Spring Rain Diffuser Blend

Spring is here, and it often comes with lots of rain. Try diffusing this blend when you’re stuck inside during stormy days! If you need a diffuser, you can find many new styles at aromatools.com.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Lemon

Lemon essential oil (Citrus limon) is cold expressed from the rinds of the fruit. In order to get a kilo (2.2 lbs) of oil, 3,000 lemons are required.

Lemon essential oil has many uses since it has the following properties: anticancer, antidepressant, antiseptic, antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral, astringent, invigorating, refreshing, and tonic.

It is used primarily for air pollution, anxiety, atherosclerosis, bites/stings, blood pressure (regulation), brain injury, cold sores, colds (common), concentration, constipation, depression, digestion (sluggish), disinfectant, dry throat, dysentery, energizing, exhaustion, fever, flu, furniture polish, gout, greasy/oily hair, grief/sorrow, gum/grease removal, hangovers, heartburn, intestinal parasites, kidney stones, lymphatic cleansing, MRSA, overeating, pancreatitis, physical energy, postpartum depression, purification, relaxation, skin (tones), stress, throat infection, tonsillitis, uplifting, varicose veins, and water purification. See Modern Essentials for many other uses for lemon essential oil.

Historically, lemon has been used to fight food poisoning, malaria and typhoid epidemics, and scurvy. (In fact, sources say that Christopher Columbus carried lemon seeds to America—probably just the leftovers from the fruit that was eaten during the trip.)

Application Methods for Lemon Essential Oil and Safety Data

Aromatic: Use a diffuser or put a few drops of lemon essential oil on a cloth, tissue, nasal inhaler, or the palms of your hands to breathe it in. Lemon oil promotes health, healing, physical energy, and purification when used aromatically. Its fragrance is invigorating, enhancing, and warming.

Topical: Lemon essential oil can be applied neat (with no dilution) when used topically. Apply directly on area of concern or to reflex points. Lemon oil can sensitize the skin to ultraviolet light within 12 hours of use. So exercise caution here, and avoid direct sunlight for up to 12 hours after using on skin.

Internal: Lemon essential oil can be taken internally, and it is often used as a flavoring in cooking. Put 1–2 drops of lemon oil under the tongue or in a beverage. It can also be taken in capsules.

5 Ways to Use Lemon Essential Oil

1. Aromatic
The aroma of lemon essential oil can help you get energized in the morning—try a few drops in the corner of your shower stall to circulate with the water vapor. Lemon aroma can also help relieve anxiety or lift a depressive mood. Diffused lemon helps disinfect the air to prevent the spread of sickness, and it facilitates recovery from colds. Try diffusing lemon essential oil alone or in one of the following recipes:

Here are a few other diffuser blends that use lemon essential oil:

2. Topical
A drop of lemon oil can relieve pain from insect bites or stings. It can also zap formation of cold and canker sores, plus speed tissue recovery from them. Rub lemon on the neck over a sore throat. Use on broken capillaries, spider veins, and varicose veins to reduce and repair. Massage over sore joints. Lemon oil also helps nourish nails and cuticles. Try a healthy nails serum!

Lemon essential oil is helpful in cleansing the lymphatic system. One of the biggest signs that your lymphatic system needs cleansing is cellulite. If you have cellulite, try massaging the following oil blend over affected areas before doing aerobic exercise.


Cellulite Reduction Massage
5 drops rosemary
5 drops ginger
5 drops coriander
5 drops lemon
4 tsp. carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil


3. Internal and Food Recipes
Add a drop of lemon oil to a teaspoon of honey for internal sore throat relief. Put a few drops in a glass or metal water bottle, shake, and drink—this purifies the water and aids digestion and detoxification. (The citric acid in lemon may break down some plastic water bottles.) Add several drops to a bowl of water for washing fruits and vegetables before food preparation, or use this produce spray.

Lemon essential oil is easy to add to your favorite recipes. Just substitute 1 drop of lemon oil for 1 tsp. of lemon zest. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to help you get started:

4. Household Cleaning Products
Lemon oil is a natural replacement for many disinfecting cleaning products that may contain harmful chemicals. Neutralize odors in the air with several drops of lemon in a spray water bottle. (Shake frequently during use or use this emulsifier to help mix the oil and water.) Use that same spray bottle to clean and disinfect countertops, cutting boards, and fixtures. Add a few drops of lemon to the dishwasher, washing machine, or dryer to deodorize. Remove adhesives, grease, or gum from hands, hair, and other surfaces. Try using lemon oil with these cleaning recipes:

5. Body Care Products
Because lemon essential oil is known to be antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral, it is great to add to body care products such as hand sanitizer, breath spray, and soap. Try using lemon oil in the following recipes:

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, pp. 81–82.
Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller & David Schiller

EO Life Hack: Sanitize and Season Wood Kitchenware

Refresh your wood cutting boards and spoons by rubbing a little coconut oil and lemon essential oil on them. The coconut oil helps season the wood, and the antibacterial properties in both the coconut oil and lemon essential oil help sanitize your kitchenware at the same time.

