Essential Oil Spotlight: Birch

Birch (Betula lenta) essential oil is steam distilled from the wood of the birch tree. This oil has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, disinfectant, diuretic, stimulant (bone, liver), and warming health properties.

Primarily, birch is used to help with cartilage injury, muscle aches, muscle development, muscle tone, and whiplash. This oil can also be helpful in treating the following conditions: acne, bladder infection, eczema, fever, gout, infection, kidney stones, obesity, skin diseases, ulcers, and urinary tract disorders.

Birch is also known to help alleviate bone pain. It has cortisone-like action due to the high content of methyl salicylate.

Application and Safety Data

Topical: Birch can be applied neat (undiluted) or diluted 1:1 (1 drop essential oil to 1 drop carrier oil) for children and for those with sensitive skin. Apply to reflex points and/or directly on the area of concern. Use neat only in small amounts and over a small area. Dilute with fractionated coconut oil for application on larger areas.

Aromatic: Diffuse, or inhale aroma directly. Aromatically, birch opens, elevates, influences, and increases awareness in the sensory system.

Internal: Not for internal use.

Safety Data: Avoid using birch oil during pregnancy. Not for use by people with epilepsy. Some people are very allergic to methyl salicylate. Test a small area of the skin before continuing use.

Ways to Use Birch Essential Oil

Diffuser Blends: Diffusing your favorite oils is a great way to take in their wonderful aromas. Birch oil has many aromatic benefits that can be emotionally and physically supportive. Here are a couple of stimulating blends to get started.

Arthritis: Because of strong effects for bones and muscles, birch can be helpful in relieving arthritic pain. In a 1/3 oz. (10 ml) roll-on vial, combine 5 drops eucalyptus, 5 drops birch, 3 drops peppermint, 10 drops lavender, and 5 drops rosemary. Fill the remaining volume with your favorite carrier oil. Apply to areas of pain as needed, and gently massage the oils into your skin.

Headaches: Birch can play a powerful part in pain relief, especially when it comes to headaches. In a 1/3 oz. (10 ml) roll-on vial, combine 30 drops peppermint, 30 drops lavender, 10 drops frankincense, 10 drops wintergreen, and 10 drops birch. Top off the remaining volume with fractionated coconut oil. Apply to the temples, forehead, and back of neck.

Sore Feet: If you spend a lot of time on your feet, birch will prove highly beneficial for you. Simply rub a few drops onto the soles of your feet after running or standing for extended periods. For maximum benefit, cover your feet with socks after rubbing in the essential oil to allow it to soak in further.

Source: Modern Essentials®: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 10th Edition, p. 42.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Magnolia

Magnolia (Michelia alba, or Magnolia alba) essential oil is steam distilled from the flower of the plant. The sweet aroma is a subtle blend of floral, fruity, and herbaceous tones. Magnolia properties: analgesic, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antitumor, sedative.

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Essential Oil Spotlight: Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) essential oil is steam distilled from the bright yellow-orange rhizome. (Rhizomes are horizontal, underground stems that sprout both vertical roots and stems to propagate perennial plants.) Turmeric is a pungent herb commonly used to season savory dishes in its native India. The essential oil likewise has a warm, earthy, and spicy aroma. Turmeric properties: analgesic, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, antioxidant, antitumor, and insecticidal.

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“Heavenly Air” Diffuser Blend

This fresh new diffuser blend is amazing! The floral-herbaceous aroma with a light minty overtone is absolutely amazing. This blend is relaxing, calming, and refreshing—really a perfect blend for any day. Diffuse this blend to give the air an uplifting aroma.

Everyone deserves a great diffuser! We carry many different models with various features to suit any circumstance. Click here to learn more about diffuser types and how to pick the best one for you.

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup

This south-of-the-border-style soup is definitely one of our favorites! It’s creamy, just a little spicy, and simply delicious. The essential oils really round out the ethnic flavor. Who doesn’t appreciate an easy, slow-cooker meal on a busy day? You’ll absolutely love this soup!

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup

  • Servings: 6–8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (10 oz.) green enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz.) white beans
  • 3 cans (15 oz. each) black beans
  • 2 cans (4 oz. each) diced, fire-roasted, green chilies
  • 1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes (optional)
  • 4 tsp. ground chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. paprika
  • 2 drops cumin essential oil
  • 2 drops cilantro essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • Toppings: cheese, sour cream, fresh lime, cilantro, etc.

