Keep Spring Allergies under Control with Essential Oils

Despite the excitement we feel for the approaching spring, there’s a little thing that tends to get in the way: allergies. Nobody likes sneezing, itchy eyes, or a scratchy throat, especially when we want to be outside enjoying the greenery and flowers blooming around us. Although spring allergies may not affect you, chances are they affect someone you know, and that’s no fun to be around. Incredibly, some of the essential oils that best aid allergies are also some of our favorites. Lemon, lavender, and peppermint have incredible properties that will help you with all your allergy symptoms. It’s time for you to start smelling the roses—comfortably!

For a simple allergy remedy, take 2 drops of each lemon, lavender, and peppermint in a capsule twice a day, or as symptoms arise.

Diffuser blends are a great way to relieve allergies. The aroma of essential oils quickly penetrates the blood-brain barrier and enters the bloodstream through your lungs. If you have any of the following symptoms, just diffuse these blends, and you’ll be feeling better in no time.

Itchy Eyes & Throat
2 drops lemon
2 drops lavender
2 drops peppermint
Scratchy Throat
2 drops lavender
2 drops Roman chamomile
2 drops cedarwood
2 drops melaleuca
Watery Eyes
1 drop lemon
1 drop lime
1 drop rosemary
1 drop eucalyptus
1 drop peppermint

If you’re looking for a topical application method, try combining 20 drops lavender, 15 drops lemon, and 10 drops peppermint in a 10 ml roll-on bottle, and fill the remainder with fractionated coconut oil or another carrier oil of your choice. Roll this blend onto the back of your neck and ears whenever you feel allergy symptoms coming on.

Now you can officially enjoy the spring and all that it brings without the sneezing and itchy, swollen eyes! You can read more about essential oils and seasonal allergies in Modern Essentials: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 220–21.

Decongestant Shower Vapor Disks

Spring rain can bring with it a lot of congestion; whether it’s from seasonal allergies or catching a cold, we all tend to get a little stuffed up this time of year. A common method of relieving congestion is taking a hot, steamy shower—so why not double the benefits by combining your hot shower with these eucalyptus vapor disks? These vapor disks can do wonders to break up congestion and clear your airways. Just place one on the floor of the shower, and breathe in the aroma with the steam. You’ll be feeling better in no time!

Decongestant Shower Vapor Disks

  • Servings: Yield=8 disks
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) baking soda
  • 1/3–1/2 cup (75–125 ml) water
  • 8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Muffin liners or silicone mold

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, add water to the baking soda until the mixture forms a thick paste.
  2. Add essential oils, and stir.
  3. If desired, mix in 1–2 drops food coloring.
  4. Line a muffin tin with the muffin liners, or use a silicone mold.
  5. Spoon the paste into the liners until it’s about 1/2″ (1 cm) thick.
  6. Allow the disks to solidify for 24 hours before removing from the liners.
  7. While taking a hot shower, place the disk on the ground by your feet, and breathe in the aroma with the steam to clear your airways.

If the disks feel too wet, allow them to dry longer before using.

You can also bake the disks at 350°F (175°C) for 15–20 minutes to harden them faster.

It can be hard to get the ratio of water and baking soda perfect, but don’t worry—even if the disks crumble, they will still do their job. Just scatter the crumbles on the floor of the shower, and breathe in deep!

“Tax Day Headache Relief” Diffuser Blend

Hopefully, you haven’t been too busy to file your taxes already . . . but if you’ve procrastinated the inevitable, here’s a nice diffuser blend to cure the stress headaches! If you did get your taxes done early, diffuse this blend anyway—and take a deep sigh of relief. This diffuser blend is great for any stressful day of the year, not just tax day. Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Click here to learn more about the different diffusers that we carry, and let us know if you have any questions! You can also consult our “Which Diffuser Is the Best?” post to learn more about the different diffuser features.

Pet Care with Essential Oils

We all know that essential oils have incredible effects on humans, but we can’t overlook the benefits they bring to our animals. In many cases, pets are our best friends, so they deserve to be taken care of in the same way we take care of ourselves. We’ve done some research so that you can know how to appropriately use oils on your pets without putting them in danger.

