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)
Headaches:
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
  • Print

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

Instructions:

  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!

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Raspberry Lemon Popsicles

Cool off this summer with these delicious and refreshing popsicles! These treats are vegan and loaded with good fruit, healthy fats, and non-dairy milk, with the added benefit of lemon essential oil.

Raspberry Lemon Popsicles

  • Servings: 4–6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (130 g) raspberries
  • 1 banana
  • 2 Tbsp. (24 g) coconut oil (optional)
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1 drop lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend like you would a smoothie.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds, and freeze for at least 3 hours or until solid.

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.

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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
  • Print

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

  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.

‘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.

Essential Oils for Children

While essential oils can benefit people of all ages, it is important to be cautious when using them on children. Because essential oils are very concentrated and children have such small bodies, it is important to know how to use oils safely with kids.

at_eoschildren1

Essential Oils Safe for Children

There is a lot of controversy about which essential oils should or shouldn’t be used on children. Several oils that are generally considered safe for children include the following:

  • Cypress
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Lemon*
  • Marjoram
  • Melaleuca
  • Orange*
  • Rosemary**
  • Sandalwood
  • Thyme
  • Ylang Ylang

*These oils are photosensitive; always dilute, and do not use when skin will be exposed soon to direct sunlight.
**This oil should never be used undiluted on infants or children.

Always Dilute Essential Oils for Children

When using essential oils on children and infants, it is always best to dilute the pure essential oil with a carrier oil. Roll-on bottles work really well for diluting the oils and allowing older children to apply the oils by themselves.

at_eoschildren_dilutionrecommendations_1200

Ways to Use Essential Oils with Children

Essential oils can be used topically and aromatically with children, but they should not be given internally for therapeutic use. Here are a few ways you can use essential oils with children:

  • Rub essential oils (diluted with carrier oil or cream) onto feet.
  • Diffuse essential oils around the house occasionally. Young children learn about their environment through smell, so be careful not to overload their senses with constant essential oil diffusion.
  • Add essential oils to bathtime. A drop of lavender or Roman chamomile added to a bath gel base before mixing with the bathwater can help create a relaxing bath before bed.
  • Use essential oils in cooking. When used appropriately in cooking, essential oils are diluted quite a bit and are safe for children to consume.

Safety Tips

It is important to keep essential oils out of reach of children. Kids are inherently curious, so if oil bottles are left out, it is very likely your children will try to mimic what they see you do and try to apply the oils to themselves.at_eoschildren_keepoutofreach

Here are a few things you can do if you encounter the following situations:

  • Child has poured a bunch of oil on their skin: Rub as off as much oil as possible with a paper towel, then rub on carrier oil to help dilute the essential oil.
  • Child got essential oils in their eyes: Saturate a tissue with a carrier oil, and dab the child’s eyes to help dilute the essential oil.
  • Child has taken essential oil internally: Give the child milk, yogurt, or honey (if 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.
  • Child got oil on clothes, fabric, wood, or furniture: Soak up as much oil as possible with a paper towel; then treat as you would a grease stain.

Essential oils are expensive, so aside from the safety concerns of children using the oils on themselves, you will also want to keep your oils out of reach so they’re not wasted.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, pp. 247–49.

For more information about essential oils and how to use them on children, please see Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils for more information.

These are a few of our favorite ways you can use essential oils with children:

 

Scented Sidewalk Chalk

Do your kids love to play with chalk, but get their hands really messy while they are at it? You can cut down on the mess a bit by making your own chalk in deodorant containers. Homemade retractable chalk is easy to use and fun to play with! And since we love essential oils, we decided to make our chalk scented to enhance the sensory activity for the kids.

AT_ScentedSidewalkChalk2

To be honest, this project has had a couple of flops, but we kept great notes on our tests so you can learn from our mistakes.

The idea behind making the chalk is simple:

  1. Coat the deodorant containers with petroleum jelly so the chalk doesn’t stick to the container.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water with food coloring and essential oils.
  3. Add 1/2 cup (100 g) plaster of paris to the cold water. Mix, then pour into the containers.
  4. Let sit until completely hardened (about 4 hours).
  5. Twist up and have fun!

AT_ScentedSidewalkChalk3

Now for the things we learned:

