Essential Oil Spotlight: Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil has a wonderful, sweet, floral aroma with herbaceous, balsamic, and woody undertones. The aroma of lavender has been used for many years in sachets, pillows, and potpourri to help promote feelings of serenity and peace.

Lavender essential oil is a universal oil that has traditionally been known to balance the body and to work wherever there is a need. The list of common primary uses, historical uses, French medicinal uses, and other possible uses contains over 120 conditions. So, if in doubt, use lavender!

Lavender essential oil possesses analgesic, anticoagulant, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, antihistaminic, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, antitumor, cardiotonic, regenerative, and sedative properties.

Body systems often affected by lavender essential oil include the cardiovascular and nervous systems, emotions, and the skin.

Research being conducted on lavender continues to show new possible uses and therapeutic benefits that lavender may possess. To learn more about a number of these research studies, including summaries and sources, please see the book Modern Essentials.

Applications of Lavender Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Lavender essential oil is one of the gentlest essential oils and can be used safely on children, pregnant women, elderly people, animals, and those with sensitive skin. It can be applied neat (with no dilution) when used topically. Apply directly on area of concern or to reflex points.
Aromatic Application: Lavender essential oil can be diffused or inhaled directly. Lavender oil promotes consciousness, health, love, peace, and a general sense of well-being when inhaled. It also nurtures creativity.
Internal Application: Lavender essential oil can be taken internally. Try placing a drop or two under the tongue, taking it in a capsule, adding a little to a beverage, or using it as a flavoring in cooking. If adding lavender to a food or beverage, try using just a toothpick at first, and add more to taste.

5 Ways to Use Lavender Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
The scent of lavender blends well with most oils, especially with citrus oils and other floral oils. As an antihistamine, lavender essential oil is beneficial for relieving allergy symptoms. Its sedative properties make it a great option for promoting a good night’s rest. Try diffusing one of the following blends in your diffuser. You could also add a drop of lavender essential oil to a cloth, tissue, nasal inhaler, or the palms of your hands and breathe in the aroma.

2. Apply Topically
Lavender essential oil is known for its soothing properties. It can help promote sleep, reduce anxiety, relieve pain, and increase mental clarity. If you need help with any of these areas, try making a blend and rolling it on the feet, hands, wrists, neck, or area of concern.

To make these recipes, just add the recommended number of drops to a 10 ml roll-on bottle, and then fill the rest of the bottle with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil. These recipes are formulated at a 5–7% dilution ratio.

Insomnia Roll-on
6 drops orange*
6 drops lavender
Happy Roll-on
4 drops orange*
4 drops lavender
4 drops ylang ylang
Sore Muscles Roll-on:
4 drops cinnamon
3 drops geranium
3 drops juniper berry
3 drops lavender
2 drops peppermint
Refreshing Roll-on:
5 drops lavender
4 drops peppermint
3 drops grapefruit*
3 drops lemongrass

*Note: If using a roll-on blend that contains a citrus oil on exposed skin, take care to avoid direct sunlight/UV light for up to 12 hours after application.

3. Take Internally and in Food Recipes
Floral herbs like lavender can be used in cooking; but because floral flavors are uncommon, you want just a hint of this flavor. Start with a toothpick, and add more if needed.

Try adding a toothpick of lavender essential oil to a glass of lemonade or to chamomile tea (see recipe below). Lavender also tastes good when added to pound cake or scones. A drop can also provide a unique, gourmet flavor to buttercream frosting.

This Lavender Chamomile Tea is perfect for helping you relax before bedtime. Sip it while you soak in a nice warm bath, and you may drift off to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow!

Lavender Chamomile Tea

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 10 minutes active; 10 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 8–10 oz. (250–300 ml) water
  • 1 bag chamomile tea
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) honey
  • 1 toothpick lavender essential oil

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat water to boiling (or at least steaming).
  2. Place the tea bag in a mug, and pour the water over the tea bag. Cover, and let steep for 5 minutes.
  3. After 5 minutes, uncover the mug. Remove and dispose of the tea bag.
  4. Dip a toothpick in lavender essential oil, and stir it into the honey. Discard the toothpick, and stir the honey into the tea until it dissolves.
  5. Allow the tea to cool a little before drinking. Breathe in the aroma as you wait for it to cool so that you get the aromatic benefits of the lavender essential oil as well!

4. Add to the First Aid Kit
Some common first aid conditions that lavender can be used for include the following: agitation, bruises, burns (can mix with melaleuca), leg cramps, herpes, heart irregularities, hives, insect bites, neuropathy, pain (inside and out), bee stings, sprains, sunburn (combine with frankincense), and sunstroke. Lavender oil can also relieve insomnia, depression, and PMS and is a natural antihistamine (asthma or allergies).

Here are a few first aid tips using lavender essential oil:

  • To clean wounds, try adding 1 drop each of lavender, melaleuca, and basil to a bowl of warm water. Use the water to wash the wound.
  • Reduce inflammation from an injury by mixing 3 drops frankincense and 2 drops lavender in a bowl of cold water. Dampen a washcloth with water, and hold on location for 15–30 minutes.
  • For minor burns, gently apply 1–2 drops of lavender essential oil, and cover with a cloth soaked in cool water. If the burn covers large areas of the body, is blistering, or has visible skin damage, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Apply 1 drop lavender oil on blister once or twice a day as needed.
  • Calm asthma attacks by gently massaging 2 drops of lavender on chest.
  • Soothe a sunburn by mixing 10 drops of lavender essential oil with 1/4 cup (60 ml) cool water in a small spray bottle. Shake well, and spray on location.
  • Whip up this Coconut Oil Soothing Balm (pictured above) to use on first aid injuries, including children’s cuts and scrapes.

