Essential Oil Spotlight: Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) essential oil is steam-distilled from the flowering rosemary plant. It is known for its herbaceous, strong, camphoraceous odor, with woody-balsamic and evergreen undertones. The aroma of rosemary can stimulate memory and open the conscious mind.

Historically, the rosemary plant was regarded as sacred by many civilizations and was used to protect against infectious diseases. Today, rosemary essential oil is most commonly used for addictions (alcohol), arthritis, cancer, cellulite, constipation, diabetes, fainting, flu (influenza), inflammation, lice, low blood pressure, sinusitis, and vaginal infections.

Rosemary affects the immune, respiratory, and nervous systems and contains the following health properties: analgesic, antibacterial, anticancer, anticatarrhal, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and expectorant.

Other possible uses of rosemary essential oil include bronchitis, colds, nervous exhaustion, immune system (stimulate), preventing respiratory infections, and stress-related illnesses.

Applications of Rosemary Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Rosemary essential oil can be applied neat (with no dilution), or dilute 1:1 (1 drop essential oil to 1 drop carrier oil) for children and those with sensitive skin.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale aroma directly. The aroma of rosemary stimulates memory and opens the conscious mind.
Internal Application: Take in capsules, or place 1–2 drops under the tongue. Rosemary can also be used as a flavoring in cooking.
Safety Data: Avoid using rosemary during pregnancy. Not for use by people with epilepsy. Avoid if dealing with high blood pressure. Not to be used internally for children under 6 years old; use with caution and greater dilution for children 6 years old and over.

5 Ways to Use Rosemary Essential Oil

1. Diffuser Blends
With the incredible properties of rosemary essential oil, you can’t resist trying it in this “Study Buddy” diffuser blend to aid you in your studies or whenever you need a mental boost. Also try some of these other blends with rosemary to enhance your life!

2. Roll-ons
Rosemary is extremely valuable when it comes to roll-ons. These great roll-on blends are sure to help with constipation and joint soreness. Just add these oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, and fill the remainder of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil or another carrier oil of your choice.

Constipation Relief
1 drop rosemary
1 drop lemon
1 drop peppermint
1 tsp. (5ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Apply to stomach and back, and gently massage in. This is a 4% dilution, so it is safe to use daily or as needed.
Sore Joint Relief
3 drops eucalyptus
3 drops peppermint
3 drops rosemary
1 tsp. (5ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Apply on location, and then apply an ice pack on top. This is a 10% dilution, so it should not be used daily. If you would like to use this roll-on daily, add the same amount of essential oils to 2 tsp. (10 ml) of fractionated coconut oil in a 10 ml roll-on bottle.

3. Bath
Baths have always been regarded as a simple way to relax, calm nerves, and energize the body. Try some of these easy bath ideas using rosemary essential oil for a nice pick-me-up. Just combine the ingredients, and dissolve 1/2 cup (120 g) of salt mixture under the running tap for a soothing warm bath.

Hangover Pick-Me-Up
5 drops grapefruit
2 drops rosemary
1 drop juniper berry
1 cup (240 g) Epsom Salt
Good Morning Bath
2 drops lemon
2 drops lavender
2 drops rosemary
1/2 cup (120 g) Epsom Salt

4. Massage
Massage is a great way to use rosemary because of its anti-inflammatory properties and how it affects the nervous system. Try this massage blend for a soothing and stress-relieving massage.

Stress-Release Massage Oil
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) Sweet Almond Oil
3 drops bergamot
2 drops rosemary

5. Cooking
Rosemary is a popular flavor, and the herb can be easily substituted with essential oil for the same rich flavor. Start by dipping a toothpick in the oil and stirring that into your food, and add more until you achieve the desired flavor. Here are some delicious recipes for you to try using rosemary essential oil:

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 94–95.
Organic Beauty with Essential Oil by Rebecca Park Totilo

Essential Oil Spotlight: Frankincense

Frankincense (Boswellia frereana, Boswellia carterii, Boswellia sacra) essential oil is steam-distilled from the gum/resin of Burseraceae trees and shrubs. It is well known for its rich, deep, warm, balsamic, and sweet odor.

