Essential Oil Spotlight: Bergamot

Bergamot (citrus bergamia) essential oil is pressed from the rind, or peel, of this citrus fruit. The oil is clearly recognized by its sweet, lively, citrusy, and fruity aroma. Bergamot properties: analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, neuroprotective, sedative, and uplifting.

Bergamot essential oil is commonly used to help with agitation, brain injury, colic, depression, emotional stress, environmental stress, infection, mental stress, performance stress, physical energy, physical stress, PMS, and rheumatoid arthritis. This essential oil primarily affects the digestive system, emotional balance, and skin.

Other possible uses of bergamot include acne, anxiety, appetite regulation, boils, bronchitis, carbuncles, cold sores, oily complexion, coughs, cystitis, digestion, eczema, emotions, endocrine system, fever, gallstones, gonorrhea, infectious disease, insect bites, irritated lungs, psoriasis, respiratory infection, scabies, sore throat, nervous tension, thrush, acute tonsillitis, ulcers, urinary tract infection, spot varicose veins, and wounds.

Application and Safety Data

Topical: Bergamot can be applied neat (without dilution). Apply to forehead, temples, reflex points, and/or directly on the area of concern. May also be applied as a deodorant.
Aromatic: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma directly. The scent may help to relieve anxiety, depression, stress, and tension. It is also uplifting and refreshing.
Internal: Bergamot is recognized as safe for human consumption by the FDA. Dilute 1 drop bergamot oil in 1 tsp. of honey or in 4 oz. of beverage.
Safety: Avoid direct sunlight or UV light for 72 hours after topical use. Repeated use may result in extreme contact sensitization.

Ways to Use

1. Diffuser Blends
Bergamot essential oil is a huge hit in diffuser blends not only for its powerful aromatic properties but also because it simply smells wonderful! We have created many amazing diffuser blends with bergamot for you to try. Just click on one below that looks appealing, and start diffusing bergamot today.

2. Comas
Bergamot can be helpful to support a comatose patient. Alternate applying 1 drop frankincense and 1 drop bergamot to the back of the neck, just below the skull, once a day.
3. Perfumes
Essential oil blends can make beautiful perfumes. We’ve written a post featuring 15 perfume recipes and their health benefits—including several blends containing bergamot. A downloadable file with printable labels is included. Click here to make fabulous fragrances for both women and men.

4. Smoothies
To add healthful flavor to your fruit or green smoothies, include 1–2 drops of bergamot essential oil. You’ll love the citrus burst and the support for your digestive system.
5. Bath Bombs
Making your own bath bombs means completely customized creations! And you can feel secure knowing that you’re not soaking in any harmful chemicals. Follow this recipe to make simple, luxurious bath bombs! For a stress-relieving and emotionally relaxing bath, add 10 drops bergamot, 10 drops orange, and 3 drops copaiba to the basic bath bomb recipe.

Source:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 40-41.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Myrrh

Myrrh essential oil is steam-distilled from the gum/resin of the Commiphora myrrha tree. Historically, myrrh has been used as an incense in religious rituals, in embalming, and to help with cancer, leprosy, and syphilis.

The warm, balsamic, and earthy aroma of myrrh promotes awareness and is uplifting. Myrrh is known to have an effect on the hormone, immune, and nervous systems as well as supporting the skin.

Myrrh is highly regarded for its anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitumor, astringent, and tonic properties. Myrrh has commonly been used to help with cancer, chapped/cracked skin, congestion, dysentery, gum disease, Hashimoto’s disease, hepatitis, hyperthyroidism, infection, liver cirrhosis, skin ulcers, stretch marks, ulcers (duodenal), and weeping wounds.

Other possible uses for myrrh include appetite (increase), asthma, athlete’s foot, candida, catarrh (mucus), coughs, eczema, digestion, dyspepsia (impaired digestion), flatulence (gas), fungal infection, gingivitis, hemorrhoids, mouth ulcers, decongesting the prostate gland, ringworm, sore throats, skin conditions (chapped, cracked, and inflamed), wounds, and wrinkles.

It may also help support the body when dealing with bronchitis, diarrhea, thrush, vaginal thrush, and viral hepatitis.

Applications of Myrrh Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Myrrh essential oil is safe to use without dilution, but it can also be diluted as needed. Apply to reflex points and/or directly on area of concern.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale myrrh essential oil directly. The aroma of myrrh promotes awareness and is uplifting.
Internal Application: Myrrh essential oil can be taken internally in capsules. You can also place 1–2 drops of myrrh under the tongue, dilute in 1 tsp. (5 ml) of honey, or add to 1/2 cup (125 ml) of a beverage (such as non-dairy milk).

