Tag Archives: clary sage oil

Spice Up Your Recipes, Perk Up Your Health – Summer 2010 Catalog

Spice Up Your Recipes, Perk Up Your Health

The Two Faces of Rosemary

by Mary Ewing266976_10100645769584420_903335_o

I once made a horrible false accusation. When I was fourteen, I blamed my migraine headaches on an innocent herb. At a resort I visited in California with my family, sweet-scented Rosemary plants grew everywhere and hotel chefs seasoned many house specialties with the tantalizing flavor. While there, I experienced the first migraine headache of my life and accused Rosemary of causing it. For fifteen years, I held a grudge-until I learned the delectable truth.

True Love from False Hate

At a church small group dinner one night, I was enthralled with one particular potluck dish. I raved to the young lady who had made it that I could eat her meal every day and never tire of it. She winked as she told me her secret ingredient was Rosemary-and I nearly melted onto the floor, fearing the onset of a migraine. When no headache attacked, I absolved Rosemary of my misconception and welcomed the spice back into my life!

Once I opened my mind to the truth about Rosemary, I not only looked up every culinary use I could find, but I also started reading about the plant itself and the various ways to use Rosemary in day to day life-especially Rosemary Essential Oil. The first night I discovered the oil, I stayed up four hours past my bedtime because I just could not stop reading. I was fascinated at the vast benefits attributed to this divine-tasting herb.

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Now there’s nothing much more comforting to my tummy than potatoes au gratin with Rosemary tucked between the layers of potatoes and cheese. Actually, Rosemary in just about any stew or stock is such a delightful earthy addition, that I will not turn it down. And thanks to Beeyoutiful, there is now another wonderful form through which to indulge in the splendors of Rosemary. Rosemary Essential Oil not only captures the cozy, warm feelings that I get when eating my favorite potatoes, it also harnesses the power of the versatile Rosemary plant, putting it in an easy-to-use form. Let me tell you why it’s a must for all households.

How Does It Work?

The Rosemary plant has many different components that combine to produce its basic anti-inflammatory and tonic functions. It strengthens tissues in the body to help them perform normally, and it offers antiseptic and stimulant properties.

A powerful antioxidant, Rosmarinic acid is one of the primary components in the oil. Antioxidants scour your body, finding free radicals (molecules in the body that have lost an important electron). These free radicals are highly unstable and must find a molecular victim from which to “steal” an electron. Retrieving the electron damages the healthy cells in the body but antioxidants bind with free radicals, neutralizing them and eliminating the threat they pose to your healthy cells. The presence of Rosmarinic acid has been said to decrease the risk of cancer, slow the affects of aging, and reduce inflammation in the body.

Another key component in Rosemary is diosmetin. Diosmetin is flavone, also an antioxidant. It is known to help strengthen capillaries as well as other parts of the cardiovascular system and has been reported to increase circulation and possibly increase low blood pressure. Diosmetin seems to target the head and blood vessels that lead to the head. As a result, it is recommended for helping to increase circulation in the brain and surrounding areas. This can have the effect of enhancing memory, decreasing depression, elevating moods, and reducing headaches.

Rosmaricine is the analgesic part of the Rosemary plant. From sore muscles to throbbing headaches to sprains, this powerful ingredient may bring quick relief and, coupled with the increased circulation, it can help in the healing of injuries.

How Do I Use Rosemary?

My research about Rosemary suggests that it can be used for just about everything from antibacterial agent to sore muscle analgesic to headache-reliever to respiratory health-improver to anxiety-reducer to digestive aid. When I received my first order of my new favorite oil, I used it for a horrible sinus infection coupled with lung congestion. I had read that the anti-inflammatory properties can help open inflamed nasal passages and decrease congestion. Also, the antiseptic properties can help the immune system fight off the offending virus or bacteria. So I pulled out my bottle and started mixing (this used to scare my husband, but now he likes the results and no longer trembles at another one of my concoctions).

First, I got my oil-mixing bowl (the rule here is: always use glass, never plastic). I use a small Pyrex bowl that I found at the thrift store but any small mason jar, glass or ceramic bowl, or similar container will work. I prefer a designated container for mixing, in order to avoid accidentally consuming the full strength oils if I were to confuse the containers.

