Essential Oils in the Kitchen

A Beautiful KitchenThe kitchen produces many smells, from fresh baked bread to malodorous boiled cabbage. We all have a trash can, and perhaps this is where the wet coats and muddy boots are left to dry. Litter boxes and animal food bowls are often kept in here as well. There are innumerable sources of aroma in the kitchen; and yet many kitchens are poorly ventilated, so not enough air circulates to clear away the bad or unpleasant aroma molecules.

Essential oils are used to clean the air, rather than merely masking smells. Another huge advantage is that when used correctly they are harmless. It’s not a great idea to spray foods with the oils for taste reasons, but it is safe to do so. They are also great around children for the same reason.

In addition to water molecules from steam, tiny globules of fat are released from frying, roasting, and grilling. What we need are essential oils that are capable of wrapping themselves around the fat molecules, deodorizing them, and leaving the kitchen as fresh and appealing as the food we prepare.

A Beautiful Antique SinkThe following oils make an excellent air spray when used on their own or in combination:

Rosemary
Lemon
Eucalyptus
Lavender
Lime

When washing out the fridge, freezer, or oven add 1 drop of Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Mandarin, or Orange to the final rinse water. This will deodorize without permeating the surface with a heavy perfume.

For wiping down work surfaces, cupboards, sinks, tiles, walls, or stovetops, add a couple drops to your wash water or 1 drop directly to your rag of the following oils:

Eucalyptus
Pine
Lavender
Cypress
Lemon
Lemongrass
Lime
Thyme
Grapefruit
Palma Rosa
Bergamot

Many of these oils are uplifting and even antidepressants, which brings us to washing the floor! Use any of the above oils in the wash water at about 4 drops per pint.

A Beautiful KitchenTo help sanitize dish towels, rags, and sponges, simply soak them in a bowel or bucket full of boiling water to which you have added 1 drop of Eucalyptus, Thyme, Tea Tree, or Lavender. Leave them to soak a while, then after they have cooled enough to handle load them into the washing machine as normal.  The boiling water and oils will kill the bacteria washing machines can;t touch because they don’t get hot enough.

If you’ve opted to using dishwasher detergents without dyes and perfumes or even if you’re using traditional detergent, a couple drops of Lemon added before the detergent in your machine will do wonders for your nose, and helps fight bacteria.

If your dishwasher breathes however, there are many oils that can be used to help the task become less unbearable. They might also encourage everyone in the family to take a turn at the sink. Simply add:

3 drops Bergamot
5 drops Lime
2 drops Lavender
1 drop Orange
per 3 ounces of unscented dish soap

Lovely Kitchen LayoutKeep in mind that most essential oils lose their medicinal and beautifying properties after 2 years. Save those that have expired however, and periodically put 2 drops down the drain throughout the day. Hot water will activate the aromatic properties which last forever and a day. Also use them when washing windows and trash cans to add a lovely fragrance in unexpected places.

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

All Images were found on Google.com

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Cubes

Homemade Dishwasher Cubes Hello everyone! Today I am sharing an awesome recipe I have adapted slightly from Louise’s Country Closet which I am dying to try.

I love making my own cleaning products, and this one is no different. When it comes to the texture of the mixture you’re going to be making it is important to have the right amount of moisture. Add the liquids slowly and mix them in completely before you add more.

You want your mixture to feel somewhat like damp sand. It will hold a shape when pressed together, but it isn’t damp and sticky. It can take some playing around, just remember to be patient and add the liquids slowly.

Ingredients:

  • Dishwasher Cube Ingredients1 Cup Borax
  • 1 Cup Washing Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Epsom Salt
  • Lemon Juice
  • Essential Oils of your Choice

Instructions:

  1. Combine borax, washing soda, and epsom salt thoroughly in a large bowl.
  2. Measure out 1 cup of the powder mixture and add it to a medium bowl.
  3. Add 10 drops of an essential oil or oil blend of your choice. I recommend citrus oils to add a lovely scent and help disinfect your dishes.
  4. Add the lemon juice to the medium bowl one tablespoon at a time.
  5. Mix between each tablespoon, and check the consistency. You want it to be slightly moist but not soaking. It should hold its shape when pressed between your fingers, yet still crumble slightly afterwards. The amount of lemon juice you add will depend on the humidity, but 4 tablespoons should be the maximum added.
  6. Dishwasher Cube MixtureSpoon the mixture into an ice cube tray and pack it down firmly.
  7. Repeat these steps until you have used all of the mixture.
  8. Set the trays in a safe place to dry overnight.
  9. Gently pop out the cubes and store in an airtight container to keep them fresh.
  10. Add 1 cube per load and enjoy your handcrafted eco-friendly detergent.