Frozen Yogurt Breakfast Bites

If you need a grab-and-go breakfast, give these Frozen Yogurt Breakfast Bites a try! You’ll also give your breakfast a boost in flavor and health benefit by adding a drop of essential oil. For easier eating on the run, just insert a wooden craft stick into each bite before freezing.

Frozen Yogurt Breakfast Bites

  • Time: 5–10 minutes active; 2 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • Greek yogurt, plain or flavored
  • Fruit (such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries, or diced mangoes)
  • Granola (try Mango Coconut Granola)
  • Essential oil (such as lime, lemon, orange, or grapefruit)
  • Silicone mold or ice cube tray

Instructions:

  1. Mix 1 drop of essential oil with 3/4–1 cup of yogurt.
  2. Place a little dollop of yogurt in each section of the silicone mold or ice cube tray.
  3. Sprinkle a little granola and a layer of fruit on top of the yogurt, and then cover with more yogurt. (Optional: Add a toothpick or wooden craft stick to each mold.)
  4. Place silicone mold or ice cube tray in the freezer for 2 hours or more until frozen.

Flavor Suggestions:

  • Strawberry-Lime: Mix 1 drop lime essential oil with 1 cup plain, berry-flavored, or neutral-flavored yogurt (like vanilla or honey). Add strawberry slices.
  • Lemon-Berry: Mix 1 drop lemon essential oil with 1 cup plain, berry-flavored, or neutral-flavored yogurt (like vanilla or honey). Add raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries.
  • Coconut-Grapefruit: Mix 1 drop grapefruit essential oil with 1 cup plain or neutral flavored (like honey or vanilla) yogurt. Add coconut flakes.
  • Orange-Mango: Mix 1 drop orange essential oil with 1 cup plain or neutral flavored (like honey or vanilla) yogurt. Add diced mangoes.

Epsom Salt Scrub for Hard Water Deposits

If you live in a area with hard water, you probably have hard water deposits on everything, including bathtubs, showers and sinks. These deposits make faucets and fixtures an eyesore. We found a solution that works pretty well!

Epsom Salt Scrub uses salt crystals that are just abrasive enough to remove the hard water deposits. Added baking soda, castile soap, and lemon essential oil do the rest of the cleaning.

Epsom Salt Scrub

  • Servings: 1–2
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the jar in order and stir together until well incorporated.
  2. To use, apply to dry shower walls, bathtubs, fixtures, or faucets with a warm wet cloth. Scrub for a few minutes in a circular motion. Let sit for a few minutes before rubbing again. Rinse off with warm water. Repeat if needed.


Just Add Oils to Spring Cleaning

As the weather gets warmer, many people move into spring cleaning mode. Winter clothing gets stored away, windows are opened to air out the house, and lots of deep cleaning takes place as sunshine energizes the soul. A couple weeks ago, we held a contest and gathered many great cleaning recipes from you, our readers. The winner of our contest was Heather Crabill’s Counter and Appliance Spray. Heather says, “I spray my counters and appliances with the solution, and then I wipe with a warm, wet cloth. Friends and family always comment on how lovely the kitchen smells!”

Counter and Appliance Spray

  • Servings: 8 oz.
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 8 drops melaleuca essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3/4 cup distilled water
  • 8 oz. Glass Spray Bottle

Instructions:

  1. Carefully pour the vinegar and essential oils in the spray bottle. Swirl to combine, and then fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water.
  2. Spray on counters and appliances; wipe with a warm, wet cloth.

A lot of great cleaning ideas and recipes were submitted to us. Here are just a few:


NON-CITRUS PRODUCE SPRAY

“I’m allergic to citrus oils. So for cleaning produce, I put tea tree [melaleuca] oil (8–10 drops) and cider vinegar (1/2 cup) in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Then I fill the bottle with distilled water and spray on produce to clean!” — Brenda Rupp


CLEAN SHOWER SPRAY

15 drops Protective Blend
5 drops lavender
1 tsp. white vinegar
8 oz. water
“Combine everything in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Spray down the shower and squeegee the glass doors when finished. Looks and smells great!” — Barbara Dittrich


