always, any questions you have can be directed to our Certified Aromatherapist at aromatherapist@planttherapy.com. We welcome questions, comments or concerns. Please check out our Facebook page Safe Essential Oil Recipes.


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Are there “driver” or enhancer oils?

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We get asked this question often. Are there oils that can act as a driver or can enhance absorption of other essential oils? This means are there oils that can help other oils penetrate further into the skin, thereby increasing absorption rates. While this is something best left to professionals, who understand the chemistry, I want to try and answer the question in the spirit of education!

The simple answer is yes, there are a few oils that can enhance the absorption of essential oils into the skin. But first, let’s take a look at how our skin works:

Our skin consists of

  • the epidermis, which is our waterproof layer and provides protection against infection
  • the dermis, where the parts of the skin” live” (like hair follicles, sweat glands, etc)
  • the hypodermis, which is the fatty layer “beneath” the skin that keep us warm

Layers of skin

Why oil can penetrate the skin and water can’t?

Our epidermis acts as a waterproof barrier for our bodies. Water doesn’t penetrate the skin since it’s made up of several layers of cells. These cells maintain their structure through a phospholipid bond.

Phospho-what?

Phospholipid refers to a group of elements that are composed of fatty acids. This means that the layers of skin are held together by the fatty acids. Remember how oil (or fat) and water don’t mix? THIS is why our skin repels water. Oils, of any kind, can be readily absorbed by the skin since they are of the same type of substance that hold our skin together.

How much EO is absorbed?

Robert Tisserand writes, in his book Essential Oil Safety, that approximately 10% (give or take) of an essential oil that is applied to the skin is absorbed into  the blood steam. This, of course, depends on the type of oils and several other variables. These include; 1) skin temperature 2) rate of dose applied 3) duration of contact 4) Humidity 5) Occlusion (or blocking off the area) and 6) skin hydration

Effect of Enhancers: how they work?

These substances reduce the skin’s ability to perform its barrier function. Then allowing the essential oil (or medication in some instances, like nicotine patches) to cross the epidermis at a faster rate. The constituents in some essential oils can disrupt that phospholipid bilayer and allow enhanced penetration. D-limonene and 1,8-cineole have been shown to do just this function. A water-based cream or lotion provides the essential oil some movement in order to reach and then penetrate the skin. We go back to oil and water not being able to mix, using a water-based carrier sends the essential oil through the carrier faster to the skin and allow for deeper penetration. Since essential oil molecules are more likely to dissolve in fats and lipids – water-based creams or lotions are a better carrier for penetration than a fixed oil.  Using a fixed oil also allows for penetration – but in a slower more controlled manner.

What have we learned?

We can use some essential oils to absorb quickly in the skin. To do so, our “carrier” should be a water-based lotion or cream, since the oils will have more freedom of movement and work to penetrate the skin faster. We also know that oils that have higher amounts of d-limonene (most citrus oils, like lemon) and 1,8-cineole can be used as skin penetration enhancers.

Well, I hope that you learned a little bit more about how essential oils can effectively penetrate your skin & are absorbed to reach the bloodstream. It’s a hard topic to grasp, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help understanding!

As always, any questions you have can be directed to our Certified Aromathereapist at aromatherapist@planttherapy.com. We welcome questions, comments or concerns. Please check out our Facebook page Safe Essential Oil Recipes.

 


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Same Genus, Different Species…

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There is one question we get time and again. “Which _____ should I use?” Do you recall the article Latin Names & Chemotypes ? This was a brief look at why Latin (or botanical) names are so important when choosing essential oils for your products. You can see in the following article that information has been expanded on.

Below you will see the common essential oils used to fill in that blank. While I dislike the term “best” since it is so subjective, I do realize that there are reasons why you’d choose one species over another. Keep in mind these are very brief reasons. It’s important to invest in good reference materials for your essential oil library!

CHAMOMILE

There are two true chamomile and two that are commonly referred to as chamomile. For some uses they are similar, they both are relaxing and have anti-spasmodic properties. However, Chamomile Roman Chamaemelum nobile is generally used for children and general relaxation since it has a lighter, more enjoyable fragrance. Chamomile German Matricaria reutita is typically used for inflammation or injury due to it’s high percentage of chamazulene which is responsible for the blue color.
Just to confuse things even further when someone says “Moroccan Chamomile” it could be either Ormenis multicaulis (Wild Chamomile) OR Tanacetum annuum (Blue Tansy). Neither Ormenis multicaulis or Tanacetum annuum are true chamomile. Each of these oils have different properties. If you know your Latin names it’s much easier to match your symptom to a solution!

