Essential Oil Dilution

Though many essential oils can be used without dilution, some oils require dilution under certain circumstances or for use on certain people. We’ve received a lot of questions about this topic, so we’re going to try to address all of them in this article.

What is dilution?

Let’s start with a few definitions.
Dilution: The word “dilution” refers to combining an essential oil with a carrier oil or other substance so that the essential oil effects are not so concentrated in one area.
Neat: If you use an essential oil without dilution, you are applying the essential oil “neat.”
Carrier Oil: A carrier oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels, or nuts. Carrier oils are used to dilute an essential oil and “carry” it into the skin during topical application.

Why should I dilute my essential oils?

Since essential oils are extremely potent, and because some oils may cause irritation, diluting the essential oil with a carrier oil is often recommended. Children, pregnant women, and those with sensitive skin should always dilute essential oils. Diluting an essential oil in carrier oil is also a great way to help spread the essential oil over a larger area.

When should I dilute my essential oils?

Here are a few tips to help you know when you should dilute your essential oils:

  • If a rash develops or you feel a burning sensation after applying essential oils, you may not have diluted the oil enough. To help relieve the pain, simply apply more carrier oil to the area.
  • If you get essential oil in your eyes or on another sensitive area of the body, wash the area with a little carrier oil such as coconut oil.
  • Always dilute essential oils when using them on children. Kids have thinner, more sensitive skin and smaller bodies, so you don’t need as much essential oil either.
  • Always dilute essential oils for elderly people. Their skin is also thinner and more sensitive than that of the average adult.
  • Likewise, dilute for pregnant women. Skin sensitivities can change during pregnancy, and essential oils can cross the placenta and reach the unborn child.
  • If you are using essential oils in the bathtub, it is best to use an emulsifier like epsom salt or bath gel to help the essential oils disperse throughout the bathwater.
  • If you are taking essential oils internally via capsule, it is best to dilute the essential oils at least 1:1 with a digestible carrier oil such as olive oil.

What do I dilute my essential oils with?

Important note: Do not try using water to dilute essential oils. Water and oil do not mix, and the water will actually drive the oils deeper into tissues.

Carrier oils such as fractionated coconut oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and sweet almond oil are often used for diluting essential oils. You can also use homemade creams, lotions, or dilution sticks (click here for a DIY dilution stick recipe).
The most commonly used carrier oil is fractionated coconut oil (FCO) because it is clear, odorless, inexpensive, and easily absorbed into the skin. Carrier oils can provide additional health benefits, so keep them in mind when you are preparing formulas for specific needs. For example:

  • Coconut Oil is a great all-purpose carrier oil because it is moisturizes well for all skin types (especially great for children) and benefits the hair (it nourishes, conditions, reduces protein loss, and helps regrowth after damage). It naturally contains iron and vitamins A and D.
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil contains a high concentration of capric acid and caprylic acid, which gives it an amazing amount of antioxidant and disinfecting properties.
  • Jojoba Oil has anti-inflammatory properties and is technically a liquid wax (giving it a really long shelf life).
  • Sweet Almond Oil is a great massage oil and softens skin and hair. It soothes inflamed, dry, and itchy skin.
  • Shea Oil can help skin issues such as eczema.
  • Sesame Seed Oil is soothing to the skin and is often used for massage. It is high in natural antioxidants and essential fatty acids.
  • Avocado Oil contains natural proteins, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and trace minerals. It is great to use on dry, dehydrated, mature, or irritated skin and is especially suitable for hair care.
  • Sunflower Oil is deeply nourishing and conditions the skin. It is often used to help hemorrhoids, sinusitis, rhinitis, bruising, and ulcers. It also contains essential fatty acids, vitamins (A, D, and E), and minerals (calcium, zinc, potassium, iron, and phosphorus).
  • Grape Seed Oil is an excellent massage oil and moisturizes the skin well. It also is mildly astringent and antiseptic, so it works great in an aftershave or face wash.
  • Olive oil is often used to dilute essential oils in capsules and in cooking. It is high in omega-9 essential fatty acid.

Click here for more information about carrier oils.

How do I dilute my essential oils?

To dilute an essential oil, simply mix the essential oil with the recommended amount of carrier oil. You can do this at the time of application by mixing the oils in the palm of your hand or in a small glass dish; or you can prepare a diluted essential oil mixture ahead of time and store it in a bottle. A roll-on bottle (or roller bottle) is useful for diluting an essential oil for topical application and applying essential oils easily to the skin. A dropper bottle can help you easily dilute essential oils to take internally by capsule (click here for more information about taking essential oils in capsules).

