Essential Oil Pain Relief Recipe

This is a very effective recipe for pain that smells really nice!  It’s not at all medicinal or strong smelling, and it works very well for pain and sore muscles or cramping (including menstrual cramps).
 
The recipe below is a 10% essential oil dilution, which is meant for acute pain and injuries.  It is the most effective dilution for topical issues, but it is not meant to be used every day on an ongoing basis. If daily is desired, it is best to dilute the essential oils in the recipe below by half or more.

Items Needed:

1 oz dropper bottle
10 drops cinnamon bark essential oil*
10 drops camphor essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops clove essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
Carrier oil (I used fractionated coconut oil, but any carrier oil can be substituted)
 
*Note: Cinnamon bark is one of the more expensive oils in this blend, so if desired, you can substitute cinnamon cassia, which has similar benefits.  The difference between the two is that cinnamon bark uses only the bark of the cinnamon tree, so it has the cleanest scent; cinnamon cassia is made from the bark, twigs, and leaves.  Cinnamon cassia has similar benefits to cinnamon bark, but does not have the pure, clean, cinnamon scent that cinnamon bark has.
 
Note 2: The recipe above is the most effective, but if you do not already own any of the above oils, I’m not suggesting you need to run out and buy six different bottles of essential oils to make a pain blend.  The most important oils in the above blend are cinnamon, camphor, and peppermint.  You can substitute oils for the others or use them in slightly different ratios if needed.  A 10% dilution uses 60 drops of essential oils for 25ml of carrier oil (which is 5/6 of an ounce or 5 teaspoons).  To make a less concentrated version to use on a regular basis, you can reduce the amounts of essential oils listed above by half or more.
 
Directions:

Combine essential oils in a 1 oz amber dropper bottle (available at the store).  Fill the remaining space in the bottle with your preferred carrier oil to the base of the neck (so it doesn’t overflow when you put the dropper in).

Shake the bottle gently to disperse the essential oil in the carrier oil and rub a small amount (1/2-1 dropperful) on the affected areas. To apply, drop the oil onto your palm and rub hands together to warm the oils before applying for maximum benefit.

The above recipe can also be used in a 2 oz spray bottle with magnesium oil (which will even further boost its pain relieving powers).  For a 2 oz bottle, double the amount of essential oils used and substitute magnesium oil for the carrier oil in the recipe above.


 

Lemon Oil: A Miracle Cleaner for Stubborn Dirt

I wanted to share about my new secret cleaning weapon- lemon essential oil.  Essential oils are great as an ingredient in homemade cleaning products (usually combined with vinegar, baking soda, or a little castile soap), but I wanted to say how amazed I’ve been lately on using a few drops of straight lemon essential oil on stubborn stains and dirt- things that I’d tried everything else on without success.

If you have any adhesive residue, a couple drops of lemon oil removes it in seconds.  I’ve even used it on stubborn scuff marks and old scratches, that had been cleaned with other products without success, and a bit of straight lemon oil (and a little elbow grease) made them look better than I ever thought possible.  

I even spilled some of a medicine for my daughter’s fish tank on a table, which was dark blue and seemed very much like ink.  I tried wiping it up with a wet towel or glass cleaner, but it seemed to be soaked in to the finish of the table and wasn’t going anywhere.  I thought of lemon oil and was worried it might ruin the finish on the table, but thought even if it did, I thought it would be better than the dark blue blotches I’d made.  A few drops of lemon oil took the inky blue stains right out of the table, and the shine on the table didn’t look like it had any damage!

I’ve been using lemon oil all the time now on stubborn dirt and stains around the house, and I really can’t recommend it enough!  

Straight essential oils are very strong, so be sure to wash your hands well after using or use cleaning gloves.  Also, since lemon oil is so potent, I’d recommend testing a patch on surfaces first to see if it damages the finish.

Generally, essential oils are best as part of an ingredient in a homemade cleaning solution (here is a link to a site with a lot of great simple recipes for making household cleansers with lemon oil), but for those times when nothing else works, a few drops of straight lemon essential oil can work like a miracle!

 

Neem Oil Spray for the Garden

Neem oil is wonderful to use in the garden as a natural insecticide that is safe for beneficial bugs, as well as having anti-fungal properties which prevent mildew and other fungal diseases on plants. Neem oil works against chewing and sucking insects like aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs, without harming bees and other pollinators. 


