Essential Oils in the Living Room

Living Room FireplaceMost living rooms get pampered with an assortment of perfumed products from furniture polish to air fresheners, dusting powders for the carpets and upholstery cleaners. These products aren’t aroma coordinated and, more importantly, they all contain harmful chemicals. They are not the best option because all of their functions can be taken over by natural products which have been enhanced with essential oils.

In years gone by people put aromatic grasses under their rugs and mats so the aroma would be released to freshen the room as they walked on them. Today most of us have wall-to-wall carpeting and we need something else. A carpet freshener powder, which can be used in exactly the same way as the commercial products, can be made by using essential oils in conjunction with kaolin, baking soda, or borax powder.

For each tablespoon of one of these base powders, you will need 1 drop of your chosen essential oil –use one of the less expensive ones. Simply add the essential oil to the powder in a blender and mix well. How much you make depends entirely upon your  requirements. Once made, store in a sealed jar or sealable plastic bag. Leave it overnight in a drawer or closet before using for the first time; then sprinkle it on your carpet, leave for a few minutes, and vacuum up.

To stop the odor that builds up from the dust and dirt in the vacuum cleaner, you can put a teaspoon of carpet cleaning powder in the bag, which will fragrance the air as it is sucked through the machine. A more effective method, however, is to add 6-8 drops of essential oil to a cotton ball and popping it in the bag. Replace it with a new fragrance, if you wish, each time you change the bag, or empty it out depending on your machine.

Living Room WindowAn even simpler method is to place the drops of essential oil directly on the bag by the air outlet, but this isn’t a good option for non-replaceable bags since you might want to change the fragrance later. Try the essential oils of Lemon, Orange, Lavender, or Pine to eradicate that dustiness which makes vacuuming the sort of job you need to bathe after!

It is difficult to get windows absolutely sparkling –there always seems to be at least a few streaks left behind. To get rid of these, prepare a sheet of newspaper to act as a rag, put a drop of Lime, Grapefruit or Lemon oil on it and polish the window again. The essential oil soaks into the newspaper and combines with the print to give a sparkling finish which also releases a fresh and subtle fragrance when light shines through the glass.

The fruit of the lemon has long been used to polish copper, and essential oil of lemon works equally well. Simply put 1 drop on a soft cloth and buff the copper for a clean, gleaming polish.

Living Room FurnitureThe living room is the place to prove to yourself that you can do without all those commercial sprays. Use a plant mister spray with water and essential oils to freshen up the furniture, curtains and carpets. As this is where your family and friends spend most of their time, you will want to choose a nice relaxing essential oil formula.

Use the spray, diffuser, light bulb, radiator, or humidifier method or add the oils to potpourri (don’t buy synthetic potpourri revivers.) Make your own blend of oils or use this tried and tested formula.

The Relaxing Living Room Blend
8 drops Geranium
3 drops Clary Sage
5 drops Lemon
3 drops Bergamot
Mix in these proportions

And if you want something to rouse your family out of their Sunday afternoon lethargy, try this:

The Stimulating Living Room Blend
8 drops Grapefruit
4 drops Lavender
4 drops Lime
2 drops Basil
Mix in these proportions

This article was adapted from:
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

All Images from Google.com

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Vaginal Health Tips

Vaginal health is an important topic for many people, but you’d be surprised how misinformed people are.

I personally feel this comes from the stigmas imposed on our bodies by society, and the internalized guilt associated with them.

I work in an environment where people tell me about their bodies, and I can’t believe how many people apologize for sharing details with me (especially females).

Everyone has a body, and everyone’s body has functions necessary for survival. It isn’t gross, it isn’t dirty, and it isn’t inappropriate.

Your body is your temple, and should be respected, not looked upon with guilt or shame.

Love your body, it is extraordinary.

Now that my little rant is over, let’s move on to some tips on surviving with a vagina by the ever-amazing Laci Green.

In this lovely video she shares some tips for dealing with yeast infections, periods, and urinary tract infections. They use holistic and natural methods, and are effective.

The only amendment I would make is to be somewhat cautious with tea tree oil as it can irritate the skin in those with sensitivities. It is generally safe for most people to apply undiluted, but definitely test it on a small patch of skin before using it neat.

Enjoy these tips when things get a little out of sorts, and most of all love your bodies.

