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Naturally Blended

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Essentials of Blending: Blending Methods

By Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist 

Creating your own essential oil blend is an incredibly rewarding experience. However, it can be a little daunting when you’re just starting out. So before we go any further, let’s start with the basics. Blended oils are called synergies. The word synergy means “the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.” [1] This means you’re combining two or more essential oils together to multiply the desired effect.

With that out of the way, we can look at the different blending methods and choose the one that feels right to you. Blending is truly an art and also a journey of self-discovery. There is no right or wrong way to blend. You can choose to blend with one method or a combination of multiple methods!

 

Different Blending Methods

Essential oils next to their plantsThere are different ways in which you can create your essential oil synergy. Some may choose to blend by the chemical constituent, while others may blend by the perfumery note, plant part, or even therapeutic action.

 

Blending by Constituent

Plant Therapy Essential OIlsBlending by chemical constituent is primarily practiced in clinical aromatherapy. It can be difficult to find books that explore this method. The idea is that you can boost the percentages of individual desired constituents in a blend. For example, Ho Wood and Lavender are both very high in a constituent called Linalool. Linalool is a calming constituent that is uplifting and also has anti-inflammatory properties. [2] Blending with both Ho Wood and Lavender would raise the Linalool percentage and should boost the desired effect.

Recommended reading for essential oil chemistry:

  • The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils 3rd Edition by Joy E. Bowles.

 

Blending by Note

How to blend essential oils based on notesBlending by note is generally practiced with perfumery in mind. The purpose of blending by notes is to create a harmonizing chord that is pleasing aromatically, much like a musical chord is pleasing to the ears.

The top notes are the oils that grab your attention quickly but they also evaporate the fastest. Middle notes last longer than top notes and are considered by many to be the heart of the blend. Base notes have your deepest aroma and are considered a fixative for your perfume. They evaporate slower and you will smell these oils the longest.

To learn more about blending by notes and see our list of the top, middle, and base note oils, please check out this blog post.

 

Blending by Therapeutic Action

Essential oil bottles next to floral accentsBlending by therapeutic action is the most common method for home enthusiasts. This method relies on the known therapeutic usage of an essential oil. Most books use this method and instruct how to combine essential oils for their known historical therapeutic values.

Recommended reading for therapeutic action:

  • The Heart of Aromatherapy by Andrea Butje
  • Complete Guide to Aromatherapy by Salvatore Battaglia
  • The Fragrant Mind by Valerie Ann Worwood
  • The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness by Nerys Purchon, Lora Cantele

 

Blending by Plant Part

Bags of rose petals in a trailerAlthough this method is talked about less frequently, there are some generalizations that can be made about blending by plant part. For example, this method can emotionally connect you to the plant and help you appreciate it more.

To use this blending method, you must first determine the part of the plant that your essential oil is extracted from. Then you can begin blending with other oils from that same plant part.

Benefits of Plant Parts

Roots (rhizomes) are grounding and provide stability for the plant. Therapeutically, there is a correlation between physically grounding the plant and being an emotionally grounding essential oil. Vetiver, for example, is an essential oil that comes from the root of the plant and is known to be very emotionally grounding. [3]

Buds and flowers emerge during spring, a time of new growth. Flowers attract insects that pollinate them. This inviting and comforting action is why many essential oils extracted from flowers or buds soothe and calm the heart and spirit.

Seeds play an integral part of plant reproduction. In essence, they are regenerating and full of new life and growth. Oils that are derived from seeds encourage personal growth and can help us realize our potential.

Resins are produced by trees when something injures their trunk. The resin pours from the center of the tree, bringing forth inner strength and healing. Resinous essential oils help with self-reflection and the healing of emotional and physical wounds.[4]

The wood or bark of plants is responsible for directing nutrients from the roots to the stems and flowers. The trunk is supportive and protective of the plant and oils made from the bark can help support functions of the body. They can also be helpful in reducing skeletal pain in the body and centering us emotionally.

Fruits generally grow above the core of the tree. Because of this, many essential oils that come from the fruit are naturally uplifting and cleansing. Fruits are a product of reproduction of the tree and also protect the seed for the regeneration of new life. They can also invigorate and motivate and help relieve feelings of anxiousness.

Recommended reading for blending by plant part:

  • Aromatree by Salvatore Battaglia

Get Creative

Essential oils with floral and skincare accentsNow that you know the purpose of each method, you can make a decision on the method that is best suited for you.

It’s important to keep an open mind and not automatically dismiss a method solely because of a perceived notion of, “what is best.” There are many occasions where a blend may seem perfect from a chemistry standpoint and the blend simply doesn’t work for the intended target. Lastly, don’t be afraid to use your oils and get to know how they work for you personally.

Need more helpful tips? Feel free to check out our Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on Facebook for DIY recipes and support!

Sources
1- Synergy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/synergy
2- Phytomedicine 9: 721-726, 2002 @ Urban & Fischer Verlag
http://www.urbanfischer.de/jo umal s/phytomed
3- Roots: A Year with Morphology~ Using Plant-based Origins to Inspire Aromatic Blending. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://naha.org/naha-blog/roots-a-year-with-morphology-using-plant-based-origins-to-inspire-aromatic
4- Butje, A. (n.d.). Make Aromatherapy Blends Based on Plant Part. Retrieved from https://blog.aromahead.com/2015/07/13/make-aromatherapy-blends-based-plant-part

Ask Our Experts: Back to School With Essential Oils

Welcome to our series for Plant Therapy blog: Ask our Plant Therapy Experts! Where you ask and we answer your most burning oily questions.

Wondering who your official Plant Therapy Aromatherapists are? You can get the full introduction to our whole team on our Meet Our Aromatherapists page! Because Plant Therapy is dedicated to being transparent with our customers, we knew we wanted to introduce you to the team behind answering your essential oil questions.

This month, we’re tackling your back-to-school questions!

 

Back to School Anxiety

back-to-school anxietyJayme Bradley said:

“What could I send in a roller for my son for anxiety and stress. He usually does fine with school but his father left over the summer and only sees them once a week and he is having a bit of a hard time.”

 

By Tyler Hagan, Certified Aromatherapist and SEOR Admin

Thank you so much for your question, Jayme! Back to school season is a time of excitement, but it’s also a big source of stress and anxiety for our children. This stress and anxiety is a lot for our children to handle, especially when you throw in life’s other problems. During these tough times, it’s important to remember that this is a lot for him and it is important to just be present for him whenever he needs it. It’s a tough thing to go through as an adult and it’s a thousand times harder on our children. Just remember to be patient, encourage open communication and honesty, and just be as consistent with everything as possible.

Luckily, we do have some products that may help during these troubling times. Calming the Child and Happy Place are two of our KidSafe blends that are great for both parents and children. Happy Place is one of my favorite blends to pair with our quiet meditation practice at home.

Both blends can also be used in a personal inhaler that can be paired with deep breathing exercises to promote relaxation, acceptance, and inner peace. If blending is more your thing, some essential oils to consider are Rose Absolute, Pink Grapefruit, Bergamot, and Australian Sandalwood.

 

How Often Can You Use Get ‘Em Gone?

ask our expertsKate McRee asks:

How often can Get ‘Em Gone be used to prevent the head critters?”

 

Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist

This is a great question, Kate! You could use Get ‘Em Gone at a low, 1% dilution as a spray for the hair on a daily basis for a few months before you need to take a break, especially if you’re applying just to the hair and taking care not to apply to the scalp. If adding in a wash-off product such as shampoo and if using just a few times a week, there should be no concern with using the oil throughout the school year.

 

How to Use Defender

defender essential oil blendAnnie Patricia wants to know:

“I have a 3yo and a 4yo in school this year. What’s the best way to use Defender with them? Just diffusing at home? How often is it safe to use it with children that young?”