Neem as a general preventative:

1/2 tsp neem oil
1/4 tsp Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap
2 cups warm water

For a stronger batch, with more severe pest problems, increase the amount of neem oil:

1 tsp neem oil
1/4 tsp Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap
2 cups warm water

It is best to make this in small batches because it loses its effectiveness over time when the ingredients are mixed together. I usually make a single use spray each time since I think that way the neem keeps its top effectiveness (the beneficial properties in neem oil begin to break down 2-3 hours after mixing).

Single use spray:

1/4 tsp. neem oil (15- 18 drops)
1/8 tsp. castile soap (my measuring spoon doesn’t go that small, so I just estimate)
4 oz. warm water

Neem begins to turn to a solid at room temperature, so if you open your bottle and see clumps of oil, run the bottle under warm water for a minute before using.

Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well before use. Spray liberally on affected plant foliage.

Neem oil is only bad for bugs that chew on leaves (because of this, I would not use it on host plants for butterflies like milkweed).

The neem oil spray should be used early in the morning or in the evening since it's best not to spray plants when the sun is at its strongest. Morning and evening are also when pollinators are less active. This neem spray will not harm beneficial insects unless they are directly sprayed.

Spray every few days for intensive insect problems, once every two or three weeks for prevention. I was having a really bad time with some sort of insect sucking and curling the new leaves on my phlox plants, so I sprayed those plants every day for a few days and now the new leaves seem to be growing in healthy without any curling.

Neem is safe to use on vegetable plants, but it's best to discontinue its use five weeks before harvest.
 

A New Amazing Brand of Certified Organic Essential Oils: Simplers Botanicals

We have just started carrying a new brand of essential oils by Simplers Botanicals that I’m super excited about. Part of why I love them is that they have the largest selection of USDA certified organic oils of any other brand available anywhere.

I’ve been working to get this brand into the store for ages, but our distributor for a long time could never get display racks; well, we finally got our hands on some and starting in April we will have the Simplers Botanicals oils available.

The main reason that I was so excited to carry them in the store is that they seriously smell amazing. Amazing. The majority of the oils I have in my home and use on a regular basis are by NOW or Aura Cacia, and I do think those brands have great oils, I have nothing bad to say about them. I do, however, have a few precious bottles of the Simplers Botanicals organic oils and have to say, that I think they are the best oils I’ve ever smelled. For example, their lavender and sweet orange oils (two of my favorites) have to be smelled to be believed, they smell absolutely wonderful.

We have twelve new oils by Simplers that we’ve started with to carry in the store (we can special order anything from their full line however), and all but one are USDA certified organic, as it is not available in a non-organic source (even their non-organic oils are wild crafted and ethically harvested). 

Simplers is very careful about where it supplies its oils from, using only the best artesian distillers around the world. See this article on the Simplers Botanicals website for more information on their sources used around the world.

With being such high-quality oils- and I would truly venture to say that there isn’t a better quality of essential oil made by another company available anywhere- one may expect that they would be prohibitively expensive, but that isn’t the case. As many essential oil aficionados know, not all oils cost the same. 

To make some of their more expensive, 100% pure essential oils more affordable, they are sold in smaller quantities; for example, their incredibly fragrant Moroccan blue chamomile oil is packaged in a smaller, 2ml quantity, to be able to be sold at a more reasonable price. So this month, I would very much recommend stopping by to sniff these amazing new oils (we have testers of each available), I think you’ll love them, I know I do! 

 

Currently, we have the following essential oils by Simplers Botanicals available in the store.  

All are 100% pure and undiluted by carrier oils. These are all true “therapeutic grade” essential oils.

Organic Blood Orange Essential Oil
Organic Morrocan Blue Chamomile Essential Oil
Organic Clove Bud Essential Oil
Organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Wildcrafted Frankincense Essential Oil
Organic Grapefruit Essential Oil
Organic Lavender Essential Oil
Organic Lemon Essential Oil
Organic Lemon Verbena Essential Oil
Organic Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Organic Peppermint Essential Oil
Organic Rosemary Essential Oil
Wildcrafted Turmeric Essential Oil

We also have a variety of Simplers Botanicals essential oil blends available in the store, so be sure to check them out as well!
 

DIY "Poo-Pourri" with Essential Oils

Have you seen the commercials for Poo-Pourri?  Here’s a video if you’ve missed out. The idea is that you spray the water in the toilet with the mixture and it helps to minimize the possible smell of a bowel movement (I apologize if this post seems a little gross).

A few of us were chatting at the store and we thought we could put together our own recipe with essential oils. After a few trial runs and tweaks to the recipe, I think we have a very effective “DIY Poo-Pourri” recipe.

