Sunday, October 3, 2010

Peppermint Essential Oil: Another Necessity for Your Medicine Chest

So far we have talked about the essential oils that I feel should be kept in your Aromatic Medicine Chest: lavender, tea tree, lemon, and eucalyptus essential oils.  These oils are very versatile and can be used for so many different ailments and conditions.  Another "essential" essential oil is Peppermint essential oil.

Right off the bat, we know that peppermint oil is a stimulant and energizing oil just by our normal interactions with the scent.  Candy canes, peppermint gum, peppermint lip balms, wild growing mint all bring about thoughts of being awakened, energized.  The cool feel that we have when we breathe in after eating a peppermint brings about the memories of seeing our breath on a cold day. 

Anyone who has ever grown mint plants knows that they are a perennial herb.  Mint is the gift that keeps on giving because it doesn't just come back year after year, it comes back and multiplies year after year, and you don't have to do a thing to encourage it!  You can smell the mint in the air just by standing near a patch of mint plants, so it is obviously a very strong herb which produces a strong top note fragrance.  Since mint is quite abundant, it is quite affordable both as an herb and as an essential oil.

It's scent as a perfumery essential oil is fresh, minty, and clean with a highly intense odor.  The key qualities in its aroma are refreshing, restoring, mentally stimulating, and sometimes possesses qualities of being an aphrodesiac.  As far as safety is concerned, it is nontoxic and non-irritating, but some people may be sensitive to it due to the menthol which is contained in it.  It is the menthol that gives you the "cold feeling"  in your mouth when you breathe in after eating a mint candy. Menthol, but not mint, is contained in tobacco products, cleaning agents, and some mouthwashes.

The essential oil is extracted from the flowering parts of the mint plant by steam distillation.  It is a pale yellow or greenish liquid with a highly penetrating smell of mint, menthol, and camphor.  It can be suitable for children, with care though due to its very penetrating odor.  If mixing with other oils to make a nice smelling blend, it goes nicely with rosemary, lavender, marjoram, lemon, and bergamot.  Peppermint oil should be used sparingly in aroma mixes because it will tend to overshadow some of the more lighter scents such as lavender.  When using peppermint oil, always remember to dilute with either water or a carrier oil.

Peppermint oil can be used for skin care and has been used successfully for acne and dermatits.  It can be used for medicinal skin problems such as scabies and ringworm, although these types of skin conditions are not seen as much today as they were years ago.  For acne use, dilute with an equal amount of water and pat on the areas of the face affected.  For any other type of skin care, mix with a light carrier oil and rub on the area.

Due to its high level of menthol, it can be used for achy joints and muscles and neuralgia.  For these painful conditions, mix with a massage oil and rub it into the painful area.  The carrier oil (olive oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, etc.) could be warmed up in the microwave before mixing with the peppermint oil to make a warm compress to place on the affected area. Pour the warmed up oils on a flannel or chamois cloth.  As the compress cools, place it back in the microwave to warm up again.

The digestive system can benefit greatly from mint, though not the essential oil because essential oils can not be ingested.  In health food stores, you can buy a peppermint syrup that can be safely taken internally.  This peppermint syrup can  help alleviate nausea and stomach upsets.  Peppermint tea can also help with nausea and also cramps and colic.  Peppermint essential oil should never be taken internally, but your tummy can benefit from a warm compress of peppermint oil as described above.  Place the compress over your tummy or your abdomen for ease of digestive problems.

Peppermint oil is a real help when it comes to headaches and mental fatigue.  Mix a few drops of the oil with water or a carrier oil and massage it into your temple region and on the back of your neck to get rid of a headache quickly.  Smelling dried mint in a sachet or applying a couple of drops on a cotton ball and smelling it will clear your mind and relieve any mental fatigue you may be feeling.  Peppermint can also be placed in an aroma diffuser to freshen and clean the air or to energize you on a dark gloomy day.  But remember, less is more!  Since it is a stimulant, using way too much scent can overwhelm your senses and not give you the desired affect.  You can tell if you have used too much if it seems like the aroma is overwhelming and not like a hint of freshness.

