Friday, March 28, 2014

Fragrant Friday: Bath Blends

Fragrant Friday -

It has been a trying week, so perhaps some soothing bath blends are in order?

To 1/2 cup Sea Salt, or, better yet, Pink Himalayan Salt,  or 1 tablespoon of raw honey add one of the following blends: 

Balancing Blend: 2 drops each Rose Oil, Neroli and Geranium

Cleansing Bath: 3 drops Geranium, 3 drops Lemon, 2 drops Petitgrain.

EXTRA-relaxing Bath: 10 drops Lavender, 5 drops Sweet Marjoram. Please only use this right at bedtime.

Invigorating bath: 3 drops Bergamot, 3 drops Petitgrain, 2 drops Lemon.

PMS Bath: 3 drops Lavender, 3 drops Clary Sage

Muscle Ache Bath: 2 drops ginger, 3 drops Eucalyptus globulous, 4 drops Rosemary Camphor. Relieves muscle cramping and pain. Great for the aches and pains of the flu or a virus.

Soothing Bath: 2 drops. galbanum oil,  2 drops geranium oil,  2 drops lavender oil.
Said to relieve anxiety and frustration.
Masculine Bath: 2 drops bay laurel oil,  2 drops atlas cedarwood oil, *2 drops lemon oil. Can be
applied to the skin before showering, diluted in oil.
Men's Relaxing Bath: 3 drops Scotch pine oil  2 drops. Roman chamomile oil,  2 drops lemon oil.
Note: Almost all the Nature's Gift blends for emotional balance or our "for women only" blends would be lovely added to a bath. 
Confession - I saved these blends over 12 years ago, and neglected to save the source.  It is not my intention to plagiarize, I would give full credit if I could!


Sunday, March 23, 2014

MondayMarchMassage - Pain Relief

Monday Massage Blends - for muscular pain relief.

A selection of tested blends for sore and aching muscles:

All blends are designed to be used in 15 mls (1/2 fluid oz, or 1 tablespoonful) of your favorite carrier oil.  Each would also be wonderful added to some epsom or dead sea salts for a long soak in a warm bath.

Blend one:  3 drops each Basil linalol and Black Pepper, with 2 drops Ginger essential oil is a 2.5% dilution.  This could be used for a full body massage for adults,or to "spot treat" problem areas.

Blend two: 4 drops Lavender Population, 4 drops Eucalyptus smithii, and 3 drops Ginger.  This is a 3.75% dilution. A bit stronger than the above.  I have found this blend wonderful for the aches and pains of the flu, or the pain in the diaphragm caused by excessive coughing. It is also a wonderful bath blend.

Blend three:  2 drops Black Pepper, 4 drops Helichrysum italicuum (Balkan), 6 drops Lavandin Super.  This is a 4% dilution, not really appropriate for full body massage but wonderful just to rub in "where it hurts."  This is also a soothing blend for nerve and joint pain.

Another blend, that I have found useful for muscle spasms (which tend to wake me in the middle of the night!)  to 1/2 fl ounce of Arnica Infused oil add 6 drops Helichrysum italicuum and 6 drops Kunzea. For me, this blend has been very effective.

All of these blends are even more effective when either St. John's Wort Infused oil or Arnica infused oil is used for at least part of the massage base.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fragrant Friday - Turkish Delight Bath

Turkish Delight Bath and Massage Blend

Our friends across the pond, NHR Organics not only have lovely oils and other products, but they occasionally share something yummy in their newsletter.

This week, the Turkish Delight Bath caught my fancy.

to 100 ml of Argan Oil (3.3 fl oz)


10 drops Rose Oil (I suspect the absolute would work as well.)
50 drops Black Pepper Oil
40 drops Cardamom Oil

Blend gently,  use for a bath or truly luxurious body oil.

Of course you could substitute the fixed oil of your choice, but the exotic Argan oil just seems the perfect base for this delightful blend.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

EO's and Cats... a sad story

 We caution our readers against using the oils we love around cats.  Our feline furkids lack an enzyme to properly metabolize the oils.  When asked if it is safe to diffuse the oils around a cat I normally say "in moderation, and make very sure the cat is free to leave the room and go to the far end of the house."  Sometimes that warning is not enough.

