Essential Oil Gummy Candies for Immune Support

What kid doesn’t love gummy candies? Unfortunately, many store-bought brands contain lots of sugar and food dyes that our kids really don’t need in their little bodies. So we’ve come up with a recipe that has the opposite effect of store-bought gummies—with immune-boosting properties from elderberry syrup, honey, and lemon essential oil.

Elderberry Gummy Candies

  • Servings: Yield=1 1/4 cups (300 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) homemade elderberry syrup, divided (see recipe below)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) mixed-berry, grape, or orange juice
  • 2.5–3 Tbsp. (27 g) powdered grass-fed beef gelatin
  • 1–2 Tbsp. (15–30 ml) honey (depending on sweetness preference)
  • 2–3 drops lemon essential oil (you can also try 1–3 toothpicks each of cassia, clove, and ginger if using orange juice)


  1. Pour 1/3 cup (80 ml) elderberry syrup and 1/3 cup (80 ml) fruit juice into a saucepan. Sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the liquid, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium, and stir until the mixture gets bubbly and the gelatin dissolves. Whisk in the honey, and stir until completely dissolved.
  3. Stir in the rest of the elderberry syrup (1/3 cup or 80 ml) and the essential oil.
  4. Pour into a silicone mold or mini ice cube tray, and refrigerate until set (about an hour).

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

  • Servings: Yield=4–5 cups (about 1 liter)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 1 cup (90 g) dried elderberries
  • 4 cups (1 liter) water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split (optional)
  • 3/4–1 cup (180–240 ml) honey
  • 1–4 toothpicks clove essential oil, to taste (optional)
  • 1–4 toothpicks cassia essential oil, to taste (optional)
  • 1–4 toothpicks ginger essential oil, to taste (optional)


  1. Place the elderberries, water, and vanilla bean in an electric pressure cooker (we used an Instant Pot®), and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally (about 18 minutes).
  2. Once your pressure cooker has cooled down enough to open, strain out the elderberries and allow to cool until warm before you stir in the honey and essential oils.
  3. Use in gummy candies (recipe above), as a pancake syrup, or drink 1 tsp. (5 ml) or so (1/4–1/2 for children) several times a day when you feel a cold or the flu coming on.

Honey Suckers for Soothing Little Throats

One of the most helpful things for a sore throat is a spoonful of honey! A couple years ago we posted a recipe for Soothing Throat Lozenges, and we thought we could adapt the recipe a little to make it suitable for children. The result? Honey Suckers.

Honey Suckers

  • Servings: 30–40
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) honey
  • 1 Tbsp. (12 g) coconut oil
  • 2–3 drops essential oil (good oils to use include lemon, lime, or orange)
  • Candy thermometer
  • Silicone sucker mold with sticks or parchment paper and popsicle sticks


  1. If you don’t have a silicone sucker mold, place a sheet of parchment paper on the counter, then place popsicle sticks a couple inches apart on the sheet. You’ll need about 30–40 popsicle sticks.
  2. Place honey and coconut oil in a pot. Bring to a boil.
  3. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce heat and simmer.
  4. Using a candy thermometer, allow the mixture to reach a temperature of 300°F (150°C), and then remove the mixture from the stove.
  5. Stir in essential oils.
  6. Pour the mixture into sucker molds, or drop spoonfuls on parchment paper over the popsicle sticks. You will need to work fast, since the mixture hardens quickly and will become hard to pour.
  7. Allow the suckers to harden (you can stick the sucker mold in the refrigerator for an hour). Cut strips of parchment paper, and fold them over the suckers to keep them from sticking together. Store in the refrigerator.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Cardamom

Cardamom essential oil (Elettaria cardamomum) is steam-distilled from the seeds of the plant. It has a sweet, spicy, balsamic scent with floral undertones.

It has antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, decongestant, diuretic, expectorant, stomachic, and tonic properties.