TUB AND SINK CLEANER

“In a glass measuring cup, pour 6 oz. of white vinegar. Microwave to a slight boil. Use a funnel to pour the hot vinegar into an 8 oz. spray bottle, and then add 1 Tbsp. of Protective Blend Cleaner Concentrate and 3 drops of lemon essential oil. Shake well, and spray all around tub. Wait 2 minutes or so and rinse off. If you have stubborn stains, scrub with a brush. Also, I put baking soda into the drain first, so that when I’m finished cleaning, the drain also gets cleared out. This treatment is nice and easy to do, and if you do it weekly, all you need to do is spray and rinse.” — Nancy Jaykka


ANY ESSENTIAL OIL CLEANER

“I save all the dribbles left in my essential oil vials and use them in my cleaning spray bottle. I purchased a cheap bottle of vodka, and I add 1 oz. of that to the 8 oz. spray bottle. Then I put in my leftover EOs and top off the spray bottle with filtered water. This solution works great on counter tops and appliances. It will even kill gnats that get into the kitchen.” — Mickie


Here are some other great recipes to help you spring clean:

Click here for more essential oil cleaning tips!

Falafel Hummus Dip

Are you ready for a new flavor of hummus? Try out our falafel hummus dip! We accidentally discovered this dip when we were coming up with our recipe for baked falafel. If you love hummus, you need to give this recipe a try!

Falafel Hummus Dip

  • Servings: 8–10
  • Time: 10–15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans chickpeas (455 g each), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (8–10 g) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup (20 g) fresh parsley
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) kosher salt
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops cumin essential oil
  • 2 drops coriander essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Put everything except the chickpeas in a food processor, and pulse until well blended. Dump out mixture into a bowl.
  2. Add chickpeas to the food processor (you can do this in batches if needed), and blend until smooth.
  3. Add blended chickpeas to the onion mixture, and stir until well combined.
  4. Serve with toasted pita triangles or vegetable sticks.

Hasselback Herb Potatoes with Essential Oils

Have you tried hasselback potatoes yet? They are a lot like baked potatoes, but rather than piercing the potatoes with a fork, you cut slices in them with a knife, then fill the slices with yummy ingredients either before or after baking them. When making hasselback potatoes with essential oils, it’s best to add the oils after baking the potatoes so you don’t lose the health benefits of the oils.

Start by slicing the potatoes, drizzling them with olive oil, and sprinkling salt and pepper on top before baking them. While they bake, mix up the herb butter by melting butter and stirring in the essential oils. If you happen to taste the herb butter, you may find the essential oils to be a bit strong. Just trust us, though—the final product tastes delicious!

When the potatoes are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, pull them out of the oven. Then, while they are still hot, drizzle on the herb butter. Make sure to get it in between the slices.

Add a little fresh parsley for a pop of color, and sprinkle on some parmesan cheese for the final touch! Don’t wait too long to get a bite of this delicious potato!

Hasselback Herb Potatoes

  • Servings: 6–8
  • Time: 10–15 minutes active; 30–40 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Potatoes:

  • 2–3 lbs. (1–1.5 kg) small potatoes
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil

Herb Butter:

  • 1/3–1/2 cup (80–120 ml) melted butter (can use olive oil or a mixture of butter and olive oil)
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops basil essential oil
  • 2 drops thyme essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Additional Ingredients:

  • Fresh minced parsley for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Slice along each potato in 1/16-inch (2 mm) intervals, making sure to only slice a little more than halfway through the potato. It is easiest to start cutting on one end, then when you get to the middle, rotate the potato and continue cutting from the other end toward the middle again.
  3. Place the sliced potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Roast the potatoes in the oven for about 30–40 minutes, until tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.
  5. While the potatoes are roasting, mix together the herb butter.
  6. Once the potatoes are done, pull them out of the oven, and brush the herb butter mixture evenly over the potatoes and in between the slices.
  7. Sprinkle potatoes with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese, if desired.
  8. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Note: The herb butter may seem pretty strong if tasted on its own, but it tastes just right when combined with the potato.

Baked Falafel with Essential Oils

This Middle Eastern dish tastes fantastic with the addition of essential oils! Falafel is normally deep fried, but you can also pan fry it or even bake it as a healthier alternative. Falafel can be eaten plain, with Lemon Tahini Sauce (see recipe below), on a salad, or in a pita with tomatoes and cucumbers.