Shawna, the author of this story, is a member of a Facebook group I have joined: Real Essential Oil Education.  She shared this story today online, and gave me permission to share it further because she wants others to be aware of the dangers.

(The picture below is not her Pinky, it's my Jezebel, who died of old age several years ago.)

Essential Oils and pets…always be very cautious when using Essential Oils around your pets especially cats. Cats are VERY sensitive to pure oils and cannot be exposed to most of them without potentially devastating results. 

Author Kristen Leigh Bell had a very informative book called Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals and she talks about using only certain Hydrosols for feline therapy instead of pure oils. I share this because I didn’t know about the “true” dangers of using oils around my cat until it was too late. 

I never used my oils on my house cat but did use them diluted for my dogs and in my home. I now know that just using them in your home can potentially cause reactions in your cat. We had a house cat that was about 8yrs old…she was a rescue as a kitten and was tested for feline illnesses and tested clean but apparently harbored feline aids and we never knew. She was strictly an inside cat from the age of 4 on and was very healthy. 

A couple of years ago when I started my journey with Essential Oils I did learn not to use them on my cat so I only used diluted formulas for my dogs and some pest control in the home never even considering that just because I was not putting them directly on the cat that she couldn’t still be affected by them. I know some of you will criticize me for not doing more research but trust me I have beaten myself up daily for not being more diligent in knowing what I was doing. 

Last Summer I had sprayed my dogs in the kitchen (something I never did) I always sprayed them outside knowing that the holistic flea spray was not good for the cat. After spraying 2 of the dogs I realized how strong the smell was inside and took them all outside to finish and left them until they dried. 

A few days later I noticed Pinky (the cat) was acting strange so I took her to the vet because she was urinating a LOT and not eating…yes the drastic “sick” change was that fast. He thought she may be diabetic…that test was clear but there were alarming levels in her blood work that pointed to liver failure. He kept her overnight on fluids and tested for everything he could think of and all the tests were clear so he tested for feline aides and it was positive. In just a few days of being exposed to the stronger oils we were using for flea control (that were not hurting the dogs because of the dilution) she was that sick.

Apparently the exposure to the oils caused a buildup of toxins in her body because the liver can’t break down certain substances in cats…this is why Vets are very careful with prescribing drugs for cats. Because she became so sick, the once dormant feline aids took over quickly and with the liver failing she just couldn’t fight it off. We euthanized her just one day after taking her at the vet. The conclusion I came to about the EO exposure can’t be exclusively confirmed but knowing what I do now about the danger of EO’s and cats it is the only thing that makes sense. Please be careful….tell your customers or friends who use EO’s to be careful when using them around the feline family so they will not have to go thru the heartbreak we did losing our precious cat to something that could have been avoided.

Shauna, thank you for sharing. Perhaps some others can learn from your sad experience.  And there are people who advocate applying neat essential oils to felines.  Tragedies waiting to happen!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Another Adverse Reaction

This time on a child:

Here is another example of the type of reports being collected. This one on a 5 year old coming down with a cold and had the start of a cough. Please report any adverse effects to our database here:

The mother reported:

Initial application of undiluted blend size of golf ball resulted in five year old child suffering from an itchy rash that entirely covered her upper torso - from shoulder to shoulder and down to her abdomen. Within three days, the itching went from intermittent to non-stop requiring medical intervention.

The Mom used the oils neat at the advice of other users/distributors. “Everyone told me the oils were pure enough to use neat, the suggestion of diluting oils is never mentioned, because, you know, these oils are \"just that pure\". I never knew that you cannot use a blend with lemongrass in it on a child, because everyone suggested it and others have done it.

When I contacted people on the support group about her reaction, I was told it was a detox reaction, mainly because my daughter has been routinely vaccinated from birth. 

To help the situation some suggested I use some oils to help with the rash and to continue the detox my 5 year old. I followed what I thought was learned advice and did as they suggested, because I was desperate for ANYTHING that would end her misery! 

One of the suggestions was to use Peppermint, neat, because it would stop the itching. It only made things worse. Within an hour or so of applying the peppermint, the itching became non-stop and unbearable and we had to take her to the Pediatrician that afternoon for medication.”

Please help collect such stories to show us what is really happening out there in terms of bad advice. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

MondayMarchMassage - Baby Massage

I was browsing a delightful book I had forgotten about, and just entered a review of it on our Amazon Book Reviews page. 