Click here for more videos on sex, body health, feminism and many other topics by Laci Green.

Essential Oils in the Bedroom

Elegant BedroomThe bedroom is a place to sleep, or to play. It all depends on you and your mood. When aroma and romantics come together we have “aromantics,” which is such a big subject that whole books have been devoted to it.

If romance is on your mind, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Rose, Palma Rosa, and Clary Sage are all appropriate oils to use around the bedroom.

To keep it smelling romantic at all times make up a special mix to use separately from the general house blend. Spray it in the air and on the carpets.

The recipe that follows is a recommended synergistic blend, but you can combine whichever oils you like to create a romantic atmosphere.

The Romantic Bedroom Synergistic Blend

8 drops Palma Rosa
1 drop Ylang-Ylang
2 drops Clary Sage
2 drops Nutmeg
4 drops Lime

Mix in these proportions.

For general bedroom use, ideal scents are Chamomile, Geranium, Lavender, or Lemon. A diffuser will help you to sleep if you place one drop of Chamomile, Clary Sage, or Lavender on it.

Pretty Wardrobe 1Bed linens can be washed and stored with essential oils, see the Using Essential Oils in the Laundry Post if you are interested.

Wardrobes can benefit from fragrance as well. Place cotton balls in the corners with a favorite scent on it, or one that keeps moths away such as Lavender, Lemongrass, Camphor, Rosemary, and Citronella.

Remember you don’t want to infuse the clothes with essential oils as this will interfere with your perfumes, so choose something that will be light and simply freshen the air.

This article was adapted from:
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

All images are from Google.com

Essential Oil Profile: Tea Tree

This powerful essential oil is a staple for every medicine chest. Its antiseptic actions are thought to be 100 times more effective than carbolic acid, yet it doesn’t harm body tissue! The Aborigines have been using this indigenous Australian tree in their medications for centuries, and today tea tree is the subject of a great deal of international research because of its many uses for a wide array of conditions.

Tea Tree BranchesThe Properties of Tea Tree: (see the Herbal Terminology Post for definitions)

Antibiotic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Antiviral, Diaphoretic, Expectorant, Immune Stimulant, Anti-parasitic, Anti-infectious, Decongestant

Uses for Tea Tree Include:

Physical: Helps cuts, abrasions, insect bites, burns, mouth ulcers, cold sores, herpes, chicken pox, boils, warts, nail infections, jock itch, asthma, bronchitis, chest colds, catarrh, sinusitis, acne, blemishes, athlete’s foot, dandruff, ringworm, tonsillitis, upper respiratory infections, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, parasites.

Emotional and Mental: Counteracts shock, mental exhaustion, and hypochondria.

Spiritual and Energetic: None known.

Tea Tree BlossomsApplications of Tea Tree Oil:

Handkerchief/Tissue: add one or two drops of the oil on a tissue or handkerchief and sniff often. This method is useful for the emotional and mental problems listed above as well as for colds, sinusitis, respiratory infections, and asthma.

Vapor: add 2-3 drops into a bowl of hot water and inhale the vapors deeply through the nose for one minute (be sure to close your eyes to avoid irritation.) This method is helpful for treating respiratory and sinus infections, asthma, and colds.

Massage Oil: add a maximum 5 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil and massage over the affected area. This method is helpful for cuts, abrasions, insect bites, burns, cold sores, herpes, chicken pox, boils, warts, nail infections, jock itch, bronchitis, chest colds, catarrh, sinusitis, acne, blemishes, athlete’s foot, ringworm, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and parasites. (remember to massage the abdomen in a clock-wise movement)

Baths: add a maximum of 8 drops to a warm bath and soak for at least ten minutes, breathing deeply and relaxing. This method is helpful for cuts, abrasions, insect bites, burns, herpes, chicken pox, boils, warts, nail infections, jock itch, bronchitis, chest colds, catarrh, sinusitis, acne, blemishes, athlete’s foot, ringworm, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, respiratory infections and parasites.

Showers: wash as normal then add 5 drops to your washcloth, luffa, or sponge and rub over yourself briskly while standing under the running water. Breathe Deeply. This method is helpful for cuts, abrasions, insect bites, burns, herpes, chicken pox, boils, warts, nail infections, jock itch, bronchitis, chest colds, catarrh, sinusitis, acne, blemishes, athlete’s foot, ringworm, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, respiratory infections and parasites.

