Archive for the ‘Essential Oil Blends’ Category



Jurgen Reichling, a German professor at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, was one of the speakers at Botanica this past Fall. He presented on the antiviral effect of pure essential oils on HSV-1(Herpes Labialis, caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus-Type 1); commonly known as cold sores. The essential oil of Thyme(Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol) was at the top of the list, inactivating the virus within 10 minutes of contact. Next, in the power line up, were the citrus essential oils, followed by Pine. He shared the following formula:

  • Thyme(Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol)
  • Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus globulus)

The above essential oils were combined at a 6% dilution in a gel base, applied five times per day to the affected area. The results of the study showed clearing of the blister(s) outbreak in an average of 9 days vs. the typical 12.5 day period, if left untreated.

An interesting note highlighted was that the complete essential oil was more active than the individual main components. The synergistic effect of the whole essential oil had more activity and action on the virus. Are you surprised? I’m not! I think Mother Nature knew what she was doing. :o )

More snippets coming your way.

Next up: Pharmacological Activities of Essential Oils

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,


Photo Credit: American Meadows

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With the fast pace, pressure and demands of our modern lifestyle, stress is no stranger to many. Effects of tension can manifest in a variety of ways both physically and emotionally. One symptom that is on the rise is teeth clenching and grinding (medically known as bruxism). It is amazing how common this disturbing and many times painful habit is. Over the last couple of years, I have experienced first hand the frustrating and what seemed unavoidable repercussions of this act, including several chipped teeth, 4 fractured molars and jaw/head pain. The standard recommendation is to wear a mouth guard while sleeping. You can be fitted for a custom one by your dentist or pick up a generic one at the pharmacy. This seems like a surface “fix” and who wants to sleep with a mouth full of rigid plastic for the rest of their life? Not me!

So I began to incorporate daily practices in effort to soothe the root cause. They are:
Body Mechanics:

Becoming aware of body mechanics-furrowed foreheads, raised shoulders, clenched jaw, squinted eyes, held breath. The act of tuning in to specific body parts, checking their position and manually re-adjusting can be a great relief. The simple consciousness of “checking in” and breathing into the targeted area, allowing release, can be a profound first step in letting go of tension and stress. Many times we are unaware that we are even holding tension in our body. A night-time practice of relaxing the jaw and mouth area is especially helpful. Positioning the tongue upward with the teeth apart and the lips closed, gently moving the jaw up and down and side to side, and massaging the jaw and sides of the face and head are good habits to begin sleep.

Nutritional support is a big help. I have found excellent results incorporating a product called CALM(a calcium/magnesium supplement). Other stress busting vitamins are a good vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C and Zinc. Also, staying hydrated has been shown to decrease teeth grinding, as well as cutting back on alcohol, caffeine and refined, processed foods.
Flower Essences:

Flower Essences are a safe and natural addition when addressing the emotional side of bruxism. According to Louise Hay, the under lying issues can be pointed to anger, resentment and feelings of powerlessness. Willow, Cherry Plum and Bach’s Rescue Remedy are helpful when dealing with the above.

Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu system of medicine, advocates sounds for healing. I personally have found great results using this method every evening prior to bed or when I am feeling facial tightness. It works amazing! Dr. Deepak Chopra  says, “Take a deep breath and make the sound while exhaling. Each sound may be repeated from one to three times. This should be done daily for optimum results.” The sounds for relaxing the jaw, helpful for clenching, migraine and tension headaches are YA, YOU, YAI. You can run through all of them a couple of times using the mentioned method.

Relaxation Techniques:

Incorporating daily Meditation, Tai Chi, Yoga and/or Brisk Waking cannot be underestimated when putting together a healthy and relaxing routine. Lower blood pressure, increased body/mind awareness, stress reduction and centeredness have all been reported by adding one of the above for as little as 20 minutes per day.


Essential oils have a profound effect on the nervous system. They heal on a holistic level, touching all aspects of the root cause; mental, emotional and physical. An effective blend(2 % dilution for daily use) is as follows:
Organic Jojoba: 1 oz.
Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia): 5 drops
Vetiver(Vetiveria zizanoides): 2 drops
Ylang Ylang(Cananga odorata): 2 drops
Marjoram(Origanum marjorana): 2 drops

Place in a cobalt or amber 1 oz. glass bottle. Gently massage around jaw line, neck and behind the ears. Apply once per evening, prior to sleep. Safe for children above 2 years of age. Avoid if low blood pressure is present.