Guidelines of Essential Oil Pet Care:

  • Animals absorb essential oils much faster than humans, so you should never use more than 1–2 drops of oil at a time.
  • Dilute your essential oils heavily with a carrier oil. Typically a 1:4 dilution (1 part essential oil to 4 parts carrier oil) is a safe option while you are learning more about appropriate and safe use.
  • Never use melaleuca on cats, and consult a veterinarian before using this oil on dogs.
  • Keep oils away from your animal’s eyes, mouth, nose, or other sensitive areas, unless specifically directed.
  • Use all oils in moderation and with extreme caution, and observe how the animal responds before continuing. If your pet gets uncomfortable, stop immediately.
  • Do not use citrus oils on cats.
  • Avoid using essential oils on puppies, unless instructed otherwise by your veterinarian.
  • Pay attention to how your pet reacts when you diffuse essential oils. Even though you are not directly applying the oils to your pets, the very aroma of oils could be too much for your pet. Consider diffusing smaller amounts of oils when your pets are around.
  • Don’t use essential oils too often on your pets. Continual use of essential oils on or around pets can cause toxicity, so it’s important to free your home of essential oils for a couple days at a time to give your pets a break.

The information listed here is just scratching the surface. There is a whole world of information out there for using essential oils safely on your pets. Lucky for you, we have gathered a wide range of materials to help you learn more about proper animal care and essential oils! We carry tear pads, books, recipes, and reference cards that contain more specific research on different animals. Click here to view these materials so that you can research for yourself and find out what works best for your pets.

Every animal is different, so it really is up to you as the owner to make educated decisions about how to use oils with your pets—after all, you know them better than anyone else. A general rule of thumb is to be very careful when applying oils. Start with small doses and an extremely high dilution, and work from there.

Here at AromaTools, we like to take care of you and your pets. Have you seen our cute dog collar and diffuser pendant? This lavender-colored, nylon dog collar sports a running motif of paws, bones, and essential oil vials—a fun way to share your love of oils through your pet! The collar is available in adjustable small, medium, and large sizes. A loop on the collar makes it easy to attach our matching dog leash and diffuser pendant. Using aromatherapy with your pet has never been easier! The durable pendant ventilates through its paw-print cutout, providing continual therapeutic benefits. The locket comes with 6 colorful, reusable scent pads—you can change aromas and the background color of the design.

We have also come up with a few other blog posts to help you and your furry friends! Give our Essential Oil Pet Shampoo a try; there’s nothing like cleaning your pet without harsh chemicals. Or you can try out this recipe to make a Homemade Flea Collar using essential oils. Give these recipes a click and try them out!

Diffuser blends can be a great way to expose your pets to essential oils, but remember to follow the guidelines stated above. Here are a few pet-friendly diffuser blends that we have made to help your pets relax. Diffuse these blends in a well-ventilated space with a way for your pets to leave the room if their senses get overwhelmed. Let us know what you think after you try these blends out!

We have written multiple blog posts on this topic that you may be interested in reading. Click on some of the following posts to learn more specifically about what you can do to further enhance your use of essential oils with pets.

We are still learning about using oils with our pets, just like you are, so we’d love to hear about your experiences and what you’ve learned! Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns. See Modern Essentials: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils for more information about using essential oils on animals.

Tuscan Pasta Salad with Essential Oils

If you’re looking for a fun new spring dish, this is the one for you! This pasta salad is super simple but delicious and filling. It makes a lot, so you can eat it as the main dish, take it as a side salad to parties, or save the leftovers for lunch the next day. And the best part? It uses essential oils! Now you can enjoy the flavor of basil and oregano in this tasty salad while enjoying the health benefits of essential oils at the same time.

Tuscan Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 8–10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Salad:

  • Two 19 oz. packages cheese tortellini pasta
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) sliced olives
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) artichoke pieces
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) mini pepperoni or salami
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) chopped red peppers (roasted or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup (25 g) diced tomatoes (sundried or fresh)
  • 1 cup (20 g) arugula or spinach

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. (50 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. (3 g) minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) salt
  • 1/4 tsp. (500 mg) black pepper
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 toothpick basil essential oil
  • 1 toothpick oregano essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Following the instructions on the packaging, cook the pasta, drain, and set aside to cool.
  2. While the pasta is cooling, combine all the dressing ingredients in a shaker bottle or glass jar, and shake well to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients, pour the dressing on, and toss to combine.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (to taste), and serve!

