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Naturally Blended

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The What and Hows of Carrier Oil Infusions

Safety is at the heart of everything we do at Plant Therapy and education follows right behind. You’ve heard us talk about carrier oils, you’ve heard us emphasize their importance, and you’ve seen all the different carrier oils we have to offer. If you are new to Plant Therapy, carrier oils might be something new to you. If this is the case, stop right here and go check out our past blog post all about carrier oils. Something we have touched on but never really dug into are carrier oil infusions.

 

What is a carrier oil infusion?

carrier oil infusionsBy definition, an infusion is the introduction of a new element or quality into something else. That’s exactly what we’re talking about when we say carrier oil infusion. We are introducing new elements and properties into the carrier oil to make them even more effective and beneficial. When we talk about infusions, we are not talking about adding a few drops of essential oil. Instead, we’re talking about the addition of other plant materials and herbs into the carrier oil by means of, you guessed it, infusion.

 

How do we do it?

Essentials of Blending: How To Blend Essential OilsNow you’re probably wondering how to infuse your carrier oil with plants and herbs. Well, that’s what I’m here to teach you. While there are many different ways to infuse herbs and other plant material into our carrier oils, we’re going to discuss two different methods; the “It Takes Time” method and the “Low and Slow” method. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages which we’ll talk about more in-depth below.

 

It Takes Time Method

carrier oil infusionsThe “It Takes Time” method of carrier oil infusion yields the best infusion. It’s stronger, more aromatic, and allows us to use delicate herbs and carrier oils that don’t cope well with heat. To use this method of infusion, you’ll need a sterilized jar with a lid, your carrier oil of choice, your herbs, and a sterilized stirring tool. 

The first thing you want to do is to fill your jar about ½ to ⅔ full of your herbs. Then you’ll want to pour the carrier oil into the jar until the herbs are completely covered and there is about an inch of oil above the herbs. Using your stirring rod, poke around and gently stir in the carrier oil into the herb. Tightly secure the lid and let it sit in a dark cool place for 4-6 weeks. Once you are done infusing, strain your mixture using cheesecloth and store in a sterilized jar. 

 

Low & Slow Method

carrier oil infusionsThe “Low & Slow Method” or “Crockpot” method is ideal when you need your carrier oil infusion before 4-6 weeks, but not exactly the same day. You are essentially using low heat to infuse the carrier oil with the herbs quicker than just letting time work its magic. It’s important when utilizing any method that involves heat that you use carrier oils that can withstand high temperatures and non-delicate herbs. To utilize the “Low & Slow Method” to carrier oil infusion, you’ll need a crockpot, carrier oil of choice, herbs, cheesecloth, and a sterilized jar. 

Once you have all of your materials, you’ll want to place your herbs in a clean and sterilized crockpot. Next, you’ll want to completely cover your herbs in your carrier oil of choice. Turn your crockpot on to the lowest heat setting, cover, and infuse. Lighter herbs might be done infusing in a few hours while heavier herbs could take a couple of days. It’s important not to rush it and not to “cook” your herbs by applying too much heat. 

If you’re asking yourself how you’ll know when they’re done infusing, there is no real scientific answer. Just note the color and aroma of your infusion. If it smells strongly of the herb, you’re probably good to go. If your herbs become blackish in color, you’re using too much heat. 

While it’s nice to have your infusion faster, using this method will produce an infusion that’s typically less pleasant than the slow “It Takes Time Method”. And there is a greater risk of ruining the herbs and oil by using too much heat. 

 

What are some good herbs to infuse?

how to blend essential oils

There are so many great herbal options for carrier oil infusions. My three favorites are Calendula, Chamomile, and Lavender. Calendula makes a great infusion with many beneficial skin properties. It can help nourish the skin and help combat dry, itchy skin. Chamomile is cleansing and soothing. It’s perfect for minor burns and irritation from the sun. Lavender is as versatile as it gets. It shares many of the same benefits as the essential oil and is gentle enough to use on the most sensitive skin, including infants and toddlers.

 

Tips & Tricks

carrier oil infusionsWhile there are many ways to infuse carrier oils, these are two of my favorite methods. It’s important to realize that there really isn’t a right or wrong in infusions. It is possible to overheat the herbs and oils. And it is possible to contaminate your infusion with water or by not using sterilized equipment. But beyond that, you can be pretty flexible. With that, you learn how to do different things to make the process easier or more effective. One of my favorite tricks is to gently grind up the herbs I want to infuse into my carrier oil using a mortar and pestle. This helps release some of the essential oils from the herb which makes your overall infusion a tad bit stronger and more fragrant. I’ve also found the carrier oil infusion strains better when you use multiple layers of cheesecloth and a fine-meshed strainer. 