A couple of other popular uses of peppermint essential oil are getting rid of bad breath and getting rid of mosquitos.  For cleaning the inside of the mouth, merely place a couple of drops into a small glass of water and swish it around in your mouth and gargle with it.  The best way to use as a mosquito repellant is to place a teaspoon of the peppermint essential oil along with a cup of distilled water and a tablespoon or so of vodka into a small pump spray bottle and spray it on your skin and in the air around you.  The vodka does not contribute to the aroma, but is used to allow the droplets of water to stay in the air longer before evaporating. 

One really nice way to use peppermint or spearmint if you have it growing in your garden is to use it in a sachet.  You will need to cut your mint plants and dry them.  The best way to dry them is the tie the plants together and hang them upside down in a cool, dark, and dry place.  After a few weeks you will have some really nice aromatic dried peppermint or spearmint.  At this point, put the leaves in an airtight container like a mason jar.  When you want to use it, take several leaves and crush them in your fingers.  For the sachet, buy or make a small little fabric bag and fill with half crushed mint leaves and half cotton or some other type of fiberfill.  After it is packed tight, tie a ribbon around the top, and that's all there is to it.  You can use it for a car air freshener or to put in dresser drawers or wherever you would like to have an fresh stimulating scent.

So go ahead and experiment with some peppermint essential oil or some fresh or dried mint.  Since it is so abundant, it is affordable for you to try some of the above mentioned remedies or crafts.  You will soon find out that it is a nice scent to have in your Aromatic Medicine Chest.

Bye for now.  Next time we will be talking about another good scent to have on hand: Chamomile!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eucalyptus and Our Childhood Memories

So sorry for the delay between posts, but we had a very sad death in our family. To our Nancy...We miss you but we know that God is holding you close to his heart.

Now on with the business at hand....Eucalyptus and Our Childhood Memories

Do you remember when you were little and you had a bad cold and all you wanted was for your Mom to make you feel better.  At least at my house, one of the first things my mom would reach for was Vicks Vaporub!  She'd rub that stuff all over my chest and throat, under my nose, and sometimes make me swallow a gob of it (although taking internally is now frowned upon.)  Smelling that Vicks Vaporub always made me feel better.

When I had kids and they had a cold, the first thing that I reached for was good old Vicks Vaporub.  Just the smell of it made me feel better because it reminded me of how nice I used to feel when my mom fussed over me when I was sick.  There is the power of aromatherapy.....when smells bring back memories from the past!

Alot of that good smell can be attributed to Eucalyptus.  Eucalyptus has been used for colds, flu, chest and throat infections, swollen glands, and allergy symptoms for years and years, and is still used today.

Eucalyptus originated in Australia, and was introduced to other warm, tropical places in the world such as Central Asia, North Africa, and California.  The plant itself grows as shrubs and trees, and can grow very tall.  The trees are also called gum trees and they are evergreen.  Eucalyptus globulus is used for pharmaceutical remedies due to its large amounts of eucalyptol which has a very strong odor.  Much of the odor is lost in the distillation of the essential oil.  The variety of tree called Eucalyptus radiata has a more subtle and pleasant odor.  There are over 600 varities of the Eucalyptus tree.

The fragrance of the Eucalyptus leaf is very aromatic and fresh, reminiscent of camphor.  It's essential oil which is made by distillation of the leaf, is a top note and a volatile oil.  Doctors in the 1870's were the first to discover its vast medicinal properties which include antiseptic, anticatarrhal, and stimulant.  Anticatarrhal mean it helps to relieve the inflammation of mucous membranes such as those in the nose and throat. Its property of being a stimulant should be kept in mind when using.  It does not promote sleep or relaxation. It should not be used if you experience very high blood pressure.  There have been claims that it could lower blood sugar, so usage by diabetics is also not recommended.

