Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gifts and Goodies - a recipe


First, a bit of background.   Albert Vieille is an essential oil and absolute producer in Grasse.  They started out almost 100 years ago, producing Neroli, since they were surrounded by groves of bitter oranges.  Today they supply many of our most rare and beautiful Absolutes - Rose de Mai,  Osmanthus, our Spanish Mountain Hay absolute, our Cistus and Labdanum.  Exquisite riches.   The sales rep I had been dealing with has left, and his replacement flew to the States to connect with some of his new clients.  Christophe came to Nashville to meet us and we had a delightful visit. (The ladies of Nature's Gift agreed that we would love to have him bronzed and keep him here on a shelf.  Not only was he as charming as a young Frenchman should be, but very handsome as well!)

He came bearing gifts - cookies from an artisan biscuitier in Vallauris.  Delicate cookies and macarons flavored with the Albert Vieille oils and absolutes. 

Bergamot, Rose, Orange,  Ground Hazelnuts, dark chocolate, Cinnamon,  Blood Orange, Lemon - delectable.   And Christophe cautioned me just a drop or two, very little.

Years ago, in the 60's and 70's, I was a huge fan of Julia Child. I have all of her "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" books, and for several years her almond macaroons were among the cookies I baked every year.  I haven't baked them for years, and I don't know why not...they are easy, and delicious when made according to her recipe. The only flavoring the almond paste and a touch of almond extract.  But I am thinking Rose and Almond,  or Bergamot and Almond, or organic sweet orange and almond, or a touch of almost any spice (nutmeg?) with almond.   
I dug out the old tattered recipe last evening.  In total honesty I have not yet made these yet; I am out of Almond Paste and need to do a grocery run.  But I will!

Julia Child's Macarons:
  •  8 oz Almond paste
  •  1 c  Sugar
  •  1/4 ts Almond extract
  •  1 pinch Salt
  •  2    Egg whites

      Cut canned almond paste into 1/2" pieces.  Process on and off in food processor until it's the texture of brown sugar.  Add sugar and blend. Add Extract, salt, and
      1/4 C egg white. Process until no lumps remain. The dough should not be stiff, but hold its mass on an inverted spoon.
     
      For a crisp shell and soft interior, add a bit more egg white up to the full 3/8 cup. (This is how I made them!)
     
      Beat in bowl with a wooden spoon until creamy and flexible.
     
      Line cookie sheet with brown paper.  Drop small blobs on the paper, leave room around them, they spread.  Smooth the tops. (Optional, at this point, you may decorate each with a
      sliver of glaceed cherry)
     
      Bake both cookie sheets at once in a 325 oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on size.  Switch position of cookie sheets after about 12 or 15 minutes. They are done when lightly golden browned and crusty.
     
      Let cool on paper.  When cool, turn paper up side down, dampen the back of the paper to release the macaroons. Dry on a rack for another 30 minutes. Then store airtight or freeze. 
When I made these in a previous lifetime I would occasionally dip 1/2 of each cookie in a chocolate glaze. That is most definitely not necessary.   
When I make them this time, I will add perhaps two drops of Bergamot, or a single drop of Rose to the food processer while processing the Almond Paste, to blend it thoroughly into the dough.
Since I no longer have brown paper grocery bags to bake them on, I will probably try using baking parchment.  I can't wait to experiment!

ENJOY.

(I'm thinking, I may also make some meringues, with ground chocolate and ground pecans. They are one of my sons' favorites. What would happen if I were to whip a drop of EO into those egg whites?)

Meringues:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8th tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/8th tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 C mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C finely chopped Pecans
Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, salt and Vanilla (or substitute a drop or two of an appropriate essential oil... Peppermint?... Gradually add sugar while beating, until stiff peaks form.  Fold in nuts and chocolate bits.   Drop on a baking ship lined with brown paper. (Here we go again, more brown paper. Use Parchment!)  Bake in a slow oven (325 F) until dry.  Do not brown.    I use a baby spoon to shape these because I like *little* cookies. They seem fancier, and the recipe makes more.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Giving Back

Three seemingly unrelated stories...the apparent commonality is only the cast of characters...

My best and longest (as opposed to oldest) friend has an amazingly talented, beautiful daughter.  Jodie, as well as being beautiful is a gifted Poet.  She is an actress, has been taking part in local theater since she was in high school.  She takes part in poetry readings in Washington and Oregon. Her work is - amazing.  She is one of those rare people who has been able to take the struggles and pains of her life and transmit them into something marvelous.

Well over 20 years ago, when my now best and longest friend was a new acquaintance, my daughter achieved a special achievement, and was to be presented a small trophy, symbol of a major triumph.  When the time came for the award to be presented...it was not to be found. There were none. And from the back of the room, came my friend...who had received the same award a few months earlier.  And she gave hers to my daughter. 

(I told you these seem unrelated!)

In perhaps 1999 or 2000, I was asked to speak at the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild's second gathering, in Minnesota.  The topic was to be Essential Oil Safety.   I was honored and excited, and terrified.  See, "public speaking" was not something I did.  If I had to stand up and speak in front of half a dozen people, my knees shook, my voice quavered, I had a lump in my throat that could choke anyone, and I was close to tears.  There would be perhaps 200 people at the gathering.  I wanted to decline, but, I had to do it. Nature's Gift needed the publicity and the validation.

We make a blend called Reunité.  Soothing Neroli, grounding Vetiver, and several other oils. I designed it for myself, to deal with anxiety.  

At Nature's Gift we have always tried to offer aromatherapy jewelry.  Amphoras or miniature perfume bottles - wearable aromatherapy. At the turn of the century we offered the creations of a talented artist who has since stopped working with glass.   I had an amphora that she had created.  Malachite colored, like the stone pictured to the right, on a black linen cord.  I wish I had taken a picture of it.  I wore it to the conference, filled with Reunité.  During the presentation immediately prior to mine, I sat in the audience, holding the necklace, and inhaling the aromas of Neroli, Vetiver, and the other oils.  The other presentation finished; I was introduced.

And I went to the podium and spoke to that audience as though I had been addressing huge gatherings for years.  My passion for the oils, and for their appropriate and safe use took over.  There was no fear; no trembling, no quavering. Reunité worked its wonders, and I was able to do what I was there for.

Fast forward over a decade.