For more incredible DIYs and fun ways to explore essential oils, don’t forget to join our Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR) Facebook Group!

Germ-Busting Essential Oils for Back to School

children doing finger painting

Name one thing that you’ll find in every classroom,  school, city, and state across the world. There are several things that come to mind, but the one that makes me cringe the most is… GERMS. Everyone knows that children are like walking, talking germ factories. From their heads to their toes, there is no denying it. So how can we protect ourselves and our children from those nasty germs they pick up and drag around with them everywhere they go? Good old fashioned soap and water. Hand washing is SO important to stay healthy all year long.

But what do you do when you’re on the go and don’t necessarily have soap to use? A traditional hand sanitizer is a convenient option, but it’s oftentimes harsh and drying, especially on our kids’ soft sensitive skin. What does that leave us? Essential oils! Here are four of our favorite germ-busting essential oils for you to use this Back to School season.

 

Marjoram Sweet – Origanum majorana

Marjoram Sweet Essential Oil

Marjoram essential oil has a sweet, slightly medicinal aroma that is sure to calm the heart, mind, and spirit. Aside from these emotionally supportive properties, it has strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that make it a great choice for busting germs and keeping your child strong and healthy.

 

Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia

Essential oil bottles next to lavender flowers

Calming Lavender essential oil is another perfect germ-buster. It encourages a balanced and healthy functioning body. Lavender essential oil has properties that are anti-allergenic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial, which makes it a must-have in your germ-fighting arsenal. It’s a one-stop-shop for all your child’s wellness needs.

 

Rosalina – Melaleuca ericifolia

Aside from being an amazing respiratory supportive essential oil, Rosalina is a powerful germ-buster in a way that Lavender and Marjoram are lacking. Rosalina has powerful antiviral properties that give it a good boost when it comes to germ-busting. It also has antibacterial properties which give it an added bonus. It’s earthy, warm, and herbaceous with an aroma that slightly resembles Eucalyptus.

 

LemonCitrus x limon

Small clear bottles of oil next to lemons

Last but not least, we have Lemon essential oil. Lemon is known for its uplifting and cleansing properties. Its fruity and lemony aroma is sure to leave you and your children feeling happy and clean. Its powerful properties are both antibacterial and antiviral making it another great germ-buster you must-have in your wellness kit at home.

 

Back-to-School Hand Sanitizer

Back to School Hand Sanitizer

What you’ll need:

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What you’ll do:

Pour Aloe Vera Jelly into a squeeze bottle. Add essential oils to the bottle. Shake well to mix oils. Use a dime-size squirt of gel as needed on your hands and rub in.

For some great DIYs and a community of essential oil lovers, don’t forget to join Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR) Facebook Group!

Essentials of Blending: How To Blend Essential Oils

By Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin:

You’ve read about the different blending methods and you may be wondering “now what?”. Having an idea of what you want to accomplish and knowing who the blend is for will help answer a lot of the questions you may have when making a blend. 

In creative writing classes, students are often instructed to use the Five Ws to gather information and solve problems. In addition to asking who, what, when, where, and why, it is also important to ask how when it comes to aromatherapy.

 

Who is the blend for?

Family happy at the beachWhen you’re starting on a blend, it’s important to consider who you are making your blend for. There may be special needs or restrictions you’ll have to take into account before you blend.

  • Children 
  • Pregnant or Nursing Mother 
  • An elderly individual
  • A healthy adult 
  • An individual with health concerns and/or on medication*
  • Oils that are not contraindicated with the condition or medication.*

*Because essential oils can interfere with some medications and conditions, we would recommend consulting with a clinical aromatherapist and working closely with your doctor if you have health concerns are taking medication.  You can find a clinical aromatherapist in your area by searching the directory found on the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) website: https://naha.org/find-an-aromatherapist

What oils should you use?

Essentials of Blending: How to Blend Essential OilsYou’ll be able to make some decisions based on your answer to the first question. Then you’ll be able select oils that are safe for the individual. 

  • Children will need Kidsafe essential oils
  • Pregnant or nursing mothers should only use oils that are pregnancy and nursing safe.  
  • An elderly individual in good health with no medical conditions/medication and skin that is not thin may use dilution levels as a healthy adult. 
  • Healthy adults may use most essential oils as directed. 

 

When will the blend be used?

Young girl laying down to sleepStart by considering the time of day the recipient of your blend will most likely be using your creation.