It's value as an antiseptic makes it very helpful when applied to wounds in a diluted state in the form of a compress.  Dilute the oil with some water or carrier oil, wet a flannel cloth, and hold the compress over the wound.  Eucalyptus oil is helpful for sprains and sore muscles.  Either use the above compress method, or place a few drops in a massage oil and rub it on the sore area.

The oil is more widely used as a decongestant and expectorant.  Use the oil as directed above and place the compress on the chest for relief of congestion.  A few drops of oil can be placed in a diffuser or in a vaporizer and placed in the room of a patient with a cold, flu, or other respiratory ailments.  Breathing in the aroma allows for easier breathing and soothing the mucous membranes which are irritated during these illnesses.  As an added bonus, since eucalyptus oil is an antiviral, antibacterial, and an antiungal, the dispersement of the oil throughout the air of a sickroom will cleanse the air of the germs.

And just for fun, place a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a diffuser to freshen your house with the scent of your childhood memories when the world was a better place.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lemon Essential Oil......Healing Through the Ages

Lemon essential oil is a very diversified oil.   It can be used for healing, for improvements in skin and hair, and also for cleaning your house!  Lemon essential oil is also very affordable because a large amount of oil can be expressed from the peel of the lemon by using simple mechanical equipment in a relatively easy process. .  It doesn't have to go through the distillation process like many other oils.  Lemon essential oil is also an essential oil which should be kept in your medicine cabinet or first aid kit along with the other oils about which I have previously posted, lavender and tea tree oil.

food grade lemon oil
lemon essential oil
Lemon essential oil should not be confused with food grade lemon oil.  Food grade lemon oil can be bottled and used to make lemonade, used as a cooking additive, and also used as a cleaning agent.  As with other essential oils, lemon essential oil should never be consumed.  Some aromatherapists dispute this statement and have used lemon essential oil for stomach disorders and fevers.  I do not recommend that any essential oils be ingested and swallowed for safety sake.  It's better to be safe than sorry.

James Lind
Discovered treatment for scurvy\
with lemon essential oil
Historical information regarding lemon essential oil and its aroma and its benefits has been passed down through the ages.  Although the lemon never arrived in the United States until 1493, it was introduced to the Europeans during the Crusades where it gained popularity in the 16th century as a perfume and as a pesticide.  In 1747, experiments were performed on British sailors by Admiral James Lind.  These sailors were suffering from scurvy, and Lind concluded that diets containing lemon juice helped to fight off their scurvy.  This lemon juice was made from lemon essential oil, and not food grade lemon oil.  A rather dangerous experiment on a rather dangerous disease.  Because of the high content of Vitamin C, these sailors were cured.  Luckily we don't have to deal with scurvy in this day and age, and if we did, we could use Vitamin C supplements as our treatment.

Various cultures and regions in the world have used lemon essential oil as a treatment for ailments, as a fragrance, as a drink additive, and as a home cleaning agent.  Due to its powerful antiseptic properties, lemon essential oil is readily used in aromatherapy for both healing of the body and the mind.  It has tremendous capability of promoting mental wellness by:

1.  Improving concentration
2.  Enhancing awareness
3.  Improving mood
4.  Increasing energy
5.  Decreasing fatigue
6.  Reducing stress and anxiety
7.  Reducing negativity
8.  Restoring good sleep habits

Using lemon essential oil
This oil can be used in the bath by placing 4-5 drops in a hot tub.  This use can help poor circulation, fluid retention, premenstrual tension, aches and pains, neuralgia,  The oil will enter the blood stream through the skin and many ailments will be alleviated using this particular manner of absorption.

Lemon essential oil can be used on the skin only in the diluted form and never "neat" or in its pure form.  Mix 2-3 drops of the oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil such as olive, canola, walnut, jojoba, or any type of kitchen or spa oil.  Rub this oil on the area of skin which needs healing.  This can include acne, pimples, large pores, varicose veins, scabies, herpes, warts, wrinkles, and cellulite.  Also use this mixture on any type of skin cut or rash because of its antiseptic properties.  It's properties also include being antiviral, bactericidal, and fungicidal.