All images are from Louise’s Country Closet

Using Essential Oils in the Laundry

There’s nothing new about giving the laundry the aromatic treatment. Our Elizabethan ancestors dried their clothes and bed linen on rosemary or lavender bushes to infuse them with the smell, and scented the water with orris root.

ClotheslineWe have many more possibilities, because although most of us haven’t seen a rosemary bush big enough to hang our double sheets over, we do have a multitude of essential oils which can be used in the washer, the dryer, or drawers and wardrobes where we keep our clothes. And it’s not just about making our clothes smell sweet, as we shall discover.

If you have a washing machine put 3-5 drops of your chosen essential oil into the softener compartment. If hand-washing, put 2 drops in the final rinse water and swish it around. Avoid the resinous oils, and some of the heavier oils such as Rose which tend to cling to the clothes in the wash but are fine when drying or storing clothes.

WasherTo add a delicious fragrance to your wash try Lemongrass or Lavender. If you prefer a more exotic perfume, try Ylang-Ylang or Neroli. If winter colds have struck the household, put Eucalyptus Rosemary, or Pine in the wash. These oils are especially beneficial on bed linen to relieve coughs and catarrh throughout the night. If whooping cough is in the house, use Hyssop and Peppermint. If insomnia is the problem, Marjoram, Chamomile, and Orange Blossom will help to aid sleep if used when rinsing the bed linen or nightware.

To infuse clothes with an essential oil when putting them through the tumble dryer, simply add 2 drops onto a piece of fabric no larger than 4 inches square and pop it in with the clothes. Here are some oils you might try.

Fresh

Lavender; Bergamot
Rosemary; Pettigraine

Floral

Geranium; Neroli
Palma Rosa; Bois de Rose

Romantic

Ylang-Ylang; Jasmine
Rose; Vervaine

Ironing BoardYou may also like to utilize the essential oils when ironing. You can either put 1 drop of essential oil in a plant mister and spray the clothes before ironing, or put a drop on a damp linen cloth and place between the iron and the material. You could also put the essential oils directly into the water compartment of your steam iron, but essential oils are not water soluble and could leave a residue in your iron.

Essential oils can be left to infuse the clothes while they are in the drawer or the closet. Put a drop on little pieces of natural material or cotton-wool balls and place them between the clothes. Here is a lovely synergistic blend:

Clothes Sweetener

4 drops Bois de Rose
2 drops Geranium
3 drops Lemon

Mix in these proportions.

To keep moths away from your clothes use 2-3 drops of one of the following oils. These are particularly useful when coats and woolens are stored away during the summer months.

Moth Repellants

Lavender; Rosemary
Lemongrass; Citronella
Camphor

WardrobeSmall cotton balls with essential oils on them can also be put between the clothes in drawers. Drawer liners made with the essential oils are much nicer than their chemical aroma counterparts and are very simple to make. Cut paper to the size of the drawer –blotting paper or other types of absorbent paper are best- and dot with the essential oils. Then brush over orris root powder, which acts like a fixative, shake off and place in the bottom of the drawer.

Rose in the ladies’ underwear drawer would be appropriate, for example, and a relaxing, calming oil like Chamomile in the children’s nightwear drawer, and a stimulating one such as Grapefruit or Basil for the school clothes drawer. When colds are around, get your family to use handkerchiefs that have been left in a drawer with an antibacterial or disinfectant oil.

Shoe RackShoes should not be neglected. To freshen them up inside, put 2 teaspoons of baking soda into an egg cup and add 2 drops of Lemon, Lavender, or Rosemary. Mix this as well as you can, sprinkle into the shoes and leave overnight. Tap it out in the morning and your shoes will be fresh as new.