  • It is a good idea to coat the inside very thoroughly. You want every area of the inside to have a layer of petroleum jelly. We used about 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) of jelly per deodorant container.
  • Use disposable cups/utensils to create the mixture. Once this stuff hardens, it is a huge pain to get off dishes and utensils. And, honestly, it’s probably not a good idea to pour it down your drain.
  • To get a vibrant color, you will need a lot of food coloring/dye. The water will need to look pretty dark, because the white plaster of paris lightens the mixture quite a bit.
  • Plaster of paris can be harmful if inhaled, so be very careful about not creating dust. It is also a good idea to wear a dust mask and do the mixing and pouring outside where it is well ventilated. The mixture also gets pretty hot, so don’t touch it with your bare hands.
  • Once the plaster of paris and water mix, you don’t have a lot of time before it starts to harden. So work fast, and do only one deodorant container/color at a time. If you are doing multiple colors, you can do some prep work (coat the insides with petroleum jelly, color and scent the water), but don’t mix the plaster of paris with the water until you are ready to quickly mix and pour.
  • When pouring in the mixture, you may be tempted to stack it up on the top until it looks like it might overflow. Don’t do it. In fact, it is a good idea to only fill to just below the lip of the container so the chalk mixture has a little space to expand before reaching the top (and the end of the petroleum jelly coverage).
  • When trying to twist up the chalk initially, it will stick a little bit. First, squeeze the sides of the container to loosen the edges. Then, put your fingers on the inside of the twist dial on the bottom, and use the little groves inside as traction. Apply firm pressure as you twist, but be careful not to break the middle piece inside. Once the chalk is loosened initially, it should be easy to twist up and down like you normally would.

AT_ScentedSidewalkChalk_Twist

Hopefully we haven’t scared you away from doing this project now that you have read all of our notes and cautions. This really is an easy project, and the kids had a blast playing with the chalk once it was done.

You can also do this with lip balm containers for smaller sticks to use on chalkboards. In fact, you should have a little mixture left over in your disposable cup so that you can fill 1 large deodorant container and a few lip balm containers with the recipe below.

AT_ScentedSidewalkChalk1

Scented Sidewalk Chalk

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 Deodorant Container (and a few Lip Balm Dispensers, if desired)
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) petroleum jelly (per deodorant container)
  • 1 disposable cup and plastic fork (per color)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water (per deodorant container)
  • 5–10 drops essential oil (per deodorant container)
  • Food coloring (you can also use liquid watercolors or tempura paint)
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) plaster of paris (per deodorant container)

Instructions:

  1. Coat the inside of the deodorant container with petroleum jelly. Be very generous, and make sure to apply the jelly everywhere inside, especially the bottom. We used about 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) or more of petroleum jelly per deodorant container. It might help to twist up the bottom piece so you can thoroughly coat it, then lower it back down to coat the sides and middle piece.
  2. Next, pour the cold water into a disposable cup, and add the food coloring and essential oils. It is fun to coordinate the scent of the essential oil with the color of the chalk (e.g., lemon essential oil for yellow chalk, orange essential oil for orange chalk, peppermint essential oil for green or blue chalk, etc.). If you are attempting to do multiple colors and deodorant containers, do steps 1–2 in bulk, but do the rest of the steps for only one container at a time.
  3. Note: If you have a dust mask, put it on for this step. Also, move the project outdoors to finish so you are in a well-ventilated area. Very gently, spoon out 1/2 cup (100 g) of plaster of paris, and add it to the cold water solution. Be very careful not to create dust or inhale any dust. Once the plaster of paris and cold water mix, it will get hot—so don’t touch it with your bare hands until it hardens.
  4. Using a plastic fork, stir the mixture until it is well combined and the color is thoroughly mixed in. You can still add food coloring at this stage, but be quick; you really don’t have a lot of time before it starts to harden.
  5. Pour the chalk mixture into the deodorant container until just below the lip.
  6. Let sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours to harden completely.
  7. Once hardened, squeeze the sides of the container to help loosen the chalk. Then put your fingers on the inside of the twist dial on the bottom of the container, and use the inside grooves as traction. Apply firm pressure as you twist, but be careful not to break the middle piece inside. Once the chalk is loosened initially, it should be easy to twist up and down like you normally would.
  8. To use, twist up and get creative!


Update 4/19/17: We now sell these round twist up containers that would work well for this project.

Backpack Essentials for Students

Parents typically want to do all they can to help their children succeed in school. Whether your child is going down the street to the local elementary school or across the country to college, there are some great ways that essential oils can help your student achieve his or her greatest potential in school.

Passing the Test

Nothing is worse during a test than seeing a question and knowing that you studied the answer, but it just won’t come to you. Essential oils may be able to help with that problem. According to one source, “A university in Japan experimented with diffusing different essential oils in the office. When they diffused lemon there were 54% fewer errors, with jasmine there were 33% fewer errors, and with lavender there were 20% fewer errors. When essential oils are diffused while studying and smelled during a test via a hanky or cotton ball, 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.” Another study indicated that subjects who learned a list of 24 words while exposed to a certain aroma had an easier time re-learning the list when exposed to the same aroma than those who were exposed to a different aroma while trying to re-learn the list.1 Further studies have indicated that rosemary2 and peppermint3 aromas were found to enhance memory during clinical tests.

Whispi_GirlA couple ways you can have the aroma of an essential oil with you while you study and while you take your test is to put the essential oil(s) in personal diffuser such as a nasal inhaler, Whispi™ diffuser, or aromatherapy jewelry. The Slap-on Scents Bracelet is perfect for young students that have small wrists. AromaTools® carries a large variety of aromatherapy jewelry with styles accommodating all—boys and girls alike.

