Essential Oils

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!

 

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

We have a line of essential oils by Simplers Botanicals that we're 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 fourteen new single oils by Simplers that we’ve started with to carry in the store (we can special order anything from their full line however) and eleven blends, and all but three 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.

Bergamot Oil (Certified Organic)

Clove Bud Oil (Certified Organic)

Eucalyptus Globulus Oil (Certified Organic)

Frankincense Oil

Geranium Oil (Certified Organic)

Lavender Oil (Certified Organic)

Lemon Oil (Certified Organic)

Orange, Sweet Oil (Certified Organic)

Patchouli Oil

Peppermint Oil (Certified Organic)

Rose Absolute Oil

Sandalwood, Australian Oil (Certified Organic)

Tea Tree Oil (Certified Organic)

Turmeric Oil (Certified Organic)

 

Essential Oils Blends

Blissful and Bright Oil (Certified Organic Oil Blend)

Breathe Here Now Oil (Certified Organic Oil Blend)

Calm Within Oil (Certified Organic Oil Blend)

Deep Restful Sleep Oil (Certified Organic Oil Blend)

Detox and Renew Oil (Certified Organic Oil Blend)

Focused and Aware Oil (Certified Organic Oil Blend)

Fortify and Protect (Certified Organic Oil Blend)

Mind Body Meditation (Certified Organic Oil Blend)

Purify Air and Home (Certified Organic Oil Blend)

Women’s Rhythm and Flow (Certified Organic Oil Blend)

Sinus Oil (Certified Organic Oil Blend)

 

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!

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 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. 
 

 

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.

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.

A New Variety of Eucalyptus Oil

We have a new variety of eucalyptus essential oil that we just started carrying at the store - eucalyptus radiata. The more common form of eucalyptus is eucalyptus globulus, which we’ve always had, but NOW Solutions has released the new radiata species of eucalyptus which we’re thrilled to carry.  

The common eucalyptus globulus is more medicinal smelling, where the new eucalyptus radiata is slightly sweeter.  I have both, but have found myself using the new eucalyptus radiata more frequently.  I’d say the globulus form is better for colds and respiratory issues, where the radiata form is more for a spa experience.

One fantastic way to use eucalyptus oil is in the shower in the morning.  I started using it a month ago, and don’t think I could ever be without it now- it’s so nice.  Try putting a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the bottom of the shower in the morning (I say a few drops, but in honesty I give the bottle a few liberal shakes).  The steam from the shower will combine with the eucalyptus oil, helping to open the sinuses and breathing passages as well as reduce lung inflammation.  Eucalyptus oil is also extremely antibacterial and antimicrobial.  It’s a simple thing to do to make your morning shower more enjoyable- I’d very much recommend trying it- it really helps you to feel refreshed and ready to start the day!

 

 

Holiday Essential Oil Blend Recipes

The following blends are wonderful room scents to use during the holiday season.  The easiest way to use them is in a diffuser (we have four different essential oil diffusers available at the store) that uses ultrasonic vibrations to create a fine aromatherapy mist.  

These holiday blends can also be used as a room spray with water in an atomizer (we have empty glass spray bottles available at the store) or in lotions or any number of DIY beauty products.

The oil concentrations below are appropriate for a diffuser, though you can increase or decrease the amount of oil based on your preference and how strong you want it to smell.

 

Holiday Spice Blend

This blend is one of my favorites for the holidays.  We frequently have it in the diffuser at the store and I always get compliments on it.  Now only does it smell great, but cinnamon, clove, and lemongrass have strong antibacterial qualities and orange oil is fantastic for boosting mood and reducing anxiety.

4 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
3 drops clove essential oil
3 drops orange essential oil
1 drop lemongrass essential oil (optional)

 

Peace and Harmony Blend

Patchouli is my favorite smelling oil- it's rich and comforting.  It is also an oil that improves with age, so hiding an extra bottle in the back of a drawer is not a bad idea.  Patchouli is also a very calming and centering oil, that combines with the scent and benefits of orange oil wonderfully. 