  • In the morning
  • Before bed
  • Throughout the day

Generally speaking, you may want to use uplifting and energizing oils in the morning and relaxing essential oils before bed.

 

Where will the blend be used?

Kids paying attention in a classroomConsider where this blend will be used, as it may affect how you use it. For example, we don’t suggest diffusing in the classroom, so a blend used in spaces like this would need to be used in a personal inhaler.

  • At home
  • Work or school

If using oils at work or school, it would be best to use a personal inhaler. Essential oils are not safe for all people and it would be best not to expose another person to an oil that could affect them negatively. 

 

Why do you want to use essential oils?

Essential oil bottles next to floral accentsThink about the purpose of the blend. Why did you choose to use essential oils to address those concerns?

 

How will the blend be used?

  • Inhalation (diffuser, passive diffusion, or personal aromatherapy inhaler)
  • Topical application (long term or short term?)

This helps determine the dilution percentage that you will choose for your blend. A 1% dilution should be used for long term, daily use or full body application. A 5% dilution can be used for short term use. It is always best to start low and increase the dilution only if necessary.

 

Making your blend.

Essential oil bottles next to orange slices and flowersNow that we know the purpose of our blend, who it is being used for and all safety considerations are taken into account, we can start blending! 

Generally speaking, we recommend sticking to 3-5 essential oils in your blend. If you’re new to blending, using just 2 oils is a great start. You’ll also want to have cotton balls or scent strips on hand so you can test how the essential oils smell together before you commit to a blend. 

With a pen and paper in hand, add essential oils to your cotton round or scent strip drop-by-drop until the blend is pleasing to you. Keep in mind, that when an oil has a low recommended max dermal dilution rate, you will not want to exceed those when applying topically.

How many drops you use of each individual oil comes down to intent as well as personal scent preferences. It is a good idea to have a primary oil that addresses your concerns while the other oils support the overall intention.

To learn more about using the drop-by-drop method to blending, please check out this blog post.

 

Making it work for you!

how to blend essential oilsDon’t be afraid to try new things! One of the things I often hear is, “I tried what was recommended and it didn’t work for me”.  While there are generalizations that can be made, learning how you respond individually to an essential oil is very important. 

Just as an example, most people should avoid stimulating oils before bedtime in favor of calming or relaxing oils. However, I personally find that stimulating oils before bed often help when I feel too tired to sleep. This is a perfect example of why it is important to learn what works for you. 

Another example, may people use and enjoy Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint for seasonal allergies. However, there is no evidence that these oils possess antihistamine properties and their chemical make-up doesn’t support this. However, many people have used and said that the oils worked for them on a personal level.  This is another instance where each individual needs to know how they respond to the oils.

We’re all different and getting to know our essential oils on a personal level will help you make blends that yield the best results for you!

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

Back to School: Hogwarts Edition

By Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin

Platform 9 3/4 to the Hogwarts Express

It’ss September 1st! The day on which students return to Hogwarts via the Hogwarts Express. This day is celebrated by fans around the globe who grew up reading about “The Boy Who Lived.”

Hogwarts students are not the only children returning to school. This time of year, muggles and wizards alike are heading back to their classes. And while they may not have to study for their N.E.W.T.s or worry about “He Who Must Not Be Named”, it can still be emotionally and physically challenging.

So pull out your potions books, turn to page three hundred and ninety-four and make a note of these magical essential oil recipes!

 

Banish the Boggart Inhaler

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add oils to a personal aromatherapy inhaler and use as needed to help instill natural courage and inner strength.

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The Hogwarts Express

Protego: Immune Support Roller

What you need:

What you’ll do:

Add oils to a 10ml roller bottle and fill with a carrier oil of choice. Apply to chest and back of the neck for immune support.

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Horcrux: Head Relief Roller

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add oils to a 10ml roller bottle and fill with a carrier oil of choice. Apply to temples and back of the neck to relieve head tension or when Voldemort is near.

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Ollivander's Wand Shop

Wit-Sharpening Potion Master Blend

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add oils to a 5ml empty stock bottle. This master blend can then be used in a roller bottle at 2-3%, in a personal inhaler, or it can be diffused to improve focus.

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Draught of Peace Inhaler Blend

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add oils to a personal aromatherapy inhaler and use as needed to help uplift the spirits or any time you’re feeling like Moaning Myrtle.

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Just For Fun!

Owl carvings at Hogwarts

By Melissa Johnson, Content Writer

Looking for some just-for-fun Harry Potter inspired diffuser blends? We’ve got you covered there too! Whether you’re doing a marathon with all eight movies, rereading the books, or just working on homework, add one of these blends to your diffuser and be transported to your favorite Hogwarts destination.