Frankincense has been used historically as a holy oil in the Middle East. Today it is primarily used for arthritis, asthma, balance, brain (injury), cancer, depression, inflammation, memory, scar prevention, and warts. Frankincense contains anticatarrhal, anticancer, antidepressant, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitumor, expectorant, immune stimulant, and sedative health properties.

Other common uses of frankincense include aging, bronchitis, diarrhea, herpes, meningitis, sciatic pain, stress, tonsillitis, and wounds. It contains sesquiterpenes, enabling it to go beyond the blood-brain barrier, and can also help the body against infection. It affects emotional balance, the immune and nervous systems, and skin.

Applications of Frankincense Essential Oil and Safety Data:

Topical Application: Frankincense can be applied neat (with no dilution) directly to the area of concern.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma of frankincense directly. The aroma of frankincense helps to focus energy, improve concentration, and minimize distractions.
Internal Application: Frankincense can be taken internally. Place 1–2 drops under the tongue, or take in a capsule. Dilute 1 drop oil in 1 tsp. (5 ml) honey or in 1/2 cup (125 ml) of beverage.
Safety Data: For internal application, frankincense is not for children under 6 years old and should be used in greater dilution for children 6 years old and older.

5 Ways to Use Frankincense Essential Oil:

1. Diffuse
Here are some great diffuser blends to help you concentrate and focus your energy.

2. Roll-on Blends
The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of frankincense make this an ideal oil to use for arthritis pains. Frankincense is great for your skin and can help to prevent and repair scars. Frankincense has a powerful effect on emotions and helps to focus energy, improve concentration, and minimize distractions—all very helpful when you need to communicate effectively! Try these roll-ons if you need help in these areas:

Arthritis Roll-on
3 drops frankincense
4 drops peppermint
2 drops marjoram
2 tsp. (10 ml) Fractionated
Coconut Oil
Scar Roll-on
4 drops frankincense
4 drops helichrysum
2 tsp. (10 ml) Sweet Almond Oil
Communication
Enhancement Roll-on

5 drops frankincense
5 drops clary sage
5 drops sandalwood
2 tsp. (10 ml) carrier oil
Add essential oils to a 10 ml roll-on bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with a carrier oil. Apply the formula to the area of concern (for the Communication Enhancement blend, apply to upper chest, back of the neck, and shoulders). These blends are a 5% dilution, so you can use them daily if needed.

3. Direct Application
Frankincense can be used directly without dilution. Try these simple solutions:

  • Confusion: Inhale frankincense aroma directly from bottle, or rub a drop on your hands and breathe in.
  • Headache: Rub 1 drop each of lavender, peppermint, and frankincense to the base of your neck and forehead, then cup your hands and breath in deep.
  • Inflammation from Injury: Combine 3 drops frankincense and 2 drops lavender in a bowl of cold water. Dampen a washcloth in the mixture, and hold on location for 15–30 minutes.

4. Massage Oil
Frankincense essential oil is helpful in lifting a depressed mood. Try using this massage blend when you are feeling a bit down.

Mood-Elevating Massage Blend
5 drops frankincense
5 drops ginger
5 drops grapefruit
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) carrier oil
Combine these oils, and massage on the upper chest, back of the neck, and shoulders. Some common carrier oils for massage include Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, and Jojoba Oil.

5. Bath
Make a bath bomb with the following blend for a refreshing bath that is sure to help you breathe easy. You can also simply add this essential oil blend to 1/4 cup (60 g) epsom salt and add to your bath while filling.

Calm Breathing Bath Bomb:
6 drops frankincense
2 drops eucalyptus
2 drops lavender

To learn more about this amazing essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 94–95.
Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol & David Schiller

Essential Oil Spotlight: Siberian Fir

Siberian fir (Abies sibirica) essential oil is steam-distilled from the needles and twigs of the tree. It has a fresh, woody, earthy, sweet scent.

Some properties of this oil include analgesic, antiarthritic, anticatarrhal, antiseptic (pulmonary), expectorant, and stimulant.

