Essential Educators: Yoga Mini Tear Pad

“Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years as an exercise that focuses on the health of the body and the mind. Yoga has been shown to build strength and flexibility over all areas of the body.” The new Essential Educators “Yoga” mini tear pad is a beginner-friendly resource for enhancing anyone’s yoga experience with essential oils. It discusses how oils benefit a workout and offers quick ideas for both aromatic and topical application. Also included are instructions for a yoga mat cleaning spray and a quick yoga stretch (that you can do anywhere). Designed for class use or to share with samples, the “Yoga” mini tear pad contains 50 sheets—plenty to share with your team, contacts, friends, and family!

The yoga presentation also coordinates with our “Chakras” mini tear pad. This tear pad  introduces the seven chakras as energy centers in the body. It lists essential oils that help open and balance each chakra—and explains application methods. Finally, it illustrates four basic yoga poses for balancing chakras.

Since yoga is such a hot topic, we’ve linked all our previous yoga-related blog posts below so that you can learn even more about using essential oils with yoga!

Ready to get going? Check out our yoga and meditation products—full-size tear pads, books, DVDs, exercise apparel, and more. Click here to browse everything!

Apple Cinnamon Energy Bites

Sometimes we all need a healthy energy boost to keep us going. These energy bites are so delicious that even your kids will love them! This snack is simple and fun, but also really healthy so that you can feel good about eating it.

Apple Cinnamon Energy Bites

  • Servings: 24–30
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (200 g) rolled oats
  • 1 cup grated apple (about 1 apple)
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) ground flaxseed
  • 5 Tbsp. (75 ml) honey
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the honey, vanilla, and cinnamon essential oil.
  3. Add the wet ingredients and the grated apple to the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is completely combined (you may need to use your hands).
  4. Cover, and refrigerate for an hour or until the mixture solidifies a bit.
  5. Roll the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls, and snack away!

These energy bites can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days.

You can substitute any other fruit for the apple if desired—pears, peaches, strawberries, etc.

Lighten Your Hair Naturally with Essential Oils

Have you ever wanted that perfect sun-bleached hair color after spending the summer on the beach? Unfortunately, few of us actually have that kind of time to spend out in the sun. Lucky for you, we’ve found some natural ways for you to get lighter hair quickly without damaging your hair with harsh chemicals and dyes.

Many men and women today are dying their hair regularly in order to make it look lighter or give it some highlights. Others shy away from a change they may want because of the harsh chemicals involved in hair dye. However, there are natural ways to give your hair a lighter color without using hair dye. You may have heard of using hydrogen peroxide to bleach your hair, but this method comes with complications. Hydrogen peroxide bleaching strips the natural pigment from your hair, making it just about as damaging as hair dye. Lemons have long been known for their bleaching qualities, and the essential oil has been found to possess the same properties. Apple cider vinegar helps with lightening, but also leaves a shine and works to strengthen your hair. Rosemary and grapefruit essential oils help to protect your hair from damage in the sun and can help heal other pre-existing damage. Try out this hair-lightening spray to add some color and depth to your hair this summer!

Hair-Lightening Spray

  • Servings: Yield=8 oz. (250 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. (25 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 30 drops lemon essential oil
  • 15 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  • Water
  • 8 oz. Glass Spray Bottle

Instructions:

  1. Place the apple cider vinegar with the essential oils in the spray bottle, and shake to combine. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water, and shake again to combine.
  2. Spray the mixture through your hair, or in desired locations for highlights. The amount you use will depend on the length of your hair and the intensity of color desired.
  3. Lie out in the sun for 30 minutes, check the color, spray again, and return to the sun until the desired color is reached. Some hair may take multiple exposures to reach the desired color, as this is a very gradual process.
  4. Once you finish lightening your hair, wash your hair out thoroughly, making sure to apply plenty on conditioner to rehydrate your hair.

This recipe is created as a general rule of thumb for most hair colors. This should not be used on dark hair, as it can cause brassy colors or damage to your hair. If you have a strong pigment in your hair and the color isn’t taking quickly, you may need to increase the amount of lemon oil.

Make sure to keep an eye on how your hair is reacting in the sun. Some hair colors and pigments may lighten faster, while others could take much longer. Don’t get discouraged if it’s a slow process; it can take a few exposures to show extreme differences.

While you’re waiting for the lightening spray to work its magic, you can lie out in the sun with a good book or simply get some yard work done. Whatever you do, just don’t forget sunscreen!

