Keep Spring Allergies under Control with Essential Oils

Despite the excitement we feel for the approaching spring, there’s a little thing that tends to get in the way: allergies. Nobody likes sneezing, itchy eyes, or a scratchy throat, especially when we want to be outside enjoying the greenery and flowers blooming around us. Although spring allergies may not affect you, chances are they affect someone you know, and that’s no fun to be around. Incredibly, some of the essential oils that best aid allergies are also some of our favorites. Lemon, lavender, and peppermint have incredible properties that will help you with all your allergy symptoms. It’s time for you to start smelling the roses—comfortably!

For a simple allergy remedy, take 2 drops of each lemon, lavender, and peppermint in a capsule twice a day, or as symptoms arise.

Diffuser blends are a great way to relieve allergies. The aroma of essential oils quickly penetrates the blood-brain barrier and enters the bloodstream through your lungs. If you have any of the following symptoms, just diffuse these blends, and you’ll be feeling better in no time.

Itchy Eyes & Throat
2 drops lemon
2 drops lavender
2 drops peppermint
Scratchy Throat
2 drops lavender
2 drops Roman chamomile
2 drops cedarwood
2 drops melaleuca
Watery Eyes
1 drop lemon
1 drop lime
1 drop rosemary
1 drop eucalyptus
1 drop peppermint

If you’re looking for a topical application method, try combining 20 drops lavender, 15 drops lemon, and 10 drops peppermint in a 10 ml roll-on bottle, and fill the remainder with fractionated coconut oil or another carrier oil of your choice. Roll this blend onto the back of your neck and ears whenever you feel allergy symptoms coming on.

Now you can officially enjoy the spring and all that it brings without the sneezing and itchy, swollen eyes! You can read more about essential oils and seasonal allergies in Modern Essentials: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 220–21.

“Tax Day Headache Relief” Diffuser Blend

Hopefully, you haven’t been too busy to file your taxes already . . . but if you’ve procrastinated the inevitable, here’s a nice diffuser blend to cure the stress headaches! If you did get your taxes done early, diffuse this blend anyway—and take a deep sigh of relief. This diffuser blend is great for any stressful day of the year, not just tax day. Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Click here to learn more about the different diffusers that we carry, and let us know if you have any questions! You can also consult our “Which Diffuser Is the Best?” post to learn more about the different diffuser features.

Pet Shampoo with Essential Oils

As we work harder to clean up our lives and free ourselves of chemicals, we can’t forget about our pets! We’ve created this pet shampoo so that you can clean your pets naturally. You’ll love the smell and the knowledge that you can keep your pets clean without using any harsh chemicals!

Pet Shampoo

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

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in the 8 oz. bottle, and shake thoroughly.
  2. Wash down your pet’s coat with warm water.
  3. Pour some shampoo into your hands, and scrub down your pet, making sure to keep the soap away from the eyes.
  4. Rinse your pet thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo.

Essential Oil Saltwater Mouthwash

Saltwater makes a great mouthwash because the it alkalizes the mouth, creating an environment that stops the growth of bacteria. Additionally, saltwater is astringent and speeds wound healing by reducing inflammation and contracting the tissues. We included essential oils in our saltwater mouthwash because their antibacterial properties kill the existing bacteria and help freshen the breath.

Some good oils to use in a mouthwash include peppermint, melaleuca, orange, cinnamon, clove, lemon, myrrh, or an antibacterial blend. Try using a single oil or mixing a couple to create your own custom blend! Though you don’t often see myrrh used in mouthwash, myrrh essential oil is actually a great oil to use in oral care because it is said to help with sore throats, mouth ulcers, gingivitis, gum disease, and wounds.

This mouthwash is great to use on a daily basis or even just when your mouth needs a little help healing from mouth wounds or conditions.

Saltwater Mouthwash

  • Servings: Yield=1 cup (240 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Stir salt into the warm water until dissolved. Let cool.
  2. Pour essential oils and essential oil emulsifier into the 8 oz. glass bottle. When the saltwater is cool, add it to the bottle, screw the lid on, and shake to combine.
  3. To use, shake first, pour a little into a shot glass (about 1/2 a shot glass), and then pour the liquid into your mouth. Swish and gargle for 30 seconds. Swallow or spit as desired.