My daughter for whatever reason has not great smelling bowel movements (again, sorry if this is TMI). We share a bathroom and it seems she always has to “go to the potty” right before I need to take a shower or what have you. Lucky me. Well, she has been using the spray in the toilet before she uses the bathroom, and I can honestly say it has made a huge difference. The mixture is also great smelling, so it makes a great overall air freshener as well.

Ingredients:

2 oz amber spray bottle (we have them at the store)*

2 tbs. witch hazel

5 drops each of tea tree, lemongrass, bergamot, and lavender essential oil

Water

*This recipe can also be easily multiplied to use in a larger spray bottle

 

Directions:

Add 2 tbs. witch hazel to an amber spray bottle followed by the essential oils. Fill the rest of the bottle with water- don’t fill the bottle all the way to the top so there’s enough room to put the atomizer top back on. Shake well.

To use: Spray five sprays of the mixture in the toilet bowl before using the toilet. The witch hazel helps the essential oils to mix better with the water, though it’s still a good idea to shake the bottle before spraying.

 

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. The oils in this blend and bright and fresh smelling, but also have potent antibacterial properties, which is always a good thing.
 

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Easy DIY Liquid Hand Soap Recipe with Essential Oils

Liquid hand soap is expensive, and with the amount that we wash our hands in our family, we go through it quickly.  This recipe makes a nice large amount, enough to fill all the soap dispensers in your home with plenty to spare, and it’s extremely inexpensive to do.  It can also be customized with your favorite essential oils!

Supplies Needed

1 bar of natural soap (I recommend Dr. Bronner’s unscented castile soap)
4 cups of water
Essential oils
Optional: moisturizing oils like jojoba or avocado oil

Instructions

Grate the entire bar of soap with a cheese grater or in a food processor (by far, the easiest way).

Boil four cups of waer on the stove.  When the water has reached a rolling boil, remove from heat and add the grated soap flakes, stirring until combined.

Allow the soap mixture to cool for 15 minutes, and then stir again.

Let the mixture cool overnight.  As it sits it will thicken further.  The next day add your essential oils and use and store the extra soap as needed.  For an extra moisturizing soap, add 4 tbs. jojoba or avocado oil after the recipe has cooled.

 

How much essential oil to use


If the soap will be used by children it is best to err on the side of less essential oils.  A 1% dilution, which is a safe recommended amount for children, would be 160 drops per 32 oz of soap, or about 1 ½ teaspoons of essential oils.  If you would like to do a variety of different fragrances, you can add 40 drops of oil to 1 cup of liquid soap.  For adult use you can use more oils if preferred, but a 1% dilution is safe for the whole family.


Essential oil blends are wonderful for use in this recipe (I really like NOW Solution’s Smiles for Miles or Cheer Up Buttercup). Other oils that are nice in soap are combinations of grapefruit and lime, bergamot and lemon, orange and clove, or lavender and spearmint.


 

New Essential Oil Bracelets

We have just received a shipment of new lava rock essential oil bracelets. Each bracelet has fifteen lava rock beads, which absorb essential oils and gently diffuse the scent throughout the day. Lava rock is made from cooled volcanic magma, and wearing the beads can feel very grounding. The seven rainbow beads represent the seven chakras in the body and also represent the beauty, promise, and diversity of our world, in one harmonious whole.

We’re in love with these bracelets, and asa Valentine’s gift for our lovely customers, we are offering these bracelets on sale for only $5 each while supplies last. They make a perfect gift for yourself or a loved one.

To apply the essential oils, massage one drop of oil per bead (as many as you choosedepending on how potent of a scent you’re looking for). It’s a simple and beautiful way to get the benefits of essential oils. Some of our favorites that we’ve been using are lavender for relaxation, orange for positive mood, and rosemary and lemon for enhancing memory.

Easy DIY Coconut Oil Deodorant with Essential Oils

This recipe makes an easy to apply paste, and it’s great because it’s made with ingredients you likely have in your kitchen. Most things I read about homemade deodorants say that arrowroot is preferable, but I used cornstarch when I made it since that’s what I had on hand. This is a small recipe, since I wanted to make a couple different ones with essential oil blends, though it is easily doubled.

This recipe is perfect for the cooler weather we’re having. In the summer it will likely be necessary to add a couple melted tablespoons to the coconut oil before mixing to make it firmer since coconut turns into a liquid at 76 degrees.

Ingredients:

•    3 tbs. coconut oil
•    2 tbs. baking soda
•    2 tbs. arrowroot powder or organic (non-GMO) cornstarch
•    10 drops of essential oils (you can adjust the amount more or less depending on how strong of a scent you prefer)  

My favorite oils to use in this are a mixture of patchouli and cedarwood since I love their scent, but you can use whichever oils you prefer. If you have issues with body odor, adding a few drops of tea tree oil to the mixture can be beneficial. I would avoid cinnamon and citrus oils however, since they may be irritating.