How much should I dilute an essential oil?

The amount of dilution needed depends largely on many different factors, such as the essential oil being used and whether or not the person is a child, has sensitive skin, is pregnant, is diabetic, or is dealing with epilepsy or high blood pressure. See Modern Essentials for more information about how much dilution is needed based on the essential oil.

In general, many essential oils can be used neat, but some do require dilution. For most adults, a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio (essential oil drop:carrier oil drop) is a good rule of thumb for most oils. For “hot” oils, such as cassia, cinnamon, clove, oregano, thyme, or lemongrass (and blends that include these oils), the recommended dilution ratio is 1:4.
For children, pregnant women, or those with sensitive skin, we recommend diluting 1 drop of essential oil in 1–3 tsp. (5–15 ml) of carrier oil.

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

This information has been designed to help educate the reader in regard to the subject matter covered. This information is provided with the understanding that the publisher, the authors, and AromaTools®, LLC, are not liable for the misconception or misuse of the information provided. It is not provided in order to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, illness, or injured condition of the body. The authors, publisher, and AromaTools®, LLC, shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly, by this information. The information presented is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. Anyone suffering from any disease, illness, or injury should consult a qualified healthcare professional.

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No More Allergies Diffuser Blend

Many people suffer from allergies, especially seasonal ones. If you experience the discomforts contributed to allergies, try this blend in your diffuser! For on-the-go allergy support, try adding this blend to a 5 ml roll-on (an 8% dilution) or a 10 ml roll-on (a 4% dilution) and filling the rest of the bottle up with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil.
No More Allergies Diffuser Blend

Source: Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, pp. 214–15 (“Allergies”).

Essential Oil Spotlight: Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil has a wonderful, sweet, floral aroma with herbaceous, balsamic, and woody undertones. The aroma of lavender has been used for many years in sachets, pillows, and potpourri to help promote feelings of serenity and peace.

Lavender essential oil is a universal oil that has traditionally been known to balance the body and to work wherever there is a need. The list of common primary uses, historical uses, French medicinal uses, and other possible uses contains over 120 conditions. So, if in doubt, use lavender!

Lavender essential oil possesses analgesic, anticoagulant, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, antihistaminic, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, antitumor, cardiotonic, regenerative, and sedative properties.

Body systems often affected by lavender essential oil include the cardiovascular and nervous systems, emotions, and the skin.

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

Applications of Lavender Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Lavender essential oil is one of the gentlest essential oils and can be used safely on children, pregnant women, elderly people, animals, and those with sensitive skin. It can be applied neat (with no dilution) when used topically. Apply directly on area of concern or to reflex points.
Aromatic Application: Lavender essential oil can be diffused or inhaled directly. Lavender oil promotes consciousness, health, love, peace, and a general sense of well-being when inhaled. It also nurtures creativity.
Internal Application: Lavender essential oil can be taken internally. Try placing a drop or two under the tongue, taking it in a capsule, adding a little to a beverage, or using it as a flavoring in cooking. If adding lavender to a food or beverage, try using just a toothpick at first, and add more to taste.

5 Ways to Use Lavender Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
The scent of lavender blends well with most oils, especially with citrus oils and other floral oils. As an antihistamine, lavender essential oil is beneficial for relieving allergy symptoms. Its sedative properties make it a great option for promoting a good night’s rest. Try diffusing one of the following blends in your diffuser. You could also add a drop of lavender essential oil to a cloth, tissue, nasal inhaler, or the palms of your hands and breathe in the aroma.

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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

35 Aromatherapy Jewelry Blends

One of our Facebook friends asked us for some recommendations for diffuser blends to use on aromatherapy jewelry. We took the challenge and did some research and experimenting, and now we present to you the following list.

Aromatherapy jewelry is a fairly broad category and consists of any type of jewelry that is porous enough to absorb essential oil such as clay, lava rocks, wicks, felt pads, etc. The oils slowly diffuse by the air current caused by your body movement or existing in the environment. The oils can last anywhere from a few hours to several days (depending on the amount of oil used and the thickness of the oils). Here are a few examples of aromatherapy jewelry that you can purchase from AromaTools:


There are ways to make aromatherapy jewelry on your own, which allows you to create your own custom look. You can find instructions on making clay jewelry here and instructions for making a solid perfume locket here.

Aromatherapy Jewelry Diffuser Blends

The amount of oil drops used on aromatherapy jewelry can range from 1–10 drops depending on the type of jewelry. Clay pendants only need 1–2 drops; wicks can use up to 10 drops. Because of this variance, we decided to keep our blend or oil suggestions to 1–4 drops total. If you really like a recipe, try mixing up a slightly larger batch (20 drops total) in a small sample bottle and then applying 1–2 drops of the blend to your jewelry.