 

Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist

Hi Annie! Diffusion is definitely your safest option for frequent use, especially for little ones! During the school year, I diffuse an oil such as Defender 2-3 times a week for 30-60 minutes to support a healthy immune system.   You can apply the oil topically if desired but if you’re going to use long term, diffusion would be your safest option.  Should you decide to use the oil topically, I would recommend a 1% dilution applied to the chest or spine once a day and then rotate out to another Kidsafe immune-supportive oil every few weeks to be extra safe.

Summer’s Almost Over, Don’t Miss These DIYs!

Goodbye Summer DIYs

Summer is almost over, and even though it’s hard to think about sweaters while it’s still 90+ degrees outside, winter is coming!

To keep you in the summer mood a little bit longer, we’ve rounded up all the juicy, summery DIYs you might have missed from the last two months:

Orange Grove Perfume RollerballOrange Grove Perfume DIY Rollerball

Make yourself smell as fresh an a freshly-squeezed orange with this easy perfume roll-on!

Summer Dreams Body SprayDIY Summer Dreams Body Spray

Don’t just dream of summer, smell like it too! Spritz your body down with all the scents of summer to keep that glow going.

Summer Nights Body OilSummer Nights DIY Body Oil

For when your skin needs to be silky and smell divine!

Vanilla-Infused Jojoba OilVanilla Infused Jojoba Oil DIY

Vanilla infused into a deeply conditioning carrier oil. Slather this luxurious oil on dry skin for an instant boost!

Mercury Retrograde Solid PerfumeMercury Retrograde DIY Solid Perfume

Not just for when Mercury is in Retrograde! This solid perfume keeps you balanced and clear-headed all year long.

Tropical Body Scrub

Tropical DIY Body ScrubKeep your summer skin glowing with this creamy body scrub. Tropical scents and soothing coconut oil make legs the happiest they’ve ever been.

Banana Lip PolishDIY Banana Lip Polish

Polish your pucker and try not to lick off this banana-flavored sugar lip polish!

Texturizing Hair SprayDIY Texturizing Salt Hair Spray

Get beachy waves – the natural way! Natural salt texturizing hair spray makes great hair easy.

All-Natural Shaving Oil

Silky Summer Legs Shaving Oil DIY

Want a silky shave, but don’t want to buy a product packed full of chemicals? This DIY has you covered.

For a fun community of essential oil lovers, make sure to check out our Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR) Facebook Group.

August Oil of the Month Reveal: Lavender Infused Frankincense!

Every Oil of the Month at Plant Therapy is something special. But this August we’re offering something truly unique and exceptional, something we have never done before: Lavender Infused Frankincense!

lavender infused frankincenseBefore we dive into the real good stuff, let’s take a quick look at the safety information for this exciting new oil! One of the best things about it is that this oil is safe for basically everyone (even your dog!).

  • KidSafe: Yes
  • Pregnancy/Nursing Safe: Yes
  • Pup & Pony Safe: Yes

*Don’t have Lavender Infused Frankincense? Make sure to become an Oil of the Month member to get unique, monthly surprises to your door every month!

 

Infused, Not Blended

Though it might seem counterintuitive, this oil is actually not a blend. This unique oil is not the product of two essential oils blended together. This oil is actually an infusion, a kind of oil we’ve never offered before. 

To create this beautiful infusion, the flowering tops of the lavender plant are left soaking in Frankincense Carterii essential oil to infuse. The lavender used in this infused oil is Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract. You might notice that this is the same name as our Lavender CO2. This imparts a slightly floral lavender scent into the beautiful scent of the Frankincense. The result is a green, balsamic, lemony-wood with a unique herbaceous-floral note. 

This lovely oil blends well with Australian Sandalwood, Bergamot, Coriander Seed, Lemon, Rose Absolute, and Sweet Orange.

 

Same, But Different

lavender infused frankincenseThis oil can be used in all the same ways as Frankincense Carterii with the added benefit of its unique light floral aroma. Although this infusion does not impact the key constituents of Frankincense Carterii, the characteristics of the Lavender do carry though in this infusion.

Even more interesting, as noted on the GC/MS report for our Lavender-Infused Frankincense, there is a presence of methyl decyl ether, a chemical constituent found in Frankincense Carterii. A new hypothesis by researchers suggests that methyl decyl ether might indicate that the Frankincense used in this product might be the product of a newly proposed species of Frankincense, Boswellia occulta.

At Plant Therapy, we stand by our suppliers and trust their knowledge and resources on the products they provide. With that said, due to the limited research and evidence indicating that this essential oil is from the proposed new species, we are standing by the classification of Boswellia carterii. If and when new research is available, we will reevaluate and make any necessary changes. 

 

Benefits

woman sleeping in her bedIt’s no surprise that Lavender Infused Frankincense carries the therapeutic benefits as Frankincense Carterii. When diffused, it can help bring comfort, peace and an atmosphere of calm. Whether you need to unwind before bed or had a rough day, a peaceful, soothing environment can make all the difference. Another amazing benefit of both Frankincense and Lavender is helping promote healthy, radiant and smooth skin. Try adding it to a carrier oil like Younger Glo and using it as a daily facial serum. It’s also great for helping ease aches and pains.

 

Some things you need to know about Lavender Infused Frankincense….

Don’t forget to head over to our Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on Facebook for more ideas and inspiration!

And as always, please feel free to reach out to our aromatherapists at [email protected] for any questions or more information!

Natural Ways to Support Breastfeeding: Sleep Deprivation

By Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin

In the first part of our Natural Ways to Support Breastfeeding series, we began exploring some of the issues that moms commonly encounter while breastfeeding. Supply issues, stress, and anxiety are just the beginning of the struggles that nursing moms face.  We’re juggling hungry baby, clingy kids, sometimes messy house and moms are expected to keep it all together. It is no wonder that this can all be very overwhelming. 

Mama’s Tired!

Ask any mom what she needs, she’s probably going to tell you that she could use more energy. Unfortunately, energy is often in short supply because babies don’t sleep. That phrase, “slept like a baby”? Lies. Blatant lies.  

Everyone knows that moms generally stop sleeping before the baby even arrives. Over the next few years, it can be difficult to get a decent night of sleep. Have you ever seen those #Momlife shirts and wondered what they meant? This. They mean this. Little to no sleep and wondering when you showered last. The struggle is real, especially when you’re breastfeeding and baby wants to nurse ALL. NIGHT. LONG.  Raise your hand if you’ve been there. 

Breastfeeding Through the Night

woman breastfeeding at night

It is common for breastfeeding babies to not sleep through the night. If you’re one of those moms that had a perfect breastfed baby that slept through the night at two months, count yourself very lucky. Like adults, babies are individuals and they will reach developmental milestones, such as sleeping through the night, at different ages. In fact, in one study parents were polled about the sleeping habits of their babies. The results showed that nearly 50% of babies participating in the study still woke at night and needed parental intervention to return to sleep, even at 12 months of age. Additionally, another study indicated that 84% of babies were not sleeping through the night at 6 months of age. [1]

This interruption of sleep is developmentally normal for baby but could disrupt sleep patterns for the entire household. This leads to cranky mom, cranky baby, and sometimes, cranky siblings.

Rather than diffusing for baby, who is developmentally on track with their sleep, moms can benefit from using a personal inhaler with energizing oils through the day to give themselves a much-needed boost.  Mom could also use relaxing oils that would help her get back to sleep quickly once her sleep has been interrupted. 

Boost of Energy

grapefruit pink essential oil

Energy-boosting essential oils that are safe for use during breastfeeding include Spearmint, Grapefruit, Orange Sweet, and Lemon, to name just a few. 

Oils such as Cedarwood Virginian, Blue Tansy, Lavender, and Vetiver can help relax and encourage a peaceful night of sleep. The next time you’re needing to wake up (or go back to sleep!) why not give a personal inhaler a try? Here are two favorite blends to put some pep in my step or help me get the zzz’s I need!.  