Next, I decided on my recipe and gathered my oils. For a respiratory formula, I used Rosemary Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, Clary Sage Essential Oil, Eucalyptus and Lemon Essential Oils. I used 10 to 15 drops of each in the bowl. I mixed well to combine all the oils. Then I transferred this mixture into a dark glass jar and labeled it accordingly. It smelled heavenly and I was able to breathe very soon after first inhaling it.

I used my mixture in three ways. First, I diffused it in the room at twenty minute intervals throughout the day. Second, I mixed several drops of it with about a teaspoon of Sweet Almond Oil and rubbed it on my feet, chest, and shoulders. Third, I added about ten drops to a warm bath (this not only helped me breathe, but it also helped relax my sore muscles).

The results? You may be surprised to have me tell you I was disappointed. But it was only because my expectations were wrong. I didn’t understand the wonderful way this Rosemary treatment was meant to work.

I had some fantastic immediate relief from symptoms but, overall, I felt as sick as ever. I was hoping it would knock the opponent I was fighting from here to last Sunday, but it didn’t. Or so I thought. Slowly, I realized what was happening to me. Typically, my colds last a week to ten days with a sore throat at the onset progressing to a runny nose and then a battle of congestion. This time, I had the sore throat and the faucet nose and felt horrible. I was terribly discouraged-until about 36 hours after my Rosemary-based treatment when I woke up completely and utterly well. No congestion, no sore throat, no overall misery. I had been sick for less than three days, rather than the week it usually takes to recover. I was amazed and by the end of the day, I was outside mixing heavy bags of manure, peat moss, and vermiculite for our garden without a single sneeze, sniffle, or sign of a cold. I was convinced!

More Ways to Keep Rosemary Busy

I was even more in love with my new bottle of Rosemary Essential Oil than ever! I could not wait to use it on other ailments. I combined several drops with Jojoba Oil and rubbed it into my shoulders after gardening. The massage oil not only felt great, but it smelled good, too.

In addition to the pain relief for the sore shoulders and the increased blood flow to the brain, it is also said to help relax the user by reducing anxiety and eliminating insomnia. It’s a great before-bedtime massage oil. My youngest, Maggie, loves the smell as much as I do. She begs me to get the bottle out just so she can smell it. I massage her feet and back with it when she is restless. (Note: Never use the oil full strength on your skin, and always test for sensitivity, especially on a child.)

For those of you that suffer from headaches, be sure and keep your bottle close by your side. Dabbing a few drops on your temples can help eliminate the pain immediately. Remember that the oil should never go near your eyes and you should always dilute it with a carrier oil prior to use.

On a dull day, whether due to a cloudy day or a blue temperament, combine several drops of Rosemary Essential Oil with Lemon Essential Oil for a pick me up! You can combine it with a carrier oil and rub it on your wrists, shoulders, temples, and behind your ears. The pleasant aroma doubles as a delightful perfume. Or add it to your infuser for a household mood makeover.

Having Beeyoutiful’s Rosemary Essential Oil has made it so convenient to use in my daily life that I, literally, do not leave home without it. I use an old cloth glasses case inherited from a great grandmother to carry the Rosemary bottle in my purse, ready to pull out if I or any of my friends has need. It also pairs well with many of the other oils that Beeyouitful carries. Obviously, I no longer have any angst about using this wonderful herb. I appreciate the beauty of both faces of my friend, Rosemary.

The Essentials of Essential Oils – Spring 2010 Catalog

The Essentials of Essential Oils

By Mary EwingMary Ewing Bio Picture

My mom was crunchy-a real granola head as some would say. Throughout my childhood and young adult years, I resented her ways. I remember thinking often that there was no way I would ever live like she did. My children were going to eat out, have dessert after every meal, and there would be NO essential oils in our house, for sure!

I’m not sure exactly why I disliked essential oils, other than I do tend to be sensitive to smells, and some fragrances give me a headache. Yet, now I am the “overly crunchy with a bit of crunchy on the side” mom! I have a whole shelf dedicated to essential oils and use them daily. From waking until bedtime, I incorporate essential oils into my life and am excited to share the use with my children, hoping they will pass the value of essential oils on to future generations. Hopefully my example will help because, as I discovered, proper use of essential oils has a learning curve.

Now That I Have It, What Do I Do with It?

I remember the day I purchased my first oils. I had read about the uses and was excited about incorporating essential oils into my life. I wanted peppermint, tea tree, and lavender oils to start with (it helped that they cost the least and fit in my budget).

Eager to start using my oils, I brought them home, tenderly removed them from the bag, and set them on the counter. I opened the packages, savoring the aroma. It brought back fond memories I didn’t know I had of Mom using tea tree oil. But the big problem was that I didn’t have the foggiest idea what to do with these wonderful substances.

In case you’ve ever felt like that, I hope to pass on a few things I’ve learned in studying essential oils. And hopefully you will be saved from some of my goofs! So arm yourself with your favorite oils and let’s get mixing!

Essential oils are made from herbs and other plants that have been steam-distilled, cold-pressed, or solvent-extracted. Often maceration (separating the components) is used as well, but it does not result in a pure essential oil.

Producing oil requires a large amount of the herb, flower, or plant and is therefore very costly. For example, it takes 110 pounds of eucalyptus leaves and stems to produce just two pounds of oil! The advantage of the process is that it harnesses the power of the plant in an easy-to-use form, eliminating the storage and preparation of the actual plants-a great way to have a wide range of plant remedies on hand.

Oils vary significantly in the ways they should be used. Some are safe to use topically without mixing with a carrier oil. Others are great to diffuse and some may burn skin while others heal it.

Unlocking the World of Oils

NOTE: Each oil requires its own special usage pattern, so please be sure to study the specific uses when you start using a new oil. All oils should be used with care.

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Topically

Many oils are good for use in salves, massage oils, or even in a carrier oil as a ointment. The reason you should use a carrier oil to mix with the essential oil is that undiluted oils are generally caustic to the skin. There are very few essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin: lavender being one of them. Even with lavender oil, though, you should apply only a very small amount and check for a reaction before extensive use. Be sure to discontinue using it-or any oil-if irritation develops.

Some excellent carrier oils are: grapeseed, jojoba, sweet almond, coconut, and olive oil. I have used all of these options, and my favorite is sweet almond oil, with jojoba a close second. They are my favorites because of their fantastic all-over use. Sweet almond and jojoba are light enough to use on the face, as well as the entire body. As a result, I have been especially excited to find out Beeyoutiful now carries these two oils.

For most applications, you can take 1 teaspoon of the carrier oil and add 2-3 drops of your choice of essential oil. Due to the breakdown of the essential oil in sunlight, it is necessary to store any unused mixed oil in a dark glass container. My practice is to only make enough for one or two uses to avoid the degrading of the oil. If you are mixing up oils for home use and would like to keep mixtures on hand, there are several great online stores from which you can purchase dark amber oil jars.

Using an oil on the afflicted area is normally the best remedy. For example, if I am having trouble breathing, I rub the oil on my chest. I also spread some on my feet because feet are second only to the sublingual (under the tongue) area for quick absorption. If I am struggling with cramping from gas, I use the oil directly on the abdomen. Benefits can often be noticed within 1 to 3 minutes of application of an oil.

Baths

By far, the most scrumptious, self-indulgent way to use essential oils is in your bathwater. A few drops of your favorite oil added to your bath offer a blissfully aromatic soak. You can use several oils for a therapeutic blend, such as eucalyptus and peppermint for respiratory problems or lavender and orange for relaxation. But remember: Just a few drops will do the trick! If the floating oil is too much for you, use a natural body wash to diffuse the oil in the bath water. Start with a ½ ounce of body wash or shower gel, infuse several drops of the oil into the wash, and then add it to the bath water.

Diffusing

Ah…how the pleasant aromas waft through my home! Refreshing, calming, invigorating, healing, purifying as they infuse! But here, too, I learned a thing or two. First, and very important: NEVER used a diffuser made of plastic or with plastic parts. The oil will eat right through them. (A great science experiment is to watch eucalyptus melt a plastic cup…just beware that it is very messy to clean up!) Second, viscosity or thickness varies from oil to oil. Therefore, it is important for you to clean your diffuser periodically to prevent clogging (be sure to clean according to the manufacturer’s instructions). Many oil users report that daily use of a diffuser helps decrease the frequency of colds and other viruses in their households.

Inhalation

Typically, you can use hot water as the vehicle to dissipate oil in the air. A small pan of simmering water to which essential oils have been added will distribute the oils nicely. (Caution: NEVER leave the simmering oil and water unattended or allow the water to boil out of the pan!)

For a more intense inhalation treatment: Fill a bowl with hot water, and add several drops of oil. Close your eyes, and place a towel over your head and the bowl. Breathe in deeply for several minutes. Be sure to discontinue the treatment if you experience dizziness, lightheadedness, or any other adverse reaction. (Heat decreases some benefits of the oils, but this method is still a good way to use essential oils if a diffuser is not available.)