Also, some people find that baking soda bothers their skin. If you find that to be the case, reduce the amount of baking soda in the recipe to see if that takes care of the issue. Additionally, if you apply this deodorant right after shaving under your arms, it may sting. It’s best to wait 30 minutes after shaving under arms before applying if you have sensitive skin.

Directions:

  1. Combine baking soda and arrowroot/cornstarch in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. Add in coconut oil and mix with a fork until well mixed, breaking up any lumps in the coconut oil.
  3. Mix in essential oils
  4. Store in small jar or container with a lid and apply as needed!

DIY Exfoliating Lip Treatment for Dry Chapped Lips (It’s Great for Hands Too!)

Cold winter weather and chapped lips seem to go hand in hand, so this simple recipe is a great one to have in the house (plus it’s made with ingredients that are probably in your cabinet). It’s perfect for lips, but it also is nice for dry flaky hands.

1 tbs. coconut oil*
1 tbs. raw honey
1 tbs. sugar
3 drops lavender oil

*I prefer using fractionated “always liquid” coconut oil for this recipe, but you can use regular coconut oil, or even avocado or olive oil if it’s what you have handy.

This recipe can easily be scaled to make a larger quantity.

1.    Melt coconut oil in the microwave if needed to bring it to a liquid state.
2.    Combine coconut oil, raw honey, sugar, and lavender. The coconut oil will not mix in with the honey and sugar all the way, but that’s not an issue.
3.    Scoop out a small amount, roughly a teaspoon, and apply to lips.  Scrub the lips gently with the mixture and then let sit on lips for a few minutes before rinsing off.
4.    After rinsing apply a thin layer of coconut oil on lips before sealing with a good lip balm.
5.    Enjoy your soft and moisturized lips!

This recipe is wonderfully moisturizing and healing, since honey is a natural humectant, which means it draws moisture to the skin.  Coconut oil is also extremely moisturizing, and lavender oil is soothing, healing, and has antibacterial properties.  All of the ingredients are safe for ingestion as well, in case you get a bit in your mouth.

If using on hands, scoop a couple tablespoons on to freshly washed hands and scrub hands, then let sit for a minute before rinsing off.  After drying hands, put on a nice thick hand lotion (I’m partial to Kiss My Face’s olive and aloe moisturizer).  Also, be sure to always wear gloves outside- this cold weather just sucks the moisture out of skin!

DIY Essential Oil Nail Recipes for Strengthening and Nail Fungus

We have new empty nail brush containers available at the store which are perfect for making your own essential oil blends for healthy nails. Essential Oils can be very helpful for the nails and are a wonderful, natural way to improve nail health. We have two simple essential oil nail recipes below: one for strengthening and another for helping to get rid of nail fungus.

Nail Strengthening Blend

This oil is helpful for weak, brittle nails, and also helps whiten nails.

20 drops lavender oil
10 drops lemon oil
Jojoba oil
Add the essential oils to an empty 1oz. nail brush container and then fill the rest of the way with jojoba oil (a pipette is helpful for this, also available at the store). Brush this oil liberally on bare nails once or twice a day (it smells great, so it’s a treat).

Nail Fungus Blend

This oil blend is absolutely wonderful for nail fungus on finger and toe nails.

30 drops tea tree oil
10 drops oregano oil
5 drops clove oil
5 drops orange oil
Jojoba oil
Add the essential oils to an empty 1oz. nail brush container and then fill the rest of the way with jojoba oil (a pipette is helpful for this). Brush the oil liberally on bare nails before bedtime. With consistent use, this oil will help fungus infected nails to begin to grow in healthy. This blend can also be used twice a day for increased effectiveness.

A New Essential Oil Diffuser with a Unique Tree Design

We have a brand new diffuser by NOW Solutions and I’m crazy about it. It’s a gorgeous diffuser with a beautiful design of bare-branched trees around the outside which is lit from behind when in use. I’ve never seen a diffuser like it (I wish I had a better picture of it than the one below)- you can see a more detailed zoom of the diffuser on the NOW website here.

Like all of the diffusers we have available at the store, it uses high frequency vibrations to create a fine aromatherapy mist without heat. It uses only water and oils, and when all the water has been used up (about seven hours when on the continuous setting), it turns off by itself.

It’s much prettier than it looks in the picture (especially when it is lit up)!