Siberian fir is found throughout the cold taiga forest in northern Eurasia and North America. Though highly regarded for its fragrance, the fir tree has been prized through the ages for its medicinal virtues in regards to respiratory complaints, fever, and muscular and rheumatic pain.

Fir creates the symbolic effect of an umbrella protecting the earth and bringing energy in from the universe. At night the animals in the wild lie down under the tree for the protection, recharging, and rejuvenation it brings them.

Today, Siberian fir essential oil is commonly used for bronchitis, bursitis, cartilage inflammation, cleaning, emotional balance, energizing, frozen shoulder, furniture polish, massage (soothing), muscle fatigue, muscle pain, overexercised muscles, relaxing, and sprains. Fir may also be beneficial for reducing aches/pains from colds and the flu, fighting airborne germs/bacteria, arthritis, asthma, supporting the blood, bronchial obstructions, coughs, fevers, oxygenating the cells, rheumatism, sinusitis, and urinary tract infections.

Siberian fir essential oil affects the respiratory system.

Applications of Siberian Fir Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Siberian fir essential oil can be used neat (with no dilution). Dilute with carrier oil for children or those with sensitive skin. Apply to reflex points and/or directly on area of concern.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma of Siberian fir essential oil directly. The aroma of Siberian fir creates a feeling of grounding, anchoring, and empowerment. It can stimulate the mind while allowing the body to relax.
Internal Application: Siberian fir essential oil can be taken internally via capsule or beverage. Try diluting 1 drop of Siberian fir essential oil in 1 tsp. (5 ml) honey or 4 oz. (125 ml) of beverage (such as non-dairy milk). It is not to be used for children under 6 years of age and should be used with caution and in greater dilution for children over 6 years of age.
Safey Note: This oil can irritate sensitive skin.

5 Ways to Use Siberian Fir Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Siberian fir is both stimulating and relaxing, which can leave the body feeling refreshed and grounded. Try these blends in your diffuser when you feel the need to be a little more grounded, energized, or relaxed:

2. Add to a Body Salve
Due to its anticatarrhal and expectorant properties, Siberian fir is great for respiratory issues. Its analgesic and antiarthritic properties make it a good oil to use on muscles and joints. Siberian fir is also helpful for cuts and scrapes due to its analgesic and antiseptic properties. Try adding Siberian fir essential oil to the following coconut oil salve, or use one of the blends below.

Coconut Oil Salve

  • Servings: Yield=1/4 cup (60 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler.
  2. Once the beeswax is melted, add the coconut oil. Remove from heat once melted. Allow to cool.
  3. When cool, add the essential oil, and use a hand blender to combine. Blend on high for several seconds until well incorporated and creamy.
  4. Spoon the cooled cream into sealable glass containers. The salve is ready to use.
  5. If using for cuts and scrapes, avoid contaminating the cream with stray bacteria—try not to touch it directly with your hands. Instead, use a cotton swab or clean tissue to apply it to a wound.

Essential Oil Blends:

Muscles:
6 drops Siberian fir
4 drops rosemary
4 drops black pepper
Respiratory:
6 drops Siberian fir
4 drops eucalyptus
3 drops peppermint
2 drops sandalwood
Cuts and Scrapes:
5 drops Siberian fir
5 drops melaleuca
5 drops frankincense
5 drops lavender

3. Use in Furniture Polish
Siberian fir is a great oil to add to natural furniture polish that can be used for wood, leather, stainless steel, and other metals. It polishes woods and metals, softens leather, removes sticky residue, and more.

Furniture Polish

  • Servings: Yield=2 Tbsp. (30 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the spray bottle. Shake to combine.
  2. To use, shake and spray on rag, then rub onto any wood, metal, or leather surface needing polishing.

4. Add to Deodorant, Perfume, or Room Spray

Siberian fir smells so good and its scent is so grounding; it is a great oil to add to deodorant, perfume, or a room spray. Simply add one of the following blends to this soft deodorant recipe, this hard deodorant recipe, this room spray recipe, or this perfume recipe.

