Tasty Chicken Foil Dinner

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Try this delicious chicken recipe at home or on your Labor Day campout! If you need to serve more than 4 people, simply adjust the recipe as needed.

Tasty Chicken Foil Dinner

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes active; 40 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Heavy-duty foil
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 Tbsp. (56 g) butter, softened
  • 4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen)
  • 4 cups (450 g) diced potatoes
  • 1 cup (160 g) chopped onion
  • Minced rosemary to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cut out or tear off 4 plate-sized squares of heavy-duty foil.
  2. Mix together the butter and essential oils. Set aside.
  3. In each square, place a frozen chicken breast, 1 cup diced potatoes, and 1/4 cup chopped onion.
  4. Sprinkle each serving with salt, pepper, and minced rosemary; top with a pat of rosemary-lemon butter.
  5. Seal foil, and place on the coals of a campfire or on a grill. Cook for 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Squeeze some lemon juice on top, and eat straight from the foil if you’re camping!

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Homemade Carpet Freshening Powder

Your carpets will smell so fresh after sprinkling this on them before vacuuming!

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Homemade Carpet Freshening Powder

  • Servings: 1–2
  • Time: 2 minutes active; 8 hours, 25 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Mix baking soda and essential oil in a shaker bottle such as this Plastic Spice Jar with Sifting Lid.
  2. Close jar, shake together, and let stand overnight.
  3. Sprinkle lightly over carpets, and let sit for 25 minutes before vacuuming.

This recipe is from Modern Essentials™, 7th Edition, p. 85.

Sunshine Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

This recipe was submitted by Ali Corle as part of our Facebook contest. She says, “I make this amazing salsa, it’s out-of-this-world good!” And we agree! This recipe makes a lot of salsa, so it is great for a party or large gathering.

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Sunshine Salsa

  • Servings: Yield=approx. 24 cups
  • Time: 30 minutes active; 4 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 4 nectarines
  • 1 pineapple
  • 4 peaches
  •  6–12 fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1–2 drops cilantro essential oil
  • 3–5 drops lime essential oil
  • Onion (fresh or powder) to taste
  • Sea salt (optional) to taste

Instructions:

  1. Chop all fruit, fresh cilantro, and onion (if using fresh), and combine in a large bowl. (The size of your fruit pieces determines how chunky your salsa is.)
  2. Stir in 3–5 drops lime essential oil and 1–2 drops cilantro essential oil. Start with 1 drop of each oil, stir, and add to taste. Add salt to taste, if desired.
  3. Allow to sit for at least 4 hours before serving.
  4. Make Cinnamon Tortilla Chips to eat with the Sunshine Salsa!

Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

  • Time: 15 minutes–1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 pack flour tortillas
  • Cinnamon-sugar mixture using 2–5 drops cinnamon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. (205° C.)
  2. Cut tortillas into triangles.
  3. Spray or brush baking sheet with oil. Spread tortilla triangles onto the baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle tortilla triangles with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. (This Empty Spice Jar works great for this step.)
  5. Bake for 7–12 minutes. Serve with Sunshine Salsa.

Special thanks to Ali Corle for submitting this recipe on Facebook.

Night-Time Moisturizing Roll-On

This night-time facial moisturizer was suggested to us by Lura Struzinski. She says, “This is my favorite night-time moisturizer. I apply it to my face, neck, and décolletage. In the morning my face feels so smooth.”

Lura’s original recipe is 1/4 tsp. (3 g) coconut oil and 2 drops myrrh essential oil. We have adjusted the recipe a little by replacing the coconut oil with fractionated coconut oil to accommodate all skin types and suggest using a roll-on bottle for easier application.

Lura submitted this recipe during our Facebook contest and won a copy of Modern Essentials Living.

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Night-Time Facial Moisturizing Roll-On

  • Servings: 25–30 applications
  • Time: 2 minutes active
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Combine fractionated coconut oil and myrrh essential oil in the 1 oz. roll-on bottle.
  2. Shake to combine.
  3. To use, roll on face, neck, and chest after removing makeup for the night. Use your hands to massage into the skin.

Recipe submitted by Lura Struzinski as part of our Facebook contest.

Tangerine Tango!

This delightful drink recipe was submitted to us by Linda Schwarm during our Facebook contest. Linda won a copy of Modern Essentials Living.

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Tangerine Tango

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

  • 2 cups (480 ml) organic coconut milk
  • 2 cups (570 g) greek yogurt (vanilla/honey flavored)
  • 2 cups (360 g) pineapple
  • 4 drops tangerine (or orange) essential oil
  • 8–10 ice cubes

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. Divide the drink into 4 equal portions. Enjoy your refreshing, fruity drink!

Extra Idea:

Try replacing some of the coconut milk with rum, or add a little rum to the other ingredients before blending.

Special thanks to Linda Schwarm for submitting this recipe on Facebook.

Cinnamon Apple Chips

Give your kids a healthy and delicious treat when they get home from school this fall by making these Cinnamon Apple Chips made with cinnamon essential oil!

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Cinnamon Apple Chips

  • Servings: 8–10
  • Time: 10 minutes active; 1–3 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2–3 apples
  • 1–2 tsp. (4–8 g) sugar
  • 2 drops cinnamon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Slice apples in thin slices. Lay out on dehydrator sheets or a cookie sheet.
  2. Mix together sugar and cinnamon essential oil in a small glass bowl or shot glass.
  3. Rub cinnamon-sugar mixture over apple slices.
  4. Dehydrate at 110–145º F. (43–63° C.) for a few hours. Flip apple slices over when the top feels dry. Note: you can also bake in the oven at 225º F. (107° C.) for 1 hour, flipping after 30 minutes.