Banish the Mombie Inhaler Blend

Woman and baby asleep on the bed

What you’ll need:

Add all these products to your cart

What you’ll do:

Add essential oils to a personal inhaler and use whenever an energy boost is needed.

Catching Zzzs Inhaler Blend

Woman asleep in her bed

What you’ll need:

Add all these products to your cart

What you’ll do:

Add essential oils to a personal aromatherapy inhaler and use before sleep to help the body and mind relax.

Even Supermom Needs a Break!

Woman on her phone in bed

Breastfeeding moms often struggle with feeling “touched out.” It’s a term used to describe how moms feel when they can’t stand the thought of a hug, touch, or cuddle. Forget intimacy as well. Sometimes, all mom wants is to feel like her own person. This feeling usually is followed by feelings of guilt. Rest assured, you have nothing to feel guilty about and feeling touched out is completely normal! [2]

It is really important that moms find time for themselves. I know, preaching to the choir. It can be incredibly difficult to find time for ourselves but it is very important. Essential oils are a great go-to for self-care because they can naturally encourage a person to slow down and breathe to enjoy the benefits. 

Breathe, Just Breathe

Woman meditating

Deep breathing exercises are beneficial for overall health and wellness. These types of exercises can help reduce stress, support the immune system and improve other natural functions of the body.  Practices such as Meditation, Yoga, and Tai Chi are among some of the few that teach focused breathing. And if you have time for it, they would be a great exercise to couple with aromatherapy.  [3, 4]

The use of a personal essential oil inhaler is a wonderful way to refocus and revitalize. They’re also super easy to use! When feeling stressed or touched out, take a few moments to breathe deeply. Using a  calming, relaxing oil can help bring mom back to the present and feel less agitated and bothered. Make sure to check out this blog post for more tips for using personal inhalers! 

Plant Therapy Lavender essential oil

Some of the essential oils that can help calm those feelings of irritability or provide an uplifting atmosphere are Lavender, Cypress, Chamomile Roman, Lemon, Bergamot, Orange Sweet, or Neroli.

Because this issue can also cause intimacy problems, the above oils and techniques may also be helpful in that area as well. A 1% dilution for topical application or diffusion of essential oils such as Bergamot, Clary Sage, or Vetiver could help moms feel more relaxed so they can enjoy intimacy with their partner. 

The most important thing is to remember to take time for yourself. Even if the only time you can find is a quick second to close your eyes and breathe deeply from your personal aromatherapy inhaler. 

Don’t Forget to Breathe Inhaler Blend

woman in a field breathing deeply

What you’ll need:

Add all these products to your cart

What you’ll do:

Add the essential oils to a personal aromatherapy inhaler and use whenever you need a moment to yourself.

Need more help and suggestions? Feel free to email our aromatherapists at [email protected] or check out our Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on Facebook for DIY recipes and support! 

Sources

  1. Studies on normal infant sleep • KellyMom.com. (2018, January 03). Retrieved from https://kellymom.com/parenting/nighttime/sleepstudies/
  2. “What It Means for a Mom to Feel ‘Touched Out’ & How to Cope.” Parents, www.parents.com/parenting/moms/what-it-means-for-a-mom-to-feel-touched-out-how-to-cope/.
  3. André, Christophe. “Proper Breathing Brings Better Health.” Scientific American, 15 Jan. 2019, www.scientificamerican.com/article/proper-breathing-brings-better-health/.
  4. Harvard Health Publishing. “Relaxation Techniques: Breath Control Helps Quell Errant Stress Response.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response.

Should You Use CBD During Pregnancy?

By Jessica Cobb, Certified Aromatherapist

Though pregnancy is a magic time of wonder and excitement, it also comes with its own set of aches, pains, and anxiety. Today, modern women and mothers-to-be are more educated about their medical options and many new moms are looking for more natural alternatives to support bodily health as the baby grows. That obviously includes CBD! But can you safely use CBD during pregnancy?

Using CBD During Pregnancy

CBD has been making headlines since the December 20, 2018 Farm Bill made it legal to purchase federally. There’s so much buzz about the potential benefits of using CBD to support overall health, from easing physical discomfort to potentially helping with mental health, both of which are incredibly common for pregnant women. It’s no wonder that modern moms are wondering about how, and if, you can use CBD while pregnant. Especially since CBD is attractive as a more natural option than prescription medication.

Here’s the short answer, because we want to get right to it: There is just not enough scientific evidence to yet determine an answer. And since Plant Therapy takes our children’s health and safety very seriously, at this time we do not recommend using CBD while pregnant.

Developing Endocannabinoid Systems

adult hands holding little baby feetBabies do also have an endocannabinoid system, even as a fetus, so it might be tempting to just assume CBD would be ok. But we also know that everything a pregnant woman takes in has the potential to affect a developing baby. This means that if you consume CBD, it could potentially have an impact on your baby and your baby’s endocannabinoid system. And at this time, we just don’t know what that impact might be.

Most research done on cannabinoids focuses on THC and the effects and impact it could have on a developing baby. Early results suggest that it may be possible for THC to affect birth weight or embryo growth, neither of which are good things for your baby. While our broad-spectrum CBD does not contain THC, and we know that CBD and THC have very different effects on adult bodies, there are just no clear answers yet as to if CBD is safe for developing babies and pregnant women.

Learn all about the endocannabinoid system in this in-depth blog post.

But What About Breastfeeding?

The same is true of breastfeeding! We know that what a breastfeeding mother consumes can be transferred to the baby via breastmilk. And as with pregnancy, there just isn’t enough evidence to say how ingesting CBD will impact a baby’s own developing endocannabinoid system.

So it goes without saying that if you’re thinking about taking CBD while pregnant, be sure to talk to your doctor first. 

But even if you decide CBD is not for you, there are other natural ways to support your health during this amazing time.

Natural Pregnancy Support

By Tyler Hagan, Certified Aromatherapist 

As we’ve established already, pregnancy is a magical time that comes with lots of new excitement. In addition to that excitement comes a new adventure with many different obstacles to overcome. Naturally, you are probably be looking for safe, effective ways to deal with it all. Unfortunately, as of right now we recommend marking CBD off the list. But never fear, Plant Therapy still had you covered! Instead of CBD, let’s take a look at other products Plant Therapy has to offer you during this exciting time of life.

Calming the Child

Our Calming the Child blend is the perfect blend to help you combat some of the worry, doubt, and anxiety that comes with new life adventures like pregnancy. Calming the Child contains 100% pure, undiluted essential oils of MandarinTangerineLavender and Chamomile Roman. Because these turbulent feelings can strike at any time, we’d recommend using this blend in a personal inhaler that you can take with you and use whenever you need.

Self Esteem

plant therapy CBD will CBD get me highOur Self Esteem blend, which is a blend of 100% pure, undiluted essential oils of Black Spruce, Frankincense Carteri, Ho Wood, and Blue Tansy, is the perfect blend at helping to boost your self-esteem when paired with other practices like meditation. For a calming, self-esteem boosting meditation practice, we recommend diffusing Self Esteem in 30 seconds on, 60 seconds off increments.

I recommend picking a personal mantra to pair with your meditation as well. Personal mantras can help clear the noise and add more focus to your meditation. For this particular issue, I have had great luck using the mantra, “Aham Prema” (Aah-ham pree-mah) which translates to “I am divine love”. Use it as a reminder to accept, admire, appreciate, and love yourself and those around you. As always, you can choose the personal mantra that works best for you. Just repeat it throughout the duration of your meditation practice.