 

Peppermint Chocolate Mousse

This dessert is so delicious—and healthy too! If you love rich, creamy, chocolate treats, this is the one for you. It’s made with coconut cream, which adds an amazing hint of coconut flavor. And the peppermint essential oil tops off this amazing dessert with a flavor to die for! This mousse is very rich, so it doesn’t take much to hit your sweet spot.

Peppermint Chocolate Mousse

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

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) coconut cream
  • 2 Tbsp. (18 g) confectioner’s sweetener (or confectioner’s sugar)
  • 3 Tbsp. (24 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 squares (20 g) 70% dark chocolate, shaved (optional for extra richness)
  • Shaved chocolate for garnish
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place the cans of coconut cream in the refrigerator overnight before using. Without shaking the cans, open them up and scoop the thick cream off the top of the water into a bowl.
  2. Add the sweetener or sugar to the cream, and beat on high until it thickens up. If desired, you can save a little bit of the whipped cream to top the mousse with.
  3. Fold the cocoa powder and salt into the cream, and beat again until smooth.
  4. Add the peppermint essential oil, and beat again.
  5. Fold in the chocolate shavings, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Top with whipped coconut cream and chocolate shavings, and serve!

You can also use coconut milk in place of coconut cream, but you will need to allow the mousse to thicken in the refrigerator for an hour or more before serving.

Lavender Sunburn Ointment

Nobody likes getting sunburned, but we do love soaking up the sunlight during the summer. Sometimes you can’t control how you skin will react to the sunlight, even if you wear sunscreen; but you can treat it properly to relieve the pain. This ointment was designed to help alleviate your sunburn while helping to hydrate and regenerate your skin. You’ll love how soothing this ointment will feel on your burned skin, and it can even help prevent peeling. Give it a try so you can enjoy your summer again!

This ointment can also double as a burn ointment for regular first-degree burns.

Lavender Sunburn Ointment

  • Servings: Yield=3 Tbsp. (45 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Fill the acrylic bottle until almost full with aloe vera gel.
  2. Add the essential oils to the aloe vera, and use a chopstick or skewer to combine. The mixture will become cloudy when combined.
  3. Pump the mixture until it begins to come out. Apply to sunburned skin, and allow it to soak in and provide soothing relief!

If you’d like, you can also combine the aloe vera gel and essential oils in a bowl and use a funnel to transfer the mixture to the lotion bottle or another bottle of your choice.

DIY Essential Oil Deodorant

Many deodorants on the market today are full of harsh chemicals that are doing more damage to our bodies than we think. It is possible to find deodorants that are safer for your body, but they tend to be expensive. We’ve created this all-natural recipe for a deodorant that you can feel good about—for your body and your wallet. You can add whatever oils you want to this recipe to make it your own.

And if your armpits have a hard time adjusting to chemical-free deodorant, we’ve included an armpit detox recipe below.

DIY Deodorant

  • Servings: Yield=5 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Melt the beeswax by placing it in a glass measuring cup in a pot of water over medium heat.
  2. Once the beeswax is almost melted, add in the shea butter and coconut oil, and allow it to finish melting.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat, and stir in the arrowroot powder and baking soda.
  4. Add 20–40 drops of your favorite essential oil or blend, and stir well to combine. (Start with 20 drops, and gradually add more until the deodorant reaches your desired scent.)
  5. Before the mixture solidifies, pour it into the deodorant containers.
  6. Allow the deodorant to cool for several hours or until solid and completely cooled.

Extra Ideas:

Make “his” and “hers” deodorant by splitting the mixture in half and adding manly oils for him and feminine oils for her.

A blend that we tried and loved was 20 drops grapefruit plus 15 drops lemon. Let us know what blends you come up with!

It’s important to remember that sometimes your body can have a hard time making the switch from a conventional deodorant to an all-natural kind. If you use your natural deodorant and your armpits become smelly or you get a rash, you may need to do an armpit detox to clean the chemicals from your skin. Here’s a simple recipe to get your armpits clean!

Armpit Detox

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. (9 g) bentonite clay
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • Water (optional)
  • Aloe vera gel (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the bentonite clay with the apple cider vinegar to form a paste. If it’s not a paste, you can add a small amount of water to give it a spreadable consistency.
  2. Spread the mixture on your armpits, and let it sit for 5–10 minutes.
  3. Wash off the detox with a damp cloth, or rinse off in the shower.
  4. Once you finish removing the paste, if desired, you can apply a small amount of aloe vera gel to soothe the skin.