If your problem is in your mouth, use 3-4 drops of lemon essential oil in warm water or in a cup of lemon tea.  Swish around the mouth and/or gargle with the mixture and then spit it out.  Never swallow this oil or any oils.  This process is beneficial to gum infections, mouth and tongue inflammations, thrush, and herpes cold sores.

Using 3-4 drops in a vaporizer will fill the air with a moist version of the oil which can be inhaled.  This type of delivery will alleviate the symptoms of a cold, flu, bronchitis, and cough.  It disperses a fine mist of antiseptic which will clean the air and help your breathing at the same time.

Using 2-3 drops in the rinse water for your hair after washing will usually take care of dandruff and also leave your hair with a beautiful sheen.

For mental disorders, put 2-3 drops of lemon essential oil mixed with a tablespoon of carrier oil in an aromatherapy diffuser or in a candle tart burner.  As it heats up, it will fill the air with the crisp and fresh aroma of lemon.  Relaxing in a chair or in bed while inhaling this aroma can relieve anxiety and improve the mental qualities as mentioned above.  The same effect can be realized by using a lemon linen spray on your pillow or putting a drop or two of the oil on a handkerchief and bringing it to your nose to smell several times if you are out in public or at work.

Lastly, lemon essential oil can be used as a household cleanser.  Not only does it leave your house smelling fresh, it will also be clean.  Use 5-6 drops in a small pail of water and use it as you would use any other type of antiseptic disinfectant cleaner such as cleaning counters, refrigerators, toilets and sinks. 

During World War II, lemon essential oil was used to fumigate hospital wards, as a natural disinfectant, and to sterilize instruments!  That's a pretty good precursor to using it to disinfect in our homes!

As I close, I must list the potential dangers with lemon essential oil:
  •  1.  Always avoid contact with the eyes.
  •  2.  Lemon essential oil should never be used on the skin without being adequately diluted.  This is because it is a very volatile oil and can be very irritating to skin if used undiluted.
  •  3.  Lemon essential oil should never be used on the skin without being adequately diluted also because it may cause the skin to be overly sensitive to the sun.  It contains compounds that cause it to work as a photosensitizing agent.  These compounds actually accelerate damage to the skin when outside in the sun.
  •  4.  As with all essential oils, keep away from children.
  •  5.  Do not confuse lemon essential oil with food grade lemon oil.
  •  6.  Keep away from any flammable chemicals or objects.
  •  7.  Do not use during chemotherapy treatments.
  • 8.  Avoid sunlight after application.  Use a cover up if you must go out in the sun.
So there you have it.  Age old lemon essential oil which has been used for centuries as a beauty treatment, a health remedy, a fragrance, a cleaning agent, and even as a sterilizing agent for surgical tools during World War II!  So very many benefits and uses.  It is affordable and useful, and should definitely have a place in everyone's medicine cabinet and/or first aid kit.  Just remember to always dilute it, and it will be a big help to you in your life and in your home.

Until next time...........hint....our next discussion will be about my favorite essential oil...Eucalyptus!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A List of Essential Oils to Avoid

Welcome back to all my followers and to my new visitors.  I really hope you will continue to follow this blog because it does offer really interesting information and useful healing tips and suggestions.

Today I want to talk about which essential oils you DO NOT want to use! 

There are huge benefits to using essential oils for healing, for balancing your emotions, for improving your skin, for relaxing, for energizing, and for all the positive effects which I have already mentioned in previous posts.  But there are certain essential oils that can be hazardous to your health.  Remember the old adage, "Just because something is natural doesn't mean it's safe."

Some oils are considered toxic.  Some oils have not been tested to the extent that measures if the side effects are significantly less than the benefits.  This list is on the conservative side whenever questionable....You can't be too careful when dealing with the health of yourself and your family.