4 drops patchouli essential oil
4 drops vanilla essential oil
3 drops orange essential oil

 

Pomander Blend

4 drops orange essential oil
4 drops clove essential oil
2 drops vanilla essential oil (optional)

 

Yuletide Blend

4 drops balsam fir needle essential oil
4 drops tangerine or orange essential oil
2 drops pine essential oil
1 drops anise essential oil

 

Christmas Eve Blend

3 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops vanilla essential oil
3 drops balsam fir essential oil
1 drop spearmint essential oil

 

Royal Peace Blend

Myrrh and frankincense were the gifts brought to the baby Jesus by the wise men.  Myrrh helps to reduce stress and frankincense is purifying and is frequently used in meditation blends, so the combination is perfect for the season as well as anytime you need some extra peace and tranquility.  

4 drops myrrh essential oil
4 drops frankincense essential oil

 

Enchanted Forest Blend

This combination of oils is very evocative of a winter forest, and is a fantastic Christmas Tree scent.  

5 drops balsam fir needle essential oil
3 drops atlas cedar essential oil
2 drops cedarwood essential oil
2 drops pine needle essential oil

 

Sweet Relaxation Blend

5 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops patchouli essential oil
1 drop clove essential oil

 

Candy Cane Blend

4 drops peppermint
5 drops vanilla

 

Comfort and Relaxation Blend

5 drops vanilla
4 drops lavender

 

Medicinal Essential Oil Recipe Blends for Cold and Flu Season

Essential oils smell wonderful, but they are more than just a pretty scent- many have very impressive medicinal benefits.  Below are some suggestions of essential oil combinations that are particularly helpful during the winter months. 

The amounts below are appropriate for use in an essential oil diffuser, like those we have available at the store, though the same ratios could be used for making a therapeutic balm or an atomizing spray, though you may need to change the quantity of oil depending on how much you’re making.

 

Sinus Blend for Relieving Congestion

Eucalyptus is amazing for opening up the sinuses, and is also extremely effective at killing airborne microbes when used in a diffuser.  Camphor is also a great antiviral and antibacterial oil, and its vapors are great at reducing cold symptoms.  Peppermint is very soothing and can calm irritated respiratory passages, so it’s a nice addition to this blend.  The optional addition of cedarwood can help with calming coughs if they are accompanied by sinus congestion. 

5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
3 drops camphor essential oil*
2 drops peppermint essential oil

For sinus congestion with a cough, add 3 drops of cedarwood essential oil to the above blend.

*Do not use camphor topically on children, or in a diffuser for very young children.

 

Respiratory Blend to aid in Relieving Coughing and Purify the Lungs

Hyssop is a very purifying oil and is used to help with reducing excess mucus in the respiratory tract.  Cedarwood can help to quell coughs and helps to reduce and loosen phlegm in the lungs when inhaled.  Frankincense is useful for breathing problems including bronchitis and asthma, and anise helps to calm a cough.

4 drops hyssop essential oil
3 drops cedarwood essential oil
3 drops frankincense essential oil
2 drops anise oil essential oil

 

Antibacterial Brightening Blend

This is a nice fresh smelling blend which also helps to kill bacteria in the air- bergamot, lemon, and lemongrass also have very potent antibacterial qualities and smell very nice together.  It also helps to freshen stale air in a home.

4 drops bergamot essential oil
4 drops lemon essential oil
4 drops lemongrass essential oil

 

Winter Sleep Blend

Many of us are congested through the colder months of the year, so this blend combines the power of eucalyptus with soothing lavender oil, which has been shown in a number of studies to be a very effective sleep aid.

5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil

 

“Thieves Oil” Purifying Blend  

These are the combination of oils traditionally as a purifying blend for illness and immunity.

We have also begun carrying a premixed blend based on the legend of the four thieves called Nature’s Shield at the store.  You can read more about the blend here. 

5 drops clove bud essential oil
4 drops lemon essential oil
3 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
1 drops rosemary essential oil

 

The Ultimate DIY Sore Throat Spray

This spray is absolutely fantastic for sore throats. Not only does it soothe an irritated throat, it helps to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.  

¾ cup water  
2 tbs. Braggs raw apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. raw honey
1 tsp. sea salt
4 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops peppermint essential oil
2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
2 drops clove essential oil
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
2 bags Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat teabags (optional)

We have amber glass travel size spray bottles at the store which are perfect for this throat spray recipe.