Anciently, cardamom was used for epilepsy, spasms, paralysis, rheumatism, cardiac disorders, all intestinal illnesses, pulmonary disease, fever, and digestive and urinary complaints. It is said to be able to neutralize the lingering odor of garlic.

If you are acquainted with Indian food, you may associate the flavor and smell of this oil with sweet Indian dishes such as rice pudding, as the cardamom spice is a common ingredient in this dish and gives it a cool, minty aroma and taste. It may be that rice pudding is often served at the end of the meal because of cardamom’s ability to neutralize lingering odors that cause halitosis.

Today cardamom is commonly used for coughs, digestive support, headaches, inflammation, muscle aches, nausea, and respiratory ailments. Cardamom may also help with appetite loss, bronchitis, colic, debility, dyspepsia, flatulence, halitosis, mental fatigue, heartburn, sciatica, ulcers, and vomiting. It may also be beneficial for menstrual periods, menopause, and nervous indigestion.

Cardamom is most known for supporting the digestive and respiratory systems of the body.

Applications of Cardamom Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Cardamom 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 cardamom essential oil directly. The aroma of cardamom is uplifting, refreshing, and invigorating. It may be beneficial for clearing confusion.
Internal Application: Cardamom essential oil can be taken internally and is often used as a flavoring in cooking. Put 1–2 drops of cardamom oil under the tongue or in a beverage. It can also be taken in capsules.

5 Ways to Use Cardamom Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Try these blends in your diffuser to increase your mental alertness, open your airways, and enjoy the scent of autumn leaves:

2. Use in Roll-on Blends

Cardamom essential oil is helpful to the respiratory and digestive systems. It can also help relieve a headache. Rub the respiratory blends (below) on the chest, throat, back, and/or sinuses to help open airways and clear coughs. Rub the digestive blends on the abdomen to help reduce flatulence, bloating, belching, hiccups, and heartburn. Cardamom is a safe essential oil to use with children, so it is a great choice over peppermint to open their little airways and support their digestive systems.

Respiratory Support (6+ years):
5 drops eucalyptus
5 drops peppermint
5 drops lemon
3 drops cardamom
2 drops rosemary
2 drops melaleuca
(20% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
10% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)
Little Lungs Respiratory Support (Children):
1 drop cardamom
1 drop frankincense
(2% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
1% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)
Digestive Support (6+ years):
5 drops cardamom
3 drops ginger
3 drops peppermint
(10% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
5% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)
Tiny Tummies Digestive Support (Children):
1 drop cardamom
1 drop orange
1 drop fennel
(3% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
1.5% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)
4 drops peppermint
3 drops cardamom
3 drops rosemary
(10% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
5% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)

Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle or 10 ml roll-on bottle depending on desired dilution percentage. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil. Common carrier oils for use in a roll-on bottle include Fractionated Coconut OilSweet Almond Oil, and Jojoba Oil.

3. Use in a Bath or Shower:

Cardamom essential oil is excellent as a bath oil. Combine one of the following oil blends with 1/4–1/2 cup (60–120 g) epsom salt, and evenly disperse throughout the tub. Alternatively, you can add these essential oil combinations to these bath bombs.

Muscle Aches:
2 drops cardamom
1 drop peppermint
1 drop clove
1 drop copaiba
Congestion Bomb:
2 drops eucalyptus
2 drops peppermint
2 drops cardamom
2 drops Douglas fir (or another fir oil)

If you prefer taking showers, try adding the Congestion Bomb blend or cardamom essential oil to these shower disks. The steam from the shower and the cardamom essential oil can be beneficial to clearing congestion.

4. Use in Breath Mints

Cardamom is beneficial in helping halitosis (bad breath) and is said to be able to neutralize the odor of garlic. Try adding cardamom essential oil to homemade breath mints, or use in a breath spray.

5. Add to Cooking Recipes

Cardamom essential oil is often used in Indian cooking, but it is great to add to any of your favorite recipes. It pairs well with chocolate, rice, honey, coconut oil, spices like cinnamon and clove, and works in both savory and sweet dishes. This oil can taste strong, so start with a toothpick and add more to taste. Here are some of our recipes that use cardamom essential oil:

Sources: Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, p. 45.