Diffusers: add 1-6 drops to a diffuser and light the candle, or turn the diffuser on. Sit, relax, and breathe deeply for one minute. This method is helpful for the mental and emotional problems listed above, asthma, sinusitis, chest colds, bronchitis, and respiratory infections, and to help sanitize the air.

Humidifiers: add 4 drops to the water added into a humidifier. This method is helpful for the mental and emotional problems listed above, asthma, respiratory and sinus infections, and to help sanitize the air.

Neat: one or two drops can be applied neat to bug bites, cuts, burns, scrapes, warts, and pimples.

Contraindications: This oil can irritate the skin of people with very sensitive skin if used neat. If irritation occurs do not use the oil undiluted in the future.

Information pulled from:

The Fragrant Mind and The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl

Aromatherapy; A Lifetime Guide to Healing with Essential Oils by Valeria Gennari Cooksley

Essential Oil Profile: Lavender

This beautiful oil is often called the “Mother of Essential Oils;” and like a mother it is comforting, warm, and performs many tasks at once. It is perhaps the most versatile and useful essential oil, and deserves to be in every medicine cabinet. This particular oil is also very unique from others in that it can be applied neat (undiluted) to the skin, and will not cause a negative skin reaction. Caution is still to be used with large doses however.

Lavender also can help us find a perfect balance of masculine and feminine traits that are within us all; it can help men become gentle, caring, and empathetic, and women strong, brave, and assertive.

Lavender SpikesThe properties of Lavender: (See the Herbal Terminology Post for definitions)

Analgesic, Anti-Coagulant, Anti-Convulsive, Anti-Depressant, Anti-Fungal, Antihistamine, Anti-Infectious, Anti-Inflammatory, Antiseptic, Anti-Spasmodic, Antitoxic, Cardiotonic, Regenerative, Sedative

Uses for Lavender include:

Physical: Helps burns, inflammation, cuts, wounds, eczema, dermatitis, fainting, headaches, influenza, insomnia, migraine, infections, bacterial conditions, sores, ulcers, acne, boils, asthma, rheumatism, arthritis.

Emotional and Mental: Counteracts anxiety,  irritability, stress, tension, mental exhaustion, panic, hysteria, shock, apprehension, fears, nightmares, insecurity, loss of inner child, restlessness, moodiness, distraction, addiction, obsessive behavior, trauma, conflict, emotional violence, agitation, jitteryness, depression, psychosomatic illness, nervousness, worry, over-excitedness, burnout.

Nourishes security, gentility, compassion, balance, reconcile, vitality, clarity, comfort, acceptance, inner peace, restfulness, relaxed alertness, awareness, emotional balance, spiritual growth, meditative thought, visualization, rejuvenation.

Spiritual and Energetic: Lavender is an herb belonging to the element of Air and is in tune with the planetary energies of Mercury. When used in rituals and meditations it invites energies of high frequencies, which are very useful to the practitioner. Because of the characteristics of Air present in this oil, it helps activate the sixth chakra, and as a result produces clear thinking, and increased awareness.

Lavender BlossomsApplications of Lavender Oil: (Never use essential oils internally unless instructed by a qualified health care professional)

Handkerchief/Tissue: add one or two drops of the oil on a tissue or handkerchief and sniff often. This method is useful for the emotional and mental problems listed above, as well as fainting and headaches.

Vapor: add 2-3 drops into a bowl of hot water and inhale the vapors deeply through the nose for one minute (be sure to close your eyes to avoid irritation.) This method is helpful for treating respiratory and sinus infections, asthma, and headaches.

Massage Oil: add a maximum 5 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil and massage over the affected area. This method is helpful for rashes, sore muscles, arthritis, and digestive problems. (remember to massage the abdomen in a clock-wise movement)

Baths: add a maximum of 8 drops to a warm bath and soak for at least ten minutes, breathing deeply and relaxing. This method is helpful for mental and emotional problems, muscle tension, digestive problems, respiratory and sinus infections, and asthma.

Showers: wash as normal then add 5 drops to your washcloth, luffa, or sponge and rub over yourself briskly while standing under the running water. Breathe Deeply. This method is helpful for mental and emotional problems, muscle tension, digestive problems, respiratory and sinus infections, and asthma.