Extra Idea:

  • Place a little of the mixture into a shot glass, and soak your floss or flosser before using it to floss your teeth for help in cleaning the hard-to-access areas.

Mint Grapefruit Sugar Scrub

This sugar scrub is a great way to exfoliate and moisturize your skin while enjoying the added benefits of essential oils and coconut oil. Sugar scrubs are especially effective for areas with sensitive skin, such as your face and lips. The added properties of grapefruit and peppermint essential oils give a nice cooling effect, while also helping to relieve stress. If you are looking for a new way to pamper your skin, this scrub is a great place to start!


Mint Grapefruit Sugar Scrub

  • Servings: Yield=4 oz. (125 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar
  • Zest of 1 grapefruit
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) grapefruit juice
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 25–30 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) beet juice or 1 tsp. (5 ml) raspberry juice (optional for color)
  • 4 oz. Glass Salve Jar

Instructions:

  1. Using a hand mixer, mix the sugar and coconut oil together on low speed until it forms a thick paste.
  2. Add grapefruit zest and juice, essential oils, and beet or raspberry juice (if desired), and mix again on low speed until combined.
  3. Turn the mixer to medium speed, and mix until the scrub is fluffy and well blended.
  4. Fill the glass jar with the sugar scrub, and store in the refrigerator.
  5. To use, take a small amount and gently rub onto the desired location. Rinse off.

Notes:

  • This scrub is better when used in the morning, rather than at night, due to the properties of grapefruit and peppermint and the way they energize and help wake up the mind.
  • Avoid contact with eyes.

Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles with Peppermint Essential Oil

Indulge your sweet tooth without compromising your health goals with these delicious and healthy chocolate truffles. These truffles are full of antioxidants, healthy fats, nutrients, and the benefits of peppermint essential oil!

Dark Chocolate Avocado Peppermint Truffles

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup dates, soaked and drained (about 5–6 dates)
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) cacao powder + 2 Tbsp. (15 g) for dusting
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. (18 g) coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. (16 g) coconut flour + more as needed
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 2–3 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Soak dates for 3 hours for the smoothest texture.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender (except for the 2 Tbsp. of cacao powder for dusting). Blend or pulse until smooth. Add more coconut flour if needed to get the desired texture (you want a rollable ball; the balls will harden more in the fridge).
  3. Place the 2 Tbsp. (15 g) of cacao powder on a plate. Set aside a plate or dish for the finished truffles.
  4. Scoop out 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) of the chocolate avocado mixture, and form it into a ball. Roll the ball in the cacao powder, and place on the plate or dish. Continue until all the balls are formed.
  5. Refrigerate the balls for 2–3 hours until hardened, and enjoy!

Fat-Busting Fat Bombs and Shakes (Keto Friendly)

Why Fats are Fab

Contrary to conventional wisdom, researchers have lately discovered that fat doesn’t make you fat. In fact, your body actually requires healthy, natural fats for proper hormone production and metabolism. It’s the quick-release carbohydrates in sugars and grains that the body coverts to fat stores.

That’s why the ketogenic diet has caught fire. (In a nutshell—and nut fats are in—eating keto means getting 60–70% of daily calories from fat, 15–30% from protein, and 5–10% from carbohydrates). The goal is to get your body to burn fat instead of glucose for energy.

The main problem with drastically cutting those naughty sugars and grains is nagging carb cravings. So whether you’re strictly eating keto or just cutting back on carbs for weight control, satisfying fat bombs and shakes can be a diet saver. Flavoring them with essential oils just ups the overall body benefits.

Fat Bomb Basics

Ingredient Categories

  • Healthy fat foundation: such as coconut oil, cacao butter, ghee, or avocado oil. Also heavy whipping cream, milk, butter, and cream cheese, if you consume dairy products.
  • Protein-infused texture: nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, walnuts), natural nut butters (no sugar added), shredded coconut (unsweetened), chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.
  • Low- or no-sugar flavoring: very dark chocolate, powdered cacao or cocoa*, vanilla extract, erythritol, stevia, essential oils, etc.