Soft & Squishy Soap Jellies

Kids love how soft and squishy these soap jellies are! They are perfect for making bathtime and learning about hygiene fun. You may even want to try them out on yourself! They make a great sensory experience for all!

Soap Jellies

  • Servings: 12+
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin (about 2–3 small packets)
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) distilled water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Castile Soap
  • 30 drops essential oil (lavender, melaleuca, lemon, orange, and peppermint are good options)
  • Body-safe soap coloring (optional) (a drop or two of blue tansy essential oil is a natural way to get a nice blue color)
  • 1 tsp. (6 g) salt
  • Silicone mold or small soap mold
  • Small Spray Bottle of alcohol (optional)
  • 16 oz. PET Jar


  1. Place mold on a cutting board or cookie sheet or another flat, movable surface.
  2. Place water in a pan, and sprinkle the gelatin on the water. Allow gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes; then bring the water to a boil to dissolve the gelatin.
  3. Once boiling, remove from heat and add the castile soap, coloring, and essential oils. Stir gently until combined.
  4. Stir in the salt last. (Don’t skip this step! It makes a big difference!)
  5. Pour the mixture into your molds.
  6. You can get rid of air bubbles by spritzing the soap with a little alcohol from a small spray bottle.
  7. Place in the refrigerator until completely hardened.
  8. Store in a PET Jar in a cool, dry location (such as the refrigerator) for up to 1 week.

EO Life Hack: Teething Baby?

It’s no fun when teeth are coming in…for the baby or the parents. How can you help numb the pain and calm the baby down? Use essential oils!


Just Add Oils to Your Back-to-School Tools (Including 7 Diffuser Blends)

Summer is almost over, and the school year is about to start. As you start gathering your pencils, notebooks, textbooks, and other school supplies, consider gathering some aromatherapy supplies as well. Essential oils can be very beneficial for students and teachers and can enhance the learning experience. In fact, studies have shown that essential oils can help increase memory, enhance concentration, promote calmness, boost energy, and fight bugs.
Even just smelling the scent of an essential oil can affect emotions and improve mental clarity. One study showed that “when essential oils are diffused while studying and smelled during a test, test scores may increase by as much as 50%. Different essential oils should be used for different tests, but the same essential oil should be used during the test as was used while studying for that particular test. The smell of the essential oil may help bring back the memory of what was studied.”

Modern Essentials lists the following oils to help with memory: rosemary, peppermint, frankincense, basil, clove, lemon, juniper berry, cedarwood, ginger, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, rose, dill, lavender, lemongrass, and petitgrain.

Want to give it a try? Here’s how: pick a single oil or an oil blend to inhale while you are studying for your test or attending class. You could even label the oil(s) you choose with a class subject. Every time you study that subject, diffuse those oils or place them in a nasal inhaler and periodically breathe in the scent as you study. During the test, pull out the nasal inhaler again and breathe the scent again when you need a little memory boost.
Nasal inhalers make it easy to take the scent of oils with you wherever you go. They even allow you to breathe in the scent without making others around you smell the oil as well. We’ve created 7 essential oil diffuser blends that can also be used in nasal inhalers. Simply drop the oils on the wick; then insert the wick into the inhaler, and push the base in to close it. Place the inhaler close to your nose, and inhale the aroma.

Each of the following diffuser blend recipes can be doubled and placed in a nasal inhaler:

Morning Sunshine:
2 drops orange
2 drops peppermint
2 drops lime
Calm Down:
4 drops lavender
2 drops Roman chamomile
2 drops cedarwood
Afternoon Energy Boost:
3 drops peppermint
2 drops rosemary
2 drops grapefruit
Anxiety Helper:
4 drops lavender
2 drops lemon
2 drops ylang ylang
Mental Clarity:
3 drops lemon
1 drop basil
1 drop rosemary
1 drop frankincense
Smarty Pants:
3 drops peppermint
2 drops basil
Study and Testing Time:
3 drops peppermint
3 drops rosemary
2 drops lemon

Another alternative to nasal inhalers are Whispi® diffusers. You can also make the above blends in a small bottle, then put 1–2 drops of the blend on aromatherapy jewelry. A key chain case is a great way to store and transport your oils—it even has a carabiner to attach to your backpack.

