Essential Oils for the Digestive System

After the holiday season, we are all bound to have some sort of digestive problems. Essential oils are a great way to aid our bodies in returning back to normal any time of year! With so many organs involved in the digestive process, it’s easy for things to go wrong; but with these tips, you’ll be feeling better in no time. Let’s go over some of the common problems we all struggle with on occasion:

Bloating

Nothing can get you down more than a bloated stomach! Bloating, or abdominal swelling, is typically caused by overeating, menstruation, constipation, food allergies, and irritable bowel syndrome and can cause a lot of discomfort. The trick to this one is simple: rub Digestive Blend directly on your stomach and the reflex points on your feet, or give this roll-on recipe a try!

Bloating Roll-on:
5 drops fennel essential oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Combine oils in a 5 ml roll-on bottle, and apply on stomach once or twice a day as needed.

Constipation

Constipation is defined as having fewer than 3 bowel movements in a week, or having stools that are hard or difficult to expel. Constipation is caused by lack of fiber, dehydration, ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement, depression, medications, excessive dairy intake, stress, and laxative abuse. Oils that are great for constipation include rosemary, lemon, peppermint, marjoram, and Digestive Blend. These oils can be applied directly to the abdominal area but may need to be diluted depending on which oils you use. Give this roll-on blend a shot!

Constipation Roll-on:
1 drop rosemary essential oil
1 drop lemon essential oil
1 drop peppermint essential oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Add essential oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, and fill the remainder of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil. Massage gently on the stomach and back.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea can be really uncomfortable and extremely inconvenient. Diarrhea is defined as more than 3 bowel movements in a day. Serious cases of diarrhea last more than 2 days and can cause dehydration. These cases should be treated with an oral rehydration solution. Diarrhea is typically caused by viral, parasitic, or bacterial infections. Oils that help with this condition include peppermint, ginger, geranium, and Digestive Blend. Try this roll-on blend to help relieve this issue!

Diarrhea Roll-on:
3 drops peppermint essential oil
2 drops fennel essential oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Add essential oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, and fill the remainder with fractionated coconut oil. Apply over the stomach as needed.

Gas/Flatulence

Gas is always uncomfortable, inconvenient, and unwanted, and it can be caused by just about anything. You can remedy this problem with the use of lavender, ginger, peppermint, cardamom, eucalyptus, and myrrh essential oils. Try this roll-on out!

Gas Relief Roll-on:
1 drop lavender essential oil
1 drop rosemary essential oil
1 drop ginger essential oil
1 drop peppermint essential oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Add essential oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, and fill the remainder with fractionated coconut oil. Apply over the stomach once or twice a day as needed.

Heartburn

Heartburn is a painful burning sensation in the throat or chest. It’s a result of backed-up stomach acid in the esophagus and is often brought on because of certain foods, medication, pregnancy, and alcohol. Oils that help relieve heartburn include lemon, peppermint, and Digestive Blend. Give this remedy a shot!

Heartburn Water:
1 drop peppermint essential oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) honey
1 cup (240 ml) warm water
Add peppermint oil to honey, and dissolve in warm water. Drink slowly.

These are just a few examples of digestive problems that essential oils help combat. See Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils for more information and ideas on how you can have a healthier digestive system today!

Also, don’t forget to check out our post “The Art of Roller Bottle Blending” for more information on safe roller bottle use!

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

Cold Fighter Diffuser Blend

It’s that time of year again—cold and flu season—and it seems like everyone is getting sick. But don’t worry, we have you covered with this awesome diffuser blend! This sweet, fresh scent will not only help fight off a cold but will also leave your home smelling fresh and clean.

This blend can also double as a throat salve! Add 5 drops lemon and 5 drops thyme to 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) jojoba oil, and apply to the throat, forehead, chest, and back of neck 2–3 times per day.

Safety Note: Thyme may irritate the skin and mucous membranes and use should be avoided during pregnancy. Caution should also be taken when using thyme if you have hypertension.

Need a diffuser? Check out this wide range of diffusers; you’re sure to find one that fits your needs perfectly!

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

Got Games? Make Meetings Fun and Educational!