Oriental Nights:
7 drops frankincense
5 drops Siberian fir
3 drops orange
Rejuvenate Yourself:
5 drops Siberian fir
5 drops lavender
Sweet Sunrise
7 drops Siberian fir
4 drops rosemary
3 drops bergamot

5. Open Airways with a Steam Facial Bath
Because it contains expectorant and anticatarral properties, Siberian fir is great to use for respiratory issues, especially a stuffy nose. Try this recipe for a steam facial bath to help open your airways:

Open Airways:
5 drops Siberian fir
5 drops eucalyptus
5 drops melaleuca
Mix essential oils in a sample bottle, and then add 1 drop (2–3 bottle taps) to a bowl full of steaming hot water. Put a towel over your head to trap the steam, and lean over the bowl (don’t let your face touch the hot water). Breathe deeply for several minutes. Repeat every hour as needed over the course of a day or two to help relieve sinus congestion.

Source:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, p. 112.

Lake House Retreat Diffuser Blend for the Office

While you are stuck inside working this summer, try diffusing this blend and make your office feel like a lake house retreat! One of the best diffusers to use at work is the USB Diffuser. This sleek diffuser is small (about the size of a thumb drive) and plugs into any USB port (like the one on your computer). You can also use it in any room with a standard outlet power converter, or take it in the car with an accessory outlet power converter.

The USB Diffuser uses ultrasonic technology to silently transform essential oil into a cool mist for aromatherapy. Just fill the little vial included with essential oil, and plug it into the underside of the diffuser. This diffuser offers 3 timer settings for controlling mist output, allowing the oil reservoir to last 24 hours or more.

You can also buy additional refill vials and have a few different essential oil blends ready so you can swap them out when needed. Use one in the car during your commute to work, swap it out for a focus blend during the morning work hours, and change to an energizing blend (like the one below) during the afternoon slump. You can even have another diffuser blend for your drive home to help you reset your mind and leave your work at the office.

The Lake House Retreat diffuser blend is an energizing blend with a scent that works well for both men and women. The white fir can stimulate the mind while allowing the body to relax. Juniper berry evokes feelings of health, love, and peace. Cedarwood is calming and helps relieve tension. Bergamot helps relive anxiety, depression, stress, and tension with its uplifting and refreshing scent.

This diffuser blend also works great at home, or really anywhere, in any diffuser.

10 Diffuser Blends for the Road

Whether you are off on a road trip or just wanting something to diffuse as you commute to work, these diffusing tips and diffuser blends are great for wherever you are headed!

Car Diffusing Tips:

  • Cars are such small spaces, so make sure to use only a couple drops and turn the diffuser off every now and then to give your olfactory system a break.
  • Try to keep the air circulating by running the air or leaving a window cracked.
  • Make sure the oils you use are suitable for all passengers. Keep allergies, cautions, and preferences in mind when selecting your oil or blend. For example, peppermint essential oil should not be diffused with young children (0–6) in the car. Rosemary and wintergreen essential oils should not be diffused with pregnant women in the car. And even a single drop of cinnamon essential oil is too strong to diffuse in such a small space.
  • Avoid oils that may make the driver drowsy, such as lavender, Roman chamomile, cedarwood, vetiver, and other relaxing oils.
  • If you find you don’t like the oil or blend you used, roll down the windows to let the car air out before trying something new.
  • If the driver needs something additional to keep him or her alert, try putting a drop or two of peppermint or rosemary on a tissue and placing it near the driver’s nose.

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No More Allergies Diffuser Blend

Many people suffer from allergies, especially seasonal ones. If you experience the discomforts contributed to allergies, try this blend in your diffuser! For on-the-go allergy support, try adding this blend to a 5 ml roll-on (an 8% dilution) or a 10 ml roll-on (a 4% dilution) and filling the rest of the bottle up with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil.
No More Allergies Diffuser Blend

Source: Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, pp. 214–15 (“Allergies”).

Spring Rain Diffuser Blend

Spring is here, and it often comes with lots of rain. Try diffusing this blend when you’re stuck inside during stormy days! If you need a diffuser, you can find many new styles at aromatools.com.