Instructions:

  1. Place the chicken, chicken broth, enchilada sauce, beans, green chilies, diced tomatoes, seasonings, and essential oils* into a slow cooker. Stir the ingredients together, and cook on high for 3–5 hours or on low for 5–7 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it using a couple of forks or a hand beater.
  3. Soften the cream cheese slightly in the microwave. Spoon small chunks into the slow cooker and stir it in. (*For stronger seasoning, stir in the essential oils at this point.)
  4. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker, cover, and cook for 30 minutes more, or until the cream cheese melts in.
  5. Scoop the soup into bowls, top with sour cream, cheese, lime juice, cilantro, or anything else you desire.

 

Essential Oil Spotlight: Bergamot

Bergamot (citrus bergamia) essential oil is pressed from the rind, or peel, of this citrus fruit. The oil is clearly recognized by its sweet, lively, citrusy, and fruity aroma. Bergamot properties: analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, neuroprotective, sedative, and uplifting.

Bergamot essential oil is commonly used to help with agitation, brain injury, colic, depression, emotional stress, environmental stress, infection, mental stress, performance stress, physical energy, physical stress, PMS, and rheumatoid arthritis. This essential oil primarily affects the digestive system, emotional balance, and skin.

Other possible uses of bergamot include acne, anxiety, appetite regulation, boils, bronchitis, carbuncles, cold sores, oily complexion, coughs, cystitis, digestion, eczema, emotions, endocrine system, fever, gallstones, gonorrhea, infectious disease, insect bites, irritated lungs, psoriasis, respiratory infection, scabies, sore throat, nervous tension, thrush, acute tonsillitis, ulcers, urinary tract infection, spot varicose veins, and wounds.

Application and Safety Data

Topical: Bergamot can be applied neat (without dilution). Apply to forehead, temples, reflex points, and/or directly on the area of concern. May also be applied as a deodorant.
Aromatic: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma directly. The scent may help to relieve anxiety, depression, stress, and tension. It is also uplifting and refreshing.
Internal: Bergamot is recognized as safe for human consumption by the FDA. Dilute 1 drop bergamot oil in 1 tsp. of honey or in 4 oz. of beverage.
Safety: Avoid direct sunlight or UV light for 72 hours after topical use. Repeated use may result in extreme contact sensitization.

Ways to Use

1. Diffuser Blends
Bergamot essential oil is a huge hit in diffuser blends not only for its powerful aromatic properties but also because it simply smells wonderful! We have created many amazing diffuser blends with bergamot for you to try. Just click on one below that looks appealing, and start diffusing bergamot today.

2. Comas
Bergamot can be helpful to support a comatose patient. Alternate applying 1 drop frankincense and 1 drop bergamot to the back of the neck, just below the skull, once a day.
3. Perfumes
Essential oil blends can make beautiful perfumes. We’ve written a post featuring 15 perfume recipes and their health benefits—including several blends containing bergamot. A downloadable file with printable labels is included. Click here to make fabulous fragrances for both women and men.

4. Smoothies
To add healthful flavor to your fruit or green smoothies, include 1–2 drops of bergamot essential oil. You’ll love the citrus burst and the support for your digestive system.
5. Bath Bombs
Making your own bath bombs means completely customized creations! And you can feel secure knowing that you’re not soaking in any harmful chemicals. Follow this recipe to make simple, luxurious bath bombs! For a stress-relieving and emotionally relaxing bath, add 10 drops bergamot, 10 drops orange, and 3 drops copaiba to the basic bath bomb recipe.

Source:
Modern Essentials®: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 40-41.

Grilled Cinnamon Peaches

With peach season upon us, here’s a way to top off a late-summer cookout with a simple, delectable dessert. Warm, sweet, cinnamon peaches make the perfect complement to savory barbecued dinners. You can also panfry peaches indoors. Since they’re so quick and easy, you’ll make this your go-to dessert for many occasions!

Grilled Cinnamon Peaches

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 peaches
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. butter, melted
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil
  • vanilla ice cream or yogurt for topping

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and cinnamon essential oil, and set aside.
  2. Slice the peaches in half—leaving the skin on—and remove the pits.
  3. Brush the melted butter with cinnamon essential oil all over the peach halves. Grill them with flesh side down over medium heat for 2–3 minutes or until browned. You may want to use the cooler edges of the grill if you’ve been barbecuing meat. (Alternately, panfry the peach halves over medium-high heat in the same way.)
  4. Turn the peach halves face up, and sprinkle the brown sugar over the flesh. Grill for another 2–3 minutes or until the skin is browned and loosened. (If panfrying, cover the pan and cook for another 2–3 minutes or until the sugar caramelizes.)
  5. Remove peach halves from the heat, and serve with or without the skin—topped with ice cream or yogurt.