Start by boiling your water.  After boiling, steep the tea bags in the water until it has cooled to slightly above room temperature.  Remove tea bags and mix in honey, sea salt, and cayenne pepper stirring until completely dissolved.  Depending on the type of raw honey you use, you may need to use a whisk to dissolve the honey (the Y.S. Organics Bee Farms raw honey I use is very thick, so I had to whisk it for a while).

Next, add the apple cider vinegar and essential oils, and then pour the mixture into a spray bottle.  

If using this recipe for children, I might recommend making it without the essential oils.  It will still be effective.

Give the bottle a shake each time before spraying.  Enjoy!  It’s fantastic for a sore throat, but is also great to use as a preventative measure.  I love it!  

 

NOTE: I’ve made two different batches of this recipe, this one, and one that is heavier on the essential oils.  I can’t decide which I prefer.  If you want to make the above throat spray recipe a little stronger, you can increase the essential oils in the recipe to 7 drops lemon oil, and 3 drops each of eucalyptus, peppermint, and clove oils. 

This recipe makes at least three full 2oz. spray bottles.

Nature's Shield Essential Oil Blend

We have a new essential oil blend in stock by NOW Solutions called Nature’s Shield.  It is NOW’s version of the popular “Thieves Oil” blend, which is a mixture of five different essential oils known for their antibacterial and disinfecting properties.  See here for more information on the oil. 

It is inspired by the legend of four 15th-Century thieves that survived the black plague by using a combination of oils to protect themselves against the highly contagious airborne bacteria.  Nature’s Shield is an aromatic mix of cloves, organic lemon oil, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and organic rosemary oil.

We also have a recipe for making your own “Thieves Oil” blend on our website here (it’s at the bottom of the page).
 

Essential Oil Purity and Quality

We carry several different, wonderful  brands of essential oils at Pass Health Foods, including Simplers Botanicals and Aura Cacia; the majority of our oils, however, are from NOW Foods.  

Our oils from NOW Foods are 100% pure and unadulterated and are extremely high quality, while remaining very reasonably priced.  NOW Foods is a local, Illinois based company, which works diligently to ensure quality while remaining affordably priced.

Every one of NOW’s essential oils go through rigorous testing by quality control experts and are verified by both of the following tests:
 
Gas Chromatography (GC)
GC is an "identity" test that is used on complex mixtures to separate and identify individual volatile components through specific analytical columns combined with a carrier gas. This "fingerprint" allows an experienced analytical chemist to positively identify the oil's species.

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
With FTIR, a beam of infrared light is passed through a sample to determine the frequency at which energy is absorbed. It is a highly accurate method that helps reveal and confirm the identity and purity of essential oils. NOW's experienced analytical chemists use this sophisticated tool to check every oil.

For more information on NOW’s essential oil testing, please see this article on their testing methods, and this article on assuring the identity and quality of their essential oils.
 

NOW Foods also has an interesting stance on Food Grade Essential oils and “Therapeutic Grade” oils.  I’ll copy their statements on essential oils below:

Food Grade Essential Oils
We’re often asked if our essential oils are edible, or “food grade”.  All of our citrus oils, and other specific edible oils, are from edible plants. If you recognize the source of these oils as food (i.e. peppermint, oregano, cinnamon bark), then natural extraction methods such as steam distillation and cold pressing do nothing to change this quality, and these methods do not make the oil toxic. However, in order for us to claim an essential oil is food grade we would have to sell the oil as a food product and include a Nutrition Facts panel on the label, as required by law. Brands that claim their essential oils are food grade should display a Nutrition Facts panel on their label.

Our oils are intended for aromatherapy and are labeled as such. Additionally, we include cautionary language created by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) intended to protect consumers from misuse of the product. Some presumably food grade oils do have specific cautions against internal use that should be followed. Please note that our essential oils are highly concentrated and thus caution should be taken if you consume them. 

"Therapeutic Grade" Essential Oils
Therapeutic-grade essential oils are oils that a third party pharmacopeia or other statutory organization has (supposedly) created monographs for, which can be used by any brand as a measure of quality. We’ve reviewed the information regarding this grade and have concluded that “therapeutic grade” is just a marketing term used by some brands, with no authoritative body or organization behind the term.

At NOW Solutions we take assurance of the quality and purity of our essential oils very seriously. We’ve made long-term investments in the instrumentation and the professional staff necessary to assure the identity, purity and quality of our essential oils, and we work closely with our growers and suppliers to ensure the quality of our raw materials. By ensuring all aspects of essential oil quality we guarantee that what’s on the label is what our customers get in the bottle.


Here is a list of available safely sheets on various NOW essential oils.
 

We Have Three New Essential Oil Diffusers Available

We have three new essential oil diffusers available at the store!  All are ultrasonic oil diffusers which use high-frequency electrical vibrations rather than heat to create an ultra fine, cool aromatherapy mist.  They also help to add moisture to the air, which is especially beneficial as we move into the colder months.   

There’s no heat involved, so there is no danger to children, and once the water is used up they shut off by themselves.  I can’t even say how much I love these diffusers, plus, they use only water and essential oils, so there are no refills to buy. 

Our new diffusers are truly unique.  The first (which is my favorite) is a genuine bamboo wood diffuser.  It is absolutely gorgeous and matches wonderfully with any décor.  The second is interesting because it has two vents to direct the aromatherapy vapor in two different directions, so it’s good for large spaces.  Both of these diffusers have settings to run continuously or intermittently (cycling on and off), and can run up to 16 hours on the intermittent setting.

Our third diffuser is a USB diffuser that plugs into a laptop, so it’s great for offices, college dorms, and traveling.

All three of our diffusers are extremely easy to fill and clean.

You can read more about our new diffusers here:

Ultrasonic Bamboo Wood Diffuser

Ultrasonic Dual Mist Oil Diffuser

Ultrasonic USB Oil Diffuser

 

I honestly cannot recommend these diffusers enough, and they're a fantastic way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils in your home.

Fall Five Essential Oil Blend

These are my favorite smelling essential oils, and while I do use them in the diffuser all year long, they are very comforting and “fall smelling”, so I call them the “Fall Five”.  They are wonderful together (I usually do one part each) or in any combination.  I’ll post a few recipes below.
 

The Ultimate “Fall Five”

One Part Each of the NOW Foods Brand:

  • Orange essential oil

  • Clove essential oil

  • Patchouli essential oil

  • Cinnamon Bark essential oil (cinnamon cassia can be substituted if preferred it is less expensive, but it has less of a pure cinnamon scent)

  • Vanilla essential oil (you can add more vanilla if desired- I usually do- since it our vanilla mixed with a carrier oil so is not as strong as the pure essential oils above)

 
Many people ask if we have premade blends, but we like to offer mostly individual oils so you can create your own blends.  Even using the “Fall Five” oils, you can make it a little different every day depending on how you feel.  If you want it to smell a little spicier, add more clove and cinnamon; for a creamier blend, add more patchouli and vanilla; for a brighter, cheery fall blend, add more orange oil.                              
 
A few other amazing blends using the “Fall Five” Oils

  • Comfort Blend: orange, patchouli, and vanilla essential oils
  • Spice Blend: cinnamon bark, clove, and vanilla oils
  • Pomander Blend: orange and clove essential oils
  • Peace blend: patchouli and vanilla essential oils
  • Orange Spice: orange, cinnamon bark, and vanilla essential oils

I use this blend of oils primarily in my diffuser, but they are also fantastic as a part of a massage oil or added to unscented lotion or shampoo.

All our NOW Foods essential oils are 20% off this month.

 

Homemade Lip Balm: Lavender Vanilla and Vanilla Rose

This recipe makes a LOT, and can be easily halved.  It made a total of seven lip balm tubes, seven small lip balm containers, and one full 1 oz jar.  We have all sorts of empty containers available at the store for doing DIY health and beauty.

Ingredients:

1 1oz. bar of beeswax
4 tbs. coconut oil
4 tbs. cocoa butter  
Essential oils 

Directions:

Prepare your ingredients and open all lip balm containers so the liquid beeswax mixture can be quickly poured and easily filled.

Melt beeswax in a double boiler.  If you don’t have a double boiler (like me!) you can use a small bowl in a pot of water.  Once the beeswax is melted, add the coconut oil and cocoa butter.