 

Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks

Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add all these essential oils to your aromatherapy diffuser.

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Honeydukes

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add all these essential oils to your aromatherapy diffuser.

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The Forbidden Forest

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do: 

Add all these essential oils to your aromatherapy diffuser.

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The Restricted Section

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add all these essential oils to your aromatherapy diffuser.

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All of these recipes are Kidsafe and sure to make your school year exceed expectations. Use them, enjoy them, and most importantly, don’t let the muggles get you down!

For more fun recipes and DIYs please check out our Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on Facebook!

Natural Ways to Support Breastfeeding: Weaning

By Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin

As parents, we have the responsibility of making choices for the health and wellbeing of our families. One of those responsibilities is deciding when to wean from the breast. Weaning is a milestone event that can often feel very overwhelming. It happens at different times for different mothers and for different reasons. No matter the reason for weaning, it can be a very traumatic and trying time. 

Essential oils and hydrosols can help ease some of the emotional distress that goes along with weaning and help make the transition go more smoothly. 

 

Weaning Under Two Years of Age

There are special guidelines for using essential oils with babies under the age of two. This is because their systems are so delicate and still developing. 

That doesn’t mean that you cannot use essential oils at all. However, they might not be the best choice. To help soothe and comfort baby through this emotional time, a gentle massage with lavender-infused carrier oil would be a safer alternative. This is done by infusing lavender buds into a carrier oil rather than using essential oil. Learn more by checking out our article on the Importance of Infant Massage.

Hydrosols are also a wonderful choice as they’re much more gentle than essential oils. Lavender hydrosol can be sprayed directly on the skin of a little one and massaged in to help soothe and comfort. The hydrosol can also be sprayed on the crib sheet or clothing and act as a soothing linen spray. 

 

Essential Oils & Weaning

Breast pump and bottle

Should you choose to use essential oils, we would generally recommend the diffusion of a Kidsafe essential oil rather than topical application. You could diffuse an uplifting single such as Orange Sweet or a synergy such as Calming the Child for 30-60 minutes, 1-2 times a day. You can also safely diffuse when the baby is in another room.  If baby is having a tough time settling down to sleep and all other options have failed, diffusing a calming oil such as Lavender for 30-60 minutes before bedtime could help encourage your little one to relax so he or she can sleep. 

If essential oils are a must, passive diffusion would be the safest option. Using a few drops of a Kidsafe essential oil in one of our Lil’ Stinkers and placing it next to the crib would be a great way to use essential oils for babies when needed. 

Note: Essential oils can be used topically under the age of two but we would recommend reading our guidelines before doing so. In general, diffusion is a much better choice. However, limit diffusion to the occasional event for which your little one needs extra support.

 

For Kiddos Ages 2+

Woman holding her young child before schoolSometimes the decision to wean happens a little later in a little one’s life. If the child is over two, you can apply essential oils topically if desired. A 1-2% dilution of an essential oil such as Calming the Child could help calm the emotions that little ones are struggling with. However, in general, inhalation is still one of the best choices for emotional concerns. You might try diffusing uplifting or calming oils to help ease your kiddo through this time of transition.

 

Supporting Mom

Two woman breastfeeding while out exercisingIf anyone needs emotional support during this time, it’s moms. In general, mom can enjoy the same oils that are being used for baby! Citrus oils such as Lemon, Orange,  or Bergamot are uplifting. Use these oils in a personal inhaler or diffused to help support mom’s emotionally through this difficult time. 

Keep in mind that while mom is nursing, essential oils should not be applied to the breasts and mom should only use oils that are nursing safe. Once mom has fully weaned and baby is no longer breastfeeding, moms may also experience physical discomfort. A 1-2% dilution of essential oils such as Lavender or Copaiba could be applied to the breast to help alleviate some of the discomfort associated with weaning.

 

After Weaning

Woman sleeping while holding her baby

We recommend avoiding Peppermint essential oil while breastfeeding because it could lower milk supply.  Naturally, this may lead to the question of whether Peppermint can help dry up milk once the baby has weaned. While there are no studies that can be pointed to that help support this theory, there is no reason why a mom can’t use Peppermint after baby has weaned. However, because the Peppermint can cause babies to have difficulties breathing, we would recommend applying to an area where the baby will not be able to smell or come into contact with the oil. Consider applying 1-2% dilution to the abdomen, as long as baby will have no exposure.

To help cope with the situational stress of weaning, diffusing a Kidsafe oil for 30-60 minutes, 1-2 times a day is a good choice for both mom and baby.  If mom is still breastfeeding on occasion, we would recommend sticking to Kidsafe & Nursing safe essential oils. 