Falafel with Essential Oils

  • Servings: 4–6
  • Time: 20 minutes active; 30 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2–3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (8–10 g) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup (20 g) fresh parsley
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) kosher salt
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops cumin essential oil
  • 2 drops coriander essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • 2 cans (455 g each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 cup [200 g] dried chickpeas soaked overnight in 3 cups [720 ml] of water)
  • 2 tsp. (9 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) all-purpose flour, if needed

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C), and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Place garlic, onion, cilantro, parsley, cayenne pepper, salt, and essential oils in a food processor. Pulse until the leaves seem to blended fairly well. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl.
  3. Place about 1/3 of the chickpeas in the food processor, and pulse a few times until roughly minced. Dump the beans into the mixing bowl, and repeat with the other 2/3 (1/3 at a time) until all the chickpeas have been “minced.”
  4. Add baking powder to the mixing bowl, and stir everything together until well combined. You should be able to form small patties that hold together; if your mixture needs a little help, add some flour, a little bit at a time, just until your patties can hold together.
  5. Form small patties about 2″ (5 cm) in diameter, and place on greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 25–30 minutes, flipping patties over about halfway through.
  7. Serve immediately with Lemon Tahini Sauce.

If you are in a hurry, you can also pan fry the falafel patties. Just heat some oil in a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the patties. Let cook for 4–5 minutes (or until brown); then flip patties over, and cook for another 4–5 minutes (or until brown). Remove from pan, and place on a paper towel–lined plate to cool.

Lemon Tahini Sauce

  • Servings: 4–6
  • Time: 5 minutes active
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup (310 g) plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1–2 drops lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together until well combined.
  2. Serve with warm falafel—either alone, over a salad, or in a pita with tomatoes and cucumbers.

Essential Oil Breath Mints

Making your own breath mints is pretty easy; plus, you get to add the wonderful benefits of essential oils to them! Also, if you are looking for something to give away for Valentine’s Day, these make cute (and practical!) gifts for anyone.

The hardest part of this recipe is getting the mints all cut out. So, if you don’t have kids that can help, try cutting out squares with a sharp knife instead to make the process faster. We used tiny metal “clay cutters” from a craft store that come in a variety of shapes (including a small heart). You can also use a 1″ (2.5 cm) piece of straw for tiny circles.

Some essential oils we used that taste fantastic as breath mints are peppermint, cinnamon, spearmint, and fennel. Other oils that may taste good are ginger, orange, lemon, or lime. If you want to make the mints sour, you can add a little citric acid to the gum paste and dust with citric acid instead of the powdered sugar.

This recipe may seem super unhealthy, but keep in mind that you aren’t eating more than 1 or 2 small pieces at a time. In other words, even though these taste amazing, they are breath mints and are meant to be eaten in very small doses.

Essential Oil Breath Mints

  • Servings: 100–200
  • Time: 1 hour active; 48 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 tsp. (20 ml) water
  • 1 tsp. (3 g) unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups (170 g) powdered sugar + more if needed to get the right consistency
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Essential oils such as peppermint, cinnamon, spearmint, fennel, ginger, orange, lemon, or lime
  • Powdered sugar (or citric acid for sour flavors)

Instructions:

  1. Put the water in a double boiler. (You can create a double boiler by placing a glass bowl or measuring cup over a pan holding an inch of simmering water.)
  2. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the water. Let sit for 5 minutes or until it starts to look foamy.
  3. Stir in the corn syrup, and warm on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture turns clear.
  4. Stir in 1 1/2 cups (170 g) powdered sugar. Continue adding sugar little by little and kneading with your hands just until it doesn’t stick so much to your fingers.
  5. Once the texture is soft and stretchy, your gum paste is ready.
  6. Divide the mixture into 2–3 equal portions. Knead the first portion with your hands until it becomes soft and pliable. Wrap the other portions in plastic wrap to keep them soft until you are ready to work with them.
  7. Add food coloring if desired (3–4 drops is usually sufficient), and knead until the color is well blended into the dough. (Note: To make sure both the food coloring and the essential oil or blend stay in the dough and don’t drip off, create a well in the top of the piece of dough with your finger, drop the coloring or oil in the well, fold the dough so it closes over the well opening, and then continue to knead the dough as normal.)
  8. Add 3–4 drops of your desired essential oil for a mild flavor or 5–8 drops of essential oil for a stronger flavor. We recommend starting with 3–4 drops, tasting a small piece, and adding more essential oil if needed.
  9. Once the color and flavor are as desired, sprinkle a little powdered sugar on a clean surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out on the powdered sugar to a little more than 1/8″ (3 mm) thick.
  10. Cut out your mints using a straw (for circles), a sharp knife (for small squares), or another small shape. We used a mini clay cutter for our small heart and flower shapes.
  11. As you cut out your mints, dust them with a little powdered sugar so they don’t stick together.
  12. Leave the mints exposed to air until they become hard (about 48 hours); then store them in your desired container.

Extra Ideas:

Here are a few container options: