4 Thieves for Your Palms & Your Sole

As many of you know we are big fans of 4 Thieves oil. If you have read some of our previous posts, (Arm Yourself and An Ancient Protective Blend), you can see why.

One of my favorite application methods is the bottom of the feet. Essential oils are easily absorbed and reach the bloodstream faster when applied to the soles of your feet.

Another great way to use 4 Thieves oil is on your hands. When you are on the go, it isn’t always convenient to wash – try this all-natural hand sanitizer made with 4 Thieves oil for that extra level of protection.

DIY 4 Thieves Gel Sanitizer:

  • 3 T aloe vera gel
  • ¼ tsp. vitamin E oil (a natural preservative)
  • 10 drops of 4 Thieves oil

Add to a high-quality travel size plastic squeeze bottle and shake. No drying alcohol. Moisturizes while it protects.

Essential Oil Perfume

The Oxford Dictionaries defines “perfume” as “a fragrant liquid typically made from essential oils extracted from flowers and spices”.

Egyptians were responsible for the origin of perfume. They utilized scents in everything from religious ceremonies to burial preparations and even daily wear. They created ointments and balms with essential oils mixed in to provide scent.

Unfortunately today according to The Environmental Working Group (EWG) “while many popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays contain trace amounts of natural essences, they also typically contain a dozen or more potentially hazardous synthetic chemicals. To protect trade secrets, makers are allowed to withhold fragrance ingredients”.

A DIY essential oil perfume will have exactly the ingredients you choose plus by using therapeutic grade essential oils, you will benefit from the properties associated with each oil.

Traditionally, perfume is made by layering scents according to how volatile the oils are (how easily they evaporate). Top notes evaporate quickly—they are the first scent you smell in a perfume.  Middle or heart notes form the main body of a perfume. Base notes are fixatives—they hold and blend the other ingredients, and they stay on the skin the longest, so you always smell them in combination with the other aromas of the perfume.

Top notes: Sweet orange, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Bergamot, Basil, Anise

Middle notes: Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Rose, Rosemary, Pine

Base notes: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood, Myrrh, Vetiver

Try starting with 5-6 essential oils. Here are some examples:

  • Floral blend: Bergamot, Anise, Geranium, Jasmine, Sandalwood.
  • Green & Herbaceous Blend: Basil, Peppermint, Rosemary, Pine, Vetiver.

There is no steadfast rule regarding percentages of each note. I tend to like base notes so I start with our Meditation Blend (a lot of base) and add florals.

Don’t be afraid to experiment, remember it’s personal – use oils that you love!

Ancient Egyptian Beauty Secret

cleopatra-beauty-secretsIn no other country or culture, was the concern with beautification and body care so extensive as that of ancient Egypt. Cosmetic implements have been discovered in the earliest graves. When the tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun was opened, one particular jar was discovered to contain a perfumed unguent, still radiantly fragrant after so many centuries. Two of the oils thought to be contained in the unguent are spikenard and frankincense.

Cleopatra VII, 69 BC – 30 BC, was herself credited with writing a book of beauty secrets, an art that she was universally acknowledged as mastering.

Egyptians used cosmetics regardless of sex and social status for both aesthetic and therapeutic reasons. Wrinkling of the skin was treated by applying a wax-based remedy containing gum of frankincense, moringa oil, ground Cyprus grass and fermented plant juice.

Ancient Egyptian Anti- Wrinkle Cream Updated

One teaspoon Sweet Almond Oil

Two Drops of Essential oil of Frankincense

Apply to the cleansed face nightly with a gentle massage

Frankincense – The King of Oils

Frankincense has been traded in the Middle East and North Africa for upwards of 5,000 years. It is believed that the Babylonians and Assyrians burned it during religious ceremonies. The ancient Egyptians bought entire boatloads of the resin from the Phoenicians, using it in incense, insect repellent, perfume, cosmetics and salves for wounds and sores; as well as in the embalming process.

The ancient Greeks and Romans also imported massive amounts, which they burned as incense, used during cremations and took for a wide variety of ailments. By this time, medical practitioners had recognized and documented the substances’ antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Frankincense has been used by both the West and the East for centuries to treat a number of conditions, including rheumatism, skin disease, nervous complaints, digestive problems, and respiratory infections.

At the time Jesus is thought to have been born, frankincense and myrrh may have been worth more than their weight in the third gift presented by the wise men: gold.