No matter your reasons for weaning, do not forget to be gentle with yourself during this time. Celebrate your journey and embrace this new phase in life and what it means for you. 

 

Transition Diffuser Blend

Woman relaxing on her couch

What you’ll need:

Add all these products to your cart

What you’ll do:

Combine oils in a personal inhaler and use to help ease the emotions of the transition time.

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! 

Natural Ways to Support Breastfeeding: Milk Supply and Relaxation

By Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin

Bonding with baby through breastfeeding can be an incredibly rewarding, yet trying, experience. Many women struggle with supply issues, sleep deprivation and more.  I remember the times when I wanted to throw my hands up and shout! No one told me that there would be times when I would feel tired, touched out and like my body didn’t even belong to myself.  The truth is, moms tend to forget the bad once their babies have weaned. Our babies quickly grow up and we remember those precious moments with a rose-tinted hue. But if we’re really being honest, those difficult moments do exist and we’re not doing anyone favors by pretending that they don’t. We are going to address some of those issues and empower mothers to choose essential oils that will help ease some of the emotional and physical concerns that interfere with breastfeeding.

Which Essential Oils Are Safe to Use?

First and foremost, make sure that you’re choosing from oils that are safe for nursing moms and using them at the proper dilution. Our blog post Are Essential Oils Safe to Use While Breastfeeding gives a comprehensive guide for usage. Generally, we recommend a 1% dilution of nursing safe essential oils. However, do not apply essential oils to the breast or nipples.  We also recommend avoiding peppermint essential oil because some women have reported a dip in milk supply after using the oil. While there are no scientific studies done on the effect of peppermint on milk supply, it would be best to play it safe and avoid the oil altogether. Particularly for women who already suffer from supply issues.  [1]

Supply Issues

Supply issues are one of the biggest concerns that moms have.  Maybe baby isn’t gaining enough or they’re eating so frequently that mom begins to look for something to give her supply a boost.  Unfortunately, there is very little research that indicates that essential oils could be helpful for increasing milk supply. Because of this, it would be remiss to recommend essential oils over the care of a trained professional who is equipped to help with supply issues.  I know this feels discouraging but please keep reading! Just because essential oils aren’t known to boost supply doesn’t mean that they can’t help with some of the stress and anxiety that can have negative impacts on breastfeeding.

Before we get into what may be helpful, we must first address some potentially harmful advice that mothers are often given. Though it is often recommended in online groups, we do not recommend the use of essential oils such as Basil or Fennel because these oils are estrogenic and should not be used around little ones. For breastfeeding mothers, this means that the estrogenic properties could transfer to the milk and this would not be healthy for baby.

What About Supplements?

Woman holding baby

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about galactagogues. In case you were wondering, a galactagogue is a substance that helps to boost milk supply. It is very important that mothers consult with a lactation expert before beginning any routine with a galactagogue.  Often times supply issues could have an underlying cause that needs to be addressed and sometimes a supplement really isn’t the best choice. Issues that can impact breastfeeding would best be recognized by a lactation expert. Consulting with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) may be a mother’s best chance for figuring out what is causing supply issues. [2]

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine recommends the following protocol,  “Before the use of a galactagogue, a lactation expert should thoroughly evaluate the entire feeding process and maximize non-galactagogue management. In the absence of evidence for low milk supply, the mother should be reassured. When intervention is indicated, modifiable factors should be addressed: maternal anxiety and mental health issues, comfort and relaxation for the mother, frequency and effectiveness of milk removal, and any underlying medical conditions. Medication should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors. There remain selected indications for the use of galactagogues, but the current data are insufficient to make any definitive recommendations.” [3]

Reducing Stress & Anxiety

Woman feeling stressed with baby on her bed

Stress and Anxiety can have an effect on breastfeeding. Though stress doesn’t directly affect milk supply, it can certainly affect mom. When mom is stressed, she may not take the time for self-care. When the body is stressed, it releases a hormone called cortisol that could make the baby cranky. And this could decrease how often baby is nursing. What started as stress then becomes an issue of dehydration, fatigue, a cranky mom and baby, and less time spent at the breast. All of these factors could result in lower milk supply. [4]

Inhalation of essential oils can help reduce stress. A clinical study in 2016 on 140 women showed that inhalation of lavender essential oil was helpful for reducing stress and anxiety in postpartum mothers. [5] Additionally, Bergamot and Yuzu are two citrus oils that have been the focus of clinical studies for their anti-anxiety (anxiolytic) effects in recent years. Both of these oils showed promising results at helping reduce stress and anxiety and for improving overall health and wellness. [6, 7]

Addressing the stress and anxiety that goes along with breastfeeding is a great first step at improving the nursing relationship.  Using a personal essential oil inhaler is also an excellent choice for moms who just need a moment. Take that moment and breathe. Don’t forget…you’ve got this!