Tension Tamer

Lastly, our Tension Tamer blend will take care of the rest of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy. It’s a blend of 100% pure, undiluted essential oils of Lavender, Palmarosa, Geranium Bourbon, Lemon, and Chamomile Roman. Diluted at 1%, Tension Tamer can help relieve some occasional head and neck tension. My personal recommendation is to dilute it in an unscented lotion that you can apply to any area of concern as needed. For any other aches or pains, I’d recommend swapping Tension Tamer out for our lovely Sore No More blend. Just be sure to keep the same 1% dilution.

For more information on using essential oils safely during pregnancy, please check out our other blog post here. We also have a Facebook group for all your essential oil-related questions, Safe Essential Oil Recipes.

If you want to learn more about CBD, be sure to read these other Plant Therapy articles:

Essential Oils and Women’s Health 

Like many women, you may have started using essential oils to help promote a relaxed state of mind or to increase your ability to focus and concentrate.

If you’re happy with how your favorite single oils or blends enhance your daily living, you’ll be interested to know how they can also help support several important aspects of your women’s health.

There are various holistic uses for essential oils, all the way from puberty to menopause. Whether you have challenges with premenstrual symptoms, are experiencing pregnancy-related nausea or are having hot flashes, essential oils may be able to support healthy functioning.

Read on to discover which essential oils for women’s health are applicable to your specific concerns and needs. After reviewing this guide, you are sure to have natural and helpful ideas for managing each new phase and experience of your life. 

Essential Oils and Women’s Hormonal Health

Woman gardening outdoorsHormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone occur naturally in every woman’s body. These chemicals fluctuate constantly, especially during major life events like puberty and pregnancy. By understanding how female hormones affect your skin, body weight, and libido, you can choose the right essential oils to help you cope with unpleasant symptoms and support a more balanced way of life. You can also use your favorite aromas to improve your self-esteem and confidence. 

Supporting Healthy Skin

Use Elemi Essential Oil to keep your skin healthyHormonal changes affect the skin from the preteen years all the way through menopause. Acne is one of the most common skin issues that prompt women to seek natural ways to support skin health.

After proper dilution in a base moisturizer or natural carrier oil like Grapeseed or Camellia, essential oils like Tea Tree can be used to make acne-fighting roll-ons when diluted in a carrier oil. Lavender is also wonderful for supporting healthy skin: 

Lavender: Excellent for both skin and hair, Lavender is a powerhouse essential oil. Adding a few drops to your favorite carrier oil and massaging the mix into the head is a great way to help soothe an embarrassing, dry, flaky scalp. When added to natural cleansers and moisturizers, Lavender can help keep skin soft, hydrated and clear. For the scalp, a 2% dilution of Lavender is safest, but for facial application, a 1% dilution is recommended.

Tea Tree:  There’s a reason so many top-selling beauty products contain Tea Tree–it works! Tea Tree essential oil is excellent for the skin. It can help keep pores clear, prevent blemishes and keep oils at bay. It’s also great at fighting body odors when used with a body wash at a 1-2% dilution, and can help keep feet healthy and free of itchiness and irritation.

When applied properly, essential oils help support skin balance and make it look healthier. They also promote a brighter and more youthful appearance. You can even add essential oils into your K-Beauty routine!

Supporting Aging Skin

Many modern women in their 30s and even 20s are now seeking more holistic ways to relieve the signs of aging. From age 40 and onward, reducing the appearance of time on the skin becomes a top beauty priority.

Resin-based oils such as Frankincense, Myrrh, and Elemi can be diluted in your favorite carrier oil and applied to your face. These oils are known to help reduce the appearance of scars, as well as helping to balance sebum, the natural oil found in the body. Geranium Egyptian and Ylang Ylang are also excellent choices for helping to introduce added moisture to the skin, which helps your complexion look more supple than before. 

Supporting Dry Skin

Woman applying white cream to legDryness is another typical skin problem for women, especially if you live at a high altitude, experience harsh winters or if you spend a considerable amount of time in the sun. When diluted and combined with a carrier oil such as Almond or Evening Primrose, essential oils like Lavender, Carrot Seed, and Bergamot will help to awaken your senses while providing humectant and emollient properties to your parched face, neck, and chest. 

Essential Oils and Weight Loss

Woman stretching on her yoga mat at homeWomen’s bodies are unique because they store more fat in their bodies than men. Add daily stress and life events like pregnancy or menopause—and losing weight can be more difficult than you first realize. If you’re trying to eat right and exercise regularly but still feel that you need to make progress, you might be wondering if essential oils can help you lose weight.  The answer is that while there is no magic cure that makes losing weight easier, there are oils that can support your weight loss journey. 

Grapefruit

The sweet, fresh, citrusy aroma of this essential oil isn’t the only thing it’s good for. Grapefruit actually works to activate enzymes that help your body break down brown body fat, which is a special type of fat that can burn calories at a very high rate. In fact, brown body fat can generate three hundred times more heat than any other tissue in the body [1]! Not only that, but Grapefruit is rich in certain compounds, such as D-limonene, that help support the metabolism. It also supports the cleansing and drainage of lymphatic glands, allowing for better nutrient absorption in tissues and the bloodstream [2].

To use, diffuse alone or in a blend, or dilute to 1% in a carrier oil and apply topically to the stomach to help support the digestive system.

Ginger Root CO2

When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to consider ways to support your digestion and absorption of nutrients. Ginger Root CO2 contains the constituent gingerol, which has been shown to reduce disease-causing inflammation in your intestines and overall improve absorption of the vitamins and minerals you’re consuming [3]. And if you’re absorbing more vitamins and minerals, then you’re helping to support your body’s cellular energy and help create weight loss.

Enjoy the warm and spicy scent in a diffuser or personal aromatherapy inhaler. To apply topically, dilute to 1% and massage on the abdomen to aid in digestion and stimulate circulation.

Cinnamon Leaf

A happy gut is important for healthy, long-term weight loss. Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil contains certain compounds that are known to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the upper gastrointestinal tract that can aid in digestion. One of these compounds is eugenol, which Cinnamon Leaf contains a very high percentage of. Eugenol may reduce symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea [4].

When using Cinnamon Leaf, keep in mind that this essential oil is a mucous membrane irritant and can cause coughing or irritation to the nose, eyes, and mouth. Very little of this powerful oil is needed to enjoy its benefits — dilute to a maximum of 0.6% if you would like to apply it topically or diffuse it for small amounts of time or in a blend with other essential oils.

Lemon

So bright and fresh, Lemon Essential Oil is great to use for a multitude of uses, including helping with weight loss goals.  When the weather is gray and dreary outside, Lemon can add a pop of brightness into your life, helping to motivate you out of the winter blues. Diffuse or use in your personal aromatherapy inhaler or necklace to enjoy this amazing citrus oil.

Turmeric CO2

This warm, spicy scent may be familiar to cooking enthusiasts, but did you know you can use Turmeric Essential Oil to help provide comfort to stomach issues? When uncomfortable bloating, gas, and cramping is deterring you away from your weight loss goals, add a couple of drops to a teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil and massage onto the abdomen.

Try adding 2-3 drops of Lavender essential oil per 100 mL of water in an essential oil diffuser. Smelling the aroma throughout the room can help promote a relaxed state of mind that leads to a more comfortable sleep. Getting more rest may just give you the extra boost to start that new workout regimen. It may also help improve your sense of alertness, which could help you to power through challenging exercises. When combined with a carrier oil and applied to the wrists or back of the neck, a few sniffs can help you unwind after a stressful day. 

Over time, using calming essential oils supports your willingness to embark on a new program. Other oils for promoting the energy and habits that help lead to weight loss include Orange and Pink Grapefruit. These bright scents are famous for their energizing properties. 

You can learn more about how to use essential oils on your weight loss journey in this in-depth blog post.  And you can also try out our Stop the Snacking essential oil blend.