I am a big believer of taking baby steps when incorporating new and different practices into your lifestyle. Start with one or two of the above suggestions. When you are feeling comfortable and established with the new routine, review the list again and add one or two more and so on. Before you know it, your clenching and grinding will be a thing of the past. Now that’s something to smile about!

Until next time,
Breathe joy…

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Check out my guest blog today on Jodi Lobozzo Aman’s

Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace…

There is something really beautiful and profound in simplicity. In today’s world where more is generally perceived as better, it’s nice to pare down to basics, go deeper and establish a relationship with each essential oil. Taking the time to ‘get to know’ your essential oils will not only give you more aromatically pleasing blends, but an opportunity to create successful healing remedies as well.

Six essential oils that can transform how you deal with ailments both emotionally and physically are Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Sweet Orange, Roman Chamomile, and Eucalyptus.

Click here to read the complete post, comments and awesome recipes.


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[tran-zish-uhn, -sish-] noun
movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change. (dictionary.com)

Lately transitions of all kind have been on my mind.  From dramatic climate changes, to the massive expansion of access in global communications, change is occurring at a rapid pace.  So rapid, that sometimes it feels overwhelming to “catch up” or stay tuned in. Bringing it back from “out there”and pulling the reins into your inner circle can be very helpful to re-group.

One thing that I have found useful in managing the swirling and twirling of mind-boggling options is to actually slow down, do less and be more one-pointed.  The first fear is that you are going to miss something exponentially urgent, not fit in, or drop the ball.  When in fact, what I am finding is quite the opposite. What is fundamentally important is rising to the top, like fine cream.  Taking the space to actually “sift” has been shown to be noteworthy with positive effects.  Weeding junk e-mails, clearing out household clutter, donating what no longer represents personal style, organizing files, spring cleaning…all of these seemingly mundane tasks actually can renew individual perspective and give increased inspiration for future goals.

Change is sometimes scary.  Fear of the unknown, insecurity, doubt, all seem like standard characters in the play of change.  We can reflect confidently on history and see growth spurts, major achievements and advancements in agriculture, business, education, etc. go through enormous transitions(many very uncomfortable) before the pleasing end result.  Evolution is crucial to survival.  And in today’s time, being flexible and finding innovative strategies to not only cope, but thrive, when life throws you a curve ball is more imperative than ever.

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” ~C. S. Lewis.

When you find you need a little extra support during life’s inevitable changes…
Smooth Transitions Daily Lotion-Original Essential Oil Recipe (2 % dilution):

2 oz. of all natural, organic cream or lotion base
Grapefruit(Citrus paradisi)- 7 drops
Black Spruce(Picea mariana)- 5 drops
Bergamot(Citrus bergamia)- 5 drops
Black Pepper(Piper nigrum)- 2 drops
Laurel Leaf(Laurus nobilis)- 2 drops

Combine the above ingredients well.  Store in a  dark, airtight jar.  Apply a nickel size amount over the chest area daily, in the morning.  Avoid direct sunlight on the application area for 12 hours after. For adult use.

To growth, and being open to the infinite possibilities that surround us.

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,


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This past Sunday I attended a memorial service, where there was not a dry eye in the crowd.  Carol, was survived by her husband; her soul-mate of 35 years. 

The feeling evoked by his deep sorrow was profound.  He was so honest, raw, broken and lost.  It was actually inspiring to see his heart in such a powerful way.  His courage was in the realism, the pain, the daze.  How do you pick up, and continue on?  Life, as you’ve known it, suddenly so radically changed forever.

Well, no one really had the magic answer for Richard, but the love, support, and total acceptance his friends, and family showed seemed to offer some consolation, and warmth.

We don’t know when the ‘last curtain’ will be called. But for those of us who experienced the depth of heart displayed, you can bet we will continue the performance with a new script.

♡¸.•*¨*• . ❤ ¸.•*Last Curtain ♡¸.•*¨*• . ❤ ¸.•*¨*•.

I know that the day will come
when my sight of this earth shall be lost,
and life will take its leave in silence,
drawing the last curtain over my eyes.