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Want some other after-school snack ideas? Try these:

Bath Pals Soap for Kids

 

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This is an easy and natural way to make bath time fun! Make your own soap with a prize inside!

Bath Pals Soap for Kids

  • Time: 10 minutes active; 2 hours 20 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Soap molds (plastic cups also work)
  • Cooking spray to coat molds
  • Pure solid glycerin soap (this can be found in cubes at craft stores)
  • Essential oils of choice
  • Colored soap dyes
  • Small plastic toys

Instructions:

  1. Coat the insides of your soap molds or cups with cooking spray.
  2. Melt soap.The size of your molds will determine how much soap you’ll need. Place cubes of soap in a measuring cup, and microwave on high for 30 seconds. If some solid soap still remains, microwave in 10-second intervals until soap is thoroughly melted. Make sure to supervise if your kids are doing this—the soap gets hot!
  3. Add in a few drops of soap dye to reach your desired color, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add several drops of your desired essential oil. (Some great kid-friendly oils include lavender, orange, Roman chamomile, lemon, and peppermint.)
  5. Carefully fill mold about 1/3 of the way full with the hot soap. Let it cool for about 20 minutes, and then place the small plastic toy on top of the hardened soap.
  6. Repeat steps 2–4 to melt and color the remaining soap. Pour a second layer of soap into the mold over the plastic toy.
  7. Let cool and harden for at least 2 hours. Once cool, turn the mold upside down and pop the soap out.

kidsoapKids will be eager to wash just to get to the the toy inside!

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Scented Sidewalk Chalk

  • Time: 10 minutes active; 4 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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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!

Backpack Essentials for Teachers

If you are a teacher getting ready for the beginning of school, don’t forget to include essential oils in your preparations. There are many great ways that essential oils can help you and your students throughout the school day. We discussed some of these in our post “Backpack Essentials for Students,” but we would like to discuss other ways a teacher can use essential oils in the classroom.

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Diffusing Essential Oils

Have you ever felt the nervous energy when a test is about to begin? Do you have students that have a really hard time focusing on what is being discussed? Do you teach early-morning or late-afternoon classes and see your students falling asleep at their desks? If you have experienced any of these situations, your classroom may benefit from diffusing essential oils!

Here are a few diffuser blends we have put together that you can diffuse in your classroom:

Morning Sunshine:
2 drops orange
2 drops peppermint
2 drops lime
Calm Down:
5 drops lavender
3 drops Roman chamomile
Boosting Energy:
3 drops peppermint
2 drops rosemary
2 drops grapefruit
Mental Clarity:
3 drops lemon
1 drop basil
1 drop rosemary
1 drop frankincense
Anxiety Helper:
4 drops lavender
2 drops lemon
2 drops ylang ylang
Testing Time:
3 drops peppermint
3 drops rosemary
2 drops lemon

If you find that you like these diffuser blends, it might be a good idea to make a larger batch of each diffuser blend, store them in new bottles, and label them so they are easy to add to your diffuser.

Some school districts have restrictions on diffusers that plug into the wall. If this is the case at your school, you may want to consider a diffuser that is battery operated or can be connected to a USB power bank or computer. These are the options AromaTools® carries that fall in this category:

Keeping Germs at Bay

Anytime a group of people gather in a room, especially 5 days a week, there are bound to be germs aplenty being passed around. Essential oils can be beneficial for keeping these germs at bay and maintaining a clean environment. Remember, healthy kids show up to class and are more likely to pay attention. We have put together a few cleaning sprays that would be useful in keeping a classroom clean: Natural Cleaning Sprays.

Essential oils can also help clean the air. One study found that a blend of lemongrass and geranium oils diffused into the air was able to reduce airborne bacteria in an office by 89%.1 Try misting a antibacterial blend of essential oils around your classroom before and after classes each day. In her book Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child, aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood provides a recipe for making an anti-infectious room spray. We have included her recipe below.

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Anti-Infectious Room Spray

  • Servings: Yield=4 oz. (120 ml)
  • Time: 5 minutes active; 24 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 20 drops thyme essential oil
  • 5 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 5 drops clove essential oil
  • 10 drops melaleuca essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) pure alcohol (such as vodka)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) distilled water, divided
  • Two 4 oz. glass spray bottles

Instructions:

  1. Combine essential oils and alcohol into one of the glass spray bottles. Screw lid on, and shake to combine.
  2. Transfer half of the mixture to the other spray bottle. Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) distilled water to each spray bottle. Screw lids on, and shake each bottle to help combine the liquid.
  3. Allow to sit for 24 hours before use.
  4. To use, simply mist around the room as needed.

Source: Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child by Valerie Ann Worwood, p. 37.

Ask Permission

Keep in mind that some schools have bans on perfumes or fragrances, so you may need to get specific permission from your principal or administrator to use essential oils in the classroom. It is also a good idea to get permission from the parents of your students so they know you are using essential oils around their children.

Essential Oil DIY Products for Teachers

We also wanted to include a list of essential oil products that may be useful for a teacher to keep in the desk. And if you want some essential oil craft ideas to use with children, click here.

1. A. L. Doran, W. E. Morden, K. Dunn, and V. Edwards-Jones, “Vapour-Phase Activities of Essential Oils against Antibiotic Sensitive and Resistant Bacteria including MRSA,” Letters in Applied Microbiology 48, no. 4 (April 2009): 387–92.

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.

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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.
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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.

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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!

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.