Essential Oil Spotlight: Marjoram

Marjoram (Origanum majorana) essential oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of the plant. This oil has antibacterial, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antisexual, antispasmodic, arterial vasodilating, digestive stimulating, diuretic, expectorant, sedative, and tonic health properties. Marjoram is known for its herbaceous and spicy aroma.

Historically, marjoram was used to combat poisoning, fluid retention, muscle spasms, stiff joints, bruises, and respiratory congestion. Today, some of the primary uses of marjoram essential oil include arthritis, bone spurs, carpal tunnel syndrome, colic, constipation, croup, expectorant, neuralgia, muscle aches and fatigue, pancreatitis, Parkinson’s disease, physical stress, sprains, stiffness, and tendinitis.

Marjoram essential oil can also help anxiety, boils, bruises, burns, celibacy, colds, cuts, fungal and viral infections, hysteria, menstrual problems, ringworm, shingles, shock, sores, and sunburns.

Application of Marjoram Essential Oil and Safety Data:

Topical Application: Can be applied neat (without dilution). Apply directly to the area of concern and to reflex points.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma directly. The aroma of marjoram essential oil promotes peace and sleep.
Internal Application: Marjoram is generally recognized as safe by the FDA for human consumption and can be used as a flavoring agent.
Safety Data: Not to be used internally by children under 6 years old, and should be used with caution and in greater dilution for children 6 years old and older. Should be used with caution during pregnancy.

Ways to Use Marjoram Essential Oil:

1. Tendinitis
Tendinitis can be extremely painful. Try applying a drop of marjoram on location, then cover with a cool pack for 15 minutes. Repeat whenever necessary.

2. Diffusion
Diffuser blends are a simple way to use your favorite essential oils. Here are a few blends that we created for you to try out so you can enjoy the aroma of marjoram essential oil.

3. Roll-on Blends
Roll-on blends are a great way to maximize the use of multiple essential oils, and they’re so easy to apply. Here are some simple blends to help you start using marjoram essential oil topically. Each of these blends should be combined with 2 tsp. (10 ml) of carrier oil in a 10 ml roll-on bottle, then applied directly to the area of concern.

Muscle Recovery
5 drops marjoram
5 drops white fir
6 drops cypress
6 drops peppermint
Arthritis
3 drops frankincense
4 drops peppermint
2 drops marjoram
Carpal Tunnel
3 drops basil
3 drops marjoram
2 drops lemongrass
2 drops cypress
Nerve Pain Relief
8 drops marjoram
8 drops eucalyptus

4. Cooking
Marjoram is a commonly used herb in many recipes, and you can easily use the essential oil as a replacement. Here are a few recipes we have that include marjoram essential oil for you to try out.

5. Massage Oil
Using marjoram essential oil in a massage oil has many benefits. Marjoram essential oil is great for muscle spasms, can serve as a sedative to your nerves, and promotes relaxation. Combine any of these blends with 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) of your favorite carrier oil to reap the benefits!

Nervous Tension
6 drops marjoram
3 drops rose
2 drops lavender
Muscle Relief
7 drops marjoram
3 drops rosemary
2 drops lemongrass
Emotional Balance
4 drops marjoram
2 drops frankincense
2 drops rose
Aches & Pains
5 drops peppermint
5 drops marjoram
3 drops lavender

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 90–91.
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies by Franzesca Watson

Pet Shampoo with Essential Oils

As we work harder to clean up our lives and free ourselves of chemicals, we can’t forget about our pets! We’ve created this pet shampoo so that you can clean your pets naturally. You’ll love the smell and the knowledge that you can keep your pets clean without using any harsh chemicals!

Pet Shampoo

  • Servings: Yield=8 oz. (250 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in the 8 oz. bottle, and shake thoroughly.
  2. Wash down your pet’s coat with warm water.
  3. Pour some shampoo into your hands, and scrub down your pet, making sure to keep the soap away from the eyes.
  4. Rinse your pet thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo.

“Anxious Dogs” Diffuser Blend

There’s nothing worse than when dogs get anxious and go absolutely crazy. We’ve created this diffuser blend that is completely safe for your dogs and will help them to calm down. Click here to learn more about the diffusers that we carry! 

If you want to learn more about what oils are good for your dogs, we carry a few different products that will help you learn more about using essential oils with pets.