One important thing to remember when adding oils to aromatherapy jewelry is to avoid using essential oils that can irritate the skin, because the jewelry is often worn in direct contact with the skin. If you have sensitive skin and know a certain oil causes irritation, then avoid using that oil with your aromatherapy jewelry.

  • Alertness:
    • Blend 1: 1 drop peppermint, 1 drop orange
    • Blend 2: 1 drop peppermint, 1 drop lemon, 1 drop rosemary
  • ADD/ADHD: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop basil
  • Addictions: 1–2 drops grapefruit
  • Anxiety: 1 drop orange, 2 drops lavender
  • Appetite Suppressant: 1–2 drops grapefruit
  • Calm and Relax:
    • Blend 1: 1 drop ylang ylang, 2 drops lavender, 1 drop Roman chamomile
    • Blend 2: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop Roman chamomile
    • Blend 3: 1 drop bergamot, 1 drop ylang ylang
    • Blend 4: 1 drop bergamot, 1 drop cedarwood, 1 drop juniper berry
    • Blend 5: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop orange, 1 drop cedarwood, 1 drop frankincense
  • Energy:
    • Blend 1: 1–2 drops peppermint
    • Blend 2: 1 drop lime, 1 drop grapefruit, 1 drop orange (or tangerine), 1 drop spearmint (or peppermint)
    • Blend 3: 1 drop bergamot, 1 drop wintergreen
  • Fear: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop ylang ylang
  • Focus: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop petitgrain, 1 drop rosemary, 1 drop orange
  • Irritability: 1 drop cedarwood, 1 drop juniper berry, 1 drop fir
  • Memory: wear and smell while studying and again while taking the test to help recall facts.
    • Blend 1: 1–2 drops rosemary
    • Blend 2: 1 drop rosemary, 1 drop peppermint
  • Mood Swings:
    • Blend 1: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop rosemary, 1 drop peppermint
    • Blend 2: 1 drop clary sage, 1 drop bergamot
  • Mosquito Repellent:
    • Blend 1: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop lemongrass, 1 drop peppermint (or spearmint)
    • Blend 2: 1 drop eucalyptus, 1–2 drops lavender, 1 drop lemongrass
    • Blend 3: 1 drop lavender, 1 drop patchouli
  • Motion Sickness: 1–2 drops peppermint
  • Nausea/Morning Sickness: 1 drop ginger, 1 drop peppermint
  • Romantic Feelings: 1 drop ylang ylang, 1 drop clary sage, 1 drop sandalwood
  • Stress:
    • Blend 1: 1–2 drops lavender
    • Blend 2: 1–2 drops grapefruit
    • Blend 3: 1 drop lemon, 1 drop orange, 1 drop clove, 1 drop cedarwood
  • Uplifting:
    • Blend 1: 1–2 drops lemon
    • Blend 2: 1 drop ylang ylang, 1 drop lavender, 2 drops orange
    • Blend 3: 1 drop lime, 1 drop bergamot, 1 drop orange, 1 drop peppermint
    • Blend 4: 2 drops petitgrain, 1 drop juniper berry, 1 drop orange
    • Blend 5: 2 drops lavender, 1 drop rosemary

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

Essential Oil Spotlight: Cinnamon

Cinnamon essential oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is steam-distilled from the bark of the tree. It contains antibacterial, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-infectious (intestinal, urinary), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiparasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic (light), antiviral, astringent, immune-stimulant, purifying, sexual-stimulant, and warming properties. It also enhances the action and activity of other oils.

Cinnamon essential oil is commonly used for airborne bacteria, bacterial infections, bites/stings, breathing, diabetes, diverticulitis, fungal infections, immune system (stimulates), infection, libido (low), mold, pancreas support, physical fatigue, pneumonia, typhoid, vaginal infection, vaginitis, viral infections, and warming the body.

Historically, this most ancient of spices was included in just about every prescription issued in ancient China. It was regarded as a tranquilizer, tonic, and stomachic and as being good for depression and a weak heart.

This oil may be beneficial for circulation, colds, coughs, digestion, exhaustion, flu, infections, rheumatism, and warts. Cinnamon oil fights viral and infectious diseases, and testing has yet to find a virus, bacteria, or fungus that can survive in its presence.