5. Use in Body Care Products
Lavender essential oil is especially useful to the skin and hair. It benefits dry and fragile hair, reduces dandruff, and helps with hair loss. It also helps dry or sensitive skin (including lips) and aids in the healing of bites/stings, blisters, boils, burns, cuts, diaper rash, herpes simplex, rashes, skin ulcers, stretch marks, and other wounds. It also reduces inflammation, itching, and wrinkles. Add lavender to your favorite body care recipes, or try any of these below:

Additional Resources for Using Lavender Essential Oil

Sources:
Modern Essentials, 8th Edition, pp. 78–79, 216–217, 378.
“Modern Essentials: Simple Solutions” Booklet.

How You Can Use The New Modern Essentials Forum

Imagine a website where you can look up an essential oil to see what others have used the oil for. Would you like a website that you can look up a condition you are struggling with and see what oils others have successfully used? Now imagine that you can ask a question about anything concerning essential oils and get answers from others who also use essential oils. A website like this does exist—and if you haven’t heard about the new Modern Essentials Forum, then now’s the time to learn because it needs people like you to add your experiences and participate online.

The Modern Essentials Forum is a place open to the essential oil community to openly and honestly ask questions and share their experiences concerning essential oils & health-related topics. ModernEssentialsForum.com is a place where you can read and write testimonials about specific oils & blends without worrying about saying the wrong thing.

The Modern Essentials Forum has several different sections: The Basics, Usage Guide, Oil Guide, Business, and Ask & Share (Forum).

The Basics

In The Basics section, you can learn all about the basics of essential oils including general essential oil information about application methods and carrier oils, essential oil troubleshooting (what to do if you have an adverse reaction to an essential oil or accidentally use essential oils inappropriately), and essential oil lingo explained.

Usage Guide

The Usage Guide section allows you to alphabetically search for a condition to learn more about that condition and the top recommended essential oils. You may also find a “Simple Solution” recipe to try. If you have had an experience with using an essential oil for that specific condition, feel free to leave a testimonial about it so others can learn from your experience!

Oil Guide

In the Oil Guide section, you can look up a single oil or oil blend to learn it’s primary uses. You can also look up a carrier oil to learn all about it including what it is made from, ways to use it, and its aroma, viscosity/texture, absorption/feel, color, and shelf life. If you know something about any of these oils, feel free to leave a comment or share an experience you’ve had!

Business

You can find several essential oil business-related articles under the Business section including “How to Hold a Make & Take Class,” “AromaTools® Can Help You with Essential Oil Education and Marketing,” “Top 10 Must-Have Essential Oil Accessories for New Oil Users,” “Intro to Modern Essentials™: A Mini Textbook for Essential Oil Classes,” and several more.

Ask & Share (Forum)

The bulk of the discussion happens in the Ask & Share (Forum) section. This is where you can start a discussion, answer another person’s question, or carry on a conversation about any of the topics. This is the place where we can all learn from each other!

Take the time to share your experiences, ask questions, and help others on their essential oil journey on modernessentialsforum.com!

Essential Oil Spotlight: Orange

Orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis) is cold expressed from the rinds of the fruit. It is very easy to extract—if you have ever peeled an orange, you have likely ended up with essential oil on your hands. The oil is deep golden yellow with a characteristic orange peel aroma.

Orange essential oil is used primarily for anxiety, digestion (sluggish), fear, heart palpitations, insomnia, menopause, nervousness, uplifting, and withdrawals.

Oranges have historically been used for palpitations, scurvy, jaundice, bleeding, heartburn, relaxed throat, prolapse of the uterus and the anus, diarrhea, and blood in the feces. This essential oil may also help appetite, rickety bones, bronchitis, colds, colic (dilute for infants; helps them sleep), dermatitis, digestive system, fever, flu, lower high cholesterol, mouth ulcers, muscle soreness, obesity, sedation, tissue repair, water retention, and wrinkles.

Some of the properties of orange essential oil include anticancer, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, sedative, and tonic.

Applications of Orange Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Orange essential oil can be applied neat (with no dilution) when used topically. Apply directly on area of concern or to reflex points. Avoid direct sunlight for up to 12 hours after using on skin.
Aromatic Application: Orange essential oil can be diffused or inhaled directly. Orange oil is calming and uplifting to the mind and body when inhaled.
Internal Application: Orange essential oil can be taken internally and is often used as a flavoring in cooking. Put 1–2 drops of orange oil under the tongue or in a beverage. It can also be taken in capsules.

5 Ways to Use Orange Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Orange essential oil is effective to help influence emotions. It is often used for balancing emotions, confidence, happiness/joy, loss, counteracting negative emotions, feeling overburdened/overwhelmed, pity (especially self-pity), and uplifting the mind. Try diffusing orange essential oil alone or in one of the following recipes:

Here are a few other diffuser blends that use orange essential oil:

2. Add to a Massage Oil or Bath
Try adding one of the following blends to 1 1/2 Tbsp. massage oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil. You can also use these blends in a diffuser or a bath (combine with 1/4 cup epsom salt to evenly disperse throughout the tub).

Uplifting Massage
5 drops juniper berry
3 drops orange
3 drops lime
Invigorating Massage
3 drops cypress
2 drops bergamot
2 drops orange
Relaxing Massage for Men
5 drops sandalwood
4 drops orange
2 drops vetiver

3. Combine in a Roll-on Blend
Orange essential oil is known for helping heart issues, stimulating sluggish digestion, relieving insomnia, and turning frowns into smiles. If you need help with any of these conditions, try making a blend and rolling it on the area of concern or on the bottoms of your feet. Just add the recommended number of drops to a 10 ml roll-on bottle, and then fill the rest of the bottle with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil. These recipes are formulated at a 5% dilution ratio.

Circulation Roll-on
7 drops orange
3 drops ylang ylang
2 drops lavender
Digestive Roll-on
(eases constipation)

7 drops orange
3 drops black pepper
2 drops peppermint
Insomnia Roll-on
6 drops orange
6 drops lavender
Happy Roll-on
4 drops orange
4 drops lavender
4 drops ylang ylang

4.  Put in a Natural Mouthwash
Try putting orange essential oil in a coconut oil mouthwash. Just add 1 drop each orange and lemon essential oil to 1 tsp. coconut oil. Swish the solution around in your mouth, and then swallow or spit into the garbage. (Don’t spit into the sink because coconut oil can solidify in the pipes.)