“Essentially You” Shampoo & Conditioner

Customized hair care is a booming business on the internet. Just how is it done? Basically, an online quiz—about hair type and health, desired care outcomes, and perhaps lifestyle and environment—determines each individual’s formulas. Naturally, these personalized products are much more expensive than drugstore or even salon brands. But you can drastically cut hair care costs and still customize your own safe, natural products with organic carrier oils and pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils.

Use “Essentially You” shampoo and conditioner for daily or routine care. (The shampoo also doubles as a body wash!) For intensive moisturizing, do an occasional hair mask with our hair conditioning serum. All of these recipes take no more than 5 minutes to make!
For more information on essential oils for hair care and hair conditions, see the 9th editions of Modern Essentials and the Modern Essentials Handbook under “My Usage Guide: Hair.”

The castile soap in the shampoo acts as a mild cleanser, while the vegetable glycerin is a non-greasy moisturizer and humectant (meaning it helps your hair retain moisture).

Essentially You Shampoo

  • Servings: Yield=8 oz. (250 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the bottle in the order listed.
  2. Shake until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Squeeze a small amount into the palm of your hand, and work through wet hair.
  4. Rinse with warm water.
  5. Repeat, if desired.

Essentially You Conditioner

  • Servings: Yield=8 oz. (250 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients in the 8 oz. spray bottle.
  2. Shake bottle before each use.
  3. Spray throughout layers of hair.
  4. Leave in for 5 minutes for essential oils to penetrate hair shaft and follicles.
  5. Rinse with warm water.

*Custom Carrier Oils

Balancing oil production (all hair types): Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil
Controlling dandruff: Sunflower Oil, Shea Oil (contains latex)
Moisturizing: Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Shea Oil
Softening and conditioning: Sweet Almond Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil

**Custom Essential Oils

All hair types: rosemary, lavender
Beard hair: rosemary, lemon
Children’s hair: lavender
Dandruff: lavender, wintergreen
Dry hair: geranium, sandalwood, lavender
Dull hair (improve shine): Roman chamomile, lavender
Fragile hair (strengthen): clary sage, lavender, thyme
Itchy scalp: peppermint
Oily hair: basil, cypress, thyme, lemon, rosemary, petitgrain
Thinning hair (stimulate growth): rosemary, lavender, thyme, ylang ylang (also clary sage for estrogen balance)

Blending Essential Oils for Hair Care

Here are some oils you can pair with our recommendations for great-smelling combinations:
Basil: cypress, geranium, lavender, peppermint
Clary sage: lemon, petitgrain, cypress, geranium, sandalwood
Lavender: most oils (especially citrus), clary sage, geranium
Lemon: geranium, peppermint, sandalwood, ylang ylang
Peppermint: basil, cypress, lavender, lemon, rosemary
Petitgrain: clary sage, geranium, lavender, rosemary
Roman chamomile: lavender, geranium, clary sage
Rosemary: basil, lavender, peppermint
Sandalwood: cypress, lemon, ylang ylang
Thyme: rosemary
Wintergreen: basil, cypress, geranium, lavender, peppermint

Now go do personalized hair care like a pro!

Essential Oil Sock Bunnies

These sock bunnies make a fantastic Easter craft that your kids will enjoy. The bunnies are super cute, and you can design them however you want. Just add your favorite essential oils to this craft to maximize the benefits. Try adding lavender to help calm your kids down while they play!

Sock Bunnies

  • Servings: Yield=1 bunny
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2–3 cups (375–550 g) rice
  • 1 sock
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • String or twine
  • Ribbon
  • 20–30 drops essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Pour the rice into a bowl, and stir in the essential oils until the desired smell is reached (approx. 20–30 drops).
  2. Using a funnel or a roll of tape to hold the sock open, pour the rice into the sock until it fills to the beginning of the heel of the sock.
  3. Shape the sock by pinching between where the head and the body will be, making sure that the body is larger than the head.
  4. Tie off the head tightly with the string, then tie off the section between the body and head.
  5. Cut off the top of the sock, leaving about 2″ (5 cm) for the ears above the head.
  6. Cut the ear portion of the sock in half vertically, then diagonally from the top of the head to the corner, creating an ear shape. Repeat on the other ear.
  7. Trim the strings down, tie a bow around the neck, and draw a cute face!

Extra Ideas:

You can also tie a little knot around a portion of the body to make a tail, or sew on a cotton ball.

Remove the ribbon, and place the bunny in the microwave for 30 seconds (or until warm), and let your kids enjoy the warmth while they play or take a nap.