Yet stars will watch at night,
and morning rise as before,
and hours heave like sea waves casting up pleasures and pains.

When I think of this end of my moments,
the barrier of the moments breaks
and I see by the light of death
thy world with its careless treasures.
Rare is its lowliest seat,
rare is its meanest of lives.

Things that I longed for in vain
and things that I got
—let them pass.
Let me but truly possess
the things that I ever spurned
and overlooked.

Rabindranath Tagore

Ylang Ylang~Heart Centered Essential Oil

Original Essential Oil Blend for Comfort Support

Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia)- 4 drops

Frankincense(Boswellia carterii)- 3 drops

Neroli(Citrus aurantium var. amara)- 2 drops

Marjoram(Origanum marjorana)- 2 drops

Ylang Ylang(Cananga odorata)- 1 drops

The above blend can be added to a portable blank inhaler.  Uncap, and hold under the nose for 2-3 deep, relaxing inhales.  Use throughout the day, as needed, for soothing peace.

Until next time,

Breathe Joy…



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Hello Rose... of Sharon

After playing an active part in my gardens this summer, it was easy to see the daily transitions occurring ever so diligently.  However, the reduction of rain, and other season variables resulted in shorter height(up to 3 1/2 feet on the butterfly bush and bee balm), color fade(on the hydrangea) and blossom scarcity(compared to last summer, on the day lily’s).

At first, I was somewhat shocked, and disappointed with the seemingly “lack of production”.  My expectations for perfection were challenged.  I find this happens in life, as well.  After reflection, I could feel a smile forming on my face, and an understanding of what ‘acceptance’ might be showing me.  There is beauty in the now What if we dropped the mental preconceptions, the should’s, the if’s, and the but’s.  Nature doesn’t question “Where is more”?…why should we?

“As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can’t see how it is.” ~Ram Dass

Bee Balm Love

Accepting the present blossoms, production, life circumstances, etc.  can provide great peace, release of the expectation/disappointment cycle, and even unveil a sweet gratitude for what IS.

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the world belongs to you.” ~Lao-Tzu

Essential oils can have a gentle and effective role in cultivating acceptance.

Original Essential Oil Blend @ a 1% dilution:


Vanilla Infused Organic Golden Jojoba- 1 oz.

Thyme(Thymus vulgaris ct linalol)-2 drops

Palmarosa(Cymbopogon martini var. motia)-2 drops

Neroli(Citrus aurantium var. amara)-2 drops

Jatropha Flower Essence

Suggested Use: Apply daily over the heart area morning, and evening.  Nicely paired with regular entries in a personal gratitude journal.

Blooming Bell Flower

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ~Melody Beattie

Until Next Time,

Breathe Joy…


Pictures from my garden, Summer 2011

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With our summer temperatures getting up and over 100 degrees throughout the country, it’s only natural to look for ways to cool down and quench the inferno.

Blazing Heat

Couple of my fav’s:

Follow the Yogi’s~

Traditional ayurveda suggests consuming foods that bring down the body’s internal temperature.  Cool peppermint tea, grapes, cucumbers, watermelon and water from the young coconut are top on the list. Nature provides these in abundance during this season for a reason!

Mint Mist~

Peppermint Hydrosol(Mentha x piperita) is the ‘King of Cool’.  I like to store a mister in the refrigerator.  Spritzing throughout the day is divine & super refreshing.

Loving it Raw~

Keeping summer meals focused on foods with a high water content(raw) is another helpful hint to keeping light, free and breezy.  One of my all time loves is from Sarma Melngailis & Matthew Kenney’s book Raw Food Real World; Bunny Spice Shake.(reprinted with permission from author, Sarma Melngailis)

Always Ready for Bunny Spice!


1 cup carrot-ginger juice(run carrots through the juicer with a thumb-size knob of fresh ginger root)

1 cup almond milk

2 cups frozen diced banana

Pinch of ground cinnamon

In a blender, puree all the ingredients until smooth.

This shake is the bomb!  It is like swirled ice cream through a straw and has never failed to delight any of my guests.

A little side note:  If you are ever in the NYC area, Sarma’s restaurant, Pure Food and Wine is a hot spot for raw foodies.  My favorite item on the menu is the Mint Chocolate Sundae-fresh mint, raw cashew cream & gobs of raw cacao….truly a work of art!