5. Use in Cooking Recipes
Orange essential oil is easy to add to any of your favorite recipes. Just substitute 1 drop of orange oil for 1 tsp. of orange zest. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to help you get started:

Other Ideas Using Orange Essential Oil

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 94.
Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller & David Schiller

35 Aromatherapy Jewelry Blends

One of our Facebook friends asked us for some recommendations for diffuser blends to use on aromatherapy jewelry. We took the challenge and did some research and experimenting, and now we present to you the following list.

Aromatherapy jewelry is a fairly broad category and consists of any type of jewelry that is porous enough to absorb essential oil such as clay, lava rocks, wicks, felt pads, etc. The oils slowly diffuse by the air current caused by your body movement or existing in the environment. The oils can last anywhere from a few hours to several days (depending on the amount of oil used and the thickness of the oils). Here are a few examples of aromatherapy jewelry that you can purchase from AromaTools:


There are ways to make aromatherapy jewelry on your own, which allows you to create your own custom look. You can find instructions on making clay jewelry here and instructions for making a solid perfume locket here.

Aromatherapy Jewelry Diffuser Blends

The amount of oil drops used on aromatherapy jewelry can range from 1–10 drops depending on the type of jewelry. Clay pendants only need 1–2 drops; wicks can use up to 10 drops. Because of this variance, we decided to keep our blend or oil suggestions to 1–4 drops total. If you really like a recipe, try mixing up a slightly larger batch (20 drops total) in a small sample bottle and then applying 1–2 drops of the blend to your jewelry.

One important thing to remember when adding oils to aromatherapy jewelry is to avoid using essential oils that can irritate the skin, because the jewelry is often worn in direct contact with the skin. If you have sensitive skin and know a certain oil causes irritation, then avoid using that oil with your aromatherapy jewelry.

  • Alertness:
    • Blend 1: 1 drop peppermint, 1 drop orange
    • Blend 2: 1 drop peppermint, 1 drop lemon, 1 drop rosemary
  • ADD/ADHD: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop basil
  • Addictions: 1–2 drops grapefruit
  • Anxiety: 1 drop orange, 2 drops lavender
  • Appetite Suppressant: 1–2 drops grapefruit
  • Calm and Relax:
    • Blend 1: 1 drop ylang ylang, 2 drops lavender, 1 drop Roman chamomile
    • Blend 2: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop Roman chamomile
    • Blend 3: 1 drop bergamot, 1 drop ylang ylang
    • Blend 4: 1 drop bergamot, 1 drop cedarwood, 1 drop juniper berry
    • Blend 5: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop orange, 1 drop cedarwood, 1 drop frankincense
  • Energy:
    • Blend 1: 1–2 drops peppermint
    • Blend 2: 1 drop lime, 1 drop grapefruit, 1 drop orange (or tangerine), 1 drop spearmint (or peppermint)
    • Blend 3: 1 drop bergamot, 1 drop wintergreen
  • Fear: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop ylang ylang
  • Focus: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop petitgrain, 1 drop rosemary, 1 drop orange
  • Irritability: 1 drop cedarwood, 1 drop juniper berry, 1 drop fir
  • Memory: wear and smell while studying and again while taking the test to help recall facts.
    • Blend 1: 1–2 drops rosemary
    • Blend 2: 1 drop rosemary, 1 drop peppermint
  • Mood Swings:
    • Blend 1: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop rosemary, 1 drop peppermint
    • Blend 2: 1 drop clary sage, 1 drop bergamot
  • Mosquito Repellent:
    • Blend 1: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop lemongrass, 1 drop peppermint (or spearmint)
    • Blend 2: 1 drop eucalyptus, 1–2 drops lavender, 1 drop lemongrass
    • Blend 3: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop patchouli
  • Motion Sickness: 1–2 drops peppermint
  • Nausea/Morning Sickness: 1 drop ginger, 1 drop peppermint
  • Romantic Feelings: 1 drop ylang ylang, 1 drop clary sage, 1 drop sandalwood
  • Stress:
    • Blend 1: 1–2 drops lavender
    • Blend 2: 1–2 drops grapefruit
    • Blend 3: 1 drop lemon, 1 drop orange, 1 drop clove, 1 drop cedarwood
  • Uplifting:
    • Blend 1: 1–2 drops lemon
    • Blend 2: 1 drop ylang ylang, 1 drop lavender, 2 drops orange
    • Blend 3: 1 drop lime, 1 drop bergamot, 1 drop orange, 1 drop peppermint
    • Blend 4: 2 drops petitgrain, 1 drop juniper berry, 1 drop orange
    • Blend 5: 2 drops lavender, 1 drop rosemary

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

Essential Oil Spotlight: Cinnamon

Cinnamon essential oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is steam-distilled from the bark of the tree. It contains antibacterial, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-infectious (intestinal, urinary), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiparasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic (light), antiviral, astringent, immune-stimulant, purifying, sexual-stimulant, and warming properties. It also enhances the action and activity of other oils.

Cinnamon essential oil is commonly used for airborne bacteria, bacterial infections, bites/stings, breathing, diabetes, diverticulitis, fungal infections, immune system (stimulates), infection, libido (low), mold, pancreas support, physical fatigue, pneumonia, typhoid, vaginal infection, vaginitis, viral infections, and warming the body.

Historically, this most ancient of spices was included in just about every prescription issued in ancient China. It was regarded as a tranquilizer, tonic, and stomachic and as being good for depression and a weak heart.

This oil may be beneficial for circulation, colds, coughs, digestion, exhaustion, flu, infections, rheumatism, and warts. Cinnamon oil fights viral and infectious diseases, and testing has yet to find a virus, bacteria, or fungus that can survive in its presence.