The full review, and a link to order, is on the link above.   Allison England's "Aromatherapy and Massage for Mother and Baby" is a delight!

The book contains suggestions for aromatic selfcare during pregnancy, "aroma help during labor and birth", post partum and post pregnancy care, both emotional and physical, and baby massage and baby care. A wonderful gift to any pregnant woman or baby shower gift.

Among the baby care suggestions are two baby massage formulas:

To 100 ml (five tablespoons full) of Almond Oil or Jojoba (or a blend of both) add EITHER

2 drops of Roman Chamomile
2 drops of Rose Otto
2 drops of Neroli
2 drops of Lavender
OR  one drop each Roman Chamomile and Rose Otto. (I would use a true distilled rose oil rather than a solvent extracted absolute in caring for a newborne.)

Ms. England writes "This is a perfect general massage oil when your baby is happy, although it will help calm and relax her when she is not.  This formula helps keep skin free from bacteria that cause diaper rash and will leave the skin clean and sweet smelling."

For a baby with colic or other tummy troubles, try the Colic blend:

To 100 ml (five tablespoons full) of Almond Oil or Jojoba (or a blend of both) add2 drops of EITHER Mandarine (either red or green), Tangerine, or Roman Chamomile.

The book goes on to give both tips and detailed instructions for massaging a baby if you are unsure how to proceed.    I wish these aromatic gifts had been available (or that I had known about them!) when I was raising my children.

You do know, of course, that Nature's Gift offers a Happy Baby Massage Oil and Happy Baby Liquid Soap, as well as Baby Bottom Balm.   If you choose not to make your own we'll be glad to send you some!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fragrant Friday - for him!

Years ago one of my mentors was a leader in the online soap and toiletries community.  Janice shared her experience with so many of us.  

One of her gifts was perfumery. She did not consider herself a perfumer, but she created wonderful blends for soaps, creams, balms, solid perfumes.

I just came across an email from her, dated 1999 containing some blends that we must have been discussing.

"Here are those scent recipes:

6 Rose Absolute
4 Sandalwood (She wrote Mysore, but I am going to substitute Tamil Nadu)
2 Tobacco Absolute (She wrote Tobacco CO2, but I don't know of anyone producing that today, so I am substituting the Absolute.)
3 Lime
2 Bay
2 Sandlewood
1 Tobacco

Hope you like them

I have no idea what these were FOR... but they are obviously masculine and absolutely wonderful. Definitely "follow him home" fragrances.

Perhaps an after shave splash... dissolve the fragrant blend in some high proof vodka, add water.  Perhaps a soothing skin balm?  Perhaps a perfumed oil?   Or....I wonder what feeling they would give a room if diffused?  

Experiment, and enjoy.  My friend Janice has been gone for several years now. I'm glad I found this gift from her today.

For more suggestions on what do with the blends, please check out our "how to use essential oils" file.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Aromatic Acupuncture?

My daughter is manager of Roseville Veterinary Clinic, in Boyce, Virginia.   She mentioned recently that they offer canine acupuncture.

What does this have to do with Aromatherapy?

Before setting the first needle, Dr. Holly Nightingale, Veterinary Acupuncturist,  applies a drop or two of Lavender Essential Oil to the outside of the animal's collar.  The Lavender oil calms the dog, allays any anxiety or stress, and compliments the traditional therapy about to begin.  

I think that is SO COOL!!!

If you are in the Winchester, Virginia area and are seeking either general small animal Veterinarian care, or, specifically, Veterinary Acupuncture, contact Roseville Clinic at 540-837-1334.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

MondayMarchMassage - Stress

A group of stress relieving massage blends for our Massage Monday.

We normally choose Fractionated Coconut for our massage base.  It has a good amount of 'slip' and will wash out of linens, a real plus for a massage base oil.

Many of these blends are from the Kindle edition of my book, Essential Oils and Aromatics  All will be in the second (print) edition (when I finally finish writing it!)

