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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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 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

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

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

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

Houseplants that Purify the Air

Peace Lily This is a short list of common houseplants which are known to help purify the air inside our homes.

Almost all of them are easy to care for, and have beautiful foliage and flowers.

If you need an empty space filled inside your house pick up one of these lovely plants to increase the beauty and air quality

Bamboo PalmBamboo Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
Other names include: golden cane palm, areca palm, and butterfly palm

According to NASA and Dr. B. C. Wolverton these lovely plants are great at filtering xylenes, toluenes, and formaldehyde from the air. It is also a wonderful and natural humidifier. Once it reaches a height of 5’11” it is capable of transpiring 1 liter of water into the air every 24 hours.

Snake PlantSnake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Other names include: mother-in-law’s tongue

A study by NASA found that this elegant plant passively absorbs toxins such as nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde. It is one of the best plants for improving indoor air quality.

Spider PlantSpider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider plants have been shown to remove many toxins in the air including carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. It is also rated one of the top three plants for the elimination of formaldehyde by NASA.

Peace LilyPeace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

The whole genus of Spathiphyllumare is collectively known as peace lilies, and all common members are effective at purifying the air. They are a good all purpose cleanser destroying many things from mold spores to formaldahyde and trichloroethylene.

Gerbera DaisyGerbera Daisy (Gerbera)

All members of the genus Gerbera are simply beautiful, and are also adept at cleansing the air of benzene. They also up their carbon dioxide intake and production of oxygen at night which can aid in a peaceful night’s sleep if they are kept in the bedroom.

Information pulled from wikipedia.com

All images pulled from google.com