Easy Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together, after melting solid fats only as needed.
  2. Form balls on a baking sheet, or use silicone molds. A small cookie scoop coated with cooking spray may help.
  3. Solidify, and store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Delectable Diet Desserts

Vegan Cinnamon-Coconut Bombs (with Chocolate-Peppermint Variation)

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups (225 g) coconut butter (not oil) or almond butter
  • 1 cups (240 ml) coconut milk (full-fat)
  • 1 cup (95 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) stevia powder, or to taste (or 2–3 Tbsp. [30–45 ml] raw honey, if a few extra carbs are okay)
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Soften coconut butter (not melt), and then mix with all the other ingredients.
  2. Form balls on baking sheet, or use silicone molds. A small cookie scoop coated with cooking spray may help.
  3. Solidify, and store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Chocolate-Peppermint Variation:

  • Add 1/4 cup (30 g) cacao or cocoa powder
  • Substitute 1 drop peppermint essential oil for cinnamon oil.

Vegan Chocolate-Coconut-Pecan Bombs (with Dairy Variation)

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (170 g) no- or low-sugar very dark chocolate chips** (or chopped baker’s chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup (70 g) unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup (85 g) finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp. (1.5 g) powdered stevia, or to taste
  • 1 drop essential oil: peppermint, cinnamon, or orange

Instructions:

  1. Mix coconut oil with all the other ingredients.
  2. Form balls on a baking sheet, or use silicone molds. A small cookie scoop coated with cooking spray may help.
  3. Solidify, and store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Brown Cow “Cookie Dough” Bombs

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. (225 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (135 g) natural almond or peanut butter (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup (85 g) no- or low-sugar very dark chocolate chips** (or chopped baker’s chocolate)
  • 1/3 cup (65 g) erythritol
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Form balls on a baking sheet, or use silicone molds. A small cookie scoop coated with cooking spray may help.
  3. Solidify, and store in the freezer or refrigerator.


Bonus Chocolate Bomb Shake

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 cups (480 ml) coconut milk (full-fat)
  • 2 Tbsp. (31 g) almond butter (peanut butter works but may overwhelm essential oil flavoring)
  • 2 Tbsp. (15 g) cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. chia and/or ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) stevia powder
  • 1 cup (150 g) ice cubes (or a little cold water)—or more for desired consistency
  • 2 drops peppermint, cinnamon, or orange essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or BlenderBottle®, and blend or shake until smooth.

Orange-Berry Variation

  • Substitute 1/2 cup (85 g) berries for nut butter—strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
  • Use 2 drops orange essential oil

*Strictly speaking, raw cacao powder is cold-pressed from unroasted cocoa beans, while cocoa powder is cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures. Raw cacao possesses over 3 times the antioxidant capacity of processed cocoa.
**Many grocery chains carry Guittard 63% cacao very dark chocolate chips (6 g sugar per 15 g by weight). Health food stores may carry sugar-free very dark chocolate chips.

Sources:
http://www.businessinsider.com/eating-fat-wont-make-you-fat-gain-weight-says-doctor-2017-11

The real difference between cacao and cocoa

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.

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.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Peppermint

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of the plant. Its odor is minty, sharp, and intense.

Some properties of this oil include analgesic, antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, and invigorating.

For centuries, peppermint has been used to soothe digestive difficulties, freshen breath, and relieve colic, gas, headaches, heartburn, and indigestion.

Today, peppermint essential oil is commonly used for alertness, asthma, bacterial infections, chronic fatigue, cold sores, constipation, cooling, cramps/charley horses, dysmenorrhea, fever, flu (influenza), halitosis, headaches, heartburn, herpes simplex, hot flashes, hypothyroidism, indigestion, itching, lactation (decrease milk production), migraines, motion sickness, muscle fatigue, nausea, osteoporosis, sinusitis, throat infection, varicose veins, vomiting, and several other health conditions.

The body systems affected by peppermint essential oil include the Digestive System, Muscles and Bones, Nervous and Respiratory Systems, and Skin.

Research has shown that peppermint essential oil has helped increase endurance during exercise, decreased effects of gamma radiation exposure, reduced pain from headaches, reduced symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, enhanced memory, reduced the intensity of nausea in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, shown antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties in various tests (one test showed peppermint essential oil inhibiting resistant strains of Staphylococcus, E. Coli, Salmonella, and Helicobacter pylori), aided digestion by reducing constipation and increasing bowel movement, relieved pain and symptoms of indigestion, and prevented seizures in mice.