At any rate, to one fluid ounce of your favorite massage base oil add:

6 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustfolia)
6 drops Sandalwood (Santalum album, we prefer Indian for this blend.)
3 drops Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)


6 drops Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
6 drops Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium)
3 drops Neroli (Citrus aurantium)


6 drops Cape Chamomile (Eriocephalus Punctulatus)
3 drops Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
3 drops Blood Orange (Citrus Sinensis)

OR (our Anxiety blend)

4 drops Neroli  (Citrus aurantium)

2 drops Petitgrain  (Citrus aurantium)

4 drops Vetiver (Vetivera zizanoides)

3 drops Sandalwood (Santalum album)

1 drop Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

 These are all a 2.5% dilution, appropriate for a full body massage.  A few drops in a warm bath would also be destressing.  But given my druthers, I'd druther a massage!


Monster Spray

My daughter sent me this photo, with the comment:

You should make something like this with a sleepy time blend.  It would have helped me I think - with or without the aromatherapy."
I reminded her that when she was of the age to need it, I knew nothing about aromatherapy. 
But I am reminded how many of our clients have made their own "Monster Sprays" for their wee ones using our safe, gentle Hydrosols.
Lavender or Roman Chamomile both help to calm and induce sleep.
Neroli is the specific for anxiety. When Debbie G's Alexandra complained about butterflies in her tummy on the way to school, Debbie gave her some 'butterfly spray"... Neroli Hydrosol.
Being able to take their own action to banish the monsters under the bed or in the closet,  or the butterflies in the tummy, is so very empowering to a child, and the gentle hydrosols are the perfect introduction to the healing art of aromatherapy.
Read about these and other hydrosols uses on our Hydrosol page.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Fragrant Friday - grumpiness blend


For days that you (or someone else) just has a case of the grumpies or grouchies.

5 drops Sandalwood
4 drops Petitgrain
3 drops Nutmeg CO2

Blend oils together, add to one ounce of your favorite massage base oil. (We choose either Jojoba or Fractionated Coconut Oil.) 

This is a 2% dilution, appropriate for full body massage. (But if I were having a full body massage I would NOT be grumpy!)

This blend can really be very effective applied to the wrists and below your ears, perfume pulse points. You'll smell it and it will help your mood.  Great in an inhaler or a roller bottle, as well.

This is not a child's blend.  I would avoid under age 12 because of the nutmeg.   If dealing with grumpiness with a young child nothing beats diffusing either sweet orange or red mandarine.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


It is NOT Detox!!!!

We keep hearing from people whose skin was burned, either by someone dripping neat (undiluted) essential oils down their spine, or applying undiluted essential oils to other parts of their body.

Often these victims are told "This is a good thing. Your body is detoxing. (or, "The virus is leaving your body.")

This is NOT a detox reaction. This is a chemical burn caused by applying powerful solvents to your skin.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured by unwise neat use or internal use of essential oils, a group of responsible aromatherapy teachers, suppliers, and end users are collecting data on injuries, in an attempt to further the SAFE and APPROPRIATE use of these powerful healing substances.

The "adverse reaction" report may be entered here.  Your identity will be kept confidential.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Suggested Back Ache Blends:

Back Ache Blends:

If the Graphic doesn't work well for you:

Blend 4 ounces Arnica Infused oil with 4 ounces St. John's Wort Oil.

To this mixture add EITHER"

20 drops Clary Sage,  20 drops Lavender  and 10 drops Roman Chamomile


20 drops Rosemary Cineole, 10 drops Yarrow   and 10 drops Frankincense


20 drops Kunzea Ambigua,  20 drops Sweet Marjoram and 10 drops Helichrysum italicuum.

 And all the essential oils are available on our alphabetical list of essential oils.

Hope some of these help.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

MarchMondayMassage - Restlessness

In February we did a series of Fragrance Blends, for "Fragrant February."  In March I would like to do a series of Massage blends to deal with different physical and emotional issues. Earlier today I took part in a discussion about restlessness in a growing boy. That made me think of this particular solution.

Restless. Fidgity.  Can't settle down.  We've all been there, or have dealt with a friend who IS there.   Came across this lovely blend and thought...ah, yes.   Relaxing but not necessarily sedating. This just might help someone settle down a bit.

5 drops EACH, Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea), Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) and  Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana)

Blend  essential oils together, and add to one fluid ounce of your favorite massage base oil. (We normally reach for Fractionated Coconut Oil.)

This blend of oils would also make a wonderful room spray or diffuser blend.  If you are the one combatting your own restlessness, you might consider making an inhaler for personal use.