Diffusers: add 1-6 drops to a diffuser and light the candle, or turn the diffuser on. Sit, relax, and breathe deeply for one minute. This method is helpful for the mental and emotional problems listed above, asthma, and to help sanitize the air.

Humidifiers: add 4 drops to the water added into a humidifier. This method is helpful for the mental and emotional problems listed above, asthma, respiratory and sinus infections, and to help sanitize the air.

Neat: one or two drops can be applied neat to bug bites, cuts, burns, scrapes, warts, and pimples.

Contraindications: Avoid in first trimester of pregnancy. Avoid if blood pressure is extremely low.

Information pulled from:

The Fragrant Mind and The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl

Aromatherapy and Stress

Stress in SchoolArguably, everyone in the whole world is under stress of some description. It might be positive stress, of the sort joggers voluntarily put themselves under, or the negative stress that comes from, for example, from sitting in an open-plan office with a dozen telephones ringing at any given time. The kinds of stress and degrees of it are manifold, and so the oils we use and the combinations must reflect this diversity.

First of all let’s distinguish between positive stress, normal stress, and distress. Positive stress could be described as a “high,” the excited tension you get when performing your job fast and efficiently. It is, indeed, the kind of high that makes people enjoy working in the first place; the sheer joy of being a human being actually accomplishing something, whether that’s whizzing through the in-tray or writing a book.

Positive stress makes us aim that little bit higher, leap over the pitfalls life presents to each of us, and gives us the force to take on challenges. This is the kind of energy that increases stimulation, helps our energy level, and helps creativity flow. Since it contributes to our feeling up, we don’t treat it with essential oils. We don’t need to.

Test AnxietyNormal stress is a state during which the body performs its functions for survival in response to circumstances. For example, when you have a car accident the body is flooded with adrenaline which causes all kinds of physical phenomenon –everything goes into slow motion for example, or pain cannot be felt.

The out of the ordinary stress caused by accidents is all to the good because it increases your capacity and efficiency. Your heart may be pounding, you are shaking all over but somehow you manage to walk to the phone booth and call for help. “I don’t know how I did it,” you say later, looking at the gash in your leg, but you do know really –your mechanisms for survival took over and enabled you to do what you needed to at the time. You can collapse later, when the emergency has passed. These normal stress mechanism are good –very good- and we don’t need to treat them either.

Distress, however is another thing. This is when the healthy stress becomes chronic, with the result that we have no energy, no will, only frustration at the ever-increasing pressure load. This is when essential oils are needed.

Stress in the WorkplaceHere we look at the various types and degrees of stress and the oils which are best suited to deal with them. Of course different types can exacerbate each other, so that the environmental stress you suffer at work can cause mental stress which, when taken home, can lead to emotional stress.

Environmental Stress: Caused by, bright lights over your desk; noise of machinery; the constant ringing of telephones; a cramped office space; etc. Oils which help: Cedarwood, Coriander, Geranium, Cypress, Roman Chamomile, Basil, Bergamot

Chemical Stress: Caused by,  too many cups of coffee; too many lunchtime drinks; too much junk food; too many aspirins or antibiotics; inhaling substances at the factory or office; pollution on the way to work; smokers in the office; etc. Oils which help: Lavender, Patchouli, Pettigrain, Geranium, Clary-Sage, Grapefruit, Lemon, Rosemary

Physical Stress: Caused by, pushing your body to the limits; running in the office “fun run”; working out at the gym; driving long distances continually; etc. Oils which help: Rosemary, Roman Chamomile, Marjoram, Lavender, Bergamot, Thyme, Geranium, Fennel

Stress Mental Stress: Caused by, for example, trying to achieve; taking exams; anguish over uncompleted jobs; unemployment; financial worries. Oils which help: Geranium, Lavender, Sandalwood, Basil, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Cardamom, Patchouli

Emotional Stress: Caused by, relationship problems; parental guilt; the inability to give or receive love; grief; etc. Oils which help: Geranium, Sandalwood, Palma Rosa, Bergamot, Vetiver, Rose, Cardamom

These different types of stress occur in varying degrees and the oils and formulas recommended take these levels of stress into consideration. Identify the level of your stress from the categories below and then you can choose from the formulas and oils that follow for the most effective treatment for your personal needs.