Agua Purificada Por Favor~

Ahhhh....Refreshing! (Photo by Sandra Engler)

Stay hydrated with lots of fresh water and/or homemade herbal sun tea.  It’s fun, pretty and effective to float cucumber slivers, muddled mint and/or slices of citrus in your brew.  Keeping a full pitcher ready in the fridge is a surefire way to encourage imbibing.

Essential Oils That Know How to Chill~

Diffusing essential oils known for their cooling abilities is quick, easy, and another way to wipe the sweat off your brow in a flash.

Original Recipe~

Sweet Orange(Citrus sinensis): 27 drops

Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia): 10 drops

Peppermint(Mentha x piperita): 8 drops

Palmarosa(Cymbopogon martini var. motia): 5 drops

Place the above quantities in a clean, dark glass bottle(15 ml with orifice reducer).  Add the appropriate number of drops from your created “stock blend” to your diffuser and turn on.(styles differ, see your manufacturer’s suggestion).

Of course loose, breathable clothing, avoiding direct mid-day sun, and a nice gust from multiple fans are obvious ways to beat the heat too.  And if all else fails, I go jump in the Lake!

My Favorite Spot for a Dip~Canandaigua Lake

Until next time,

Breathe Joy…

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Busy at Play @ Aromahead Institute

I am just returning home from Aromahead Institute, School of Essential Oil Studies, in Ithaca, NY.  It was a fabulous 3 day elective on the art of Aromatic Blending, where we dove deeper into the interplay between 100 essential oils from all over the world, and studied carrier bases which included African oils like Baobab Seed oil, Coconut oil, Kombo Butter, Kpanganon Butter and more. Such fun!!

In any event, I rented a room while I was away, and on the first morning I woke up to what I thought was my housemate snoring. After a few minutes, I realized it was a slow and consistent chirp from outside.  I kept my eyes closed, and just listened to the rhythm.  It was as if mother nature was breathing.  You could feel the inhale…a pause… and a slow released exhale.  What a lovely way to arise.

It got me thinking about breath and the plant part associated with air: the leaves.  Leaves are responsible for the intake of oxygen and nutrients for the plant(essentially the lungs at whole). During photosynthesis, sunlight, water and carbon dioxide are used to produce oxygen and energy through the leaf organ of the plant.  Leaf derived essential oils have an intimate relationship with contributing to the health of our lungs; clearing congestion being one positive attribute.

Examples of leaf derived essential oils are:

  • Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus globulus)
  • Peppermint(Menta x piperita)
  • Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Ravintsara(Cinnamomum camphora ct 1,8 cineole)

Radiant Eucalyptus

One of the most simple methods of application, especially effective for lung issues, is an aromatic steam inhalation.

Directions for an Aromatic Steam Inhalation:

Step 1: Pour boiling water in a glass or stainless steel bowl.

Step 2: Add 1(ONE) drop of any of the leaf essential oils mentioned above.

Step 3: Drape your head with a towel and lean over the steaming bowl(approximately a ruler’s length from the top of the bowl).  Closing your eyes, inhale deeply and enjoy the steam for 3-5 minutes, or as comfortable.

Use caution with the steam.  If it is too strong or hot, loosen(or remove) the towel drape. Useful up to 3 times per day when cold, congestion and/or sinus symptoms are present OR once a week for preventative maintenance.

Note: Not recommended for children under 5.  Consult your medical practitioner before using this application, if you have asthma.

Until next time,

Breathe Joy…

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So blessed to be a couple of miles away from our local yoga studio, Open Arms Yoga.  Tonight, I am just returning home from a most joyous Summer Solstice honoring.  There is so much power in like-minded souls.  We celebrated the sun, opened our hearts through yoga asanas, and released the old(patterns, thoughts, behaviors). 

June 21st, the 1st day of Summer, is when the daytime hours are at it’s maximum, here in the Northern hemisphere.  The longest day of the year, where it appears that the sun is ‘standing still’.  Solstice=sol(sun) + Sistere(steadfast/still).  Many rituals and spiritual observations give gratitude to the sun and all that flourishes under her magnificent beams.