Calming the Stress

For many students, school means stress. Whether the stress is brought about by tests, homework, trying to fit in extracurricular activities or jobs, or from trying to create and maintain good friendships with others, essential oils can be a great aid to de-stressing after a stressful day. According to author Marlene Erickson in Healing with Aromatherapy, “EEG tests of the brain’s rhythm patterns found that neroli, jasmine, and rose induced delta rhythms, with some inducing a combination of delta and theta rhythms. Delta and theta rhythms are associated with reducing mental chatter and allowing for more intuitive thought processes” (p. 65). Marcel Lavabre also recommends chamomile, neroli, marjoram, lavender, and ylang ylang oils to help deal with stress in his Aromatherapy Workbook (p. 49). Research studies have found evidence that lavender,4,5 lemon,6 and ylang ylang7 oils may help reduce stress.

As mentioned above, you can take a personal diffuser with you to school with the aroma of these essential oils. You can also rub these oils on your feet at night or in the morning as needed to help reduce stress.

Fighting the Bugs

When lots of students congregate in classrooms, lunchrooms, locker rooms, or dormitories, there are abundant opportunities for germs to spread. Essential oils are a great natural way to help keep those germs at bay. According to the book
Modern Essentials, essential oils such as melaleuca, thyme, cinnamon, peppermint, oregano, and blends containing these oils, such as Protective Blend, have been shown in multiple studies to exhibit antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral properties (pp. 257–63).  A great way to stop the spread of germs is to keep your hands clean. This hand sanitizer can be useful when soap and water are not readily available. Another hand sanitizer recipe and cute gift idea can be found here.
AT_CitrusMintHandSanitizer_hands

Getting the Energy

Between late-night study sessions, after-school activities, sports, jobs, and the many other activities students are involved in, sometimes it can be hard to find the energy needed to be awake and alert during the school day. According to several authors, some essential oils can be naturally stimulating. Marlene Erickson writes, “Stimulant essential oils are used for conditions of mental fatigue, poor memory, and difficulty concentrating. Stimulants are useful when you’re feeling tired or sluggish and need to boost your mental activity. EEG tests used to evaluate stimulant essential oils such as black pepper, cardamom, and rosemary indicated that they induced beta brain rhythms. Beta rhythms correlate with aroused attention and alertness” (Healing with Aromatherapy, p. 66). In addition to these oils, Modern Essentials also lists peppermint, Joyful Blend, eucalyptus, orange, ginger, grapefruit, rose, rosemary, and basil as other stimulating essential oils (p. 370).

These oils can be used in a personal diffuser or applied to feet or wrists. Roll-on bottles are useful for applying essential oils while at school.

AT_BackpackEssentials_Studying

Essential Tip: Keep essential oils close at hand for your student by placing the oils in small 1/4 dram or 5/8 dram vials and labeling each vial with a circle or rectangle label so it can be easily identified. Place up to 8 different oils or blends in a handy Aroma Ready™ Key Chain Oil Case. Place this small case in a the pocket of a backpack or book bag along with a copy of “An Introduction to Modern Essentials,” and your student will have quick access to the oils and information on how to use them anytime there is a need!

Want some essential oil blends to diffuse or inhale while you study or take a test? Check out these 7 Back-to-School Diffuser Blends!

For more information on this topic, see any of the books listed above or the sources below. You can also read the other post in this series: “Backpack Essentials for Teachers”.

1. David G. Smith, Lionel Standing, and Anton de Man, “Verbal Memory Elicited by Ambient Odor,” Perceptual and Motor Skills 74, no. 2 (April 1992): 339–43.

2. Mark Moss, Jenny Cook, Keith Wesnes, and Paul Duckett, “Aromas of Rosemary and Lavender Essential Oils Differentially Affect Cognition and Mood in Healthy Adults,” International Journal of Neuroscience 113, no. 1 (January 2003): 15–38.

3. Mark Moss, Steven Hewitt, Lucy Moss, and Keith Wesnes, “Modulation of Cognitive Performance and Mood by Aromas of Peppermint and Ylang Ylang,” International Journal of Neuroscience 118, no. 1 (January 2008): 59–77.

4. Erin Pemberton and Patricia G. Turpin, “The Effect of Essential Oils on Work-Related Stress in Intensive Care Unit Nurses,” Holistic Nursing Practice 22, no. 2 (2008): 97–102.

5. Naoyasu Motomura, Akihiro Sakurai, and Yukiko Yotsuya, “Reduction of Mental Stress with Lavender Odorant,” Perceptual and Motor Skills 93, no. 3 (December 2001): 713–18.

6. Migiwa Komiya, Takashi Takeuchi, and Etsumori Harada, “Lemon Oil Vapor Causes an Anti-Stress Effect via Modulating the 5-HT and DA Activities in Mice,” Behavioural Brain Research 172, no. 2 (September 2006): 240–49.

7. Tapanee Hongratanaworakit and Gerhard Buchbauer, “Relaxing Effect of Ylang Ylang Oil on Humans after Transdermal Absorption,” Phytotherapy Research 20, no. 9 (September 2006): 758–63.