You’ve Got This Inhaler Blend

Woman breastfeeding

What you’ll need:

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What you’ll do:

In a personal inhaler combine the following essential oils and inhale deeply when feeling stressed and anxious. 

Need more tips on how you can use essential oils to support your breastfeeding journey? 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. Peppermint and Breastfeeding – Results of Poll. (2019, March 28). Retrieved from https://tisserandinstitute.org/peppermint-and-breastfeeding-results-of-poll/
  2. What is a galactagogue? Do I need one? • KellyMom.com. (2018, January 02). Retrieved from https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/herbs/herbal_galactagogue/
  3. Brodribb, W. (2018, 06). ABM Clinical Protocol #9: Use of Galactogogues in Initiating or Augmenting Maternal Milk Production, Second Revision 2018. Breastfeeding Medicine, 13(5), 307-314. doi:10.1089/bfm.2018.29092.wjb
  4. How Does Stress Impact Breastfeeding? (2018, February 20). Retrieved from https://insured.amedadirect.com/stress-impact-breastfeeding/
  5. Kianpour, M., Mansouri, A., Mehrabi, T., & Asghari, G. (2016). Effect of lavender scent inhalation on prevention of stress, anxiety and depression in the postpartum period. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27095995
  6. Han, X., Gibson, J., Eggett, D. L., & Parker, T. L. (2017, May). Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) Essential Oil Inhalation Improves Positive Feelings in the Waiting Room of a Mental Health Treatment Center: A Pilot Study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5434918/
  7. Matsumoto, T., Kimura, T., & Hayashi, T. (2016). Aromatic effects of a Japanese citrus fruit-yuzu (Citrus junos Sieb. ex Tanaka)-on psychoemotional states and autonomic nervous system activity during the menstrual cycle: a single-blind randomized controlled crossover study. BioPsychoSocial medicine, 10, 11. doi:10.1186/s13030-016-0063-7
  8. Studies on normal infant sleep • KellyMom.com. (2018, January 03). Retrieved from https://kellymom.com/parenting/nighttime/sleepstudies/

Back to School Prep: Oils You Need To Survive This School Year

It feels as if summer just started but here we are…it’s back to school time again. That means a lot of stress about new friends, new teachers, harder classes, illnesses that get passed around like candy, and creepy crawly things that sometimes get into kiddos hair. Think we forgot about that one? No Way! 

Essential oils are a great way to prepare for the school year and transition with as little stress as possible.  So, before you panic, take a deep breath and consider picking up these essential oils that can help make your school year a little less stressful.

Elementary, my dear Watson! 

elementary school children going to school

Elementary school children are dealing with a lot. Many of them are away from their parents for the first time. This puts a lot of stress on their weaker immune systems. Because of close quarters, less attention to hygiene, little to no understanding of personal space, they can end up sharing everything.  And by everything, we mean everything, like a cold or even worse… lice

Some fantastic blends to help your child through elementary school are Immune Boom, Defender, Germ Destroyer, Sniffle Stopper, A+ Attention, Get ‘Em Gone, and Calming the Child.

In the Middle

Middle School-Aged children working on a project

Middle school-aged students are starting to have more awareness of personal boundaries. But they would still benefit from Kidsafe Essential Oils and synergies. In addition, they have more stress from friends and feel more pressure from teachers and parents to perform well in school. 

Many of the blends that benefit elementary students are also useful for middle school students. Consider adding Happy Place, Tension Tamer, Sore No More, and No Worries to your collection.

Making it to Highschool!

High school students in class

Making it to high school is a big milestone and with it comes more stress than ever. Stress to look good, fit in, do well in school and come up with a plan for the future. Teens have a lot riding on them and this can lead to problems in their relationships and school performance. 

Also, older students have a lot of options when it comes to essential oils that they can use since they no longer have to stick to the Kidsafe logo. 

Oils that they may find helpful are Clarity, Brain Aid, Self Esteem, Worry Free, Zit Fighter, Balance, Energy, Immune Aid, Invigor AidGerm Fighter, Relax, and Tension Relief.

As parents, we’re doing the absolute best we can to help support our kids as they transition into the new school year. Essential oils are a great complementary tool to use along with other healthy habits so your children can learn to take charge of their health and overall wellbeing.