Applications of Cinnamon Essential Oil and Safety Data

Cinnamon essential oil is one of the strongest essential oils, and care should be taken when using it.
Topical Application: Before applying cinnamon oil topically, make sure to dilute it 1:3 (1 drop essential oil to at least 3 drops carrier oil). Please note that repeated use of cinnamon essential oil can result in extreme contact sensitization, so make sure to dilute well, avoid when pregnant, and frequently give your body a break in between uses.
Aromatic Application: When diffusing cinnamon essential oil, be careful to not inhale directly from the diffuser, as it may irritate the nasal membranes.
Internal Application: Cinnamon essential oil can be used in cooking, but make sure to start with only a toothpick and add more if needed.

5 Ways To Use Cinnamon Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Try this blend in your diffuser to increase your mental alertness:

2. Use in a Romantic Massage Oil
Because cinnamon essential oil is known to be an aphrodisiac and is a warming oil, it makes a great addition to a romantic massage oil. Here is a great recipe to help you and your spouse enjoy an intimate massage together:

Romantic Massage Oil:
5 drops ylang ylang
1 drop cinnamon
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) carrier oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, or Jojoba Oil.

3. Add to a Breath-Freshening Spray
Try adding 2–3 drops each of cinnamon and orange essential oil to this Essential Oil Breath Spray recipe.

4. Add to Cooking Recipes
Cinnamon essential oil is great to add to any of your favorite recipes. We had a difficult time picking from our recipes that use cinnamon essential oil, but here are some of our favorites:

5. Protect Your Plants with This Gardening Spray
Keep birds and bugs from eating your plants with this garden spray.

Protective Gardening Spray

  • Servings: Yield=1 gallon (about 4 liters)
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. To a small glass bowl, add the emulsifier, essential oils, and dish soap in order; gently stir after adding each ingredient. Pour a little (up to 1 cup or 250 ml) water into the bowl, and stir to combine.
  2. Pour mixture into a gallon-sized (4-liter) water jug (mostly full of water). Place the cap on, and carefully shake to combine. Pour mixture into your 16 oz. glass spray bottles.
  3. To use, spray the tops and bottoms of the plant leaves. It is best to spray on a cloudy day or in the evening so the sun and cinnamon essential oil combination doesn’t burn the plants. Apply every couple weeks or as needed. Wait 2–3 days after spraying to harvest any food.

To learn more about cinnamon essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, pp. 48–49; 329–30.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Frankincense


frankincenseFrankincense essential oil is steam-distilled from the resin of trees and shrubs in the Burseraceae family. The aroma helps to focus energy, improve concentration, and enhance meditation.

Historically, frankincense was used in the Middle East as an ingredient in holy incense for sacrificial ceremonies and to improve communication with the Creator. The French use it for asthma, depression, and ulcers.

This oil acts as an antidepressant, anticancer, antiseptic, and sedative. It is commonly used to treat allergies, bronchitis, colds, headaches, sores, strep throat, and typhoid. Frankincense is generally recognized as safe for consumption by the FDA and can be used topically, diffused, or taken orally.

To learn more about frankincense essential oil and many other pure essential oils, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 63.

‘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.

at_1157_lifestyle

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.

Coloring with Essential Oil–Scented Pencils for Mental Health

Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. Did you know the act of coloring can be therapeutic and help with managing emotions, curbing addictions, reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing self-esteem? If you have a hard time focusing, try coloring! It’s been found that coloring can help bring about more mindfulness and has the same effect as meditating.
at_scentedpencilsNow, let’s bring essential oils into the picture. Due to our amazing olfactory receptors, which identify odors and initiate the aromatic pathway, and their connection to the limbic system (which includes the amygdala), essential oils are able to have a profound psychological effect, including an influence on emotions. So if you combine essential oils with coloring, you have the ability to do amazing things for your mental health! The easiest way to do this is to turn your colored pencils into mini diffusers.

You can easily make scented pencils with your essential oils, especially with pencils that don’t have erasers. Just add a drop or two of essential oil to each pencil. You can add the essential oil to the bottom of the pencil (where the eraser typically would be) or along the length of it if your pencils don’t have a covering like these Mini Colored Pencils.

at_coloringbook_pencils

Essential Oil Suggestions:

You really could just pick your favorite essential oil or oil blend to scent your pencils with, or coordinate the color of the pencil with the scent (such as pairing lemon with the yellow pencil, peppermint with the blue or green pencil, lime with the green pencil, etc.), but we would like to suggest that you choose oils that may help increase the mental health benefits of coloring. Here are a few top single oil recommendations from Modern Essentials:
Alertness: peppermint, ylang ylang, black pepper, juniper berry, cinnamon
Anger: lavender, ylang ylang, melissa, helichrysum
Anxious: lavender, orange, lemon
Balance: geranium, juniper berry, lavender, orange, sandalwood, vetiver
Blocks (emotional): cypress, frankincense, helichrysum, sandalwood
Coldness: myrrh, ylang ylang
Concentration: lavender, lemon, peppermint
Confidence: cedarwood, orange
Creativity: frankincense, sandalwood, cypress, lemon
Defeated: cypress, white fir, juniper berry
Depression: lemon, frankincense, lavender, bergamot
Fear: ylang ylang, orange, sandalwood
Grief/Sorrow: lemon, lavender, bergamot, orange, grapefruit, wintergreen
Happiness/Joy: lemon, orange, spearmint, sandalwood, bergamot
Loss: tangerine, orange
Mind (open): frankincense, sandalwood
Negative emotions: orange, grapefruit, white fir, wintergreen, lavender
Overburdened/Overwhelmed: orange
Peace: lavender, ylang ylang, melissa
Pity (self-pity): orange
Positive (feeling): basil, peppermint, frankincense, cedarwood, juniper berry
Rejection: lavender, geranium
Release: Roman chamomile
Stress: clary sage, bergamot, lavender, lemon, ylang ylang, petitgrain, grapefruit
Uplifting: lemon, orange
Worried: bergamot
Please see Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition (pp. 266–69), for essential oil blend recommendations and other information about essential oils and emotions.

Also, check out our new “Modern Essentials: Essential Oil Coloring Therapy Book” and the “Basil is Brave” Activity Book to use with your essential oil–scented pencils!

Essential Oil Spotlight: Spikenard

Spikenard essential oil (Nardostachys jatamansi) gets its name from the spike-shaped rhizomes (or “spikes”) of the plant that the oil is distilled from. Highly prized in the Middle East during the time of Christ, spikenard is referred to several times in the Bible. Spikenard was also used in the preparation of nardinum, a scented oil of great renown during ancient times. Prized in early Egypt, it was used in a preparation called kyphi with other oils like saffron, juniper, myrrh, cassia, and cinnamon.

Spikenard is commonly used for aging skin, insomnia, nervousness, perfume, and rashes. The oil is known for helping in the treatment of allergic skin reactions, and according to Victoria Edwards, “The oil redresses the skin’s physiological balance and causes permanent regeneration.”

It may also help with allergies, candida, flatulent indigestion, insomnia, menstrual difficulties, migraines, nausea, neurological diseases, rashes, staph infections, stress, tachycardia, tension, and wounds that will not heal.

This essential oil contains the following properties: antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, deodorant, relaxing, and skin tonic.

Spikenard has an earthy, animal-like fragrance. It is balancing, soothing, and harmonizing.

Spikenard can be applied neat (without dilution) on adults when used topically on area of concern or to reflex points. It can also be diffused or inhaled directly.

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5 Ways to Use Spikenard Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Try these oil blends in your diffuser:
2. Roll on for Sleep
Spikenard essential oil is also beneficial in helping with insomnia because of its relaxing properties. Here is a good recipe to put in a roll-on bottle to rub on the bottoms of your feet at night when you need a little help falling asleep:

Insomnia Blend:
1 drop Roman chamomile
2 drops lavender
2 drops marjoram
2 drops orange
1 drop tangerine
1 drop ylang ylang
1 drop spikenard
Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on for short-term use or a 10 ml roll-on for daily use. Fill the roll-on the rest of the way with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil.

All-Natural Deodorant3. Add to Deodorant
Try putting spikenard in your all-natural deodorant. You could even make your own by using this recipe and replace the oils with this blend:
5 drops orange
3 drops juniper berry
2 drops spikenard

4. Add to a Warm Bath
Here is a bath blend that will remind you of being deep in the woodlands:

Relax in the Woodlands Bath:
1 drop spikenard
1 drop vetiver
5 drops cedarwood
10 drops white fir
4 drops cypress
1 cup (240 g) epsom salt
Mix oils in epsom salt, and add 1/4 cup of the mixture to your warm bathwater.

5. Use in a Massage
According to Patricia Davis, spikenard “is a wonderful oil for anybody who is tense or anxious, and has the ability to help people let go of old pain or emotional blocks that they are holding inside. Aromatherapists who work with chakra energy or auric massage would find this a very appropriate oil” (Aromatherapy: An A–Z, p. 301). Try using this blend that includes spikenard for a relaxing massage:

Relaxing Massage Blend:
3 drops neroli
3 drops petitgrain
3 drops marjoram
1 drop spikenard
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) carrier oil (such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, or Jojoba Oil)

To learn more about spikenard essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 110.
Aromatherapy: An A–Z by Patricia Davis.