Pure cocoa butter is hard, so I found it easiest to scrape the cocoa butter with a spoon in its jar and then pouring the shavings it into my measuring spoon.


Stir ingredients with a metal spoon until melted.

Once all the ingredients were melted, I separated the recipe in two halves so I could try two different flavors.  This isn’t necessary, though I’m happy I did.  I would advise using a pyrex or something with a spout.  I tried using pipettes, but found that just pouring the beeswax mixture into the lip balm tubes was the easiest, since the mixture started solidifying in the pipette before I could fill all the containers.

For each recipe half I used the following amounts of oil:

I don't like very strongly flavored/scented lip balms, so if you do you may want to increase the amount of essential oils by a few drops each.

Vanilla Lavender
15 drops NOW vanilla blend
10 drops NOW lavender

Vanilla Rose
15 drops NOW vanilla blend
25 drops NOW rose blend

I wanted to make unique flavors that weren’t commercially available.  I really love them both!

Next time I will try adding lemongrass or bergamot oils, though I would reduce the amount of total drops since the NOW vanilla and rose blends are mixed with a carrier oil, so they isn’t as strong as a pure essential oil.  

I will absolutely be making this recipe again.  I am a lip balm fiend, and go through lip balm very quickly (partially since I’m always forgetting them in my pockets before I put them through the washer/dryer.  I would very much recommend trying it!


Simplers Botanicals Organic Essential Oil Blends

 

We’ve started carrying new organic essential oil blends by Simplers Organics.  I’ve been really impressed with the quality of these essential oils and how clean and beautiful they smell.  

All of the essential oil blends featured below are on sale this June for 20% off.

 

Blissful and Bright

Blissful and Bright is one of my favorite blends.  It’s cheery and uplifting and is great for a quick mood boost.

Ingredients: Citrus bergamia (Bergamot) Oil*, Citrus x paradisii (Grapefruit) Oil*, Citrus sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil*, Salvia sclarea (Clary Sage) Oil*, Citrus aurantium (Neroli) Oil*, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) Oil*, Elettaria cardamomum (Cardamom) Oil*.
 

Calm Within

Calm Within is a fantastic blend for stress and nervousness.  It’s a very soothing and grounding oil.

Ingredients: Lavendula angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Citrus sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil*, Citrus aurantium (Neroli) Oil*, Vetiveria zizanoides (Vetiver) OIl*, Pelargonium x asperum (Rose Geranium) Oil*, Cananga odorata (Ylang Ylang) Oil*. 
 

Deep Restful Sleep

This is a wonderfully relaxing sleep blend that can help soothe the body and quiet the mind.

Ingredients: Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Citrus reticulata (Mandarin) Oil*, Chamaemelum nobile (Roman Chamomile) Oil*, Origanum majorana (Sweet Marjoram) Oil*, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) Oil*. 
 

Focused and Aware

This is a very effective blend for mental exhaustion, and can help to reduce feelings of stress and fatigue.

Ingredients: Citrus limon (Lemon) Oil*, Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir) Oil*, Elettaria cardamomum (Cardamom) Oil*, Ocimum basilicum (Sweet Basil) Oil*, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Oil*, Mentha x piperita (Peppermint) Oil*.
 

Fortify and Protect

Fortify and Protect is a great wellness blend, and is useful for cleansing and detoxifying the environment.

Ingredients: Citrus x paradisii (Grapefruit) Oil*, Origanum majorana (Sweet Marjoram) Oil*, Eucalyptus radiata (Eucalyptus) Oil*, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Citrus sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil*, Melaleuca alternifola (Tea Tree) Oil*, Ocimum sanctum (Holy Basil) Oil*, Syzygium aromaticum (Clove) Bud Oil*.
 

 

Simplers Botanicals also have organic essential oil blends made specifically for topical use:

 

Sinus Oil 

This blend is formulated for respiratory issues and can open and soothe the sinuses.

Ingredients: Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus) Oil*, Rosmarinus officinalis cineol (Rosemary) Oil*, Inula graveolens (Inula) Oil*. *Certified Organic

 

Yeast Aid

This blend helps to soothe itching from yeast overgrowth.