Essential Oils and Women’s Libido

Loss of libido or sexual desire occurs for a variety of reasons. Some women experience it during or after pregnancy due to hormonal fluctuations and lifestyle changes. Other women find themselves lacking a desire for their partner when going through menopause. Instead of feeling embarrassed by your symptoms, or attempting to remedy the situation by taking prescription medicine, you may be able to support healthy libido functioning more naturally with essential oils, by letting yourself unwind and focus on the moment.

Hormones

Vanilla Oleoresin is an aphrodisiacHormones play a big part in our sexuality and when they are out of balance, the body suffers. Studies have shown that Clary SageNeroliLavenderGeranium, and Rose Otto are helpful in reducing stress and improving sexual function.

The Balance Synergy can also be used to calm and bring balance to a woman’s life. Not only is this blend balancing and calming, but it also has a few essential oils, such as Jasmine and Ylang Ylang, that are known aphrodisiacs.  Win-win!

When you create an environment for relaxing your mind, you may soon find your desire returns for your partner.  

No matter the cause, fatigue can throw a real wrench in our desire for intimacy. Improving sleep quality will do wonders for mood and overall health. Among others, Sandalwood AustralianBergamot, and Vetiver are some of my favorite essential oils for encouraging a great night of sleep. You’ll be much more likely to feel up to stealing a few special moments with your partner when you’re well-rested. Be sure to check out this blog post for more great suggestions for improving sleep!

Stress

Woman holding head in apparent frustrationStress can also lead to a drop in libido. In 1996, a study determined that 75-90% of all healthcare visits are due to stress-related health problems. Stress leads to high blood pressure, heart problems, anxiety, and depression.  All of these issues can lead to lower libido. When you’re not feeling your best, you’re not in the mood.

Once again, we see some overlap in essential oils that are not only helpful for stress but other issues we’ve already addressed. BergamotNeroli, and Lavender are favorites for reducing stress and uplifting the mood. Reducing stress helps us become the best versions of ourselves. When we’re able to relax, we can better enjoy being with the people that we love.

Grab your Clary Sage, dilute it in your favorite carrier oil and then massage it on your body to help soothe your senses. You can also try Rose or Pine oil. Remember to always use your single oils and blends externally and talk to your doctor if you have specific questions about how to apply them. 

Aphrodisiacs

Evoke: Romance and scentLast but not least, some people use essential oils as a supportive aphrodisiac. For centuries, people have used aromatic plants and floral waters to set the mood.  Science is now catching up, and new studies aim to prove the efficacy of using aromatherapy to improve our intimate relations.

A study in 2010 was conducted to show the stimulating effect of Jasmine when used in an aromatherapy massage. Subjects exposed to Jasmine had a significant increase in breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation, and blood pressure, indicating an increase in autonomic arousal.  Subjects reported that they felt more alert and vigorous than the control group, which received placebos [6].

Jasmine is a wonderfully uplifting essential oil that can help to balance mood and improve mental wellness. This study is just one of many that explore the use of essential oils for improving sexual health and wellness. Though there are many oils known for their aphrodisiac properties, some of my favorites include SandalwoodRoseVetiverLavenderBergamot, and Black Pepper.

You can read even more about how to use essential oils to support a healthy sex life in our awesome blog post.

Essential Oils and Menopause

Just ask your mother or grandmother—the end of your monthly period, also known as menopause, often sparks a host of unpleasant symptoms. These include hot flashes, mood swings, and night sweats. While the temporary condition can be very difficult for some women, there are helpful and holistic essential oils for symptoms associated with menopause available to help make your days—and nights—much easier. 

If you’re looking for the right essential oils to manage hot flash symptoms, just smelling Peppermint oil can quickly make you feel as if you are cooler and calmer and support healthy functioning. Keep some by your bed to use before you go to sleep or to rescue you from discomfort in the middle of the night. Sometimes, all a woman needs is a little boost of femininity and self-esteem to help take on life’s challenges. Rose oil has a sultry floral smell known to be helpful in promoting improved sexual function as well as inspiring you to enjoy the moment. 

Essential Oils and Your Period

woman holding her stomach in discomfortA woman’s period is a sign of sexual health. For some, it can also be a monthly inconvenience (raise your hand). Not to worry—there are several essential oils that may help support menstrual health, as well as promoting a sense of peace when experiencing mood swings. You can also use your favorite essential oils to increase your sense of alertness. 

Review this recipe for a soothing Epsom salt bath, which includes eight drops of Elemi and eight drops of Blood Orange. The combination of Elemi’s analgesic properties and Blood Orange’s ability to help promote a sense of comfort. If you’d like, you can substitute Blood Orange for Sweet Orange or Bergamot. 

If you’re feeling irritable before or during your period, try a calming Lavender oil massage. A Peppermint oil lotion or roll-on is extremely helpful for helping to enhance feelings of peace. You can also try indulging in the relaxing and sensual notes of Sandalwood oil or the cozy aromas of Chamomile. 

Essential Oils and Pregnancy

essential oils and sexualityYou might be wondering if essential oils are safe for pregnancy. Plant Therapy has a handy Pregnancy and Nursing Safe download chart.  In addition to the chart, there are a few things you need to know. 

During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, our doctors frequently ask us questions like “What are you eating?”, “Do you consume alcohol?” and “Are you a smoker?”. This is because our growing baby receives all of its life forming nutrients from us, the mother. Whether or not we are eating right, exercising, or consuming caffeine during pregnancy can have drastic effects on our growing little one. Many of these variables have the potential to cross the placenta.

So what does the placenta do? “The primary function of the placenta in all species is to promote selective transport of nutrients and waste products between mother and fetus. Such transport is facilitated by the close approximation of maternal and fetal vascular systems within the placenta.”

Keep this in mind:

Essential oils are organic substances, and organic substances pass through the placental barrier and have the potential to affect the unborn baby.

With this in mind, when choosing to use essential oils during the first trimester we recommend very limited use. This is because so much change is taking place within our bodies. In general, we do not recommend active or daily use of essential oils during the first trimester and it may be best to avoid using altogether during this time. However, to assist with nausea you may consider adding a drop of Peppermint or Spearmint to a tissue and gently inhaling to relieve some of these symptoms.

Beyond the first trimester, there are some additional variables to consider.

First let’s discuss the means of use, as we all know there are several different methods to use essential oils. Through topical application, only a small amount of oil will actually reach your bloodstream and the absorption rate is slow. Through diffusion, you will receive a small but continued dose of essential oils via inhalation. Steam inhalation offers a high but very short dose of essential oils. Lastly, when using a personal aromatherapy inhaler, we receive a dose that is not as strong as steam inhalation but stronger than diffusion. [3]

While considering the means of use we must also reflect on how often we use essential oils. You may have heard us say with essential oils “less is more.” This is especially true when using essential oils during pregnancy. The more you choose to use essential oils, the more you will absorb, which may cross the placenta. It is best to limit essential oil usage to relieve symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, or occasional head tension. By limiting your use, you may still receive the wonderful benefits of essential oils without overexposing yourself or your growing baby.

The next thing to consider is a safe dilution percentage.

The last and most important factor to consider is the essential oils that you are using in your blends. We must remember that essential oils are contraindicated due to the nature of their chemical components, which may be too strong for pregnancy.

It is very important that you only use essential oils that are safe during pregnancy. This is where our list of Pregnancy and Nursing Safe oils will be very helpful. This list was created by our team of Certified Aromatherapists here at Plant Therapy and has been approved by world-renowned essential oil safety expert, Robert Tisserand.

Breastfeeding

Mom and baby outside happyWhen using essential oils while nursing it is important to keep in mind that they do have the potential to cross over into your milk supply. Normally less than 1% of the amount of oil the mother absorbs will cross over.