I recently found out that my dear Jodie suffers from paralyzing anxiety.  She said she's suffered from excruciating stage fright for years, and is performing less and less because of it.

I messaged her that I had something that could help, and planned to send her some Reunité Anointing oil.   And then I remembered my amphora, that hasn't been worn for a long long time.  And new what needed to go in the box.   The Malachite Amphora, some undiluted Reunité, a pipette to fill the amphora, and perhaps some Reunité Anoint for when she can't wear the Amphora.

And now, 20 years after my best friend gave my daughter a wonderful gift, I get to give a gift to her daughter.  Freedom from fear...freedom to do what she is here to do. 
I love the way these separate threads form such a lovely braid.

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Aromatherapy for Burnout?

Small research study using a blend of Peppermint, Sweet Basil and Helchrysum italicuum in an inhaler to combat burnout, mental fatigue and lack of focus. Not the oils I would have chosen, but I find it interesting. (Wish we could test our "BURNOUT" Blend.)

Re:  Aromatherapy with Peppermint, Basil, and Helichrysum Essential Oils for Mental Exhaustion and Burnout Relief
Varney E, Buckle J. Effect of inhaled essential oils on mental exhaustion and moderate burnout: A small pilot study. J Altern Complement Med. 2013;19(1):69-71.


Burnout is characterized by exhaustion related to chronic pressure at work or home. Aromatherapy may help alleviate symptoms of burnout. Lavender aromatherapy may reduce stress by inducing relaxation; however, this may not be optimal for burnout since it may exacerbate symptoms by increasing sedation and the inability to concentrate. Therefore, the authors decided to evaluate 2 stimulating essential oils to address the fatigue, and a balancing essential oil to address anxiety. Peppermint (Mentha × piperita) essential oil has been shown to increase alertness and mental clarity. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) essential oil has been shown to reduce mental fatigue and has antidepressant properties. Helichrysum (curry plant; Helichrysum italicum) essential oil is known for its calming and soothing properties. Rose (Rosa spp.) water, as opposed to rose essential oil, was used as the control because it has a subtle aroma, and it is not known to have any therapeutic effects. 
The purpose of this randomized, double-blind, controlled pilot study was to assess the effect of inhalation of essential oils on the symptoms of mental exhaustion or burnout.

Adults (n = 14; aged 25-46 years) with self-assessed mental exhaustion or burnout participated in the study conducted at a private psychotherapy practice in Andover, Maine. The included subjects responded to an email sent to friends and colleagues. Subjects randomly received an aromatherapy mixture or placebo (rose water) in plastic personal inhalers. 

The aromatherapy mixture contained 4 drops of jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) oil, 10 drops of peppermint essential oil, 8 drops of basil essential oil, and 2 drops of helichrysum italicuum essential oil. The control inhalers contained 4 drops of jojoba oil and 20 drops of rose water. 

A 0-10 point assessment scale was used to rate mental fatigue or mild burnout, where 10 = no burnout, feeling alert, focused, hopeful, and optimistic and 0 = extreme burnout, lack of attention at work, negative feelings, lack of focus, and drowsiness. The subjects rated mental fatigue/burnout 3 times per day. During week 1, baseline measurements were taken (no aromatherapy). During week 2, subjects inhaled the aromatherapy once per hour during working hours (i.e., approximately 7 times per day). Week 3 was the washout period, and subjects recorded their feelings without the use of aromatherapy.

At baseline, both groups had mild "difficulty focusing, drifting attention, feeling neutral or, just going through the motions of the day" (a score of 4 out of 10). During week 2, the aromatherapy group had a 21.1% improvement and the placebo group had an 11.3% improvement. During week 3, some of the improvement persisted; compared with baseline, the aromatherapy group had an 8.7% improvement and the placebo group had a 7.1% improvement. No statistics were run, which is appropriate since the n was so small (n = 7 per group).

This study is limited by its small size and the fact that 99% of the subjects were women. Another limitation was that the subjects were self-diagnosed, and that burnout was mild. The study was well blinded in that subjects could not discern the odors. Compliance was not very good for all subjects (although the percentage of compliance was not reported). Some subjects reported that it was helpful to take a breathing break, which in itself could have provided some benefit. This aspect needs to be controlled for in future studies. Another subject reported concern with colleagues seeing her use an inhaler throughout the day. The findings from this pilot study will be helpful to guide future, better-designed studies. Inhaling a mixture of peppermint, basil, and helichrysum essential oils several times a day appears to reduce the symptoms of moderate mental exhaustion and/or burnout.

MERCY for UTI's???

Over the past few years several clients have emailed us with stories of success treating and preventing Urinary Tract Infections using our MERCY Body Wash. 

Brenda R. has been a client for years. She is caregiver to her elderly parents, and wrote earlier this week about the same issue. She graciously gave me permission to quote her:

Marge,

Thanks for all of your help and information regarding your products. I have to tell you about our experience with your Mercy soap. My mother has a foley catheter and frequent  uti's because of this. She has been using the Mercy soap daily on the perineal area and on the beginning of the foley tube and it has dramatically reduced her uti's. She is so happy as that has dramatically reduced her antibiotic use. We will never be without it and today received our order of two more bottles!!

I am busy filling inhalers and getting a winter routine lined up for her and so enjoyed Christi's blog especially on "Giving the Gift of Health". I know how your products have positively influenced the health of my family. Thanks again.

Sincerely,

Brenda R.
 
I've had other wheelchair bound clients write with the same results, as well as caregivers in nursing homes etc.  
 

I mentioned this result to the nurse who sparked the original MERCY products. Her reply? "It must be effective against E-coli!"  We are going to have to do some lab work on that when time allows.  However, for now, if you or a loved one is plagued by frequent UTI's, washing with our MERCY Body Wash shouldn't hurt, and might help!.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Craft-Day12


12 Days of Christmas Crafting: Revisited
Day 12: Making a Personal Inhaler Blend
By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift Inc.

Small but mighty, our personal inhalers can be a very handy and thoughtful gift.  Often overlooked, these small purse sized inhalers may be filled with any single oil or oil blend for purposes ranging from uplifting, stress relief, sinuses, and allergies, to immune building, and any other condition aided by inhalation.  These work particularly well when you don’t want to “wear” a scent but need its benefits for a particular purpose.