Sneakers and athletic shoes can get pretty pungent even if you don’t have a foot odor problem. Follow the method above, but use 2 drops of the following synergistic blends of oils to each teaspoonful of baking soda. By morning they won’t be the same wild things you left there.

Sneaker Tamer Synergistic Blend

2 drops Sage
5 drops Rosemary
3 drops Lavender

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

The Harem Special

One of the most luxurious and sensual body preparations comes to us from the East where, reputedly, it was used when women in the harem were prepared for the sultan’s pleasure. It removes dead skin cells and leaves the skin glowing, fragrant, and soft as silk.

harem beauty2Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon ground, dried citrus peel
  • 3 teaspoons ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons oatmeal
  • 1 pinch clove powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed, dried rose petals
  • 1 pinch nutmeg powder
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  • 2 drops Neroli oil
  • 2 drops Patchouli oil

Blend all the ingredients together until you have a paste. Add more almond oil if you feel it needs it. Have a bath, dry yourself off, and standing in the bath, roll the mixture all over your body. Massage into very dry areas of skin.

harem beautyThe idea is to cover the skin with a very fine layer, which is why you roll the paste over the body. (This is a technique we don’t know or use very much in the West but which is employed, for example, in Morocco when making very thin pasty. The ball of dough is slapped on to a hot place so that just the thinnest layer of dough is left on its surface. )

By the time you have finished rolling the paste all over your body you’ll be ready to go back to the part of the body you started with and brush the fine dust off. Gently wipe any remaining areas of paste with a dry washcloth.

This wonderful recipes is from The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

All images were pulled from Google.com

Buying Quality Essential Oils

Buying quality essential oils is the most important step of aromatherapy. If your oils are not pure, they can’t perform as well as they should; and can even be irritating to you. Remember aromatherapy works because of the properties of the oils, not the scent.

Lavener Oil With the popularity of essential oils increasing daily, it has become somewhat of a challenge to find good quality essential oils. Many marketers are diluting quality oils down to get more money from them or even worse; they’re passing off fakes as the real thing!

Caution and discernment must be used when purchasing essential oils. The most common thinning procedure combines our beautiful oils with kerosene to water them down, and fill more bottles. This can be dangerous if you are using some of the aromatherapy methods involving heat, not to mention who wants to inhale kerosene or rub it on their skin?

Here are some tips for ensuring you are purchasing quality essential oils.

  1. 1.       Know the fragrance of a true essential oil. There will be links at the end of this article where you can purchase quality essential oils, and I recommend buying from these retailers. If you have access to essential oils locally however, at least purchase one bottle from these sites to have a knowledge of what the oil should smell like for future shopping.
  2. 2.       Know the proper price range. A good way to tell if an essential oil is a fake is to simply examine the price tag. The oil I use as a standard for measuring others is Lavender. If their Lavender oil is in the correct price range, then you should be in the clear. Give everything a sniff as well to ensure that they aren’t trying to pass off a watered down oil for a real one.
  3. 3.       If you’ve already purchased an oil, test its flammability. Essential oils are non-flammable, so if one you’ve purchased catches flame it is either full of kerosene or other awful chemicals.

Ginger OilIf you follow these simple tips you will have a much more pleasant shopping experience, and will be able to use the oils you’ve purchased for aromatherapy (as opposed to just perfumery.)

I also can’t stress tip number one enough. There is only one way to tell for sure if an oil is true, and that is smelling it. The other tips give you hints, but the nose knows.

Remember to always smell oils before you buy them, and if the store won’t allow you to do so; they probably have fakes.

Links for Quality Essential Oils

Mountain Rose Herbs: My absolute favorite place to buy herbs, oils, and even baking soda. I would recommend this company to anyone.

Snow Lotus: This company is a little more pricey, but it is better to get the precious oils from this company because they make 10% dilutions to make them readily available.

All Images pulled from Google.com

Essential Oils in the Hallway

All of the doors of a home open into some sort of hallway. This area is where scents mingle and create the aroma fingerprint of the home. Since they are often windowless with poor ventilation, this aroma can hang around like a smog; and if it is not a pleasant aroma it can leave a bad impression with guests and can bring the moods of the family down.