With all this in mind, one must consider the following when using essential oils while nursing:

  • The method of use
  • The amount of essential oil used
  • How often you choose to use essential oils
  • How often feeding occurs and in what volume
  • Duration of use
  • Your baby’s age and health

The more often we use essential oils, the longer the duration of use, the higher the dilution rate and the amount of absorption, the more essential oils have the potential to transfer to our milk supply. This can, in turn, affect our little ones. You can safely use essential oils while nursing, we just recommend keeping your dilution rates low, only using your oils as needed, and using essential oils that are safe for children and breastfeeding. Do not apply essential oils directly to the chest or breasts while nursing.

Embracing Essential Oils and Enhancing Your Women’s Health

There are so many uses for essential oils across a woman’s lifetime. If you have any questions about safe use for you or your child, don’t hesitate to consult with a physician or certified aromatherapist. Many of today’s gynecology and obstetrics professionals understand the benefits of essential oils for women and can help you choose the right scents and methods. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

Natural Fragrances and Flavors, and What They Mean for You

By Jessica Cobb, Certified Aromatherapist

Plant Therapy has recently branched out into using some natural fragrances and flavors. And we’re sure you’ve got questions about how they’re used and what they are!

With our commitment to transparency, and to honor the trust our customers have in us, we want to tell you exactly what these natural fragrances and flavors are and what they mean to you.

What is a natural fragrance?

If you start looking at your perfumes, body sprays, colognes, even some cleaning products, you’ll notice ingredients are often called a “fragrance” or “perfume.” This term can really mean a whole cocktail of ingredients, ranging from synthetic ones to natural ones. But with the term “natural fragrance,” you can be sure that these fragrances contain only ingredients that are actually, physically obtained from plants using distillation, expression, and extraction. There is absolutely nothing synthetic about these fragrances.

So what does “natural” really mean?

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) only allows fragrances marked as “natural” when they align with the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 9235. Generally, ISO 9235 does not allow synthetically reconstituted essential oils, synthetic nature-identical ingredients, and intentionally chemically modified natural raw materials to be described as “natural.”

This means that “natural” fragrances must actually be natural.

Why not just label these ingredients the same as our essential oil blends?

Each of our essential oil blends is made entirely from essential oils, absolutes, oleoresins, or extracts. Natural fragrances, however, are made up of isolates.

Isolates are naturally occurring single chemicals that have been “isolated” from their natural sources. This might sound a bit confusing, but it’s pretty easy to break down (and doesn’t make these fragrances less natural).

For instance, let’s take Geranium Bourbon. If you look at the GC-MS report, you’ll notice Geranium contains a ton of key constituents, including citronellol, geraniol, and linalool. It’s those constituents that are isolated from the entire essential oil mixture and can be purposed for other uses.

So when we create an isolate, we take the constituents that create the familiar scents we love and isolate them in order to capture even more complex fragrance blends.

How do you get an isolate?

There are other ways to get isolates, but fractional distillation is the most common. In its most basic sense,  fractional distillation involves the separation of a liquid into fractions (different parts) that have different boiling points.

As plant material is heated, the vapor rises into a long column above the still. The vapor is repeatedly condensed and re-evaporated as it moves toward the top, which distills the vapor many times. The less volatile fractions in the vapor run back down the column after they condense, concentrating near the bottom. The more volatile fractions often re-evaporate and move upward, concentrating near the top. Because of this process, the column can be tapped at various levels to draw off different fractions – and give us different scents.

What is a “Natural Flavor?”

The FDA defines a natural flavor as “a substance extracted, distilled or similarly derived from plant or animal matter, either as is or after it has been roasted, heated or fermented, and whose function is for flavor, not nutrition.”

The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations describes a “natural flavorant” as:

“The essential oil, oleoresin, essence, or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating, or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit, or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf, or any other edible portions of a plant, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose primary function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”

But this doesn’t necessarily mean the “natural flavors” in your cereal are simply crushed-up fruits and nuts. Instead, they’re probably made of chemicals originally found in blueberries, isolated and enhanced, then added into your foods (or lip balms) in a lab. That does not mean they’re not natural. Just like fragrances, these are isolated pieces of a natural product that we can use in making things (like lip balm) to give them the desired flavor.
Artificial flavors, on the other hand, are usually entirely man-made, as opposed to being made from a natural source. If the distinction seems a little hard to understand to you, you’re not alone. Here’s a basic breakdown:
  • Natural flavors: Flavors made with an extract from an actual fruit/vegetable/plant that grows in nature.
  • Artificial flavors: Flavors made in a test tube by scientists.

What does all of this mean for you?

By using isolates, along with pure essential oils and their natural compounds, we can offer our customers a much wider variety of amazing aromas to use when scenting your home, or flavoring your lip balms. It gives us an opportunity to make some really unique blends that are all completely natural, yet unlike anything we’ve carried before.

We sincerely hope you enjoy our natural fragrances and are as excited about this new aroma and flavor adventure as we are!

Interested in learning more about the International Organization for Standardization? Here, you can find information on ISO 9235: https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/#iso:std:iso:9235:ed-2:v1:en

You can also learn more about isolates in this blog post.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] And don’t forget to join our Facebook group, Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR), for information, recipes, and just about everything you could ever want to know about essential oils!

CBD: What it is and Why You Need it

These days, it seems everyone is talking about CBD oil. Whether it’s for pain relief, insomnia, seizures, anxiety or one of the many other conditions it’s purported to help, this natural remedy is taking the world by storm. Yet, with so much buzz there are still a lot of questions, too. Fortunately, we’ve got answers–about what CBD oil is, how it’s used and how it may benefit you.

But, before we get too far into the details, let’s start with the basics.

CBD Oil: What It Is and What It Isn’t

CBD oil is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant. Used as a natural way to support endocannabinoid system health for thousands of years, it’s now gaining widespread attention from researchers, doctors, and consumers. Yet, even as its use and its accolades grow, CBD oil sometimes still gets a bad rap because of its association with marijuana. However, it’s important to know that CBD does not get you high. 

When it comes to CBD oil’s ability to promote health without the high, it’s all about the plant’s gender. Yes, that’s right, cannabis plants can be either male or female. And only the female (marijuana) version of the plant contains enough THC, the psychotropic compound responsible for getting people high, to actually cause this effect. CBD oil, on the other hand, comes from the male–or hemp version–of the cannabis plant which contains only trace amounts (less than 0.3%) THC, not enough to cause the famous “high.”

There are three main types of CBD oil you’ll find on the market: full-spectrum CBD, isolated CBD, and broad-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD contains less than .3% of THC. This amount of THC is not enough to cause any psychoactive effects but some people find it to be enough to help with more severe issues. Isolated CBD is the most common form of the oil. CBD isolate is created when all other compounds are removed, leaving behind only Cannabidiol (or CBD). The third type is formed when those trace amounts of THC are removed from the full-spectrum variety, it becomes broad-spectrum. Broad-spectrum CBD offers all benefits that the plant has to offer also known as “the entourage effect.”

How to Use CBD Oil

plant therapy CBD how to use CBDThere are several ways to use CBD oil, including straight, in capsules, pills, CBD tinctures, creams, foods, etc.  Because there are so many options, it’s a good idea to consider the advantages of each, and what your goals are when choosing a CBD oil product.

Put It Under Your Tongue

For those looking for the most effective route, the best way to use CBD oil is sublingually (under the tongue). This can be done with a few drops of pure CBD oil, CBD oil with carrier oil or tincture. Simply hold the drops under your tongue for a minute or two. This allows it to be absorbed by the mucous membranes in the mouth and bypass the digestive tract and liver. As a result, it enters the bloodstream more quickly to begin working in as little as 15 minutes. 

Ingest It

If you’re new to CBD oil, ingesting it orally using a capsule or pill is an easy way to start. Taking it this way not only allows you to avoid the slightly earthy taste, but it’s also a good way to monitor your dosage until you know how it will affect you. For those who are more comfortable using straight CBD oil, it can be ingested undiluted, mixed with an edible carrier oil or even added to foods like butter, baked goods or beverages. One thing to note is that because this method of use requires the oil to travel through the digestive tract, it can take up to two hours for the effects to be felt. However, once they do kick in, they last for several hours.  