If you’ve never noticed the inhalers on the bottles and jars page or if you’ve been a little intimidated to try them, I assure you, they are beginner level friendly, and very easy to prepare.  In fact, we include easy step by step instructions for preparing the oil and filling the vessel with each inhaler, whether the "AromaStick" (think “Vicks”) or deluxe (think lovely lipstick case).  I personally keep an inhaler soaked with Blue Tansy near me at all times due to my many allergies.  It acts more quickly than taking medicine if I suddenly find myself in need.

Ideas for filling inhalers:

  • Sinease for Sinus problems and Headaches
  • Lavender for relaxation or sleep
  • Flu Foil synergy or Ravensara for anti-viral purposes
  • Blue Tansy for allergies
  • Rose for uplifting
  • Manuka as an antibacterial
  • Sacred or Tabernacle for meditation or prayer
  • Reunité or Neroli for anxiety attacks
  • Winter “bug” blends
  • Focus, Spearmint or Peppermint for a quick pick me up


  • Happy Morning Synergy for morning sickness and nausea
I also like to travel with a Flu Foil or Ravensara inhaler, just in case it is needed. 

The plastic "AromaStick" inhalers have a few parts to assemble.  Soak the wick in essential oil or blend OR add a bit of Jojoba carrier oil to make the aroma last for a longer period of time.  The white plastic inhalers may be discarded after use, particularly once the scent runs out or if you have been using them during an illness. 

For the deluxe inhalers we offer are two types.  One is “changeable” and may be opened so the empty glass vial can be filled with either wisps of cotton or sea salt (for “smelling salts” and then soaked in a similar fashion to the above directions.  The other is sealed, comes with a cotton core, and comes with a mini pipette to moisten the wick through the holes in the grid above the cotton.  This is best if you plan to use and re-use with a specific scent, say Neroli 10% or Reunite for anxiety.  (Marge uses one with our Deep Breath Synergy to help with her COPD.) These are available in a variety of colors, sure to please. They are 3 1/8 inches long.  To order and for further information see: http://www.naturesgift.com/oilbottles.htm#Deluxe-Aromatherapy-Inhaler.

Thank you for sharing our aromatic Christmas Crafting journey over the past 12 days!  We trust we’ve shared helpful information through these blog posts which will inspire creativity! Prepare now for theHolidays…Christmas is less than 2 months away!  As always we welcome your comments, suggestions, and ideas.  Happy Crafting! 

Today and Tuesday the 29th save 20% on our Personal and Deluxe Inhalers.  Enter the code craft 12 in our online shopping cart at checkout and click apply to get the special savings.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

craft-Day11

12 Days of Christmas Crafting: Revisited
Day 11: Crafting Personal Care Gifts for Him
By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift Inc.

More men are interested in grooming and personal care these days, so we decided to share a few recipes/ideas for Christmas crafting “men’s gifts,” for the special men in your life. (Husband, Partner, Father, Brother, Son, etc.) 

For an easy shaving cream, purchase an unscented shaving cream, and add a few drops of Sandalwood essential oil to it, stirring slowly to blend.  If you are a bit more adventurous, there are numerous natural shaving cream recipes online.  I’ve researched it extensively, and combined several to come up with a pretty simple version. 

Shaving Cream

Equal parts Extra Virgin Coconut Crème Oil and Shea Butter (about 2/3 cup each)
¼ cup of Carrier Oil of your choice (Jojoba, Sweet Almond, or Grapeseed would do)
15 total drops of essential oil (Could use Sandalwood, Peppermint, Patchouli, Lime)
2 teaspoons of Baking Soda (acts as an antiseptic and mild exfoliant)

Warm the Shea & Virgin Coconut Oil slowly over very low heat in a saucepan.
Once they turn liquid, remove from heat, and add carrier oil and essential oils, blending gently by stirring. Pour into a glass jar, or bail jar to cool and solidify.  May be refrigerated.
Once solid, it will turn a milky white color.  Remove from fridge and allow it to warm to room temperature. Beat with a hand whisk (or electric mixer on low) as you add the baking soda.  Beat for a few minutes until the mixture is blended well.  (should be lighter and fluffier)
Store in a dark, cool location, because the Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Crème easily melts and it contains no preservatives. 

Calendula Shave Soother

For years we sold this  blend of healing Sandalwood essential oil, in a base of Jojoba, Calendula infused oil, to soothe sensitive skin after shaving. I have been told that both Jojoba and Sandalwood can help heal ingrown hairs. I don't know if it's true, but the blend might be worth trying.  At any rate, it will soothe irritation from shaving, and leave your man smelling wonderful!  We discontinued it a few years ago during a jojoba shortage, and there have been folks asking for it ever since:

For a 4 ounce bottle:

110 mls Jojoba
3 mls Sandalwood of your choice (this is a 2.5 dilution, you could easily use less!)

Blend the fixed oils, and gradually add the Sandalwood oil.  Rotate bottle between your hands to gently blend the contents.  Apply a tiny amount after shaving to irritated or tender skin.  (I am told this makes a wonderful lotion for shaving your legs, and we have clients who swore that it helped their eczema.)

 From earlier in the week, we talked about scenting unscented lotion.  Sandalwood would be a fabulous splurge for the man in your life, as it can be used for lotions, gels, wearable cologne, or even diffusing sparingly.  We do offer two Sandalwood samplers, one undiluted, and the other skin-safe and diluted.  These are never discounted but today and tomorrow, use the code craft11 to save 20% on these kits/samplers, as well as Aloe Vera Gel, Extra Virgin Coconut Crème Oil, Shea Butter, Calendula infused oils, and, of course, a Bail Jar to hold the shave cream..  See www.naturesgift.com for more men’s products. 

We’ll wrap up our series tomorrow with a word about basic balms and salves and your final opportunity to save big on many of the items we’ve featured in our Christmas Crafting blog posts.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Craft-day10

12 Days of Christmas Crafting Revisited
Day 10: Yummy Holiday Treats with Essential Oils
By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift, Inc.

The holidays are as much about food and comfort as anything else, and we all have favorites.  Mine is my grandmother’s fudge recipe, which I make every year for friends and family. Interestingly, with the rise of culinary/food shows on television, cooking has become more creative and accessible, not to mention more adventuresome!

There are several essential oils which can be used sparingly in the holiday kitchen:  Lavender, Peppermint, Orange, Lemon Rind, pure Rose Otto, Clove, Cinnamon Leaf, Ginger, & Coffee essential oils to start.  Extracts and essential oils are not the same!  You will use only a tiny amount of essential oil for flavoring. 