 

Also new this month from NOW is a “Seasonal Changes” essential oil gift set with oils for winter wellness that includes bottles of tea tree oil and eucalyptus radiata oil, as well as two essential oil blends- Clear the Air and Nature’s Shield (NOW’s version of the legendary “five thieves” oil blend).  

DIY Preventative Essential Oil Lice Spray for Hair

With school back in session, many parents are worried about lice, since it can run rampant through a classroom. Luckily, there are several essential oils that actually repel lice.

Tea tree oil is wonderful at repelling lice (and its also antibacterial and antifungal), but it isn’t the greatest smelling. Mixing it with other lice repellent oils helps it to smell nice while also being very effective for keeping head lice away.

These oils work well when mixed with water in a small bottle (we sell small 2oz. amber bottles at the store that would be perfect for this).

 

Preventative Essential Oil Lice Spray

This preventative spray has a pleasant, herbal smell. It’s best sprayed on in the mornings before school on both the scalp and on the length of the hair as well. This recipe is to be used on children 5 and up. For younger preschoolers, omit the eucalyptus oil from the recipe.

2 oz. spray bottle, filled halfway with water

10 drops tea tree oil

5 drops lavender oil

5 drops rosemary oil

5 drops eucalyptus oil

Fill a 2oz spray bottle halfway with water (it’s best to use distilled or bottled water)  and add the essential oils. Shake well before each use.

 

Our Store's Essential Oil Availability Listing

 

We also have a large assortment of 100% pure essential oils from the brands Aura Cacia and NOW Solutions, many of which are under $10 a bottle (I've listed the oils we carry below, and we also can order other specific essential oils if you are looking for one not listed).  NOW Solutions is a local company based in Illinois.  For more information on their essential oils, see our blog post linked below:

NOW Solutions Essential Oil Testing and Quality

We can also get any essential oils by Simpler's Botanicals, though we only carry their essential oil blends in the store at this time.

Essential Oils Currently Available at Pass Health Foods:

Anise
Atlas Cedar
Bergamot
Balsam Fir Needle
Basil, Sweet
Camphor
Cedarwood
Cedarwood, Texas
Cinnamon Bark
Cinnamon Cassia
Cinnamon Leaf
Citronella
Clary Sage
Chammomile
Chamomile, Sweet
Clary Sage
Clove
Clove Bud
Cypress
Eucalyptus:
    Eucalyptus Globulous
    Eucalyptus Radiata
Fennel Seed
Fennel, Sweet
Frankincense
Geranium
Ginger
Grapefruit
Helichrysum
Hyssop
Jasmine Blend
Juniper Berry
Lavender
Lavender and Tea Tree
Lemon
Lemon Balm
Lemon Eucalyptus
Lemongrass
Lime
Myrrh
Neroli
Nutmeg
Orange
Orange, Sweet
Palmarosa
Patchouli
Pine
Pine Needle
Pennyroyal
Peppermint
Rose Absolute
Rose Hip Seed
Rosemary
Sage
Sandalwood
Sandalwood Blend
Spearmint
Sweet Basil
Sweet Orange
Tangerine
Tea Tree
Thyme, White
Vanilla
Vetiver
Wintergreen
Ylang Ylang

 

Essential Oil Blends:  

NOW Solutions Essential Oil Blends: 

Bottled Bouquet

Cheer Up Buttercup

Clear the Air

Good Morning Sunshine

Lemon Eucalyptus

Mental Focus

Nature’s Shield

Naturally Loveable

Peace and Harmony

Peace, Love, and Flowers

Peaceful Sleep

Smiles for Miles

 

Simpler’s Botanicals Essential Oil Blends: 

Blissful and Bright

Calm Within

Deep Restful Sleep

Focused and Aware

Fortify and Protect

 

Also on our website:

Our Store's Carrier Oil and DIY Beauty Availability List

 

 

 

How to Use Hair Oils for Gorgeous Hair

Many people shy away from using oils in their hair because they don’t want a greasy head (and really, who does). Used properly, however, certain oils can be extremely beneficial to the hair, and make a huge difference in hair texture and condition. Hair treatment recipes are simple to make and most people have the necessary ingredients in their kitchen cabinets!

Hair oils can be used two ways, as a treatment before washing, or as a styling aid after washing their hair.

To use as a hair treatment, apply to the hair, concentrating on the ends, and leave in for one to two hours (leaving oils in the hair overnight is especially effective) and wash hair normally in the morning. You may want to sleep with a towel over your pillowcase or use a shower cap to avoid an oily pillow, though I don't think it's really a problem if you wait a short time for the oil to absorb a bit before bed.