Ingredients: Olea europaea (Olive Fruit) Oil*, Calendula officinalis (Calendula flowers)*, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil*, Tanacetum annuum (Moroccan Blue Chamomile) Oil*, Thymus vulgaris linalol (Thyme) Oil*, Helichrysum italicum (Helichrysum) Oil*.
 

Scar Oil

This topical blend is formulated to help in reducing the appearance of scars.

Ingredients: Olea europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Calendula officinalis (Calendula flowers)*. Rosa canina or rubiginosa (Rose Hip) Seed Oil*, Argania spinosa (Argan) Seed Oil*, Calophyllum inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil*, Helichrysum italicum (Helichrysum) Oil*, Artemisia herba alba (Mugwort) Oil, Salvia officinalis (Sage) Oil*, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*. *Certified Organic
 

New Blank Essential Oil Inhalers

We are now selling blank essential oil inhalers which essential oils can be added to.  They’re great to carry with you since unlike essential oil bottles, there’s no risk of spillage.
Each inhaler has a cotton center which essential oils are applied to (15 drops is a general recommendation).  It’s an amazing way to use essential oils on the go, and is particularly wonderful since they are completely customizable.

Some ideas are:

Eucalyptus oil for sinus congestion
Lavender oil for relaxation and stress
Bergamot oil for anxiety
Peppermint oil for concentration
Orange oil for a mood boost
Rose oil for reducing blood pressure


For more ideas, here is a list of essential oil studies and benefits for variety of different uses.
 


Disinfecting the Air with Essential Oils

There are a variety of essential oils that have antibacterial and antiviral properties, though most of the research that has been done on essential oils is on direct contact with bacteria or viruses, which doesn’t necessarily translate into true benefits for essential oil users.

In our research at the store, we have come across several essential oils which have been documented in scientific studies to reduce and kill airborne bacteria and viruses when diffused into the air.

Here is a study which found that tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils killed airborne influenza viruses when diffused into the air.

Here is a study which tested essential oils against 6 common respiratory pathogens. The findings reported that cinnamon bark oil and lemongrass oil significantly disinfected the air when diffused into the air. It’s a long article, so there’s a good table here which summarizes the results.

This is an impressive study on antibiotic resistant bacteria including MRSA and the results of diffusing essential oils of geranium and lemongrass into the air.

This is a study on the benefits of eucalyptus oil inhalation against airborne tuberculosis bacteria.

This is another study on eucalyptus oil which reports on its broad spectrum antimicrobial action, as well as its benefits for inhalation on respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 
 

Summary
So let me break it down. This isn’t to say that all the oils listed below don’t have both antibacterial and antiviral properties, but rather is a summary of the scientific research available on the disinfectant action of essential oils when used in a diffuser.

Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil: Antibacterial
Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Antiviral and Antibacterial
Geranium Essential Oil: Antibacterial
Lemongrass Essential Oil: Antibacterial
Tea tree Essential Oil: Antiviral

We carry several full lines of 100% pure essential oils, and testers of each so you can test what each of the different essential oils smells like. We also carry a large selection of different essential oil diffusers at the store. Our diffusers use nothing but tap water and essential oils and turn off automatically when all the water is used up. I can’t recommend them enough, they're a perfect way to use essential oils in the home in a way that lasts for many hours (most of our diffusers are able to run continuously for seven to eight hours without being refilled).

Suggested blends
Lemongrass is wonderful and fresh smelling and blends well with other oils. Tea tree is a potent medicinal aromatherapy oil, but I’m not in love with the scent (it’s not terrible, just not my favorite). Its scent mixes well with other oils which mask its medicinal odor, so it can be added to any of the blends below. I use the blends below in my home on a regular basis:

Lemongrass + Cinnamon Bark
Lemongrass + Eucalyptus + Tea Tree (this is the strongest antimicrobial combination)
Lemongrass + Geranium
Eucalyptus + Geranium
Eucalyptus + Tea Tree
Eucalyptus + Lavender (this is a fantastic blend for sleep)

In particular, we recommend the NOW brand of essential oils. NOW Foods is a local company in Illinois that has very reasonably priced essential oils while remaining of extremely high quality. Here is an article from our blog on the extensive research NOW conducts on its oils to ensure quality and potency.