A Lovely HallwayHallways need something pleasant and fresh, rather than the spice and herb aromas of the kitchen or more heavy scented oils we might use elsewhere. The citrus oils of Lemon, Lime, Bergamot, and Grapefruit are favorites for the hall. Good mixers with these are Geranium and Lavender; lavender is better in the morning, giving an uplifting aspect, while geranium is better in the afternoon when things are winding down for the day. Geranium is a wonderful choice when guests are due as well because it makes them feel good before they even sit down.

If someone in the house has a cold or flu add three drops of Rosemary to the citrus base and use with the desired method. Hallways can also become quite dusty from being high traffic areas, but the essential oils can make dusting and washing walls an (almost) enjoyable task. Simply add a few drops of essential oils to your washing water or one drop directly on your rag, and wash away. A good choice would be one of the oils above or one of the Bacteria Busters.

A Lovely HallwayA nice touch to add to your hallways is a scent appropriate for the season:

Recommended oils for Spring and Summer- Lime, Lemon, Geranium, Pettitgrain, Lavender

Recommended oils for Fall and Winter: Orange, Nutmeg, Benzoin, Frankincense, Cypress

Notice the Spring and Summer oils are light and springy while the Fall and Winter oils are warm and sturdy. The recommended methods of use in the hallway are listed below:

Candles– Light a candle and wait until the wax begins to melt, then add one or two drops of essential oils to the warm wax. Essential oils are inflammable, so be careful to not get them on the wick.

Diffusers– These are especially made for use with essential oils. There are all sorts of diffusers, some heated by candle flame and others by electricity, but it is important that the surface of the bowl section is nonporous so that it can be wiped clean and a different essential oil can be used later. The recommended dosage is 1-6 drops of oil in a diffuser bowl full of water.

Light Bulbs– The heat generated by a light bulb can be used to release the molecules of essential oils into the atmosphere. There are various attachments made of nonflammable material or metal which can be used in conjunction with light bulbs; or add 1-2 drops to a standing lamp bulb when it is not switched on and cool. Do not put the oil onto a light bulb which is already heated, as essential oils are inflammable. Make sure to not use more than 1-2 drops or it the oil may run down the bulb into the circuitry.

Humidifiers– Add 1-9 drops of oils to the humidifier water.

Radiators– Add 1-9 drops of oil to a cotton ball and lodge it by the pipe or somewhere where it is in contact with the heat.

Room Sprays– Use a new plant sprayer. Put in warm, but not boiling water, add 4 drops of essential oils per cup and shake before use. It can be sprayed in the air as you would any spray or on the carpets, curtains, and furniture, but do not let water fall on good wood, silk, velvet, or leather.

Water Bowls– Put boiling water into a bowl and add 1-9 drops of essential oils. Close doors and windows, and allow five minutes for the scent to permeate the room.

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

All Images are Pulled from Google.com

Using the Aromatherapy Basic Care Kit

This post will show you how The Aromatherapy Basic Care Kit can be used to treat a wide variety of health problems, and the proper applications of oils for specific treatments.

Remember to check my previous post about using essential oils safely here before using any of the remedies below.

This is a very large post, if looking for a certain problem try using ctrl+f to find it quickly.

Abdominal Pain: Abdominal Pain should be checked by a doctor if it persists or increases in intensity because it could be appendicitis or another condition that needs to be properly diagnosed.

Upper Abdominal Area: Apply the following oil over the painful area in a clockwise motion.

3 drops Peppermint
2 drops Clove
diluted in 1 teaspoon carrier oil

Lower Abdominal Area: Apply the following oil over the painful area in a clockwise motion.

2 drops Thyme
3 drops Eucalyptus
diluted in 1 teaspoon carrier oil

Abrasions: Clean the area well with 5 drops of Lavender diluted in a bowl of warm water. Apply one neat drop of Lavender and leave to heal.

Abscesses: Make a compress by submerging a gauze pad into warm water and ringing until slightly damp. Apply the following oils and secure to the area of swelling twice a day using a bandage.

2 drops Lavender
2 drops Tea Tree
3 drops Chamomile

Dental Abscesses: Put 1 drop of Chamomile on a cotton ball and apply directly to the abscess. Also rub over the jaw and cheek area with the following oil.

3 drops Lavender
2 drops Tea Tree
diluted in 1 teaspoon carrier oil.

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