Also, hydrosols may also be added to various types of beverages: a bit of Rose Hydrosol to jazz up a glass of white wine, or added to milk and sugar for Rose Milk; Nutmeg or Tulsi (Holy Basil) Hydrosol to a hot cup of coffee; Elderberry Hydrosol in sparkling water or tea…the possible combinations are numerous.

Let’s look at recipes for holiday gatherings, utilizing essential oils, many of which we’ve gathered from friends and clients over the years:

Easy Lavender Pound Cake

  • 1 box of pound cake mix
  • 2 or 3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried Lavender blossoms, rinsed in cold water and patted dry.
Follow directions on the box, adding the oil and the blossoms to the batter before baking.  Marge mentioned she’s always wanted to try this but substituting Rose Otto and rose petals for the Lavender, turning it into an “easy Rose pound cake.”  Sounds delightful! (I suppose everyone knows that you can not-quite-as-easily use your grandmother's treasured pound cake recipe, add the Lavender Essential Oil to the butter as you cream it, and fold the dried blossoms in with the last batch of dry ingredients.)

Orange Melt-a-ways (orange balls)

  • 1 Cup soft Butter or Margarine (I use butter!)
  • 2 Cups sifted Confectioners Sugar (divided!)
  • 1 1/4 Cup UNSIFTED flour
  • 3/4 Cup Corn Starch
  • 3 Tablespoons Orange Juice
  • 3 drops Sweet Orange or Blood Orange Essential Oil.
Cream butter with Essential Oil.  Add 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar and beat until fluffy.
Beat in Flour and Corn Starch until smooth.  Cover and chill for at least two hours.
(Overnight is better!) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Roll the chilled dough into 1 inch balls, and place on an UNGREASED cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until firm and barely golden.  Cool slightly (they will be very fragile) and remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Mix remaining 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar with the 3 Tablespoons Orange Juice. Put wax paper under the cookies on the rack, and spoon the orange glaze over them. Let dry. Makes approximately 3 1/2 dozen cookies that freeze well, so you can make them now to serve in two weeks.


Many more yummy recipes are available online at:http://www.naturesgift.com/christmas-recipes.htm.    Earlier blog recipes for holiday goodies include easy Peppermint Bark or Fast and Easy fruited Scones

Save 20% now on essential oils for holiday baking/cooking: Cinnamon Leaf, Coffee, Clove Bud, Ginger Root, Lemon Rind, Orange (Sweet or Blood), Midwestern Peppermint,  and Peppermint, or Rose hydrosol for flavoring by entering craft10 and clicking apply at checkout in our online shopping cart.

We would love to hear about your recipes, ideas, and culinary “experiments” with the oils on our Facebook or Pinterest pages.

Tomorrow we craft products for the men in your life, with special savings available.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Crafts-day9

12 Days of Christmas Crafting: Revisited
Day 9 Giving the Gift of Health
by Christi R Pugh
for Nature’s Gift Inc.
Today we’re sharing which oils we most often reach for during the winter cold-cough-flu season.  These are oils we would not be without, so we are always prepared when illness hits our home.  (Not intended to replace professional medical advice or treatment.)
Putting together a small winter first aid kit to go-to delays treatment time, particularly when you have to wait for an order to arrive via mail.  I am assembling one for my parents, because I find it frustrating with them living about an hour away, when they come down with something and I cannot get it to them quickly.  They always take advice for treatment from a healthcare professional, however, we’ve found essential oils can aid and speed up recovery, keeping in mind lower dilutions since they are older and do have some chronic conditions to consider. 
Preparing a home remedy essential oil kit is fairly simple and a wonderful way to share and introduce the oils to those you love.  I have also included a few extra basic first aid kit ideas for burns, bug bites, scrapes, nausea, and histamine reaction. 
These are our “top” recommendations to keep nearby. Of course there are many oils to consider and it is worth researching further based on personal preference and specific needs.

Packaging the kit in a small spa bag or specially decorated box for friends and family makes a helpful and thoughtful gift.  One could use 15 ml bottles; however, repackaging into 5 ml or 2 ml bottles would work well for this purpose since it might not be used very often. Make sure the kit is stored in a cool, dry, location. Write instructions for use for the components you include, including proper dilutions, and when and how to use. (Remember, for small amounts, for one teaspoon of carrier oil 1 drop of essential oil gives a 1% blend, 2 drops give a 2% blend, and 3 drops give 3%.)

 For more information on these and other essential oils, visit www.naturesgift.com.  We’re offering special savings of 20% through October 30th on 2 and 5 ml “blending” bottles, pipettes, spa bags, and a few of the oils mentioned above: Tea Tree, Manuka, Niaouli, Rosalina, Oregano, Saro, Benchmark Thyme, Ravensara, Ravintsara, Melissa 10%, Cajeput, Lavender Mailette, St. John’s Wort, Red and Green Mandarine, Ginger Root, Peppermint, Helichrysum 10% in Jojoba, Aloe Vera Gel, and Blue Tansy.  Simply enter the code craft9 in our online shopping cart at checkout and click apply for the savings to appear.

Our series continues tomorrow as we consider uses for our personal inhalers.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Craft-Day8

12 Days of Christmas Crafting: Revisited
Day 8: Making a Moisturizing Aromatic Liquid Hand Soap
By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift Inc.

Making a Moisturizing Aromatic Liquid Hand Soap

Today we will share how to make easy moisturizing hand soap, perfect for dry winter skin using all natural products found in our online shop. 

What you’ll need:

4 oz Liquid Castile Soap
1-2 teaspoons Vegetable Glycerin
15 drops Essential Oil or Synergistic Blend
Nature’s Gift bottle tape
4 oz or 1 oz cobalt PET plastic bottles with disc lid or treatment pump
Pipettes

Add the Vegetable Glycerin to the bottle and gently rock it to blend. Next add your essential oils of choice.  Some ideas include: Sweet or Blood Orange for the kitchen, Rosewood for the bathroom with a splash of Rose, Lavender and Bergamot FCF, or Lavender with Tea Tree, Rosalina, or Manuka. 

If you want to be certain the soap can also function as a germ killer; antibacterial or antimicrobial oils such as Saro, Benchmark Thyme, Tea Tree, Manuka, or Niaouli would be good choices, just not as aromatically pleasing.  I do love Thyme EO in my kitchen soap, but it is purely a personal preference. 