Research being conducted on peppermint continues to show new possible uses and therapeutic benefits that peppermint may possess. To learn more about a number of these research studies, including summaries and sources, please see the book Modern Essentials.

Applications of Peppermint Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Peppermint essential oil can be used neat (with no dilution), or it can be diluted 1:1 (1 drop essential oil to 1 drop carrier oil) for children and those with sensitive skin. Apply to reflex points and/or directly on area of concern.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma of peppermint essential oil directly. The aroma of peppermint is purifying and stimulating to the conscious mind and may aid with memory and mental performance. It is cooling and may help reduce fevers.
Internal Application: Peppermint essential oil can be taken internally. Try placing a drop or two under the tongue, taking it in a capsule or in a beverage, or using it as a flavoring in cooking.
Safey Note: Repeated use of peppermint essential oil can possibly result in contact sensitization. Use this oil with caution if dealing with high blood pressure or if pregnant.

5 Ways to Use Peppermint Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Here are a few great diffuser blends to help you get energized and focused:

2. Use in a Massage Oil
Peppermint is really great at helping to relax muscles and relieve aches and pains. Here is a recipe for a Sore Muscles Salve. You can also try one of the following massage recipes:

Rejuvenating
Massage Blend:

5 drops bergamot
5 drops lemon
3 drops peppermint
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) carrier oil
Fatigue Relief
Massage Blend:

6 drops peppermint
5 drops rosemary
4 drops grapefruit
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) carrier oil
Sore Muscles
Massage Blend:

4 drops ylang ylang
4 drops peppermint
3 drops thyme
3 drops ginger
1 drop lemon
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) carrier oil

3. Roll on for a quick energy boost or digestive support.
Peppermint essential oil is great at increasing energy, alertness, and stamina. When you start to feel sluggish during the day and need a little pick-me-up, try rubbing this roll-on on your wrists, neck, or bottoms of your feet. You could also use the Rejuvenating or Fatigue Relief Massage Blend recipes above in a roll-on if you prefer (make sure to halve the recipe for daily use).

Pick Me Up Roll-on:
5 drops lavender (2 drops for daily use)
4 drops peppermint (2 drops for daily use)
3 drops grapefruit (1 drop for daily use)
3 drops lemongrass (1 drop for daily use)
1 tsp. (5 ml) carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, or Jojoba Oil
Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, or double the recipe if using a 10 ml roll-on bottle. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil. If you plan on using this roll-on on a daily basis, use the drops suggested for daily use, then fill the rest of the roll-on bottle with a carrier oil.

Peppermint oil is also known for supporting the digestive system and can help with constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, irritable bowel system, nausea, vomiting, and gastric ulcers, among other digestive issues. Try rubbing this roll-on blend over your stomach when your digestive system needs a little help.

Digestive Support Roll-on:
2 drops ginger
4 drops peppermint
5 drops lavender (2 drops for children)
5 drops lemon (1 drop for children)
4 drops fennel (1 drop for children)
1 tsp. (5 ml) carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, or Jojoba Oil
Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, or double the recipe if using a 10 ml roll-on bottle. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil.

4. Cool Your Body
Peppermint is a cooling oil and can help you cool off your body when you get too hot. Here are a few ways you can use peppermint oil to cool off:

  • If you live in a hot climate, these Frozen Eucalyptus Mint Towels may be a lifesaver for you! They are also great for using while you are outside doing yard work or watching your kids at the park.
  • Add a drop of peppermint oil to your water on a hot day. This is a great idea for hiking trips or occasions when you are outside all day.
  • Try a cooling bath using peppermint essential oil. (See recipe below.)
Cooling Bath Salts:
1–2 drops peppermint essential oil
1/4 cup (60 g) Epsom Salt
Mix ingredients together. Add bath salts to the bathtub as it fills up with warm or cool water.

5. Add to Cooking Recipes
Peppermint essential oil can be added to any of your favorite cooking recipes. Just use 1 drop of peppermint oil for every 1 tsp. of dried peppermint leaves or 1 Tbsp. fresh peppermint leaves. Peppermint essential oil can also replace peppermint extract (although you’ll use significantly less). Just add a drop, mix in, taste, and then add more if needed. These are a few of our recipes that include peppermint essential oil:

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 102–103.

Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol & David Schiller