 

Natural Disinfecting Wipes

Store-bought disinfecting wipes contain harsh chemicals that may do more harm than good. These all-natural wipes are safe for your skin, so you can use them to clean and disinfect your house without worry! You’ll also save money with an effective, convenient, and easy-to-make product. And your home will smell as clean as it looks.

Natural Disinfecting Wipes

  • Servings: Yield=100–200 wipes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, combine the water, vinegar, witch hazel, castile soap, and essential oils.
  2. Cut the roll of paper towels in half, and place half the roll in the OmniWipe container.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture over the paper towels, making sure to coat evenly.
  4. Place the lid on the container and tip it back and forth, allowing the liquid to soak into the paper towels.
  5. Open the container and carefully pull the cardboard center out of the paper towels. (It should be easy to remove once soaked.) Then pull up the center paper towel. Thread it through the hole in the lid for dispensing the wipes. Replace the lid on the container.
  6. Apply the vinyl label to the side of the wipe container. Click here for instructions.
  7. Carefully remove a wipe to clean your desired surface.

Depending on the thickness of the paper towel roll, you may need to increase or decrease the amount of water and vinegar so that the wipes are not too wet or dry.

Overnight Oats with Blueberry Lemon Jam

Breakfast can be a hard meal to keep healthy while still tasting delicious. Overnight oats have caught our attention recently, so we decided to see what all the fuss was about. These overnight oats are cardamom and cassia flavored, and topping them with Blueberry Lemon Jam makes for a wonderful flavorful combination. This is a breakfast that you can feel good about eating without sacrificing a delicious flavor!

Overnight Oats with Blueberry Lemon Jam

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

  • 1 can (15 oz.) coconut milk
  • 1 cup (100 g) rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp. (35 g) chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 drop cardamom essential oil
  • 1 drop cassia essential oil
  • 1–2 small, ripe pears, diced
  • Blueberry Lemon Jam (recipe below)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium container, combine the coconut milk, rolled oats, chia seeds, maple syrup, and essential oils.
  2. Cover, and chill the oats for at least 1–2 hours, or overnight, until the mixture thickens and the oats soften.
  3. Remove the oats from the fridge when ready to serve, and stir to combine.
  4. Layer the oats, jam, and pear slices in a bowl or small jar. These prepared layers can be stored in the fridge for 3–4 days.

This Blueberry Lemon Jam is super delicious and really easy to make! You can use it for the overnight oats, or simply top a bagel or piece of toast with it. The lemon essential oil adds a wonderful tangy flavor to the sweet blueberries. You might need to make a double batch of this jam to last you a little longer!

Blueberry Lemon Jam

  • Servings: Yield=6 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (550 g) frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. (35 g) chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. In a medium pot, combine the blueberries and maple syrup, and simmer over medium-high heat for 8–10 minutes, or until the berries are softened. The blueberries will release a lot of water at this point.
  2. Reduce the heat a little to avoid sticking, and stir in the chia seeds.
  3. Let the mixture simmer for 8–15 minutes, stirring frequently. Simmer until most of the water cooks off and the jam thickens up.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice, and transfer to a bowl.
  5. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes before stirring in the lemon essential oil.
  6. Place the jam in the fridge for a couple hours, allowing it to cool completely.

Leftover jam can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for much longer.

“Clean Home” Diffuser Blend

Let’s be honest. Sometimes we really just don’t have time to clean our homes the way we would like. Sometimes all we have time for is a quick pick-up to make it look like we cleaned. How about a new diffuser blend that will make your home smell like you have been cleaning for hours? This diffuser blend has such a fresh and clean smell, you’ll absolutely love it—not to mention the illusion of deep cleaning that it provides. Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

If you’re looking for a new diffuser, you’ve come to the right place! Our new Jade ultrasonic diffuser has a classy design that will fit the decor of your house or office, while also releasing the benefits of essential oils into the air for up to 8 hours. Click here to learn more about this incredible diffuser!

If you would like to learn more about choosing the right diffuser, you can consult our “Which Diffuser Is the Best? Diffusion Methods and Comparison Charts” post for more information.