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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!

Ode To Aide – Summer 2009 Catalog

By Nancy Websternancy_small

Being prepared isn’t just for Boy Scouts. It’s also essential for a good mom. But sometimes, real life throws a few curves that make staying prepared seem impossible. More than once I’ve held a crying child in one arm while digging frantically with the other through a messy cabinet of old lotions and potions for something appropriate to treat an owie. And finding the right treatment has only become more challenging as our family’s approach to diet and health care has gotten more and more alternative. There are very few “traditional” items I want in our medicine cabinet anymore.

Usually when I write an article like this one, I share a variety of (hopefully helpful) ideas, some of which take advantage of a select product or two in Beeyoutiful’s line-up. This time, though, I must tell you there’s only one way I’ve found to adequately address the two-pronged problem of preparation for emergency treatment and having healthy, natural options for first aid. And that one way is Beeyoutiful’s new, all-natural First Aid Kit. I’ve got to brag on it.

The Fantastic Four

Beeyoutiful’s kit contains a quadruple hit of heroic helpers: Tea Tree Oil, Miracle Salve, Ow-Ease, and Bee’s Aid. These products are safe to use except for infants and people with allergies to bee products. Even pregnant and nursing mothers should have no problems but double-check with your personal health care provider to be sure it’s all right for you. Each of the great ingredients deserves an overview of its specific benefits.TeaTreeEOil

(1) Tea Tree Oil. This all-purpose essential oil can replace most of your medicines-and most of your household cleaning supplies. Beeyoutiful’s is 100% pure, pharmaceutical grade tea tree oil. It provides generous amounts of terpinen, the active ingredient responsible for the oil’s astounding anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal abilities not usually found in lesser brands.

Use tea tree oil instead of first aid spray and anti-bacterial ointments for cuts, scrapes, infections, irritated hair follicles, blisters, boils, and even acne. It’s safe for use on broken skin and can be applied without diluting. A drop or two is all it takes. You can also combine tea tree oil with Vitamin E oil or aloe vera gel to soothe minor burns and sunburn. And regular application will dissolve both plantar and seed warts safely. (Please don’t use toxic, over-the-counter wart removal medications!)

Skin conditions like eczema, seborrhea, and psoriasis are soothed when tea tree oil is mixed with aloe gel or added to a warm, sea salt bath. Minimize infection, reduce scarring, and speed healing from chicken pox and shingles by adding tea tree oil and a cup of dry oatmeal to a warm bath.

Tea tree oil massaged into the scalp relieves both dry and oily hair problems, plus dandruff. You’ll have no more worries about toxic head lice potions since tea tree oil eradicates lice, too!

Skip the expensive vaginal yeast infection medicine you usually don’t realize you need until late at night. Just soak a tampon in olive oil or another safe lubricant, add a few drops of tea tree oil, and insert. Repeat for a few days. Sitz baths tinged with tea tree oil can also relieve the related itching and pain. Other fungal infections like jock itch, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and nail fungus respond to regular tea tree oil application as well.

Because tea tree oil acts as an expectorant and is beneficial to the respiratory tract, use it instead of cough syrups and cold medicines. Mix with olive oil and spread on your patient’s chest and throat. Make a steam inhalation treatment by adding a few drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of boiling water, or diffuse the oil in a vaporizer or aroma lamp to open ailing air passages and disinfect the sickroom. Soothe an earache and clear up the infection by mixing a drop of TTO with a bit of warm olive oil. Insert this mixture into the ear and plug with a bit of cotton. Add a hot water bottle or heating pad and relief will be quick.

Cold sores, mouth ulcers, and toothaches can all be helped by regular application of tea tree oil. Just don’t swallow the saliva right after application. Disinfect your toothbrush every week with a drop or two, then rinse well. If your family keeps passing around strep throat or a cold, this is very important!

Nature lovers love tea tree oil because it makes a great flea, tick, and mosquito repellant and will disinfect and reduce swelling if you’re bitten or stung. Mixed with baking soda, it makes an inexpensive home remedy for poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac itching.

Replace your toxic household cleaners with a spray bottle of 12 oz. warm water, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of borax, plus a few drops of tea tree oil for a safe, refreshing disinfectant cleaner. Add a drop to your dishwasher’s soap dispenser and to your garbage disposal to freshen them up. Add to your laundry to disinfect while you clean.

Miracle2ozLarge(2) Miracle Salve. A powerful blend of nature’s best-coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, bee propolis, organic plantain leaf, organic comfrey root, organic calendula flowers, and essential oils of lavender and rosemary-moisturize and soothe while providing anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory aid to skin irritations and injuries. This summer-leaf-colored cream is as healthy as it looks. Spread a dab of Miracle Salve on:

Cuts and abrasions

Stubborn splinters

Insect bites and stings•

Inflamed and swollen injuries or bruises

Painful or itchy hemorrhoids

Diaper rash and tender bottoms•

Dry, chapped skin•

Minor burns•

Yeast-related rashes like eczema and psoriasis•

Cold sores•

Post-staph infection and skin surgery sites (to reduce scarring, • apply daily for 2-3 months)OwEaseinsideview

(3) Ow-Ease. When a bump, bruise, sprain or other “owie” happens, reach for Ow-Ease. A smooth, creamy blend of beeswax and olive and coconut oils is the mellow base for a dream team of herbs and essential oils known for their anti-inflammatory, restorative abilities. The star of this team is wild-crafted arnica, famous for erasing bruises and swelling with record-breaking speed. From a little bump to a sprained ankle to a broken bone, amazing arnica will get to work immediately, stimulating and increasing the action of white blood cells whose job is to digest congested blood. Arnica also reabsorbs trapped fluids from bruised tissues, helping to quickly take down the swelling and pain.

Sore muscles from a New Year’s resolution exercise, joint pain from a weekend of tossing the football too many times, and other sports injuries will all be relieved by quick and regular application of Ow-Ease-convenient to apply thanks to its stick applicator. Just remember not to use Ow-Ease on broken skin because it’s not safe for internal use.

BeesAidWebPro(4) Bee’s Aid. This brand new addition to the Beeyoutiful product line is a multi-use spray which heals and provides pain relief at the same time. Once while waiting to see a dentist for a broken tooth, I used it liberally to soothe pain and prevent infection on the surrounding gums. A proprietary blend of raw honey, propolis, purple loosestrife, and Usnea in pure grain alcohol and water, Bee’s Aid has what it takes to fight infection.

Propolis is the glue bees make to hold together their hives. It’s well known for its germicidal properties. Purple loosestrife, regarded by many as a noxious weed which can overtake wetlands, is highly prized by herbalists for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and used especially on ulcers, sores, wounds, and gum issues. Usnea is a lichen you’ve probably seen growing on dead tree branches. This common plant is an immune system tonic, considered more effective than Echinacea against strep and staph infections, especially in the respiratory tract.

The combined power of Bee’s Aid ingredients can greatly alleviate and help heal sore throats, inflamed gums, and mouth sores. A tiny bit applied by your fingertip or a cotton swab will bring help to tight spots in your mouth or to little ones’ mouths suffering from teething.* Or spray Bee’s Aid on cuts, wounds, insect bites, and acne.

I’m grateful Beeyoutiful has prepared me to be prepared. Its effective paramedic team makes me feel good and healthy about how I manage ouches, itches, stings, bruises, and whatever owies come our way. Keep a Beeyoutiful First Aid Kit on hand yourself, and you’ll be ready with first aid that-dare I say it?-is even better than what the (traditional) doctor ordered.

*Important: Bee’s Aid is safe for all ages-except for babies under twelve months old and for those with known allergy to bee products.