Ever wonder what to do while people gather for your educational or marketing meetings? Or how to get your class members to warm up and interact? Introducing mini tear pads with games from Essential Educators! These 5″ × 7″ pads of 50 identical sheets are an easy and economical way to break the ice, entertain, and teach about essential oils.

Choose from 6 different games—3 of them require little or no knowledge of essential oils but impart a few fun facts; the other 3 both test and increase knowledge of the oils, their properties, and common uses. So you can adapt which games you use to your classroom composition or your preference. Offer a prize to the first person or team to complete a game. Click here for a selection of inexpensive prize ideas and gift bags.

Beginning Games

  • “EO Word Search and Scramble” contains both a word search and a word scramble game. Each one is played solo. A few fun facts about some common oils are included.
  • “Sample Vial Solitaire” is also a game for individuals, and the backside offers a few interesting aromatherapy tidbits.
  • “Capture the Oils” requires a partner for a strategic spatial game using 1/4 dram or 5/8 dram sample vials as playing pieces (not included). The backside teaches some of the history, extraction methods, and uses of 6 common essential oils.

Know-How Enhancers

  • “Name That Aroma” asks individuals to name 6 common essential oils based on brief descriptions about their properties and uses. The backside, “Conditions Contact,” is basically a name-that-condition game for 3 or more people.
  • “What Oil Am I?” is an essential oil version of “20 Questions” for 2 players to alternate in deducing the name of a chosen oil. Some facts on the backside help the game move along.
  • “Name That Oil!” is also played in pairs, with each person trying to name more oils and blends than the other. Some up-close plant images create a visual guessing game on the backside.

There you have it! You’ll be a fun and informative host with these ready games that require no preparation. Click here to see front and back images of all the games and to purchase these amazing essential oil class tools!

The current mini tear pad collection from Essential Educators also includes 10 additional titles about basic aromatherapy topics, uses, and conditions: Anxiety, Aromatherapy, Chakras, Depression, Dilution, EOs & Cooking, Internal Application, Kids, Topical Application, and Yoga. Keep an eye on the AromaTools website for even more options in the future!

10 Ways NOT to Use Essential Oils

We often hear about the benefits of essential oils and how you can use them for practically anything, but it is also a good idea to learn about the ways you shouldn’t use essential oils. Here are 10 ways you should NOT use essential oils:

1. Do NOT put essential oils directly in the eye.

Essential oils may be beneficial for some eye problems such as conjunctivitis or cataracts, but the oils should not be applied directly in the eye. Instead, you can rub the oils around the bone that surrounds the eye. Make sure to dilute the essential oil and keep a carrier oil (such as olive oil, coconut oil, or fractionated coconut oil) on hand to further dilute the essential oil if you happen to get any in the eye. One of the best ways to dilute essential oil that has gotten into the eye is to pour a little carrier oil onto a tissue and use the tissue to dab at the eye. Remember not to use water to wash out the oils. Water and oil do not mix, and using water will actually drive the oils in deeper. Be very careful when applying essential oil around the eye, and never apply the oil directly in the eye!

2. Do NOT put essential oils directly in the ear.

Essential oils may help with ear infections and tinnitus, but as with essential oils in the eye, you should NOT put essential oils directly in the ear. You can instead rub essential oils around the ear or place a drop or two on a cotton ball, then place the cotton ball just inside the ear to help with ear problems.

3. Do NOT use a lot of essential oil at once.

Essential oil is very concentrated and should only be used in small doses. In fact, a drop or two is usually sufficient and may even need be diluted with carrier oil (especially for “hot” oils or for use on children, the elderly, or those with sensitive skin). If, for any reason, you need a stronger dose, it is better to keep the dosage small, but apply more frequently rather than using more drops per application.

4. Do NOT use essential oils on young children without dilution.

As mentioned above, essential oils are very concentrated and should be diluted if using them on children, the elderly, or those with sensitive skin. Click here for more information on diluting essential oils and the recommended dilution ratios.

5. Do NOT use essential oils internally for young children.

Caution must be used when using essential oils with young children. Children under the age of 6 do not need to take essential oils internally. The exception to this rule of thumb is when essential oils are used in cooking, because oils used this way are often diluted enough for children. For therapeutic use, topical application (diluted, of course) is usually sufficient for the needs of young children.

6. Do NOT keep essential oils within reach of children.

Children are very curious and like to imitate the things they see. They watch you apply essential oils to yourself or to them and will attempt to do it themselves if they can get ahold of essential oils. You can probably imagine potential problems with this, especially if you have been reading the above cautions about using essential oils on children. Here are some things you can do if you come across the following situations:

  • Child has poured a bunch of oil on his or her skin: Rub as much off with a paper towel as possible, then rub on carrier oil to help dilute the essential oil.
  • Child got essential oil in his or her eyes: Saturate a tissue with a carrier oil, and dab the child’s eyes to help dilute the essential oil.
  • Child has ingested essential oil: Give the child milk, yogurt, or, if older than 12 months, honey to help dilute the ingested oil. You may also want to call poison control to see if they have any further instructions.
  • Child got oil on clothes, fabric, wood, or furniture: Soak up as much as possible with a paper towel, then treat as you would a grease stain.

Click here for more troubleshooting tips when essential oils aren’t used properly or an adverse reaction occurs.

Essential oils are expensive, so aside from the safety concerns of children using the oils on themselves, you will also want to keep the oils out of reach of children so the oil isn’t wasted.

7. Do NOT use essential oils with plastic or styrofoam.

Some essential oils (especially citrus oils), when undiluted, will eat away at plastic, which can destroy the oil and create holes in the plastic, so it is best to avoid using plastic with essential oils. Same goes for styrofoam. If the oils are heavily diluted, such as in creams or lotions, they can be stored in plastic containers that use stronger types of plastic like PET or HDPE. Click here to learn more about the different types of plastics we use in our containers.

8. Do NOT put oil directly on finished wood surfaces.

Just as with plastics, essential oils can eat away at the finishing on wood surfaces. Be careful when using essential oils around finished wood pieces, and remember to clean up immediately after noticing any essential oil has spilled on your wood surface to avoid any disfiguring.

9. Do NOT apply citrus oil while sitting in the sunshine.

Some essential oils (typically citrus oils) are photosensitive and contain natural substances called furanocoumarins. Furanocoumarins can react with ultraviolet light to create substances that may cause hyperpigmentation or burning on the skin. While these essential oils have many beneficial properties, care should be taken after applying these oils on the skin to protect these areas from direct, prolonged ultraviolet light exposure for 1–3 days.

10. Do NOT leave your oils in the cabinet unused.

Even though we have talked about the various ways you should use caution when using essential oils, we hope we haven’t scared you into not using your oils at all. Essential oils, when used appropriately, can be very beneficial to the health and well-being of our bodies. If you have essential oils, don’t let them sit untouched in your cabinet—use them! A great resource to help you learn how to use essential oils is the book Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.
Disclaimer: The essential oil bottles in these pictures were filled with water rather than essential oils. No children (or adults) were harmed while taking these pictures. We do not recommend trying any of the photographed situations at home.

Source: Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Veggie Wraps with Avocado White Bean Spread

These veggie wraps make a healthy and light meal that is perfect for helping you achieve your health goals. Use a large leafy green or a tortilla as your wrap, depending on your preference or health goals. If you have any leftover Avocado White Bean Spread, try using it as a veggie dip—it’s delicious!

Veggie Wraps

  • Servings: 2+
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Chard, collard greens, or tortilla wraps
  • Avocado White Bean Spread (recipe below)
  • Carrots, julienned or sliced with a vegetable peeler
  • Red cabbage, shredded
  • Sprouts (broccoli, alfalfa, or bean)
  • Sweet bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • Cucumbers, cut into matchsticks or sliced with a vegetable peeler
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your vegetables, and make the Avocado White Bean Spread (see recipe below).
  2. If using the chard or collard green leaves as the wrap, cut along the stem on the large leaf so you end up with 2 pieces.
  3. Spread the Avocado White Bean Sauce over the middle of the chard leaf, collard green leaf, or tortilla wrap. Layer on the sliced vegetables over the sauce. Starting at one end, begin rolling as you hold down the filling to tightly roll up the wrap. Lay seam-side-down on a serving platter or plate. Enjoy!