Calm Pets Diffuser Blend

Sometimes our pets get a little too energetic and need help calming down. Here’s a good diffuser blend that you can use during these crazy moments. You may also find it effective to use if your pet experiences separation anxiety or is prone to nervousness.

Sunshine & Rainbows Diffuser Blend

Looking for something to diffuse for St. Patrick’s Day? Try this blend in your diffuser! It is a great spring scent that may remind you of sunshine and rainbows!

Essential Oil Spotlight: Black Pepper

black-pepperBlack pepper essential oil is steam-distilled from the berries of a tree in the Piperaceae family. Its odor is spicy and musky with herbaceous undertones.

Some properties of this oil include analgesic, anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, aphrodisiac, expectorant, laxative, rubefacient, and stimulant (nervous, circulatory, and digestive).

Pepper has been used for thousands of years to treat malaria, cholera, and other digestive problems. It is currently also used to increase cellular oxygenation, support digestive glands, stimulate the endocrine system, increase energy, and help rheumatoid arthritis. Black pepper essential oil may also help with loss of appetite, catarrh, chills, colds, colic, constipation, coughs, diarrhea, dysentery, flatulence (combine with fennel), flu, heartburn, nausea, neuralgia, poor circulation, poor muscle tone, sprains, and vertigo.

Research has found that inhaling black pepper essential oil can reduce cravings for cigarettes and symptoms of anxiety in smokers.

Applications of Black Pepper Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Dilute black pepper essential oil with a carrier oil for children and those with sensitive skin. Apply to reflex points and/or directly on area of concern.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma of black pepper essential oil directly. The aroma of black pepper is comforting and stimulating.
Internal Application: Black pepper essential oil can be used as a flavoring in cooking.

5 Ways to Use Black Pepper Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Here are a couple great diffuser blends to help you get energized and motivated:

2. Use in a Massage Oil

Black pepper essential oil is beneficial for warming cold or stiff hands. Try this Hand Rejuvenator recipe—massage into the hands starting at the fingertips, then work your way up the arm to the shoulder.

Hand Rejuvenator:
5 drops grapefruit
5 drops black pepper
5 drops spearmint
5 drops ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. (23 ml) fractionated coconut oil
(or other carrier oil)

Black pepper is also really great at helping to relax muscles and relieve aches and pains. Here is a recipe for a Sore Muscles Salve. You can also try one of the following massage recipes:

Muscle Relaxer
Massage Blend:

10 drops ginger
10 drops cypress
5 drops juniper berry
5 drops black pepper
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) Sesame Seed Oil
(or other carrier oil)
Aches & Pains
Massage Blend:

4 drops black pepper
4 drops Roman chamomile
4 drops marjoram
2 drops lavender
2 Tbsp. (24 g) Coconut Oil
(or other carrier oil)
Sore Muscles
Massage Blend:

15 drops ginger
9 drops ylang ylang
6 drops black pepper
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) Sesame Seed Oil
(or other carrier oil)

3. Roll on for Constipation Relief
Black pepper essential oil has been used for helping with digestive problems, including constipation. Try rolling this blend on your lower back and lower abdomen to help get things moving.

Constipation Blend:
1 drop black pepper
1 drop lavender
1 drop marjoram
1 drop fennel
1 tsp. (5 ml) carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil
Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, or double the recipe if using a 10 ml roll-on bottle. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil.


4. Add to a Warm Bath
Black pepper can help you warm up when cold. Try this warming bath when you feel particularly cold.

Warming Bath Salts:
2 drops black pepper
5 drops juniper berry
5 drops lavender
1 cup (240 g) epsom salt
Mix ingredients together. Add 1/4–1/2 cup (60–120 g) of bath salts to the bathtub as it fills up with water.

5. Add to Cooking Recipes
Black pepper essential oil can be added to any of your favorite cooking recipes. Just use 1 drop of black pepper oil for every 1/4–1/2 tsp. (0.5–1 g) of ground black pepper. For recipes that call for less black pepper, try dipping a toothpick in the oil and stirring it into the mixture. These are a few of our recipes that include black pepper essential oil:

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 43.

Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol & David Schiller