Treat the first level before it develops into the second and so on. Mental health is as precious as physical health; indeed the sharp distinction so often drawn between the two is misleading. They are at different ends of the same phenomenon but they are actually the same thing. The human being works as an integrated unit of body and mind, and to take care of one is to take care of the other.

Level 1: Starts as tiredness and develops into irritability, headaches, and insomnia.

Level 2: Depression, anxiety, muscular pain, chronic headaches, persistent infections, guilt, apathy, helplessness.

Level 3: Persecution complex, agoraphobia, claustrophobia, despair, increasing guilt and depression, susceptibility to viral infections and bacterial invasions.

Level 4: Now the body is really crying for help. Unexplained pain, heart problems, strokes, and high blood pressure may be experienced, along with all the other diseases that are thought to have their roots in stress, like ulcers and even arthritis. The immune system is further depressed, leading to all manners of physical distress.

Reaching a Breaking PointFirst here are some synergistic blends. Level 1 and 3 are grouped together because these need sedatives and relaxants. At level 2 however, you need something that will add a level of stimulation that will prevent you from slipping into level 3. This is to get you out of the quagmire and motivated, and to stimulate your immune system to prevent infection. If you have reached level 4, it’s time for the heavier sedatives which are known as “hypnotics.”

Only those synergistic blends at level 2 and essential oils listed later under level 2, the stimulant oils for stress-related disorders, can be used in the open workplace. All the blends and oils can be used in the atmosphere if you have a fairly closed office, and in any other method that you choose.

At all levels of stress a bath after work every night is a must –use 6-8 drops of chosen formula or oil. You may also make up a massage oil which can double as a body rub to put on before going to work. Also use it in the shower, if you have one, in the morning. Any of the room methods can be used at home, and at work perhaps the best solution is to have a bottle of oils ready with a plant-spray so you can spray your workplace when it’s convenient –perhaps when everyone else has gone out for lunch.

Mental StressYou can of course, also use the tissue or handkerchief method –you can pretend you’ve got another cold – or just sniff the bottle or put a dab of oil on the space between your nose and upper lip.

As Level 1 of stress is grouped with Level 3, let’s start with the level 2 synergistic blends that will, as well as helping you, benefit your fellow workers and boss too. The three general formulas are ideal for reducing stress levels throughout the work place, enabling everyone to cope before they get stressed out.

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Essential Oils in the Bathroom

Beautiful Bathroom As with the kitchen, the main concern in the bathroom is to clear bacteria and viruses from the air and on surfaces. Use one of the oils listed below in the final rinse water when you wash all the surfaces in the bathroom, including the bath, sink and toilet- not only to kill germs but to give the whole room a lovely fragrance.

Electric diffusers should not be used in the bathroom to avoid shock hazards and damage to the diffuser; but you can buy metallic rings which are fixed to downward hanging light bulbs, and these can be kept stocked with the essential oils so there is a permanent source of anti-bacterial aroma.

Any of the oils listed below can also be used in a room spray. This method helps remove odors from the air, and sanitize surfaces.

Beautiful Bathroom Another method which is a nice touch -especially if no other methods can be used- involves toilet paper. Simply put a couple of drops of the concentrated blends below on the cardboard ring inside the toilet paper roll before placing on the holder. The cardboard soaks up the essential oil and gently releases the cleansing aroma molecules, keeping the whole area clean and fragrant.

There is almost nothing better than enjoying a relaxing bath as a candle softly illuminates the room. Since electrical diffusers are generally a bad idea in the bathroom, candle-based is definitely the way to go.

A list of oils best used in the bathroom as “bacteria busters”:

Cinnamon
Pine
Clove
Niaouli
Lemon
Thyme
Eucalyptus
Grapefruit
Lavender
Lime

The Synergistic Blends for the Bathroom are as follows:

Bathroom Synergistic Blend 1
5 drops Bergamot
10 drops Lavender
5 drops Cinnamon
10 drops Lemon
10 drops Citronella

Bathroom Synergistic Blend 2
5 drops Oregano
10 drops Sage
10 drops Thyme
20 drops Lemon

This post was adapted from:
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

All Images were found on Google.com