Finally, you can add a few drops of any essential oil to a small piece of cloth or towel. Place the towel near your face, and inhale and exhale normally. If the aroma is overwhelming, simply increase the distance from your face. This is a great way to take oils with you (in a glass container!). For instance, I take a cotton ball soaked with a few drops of peppermint oil in a small pyrex container in my purse.

Caution: Most essential oils can be inhaled without problems, but it is important to research each individual oil for potency and potential irritations. Clary Sage is one oil that should NOT be inhaled for a prolonged treatment. It can cause headaches and intoxication if over-inhaled.

Around the Home

I have never been an advocate of using chemical cleaners in our home, even before I got crunchy. The harsh smells, irritating to my head and skin, always left me wondering how clean the area actually was. So I was thrilled to find out how useful essential oils are around the house. There is hardly a task I undertake that does not include an oil or two. In addition to the satisfaction of knowing my house is cleaned well, the oils leave a pleasant aroma in the freshly cleaned home!

These are just a few basics of the world of oils. I have used essential oils for everything from getting the gooey mess from a sticky mouse trap off my aunt’s Sheltie’s fur (using orange oil) to relieving my migraines with Peppermint Essential Oil to helping my infant daughter breath by diffusing the respiratory recipe off and on throughout the night.

I love trying new scents and finding new recipes. Just about every day through reading, research, and networking with other Essential Oil users, I find new and fascinating uses for my shelf full of oils. Once you grasp the essentials of essential oils, you’ll enjoy testing various uses, too. My next experiment is going to be adding Lemon Essential Oil to my house paint to modify the fumes. Now how’s that for crunchy!

Mary Ewing is a part-time employee for Beeyoutiful as well as wife, mom and aspiring homesteader. She stays at home with her three children and enjoys exploring life with her brood as they cook, clean, garden, and play. Her passion are traditional cooking, essential oils, gardening, learning about raising livestock, and traditional art forms such as sewing, crocheting, knitting, and smocking!

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Starter Recipes for Essential Oils

For Topical Use

(1) Sore Muscle Rub

• 1 drop of Rosemary

• 2 drops of Eucalyptus Oil

• 1 Drop of Lavender

Add these to 4 teaspoons of a carrier, such as Sweet Almond Oil. Apply to sore muscles before and after exercise!

(2) Sleepytime Rub

4 drops Lavender

  • 1 drop Clary Sage
  • 1 drop Lemon Essential Oil

Add these to 1 teaspoon of skin lotion or 4 teaspoons of carrier oil, such as Jojoba Oil, and massage on bottom of feet, shoulders, or navel.

(3) Basic Salve Base

• 1 ounce of Beeswax, melted

  • 2 cups of oil-can be a combination (I use half olive oil and half coconut oil)

Either infuse the oil with herbs of choice before adding beeswax or simply add a few drops of the essential oils to your oil, and then add the beeswax. To test for consistency, put one tablespoon to harden in the refrigerator. For more solid consistency, add beeswax; for less, add oil.

For Diffusion

(1) Breathe Easy

10-15 drops of Eucalyptus Oil

• 10-15 drops of Peppermint Oil

• 10 -15 drops of Lavender Oil

• 10-15 Drops of Tea Tree Oil

I diffuse this throughout the day and night to help relieve respiratory problems.

(2) Purify the Room

Add equal parts (to mix for diffusing, I use around 10 drops of each):

• Eucalyptus Oil

• Rosemary Oil

• Clove Oil

• Cassia Oil

• Lemon Oil

Diffuse for 20-30 minute intervals during the day. This can also be added to a carrier oil and massaged on the feet, shoulders, chest, navel, and other areas for help in boosting the immune system.

For Around-Home Use

(1) Basic Cleaner

  • Approximately a quart of water
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • Few drops of Lavender or Rosemary Oil
  • Few drops of Tea Tree Oil

Add vinegar and essential oils to spray bottle and fill with water, depending on the size of you spray bottle you may have a little water left over.  You can also make this up and store in mason jars.

(2) Floor Cleaner

(Always test small patch to make sure this will not damage your floor)

  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 15 drops of Lemon Oil
  • 6 drops of Oregano Oil

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a mop bucket, and mop away! The aroma of the essential oils combined is fantastic, not to mention the antiseptic value. A great way to rid your house of all the germs that hitch a ride on your feet!