 

Here are some other articles from our health blog on essential oils which you may find beneficial:

Essential Oil Research Studies and Benefits

Nature's Shield: Our "Thieves Oil" Blend

Medicinal Essential Oil Recipes for Cold and Flu Season

Essential Oil Research Studies and Benefits

I am a big fan of essential oils and using a diffuser, but in the past my love for them was pretty much because they make such nice, natural room scents.  It’s a wonderful thing to have a great smelling house just using essential oils, without that horrible artificial air freshener scent.

In my research however, I’ve found a large body of clinical research on the scientifically verified benefits of essential oils.

I’ll copy a few of the studies from Pub Med below:

 

Lavender oil improves sleep quality

 

Bergamot reduces anxiety

 

Orange oil reduces anxiety in children

 

Lavender, chamomile, and neroli essential oil reduces anxiety and improves sleep quality

 

Alzheimer’s patients were found to have improved cognitive function using aromatherapy: lemon and rosemary oils in the morning and lavender and orange oils in the evening.

 

Rose oil causes significant decreases in systolic blood pressure and made subjects more calm and relaxed when compared with the placebo group.

 

Peppermint, basil, and helichrysum essential oils reduce mental fatigue and burnout

 

Lavender oil reduces anxiety in patients before surgery

 

Bergamot oil reduces stress, heart rate, and lowers blood pressure

 

Lavender and rosemary essential oils reduce test taking stress

 

Many essential oils can kill airborne bacteria when diffused into the air, particularly cinnamon bark, cinnamon cassia, thyme, clove, peru balsam, and tea tree oil.

 

Eucalyptus oil inhalation reduces tuberculosis

 

Eucalyptus oil has antibacterial effects against many bacteria including tuberculosis and MRSA

 

All of the studies referenced above use aromatherapy with essential oils by breathing them in- diffusers are great for that.  We sell two different great ones at the store by NOW Foods.

All the oils we sell state that they are for external use only on the bottles.  The essential oils we have are 100% pure, with no additives, but are sold for external use only as a precautionary measure since there are a number of oils which are toxic, some extremely so.  Wintergreen oil, for example, is extremely poisonous and one teaspoon of such oil could kill a child.

I don’t mean to sound alarmist or be an essential oil fear monger, but it is vitally important to treat essential oils with care.  Many people equate them as the same thing when used for internal use as drinking a cup of herbal tea, when they are emphatically not the same thing.  For example, one drop of peppermint oil in water would be the equivalent of 28 cups of peppermint tea, and one drop of lemon oil is equal to an entire pound of lemons.  They are very potent plant compounds.  That being said, they can be very effective.  

Aromatherapy is particularly wonderful since diffused essential oils impart benefits without interacting with medications.

 

Oils for winter health:

There are also a number of essential oils which can be helpful during the winter for illness.  Most of the information below is from the book The A to Z of Essential Oils by E. Jay Bowles.  All of the uses below are for inhalation through a diffuser.

  • Anise can help with reducing bronchial constriction.
  • Cedarwood can help with reducing coughing.
  • Eucalyptus can help to aid in breathing and reducing lung congestion by working to expel excess mucus.  It also has antibacterial properties.
  • Frankincense can help to break down mucus and is beneficial for a congested respiratory system. 
  • Lemon has energizing properties and is also an antibacterial and antifungal properties.
  • Tea tree oil has potent antibacterial properties and can help with respiratory infections.

 

Oils beneficial for skin (when mixed with a carrier oil- jojoba is the one we’d recommend):

  • Frankincense for dry skin and wrinkles
  • Grapefruit oil for reducing the appearance of cellulite.
  • Juniper for oily skin
  • Lime for shaving rashes and acne
  • Sweet orange for reducing the appearance of cellulite- massage from ankle to thigh which will help the lymphatic system
  • Tea tree oil for acne

 

We are continuing our december essential oil sale, so During the month of January all our essential oil diffusers and NOW Foods essential oils will be on sale for 20% off.

 

 

Also on our health blog:

OUR STORE'S ESSENTIAL OIL AVAILABILITY LIST AND INFORMATION ON DIFFUSERS

ESSENTIAL OIL SAFETY AND BENEFITS

HOLIDAY ESSENTIAL OIL RECIPES AND DIY GIFTS USING ESSENTIAL OILS