Legality

Sprout coming up in a farm with tractor in the backgroundAs mentioned above, CBD oil comes from the male cannabis plant, also known as hemp. The government classifies hemp as any plant of the cannabis family that contains less than 0.3 percent THC. Hemp-derived CBD oil does not produce a high and is legal in all 50 states as of the signing of the 2019 Farm Bill. 

CBD Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil: What’s the Difference? 

Hemp seeds next to a clear bottle with hemp seed oilAs CBD oil’s reputation as a natural remedy has grown, so too have the number of CBD oil products for sale. Do a quick search online and you’ll get hundreds of results for products with a variety of names, including CBD oil and hemp seed oil. With so many options to choose from, understanding the difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil is critical. 

CBD oil and hemp oil both come from the male (hemp) cannabis plant and this helps to explain why sometimes the terms “CBD oil” and “hemp oil” are used interchangeably. However, CBD oil and hemp seed oil are not the same things. They are two very different compounds, from different parts of the hemp plant. CBD oil is extracted from the leaves and stalks. Hemp seed oil is cold-pressed from the seeds of the hemp plant. Their location on the plant gives them very different properties.

CBD oil is the compound known for having the analgesic, anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties everyone’s talking about. Hemp seed oil does not have these properties. However, it is packed full of nutrients and healthy fatty acids that give it its own impressive list of uses and benefits.

Hemp Seed Oil Uses and Benefits

plant therapy CBD will CBD get me highSkincare: Used as a standalone oil and as an ingredient in many skincare products, hemp seed oil is a popular choice for several reasons. First, it’s non-comedogenic, meaning it will not clog pores, so it could potentially help with acne. Second, applying straight hemp seed oil to the face is a great natural alternative to conventional, chemical-laden moisturizers and creams. 

The skincare nutrients in hemp seed oil are notable as well. High concentrations of healthy omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids may be useful in keeping skin hydrated and healthy. It also contains linoleic acid, a compound known for helping with acne by reducing sebum production. And the reasons to use hemp seed oil don’t stop there. Research suggests the benefits may go beyond topical use. According to a Journal of Dermatological Treatment study, taking hemp seed oil internally may help improve atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema.

Hair Care: Some of the same nutrients that make hemp seed oil such a great skincare product also makes it a great hair treatment. The healthy fats not only keep hair hydrated and protected, but many believe they also penetrate the scalp to help promote thicker, shinier hair.

Carrier Oil: Hemp seed carrier oil is a popular option for essential oil users. Its high concentration of healthy fats easily penetrates the skin, making it an especially good choice for diluting essential oils. In addition, its slightly nutty aroma blends nicely with a variety of essential oil scents. 

CBD Oil Uses and Benefits

plant therapy CBD will CBD get me highAs the popularity of CBD oil as a natural way to support health continues to grow, so too does the research on the therapeutic effects and benefits of CBD. Most of these studies focus on how CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a vast network of cannabinoid receptors that cover numerous areas of the body including the brain, organs, connective tissue, glands, and immune cells. According to a 2013 study, the endocannabinoid system is key to human health. The sheer extensiveness of the endocannabinoid system may help explain why ongoing research into CBD oil covers such an incredibly wide range of conditions.

Here are just a few of the areas where CBD oil is showing promise:

Pain  

CBD has been used for thousands of years as a home remedy for pain. And, although more research is needed, animal studies may support its usefulness in helping to reduce the perception of pain. 

Nervousness

Because CBD may calm the nerves and help promote relaxation through supporting your eCS, CBD oil has long been a popular home remedy for anxiousness or nervousness. According to a 2015 analysis of previous studies, the evidence shows CBD oil may be effective for symptoms related to anxiety. The paper emphasizes the need for, and value of, further study of CBD oil in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Mood

While current research is in its infancy and limited to animal models, it appears that CBD oil is showing promise in treating depression as well. In a 2010 study using mice, CBD was shown to produce results in helping reduce the symptoms of chronic sadness. 

Sleep

The same calming effects that appear to help support mental health also appear to help with issues sleeping, according to a 2019 study. The retrospective study of patients at a psychiatric clinic using CBD for anxiety and sleep complaints showed sleep improvements in 66.7 percent of the cases studied.

Problem Skin

CBD oil’s potential effect on the endocannabinoid system includes the sebaceous gland, which is responsible for producing excess sebum (fat) that can contribute to acne. So, it makes sense that CBD oil may have the potential to help with skin issues. And, it’s showing great promise in this area. Not only do countless consumers swear by it, but the research is also beginning to support its effectiveness as well. In a 2014 study, CBD oil was shown to inhibit sebum production and reduce the inflammation associated with skin problems.  

CBD Oil and Essential Oils

Although they’re both oils, CBD oil and essential oils are far from the same thing. They have different methods of extraction and different properties and are often used differently.

Because essential oils are effective when diffused, some people assume this is also the case for CBD oil. The truth is that CBD does not have the aromatherapy benefits essential oils do. So, if you’re looking for therapeutic effects, essential oils can be diffused or applied topically. But when it comes to CBD oil, it’s best to stick to topical or sublingual use for the most benefit.

CBD Oil for Pets

pup & pony essential oils for dogsAnd at Plant Therapy, our CBD is formulated specifically for use with adult humans. That means right now we do not suggest using our CBD on animals. With so much hype surrounding CBD oil, it’s not surprising that CBD oil products for pets are becoming increasingly popular. Just be sure to do your research. Although many people swear by CBD oil to help calm nervous cats and dogs, studies on the use of CBD oil to treat pets are even scarcer than the studies on humans. There is also a risk that CBD oil could interact with other pet medications, so Plant Therapy’s stance is always to talk to your veterinarian first before giving it to a pet. 

CBD Oil and the Future

When it comes to the future of CBD oil, one thing is certain: It’s sure to continue creating a buzz as more and more human research on this amazing natural remedy emerges.

Ask Plant Therapy’s Experts: CBD!

Welcome to our series for Plant Therapy blog: Ask our Plant Therapy Experts! Where you ask, and we answer your most burning oily questions.

Wondering who your official Plant Therapy Aromatherapists are? You can get the full introduction to our whole team on our Meet Our Aromatherapists page! Because Plant Therapy is dedicated to being transparent with our customers, we knew we wanted to introduce you to the team behind answering your essential oil questions.

This June, Plant Therapy released our first-ever CBD products! We were very excited and proud to be launching such a ground-breaking product. Our company stance is that we offer essential oils because we want to do the most good we can, for the most people. This drives our pricing, company values and so much more. CBD has huge potential to benefit many people, and do a lot of good.

But CBD as a topic is fraught with misinformation, legal grey areas and confusing concepts, which is why we’re here to help! This month, for our August edition of Ask Our Experts, we’re tackling CBD.

 

Can you use Plant Therapy’s CBD topically?

Megan Lass asked:

I know it’s designed for internal use, but can Plant Therapy CBD oil be used topically as well?

 

Jessica Cobb, Certified Aromatherapist

We get this question a lot – and it’s no wonder why. CBD applied topically for pain is incredibly common, and many people suffer from chronic localized pain and hope CBD will help. We hear you!

But the answer to this question is a little more complicated and has to do with how much CBD your body can absorb when used in different ways. Let’s talk about why in more depth:

To talk about CBD and if you can (or should) use it topically, we have to talk about something called bioavailability.

CBD products come in many forms, including salves, lotions, tinctures, oils, liquids, capsules and more, and on top of that CBD also come in different concentrations. But each of these methods also requires different usage methods.