Applications of Cinnamon Essential Oil and Safety Data

Cinnamon essential oil is one of the strongest essential oils, and care should be taken when using it.
Topical Application: Before applying cinnamon oil topically, make sure to dilute it 1:3 (1 drop essential oil to at least 3 drops carrier oil). Please note that repeated use of cinnamon essential oil can result in extreme contact sensitization, so make sure to dilute well, avoid when pregnant, and frequently give your body a break in between uses.
Aromatic Application: When diffusing cinnamon essential oil, be careful to not inhale directly from the diffuser, as it may irritate the nasal membranes.
Internal Application: Cinnamon essential oil can be used in cooking, but make sure to start with only a toothpick and add more if needed.

5 Ways To Use Cinnamon Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Try this blend in your diffuser to increase your mental alertness:

2. Use in a Romantic Massage Oil
Because cinnamon essential oil is known to be an aphrodisiac and is a warming oil, it makes a great addition to a romantic massage oil. Here is a great recipe to help you and your spouse enjoy an intimate massage together:

Romantic Massage Oil:
5 drops ylang ylang
1 drop cinnamon
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) carrier oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, or Jojoba Oil.

3. Add to a Breath-Freshening Spray
Try adding 2–3 drops each of cinnamon and orange essential oil to this Essential Oil Breath Spray recipe.

4. Add to Cooking Recipes
Cinnamon essential oil is great to add to any of your favorite recipes. We had a difficult time picking from our recipes that use cinnamon essential oil, but here are some of our favorites:

5. Protect Your Plants with This Gardening Spray
Keep birds and bugs from eating your plants with this garden spray.

Protective Gardening Spray

  • Servings: Yield=1 gallon (about 4 liters)
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. To a small glass bowl, add the emulsifier, essential oils, and dish soap in order; gently stir after adding each ingredient. Pour a little (up to 1 cup or 250 ml) water into the bowl, and stir to combine.
  2. Pour mixture into a gallon-sized (4-liter) water jug (mostly full of water). Place the cap on, and carefully shake to combine. Pour mixture into your 16 oz. glass spray bottles.
  3. To use, spray the tops and bottoms of the plant leaves. It is best to spray on a cloudy day or in the evening so the sun and cinnamon essential oil combination doesn’t burn the plants. Apply every couple weeks or as needed. Wait 2–3 days after spraying to harvest any food.

To learn more about cinnamon essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, pp. 48–49; 329–30.

Just Add Oils to a New You!—Part 2

As mentioned in the the first part of this article, “Just Add Oils to a New You!—Part 1,” we took a poll to see what your biggest health challenges are. We discussed ways to use essential oils for helping you stay motivated and while exercising in the first part and are ready to discuss the other health challenges below.

Losing Weight

About 17.5% of those who took the poll said they struggle with losing weight; so if you’re one of those people, just know you are not alone! One problem with struggling to lose weight is that it can be due to a large number of factors—diet (eating the wrong foods or wrong amounts), lack of exercise (or doing the wrong types of exercise), too much stress, lack of sleep, insufficient water consumption, food intolerances, low metabolism, abnormal thyroid function, insulin levels, hormone imbalance, poor gut health, and toxic buildup in the body can all contribute to excess weight or trouble losing it. Losing weight often happens when you are able to change your lifestyle for the better (rather than going on a fad diet or any get-slim-quick plan). This is tough to do, and the struggle is real. The best advice we have is to start small—pick 1 or 2 things you can do differently, and try to make them a habit over a month. Once they become a habit, pick 1 or 2 more things to adjust in your lifestyle.

Often, the biggest help in losing weight is to increase your metabolism. Here are a few tips for increasing your metabolism:

  • Eat enough food. The amount of food you eat should be enough to keep you satisfied. Be careful not to eat so much that you feel full or so little that you are left hungry. Pay attention to how you feel while you are eating, and stop when you feel satisfied. It’s okay to save your food for later when you need a snack or simply throw it away (the starving kid in a third-world country really isn’t benefited if you don’t waste your food!).
  • Focus on mornings. The first thing you should do in the morning is drink 1–2 glasses of water. This helps your body wake up and get moving. You should also make sure to eat a good, healthy breakfast—don’t skip this meal! Your body has been fasting all night long and needs energy to keep your metabolism up, so don’t deprive yourself.
  • Eat the right foods. If you are trying to lose weight, you need to make sure you include foods with fiber, protein, iron, and nutrients found in vegetables and fruits in your diet every day. See the Eating Healthy section below for more ideas.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your body needs water to flush out toxins as well as to keep your organs doing their proper functions. See the Drinking Water section below.
  • Use essential oils. Some essential oils that can help boost metabolism include clove, Grounding Blend, oregano, grapefruit, Metabolic Blend, and lemon. You can diffuse any of these oils throughout the day, or add grapefruit, lemon, or Metabolic Blend to your drinking water. If adding oils to your water, make sure to use a glass or metal cup or water bottle.

Eating Healthy

About 13% of our pollers said they struggle with eating healthy. If you’re not in the habit of making good diet choices, making a change like this can be a big process. If you are concerned about your diet, make a list of your top 3 things you want to change the most. Then make a goal that helps put you on that path. Start small (like eating a healthy breakfast) and try to make progress over the course of a month, and then add something else to it (like prepping healthy snacks once a week).

Also, try experimenting with cooking with essential oils! It’s fun to do and may help inspire you to cook healthier dishes. Take a look at our Essential Oil Cooking Recipes and our tips to help you adapt your favorite recipes (Cooking with Essential Oils – FAQs and Tips).

Here is some advice from one of our readers:

“I find that eating healthy, well balanced meals can be something that people struggle with when starting. The call of comfort foods can be very strong, and the will to ignore can be too much at times. By growing our food and only buying organic goods, we are already halfway there. Being part of the whole cycle of food production helps us to respect food and in turn respect what it does for our bodies. Having a really healthy start to the day can help to keep you on track as you have a nice feeling of well being. Try a glass of hot water and lemon to start the day and help your liver to wake up. Next treat yourself to a lovely big bowl of porridge topped with fresh fruit, seeds, and honey. This will keep you feeling content until lunchtime at least.” —Wen Morton

Drinking Water

About 13% of readers said drinking enough water is a challenge for them. So how much water should you be drinking? To figure this out, simply take your weight (in pounds), and divide it by 2. The number you get is the minimum number of ounces of water you should drink per day. To aid in weight loss, however, your body will benefit from more than the bare minimum. Multiply your weight by 2/3 (or .67) to get the amount of water you should consume if weight loss is one of your aims. So, for example, if you weigh 200 lbs., then you should be drinking a minimum of 100 oz. (and ideally 134 oz.) of water each day.