For gifting you will want the oils to settle and meld, and I would also use some of our bottle tape to prevent any unwanted leakage or spills.  In the past we’ve used the flip disc lids, but we also have treatment pump tops available, which is probably more “handy” for hand washing purposes.

Note: I like the idea of pouring it into 4, 1 oz bottles, and gifting the small bottles to friends and family.  It is a great way to share aromatherapy on a practical level.  Fix up the bottles with personalized labels, holiday stickers, and/or pretty ribbons.

Today we are discounting our Liquid Castile Soap, Vegetable Glycerin, 4 oz and 1 oz Cobalt bottles with disc lid or treatment pump, and our bottle tape.  Save 20% on these items now through the end of our 12 Days of Christmas promotion.  Simply enter the code: craft8 at checkout and click apply. 

Tomorrow we return for day 9 of our series and more holiday discounts from www.naturesgift.com.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Crafts-Day7

12 Days of Christmas Crafting: Revisited
Day 7 Giving the gift of Spiritual Oils and Blends.
By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift Aromatherapy



Frankincense always momentarily takes me back to special services at the New Mexico Monastery that was my temporary home in 2003; smoke from the resin rising upward out of shiny censers, skillfully carried by monks and nuns.  Traditionally, resins have been used in many religious services throughout time.  Frankincense, Myrrh, AmberGris, & Rose are often associated with the sacred.  I would also add Spikenard to the list. 

For your more spiritually minded friends, we offer these and other sacred/spiritual oils, as well as the synergistic blends—Three Kings, Sacred, Meditation, Magdalene’s Anoint, and Tabernacle Anointing Oil, all perfect for gifting as packaged OR you may want to purchase extra bottles, pipettes, and create your own special labels and packaging with purpose and intention.  2 ml bottles or sample vials would work nicely and little organza bags in red or green are pretty and easy packaging.  If using the 2 ml bottles or sample vials, the mini-pipettes are more suited for transference. 

A word about our Ambergris, which is actually a synergistic blend, not the ultra rare and expensive Ambergris tincture, but we have tried to recapture the spirit of this essence in our unique blend of Benzoin, Vanilla, Rose, Vetiver and Clary Sage.  We find it very calming and centering and an excellent blend for meditation or prayer. 

We’ve gotten excellent feedback concerning our Rosa Alba (White Rose) oil for spiritual use from energetic healers and others in the healing realm.  Rose is traditionally helpful for grief and sorrow, touching the deepest parts of the soul.  The 10% dilution is quite potent and skin-safe as a wearable perfume. Our Rosy Dreams portable perfume is another thought for the Rose lovers in your life!

During our 12 Days of Christmas, save 20% on our Spiritual Synergies: Meditation, Sacred, and Three Kings, Magdalene’s Anoint, Tabernacle Anointing Oil, Ambergris or Rosy Dreams blend.
Simply enter craft7 and click apply in our online shopping cart.

We’ll be back tomorrow with ideas for making an all natural, moisturizing personalized liquid soap. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Crafts-Day6

12 Days of Christmas Crafting: Revisited
Day 6: Making Moisturizing Butters from Aloe, Shea,  and Cocoa
By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift, Inc.

We’re back with more aromatic Christmas crafting ideas.  It’s our 6TH day blogging about essential oil and aromatherapy holiday creations and we appreciate you joining us on the journey. We’re often asked about the differences between our various Butters: Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Aloe Butter, and our Virgin Coconut Crème Oil versus butters.

Today we’re tackling the topic with tips for working with these delightful deep moisturizers. (Perfect for dry winter skin!) Pampering winter skin has never been easier.  Simply select Aloe, Shea, or Cocoa butter, along with specially chosen essential oil or oil blend.  Warm the butter or butters slowly over the stove & then add the oil you wish to use for the project.
 
First let’s look at the “Butters,” Aloe, Shea and Cocoa.  Yes, our delightful whipped Shea Soufflé starts out as our naturally refined Shea Butter, as white as snow..  We chunk the Shea to size and package it in baggies for ease of transport and use, however, PET plastic jars or PET plastic bail jars may be purchased on our website to hold your nifty creations.Please note those with both nut and latex allergies should avoid any Shea product.

 Extremely firm and solid at room temperature, our pure Cocoa Butter tends to soften as outdoor
temperatures rise or with body heat from the hands, emitting an inviting chocolaty aroma.  As the thermometer drops outside, it is advisable to melt a bit and add your favorite carrier oil to soften.  Our Virgin Coconut Crème oil also combines well with the Cocoa butter.  This might be a good time to mention that Fractionated Coconut Oil, our favorite carrier due to its long shelf-life, is virtually odorless.  Don’t order Fractionated Coconut expecting to smell coconut, because you will be disappointed.   (Marge says that the combination of Virgin Coconut Creme and natural Cocoa Butter smells like a Mounds Bar™ .)

Our Aloe Butter offering, Certified Organic Aloe Vera, enfleuraged into Certified Organic (deodorized) Coconut Oil is grown and produced in the USA. This unique combination is excellent on dry elbows and heels.  It is an odorless, white, instantly melting cream, helpful for chapped lips or hands and as healing and anti-inflammatory as it is moisturizing.  Warm it gently in a bowl of warm water to add your favorite soothing essential oils:  Lavender, Chamomiles, or even Poplar Balsam or Helichrysum for irritated skin or small wounds. 

What can be said about our organic Virgin Coconut Crème Oil, other than it is fabulous!  Smells like freshly grated coconuts, too! It liquefies much quicker than either Shea or Cocoa Butter, nearly instantly in your hands.  Ours is cold pressed from freshly grown organic coconuts and solvent free and can even be utilized in high heat cooking (over 350 degrees. Traditionally it is used to nourish skin and condition hair.  We offer it in our PET plastic 4 oz white jars and larger PET plastic clear bail jars. 

On to the recipe fun! Once upon a time we offered Belly Balm to help diminish stretch marks from pregnancy but quit offering it because the added carrier oils had a tendency to separate, not what we wanted in a commercial product.  However, women swear by the formula, and Marge tweaked it for her daughter-in-law and shares the recipe.  (Her daughter-in-law swears by it. Three big babies and not a stretch mark where she used the butter.)   