Want to learn more? We’ve put together several other posts on how essential oils can be useful at school. Follow the links below to see these helpful hints:
Backpack Essentials for Students
Backpack Essentials for Teachers
Back to School Tip #1: Stinky Locker?
Back to School Tip #2: School Lunch?
Back to School Tip #3: Multiple Choice?
Back to School Tip #4: First-Period Chemistry?
Better Focus Diffuser Blend

How do you use essential oils at school? What essential oil tools do you use to enhance learning? We’d love to hear your experiences!

Homemade Sunscreen

Protect your skin naturally while out in the summer sun with this all-natural homemade sunscreen. It is easy to make and looks and feels just like store-bought sunscreen! Your family won’t know the difference, but you will feel better knowing what you are putting on your children’s skin! A few things to know about this sunscreen:

  1. This sunscreen has an SPF of 20+ because the zinc oxide has an SPF of 20, the coconut oil has an SPF of 4, and the essential oils used in this recipe are also beneficial for protecting against the sun’s rays.
  2. It may need to be reapplied every hour or so, especially during water play. The beeswax in this recipe does help it be a little waterproof, but stay on the safe side and reapply fairly often.
  3. Even though it looks like it goes on pretty white in the above picture, it doesn’t stay that way. Just rub it on the skin, spreading it all over, and after a minute or so it will melt and disappear.
  4. This sunscreen will last through the summer—possibly even 2 summers depending on how fresh your ingredients are.

Continue reading

Just Add Oils to Your Mommy Routine

Mothers are always worrying about keeping their families healthy. Adding essential oils to your mommy routine is a great way to do that! Here are some of our suggestions:

For Mom:

1. Essential Oil–Safe Water Bottle. It’s too easy for a mom to forget to drink water with all the demands for her attention, but it is extremely important to stay hydrated in order to maintain good health. Try keeping a water bottle nearby with a few essential oils to help boost the flavor.

2. Modern Essentials. Mothers need an accurate resource that helps them know how to use their essential oils safely on their families. Modern Essentials is research-based, so you know you are getting accurate information. Keep the big book at home to educate yourself and reference later. Use the Modern Essentials Usage Guide, the “Introduction to Modern Essentials” booklet, or the Modern Essentials app for your on-the-go reference.

3. Your Favorite Essential Oil Products or DIYs. It is important for moms to take care of themselves so they have the health and strength to take care of their dear ones. Here are a few DIY products that you may find helpful:

• Between dishes, laundry, and diaper changes, moms’ hands can easily get tired and dry. Try rejuvenating your overworked hands with this Simply Luxurious Moisturizing Lotion! • After touching grocery carts, park benches, and dirty diapers, you may want to get rid of the germs with this Citrus Mint Hand Sanitizer.
• Keep your lips smooth with this Natural Lip Balm so you can keep on kissing your baby’s adorable cheeks! • Try out these roll-on blends to help you stay sane, well-rested, refreshed, and happy. Kids thrive when mom has energy!
• Keep your breath fresh with this Breath Spray or these Homemade Breath Mints. They are especially handy on mornings when you were in such a rush to get the kids off to school that you forgot to brush your own teeth! A diffuser or room spray can be a must to keep the house smelling fresh and clean! Try this spill-proof humidifying diffuser. It’s great to use around children who are prone to knocking things over. You may also want to try out one of these fantastic diffuser blends!