Here are a few of our tips for reaching your minimum water intake every day:

  • In the morning, fill up a large jug or several water bottles with the amount of water you need to drink during the day. You can write on the bottles a line with the time stating when the water should be at that level (for instance, having a line for 10:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 6:00 PM). Or you can designate blocks of times for individual water bottles (such as morning, afternoon, and evening water bottles). Even if you only have 1 water bottle, just know how many times you need to empty it during the day to reach your goal.
  • Set reminders on your phone to drink water. Sometimes we just forget and need a little reminder!
  • Keep a glass of water in the bathroom, and set a goal to drink a glass every time you use the bathroom.
  • Flavor your water. If part of your problem is that water tastes bland to you, try adding something to liven it up a little. Here’s what one of our readers says:

    “I put lemon or lime in my water. It tastes better and has added health benefits!” —Abbie

    You can use fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, or essential oils for healthy water flavorings. Here are some of our favorite flavor combinations:

    • Strawberry Lemon: Fresh strawberry slices with a drop of lemon essential oil.
    • Apple Cinnamon: Apple slices with a toothpick of cinnamon essential oil.
    • Cucumber Lime: Cucumber slices with a drop of lime essential oil.
    • Lemon Rosemary: A sprig of rosemary with a drop of lemon essential oil.
    • Citrus Twist: A mix of citrus fruits or citrus essential oils.
    • Cinnamon Orange: A stick of cinnamon with a drop of orange essential oil, orange slices with a toothpick of cinnamon essential oil, or a drop of Protective Blend.

    Remember to use a glass or metal water bottle if you’re using essential oils in your water, and always shake before drinking.

Overcoming Depression

Almost 10% of our respondents find depression to be their biggest health challenge. This is a sobering topic and particularly difficult to overcome. According to Modern Essentials, “While much is still being discovered about the complex psychological and physiological processes involved in emotions, researchers have discovered that emotions involve many different systems in the body, including the brain, the sensory system, the endocrine/hormonal system, the autonomic nervous system, the immune system, and the release or inhibition of neurotransmitters (such as dopamine) in the the brain. Recent research has also begun to uncover compelling evidence that various essential oils and their components have the ability to affect each one of these systems, making the use of essential oils an intriguing tool for helping to balance emotions in the human body” (8th Edition, p. 267).
Some essential oils that may help with depression include lemon, frankincense, Encouraging Blend, Uplifting Blend, Focus Blend, Comforting Blend, lavender, bergamot, petitgrain, Joyful Blend, Grounding Blend, Reassuring Blend, and Invigorating Blend. Try diffusing one or more of these essential oils (a diffuser necklace works particularly well for keeping the scent next to you) or rubbing some on your neck and wrists as perfume (a roll-on bottle is really helpful for this).

“Find something every day to be grateful for.” —Dawndee Blickenstaff

Here are a few posts we have written about this subject:

Breaking Addictions

About 6% of our pollers are trying to break an addiction of some kind. As you work on overcoming your addictions, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. Modern Essentials suggests diffusing grapefruit oil using an aromatherapy diffuser to help calm and soothe withdrawal symptoms.
Here are a few articles we’ve recently published about this subject:
How to Use Complementary Therapies within Your Addiction Treatment
Essential Oils and the Road to Addiction Recovery

Sleeping

About 5% of our pollers said they struggle with getting enough sleep. Many essential oils are known for their calming abilities and can help a person relax before going to bed. Some of these essential oils include lavender, Restful Blend, spikenard, Roman chamomile, and marjoram. Try mixing 5–10 drops essential oil with 1/4 cup (50 g) of epsom salt, and add to a warm bath before bedtime. You can also try making a linen spray with 5–10 drops essential oil and 1 oz. (25 ml) of water in a small spray bottle. Spray on pillows and sheets before tucking in for the night.
Here are some other posts we’ve written on the subject:
See Modern Essentials: Essential Oils for Sleep
Essential Oils for a Better Night’s Sleep

Whatever your health challenge is, don’t give up! If needed, keep your goals small and simple, but continue making progress to a healthier lifestyle. You are given these challenges for a reason, and through the process of overcoming your challenges, you are shaping your character and becoming an example to others around you. Keep trying, and eventually your efforts will turn into results.

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

Check out “Just Add Oils to a New You!—Part 1” to read about our essential oil (and general) tips for staying motivated and exercising.

Just Add Oils to a New You!—Part 1

We all struggle with something—and more often than not, it involves our health. We recently took a poll to see what area you, our readers, struggle with the most. So let’s discuss these areas and find out how we can use essential oils to overcome these health struggles.

Staying Motivated

About 16% of pollers said that their biggest struggle is staying motivated. If you fall under this category, then let’s talk about your goal. When making exercise and nutrition goals this year, try utilizing these principles so you can stay motivated to achieve them.

  • Take a good, hard look at where you are now. It is important to be honest with yourself.
  • Determine where you want to be. Be positive as you do this.
  • Keep goals “SMART”:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-bound
  • Be accountable to someone. Talk about your goals to others, ask a friend to follow up with you, and write a letter to yourself so that, at the very least, you are accountable to yourself. One of our readers suggests:

    “Keep a little journal, and each day quickly jot down if you succeeded or failed with your goal that day and, most importantly, WHY. This helps you know what areas you need to improve or if you should adjust your goal. It also helps you remember the days you succeeded and the positive results that came from succeeding so you can stay motivated.” —Anonymous

  • Break larger goals into smaller steps. If your goal has more than 5 steps, it may be too big or too broad, and you may want to convert it into 2 smaller goals instead.
  • As you narrow down the steps to your goals, be realistic and figure out where your barriers or pitfalls will be and how you will overcome them. (Note: If you don’t know your barriers or pitfalls, keeping a journal each day, as mentioned above, will help you discover them.) This is where essential oils will be the most useful. Modern Essentials can be a great tool in helping you discover ways essential oils can be used to help you overcome the barriers and pitfalls that may prevent you from realizing your goals.