You’ll need a postage scale or scale that measures in grams for this project: 250 grams Virgin Coconut Cream Oil and 75 grams Cocoa Butter. Melt the Cocoa Butter, and stir it into the Virgin Coconut.  The heat of the melted cocoa butter should be enough to melt the coconut. If not, warm gently just until liquefied. Blend: 7.5 grams Rose Hip Seed Oil and 21.5 grams Argan Oil. Stir in to the melted solid oils. Weigh and sift together 14 grams of Corn Starch (yes, from your kitchen pantry.) Sift over the balm and beat in until smooth.  (The corn starch gives a lovely powdery finish and makes the balm feel 'non greasy’.) These quantities will yield a full to the brim Bail Jar and perhaps a tiny bit left over.

Marge’s friend Janice offers basic balm how-to tips:
          Use a double boiler and heat slowly.  We recommend barely simmering water. (Note, if you don't have a classic "Bain Marie" or double boiler, put a glass or ceramic cup inside a saucepan of water, and heat to a bare simmer.)
2      Keep in mind the butters and oils are flammable.  Always stay with them as they heat.  This is another reason to use the double boiler rather than direct heat.
3      Some individuals use the microwave for heating/melting waxes or butters.  We prefer not to use the microwave for heating our all natural products. There is a lot of information on the internet about the negative effects of microwave energy on items subjected to it. While we don't know if this is a factor we prefer to err on the side of caution to maintain the integrity of our ingredients.

From our website: A Basic Balm is simply a choice of hard and liquid oils whipped together. I also add cornstarch to give it a "drier" feel.
  • 4 oz. of one or combination of the following -Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 to 2 oz. Liquid Oil of your choice (Depends on what you want to accomplish)
  • 1 oz. Cornstarch
  • 2 Teaspoons Antioxidant (Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E, Low Alpha Tocopherols) if desired.  Note: If you prefer skipping this step or don’t have any antioxidant products around, our Meadowfoam Oil can be divided among whatever carrier oil you use above and should extend the shelf life. Or simply select our longest lived liquid oils, the Meadowfoam, Jojoba or Fractionated Coconut Oil.
  • Combine the oils and beat on high in your mixer or with hand beater until light and creamy looking. Start adding cornstarch and beat in thoroughly until complete.
  • Add 45-90 drops of your essential oil or oil blend depending on what you want to achieve. 
Have fun creating & please share your pix, hints, and tips with us!  For now, take advantage of special savings on all of our butters (Shea, Cocoa, and  Aloe), as well as our Virgin Coconut Crème Oil. Simply enter the promotional code craft6 and press "apply" at checkout to see the 20% discount reflected online through October 29.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Crafts-day5

12 Days of Christmas Crafting: Revisited
Day 5: The Aromatic Commute: Choosing Scents for Car Diffusers
By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift, Inc.

Day 5 for another “easy” gift selection.  We’ll delve more into the harder stuff in the coming days, I promise.  But we aren’t all “craftsy” and some of us simply don’t have the time for creating, yet we want to share our love of the oils with our friends and families. 

Creating and learning about the oils can be fun, though, while we keep safety in mind.  Diffusing oils in the car seems easy enough.  However, there are some caveats, for safety purposes.  For instance, never use any of the “relaxing” oils while driving.  These include but are not limited to: Lavender, Chamomile, Sweet Marjoram, Mandarin, Sandalwood, and Frankincense.  More stimulating oils suitable for diffusing on car rides, particularly for those with longer commutes, include: Peppermint, Spearmint, Rosemary, Pink Grapefruit, Basil, and Lemon.  We do offer several uplifting blends/synergies: Focus, FogcutterCitrus Smile and Fresh Aire.  Any or all of these are appropriate for diffusing in the car.

How do you diffuse essential oils in the car?  We offer the Car Scenter which plugs into the cell
phone charger/lighter outlet in newer and older model cars. 

The Car Scenter comes with refill pads which are simply doused with a few drops of oil and inserted inside the diffusers. 

If your car is equiped with a USB port (for an Iphone or IPad) you may use our new "Aroma2Go" USB Diffuser.

For gifting, a diffuser with a small bottle of oil or a few well chosen samples is a quick and easy selection sure to be loved by the recipient. 

Save 20% on the Car Scenter diffusers, Focus, Fogcutter, Fresh Aire or Citrus Smile Synergies, from now through October 29th by entering the code craft5 online at checkout. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Crafts-Day4

12 Days of Christmas Crafting: Revisited
Day Four - Lotions
By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift Inc.

Continuing our 12 Days series, today we opt for simple and basic.  We suggest adding essential oil or oils to an unscented gentle lotion as a gift for friends or loved ones, particularly those struggling with anxiety issues for whatever the reason.

Research has shown using Lavender lotion can be helpful for patients with Alzheimer’s, Cancer, and Stress/Anxiety issues.  The idea is the massaging into the hands or onto the body is in itself relaxing, but the Lavender, being calming itself, soothes the agitation often found in patients dealing with these issues.

A relative who struggles with anxiety told me her therapist suggested she use Lavender Lotion when she felt a panic attack coming on.  He suggested she keep it nearby and to squirt it onto her hands and nearly wring her hands applying the lotion.  She said almost immediately this motion and aroma begins to calm and center her.  In fact, as we spoke about it, she became more relaxed, just from the memory of how the Lavender made her feel. (Not intended as medical advice, please see your practitioner.)

So which Lavender would be best for this purpose?  From our selection of numerous Lavender oils, I believe I would first reach for the Lavender Mailette and next, the Lavandin Super.  These two are equally relaxing, although I suspect most all of our Lavenders (except the Spike) would do the job.

It is easy to scent the bottles of lotion.  All you need is some of our pipettes to add the oil to unscented Silken Lotion.  Go by your nose, but keep in mind, less is more, and Lavender is a known adaptogen which means it could have the opposite effect (stimulation) if used in too high quantities. We recommend something between a 1% and 2% dilution (which would be 6 10 12 drops for a one ounce bottle of lotion.)  Remember you are creating a lotion, not a perfume; you want subtle!

The unscented lotion is only available in 4 oz but you could blend it and divide it up into smaller
bottles.  If you want to go even easier, we do offer the Lavender Silk Lotion pre-made for your convenience in both a 1 oz and 4 oz size.