4. Other Articles about Using Essential Oils for Moms.

For the Kids:

1. Diluted Essential Oils. Because children have smaller bodies and more sensitive skin, it is important to make sure any essential oils used on them are diluted with a carrier oil. This is easy to do with a Dilution Stick or with roll-on bottles. Using a dilution stick on children gives their skin a good coating of the carrier oil before applying a drop of essential oil and rubbing it all in. For roll-on bottles, just add a few drops of essential oil to the bottle, then fill the rest of the bottle with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil. See this chart for more accurate guidelines based on the child’s age.

2. Kid-Friendly Essential Oil Products or DIYs. Kids can benefit from essential oil DIYs as well! Here are our top recommendations for children:

Toys are notorious for picking up germs and should be cleaned regularly. This spray makes it really easy to clean your kids’ toys—just spray them all down, let them sit for a few minutes as you spray the rest of the toys, and then wipe them all clean.

Toy Cleaner

  • Servings: 4 oz. (120 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) hydrogen peroxide or vinegar
  • 4 drops lemon or melaleuca essential oil
  • 4 oz. Spray Bottle


  1. Fill the 4 oz. spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide or vinegar. Add the essential oil. Screw the lid on, and shake to combine.
  2. To use, spray the toys thoroughly. Let sit for a few minutes, then wipe dry with a clean cloth.

Note: Hydrogen peroxide can lose its effectiveness if exposed to sunlight. It is best to store your Toy Cleaning Spray in a container that will protect it from sun exposure.

3. More Information about Using Essential Oils on Children.

Homemade Essential Oil Dilution Sticks

While some essential oils can be used “neat” (without dilution), many do require dilution, especially when used on children, pregnant women, or people with sensitive skin. The most common way to dilute essential oils is to mix them with fractionated coconut oil. Sometimes this can get a little messy—especially when you’re on-the-go or applying oils to a wiggly child. We found a dilution solution by creating a thickened blend of carrier oils stored in a twist-up container: a dilution stick. This stick contains a formula of carrier oils that are good for sensitive skin and will remain solid at room temperature.

Our dilution stick recipe does not contain essential oils, so it can be used with any essential oil you need at the time. To use the stick, simply twist it up and rub it onto your skin before (or after) applying your essential oils.

If you have a favorite essential oil that you use frequently, you can also add it to the melted liquid before pouring the mixture into your containers. Or you can add the essential oil after pouring the carrier oil mixture into each container. Just be sure to stir the essential oil in with a toothpick or bamboo skewer before the mixture cools. A good dilution ratio is 1–2 drops per .15 oz. (4.25 g) of carrier oil mixture, or the following:

If you love this idea but don’t want to make it, you can always buy the Essential Oil Carrier Oil Stick that is ready to go. A smaller On-The-Go Essential Oil Extender is also available.

The following recipe fills at least 2 dilution sticks—1 large and 1 small. (Or make 1 round one and 2 small ones, or many little ones—any combination of containers totaling 3 oz.) Keep a big one at home and a small one in your purse or travel bag. That way, you’ll always have one when you need it!

Essential Oil Dilution Sticks

  • Servings: Yield=3 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print



  1. Place the mango butter and beeswax in a double boiler on the stove over medium-low heat. You can create a double boiler by placing a glass measuring cup (containing the ingredients) in a pan filled with an inch or so of water.
  2. Once the mango butter and beeswax are melted, reduce the heat to low, and add the coconut oil. When the coconut oil is melted, add the sweet almond oil, and remove boiler from heat. Continue stirring until all the oils have melted together.
  3. Make sure your containers are clean and twisted all the way down. Pour the oil into your containers, and allow them to cool. You can place them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
  4. To use, rub the stick over the skin before applying essential oils.


Other twist-up containers also work, including our Round Twist Tube (2.2 oz/63.4 g) and our Lip Balm Dispensing Tubes (.15 oz/4.25 g). When choosing containers for this recipe, just use as many containers as needed to hold a total of 3 oz.

*Shea butter contains latex (a natural rubber). If you are allergic or sensitive to latex, do a skin patch test before making this recipe with shea butter.

‘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.



  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.