5 Ways to Use Myrrh Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
This diffuser blend of myrrh, rose, and lemon can help calm anxiety and soothe heated emotions:

2. Add to Lotion or Cream
Myrrh is known for aiding the skin and is often used to reduce wrinkles, help cracked, chapped, or inflamed skin, and aid the body with healing wounds. It is also beneficial to the respiratory system and may help with coughs, congestion, sore throats, mucus, and inflammation. Try adding myrrh to this Coconut Oil Soothing Balm (for wounds), Antiwrinkle Cream, Winter Salve, Chest Salve, or Simply Luxurious Moisturizing Lotion. You can also use one of the following blends (feel free to double or triple these blends as needed for your recipe):

Respiratory Aid:
6 drops myrrh
4 drops eucalyptus
2 drops thyme
Skin Repair:
5 drops myrrh
3 drops frankincense
2 drops lavender

3. Use in a Roll-on
Myrrh can also be used in a roll-on blend for easy application to wounds, chapped, cracked, or inflamed skin, or on the face as a moisturizer. Here is a good recipe that can work for any of these issues:

Skin Repair Roll-on:
5 drops myrrh (3 drops for children)
3 drops frankincense (2 drops for children)
2 drops lavender (1 drop for children)
2 tsp. (10 ml) jojoba oil
(Original recipe is 5% dilution; children’s recipe is 3% dilution)
Add all ingredients to a 1/3 oz. roll-on bottle.

4. Add to a Bath
Myrrh can also aid the skin, hormone, immune, and nervous systems when added to bathwater. Try mixing 3–5 drops myrrh with 1/4 cup (60 g) epsom salt, or add to a bath bomb.
-Mix with epsom salt, and add to the bathtub as it fills with water. You can also make bath bombs and add 5–10 drops myrrh and 10–15 drops frankincense for a really luxurious bath!

5. Add to Your Oral Care
Though you don’t often see myrrh used in toothpaste or mouthwash, myrrh essential oil is actually a great oil to use in oral care. It is said to help with sore throat, mouth ulcers, gingivitis, gum disease, and wounds. Try adding myrrh to your toothpaste/tooth powder, or make this simple mouthwash to help promote a healthy mouth and prevent gum disease:

Mouthwash:
1/2 tsp. (2 g) Himalayan sea salt
1 cup (240 ml) distilled warm water
10 drops myrrh essential oil
10 drops Natural Essential Oil Emulsifier
8 oz. Glass Bottle with Black Cap
Shot Glass
Stir salt into the warm water until dissolved. Let cool. Add essential oils and essential oil emulsifier to the 8 oz. glass bottle. When the salt water is cool, add it to the bottle, screw the lid on, and shake to combine. Shake before use. Use a shot glass to pour a little into your mouth, then swish and gargle for 30 seconds. Swallow or spit as desired. You can also soak your floss in the mixture before flossing.

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.
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies by Franzesca Watson

Mother’s Day Relaxation Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Since a mother’s work is often so constantly demanding, what better way is there to show gratitude for all the mother in your life does for you than to give her the gift of relaxation? Here are some relaxation ideas and gift basket suggestions as well as some recipes that you can make and give to the special women in your life!
Daydreaming Woman

Relaxation Ideas:

A little while ago, we took a survey asking women what were some of their favorite ways to relax. The following are some suggestions that were made:

  • Aromatic River Rock Foot Bath: In a large basin, place a few smooth stones, warm water, and a drop or two of a relaxing essential oil. Get comfortable in a chair, place your feet in the basin, and enjoy feeling the smooth stones as you rub your feet over them.
  • Massages: Get together with a friend or family member and give each other massages. You can even include essential oils to enhance relaxation!
  • Engage Your Senses and Move with the Music: Get some finger paint, markers, or crayons and paper; clay or Play Doh; or anything that can engage your sense of touch. Put your favorite music on, and open an oil bottle or turn a diffuser on with a relaxing blend. Close your eyes, and let the music flow through you as you create a work of art! This activity will be more relaxing as you engage more of your senses.
  • Take a Relaxing Bath: After dry-brushing your body, take a very warm bath with an aromatic Bath Bomb (recipe below). Think thoughts of gratitude and fond memories or of the things you have accomplished recently.
  • Lay on the Grass and Look at the Clouds:  Find a quiet area, whether it is a beach, a park, or your own backyard. Lie down on a blanket and look at the clouds above. Don’t forget to allow your mind to relax!
  • Chase Bubbles: Buy or make a simple bubble-making formula. You can try this recipe:  3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup dish soap, and 1 Tbs. glycerin all mixed together. Blow the bubbles around your yard and allow yourself to be as childish as you desire. If it helps, get some children involved and let your inner child loose!
  • Breathe: The simplest form of relaxation is to just find a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Take deep, slow breaths through your diaphragm.  Breathe in for 5 seconds; breathe out for 5 seconds. Focus on just breathing rather than everything else you may have to do.  After a few minutes, you should feel much more relaxed.