For example, let’s say your desire is to increase your physical activity, and you determine that your goal is to exercise 6 days a week for 30 minutes. Your first step may be to wake up at 6:30 AM. One barrier to this step may be that you have a hard time waking up that early. Maybe you can’t wake up in the morning because you have a hard time falling asleep at night. Maybe you are too anxious at night, or you have a hard time breathing, or you just need something to help you relax. Once you determine the reason for your sleeping problems, you can look in Modern Essentials for some essential oils to try.
Here is a worksheet you can use to help you set your goal, determine your steps, and figure out the barriers and how you can overcome them. You can also use this paper to hold yourself accountable and track the results of your success.

You can also try out this diffuser blend to help you stay motivated:

Exercising

Another 17% of our readers said that their biggest health struggle is exercising. If you fall under this category, let’s take a look at some common barriers or pitfalls you may be facing:

  • No time. Some of us are incredibly busy, but most of us could still fit in a little exercise if we made it a priority. If you have a hard time finding time to exercise, try one of these tips:
    • Pick shorter but harder exercise routines. For example, jumping rope for 10 minutes provides your body with approximately the same workout as running for 30 minutes.
    • As you start exercising, try setting a timer for 10 minutes the first day, 10 minutes and 30 seconds the second day, 11 minutes the third day, and so on—gradually increasing the amount of time each day until you reach a set amount of time that works for you.
    • Consider setting a goal to do a set number of exercises each day, then work them in throughout the day. For example, your goal could be to do 3 sets of 30 sit-ups, 4 sets of 20 lunges (10 on each leg), 3 sets of 10 push-ups, and 2 sets of running stairs each day. Then, throughout the day, simply complete a set of something whenever you have a break (or make breaks to do a little exercise). Try doing a set of sit-ups after waking up, then another after throwing in a load of laundry, and another before going to bed. After each bathroom break, you could do a set of lunges as you walk back to your desk or down the hall. Every time you need to go up a set of stairs, try running up, back down, and then up again. When you need to pick up something off the floor, do a set of push-ups first. As you make these short bursts of exercise a habit, you’ll find that every little bit goes a long way.
    • Drive less; walk more. Try parking at the back of the parking lot or even a few blocks away so you can walk a little extra when you are running your errands, getting lunch, or going to or from work.

  • Exercise is boring. So make it fun! Pick something that you enjoy doing. Try some of the following, and see if any of them work for you:
    • Jumping rope
    • Playing a sport like basketball, soccer, frisbee, etc.
    • Walking with a friend or while listening to an audio book
    • Listening to music as you run
    • Taking a zumba class (you could do this in person or look up routines online)
    • Putting on some upbeat music and having a dance party
    • Looking up 1-song exercise routines and doing a couple
    • Doing yoga or pilates
    • Working out with your kids (do planks, dance, jump, tumble, put them on your knees and fly them like an airplane, run around a playground, play tag, assign exercises to numbers and roll a dice to see what you have to do, etc.)
    • Finding an exercise buddy
  • Exercising makes me sore. Your muscles should only be sore the first week or 2 after starting to exercise. If you are consistent with it, you’ll find that you can exercise without becoming sore. For the first couple weeks, try this Sore Muscles Salve as you push through the painful stage, and keep exercising. And don’t forget to drink water! Staying hydrated helps keep your body pain free.
  • No energy. If you seem to run out of energy quickly, try doing some of these:

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

Check out “Just Add Oils to a New You!—Part 2” to read about our essential oil (and general) tips for losing weight, eating healthy, drinking water, overcoming depression, breaking addictions, and sleeping.

“Introduction to Modern Essentials™”: A Mini Textbook for Essential Oil Classes

This year, we introduce our newest edition of the “Introduction to Modern Essentials” booklet. We’ve updated this booklet to include a lot of fantastic information and recipes to make this booklet the best mini textbook for your essential oil classes!
A great way to approach these classes is to keep them focused on educating people about essential oils, but allow individuals to experience and use the oils as part of each class.

At the end of each class, invite those who would like to know more about your chosen brand of pure, therapeutic-grade oils to come talk to you after class or at a separate meeting. These meetings are great opportunities to share with others why you made the choice to naturally support the health of yourself and your family with essential oils.

Class Ideas

Essential Oils 101
Use the first few pages of this booklet to introduce individuals to essential oils and why they are being used by millions of people around the world as a natural way to
support health. This idea can be used on its own or combined with a make-and-take idea.

Scavenger Hunt
Doing this scavenger hunt activity can not only help bring some fun to your class and make it memorable, but it also gives your students a reason to look through the “Introduction to Modern Essentials” booklet. As they look through it and find the answers to the questions, they will learn so much about the essential oils and what the oils can do for specific conditions. They will also learn how they can use the booklet to find answers to their own questions. This activity can be used as a class idea on its own, or it can be added to another class idea as a bonus activity.

Aromatherapy Make & Take Class
Use the information on the diffusing pages to teach how the natural aromas of essential oils can affect the mind and emotions. Allow individuals to sample and make their favorite blend from the “Diffuser Blend Recipes” pages. Add their blend to water in a mini spray bottle for a take-home room and linen spray. An emulsifier (optional) will help distribute the essential oil evenly throughout the water.

Roll-On Balms
Use the information on the “Roll-On Blend Recipes” pages to teach about topical application of essential oils, and allow individuals to make their own natural roll-ons in mini roll-on bottles to take home with them. You can find roll-on bottles and carrier oils at aromatools.com.