Do not use or experiment with the following essential oils:

1.    Ajowan
2.    Arnica
3.    Bitter Almond
4.    Boldo Leaf
5.    Calamus
6.    Camphor  (Yellow or Brown)
7.    Caraway
8.    Cassia
9.    Cinnamon
10.  Clove
11.  Elecampane root
12.  Horseradish
13.  Jaborandi
14.  Mugwort
15.  Mustard
16.  Parsley Seed
17.  Pennyroyal
18. Peru Balsam
19.  Rue
10.  Sage
11.  Sassafras
12.  Savin
13.  Savory
14.  Santolina
15.  Southernwood
16.  Tansy
17.  Thuja
18.  Tonka Bean
19.  Wintergreen
20.  Wormseed
21.  Wormswood

mustard plant...completely safe
* As a precaution, you should not use any aromatherapy products during the first trimester of pregnancy.  This is being overly cautious.  But it is better not to  use anything medicinal during this time, natural or not.

Now, remember, these are the toxic essential oils and nothing else.  Don't think that the herb Sage or the spices Mustard, Clove, or Cinnamon are toxic.  Only the essential oils of these particular items are toxic.  Don't be afraid to eat Caraway seeds.  The originating plant is not toxic, only the essential oil.  It takes many, many, many plants to distill to produce one ounce of essential oil.  The essential oils are the very concentrated by-products of a scientific distillation process using the original plants.  Essential oils do not appear in nature in large quantities or as being able to be seen by the naked eye.  They are microscopic!

cinnamon stick & spice...very safe
Because essential oils are so highly concentrated, it is best to use oils in a very diluted form.  The exceptions to this rule are lavender and tea tree oil which can be used directly on the skin with no irritation.  I have discussed the beauty of the healing properties of both of these oils in previous posts.  These oils are considered safe to be used "straight" or "neat" which means without dilution.  But as a general rule of thumb, always dilute your essential oils with water or a carrier oil such as sunflower oil, olive oil, canola oil, or jojoba oil. Also do not overuse the oils.  Oil recipes and mixtures will only call for a small amount of drops.  Large amounts sometimes cause the opposite effect.  As an example, even a very safe oil such as lavender when used in a high concentration can cause the opposite effect of its intended use of relaxation and restfulness
Using essential oils in small quantities and in a diluted form will bring about many, many treatment for known conditions and ailments.  Aromatherapy is a beautiful science of health and perfumery.  As with any other science, there are certain essential oils to avoid when taking your stroll into the world of aromatherapy.  With this knowledge you will be able to go forward and start your experimentation the benefits of essential oils.

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have on this topic or any other aromatherapy topic.  I will be glad to answer any questions which you may have.

Thanks for clicking in, and please come back.  I've got lots more interesting topics to discuss!  See you soon!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tea Tree Oil - Nature's First Aid

Anyone who is interested in natural remedies and aromatherapy will recognize the name of this very common, very useful essential oil.  Tea Tree Oil is easily accessible, affordable, and can be used in a variety of remedies.  Besides lavender essential oil, on which I wrote an earlier blog, tea tree oil should be an essential part of your medicine cabinet or first aid kit.

Tea tree oil comes from a very small tree with cream colored flowers like bottlebrushes and soft skinny leaves.  The blossums are followed by small, woody capsules set close together.  These trees grow in marshes located in dense thickets in New South Wales, Australia.  The essential oil is obtained from the leaves and terminal branchlets through a distillation process.

The fragrance of tea tree oil is very medicinal, spicy, pungent, and masculine.  It wouldn't be used much, if at all, in the perfume industry, but it is very heavily used in natural health care.  It is to be used sparingly because heavy concentrations can prove to be irritating.  Because very few drops are used for various remedies, a small vial will last a long time. 

The first illness that is quite well known for being relieved by tea tree oil is an earache.  I was very happy to hear Kelly Ripa mention on her show, Live!With Regis and Kelly, that she regularly uses tea tree oil in a little warmed olive oil to treat her children's earaches.  A celeb who has access to lots of money and lots of expensive health care still uses an inexpensive natural health care remedy.  That should prove its effectiveness to any doubters!  The usual mixture would be one drop of tea tree oil to one tablespoon of warmed olive oil.  Place mixture in a dropper and drop a few drops into the ear canal.  Place cotton to cover the opening of the ear.  Repeat two to three times a day and the earache should be gone quickly.