Our new Aloe and Jojoba Spray Lotion has been a bit overlooked since we introduced it recently, but it is one of my favorite new discoveries!  You can also add a bit of oil to it.  Makes a great facial lotion and works wonders on dry, scaly areas, with a pump spray.

If Lavender isn’t your cup of tea, other relaxing ideas include: our Relax Synergy, Reunite Synergy, any of the Chamomile oils, Sandalwood, or Frankincense. I am reminded of the research on women with post partum depression who were helped by a blend of rose and lavender. What a lovely soothing and pampering blend that would be.  The man in your life might love a lotion scented with one of the Sandalwood oils, or any of the woods.

Now through October 29th save 20% on Unscented Silk Lotion, Lavender Silk Lotion, Pipettes, and 1 oz bottles with treatment pump.  Your friends will be delighted with this thoughtful, relaxing gift of aromatherapy.

I’ll share more aromatic gift giving/making ideas and suggestions in the coming days.  In the meantime, we would love to hear about your creations! Use the promo code  craft4 at checkout, press "apply" and receive a 20% discount on these useful tools.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Craft-Day3

12 Days of Christmas Crafting: Revisited Day 3
Preparing a Personal Perfume Blend
By Christi Pugh
For Nature’s Gift Inc.

Scent evokes something precious in our deepest selves, providing an instant connection to our most closely held secrets, hopes, fears, and dreams.  A special aroma needs no words to communicate, or commune with our souls.  It bypasses our logic and reaches our intimate knowing.

Earlier this year I prepared a personal blend using our Vetiver, Jasmine, Patchouli, and a tiny bit of Sandalwood in Jojoba.  I put it in one of our roller bottles and keep it in a special place in my home.  On days I am feeling a little lost or down, I wear the blend, which grounds me and uplifts me at the same time.  These particular oils speak to me individually but together they sing in perfect harmony! 

Likely, you have an idea which aromas you love already.  Start there with the favorites…the oils that evoke a deep connection.  Order samples or small bottles.  Using scent strips, compare the oils you are considering blending together.  Tweak as needed.  When your socks are knocked off, make the blend, & fill the roller bottle with your own private treasure.

There are so many options available for filling a roller ball bottle.

1)      A favorite scent: a 10% single essential oil dilution (Lavender, Coffee, Spearmint)
2)      An anointing oil blend or perfume infusion (like Rosy Dreams!) from Nature’s Gift.
3)      Diluting a synergistic blend for skin-safe use.
4)      Creating your own special aromatic blend to share!

Beverly filling one of our Roller Ball Bottles
Ideas: a therapeutic combination of Peppermint and Lavender for a friend who suffers from migraines, Muscle Ease or That’s Better for aches and pains, Harmony Anointing Oil, or splurge on a wearable Lotus, Rose or Sandalwood dilution, and on and on…there are so many choices and I’ve found nearly everyone appreciates a gift with a more personal touch!  

Roll on bottle blends are fairly simple: 

For skin-safe use, blend a 10% anointing oil to fill the 10 ml (1/3 oz or 200 drops) roll on bottle.  So you will use 1 ml (20 drops) essential oil or synergistic blend to 9 mls (180 drops) of carrier oil.  Normally we recommend Jojoba Oil or Fractionated Coconut as carriers due to the long shelf life and the fact that neither has a strong scent that will take over the desired aroma of the blend. 

For this project you will need:

-Roller/Roll On Bottle or Bottles
-Essential Oil or Synergy of choice OR –Anointing Oil of choice
-Carrier Oil of choice (if using undiluted oil or synergy)
-Pipettes or dropper to measure oils

To achieve a 10% dilution, a blend of Peppermint and Lavender Oils diluted in jojoba would call for:
10 drops Peppermint (1/2 ml)
10 drops Lavender  (1/2 ml)
180 drops Jojoba Oil (9 ml)  = 10 mls.

Or Relax Synergy diluted in Fractionated Coconut Oil would call for:
20 drops Relax Synergy (1 ml)
180 drops Fractionated Coconut Oil (9 ml)


Our 10 ml frosted roll-on bottles include self explanatory assembly instructions.  Make sure you label the products you are gifting with the ingredients and the date created as well as any necessary cautions or warnings such as: Not for internal use. 

Should you need it, Marge has created a handy reference dilution chart for blending which is available on our website:  http://www.naturesgift.com/methods.htm.

Our frosted Roll-On (roller) bottles and our disposable pipettes (for accurate measuring) are available at a special sale price until October 29.  I’ll share more aromatic gift giving/making ideas and suggestions in the coming days.  In the meantime, we would love to hear about your creations! Use the promo code  craft3  at checkout, press "apply" and receive a 20% discount on these useful tools.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Craft-Day2



12 Days of Christmas Crafting Revisited-Day Two
by Christi R. Pugh
for Nature’s Gift

Your Own Personal Spa-Making Bliss Bath at Home

Who doesn’t love indulging in an aromatic spa experience?  A quiet house, hot water, lit candles, a favorite book, a tasty beverage, and all complemented by the aroma of pure essential oils added to unscented bliss bath.  Treat yourself or your family and friends by creating your own personalized bliss bath blends.  It is fairly simple and quite rewarding.

Bliss Bath came about around ten years ago when Marge was going through a period of grief and loss in her personal life, resulting in increased stress.  A friend suggested she begin searching for ways to nurture and care for herself, so she experimented with formulating a “blooming bath powder.”  Eventually she settled on a more subtle yet soothing formula which became our popular Bliss Bath base unscented and chose favorites depending on her mood, adding Rose, Sandalwood, Neroli, and other oils as part of her pampering bath ritual. 

Although Marge initially used it as a stress reliever, the spa bath can be whatever you want it to be from a night-time wind down to a Saturday morning energizer.  Creating bliss bath for friends is fun and the bail jars offer an attractive presentation.  You can even add a bow or ribbon!

The rich and moisturizing bliss bath base is non-irritating (tapioca starch and jojoba oil) and suitable for most skin types.  As always, we recommend testing a bit on your skin just in case of an idiosyncratic reaction.  Also, the oil residue will make the tub slippery, so label your creation with a cautionary warning about slippage. 

If creating from the unscented Bliss Bath, add about ¼ cup additional Jojoba Oil, and 3 mls of your favorite essential oil or blend.  Remember not to use essential oils which are known skin or mucous-membrane irritants.  (For instance, I would stay away from most of the spice oils.)