Relaxing with Massage Oils
Use the information on the “Using Essential Oils—Applying on Location” and “Using Essential Oils—Massage” pages to teach about massage and topical application of essential oils. Allow individuals to use the “Massage Oil Recipes” to make their own natural massage oils in small bottles to take home with them. You can find small bottles (such as a 1/2 oz. or 1 oz. plastic bottle) and carrier oils at aromatools.com.

Essential Oil–Enhanced Baths
Use the information on the diffusing pages to teach how the natural aromas of essential oils can affect the mind and emotions. Allow individuals to sample and make their favorite blend of bath salts from the “Bath Salts Recipes” page. Have them place their scented bath salts in a jar to take home with them. You can find jars and epsom salt at aromatools.com.

icecream

Gourmet Ice Cream Chef Competition
Use the pages on cooking with essential oils to teach about how to use pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils in cooking. Give everyone 1 cup (240 ml) cream and 2 Tbsp. (25 g) sugar, or substitute your own favorite sweetener and sweeten to taste. Allow class members to create their own naturally flavored ice cream base using essential oils. Since only a small amount (a drop or less) of essential oil is needed, give each guest a small bottle to blend their essential oil “flavor profile” in, and then dispense a drop or less of the blend from the bottle (use a toothpick if less is needed).

Place the base in a quart-sized (1 L) zip-top bag, and seal the bag. Place that bag inside a gallon-sized (4 L) zip-top bag filled with ice and 1/2 cup (250 g) of rock salt. Shake until the cream has frozen (about 10–15 minutes). Use small spoons to allow everyone to taste the creations, and award prizes based on best tasting or most daring (black pepper ice cream, anyone?). You could also add another dimension by adding natural vanilla bean to the flavor mix!

Winter Wellness with Essential Oils
Using the Personal Usage Guide section, lead the members of the class through various ailments that often occur during the winter time (such as cold sores, common colds, congestion, coughs, earache, fever, etc.) Allow individuals to make a cough relief roll-on by using the blend recipe found under “Coughs” or an immune support roll-on by using the blend recipe found under “Colds.” Jojoba oil and roll-on bottles can be found at aromatools.com.

Hot-Chocolate-SocialHot Chocolate Social
Provide hot chocolate and various hot chocolate toppings, such as whipped cream, crushed candy canes, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. Also provide various essential oils to add to the hot chocolate. Peppermint, orange, cinnamon, cassia, and cardamom essential oil all make great additions to hot chocolate. Instruct guests to just dip a toothpick in the oil and then swish the toothpick around in their hot chocolate. Click here for a great hot chocolate recipe.

Once everyone has helped themselves to hot chocolate and is sitting comfortably, this is a great time to share information about essential oils. You could focus on the health benefits of the oils you offered as hot chocolate mix-ins, provide basic introductory information about essential oils, discuss essential oils for winter wellness, or talk about cooking with essential oils.

Enhance Emotional Well-Being with Essential Oils
Use the diffusing pages and the “Emotions and Essential Oils” pages to teach how the natural aromas of essential oils can affect the mind and emotions. Lead the members of the class through various mental and emotional conditions found in the Personal Usage Guide section such as anxiety, calming, concentration, depression, grief/sorrow, memory, mental fatigue, relaxing, shock, stress, and uplifting. Allow individuals to smell the various oils or oil blends for emotional well-being, and invite them to create their own nasal inhaler using 1–3 oils (for a total of 5–8 drops) to take home with them.

If you have a great class idea that others can do with this booklet, please share it with us!

Essential Oil Troubleshooting

While essential oils are safe and effective alternatives for natural health, there may be times when undesirable reactions occur. On the occasion that this happens, it’s important to be prepared so you know what to do.

In the following situations, you will see a recurring theme about needing to dilute the essential oils and to use carrier oil (instead of water) to relieve pain. We’ve included more information about why these things are important at the end of this article.

Burning Sensation

Problem: You experience a burning sensation after applying essential oils.
Immediate Solution: If you are experiencing a burning sensation, apply some carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, coconut oil, or olive oil to the area immediately to help dilute the essential oil and provide relief.
Long-Term Solutions: There are a few reasons you may experience a burning sensation:

  • The oil used may be considered a “hot” oil. Some examples of hot oils include cassia, cinnamon, oregano, and thyme. Other “warm” oils include black pepper, clove, Douglas fir, and lemongrass. When using these oils topically, it is best to dilute them with a carrier oil to avoid this burning sensation.
  • You could have sensitive skin. If this is the case, you should make sure to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before you apply them topically.
  • You may be applying the oil to a sensitive area on your body. If you want to apply essential oils to a sensitive area, always dilute first!
  • Perhaps you tried adding essential oils to a bath without using an emulsifier like bath gel, epsom salt, cream, vegetable glycerin, etc. When you don’t mix essential oils with an emulsifier, they tend to float on top of the bathwater. This could result in an undiluted application to a very sensitive area of the body. It is important to use an emulsifier when adding essential oils to a bath.

Rash

Problem: A rash developed after applying essential oils.
Immediate Solution: Rub some carrier oil on the rash to help dilute the essential oils and provide relief.
Long-Term Solutions: If a rash occurs from application of oils to the skin, it may be due to the oils reacting with accumulated synthetic chemicals (toxins) that are trapped in the fatty layers of the skin. Here are a few things you can try next time you apply the oils:

  1. Dilute the oils first (1–3 drops of oil to 1/2 tsp. [2.5 ml] of carrier oil).
  2. Reduce the number of oils used with each application (use one oil at a time).
  3. Reduce the amount of oil (number of drops) used.
  4. Reduce the frequency of application (more time between applications).

Drinking pure water helps promote the elimination of accumulated toxins from the body. Initiating programs to cleanse the bowels and blood will also help remove toxins and reduce the possible recurrences of the rash. If the rashes persist, discontinue the use of oils and consult a healthcare professional.