The same mixture can be used in nasal passages to treat dry mucous membranes due to overuse of cold medicines,  smoky environments, and air conditioning.  It can also be used to treat sores inside the nasal cavity.

Tea tree oil is frequently used to treat early sore throats caused by colds, local irritation, trauma, and overuse. Viral sore throats which constitute 90% of the sore throat cases can also be treated with this oil.  Immediate treatment will guarantee the best results for remedy.  Using a cup of warm tea, add a tablespoon of both apple cider vinegar and apple juice, one teaspoon of honey, and three drops of tea tree essential oil. Gargle with this mixture for as long as you can three times a day.

Mouth irritations such as gingivitis, canker sores, cold sores, or sores caused by dentures or braces can be relieved by mixing two drops of tea tree oil into a cup of warm chamomile tea.  Rinse in the mouth every couple of hours during the day.  The sores should heal quickly.

Sinus infections, coughs, flu, and respiratory ailments can be alleviated by using a steam inhalant.  Into four cups of very hot water, stir in one drop of tea tree oil and one drop of eucalyptus essential oil.  Put a towel over your head and place your face about 8 inches from the water.  Breathe deeply and slowly for ten minutes.  Do this steam inhalation two to three times a day.

Tea tree oil is very beneficial for any type of skin irritation.  Place a couple of drops of tea tree oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil such as olive or canola oil.  Rub the mixture over the irritated skin such as a rash, a scrape, psoriasis, chafing, or any common type of skin irritation.  For a wart, place one drop of each tea tree oil and lavender essential oil on a round bandaid and place over the wart.  Repeat this procedure several times a day until the wart is gone.  Tea tree oil can be used sparingly by itself on the skin.  Place a small amount of tea tree oil on a pimple or on a cut to speed healing.  Its antiseptic properties are helpful for small skin irritations such as these.

Hopefully I have given you a few good usages for tea tree oil.  Use them when you are faced with the misfortune of having any of these ailments, and hopefully relief will come quickly.

Will be talking to you soon about another great topic regarding my world of aromatherapy.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How Aromatherapy Can Give You Alertness and Focus

Hi Everyone!  Nice to be back!  I went away for a few days camping with my daughter and six of my grandkids and two of their friends.  Sounds like lots of fun if you like lots of little ones in a confined space...which I do, thankfully.  Oh, it had its moments, but overall we all had fun and hopefully made some memories.  Yes, we packed two adults and seven kids from age 6 to 14 in an OLD camper and a big tent!!

Now that I am home, I am dead tired though.  Relaxation was part of every day, but relaxation is not part of the preparation for camping, nor is it in the packing up, dragging home, washing everything and putting it away.  I really need a week to recover when I come back because of all the packing and unpacking!!

I seemed to have enough stamina when I got home, but my mind was in la-la land.  I had no focus, a hard time remembering things I had to do, and I was so un-alert that someone could have walked away with my house and I probably wouldn't have noticed until it rained. 

Thankfully I had the solution on hand.  Stimulant drugs were a desperate off-hand thought, but besides being illegal, they are poison to a human body.  No, I had aromatherapy.  Nice, pleasant smelling, essential oils were within reach in my kitchen.  There are a ton of essential oils that are helpful for alertness.  Basil, Cardamom, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Grapefruit, Lime, Peppermint, Spearmint, Bergamot, Thyme, and Black Pepper are among the most popular oils for waking up the mind and becoming alert and highly focused.

I whipped up an alertness/focusing blend solution of 10 drops of grapefruit oil, 10 drops of lime oil, 5 drops of black pepper oil, and 5 drops of peppermint oil in an ounce of extra virgin olive oil.  I massaged the oil into my neck muscles, shoulder muscles, and jaw muscles.  I sat in my chair and let the aroma stimulate my olfactory system and let the oils be absorbed into my blood stream through my skin and up to my brain.  It wasn't fifteen minutes, and I was feeling alert and focused and not walking through my life like a zombie anymore.  I made lists of what needed to be done, I wrote out a few bills that I realized needed to be mailed out, and I wrote out this blog which was my most pressing matter of business at the time. 