Relaxation Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day Gift Basket Suggestions:

  • All-Natural Moisturizing Lotion with Essential Oils (Click here for the recipe)
  • Exfoliating Foot or Body Scrub (See recipe below)
  • Luxurious Bath Bombs (See recipe below)
  • Essential Oils:
    • Modern Essentials suggests lavender, ylang ylang, lemon, Roman chamomile, geranium, frankincense, sandalwood, clary sage, orange, vetiver, melissa, bergamot, and rose as oils that soothe and relax (Modern Essentials, 5th Edition, pp. 42, 264).
    • Give some samples of single oils or make your own blend. A simple blend could be 1 part ylang ylang, 2 parts lavender, and 7 parts orange. Since people react differently to essential oils, it may be a good idea to give a little variety in sample bottles so they can use the ones that appeal to them.
    • Include a note letting them know how they can use them (e.g. rub on with a carrier oil, diffuse, or put in a bath along with some liquid bath gel or Epsom salts).
  • A Small Treat: ChocOILates or Honey Stix are great treats that also give the benefits of essential oils. You can also make something on your own like Carrot Cake Cupcakes.
  • Perfume Locket (Click here for the recipe)

Recipes:

Exfoliating Foot or Body Scrub

Exfoliating Foot or Body Scrub

  • Servings: Yield = 4 oz of scrub
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients and Materials Needed:

  • 1/4 cup Epsom Salt or another exfoliating agent
    (You can also use coarse sea salt, fine sea salt, raw sugar, brown sugar, table salt, or white sugar. The coarser the salt is, the more exfoliating it will be. Note: while salt works very well as an exfoliating agent, it can sting if it gets into open cuts or sores, so be sure to either warn recipients to only use on unbroken skin, or use sugar as your exfoliator instead.)
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Almond Oil
  • 2 capsules or 6–8 drops of vitamin E (optional).
    (This can be found as either capsules or liquid in most health, grocery, and drug stores. Besides being an antioxidant, vitamin E is also a natural preservative.)
  • 10–20 drops of essential oil(s)
  • Container to store your scrub
    (This recipe makes about 4 oz. of scrub. You can use a 4 oz. salve container or another jar.)

Instructions:

  • Pour all ingredients into a bowl, and mix together.
  • Pour the mixture into a 4 oz. Salve Container or small wide-mouth jar.
  • To use the scrub, place a small amount in the palm and scrub over moistened skin. Rinse off in a shower or tub (Note: the oils in this scrub can make the floor of the bathtub or shower rather slippery, so use extreme caution while rinsing off so you don’t fall).

Extra Ideas:

  • Use ultramarine powders or other natural powders and oil-soluble colorants to color your scrubs.
  • Try using different coarsenesses of salt or sugar to create progressively smoother scrubs (i.e. a coarse “buffing” scrub, followed by a fine “polishing” scrub) with different essential oils to help relax in each scrub.
  • Try combining two or more exfoliating agents to get a different feel for your scrub.

Luxurious Bath Bombs

Luxurious Bath Bombs

  • Servings: Yield = 6–9 bath bombs
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients and Materials Needed:

Instructions:

  • Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and the wet ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix well with a whisk. The mixture will bubble just a bit and begin to clump together. After mixing a little with the whisk, put the whisk aside and work it with your fingers. Mix and blend the mixture until it is well combined and has the texture of mildly wet sand. It should clump together when you squeeze it with your fingers. If it is too dry, moisten it with the water in the spray bottle, one spritz at a time. You do not want the mixture too wet or it will not set up properly.
  • Press the mixture firmly into silicone soap molds or muffin tins lined with paper cups or plastic wrap (for easy removal). Let sit for 1–2 hours.
  • After the bath bombs are dry enough that they stick together, remove from the molds or muffin tins (and paper cups) and let sit on a fluffy towel overnight before using. If you live in a humid area, you may need to dry the bath bombs for 2 nights before they’ll be set enough to gift or use.

Extra Ideas:

  • Try using food coloring and dry herbs to decorate the bath bombs a little more.
  • Try dividing the batch after mixing the dry ingredients to make bath bombs with different scents or colors. Work with one scent at a time. Mix in the appropriate amount of the wet ingredients, moisten with the spray bottle if necessary, and press firmly into the molds before starting the process over again with another scent.
  • Try different essential oils for different purposes. For example, try making some relaxing bath bombs with soothing essential oils (e.g. lavender, ylang ylang, or Roman chamomile) or energizing bath bombs with invigorating essential oils (e.g. citrus oils, peppermint, eucalyptus, or rosemary).