Our bags of unscented bliss bath are much easier to work with than bail jars if blending your own creation.  I find it easier to blend this way and then add to an empty bail jar or jars for gift giving.   

Synergy ideas for Bliss Bath:

Destress, Harmony, Relax or Reunite Synergy-All are calming stress relievers at the end of a long, hard, day.  Caution user to be prepared to sleep after this bath!

Other blend ideas:

Contentment bliss bath-Lavandin Super, Ylang Ylang, and Patchouli-Very pleasing to the senses.  Use less Ylangylang than the other two oils.

Energizing bliss bath-Equal parts Pink Grapefruit, Thyme Linalol, and Rosemary.

Energizing immune boost bliss bath-Ravensara, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Rosemary.

Our new Russian Rose Oil is enchanting and affordable luxury and would make a beautiful bliss bath. 

We offer pre-blended Bliss Bath in Rose, English Lavender, Cleopatra’s Secret, and Jasmine, but have always been adamant about making the Unscented available as well, for those who want to create their own special bliss bath experience or others with sensitive skin issues.

Now through October 29 we are offering 20% off our unscented bliss bath and our bail jars. Use the promo code  craft2 at checkout, and press apply; you'll see the discount reflected onscreen.  

Check back tomorrow for more aromatic hints and Christmas gift crafting ideas.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Craft-day1



12 Days of Christmas Crafting Revisited-Day One
by Christi R. Pugh
for Nature’s Gift

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…Christmas is under three months away and the sights and sounds are becoming familiar once again.  At Nature’s Gift it is our favorite time of year and we are all feeling invigorated as we forge toward year’s end.
For the next 12 days, join us as we blog about some of our favorite projects, and offer unique savings on the products you’ll need to make your goodies.  Every day we’ll feature a special savings code for use in our online shoppe. 

After all, it wouldn’t be an aromatic Christmas season without sharing gift hints, recipes, and ideas for your friends and family.  We try to offer simple ideas that are friendly for everyone from beginners to experts in aromatherapy.

Today, we’ll share how to make a yummy Candy Cane Peppermint Scrub using salts, essential oil, and a carrier oil or liquid castile soap.


Candy Cane Peppermint Scrub

 

Mixing bowl, large spoon, bail jar, salts, essential oil, carrier oil or liquid castile soap


Add salts, 2 cups or 16 oz to mixing bowl


Add our Midwestern Peppermint essential oil, about 15-30 drops total 


Blend and mix well


A carrier oil or liquid castile soap should be added to the mixture for a more salt scrub type effect.  Just dribble in your carrier oil or liquid soap, stir, and add a bit more. The goal is a 'wet sand' texture. 


If using a carrier oil in addition to essential oils, blend the essential oil into the carrier oil before adding to mixing bowl filled with salts.


Close in a container with a very tight lid and store for a day.


If the blend seems too weak, you may add more essential oil at that time. 

Remember to add a personal label with any safety warnings or precautions, such as “Caution, tub may be slippery after use.”
                          
Wrap a pretty red ribbon around the bail jar or make your own personalized labels (Made with love by…..) for a handmade gift sure to be a hit with your friends and family. 

If you prefer, use a different essential oil (our Russian Rose would be lovely and affordable!) bearing in mind any safety warnings for appropriate use on skin. The scrub will remove dry skin and leave you feeling invigorating.  I like using the Peppermint, especially, on feet and elbows. 

Salts and Bail Jars are available at special pricing for the next 12 days for our blog readers.  Good luck making your own special creations!
Nature's Gift Bath Salt Kit

Use the promotional code  craft1  (the number 1) at checkout, press apply, and save 20% on our PET bail jars, and all of our salts, including our make it yourself bath salt kit.  The Salts and bail jars will continue on sale through October 29.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

High Citral Oils vs Pregnancy?

Who knew?  Certainly not us!
  
I had always known that some of the very high Citral oils were powerful irritants.  And we have always warned people against using Lemon Verbena essential oil.  It was on the “IFRA-banned” list as a sensitizer.   But we had never made the connection between that specific oil and the general class of “high citral” essential oils. And nowhere had we read warning against using high citral oils during pregnancy or lactation.

At the recent “Clinical Safety in Aromatherapy” conference, Robert Tisserand talked at length about the risks of Citral, not only as a sensitizer, but also (and this was a shocker!) to pregnant women.  It appears that there is a chance that Citral can effect tooth and bone development in the fetus.   I have NEVER seen any warnings against use of Citral or Citral containing essential oils during pregnancy.

What IS Citral? 

Citral is a blend of two naturally occurring phytochemicals (Isomers), Geranial and Neral.  By itself, Citral is a powerful irritant and sensitizer.  Blending with oils high in d-Limonene *may* cancel out the irritant/sensitizer effects of the Citral, but it seems that can’t be guaranteed.  It often helps, but not always.  (Pink Grapefruit is a perfect example of a high d-limonene oil that could quench the irritating or sensitizing effects of Citral, but there is no guarantee. Some studies show the “quenching” affect, others indicate it doesn’t exist. When research results are mixed, it is at the very least important that we be aware of the risks.)  
Based on this we have added some warnings to certain oils on our website.  The list of high Citral oils includes:
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon Myrtle
  • Lemon Tea Tree
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Litsea Cubeba
  • Melissa
  • (also on the list, but not oils we offer, are Lemon Leaf [lemon petitgrain] and Honey Myrtle.)
Obviously, they are the NON-citrus lemony scented oils.
There is no indication that inhalation of the high citral oils can cause any problems, either on the skin or with pregnancy.  However oral use (ingestion) of any of them should be avoided during pregnancy or lactation. 
We are not sure what the safe level for topical use would be to avoid risk to the fetus, but according to Robert Tisserand, the 0.7% dilution recommended by IFRA should give a sufficient margin of safety for pregnant clients. THAT was new to me. We are going to have to very carefully calculate the percentages of the high citral oils in all of our products, and have put appropriate safety warnings on our online descriptions and on the labels of products containing Citral rich oils in a percentage higher than the recommended limit.

One such product is our popular "SkeeterBeater" Gel and Body Oil.  We have added an "avoid use during pregnancy" and "do not use on broken skin" warnings to the product descriptions and to the website.

For the most complete and up to date information on the safe and appropriate use of these powerful healing oils, please see Essential Oil Safety, 2nd edition, by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.