Long ago, being alert and focused kept us from danger.  Alert to the sounds of being trailed by a wild animal in caveman times meant life or death.  We don't really have the need to be alert to save our lives anymore, but we have the need to focus and be alert for our many tasks that we must do in a day.  We have to watch our kids at the playground.  We have to drive the carpool.  We have to study for exams.  We have to present our ideas to our bosses at business meetings.  Activities such as these are necessary for a successful day at home, at school, and at the office. 

So when you find you are at a point where you are overwhelmed by having too much to do, but you need to stay focused and alert to do the tasks at hand or to just listen to your kids when they have a problem to discuss, grab yourself a few of these oils, mix them with an ounce of olive oil, jojoba, grapeseed oil and massage them into your skin. You can use just one of these oils if you don't have lots of oils available, but most times, try to use at least two.   After a few minutes, you will feel more like yourself, more like the person you want to be.  When you feel like you have had your focus and alertness restored, then shower away the oils and go about your business. 

 Will be talking to you again real soon.  Stay alert and stay focused! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Secrets of Lavender

Lavender is one of the most well known and popular herbs and essential oils.  That's because it is easy to come by, it is relatively inexpensive, and it is safe for all ages.  And as with all essential oils, it probably should be used only after the first trimester.

Lavender's botanical name is Lavendula officinalis or Lavendula angustifolia.  Its aroma is floral with a slightly herbal undertone, and it is considered a middle note in the aromatherapy range of scents.  It has a beautiful purple  color and sometimes even on the bluish side.  Hence the color lavender.

Lavender is best know as a stress reliever, a relaxant, and a sleep inducer.  Using a few lavender drops in an aromatherapy diffuser or in a tart melter, can send a subtle aroma throughout your home that will induce a sense of calm.  Herbal pillows that can be used inside your pillowcase are always filled with a mixture that includes a majority of dried lavender blossoms because it can induce sleep.  Because of this relaxing, sleep inducing effect, real lavender essential oil or herbs should not be used as a car fragrance.

But, besides the most popular use for lavender, it also has many properties which can be utilized for many other conditions.  It can be used for many conditions of the skin.  I have a customer that buys my lavender soap religiously because it heals a certain rash which she gets on her hands.  She had been to her physician many times about the rash, and nothing he gave her ever alleviated the condition.

Lavender can be used successfully for hypertension.  The relaxation response which it evokes can bring about a lower blood pressure, and can lessen heart palpitations. This effect can be achieved successfully by using as a room scent through an aromatherapy diffuser.   Lavender can also limit muscle spasms and alleviate pain due to arthritis, sprains, and strains. To relieve these types of pain, a few drops of  lavender essential oil could be added to a  tablespoon of massage oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil  and then rubbed on the painful area.

As with every medicinal product, too much of a good thing does not make it better.  Essential oils are very concentrated and only a small amount is needed to be effective.   Always dilute any essential oil with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil before applying to your skin.  Always dilute the oil with a tablespoon of water or oil before it is heated in a aromatherapy diffuser or a tart burner.

Lavender is always a beautiful and useful oil to use for a linen spray.  Its scent lingers in your linen closet and in your bedroom.  Every time you make your bed, spray a little lavender linen spray on the sheets and pillowcases for a welcome scent when you crawl into bed at night.

My own lavender soap and linen spray is available for order by leaving a comment on this blog with your email address.  Other lavender soaps and linen sprays are widely available in health food stores and gift stores.  Make sure they are made with true essential oils and not a fragrance oil.. Fragrance oils do nothing but smell good.  They do not have the medicinal properties or the physical benefits of essential oils.

Thanks for reading today.  Other essential oils and they're properties and benefits will be discussed on future blogs.  Stick with me and learn the benefits!