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Oils in the Eyes

Problem: You accidentally got oils in your eyes, and they sting really bad.
Immediate Solution: Saturate a tissue with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, coconut oil, or olive oil, and dab at your eyes until the pain goes away.
Long-Term Solutions:

  • We don’t recommend applying essential oils directly to the eye, but if needed, you can rub the oils around the bone surrounding the eye. However, be very careful about not letting the oil get into your eyes.
  • Even when you aren’t applying essential oils anywhere near your face, your hands likely have essential oils on them after applying oils to your body or to someone else. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap before touching your eyes after using essential oils.
  • Also, avoid putting essential oils on children’s hands and wrists; children have a particularly difficult time not touching or rubbing their eyes.

Ingested Too Much Oil

Problem: You ingested too much oil, or (more likely) you caught your child with an opened oil bottle and think they put it in their mouth.
Immediate Solution: The best thing to do is eat or drink milk, yogurt, or honey (if child is older than 12 months) to help dilute the ingested oil. You also may want to call poison control to see if they have any further instructions.
Long-Term Solutions:

  • Only use a very small amount of essential oil if you are taking it internally. Be sure to use only high-quality essential oils that are labeled for internal use. Also make sure to dilute the essential oils at least 1:1 with olive oil before ingesting.
  • Keep your essential oils out of reach of children to prevent situations like this.

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Essential Oil/Carrier Oil Stains on Clothing

Problem: An essential oil or carrier oil left a stain on clothing, fabric, wood, or furniture.
Immediate Solution: Soak up as much oil as possible with a paper towel; then treat as you would a grease stain.
Long-Term Solution: The best way to avoid this is to be careful with your oils and not use an excessive amount of them.


Why and How to Dilute Essential Oils

Since essential oils are very potent, and some oils may cause irritation, diluting the essential oil with a carrier oil is recommended. Children, pregnant women, and those with sensitive skin should always dilute essential oils. Diluting an essential oil in carrier oil is also a great way to help spread the essential oil over a larger area.

To dilute an essential oil, simply mix it with the recommended amount of carrier oil. You can do this at the time of application by mixing the oils in the palm of your hand or in a small glass dish; or you can prepare a diluted essential oil mixture ahead of time and store it in a bottle. A roll-on bottle (or roller bottle) is useful for diluting an essential oil for topical application and applying essential oils easily to the skin. A dropper bottle can help you easily dilute essential oils to take internally by capsule.
Click on any of the following links for more information:
The Art of Roller Bottle Blending (includes dilution recommendations)
Essential Oil Application: Topical
All About Carrier Oils—FAQs and Information Charts

Oils and Water Do NOT Mix

If you experience pain after applying essential oils for any of the reasons discussed above, it is very important not to run to the sink and try to use water. Here’s what Modern Essentials says to do: “ALWAYS use a vegetable oil such as fractionated coconut oil or olive oil to dilute the essential oil and relieve discomfort. NEVER use water to dilute the essential oil. Since water and oil don’t mix, placing water over the essential oil can actually drive the oil deeper into the tissue, increasing the feeling of discomfort. Placing a carrier oil over the essential oil will cause the essential oil to mix with and be dispersed within the carrier oil, helping to relieve discomfort” (Modern Essentials, 8th Edition, inside front cover).

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

‘Tis the Season for Sickness

Seasonal changes can stress our immune systems, making us more susceptible to illness. Diffusing Protective Blend and using it on household surfaces can help avoid trouble. But it’s also best to be prepared with some “simple solutions,” should sickness strike.

Easy tips and recipes for colds, cold sores, congestion, cough, earache, and fever can be found in our new booklet, “Modern Essentials: Simple Solutions”—along with 150 entries for other common ailments.

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Colds:

  • Blend 5 drops each lemon and thyme in 1 Tbs. (15 ml) jojoba oil. Apply a small amount to throat, forehead, chest, and back of neck 2–3 times daily.
  • For adults and children, you can also diffuse thyme oil in an aromatherapy diffuser.

Cold Sores:

  • Combine 4 tsp. (6 g) beeswax pellets, 1 Tbs. (10 g) cocoa butter, and 3 Tbs. (45 ml) jojoba oil, and melt in a microwave (30 seconds at a time, stirring in between) or in a double boiler. Cool slightly, and add 5 drops each helichrysum, melissa, and peppermint. Pour into small jars or lip balm containers, and allow to cool completely. Apply a small amount to cold sores as needed.

Congestion:

  • Diffuse Respiratory Blend in an aromatherapy diffuser.
  • Drop 2 drops eucalyptus and 1 drop peppermint on the floor of the shower to inhale the vapors while showering.
  • Combine 6 Tbs. (90 ml) coconut oil and 1½ Tbs. (7.5 g) beeswax pellets, and melt in a microwave (30 seconds at a time, stirring in between) or in a double boiler. Let cool slightly, and add 20 drops eucalyptus, 15 drops lemon, and 20 drops peppermint. Pour into small jars or salve containers, and allow to cool completely. Apply a small amount on the chest and throat as needed.

Cough:

  • Diffuse Respiratory Blend in an aromatherapy diffuser.
  • Mix 1 drop each eucalyptus and lemon with 1 Tbs. (15 ml) honey (local and raw preferred). Blend about 1/3 of this mixture in 1 cup (240 ml) warm water, and drink slowly.
  • Combine 1 drop each eucalyptus, lemon, and melaleuca with 1 tsp. (5 ml) jojoba oil, and apply over chest and back.

Earache:

  • Put 1 drop each basil and melaleuca on a piece of cotton ball. Place over (not in) the ear canal for 30 minutes.
  • For children, dilute above combination with carrier oil or garlic oil extract (can pierce and use garlic capsules)—which also has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Fever:

  • Blend 2 drops each eucalyptus and peppermint in bowl of cool water. Moisten a washcloth with this water, and sponge the forehead, back of neck, and feet.

Source: “Modern Essentials: Simple Solutions” Booklet

For more helpful tips, see our article on Staying Healthy This Winter Season.

’Tis also the season for sharing, so be sure to pass along these tips for making winter days more merry and bright.