FRANKINCENSE

Boswellia serrata:

Also known as Indian Frankincense and is prized in Ayurvedic medicine. Native to India and North Africa. This oil has light, floral note. Serrata is useful as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. If you’re looking for relief from symptoms of inflammatory issues like IBS or rheumatoid arthritis – this is the species to choose.
Boswellia carteri (Sacra):

Perhaps the most sought after frankincense, this oil is harvested from Oman and Somalia. Carteri (sacra) has a deep, warm, resinous scent. The resin from Boswellia carteri (sacra) has been shown to have some anti-cancer activity in laboratory applications. There is conflicting information on whether this translates to the essential oil. Carteri (Sacra) has good antimicrobial properties. Great for emotional concerns when diffused or used in a bath! Try using this species in yoga or meditation.

A quick note, several authors have recently stated that the two species are in fact one in the same. Robert Tisserand and Lora Cantele both offer this information in their books.

HELICHRYSUM

Currently, we offer two species of helichrysum for sale. Let’s look at the differences. Helichrysum italicum is rather useful for skin conditions. Healing of scars, helping with redness or irritation and overall skin health. Helichrysum splendidum is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and is useful for respiratory issues such as allergies or respiratory illness.

LAVENDER

This genus is a bit more complicated. The species here vary widely in therapeutic properties. Why don’t we take a look. First we have traditional, everyday Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia). Useful for soothing, calming and is a go-to for many first time users. The difference between Lavender Population and Lavender 40/20 is this: Population is the lavender to choose when you want the therapeutic effects listed for lavender. Lavender 40/20 is a standardized product which is a favorite for  people who make their own soaps, creams, and candles. The standardization process ensures a consistent scent from batch to batch.

Next, we have Spike Lavender (Lavendula latifolia) which has a high percentage of camphor and is useful for issues relating to illness such as chest congestion and coughing. This species of lavender should not be used with children or those suffering from seizure disorders. Finally, we have Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) which has properties similar to Lavendula angustifolia.

MELALUECA (TEA TREE)

This is one that get’s a tad confusing. First we have Tea Tree oil (melalueca alternifolia) which is useful for so many things! It’s among one of the first essential oils that many new users purchase and one that is versatile. Tea Tree can be used for illness, skin issues and cleaning products. Next, Rosalina (melalueca ericifolia) is one of our new additions. This gentle, and kid safe, meleluca is useful for respiratory issues and is considered a safer alternative to eucalyptus. Also, there is Cajeput (melaleuca cajeputi) which is useful for muscle aches and soreness and may be useful against colds, flus and infections. Lastly, Naouli (melaleuca viridiflora) is much higher in cineole than it’s “cousins” and should not be used with children under age 10.

THYME

There are a total of 6 known variations of Thyme, each chemotype has a specific constituent that allows the oil to have varying effects on the body. Thyme ct. thymol and ct. carvacrol are very good antiseptics. On the other hand, Thyme ct. linlool and ct. thuyanol are much gentler and used to boost immune function. To address a specific concern, you must know which chemotype you are working with and what it’s constituents are able to do therapeutically.

GERANIUM

We offer two species of geranium at Plant Therapy. Geranium Bourbon is more useful for skin care and for use in warding off bugs when outdoors. Geranium Egyptian is more useful in emotional conditions (like anxiety or stress) and is wonderful for insomnia.

Hopefully you can see that knowing which species of essential oil you are using is very important. Please always double check to be sure that the essential oil you choose is safe for your intended purpose. Choosing properly can ensure that you and your family are receiving the benefit you want, instead of an unintended consequence.

As always, we hope that this gives you some insight into these essential oils. Please be in touch with us via email if you have any further questions, concerns or comments. We can be reached at aromatherapist@planttherapy.com. You can also join our Facebook page Safe Essential Oil Recipes to share your favorite recipes with like-minded members!


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Essential Oils 101

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There are so many misconceptions out there when it comes to using essential oils. Hopefully this article can set the record straight on some of the basics. If you’re new to essential oils, this is a very basic overview. If you’re a veteran user, it never hurts to refresh on the basics!!

top 14 synergies pic

What are Essential Oils?

An essential oil is a hydrophobic liquid that contains volatile aromatic compounds from plants. Each plant part has a distinct smell, or aroma and can be useful for various therapeutic uses.

How can I use them?

Essential oils can be used topically, or on the skin. Topical application is perfect for things such as injury, aches & pains or a skin problem. Bumps, bruises, cut and scrapes can all benefit from the use of essential oils in carrier oil. This article better explains the differences between topical vs. ingestion.

They can also be inhaled and this really is the preferred method for most emotional issues. For calming, try lavender. To promote restful sleep look into using vetiver. There are so many great oils out there, the more research you do the safer you can use them! Here’s more on inhalation: Inhale! The Power of Smell.

Finally, under the care of a certified aromatherapist, essential oils can be ingested to fight internal issues such as infections. Internal use is not something to be taken lightly, as without proper training you can do yourself more harm than good. If you choose internal usage, please do your research and consult with a professional. We have another article here: Ingestion 

Why should I dilute with carrier oil?