So in that, the following is a gratitude blend that embodies the sun. One of the essentials oils being used is Frankincense(Boswellia carterii).

I once heard David Crow describe Frankincense as “crystallized sunshine”.  I love Frankincense and it’s long time history of healing on an emotional level.  This tonifying essential oil is steam distilled from the resin/gum of the Frankincense trees of Somalia, and is a delight to use.

Mystical Frankincense

Original Essential Oil Recipe(blended for a 2 % dilution):

Grounding & Grateful Solstice Blend~ 

Frankincense(Boswellia carterii)-5 drops

Orange(Citrus sinensis)-3 drops

Rhododendron(Rhododen anthropogon)-2 drops

Avocado oil-1 oz. (Carrier base)

A centering body oil to relax and release.  Evening application recommended.

Until next time,

Breathe Joy…


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My first experience with Comfrey(Symphytum officinale) was in the early 90’s.  I had purchased a home from a horse trainer and one of the main instructions regarding the property was to give tender care to the “magic plant” on the side of the barn.  She continued to tell me that she would prepare poultices with it for all of her horses injuries, and was continuously amazed at the quick and effective results.

Comfrey plants grow from 4-10 feet tall!

Freshly picked Organic Comfrey 

Believe it or not, I never knew what that enormous ‘green giant’ was until last year when I began delving deeper into herbs and ‘backyard medicine’.  I no longer live at that residence, but lucky for me, my best friend does!  It was my great fortune to harvest comfrey from that precious plant last fall.  Pieces of the root, stems and leaves were carefully picked, gently washed and lightly dehydrated, at low temperatures.  Quart size glass jars were filled with the dried plant material, and a fine grade of olive oil was poured over, covering the comfrey. The filled jars were kept on the window sill for 8 weeks and gently shaken on a daily basis.  Lastly, the oil was strained through cheesecloth twice, and decanted into one ounce, amber glass bottles.  It was an easy process.  Patience was the main skill exercised!

Comfrey Roots, Stems & Leaves

I love having Comfrey infused oil on hand.  It is powerful on its own, and makes an awesome addition to St. John’s Wort oil & Calendula oil in skin and wound healing balms.

Historically referred to as “Bone-Knit”, Comfrey is known for its ability to aid in the healing of broken bones, sprains, and closed wounds.

Other benefits of Comfrey include:

  • Help with skin conditions such as acne and boils
  • Aiding in the proper development of nerve cells
  • Replacing damaged cells in the body
  • Effective with intestinal disorders
  • Alleviating bronchial problems
  • Assisting with heavy bleeding
  • Increasing circulation
  • Anti-inflammatory

Spiritual Perspective~

Many wild-crafters have deep gratitude for the natural plant world, with qualities of humility & reverence.  Folklore suggests that ‘permission’ from the plant is requested before harvesting.  Once the feeling to proceed is present, mindful cultivation includes taking small amounts from several plants, when there is abundance(vs. all from one plant), using care when cutting, and even leaving an offering such as dried corn or tobacco leaves.

Edible Insight:

Consuming oral comfrey products or comfrey tea is NOT RECOMMENDED. Internal consumption of comfrey tea is said to cause liver damage, as it contains pyrrolidizine alkaloids that are considered hepatoxic(toxic to the liver).

Fun Fact:

Comfrey is also used as a natural, organic fertilizer. Being deep-rooted, this plant has the capability to extract many nutrients from the soil.  It contains 2-3 times more potassium than farm-yard manure; a component necessary for proper plant functions.

Simple Action:

Comfrey water can be prepared by placing a handful of comfrey leaves in a container and then filling the jar with sufficient water to cover.  The mixture needs to stand for 3-4 weeks. Next, strain the leaves out of the water and store in a garden sprayer. For every gallon of water, 1/3 cup of comfrey juice is added for proper dilution. Your homemade Comfrey “tea” is now ready to delight your garden!

Original Essential Oil Recipe:

This is a 2% dilution for the aid in muscle, tendon and ligament healing. Apply to the affected area 2-4 times per day.

1 oz. of Comfrey Infused Oil

Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia)-6 drops

Helichrysum(Helichrysum italicum)-4 drops

German Chamomile(Matricaria recutita)-3 drops

Flowering Comfrey


Until next time,

Breathe Joy…

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