This avocado spread is great to use in a veggie wrap or as a vegetable dip!

Avocado White Bean Spread or Dip

  • Servings: 2+
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1–2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) great northern white beans
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • 1 drop lemon essential oil
  • 1 toothpick black pepper essential oil
  • 1 toothpick basil essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until all combined.
    You may need to scrape down the sides a few times.
  2. Enjoy on the veggie wraps (recipe above), or dip with vegetable sticks!

Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken (Flavored with Essential Oils!)

Butter chicken is simple to make and commonly liked, even by those who don’t normally like Indian food. This version of butter chicken uses essential oils to achieve the exotic flavor of the dish. We used a pressure cooker (Instant Pot®) for this recipe, but you could let it simmer on the stove with similar results.

Butter Chicken with Essential Oils

  • Servings: 6–8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Initial Ingredients:

  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 5–6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. (3 g) turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) paprika
  • 1 tsp. (6 g) salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) garam masala
  • 2 lbs. (1 kg) boneless chicken thighs (see substitution note below)

Final Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) coconut oil or butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut milk or heavy cream
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 drops cumin essential oil
  • 1–2 drops coriander essential oil
  • 1 drop cardamom essential oil
  • 1 drop cassia essential oil
  • 1 drop clove essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • 1 drop ginger essential oil
  • 1/4–1/2 cup (15–30 g) fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Place all the initial ingredients into the pressure cooker. Mix the sauce well, and then place the chicken on top of the sauce.
  2. Seal the pressure cooker, and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before quickly releasing the remaining pressure.
  3. Remove the chicken, and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  4. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender with care—the liquid is really hot!), blend up the sauce.
  5. Allow the sauce to cool a little before adding the butter, coconut milk, cilantro or parsley, nutmeg, and essential oils. If you add these items while the sauce is too hot, it will be a thin sauce. Just place it in the fridge for a little bit to help it thicken.
  6. Cut the chicken into chunks before adding back into the sauce.
  7. Serve over rice or zucchini noodles or with a side of naan.

Notes/Substitutions:

  • You can substitute some or all the chicken with tofu, steamed vegetables, or shrimp. Just add 1/4 cup (60 ml) water to the sauce before cooking, then add the substituted ingredients after cooking and heat until warm or cooked through.
  • You can use frozen chicken. Just push it into the sauce before cooking and add 1–2 minutes to the cook time.

Trick Your Sweet Tooth with Flavored Toothpicks

Instead of grabbing that sweet treat that you are craving, try sucking on an essential oil–flavored toothpick instead. Studies have shown that grapefruit essential oil can reduce appetite and sweet cravings and may even help with addictions. Cinnamon essential oil can be a great alternative to your favorite cinnamon candy and supports the immune system. Peppermint, spearmint, fennel, and cardamom can all help freshen your breath, support your digestive system, and keep your mouth occupied so you don’t eat something you’ll regret later.

Essential Oil Toothpicks

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Place fractionated coconut oil in the shot glass. Add essential oils, and stir to combine.
  2. Place desired number of toothpicks in the shot glass standing up.
  3. Let sit for several hours or until all the oil has been soaked up.
  4. Spread the toothpicks out on parchment paper, and allow them to dry.
  5. Once dry, place the toothpicks in the spice jar.
  6. When you need a little something sweet or want to freshen your breath, simply suck on one of the toothpicks!

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

EO-Flavored Water: Cinnamon Orange

The cinnamon-orange flavor combination is popular this time of year, so we decided to try it in our water using essential oils and found the result to be delicious! We tried it 3 different ways with essential oils and found they all taste great (although the orange slices added a little sweetness too!). Try using a cinnamon stick or orange slices with the complementary essential oil, or simply use a toothpick of cinnamon essential oil and a drop of orange essential oil in your water.