Bioavailability, or the rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream, is the other factor in the ‘which CBD serving size/product is right for me’ equation. In addition to the strength of your CBD product, bioavailability will determine how much of the CBD actually makes it into your bloodstream. Fun fact: Bioavailability isn’t just for CBD! Your doctor uses this known factor to calculate any standard dose of any drug you get via prescription.

Bioavailability is not just about the serving size of your CBD, but is also affected by the method of consumption or use.

When used topically, your skin takes a while to absorb the products and is not the most direct way to reach your bloodstream. When applied topically, only about 5% of the CBD you use will actually make it into your bloodstream. That means if you take a 100 mg serving size and use it topically, only 5 mg actually makes it into your bloodstream, and generally, it takes about 15 mg to even start to see a difference in symptoms.

Now that doesn’t mean that using CBD topically won’t work for you! Many people report topical CBD is very beneficial, but this may vary from person to person, and it’s a little harder to measure.

But when taken sublingually (as Plant Therapy CBD is designed to be taken), your absorption rate shoots up to 12%-35%, which is actually pretty high!

Sublingual use involves dropping the CBD liquid into your mouth and holding it under your tongue for 60 seconds. This method increase is due to the sublingual gland under your tongue. When a substance is administered to this gland, it gets absorbed directly into your bloodstream. That means that for every 100 mg serving size of CBD taken sublingually you absorb 12-35 mg, more than enough to potentially see effects. And as a bonus, it works much faster as well! Because this method of use is more direct, it impacts your body much sooner than even taking CBD orally, and simply swallowing it.

So while the short answer is that it won’t hurt you to use Plant Therapy’s CBD topically (it is a natural product after all!) it isn’t the most effective use of your product. Here at Plant Therapy, we wanted to make sure that our first CBD product was the most effective product to pass on to our customers!

 

Choosing a CBD that works for you

Rebeka Pickett says:

I still feel overwhelmed by really what to choose.

 

Jessica Cobb, Certified Aromatherapist
Rebeka, we know that choosing a CBD serving size that works for you can be confusing! But honestly, like essential oils, choosing the correct CBD product is all about paying attention to your own body.

If you’re ready to try CBD but aren’t quite sure which strength is right for you, choosing can seem complicated.

Just remember this: Each bottle of our Hemp Extract (CBD) was formulated with different needs and levels of use in mind.

100 mg/6 mg serving size bottle of CBD

If you’re just starting to explore CBD as a natural way to support your endocannabinoid system for better overall health, our 6 mg serving size of CBD is the perfect place to start. With a serving size just high enough to test out the flavor and explore possibilities, 6 mg is ideal to figure out how CBD can work for you and if you like the flavor you chose.

This serving is just enough to tell you if you’ll like the flavor and effects of ingesting our CBD and lets you move up to a stronger serving if needed.

500 mg/16 mg serving size bottle of CBD

If you’re looking to support your endocannabinoid system and overall health in a natural way, and you’re looking for a good entry-level CBD product for everyday use, our 16 mg per serving of CBD was made with you in mind. A 16 mg serving allows you to find the unique amount for daily use ideal for your body.

The 500 mg strength is designed for people who have minor issues that supporting your endocannabinoid system functioning may help, like mild anxiety, minor sleep problems and more.

1000 mg/33 mg serving size bottle of CBD

If you’re ready to support the overall health and function of your endocannabinoid system on a daily basis in a natural way, our 33 mg serving of CBD was designed for your needs. With an amount formulated for regular, everyday use, 33 mg is perfect for use as a supplement to maintain long-term healthy function.

This serving strength is the best option for people who are looking to use CBD every day in support of their endocannabinoid system for issues such as insomnia, more acute anxiety and minor perceptions of pain.

2500 mg/83 mg serving size bottle of CBD

If you’re a CBD user, have a medium to large body mass, high metabolism, or have more serious concerns associated with the endocannabinoid system, our 83 mg serving of CBD was designed to work for you. Formulated for robust everyday use, 83 mg was created as a supplement to maintain long-term healthy functioning in people with more severe symptoms.

This serving strength is best for those who have more severe or acute issues, but again, please remember to consult with your doctor if you are already taking medications.

Choosing a serving size:

Choosing a serving size is slightly different than choosing a strength. Your serving size refers to how many dropperfuls you choose to take per serving.

Everyone responds differently to CBD, so it’s important to pay attention to your own body’s needs. Determining the ideal serving for you may take some trial and error. With this in mind, we recommend starting with a low serving, gradually increasing as needed. You may not need to continue increasing your intake once you find a serving that works best for your unique body.

Here is Plant Therapy’s serving size chart that goes into more detail. You can also download your own copy of our serving size chart to keep on hand.

So basically, CBD may be the right choice for your body, but remember to use our serving guidelines and make sure to consult with your doctor if you are already taking medications or looking for relief from serious chronic issues.

PS. You can also download the free CBD Serving Size Chart we created for just this purpose – to make this process easier on you!

 

Will I pass a drug test, and is CBD safe for children?

Natural beautyMonica wants to know:
I’m in the Air Force and get drug tested randomly, I know CBD isn’t the same as THC, but just wondering if I would test positive if I use CBD OIL!? Also, is it safe for kids?

 

Jessica Cobb, Certified Aromatherapist
Hi Monica! First, thank you for your Air Force service!
For your first question: There haven’t been enough studies done on humans yet to fully commit to saying CBD is safe for children or not, and research is what we at Plant Therapy base our products’ safe usage instructions on. So at this time, we have to say that our CBD products are not designed for use with children. I know that might be disappointing to hear, but we take the safety of our products very seriously when it comes to our little ones.
Secondly, we do have an answer for you regarding drug testing, but keep in mind we are not experts in how the US Military handles drug testing, so be sure to do your own research!

CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Cannabinoids themselves (like CBD) can’t cause the “high” feeling associated with marijuana use. That comes from Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), a different chemical compound found in cannabis and the culprit behind that high feeling.

There are two common terms you’ll see when describing CBD products:

  • Full-spectrum CBD: Contains trace amounts of THC. The legal limit for these types of products is less than 0.3%.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: Starts as full-spectrum CBD, and when the THC is removed, it becomes broad-spectrum.

Both broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD contains all the other beneficial chemical constituents of the hemp plant, which means you get all the benefits of the other chemical constituents (called the “entourage effect”), as well as the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), and the useful terpenes, all without the “high” feeling.

Plant Therapy’s CBD is THC-free, meaning it contains no (0.0%) THC. You can investigate for yourself even further by checking the actual test results, available on each product page.

So the short answer is: CBD should not show up on a drug test. 

But despite there being no THC in our CBD, there’s another thing to consider: The kind of test being performed.

There are two types of drug tests. One looks for cannabinoids and this test is no longer legal due to CBD now being federally legal. That said, some companies may not have updated their testing requirements to meet this new legal standard.

Most workplace drug screens and tests now target delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and do not target or detect the presence of cannabidiol (CBD) or other legal natural hemp based constituents.

I would assume that the Air Force is probably up-to-date on the legalities surrounding testing for THC, but I would always recommend checking with your superiors to learn which type of drug test they perform, and their stance on the use of products like these.

 

Shipping outside the USA…

plant therapy essential oils chakra essential oil blends throat chakraKatie says:
When will this be available outside of the US?

 

Jessica Cobb, Certified Aromatherapist
Katie, we have sad news for you. Because of the legalities of CBD, and the fact that those laws change drastically from country to country, at this point we can’t offer international shipping on our CBD product. We wish we could, as we know we have many customers not living here in the United States (which still has some places where CBD cannot be shipped), but we want to protect not just ourselves from potential legal consequences, but you as well.
Just rest assured that as soon as we can ship internationally, we will shout it from the rooftops!
If you’re reading along with us and still have questions, check out these other great resources:

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or under a doctors care, please consult with a physician or qualified professional before using this product

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