Using hair oils after washing hair is a great way to add a bit of shine, reduce static and fly away hair, as well as helping to seal the damaged ends of hair. Use the oils sparingly- use less than you think you’ll need at first to avoid an oily look. Dry, sun damaged hair can especially benefit from a bit of oil added after washing.

Four oils to try on your hair:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is especially helpful for damaged hair. Coconut oil has a low molecular weight, so its able to actually penetrate hair strands, conditioning from the inside out. The fatty acids are also able to bind to proteins in the hair to help protect the hair from the roots to the ends.

Argan Oil

Argan oil is full of vitamin E. It’s frequently used to help to tame frizzy hair and can also be a good moisturizer for dry hair or a flaky scalp. Argan oil absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave any residue behind, so it’s suitable to use as a leave in conditioner or styling aid (start with just one or two drops).

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil can help to promote scalp health and fight off bacteria. It’s also a great oil for increasing shine. Massaging extra virgin olive oil into the scalp has even been said to help with hair growth, since it removes sebum that can block hair follicles.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is full of healthy fats and vitamins that help to rejuvenate damaged and dry hair. It’s also a fantastic oil to use as a deep, overnight, conditioning treatment.

 

Essential oils can be added to the above oils to help further increase their benefits.

I’ll post traditional uses for essential oils for hair below.

For Hair Loss and Hair Growth:

Atlas Cedar

Cedarwood

Clary Sage

Juniper Berry

Lavender

 

Oily Hair and Scalp:

Lemon

Patchouli

Rosemary

Ylang Ylang

 

Dry and Damaged Hair:

Chammomile

Geranium

Sandalwood

 

DIY Insect Repellents with Essential Oils

June is here, and so are the bugs! While conventional, DEET based insect repellents are very effective, I don’t love the idea of spraying chemicals all over myself, and I definitely don’t want them on my daughter. Luckily, there are natural alternatives.

A number of essential oils are very effective against mosquitoes and ticks. Both mosquitoes and ticks search out humans by smell, so essential oils work in two ways to keep away bugs: first, it masks our natural human odors, and second, certain oils actually repel biting insects.
We’ve been working on it, and have developed an essential oil blend that works very well against mosquitoes. The mosquito blend is also effective against ticks, though we’ve made a “tick blend” that is specific to repelling ticks, so that’s the one I’d use if you’re in the forest or other areas where ticks can be a problem.

These blends are measured for use in our 10ml essential oil rollerbottles. We sell empty rollerbottles and also rollerbottles filled with grapeseed oil (a carrier oil). Essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil before being applied to skin. Grapeseed is a wonderful carrier oil to use with bug repelling essential oils since it doesn’t have a scent of its own.

These recipes use Aura Cacia’s lemon eucalyptus oil which has been proven to be effective against mosquitoes. NOW Foods also has a lemon eucalyptus blend, which I like (it’s a mix of lemon, eucalyptus, and lemongrass), but it is not the same as true lemon eucalyptus (eucalyptus citriodora).


Mosquito Repellent Essential Oil Blend (to be mixed with a carrier oil in a 10ml rollerbottle)

10 drops Aura Cacia lemon eucalyptus oil
10 drops citronella oil
5 drops lemongrass oil
5 drops lavender oil
5 drops geranium oil

 

Tick Repellent Essential Oil Blend (to be mixed with a carrier oil in a 10ml rollerbottle)

8 drops Aura Cacia lemon eucalyptus oil
8 drops geranium oil
8 drops lemongrass oil
4 drops lavender oil
4 drops juniper oil
4 drops peppermint oil


While the above blends are those we think are most effective, while still being great smelling (over the years I’ve used some different natural bug sprays that I thought smelled awful), using just a combination of lemon eucalyptus, citronella, and/or lemongrass will still help to keep bugs from biting.

The thing I like about using rollerbottles for insect repellents are that they’re small- they’re easy to carry in a purse or pocket, and they’re also easy to apply. Another great thing using an insect repellent in this way is that children can apply it themselves. My daughter loves rolling on her “bug stuff” when she goes outside. I love it because I think it fosters independence, so if she decides to go out in the backyard, she will put on her own bug blend so she doesn’t get bitten by mosquitoes.

If you find a spray more convenient, you can multiply the above recipe by four and combine it with 8 ounces of witch hazel in a spray bottle (you could also use distilled water, though I found that witch hazel made a better bug repellent).  Shake the bottle before spraying.

