May 7th, 2021
Comments Off on Essential Oils Offer Natural Fragrance to Enhance the Home — and More
People have used essential oils around their homes since ancient times. Fortunately, we don’t have to harvest and press our own botanicals to create our favorite essential oils. Today, myriad manufacturers sell a wide range of fragrant oils that can enhance your living space. If you’ve never used essential oils before, you’ll discover that they can add pleasant fragrances to your living space, disinfect your countertops, or even repel insects. And that’s just the beginning of what essential oils can do and the many benefits they offer.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oil is a concentrated liquid that contains the essence, or chemical compounds, of the plant. Manufacturers use various methods to extract the plant’s essential oils, including a steam distillation process. Other extraction methods include solvent extraction or cold pressing. Some botanicals are better suited to one method or another.
After extracting the essential oils, manufacturers can add these concentrated liquids to a wide variety of products, such as candles, soaps, cosmetics, cleaning products, perfumes, or even food and drinks. Essential oils are completely natural, of course, but many commercial products may also contain synthetic scents and perfumes, so if you’re looking for naturally scented products, check the ingredients list to make sure “fragrance,” “perfume,” or “parfum” aren’t listed.
What Are the Best Uses for Essential Oils?
You can use essential oils for all sorts of uses around the home, from aromatherapy to cooking and from cleaning to flavoring foods.
The noteworthy feature of essential oils is their fragrance. You can use essential oils to create sprays to naturally perfume your living space — try a single oil or a combination of oils to achieve your ideal scents. There are many popular oils for achieving pleasing home fragrances, including lemon, lavender, cedarwood, eucalyptus, and sweet orange. After releasing essential oils into your room, you can freshen the entire place space within moments.
While some essential oils can be ingested, others shouldn’t be. Always be certain that any oil you use for human or pet consumption is safe. That said, there are many essential plant oils that you can use when cooking but remember — these are concentrated oils, so a little goes a long way. In fact, you should dilute them in most cases so that they don’t overpower your recipes. Great essential oils for recipes include peppermint, ginger, lavender, orange, lemon, and basil. Try a hint of cinnamon oil in your hot chocolate or coffee, or add thyme oil for a new dimension of flavor in soups or stews with a spicy element.
Aromatherapy for Health and Well-Being
The scientific community has not backed the use of essential oils for many of the health benefits that are popularly ascribed to them — they can’t treat or cure cancer, measles, or any other serious disease or condition. But essential oils are safe to use for aromatherapy, and they’ve been used in this manner for centuries. When essential oils are inhaled, the scent molecules travel from olfactory nerves to the brain, particularly impacting the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain. Aromatherapy can help:
Essential Oils for Cleaning
Essential oils are highly effective for household cleaning jobs, thanks to their antiseptic, antimicrobial, antifungal, and insecticidal properties. Typically, you’ll dilute the essential oils in water or a combination of water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Lemon oil cuts through grease and grime, and it’s a powerful deodorizer. It’s antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic.
- Tea tree oil has strong antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, and insecticidal properties and may be used to make an all-purpose cleaner to spray down countertops, the bathtub and sink, and the floors.
- Lavender oil repels ants, spiders, and cockroaches and has antiseptic properties. It also has disinfecting properties.
First Aid with Essential Oils
Many essential oils have properties that promote healing. Before ingesting essential oils, however, consult with your physician, and learn the best way to administer the oil. Essential oils used topically may cause an allergic reaction, so test on a small patch of skin before applying to a larger area. These essential oils are first-aid kit essentials:
- Tea tree oil is commonly used topically to treat insect bites, athlete’s foot, and even acne.
- Eucalyptus may be taken orally to relieve coughs, it can prevent mosquito bites, and it can be applied topically for pain relief.
- Peppermint oil may help relieve headaches, and when taken in capsule form (as recommended and provided by your healthcare provider,) it may help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
- Myrrh oil diluted in jojoba, olive, or sunflower oil can help heal dry skin.
Pets and Essential Oils
Just as some oils may provide us with therapeutic benefits, they may also enhance life for your pets and other animals. Keep in mind that you should never use essential oils on dogs or cats that are eight weeks or younger. You should also refrain from allowing your pets to ingest essential oils. However, some can be used topically to repel insects such as fleas and ticks, sooth itchy skin, or induce a calm mood. Talk to your veterinarian about essential oil use for your particular pet. Remember that some essential oils, like peppermint oil, could be toxic for pets or cause an allergic reaction, so always proceed with caution even when using these oils topically.
Essential Oils for Yoga and Meditation
Essential oils can help you create a soothing space to practice meditation or yoga. These oils have long been used for spiritual practices. Add a few drops of your favorite oil to a diffuser and allow the scent to pervade the air before you begin your yoga or meditation session.
If you don’t own a diffuser or prefer not to use one, consider using candles scented with essential botanical oils instead. Some calming scents to enjoy in this way include: chamomile, jasmine, lavender, sandalwood, vetiver, neroli, and sage. You can also add a few drops of your preferred oil to a spray bottle filled with water, and spray the scent in your meditation space.
Essential Oils and Expiration Dates
Your essential oils, as natural products, will have a finite shelf life. Since each oil has a unique chemical compound makeup, the lifespan for each of your products is apt to vary. Generally speaking, you can usually rely on your essential oils to last about two years before the compound begins to degrade. By the third year, you should replace your oils to make sure they remain potent and are safe for use. On the other hand, some essential oils actually improve with age. These include patchouli, sandalwood, and vetiver oils.
Storing Essential Oils
To maintain the quality of your essential oils and prevent them from deteriorating prematurely, you should store them in dark-colored glass bottles. The dark glass will help block your oils from excessive UV exposure, which could induce deterioration. Be sure that the lids to your bottles are tightly sealed as air can also detract from the potency of the oils or cause them to evaporate.
Although you might introduce your oils to a carrier (like water or oil) in a plastic spray bottle for use, never store the oils in plastic, because it can cause them to degrade. Store your oils in a dry space such as a medicine cabinet or linen closet, and keep them at room temperature. And since these are oils, you should never use them around an open flame. Store them out of reach from children and pets, too.
Create a Cozy Home with Essential Oils
As you’ve read, there are several ways to use essential oils, but one of the most popular is to feature them as inviting scents that enhance the ambiance of your environment in a healthy way. These fragrant oils can help you create a cozy environment for yourself, your household, and anyone who stops by for a visit. Although there are many products available in the marketplace that can also add fragrance to your home, essential oils are natural — they contain no harmful chemicals. They rely on the natural essence of plants to freshen or scent your home’s air. Here’s how to use them.
Essential Oil Diffusers
You can find a wide range of diffusers to use to release the scent of your essential oils into the air of your home. You fill the diffuser with water, add a few drops of oil, and turn it on. It works like a humidifier, sending out scented water vapor. You can find diffusers online or at your local big-box store. To get the most out of your diffuser, use it as directed by the manufacturer.
Reed diffusers, on the other hand, don’t plug in, and they allow you to easily enjoy fragrance in any room. The reeds soak up your favorite essential oil and diffuse the scent into the room.
Enjoy a Soothing Shower or Bath
Essential oils may provide a calming effect, which is why many people use them in the bath. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to your bathtub water or even to your body wash to enjoy its fragrance. If you choose to apply a few drops of oil to your skin, be sure to dilute it first or combine it with a good carrier like coconut oil. If you simply want to enjoy the scent of oil during your shower or bath, add a few drops to your shower curtain or the wall to create a spa-like ambience. You may also want to have some essential oils as part of your natural skincare routine.
Make a Beautifully Fragranced Linen Spray
Rather than using a synthetic spray to freshen bed sheets, upholstery, and other fabrics, you can create your own fresh-scented linen spray. Add up to 20 drops of your preferred oil like lavender, orange, or rose to your water-filled spray bottle. Use it to spray your sheets, pillows, curtains, rugs, and other textiles to lend an inviting scent to your space.
Freshen and clean your home and create a relaxing environment with essential oils. Whether you want to enhance your next yoga session or create an inviting scent for company, you can use essential oils to safely and naturally add scent to your setting. Choose the scents you love best, and discover why so many people turn to essential oils for use around their homes.
Introducing our Adrenal Essential Oil blend designed to balance the extremes, calming the adrenals when too much cortisol is released and supporting them during periods of adrenal fatigue. Check it out by clicking HERE.
Written By: Isabella Caprario
November 25th, 2020
Comments Off on Improve Your Employees Mental Health and Productivity
We are living in a unique time during human existence. I know from experience, just trying to muddle through sometimes isn’t enough. I was feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and even depressed at times about the state of the world. It made me feel helpless and like nothing I could do would make things better. My mental health was declining and my work was suffering because of it. I knew I had to do something.
That’s when I started to explore the mind-body connection. I knew there is a strong benefit to practicing yoga and meditation, but I had never understood why and how it can affect humans in such a positive way. It seemed so simple, but millions of people are experiencing the real-life benefits of connecting the mind with the body.
What is the Mind-Body Connection?
The mind-body connection is not referring to the mind as your brain, it is referring to your mental and emotional state. Each mental state has an impact on our physical body, whether we like it or not. Have you ever felt physically drained after a particularly stressful day at work? I know I have. It feels like you’re carrying the weight of the world. I often find that I get knots in my shoulder muscles, headaches, lethargy, and even acid reflux as a result of stress in my life. Those are all very real, physical reactions to the stress hormone released in my body which in turn, make being a productive employee even more difficult.
Some examples of mind-body therapy include
- Support groups
- Creative arts
- Tai Chi
- Energetic Solutions
- Nutritional elevation
All of these fall into the category of therapy, but also holistic medicine. Yes, you can take a pill to ease the stress headache and an antacid for the acid reflux, but in the long run, masking your symptoms won’t get to the root of the problem and promote the healing needed to become productive once more.
How to Implement Mind-Body Healing in the Workplace
If you’re a business owner OR you’re even a leader inside an organization, you’ve probably noticed if your people/people around you are suffering. Not meeting deadlines, not engaging as much in meetings (even virtual meetings), overall lethargy and disinterest, these are all signs that there are bigger problems at play. So what do you do? Fire everyone? Reprimand them on their reviews? Demand they pull it together? Absolutely not. That is a perfect way to kill your team and business. You will lose the respect of your remaining employees and even if the job you’re providing is a wonderful job, people don’t quit bad jobs, they quit because of bad management.
Instead, practice empathy. Look outside of the circumstance and think about the most random way that what is happening can be a benefit. Brainstorm ideas about how you might use the current circumstance to invent, reinvent, introduce or completely rewrite the story.
Show your people that you care about them as individuals. Provide resources for them to reach out to a counselor. Start each day with a short virtual guided mediation. Purchase a yoga class subscription for those who are interested. Invest in your employee’s mind-body connection and your business will reap the benefits. When people feel better, they produce better work. Invest in the wellness of your staff and while you’re at it, invest in your wellness too. I guarantee that you won’t regret it.
Here’s a powerful resource to get YOU and your people into a new conversation. Read it…do a book study group on it and see what never paradigms or solutions you invent.