What are some of your favorite oils your family uses to get through the school year? Share in the comments below!

Starting Your KidSafe Collection

Young child sitting on father's shoulders

By Tyler Hagan, Certified Aromatherapist

Plant Therapy has a huge heart for families and kids. As a company, we strive to provide easy, affordable solutions to help you and your family live healthier, happier lives. One way we accomplish this goal is through the development of our KidSafe line of essential oil products. 

For those who are new to the Plant Therapy family and don’t know about our KidSafe line, I’d strongly recommend checking out our blog post, What does KidSafe REALLY mean? For those of you who know about our KidSafe line already but don’t know where to start, stay put and read on. Let’s take a look at OUR favorite KidSafe blends and how they make a difference in our lives. 

Children using finger paints

Retha Nesmith, one of our certified aromatherapists and the VP of Customer Experiences, uses our KidSafe blends and singles all the time for her family. But here are her top three favorites!

Lavender

Lavender is such a versatile oil. And because it is KidSafe, you can use it with adults and children! If I was only able to ever use one oil for the rest of my life, I would choose Lavender. It is relaxing, calming, helps focus the mind, great for all skin concerns, helps fight germs, and is great for emotional support. Basically, there is nothing that Lavender can’t do!”

Immune Boom

Immune Boom is my favorite. It may smell like pickles (I love dill pickles) but it works great. When I first started using Immune Boom, I noticed that my children weren’t getting sick as often. And even if someone in my family got sick, nobody else did. It took a couple years of using this product during flu season before I was convinced that none of this was a coincidence. I know that if I use Immune Boom diluted and applied topically on a regular basis during flu season, my family is much healthier!”

Sniffle Stopper

“Anyone who has children knows how scary and hard it can be when your child is congested and can’t breathe very well. Sniffle Stopper is a must-have in my house because it helps my children breathe when they are congested. I use the pre-diluted roll-on and apply a small amount right under my children’s nose and on their chest. They sleep so much better because they can breathe so much better! “

Kids playing tag outside

Jessica Cobb, one of Plant Therapy’s certified aromatherapists and our lovely content manager uses our KidSafe line of products, too. According to her, if she had to pick three of our KidSafe oils, she’d pick…

Itch Away

“My son struggles constantly with red, dry patches that itch like crazy. He loves using his Itch Away roll-on to take away the itch and help prevent further agitation. It’s great for bug bites too!” 

Calming the Child

Calming the Child is great at providing a calming atmosphere right before bedtime and during quiet times throughout the day. We love diffusing it and it works and smells great!” 

PoopEase

“My son finds our KidSafe PoopEase blend very relaxing and that’s how we use it the most. It’s great at providing some relief from tummy troubles and really helps keep things moving. He also loves it because it has the word poop in its name. Boys!” 

Young kid in a go-cart

These are just some of our favorite KidSafe oils we like to use with our children. There are many other KidSafe singles and blends to choose from. They all have amazing benefits and intended purposes to help make life more enjoyable. Sherissa Anderson, one of our Customer Experience Representatives, loves using our KidSafe Calming the Child. She also loves our Pink Grapefruit and Bergamot essential oils. When we asked Danny Loughmiller what his favorite KidSafe oils were, he said Germ Destroyer, Better Than Kisses, and of course, Sniffle Stopper

What are your favorite KidSafe oils and how do you use them? Let us know in the comments below! Also, be sure to join us in our Facebook group, Safe Essential Oil Recipes

Beat Back To School Anxiety With Plant Therapy

By Tyler Hagan, Certified Aromatherapist

It’s that special time of year when parents wake up early to pack lunches, wake up children, get them dressed and ready to shuffle out the door and shipped off to school. This very special time of year is known to most as back to school season. Back to school season marks the beginning of a new chapter in each child’s great book of life which is both exciting and worrisome. Let’s face it… there are new teachers to meet, new friends to make, and in some cases new schools to learn to navigate. That can be very unsettling for some kids. Never fear, though. Plant Therapy is there for you and your family. We’ve got the products to help with back to school anxiety! 

Calming the Child

students getting on the school bus

Calming the Child is an excellent choice for emotional support during the back to school season. The beautiful combination of Mandarin, Tangerine, Lavender, and Roman Chamomile essential oils is just what your child needs to slow the mind’s roll, leaving them relaxed, calm, and able to cope with their turbulent emotions. When paired with our Diffuse on the Move portable diffuser, it can be diffused on the car ride to and from school. Or it can be used in the bath for an early morning or post-dinner relaxing bath. Just dilute to 1% in an unscented body wash or bubble bath. 