Like any other detox, make sure to drink lots of water to help your body detox faster.

You may need to do the detox multiple times to get the full effect.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Coriander

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) is steam-distilled from the seeds of a plant in the parsley family. This oil is known for its woody, spicy, and sweet aroma. Coriander essential oil contains analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, and stimulant health properties. Coriander most directly affects the digestive and hormonal systems.

Historically, coriander was used by the Chinese for dysentery, piles, measles, nausea, toothache, and painful hernias. Today, this essential oil is commonly used to help with cartilage injury, degenerative disease, muscle aches, muscle development, muscle tone, and whiplash.

Other uses for this essential oil include anorexia, arthritis, colds, colic, diarrhea, digestive spasms, dyspepsia, flatulence, flu, gout, infections, migraines, nervous exhaustion, neuralgia, poor circulation, rheumatism, and stiffness.

Application of Coriander Essential Oil and Safety Data:

Topical Application: Coriander essential oil can be applied neat (with no dilution) directly on location or to reflex points.
Aromatic Application: Aromatically, coriander is a gentle stimulant for those with low physical energy. It also helps one relax during times of stress, irritability, and nervousness. It may also provide a calming influence to those suffering from shock or fear.
Internal Application: This oil is recognized as safe for human consumption by the FDA. Coriander also serves as a wonderful flavoring agent in many recipes.
Safety Data: Coriander should not be taken internally by children under the age of 6 and should be used with caution and in greater dilution for children 6 years and older.

Ways to Use Coriander Essential Oil:

1. Diffuse
With its powerful aromatic influence, coriander adds a nice touch to some of your favorite diffuser blends. Here are just a few diffuser blends you can try out!

2. Alzheimer’s
Diffuse a blend of 1 part coriander and 2 parts lemon using an aromatherapy diffuser for 15 minutes daily.

3. Cooking
Coriander essential oil can add an amazing flavor to any of your favorite meals. Here are some of our favorite recipes that use coriander essential oil!

4. Massage Oil
Coriander essential oil can help to improve circulation, so it can be very effective in a massage oil. For an invigorating massage, combine 1 oz. (25 ml) Sweet Almond Oil with 3 drops coriander, 3 drops frankincense, 2 drops lime, and 2 drops rose in a small bowl or 1 oz. bottle. Gently rub a small amount into your muscles.

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, p. 56.
Organic Beauty with Essential Oil by Rebecca Park Totilo

Peppermint Chocolate Bites

We all love the dinner mints given out at fancy restaurants, but they only give you one! We decided to try our hand at chocolatiering, and we fell in love with this simple recipe. You can use your favorite dark chocolate (the darker the healthier), and the peppermint essential oil adds a nice flavor that will make it hard to stop eating these little gems.

Chocolate Peppermint Bites

  • Servings: 36–48
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages (10 oz. each) dark chocolate melting wafers
  • 1 package (10 oz.) white chocolate melting wafers
  • 6–8 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops green food coloring (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C).
  2. Place the chocolate into 3 oven-safe bowls (1 package in each bowl), and warm in the oven for 20 minutes or until fully melted.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, making sure it covers the sides as well.
  4. Remove one of the bowls of dark chocolate from the oven, and leave the others in to keep them melted.
  5. Pour the first bowl of dark chocolate across the wax paper, spread the chocolate out with a spatula, and shake the pan to help create an even layer.
  6. While that layer is drying, remove the white chocolate from the oven, and add peppermint oil and food coloring.
  7. Wait just until the first layer of chocolate changes from glossy to matte, then pour the white chocolate on top quickly, spreading it out and shaking the pan to flatten.
  8. Once that layer has turned matte, remove the last bowl of dark chocolate from the oven, and spread it across the top in the same manner as the other 2 layers.
  9. Allow the chocolate to dry, then cut into squares with a sharp knife.

The trick to this recipe is knowing exactly when to pour the layers on top. If the chocolate is too wet, the layers will mix. If the chocolate is too dry, the layers won’t stick together. Watch the chocolate as it dries; it will change from glossy to matte, and at this point, you can quickly top the next layer. If they do mix a bit, no big deal! It will still taste delicious!

These chocolate bites are so good, you won’t be able to keep the kids away! They also make great snacks for your essential oil classes. Make up a tray, and give them to your attendees to demonstrate the use of essential oils in cooking.

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.