River putting on her "bug roll on"

River putting on her "bug roll on"

Another advantage of making your own essential oil blends in small rollerbottles is that they’re small and convenient to have in a number of places- I keep one outside on the deck, one by the backdoor, and another in my purse. Essential oil bug blends should be reapplied every 1-2 hours for maximum effectiveness.

 

Finally, when it comes to getting mosquito bites (since there will come a time when you forget to put on your bug blend and get a bite), lavender oil works amazingly for taking out the itch.

Lavender oil is one of the only oils that can be put on the skin directly without irritation, and a drop or two on an itchy mosquito bite really helps. I keep a bottle of lavender oil on my bedside table since for some reason it seems like the only time mosquito bites bother me is when I’m trying to sleep. Incidentally, lavender oil is very relaxing and has been shown in research to be wonderful as a sleep aid. 
 

 

DIY Essential Oil Flea and Tick Recipes for Dogs and Cats

Ticks really do not like essential oils. They search out pets and people by scent, so essential oils work not only by masking a dog’s scent, but some essential oils actually repel them. Geranium is on the top of the list for repelling ticks, along with lemon eucalyptus, and lavender (study here).   Lavender oil has even been shown in studies to prevent tick eggs from hatching.

This tick blend can be mixed with a carrier oil like grapeseed and rubbed into a pet’s fur and legs.  Essential oils are too strong to be put directly on the skin without causing irritation, so diluting with a carrier oil (an unscented oil) lets essential oil be used on the skin without irritation. For using oils topically on dogs for tick or flea prevention, a good dilution is roughly five drops of essential oils mixed with a teaspoon of carrier oil and then rubbed into the fur- being careful to avoid the eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals.

These oils can be mixed and then put on the outside of a collar if it is made of an absorbent cloth.

Pennyroyal oil is very effective as a tick repellant, but even though many recipes online recommend using pennyroyal for pets, pennyroyal can be toxic to the point of death for dogs and cats.  For that reason, even though pennyroyal is an effective tick deterrent, we do not recommend using it topically for dogs or cats.  If you still do desire to use pennyroyal for dogs, a very small amount (1-2 drops) can be applied to the outside of a collar to repel ticks (make sure the oil is absorbed into the collar before putting it on).  Pennyroyal should never be used on cats, and only for dogs with caution.

Safer oils to use that repel fleas are eucalyptus, peppermint, cedarwood, and citronella.  

To make an essential oil spray for dogs, combine 30 drops essential oils to one cup of water and to spray on a dog’s fur.  Shake bottle well before spraying each time to mix the water and essential oils.  For small dogs, reduce the amounts of essential oils in this recipe.


IMPORTANT NOTE:  

Geranium oils and citrus oils should not be used on cats, in fact, cats are particularly sensitive to essential oils, so this recipe is best used for dogs.  Also, essential oils like pennyroyal, cedar, and citronella should not be used on pregnant animals (on any pregnant animal, it is best to use oils only on a collar, rather than on the skin).  Animals should never ingest essential oils.

Cats and Fleas and Ticks

For cats, the one oil that they seem to be able to tolerate is neem oil.  Neem can be helpful for both fleas and ticks for cats.  A small amount can be added to a shampoo (at the dilution of no more than a teaspoon of oil to a cup of pet shampoo).  Neem can also be used in small amounts on the outside of a cat’s collar as a flea repellant. 

Geranium and rosemary oils can be used as a flea and tick repellant on cats, as long as they are highly diluted.   For a flea and tick spray for cats, mix 4 drops total of geranium and rosemary oils to one cup of water and spray on cat’s fur, avoiding the face.

DIY Essential Oil Home Cleansing Recipe Roundup

Natural cleaners are very easy to make using essential oils.  Ideally, they should be stored in an amber glass bottle, however, to keep the essential oils from degrading.  We sell empty 8oz and 16oz amber spray bottles at the store, and for the month of April we will be having them for 50%!

Aura Cacia, one of the fantastic essential oil brands we carry at the store, has a fantastic index of DIY cleansing recipes using essential oils on their website.  They’re simple to make and use readily available natural ingredients.
 

Also, a see a few of our other favorites from around the internets are below.