Happy Place

Young girl hugging her mom before school

After a busy and anxiety-filled day, homework time can be a big struggle for many parents. Children can oftentimes lack the ability to focus and calm the body enough to sit and complete the work in front of them. Adults have the same exact problem at work or at home when anxiety strikes. That’s where our Happy Place blend comes into play. When diffused, the relaxing blend of Bergamot, Frankincense, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Patchouli, Vetiver, and Clary Sage can help ease the physical responses like restlessness that stem from things like anxiety. 

No Worries

Back to school shopping with mom

Our new KidSafe blend, No Worries does exactly what its name implies. It can help children and adults overcome worry! While kids don’t have to do things like juggle bills and care for a human life, they still have their own worries. No Worries sports a sweet, woody, and citrusy aroma that helps fade away worry. It’ll leave your child feeling confident and capable and ready to tackle anything. Dilute to 2-3% and apply before school or at the end of the day to help calm the mind before bed. 

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

Let’s Talk About Sex (and Essential Oils), Baby

By Kristin Lail,
Certified Aromatherapist 

We all hit bumps in the road that affect our personal wellbeing and our outlook on life. It is easy to be derailed by stress, worry, anxiety, hormonal issues, depression, or fatigue.  These personal bumps in the road can become potholes in our relationships and lead to intimacy issues with our significant others.

Ultimately, a healthy relationship is dependent on clear communication with our partners and, when needed, professional medical or emotional help.

Additionally, essential oils can play a role in reducing stress and improving our overall health and wellness. They may also be great to boost libido and bring some spice back into the bedroom.

Improving Sexuality

older couple cooking together in the kitchenBy addressing our personal issues, we can improve our sexual health, our relationships, and our overall health. So, let’s break it down and see what steps we can take toward decreasing stress and increasing libido. In the famous words of Salt-N-Peppa, “Let’s tell it how it is, and how it could be… How it was, and of course, how it should be.”

Hormones

Hormones play a big part in our sexuality and when they are out of balance, the body suffers. Studies have shown that Clary Sage, Neroli, Lavender, Geranium, 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!

Fatigue

sleep deprived essential oils for sexuality and romanceNo 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 Australian, Bergamot, 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

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 [1].  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. Bergamot, Neroli, 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.

Communication

essential oils for romance and sexuality plant therapy

Even though is further down the list, I feel it is the most important step in improving our intimate relationships. Removing personal roadblocks helps us better communicate and thus, a whole body approach is important and necessary. Sometimes, we still need a little help communicating our needs to our loved ones, and essential oils can be used to instill confidence, raise our self-esteem, and encourage sensuality.  

True Expression is a favorite when additional help with communication is needed. True Expression consists of Ho Wood, Lavender Fine, Spearmint, and Blue Tansy. Individually, these oils are calming, relaxing, energizing, and emotionally clearing. Working together as a synergy, these oils are fantastic for encouraging self-expression.

Aphrodisiacs

wine being poured into a bottle essential oils for romance plant therapyLast but not least, essential oils can be used as an 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 Sandalwood, Rose, Vetiver, Lavender, Bergamot, and Black Pepper.  

Setting the Mood

With our mind and body in a better place and our favorite aphrodisiacs in hand, we can move to the bedroom.  Massage is a wonderful way to invigorate the mind and body and to set the mood for a romantic evening.

Making your own massage blend is a rewarding way to get yourself into the right mindset for the evening. So, grab your favorite esSENSUAL oils and let’s blend!  

For Him Massage Blend

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For Her Massage Blend

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The Hookup Diffuser Blend

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Sources:

1: America’s #1 Health Problem. The American Institute of Stress. Retrieved from https://www.stress.org/americas-1-health-problem/

2. Khadivzadeh, T., Najafi, M., Ghazanfarpour, M., Irani, M., Dizavandi, F., &Shariati, K. (2018). Aromatherapy for sexual problems in menopausal women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29765928

3. Lee, K., Cho, E., & Kang, Y. (2014). Changes in 5-hydroxytryptamine and cortisol plasma levels in menopausal women after inhalation of clary sage oil. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24802524

4. Farnia, V., Hojatitabar, S., Shakeri, J., Reaei, M., Yazdchi, K., Bajoghli, H., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., & Brand, S. (2015). Adjuvant rosa damascena has a small effect on SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction in female patients suffering from MDD. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26098128

5. Choi, S., Kang, P., Lee, H., & Seole, G. (2014). Effects of inhalation of essential oil of citrus aurantium l. var. amara on menopausal symptoms, stress, and estrogen in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25024731

6. Hongratanaworakit, T. (2010). Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20184043

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