Guidelines for Adding Essential Oils to Your Water:

  • Make sure to use an essential oil–safe water bottle! Glass or metal cups, bottles, and straws work great. Plastic should be avoided, especially with cinnamon or citrus essential oils.
  • This Natural Essential Oil Emulsifier really helps disperse the oils throughout your water. Just add 1 drop of emulsifier for every drop of essential oil. If you don’t want to use the emulsifier, then remember to shake the bottle to mix in the oils before drinking. When taken internally, essential oils can irritate the mucous membranes—especially when concentrated on the surface of the water—so make sure to add an emulsifier or shake the bottle really well before drinking.
  • Remember, a little goes a long way! If you don’t know whether you’ll like the taste, start out small—dip a toothpick in the oil and swish it in your water (the more you dip, the more oil you’ll get). A good rule of thumb is 1 drop oil to 1–4 cups of water.
  • Safety Note: Essential oils are very concentrated, and it is easy to overload the body if adding oils to your water every day. Occasionally is fine, but make sure to give your body a break in between uses.

Peppermint Whipped Cream Cubes for Hot Chocolate

These frozen whipped cream cubes make hot chocolate a fun experience and add a little minty flavor to your cup as well! This recipe can be a healthier alternative to adding marshmallows to your hot chocolate, especially if you follow the substitutions to make this a healthy non-dairy topping!

Peppermint Whipped Cream Cubes

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream (or coconut cream)
  • 2 Tbsp. (17 g) powdered sugar or 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) maple syrup
  • 2–3 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Using an electric mixer, whisk together the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and peppermint essential oil until it thickens and forms stiff peaks.
  2. Cover a dish with parchment paper, and spread the whipped cream on the parchment paper. You’ll want it at least 1/2″ (1 1/4 cm) thick.
  3. Freeze the cream until solid (about an hour).
  4. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes in the cream, and place them in hot chocolate.

Extra Ideas:

  • A chocolate stirring spoon makes the drink more decadent. You can even add a drop of peppermint to the chocolate before pouring into the spoon mold for a little extra mintiness!
  • Forget freezing and just use it as cream. It’s delicious either way!
  • Make “ice cream sandwiches” by placing this cream in between your favorite cookies.

Hand and Foot Warmers

These cute little hand and foot warmers are easy to make and a good way to use up fabric scraps. If you don’t have any fabric scraps, you can pick up the last bits from a roll at a fabric store for very little money.

Not only can these warm up your hands and feet, but if you add essential oils, you can turn them into personal diffusers and customize the scent according to your needs.

Try gifting the hand and foot warmers along with a small sample bottle of oil for refreshing the scent.

Hand and Foot Warmers

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 3″–4″ (7.5–10 cm) fleece squares
  • 1 1/2″ × 2″ (3 3/4 × 5 cm) fleece pieces for pocket (optional)
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine
  • Rice or whole flax seeds
  • Essential oils of choice
  • Small Aroma Pads (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Sew a 1 1/2″ x 2″ (3 3/4 × 5 cm) piece of fleece to the center of one of the fleece squares to make a little pocket. You’ll want to attach it to the square on three sides and leave one side open (you’ll be inserting the small aroma pad in this pocket to customize your scent).
  2. Now take another fleece square that is the same size as the one you sewed the pocket to, and put them together with the pocket side on the outside. Sew these squares together on 3 sides (leave one side open). Note: when you start or end sewing, reverse directions after 10 stitches or so to reinforce the area and prevent it from coming unstitched.
  3. Fill the fleece warmer with rice or whole flax seeds (until 2/3 full—leave enough space to sew the remaining side without rice getting in the way). Add 3–5 drops essential oil to the rice or whole flax seeds (optional, but this helps cover the musty scent of the rice).
  4. Once the rice or whole flax seeds are in, sew up the remaining side.
  5. To use, simply pop your warmers in the microwave for 30 seconds or until pretty warm (but not hot!). Add a few drops of essential oil to the aroma pad, and place it in the little fleece pocket. Use to keep your hands or feet warm by holding them or placing them in mittens or socks. They should stay warm for about 15–20 minutes.

Extra Ideas:

  • Use pinking shears to cut your squares to give them a decorative finish.
  • If you don’t want to sew a pocket for the aroma pad, you can always add your 3–5 drops of essential oil to the rice, then add additional scent directly to the fleece (just avoid citrus essential oils if putting oil directly on the fleece).