Dilution is always recommended for topical use. When you use essential oils diluted with carrier oil you decrease your risk of sensitization. Sensitization can take many forms and usually does not occur at first use. Long-term use of undiluted or neat oils can make a person prone to breakouts, rashes and other skin issues. Eventually this leads to not being able to use certain oils due to the consequences. Click here for more on Sensitization.

To avoid all that, use a good dilution chart in order to properly apply oils to your skin. In case you need more information on carrier oils, you can find that here: Which Carrier is Best for Me?

Here is the dilution chart we use at Plant Therapy:

DILUTION CHART

Which oils should I avoid?

Certain oils should be avoided if you have medical conditions or take medications. For example people who are sensitive to salicylic acid should avoid oils such as wintergreen and birch since these oils have high concentrations of methyl salicylate. If you have a clotting disorder, so your blood does not clot properly, you should avoid clove, cinnamon bark & leaf, fennel, oregano, and others. It pays to know which oils can affect the condition or medication you are dealing with. This is why it’s important to do your own research and not rely on what you can find with a quick search from a search engine. Seek out a professional certified aromatherapist and ask lots of questions.

How can I choose a reputable company?

There are many, many wonderful companies out there to choose from. You may even end up buying from more than one! Here are a few guidelines that I use when choosing my essential oils:

  1. Proper labeling. I want to see several things on my labels when I buy essential oil. First I would like to see a full name both common and Latin. I would also like to see a country of origin, method of distillation, and chemotypes (if applicable). This ensures I am getting exactly what I think I should be getting. If those items are not available on the label – the company you purchase from will have it on their website!
  2. I would like to see a description of a few ways I can use the oil. This gives me flexibility in how I can use each oil. I like multi-use items!
  3. Having access to a GC/MS report. Basically this is a chemical analysis done for each batch of oil. This tells me percentages of certain constituents so when I am selecting an oil I can be sure I am getting the constituents I would like to address specific issues.
  4. Access to customer service and/or a professional in the field of aromatherapy. If the company is willing to communicate with their customers, it shows that they are not just concerned about their bottom line. Choose a company that has your best interest in heart as well as their own. I want to know that if I have any questions or concerns I can call or email and get an answer!

 

There are many, many wonderful posts to be found in our blog! Take a few minutes and read through the links provided, as well as any other topics that may interest you. We want you to learn and we want to help empower you in using your essential oils. Please contact one of our aromatherapists if you have any questions or concerns. You can do so by emailing us at aromatherapist@planttherapy.com or join our Facebook page Safe Essential Oil Recipes.


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How to create an Aromatherapy Bath!

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This is something that comes up a lot! We all know that oil and water don’t mix. So what is the proper way to create a relaxing bath with essential oils? Let’s take a closer look at how you can get the essential oils safely in your tub and reap all the wonderful benefits they have to offer!

LOZENGE

 

First let’s talk about the different types of bath you might choose to take. By using epsom salt, you can create a gentle detox effect for your body. This is useful during an illness or simply to help flush the system. Secondly, you might want to take a bath to soothe dry or irritated skin. Perhaps you have eczema or a rash, using a skin soothing bath is a great choice. Finally, maybe you’re looking to add some extra  moisture to your skin. By adding a small amount of carrier oil to your bath, you can achieve smooth, moisturized skin.

Are you looking for a relaxing bath or to gently detox your body?

This is the recipe for you!

  • Epsom salt
  • Himalayan Salt
  • Magnesium Flakes

Choose any combination of the above salts, measure out 2 cups total and place in medium glass bowl. Add your choice of essential oils from the recipes below or your own mix & stir well to combine. When adding a stock blend, you want to use approximately 6 drops per 1/2 cup bath salts.

Store in lidded jar. Make 2 baths.

Dry, irritated or red skin? Try this soothing bath for a full body pampering.

  • 1/2 c full fat cream or milk combined with any  recipe below to create a soothing bath for your skin! Add to bath under running water. Makes 1 bath.

Moisturizing bath!

  • Carrier oil of choice (I prefer jojoba) with any of the recipes below to boost your skin’s appearance and have soft, silky skin! If making a stock blend use a glass dropper and then add 3-4 droppers for a bath. I usually make 2 ounces at a time and use 9-12 drops total essential oils.

Recipe Ideas:

Intended to create stock blends in 5 mL bottles, which you can add to your bath at any time. I love to make stock blends so I don’t have to spend a lot of time prepping a bath. The work is done prior so you can slip into a comforting bath when you need to! So grab your 5 mL bottles and let’s get started…

Relaxation:

Achiness:

{best with magnesium flakes}

Skin Soother:

{best with milk bath}

Deep Sleep:

{best just before bed}

In  3 ounces jojoba combine, use 2-3 droppers full in a bath under running warm water. Alternately you can add 2 dropper full to 1/2 cup epsom salt.

Now, take a deep breath, grab a cup of chamomile tea and go take that nice bath and relax!

If you have any questions, concerns or comments please be in touch with us via email at aromatherapist@planttherapy.com We look forward to hearing from you!