 

This is a great All Purpose Cleaner from Mommypotamus:

•    1 cup water
•    2 teaspoons castile soap (like Dr. Bronners)
•    20 drops essential oil  

 

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner from Detoxinista:

1/2 cup white vinegar
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon tea tree oil (about 10 drops)

 

Another similar recipe is this DIY Lavender Tea Tree Surface Cleaner by Free People:

1 Cup Water
¼ Cup Distilled White Vinegar
10 Drops Tea Tree Oil
10 Drops Lavender Oil

 

DIY Citrus Window Cleaner from The Hippy Homemaker:

3 cups water
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1/2 tsp. orange oil

 

Homemade Glass Cleaner that Smells Awesome from New Nostalgia:

1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
1/2 tsp dish soap
15 drops essential oils

 

Almost all of the above blends would benefit from the addition of tea tree oil, a potent antibacterial and antimicrobial oil.  Most essential oils do have antibacterial qualities however, so find an oil or blend of oils that you like the best and experiment making your own blends!  I like using a combination of bergamot and lemon, since it's so nice and springy smelling, while still being a great antibacterial cleaning blend.  

 

 

Essential Oil Dilution Chart

I love essential oils- they are wonderful for such a wide variety of uses; they are very potent however, so proper dilution is important.  Most essential oils cannot be used directly on the skin without being diluted with a carrier oil since many are too strong and can cause irritation (lavender and tea tree oil are two exceptions).  

 

Below is a dilution recommendation chart for making your own home and beauty preparations using essential oils:

 

Massage oil or general topical use: 50-60 drops for each 4 ounces of carrier oil or lotion

Highly scented topical use: 50-60 drops for 1 ounce of carrier oil or lotion

Scented bath: 10-12 drops per tub of water

Steam inhalation: 3-7 drops in a bowl of boiling water

Foot bath: 8-10 drops per bowl of water

Facial mask: 2-3 drops mixed with 1 tsp. clay or honey or mixed with 4 drops carrier oil for dry skin

Facial oil: 6-8 drops per ½ ounce of carrier oil

Hair oil: 25 drops per 1 ounce of carrier oil

Body mist: 10-20 drops per 4 ounces of water  

Room spray: 20-30 drops per 4 ounces of water

 

A note of caution:

Citrus oils like lemon and orange can make the skin more sensitive to the sun, so it’s best to not use those oils on sensitive skin in the daytime.  Also, cinnamon bark and cinnamon cassia can be extremely irritating to the skin, and may want to be diluted even more than the amounts above when being used topically.

New Essential Oil Cough Drops and Travel Diffusers by Redd Remedies

We have just gotten in a new line of essential oil throat drops and inhalers that I’m crazy about.  The company’s name is Redd Remedies, and they have the most amazing cough drops I’ve ever tried.  Seriously.  We got a sample a while ago, and I fell in love with them.  We’ve been working to get them in the store and now we finally have them.  They are great tasting and extremely effective cough drops that use essential oils to soothe throats and clear respiratory passages.  They really work.

Also from Redd Remedies, we’ve gotten in two new essential oil inhalers (they actually call them “travel diffusers”), a sinus blend and a lung care blend.  I had been dealing with a lingering respiratory issue for a while, so I wanted to try their lung inhaler to see if it did anything for me. I have to be honest, in that I wasn’t expecting much from the lung inhaler, but was pleasantly surprised- I really felt like after using it my lungs were more open and less constricted.  To use their lung inhaler, you hold it to one nostril and breathe in slowly and deeply.    They also have a sinus inhaler which is really nice for congested sinuses either from colds or allergies.

I’d really recommend trying both the throat drops and their “travel diffusers” (inhalers).  I am a huge fan of them.

Since they’re a new product, we’re having them on sale for 25% off during March.  



 

Essential Oil Spotlight: Cedarwood

I wanted to mention an oil that we’ve been using a lot lately at our house- cedarwood essential oil.  Cedarwood is a very grounding oil, and is wonderful for helping to ease coughing and loosen phlegm.  My daughter has had a cough that she brought home from school and I’ve been adding several drops of cedarwood along with some eucalyptus oil to the essential oil diffuser in her room, and I think it really helped to calm her coughing so she could sleep.  My daughter also loves the scent (she says it smells like summer).

Cedarwood is known for its relaxing effects, and has been traditionally used for reducing tension and stress as well as calming the emotions, helping one to achieve a peaceful state of mind.

Cedarwood oil is also wonderful for the skin since it has antiseptic and astringent properties.  I frequently add it to the DIY sugar scrub that I use on my face.  It can also be used mixed with jojoba oil as a nighttime moisturizing facial treatment.  Cedarwood is often used by women to help with controlling hormonal acne.

Interestingly, cedarwood has even been studied with impressive results for increasing hair growth in people with alopecia when used topically on the scalp.  When using essential oils on the skin, always be sure to dilute them with a carrier oil first, since straight essential oils can cause skin irritation.

Note: Pregnant women should not use cedarwood, and essential oils of any kind should not be used with children under 2.