Arm Yourself Against Cold & Flu Season with 4 Thieves and Breathe Easy

coldnflu2According to the CDC, “While seasonal influenza (flu) viruses can be detected year-round in the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February.” Not only is it ‘that time of year,’ but many of us drastically change our routines (eating and sleeping habits) during the holidays, which can challenge our immune system and put us more at risk of contracting the flu.

Research from Weber State University in Utah showed that the 4 Thieves Blend has an impressive 99.96% success rate at killing airborne bacteria. Diffuse 5-6 drops (or refer to your user manual) to clean the air in your home and boost your immunity. Another way to combat the spread of the flu is to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Add 12-24 drops to 4oz each of water and vodka (or vinegar) for a simple, green disinfecting spray to use around the house.

Should you happen to come down with a cold or the flu despite your best efforts, the Breathe Easy Blend clears congestion and promotes relaxed breathing. To inhale, add a few drops to a diffuser or fill a large bowl with boiling water, add 7-8 drops, lean your head over the bowl, close your eyes and inhale the steam. Another option is to add 15 drops to a carrier oil and apply to the chest.

Peppermint Pain Relief

What is more synonymous with the holiday season than the smell and taste of peppermint? Candy canes, peppermint bark, peppermint hot chocolate, and the list could go on. But did you know that peppermint essential oil has a host of benefits including soothing digestion issues, relieving headaches, and improving mental focus? Numerous studies have shown that peppermint essential oil improves circulation and relaxes tense muscles thus making it an excellent pain reliever.

For headache relief: apply the oil to the forehead and temples. If the scent is overpowering for you, dilute in a few drops of carrier oil before applying.

One of the best features of peppermint oil is its’ anti-inflammatory properties. This, when coupled with its natural pain relieving properties, make it perfect for the topical treatment of painful inflammation. Add 10 drops to 1 oz. of carrier oil (such as sweet almond oil) for a pain relieving massage oil.

Essential Oils for Your Horse

Teresa spends a lot of time at the barn with her favorite horse, Fargo. She protects both herself and Fargo from pesky insects with Lemongrass essential oil.

After every shower Teresa adds a couple drops of Lemongrass essential oil to her body lotion before applying. For Fargo, she places a couple drops in her hand and rubs on his face – avoiding his eyes. He loves the smell and it works like a charm.

For an easy fly spray to use at the barn: add 1 teaspoon of Lemongrass essential oil to 32 oz spray bottle and fill with water. Will enhance, not damage your horses coat.

When washing Fargo’s saddle pads, blankets and wraps, Teresa adds Tea Tree essential oil to the wash to help clean and disinfect. Add 8-15 drops essential oil per cap of unscented liquid detergent or 3-5 drops to the rinse cycle.

Essential Oil Blending

Mixing essential oils is part art and part science. The chemistry of the oil is important; this determines its volatility, viscosity and its properties.

  • Lighter and smaller molecules produce thinner oils (less viscous) that are more volatile (aromatic) and absorb in the body faster.
  • Heavier and larger molecules produce thicker oils (more viscous) that are less volatile (aromatic) and absorb in the body more slowly.

When you combine lighter molecules with heavier molecules, their synergistic effect allows for the lighter molecules to last longer. More importantly, blending correctly produces a synergistic effect of the oils properties – meaning that the combined effect of the oils is greater than the sum of those oils individual effects.

Like most things in nature, the harmonious effects of multiple healing agents working together create amazing super remedies.

Eau de Toilet Roll

Keep your bathroom smelling fresh with this simple trick. When you get out a new roll of toilet paper, place a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the cardboard tube. How easy is that?

Essential Oils & Cognitive Performance

A hugely underrated member of the five senses, your sense of smell has a powerful effect on your brain’s many functions.

A combined study at the University of Cincinnati and Catholic University of America showed that smelling Peppermint essential oil enhanced alertness, focus, and concentration and according to a British study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, inhaling Lavender essential oil before doing math problems helped subjects complete the problems faster and more accurately than the control group.

Here is a list of some common essential oils and how they can help:

  • Try citrus oils including Lemon, Orange and Grapefruit for an energy boost (Orange is also thought to encourage right brain functioning).
  • In addition to Peppermint and Lavender, Rosemary and Frankincense can help improve focus.
  • Take down the stress level with Lavender, Ylang Ylang or Lemongrass.

Inhalation methods are usually the easiest. Use in a diffuser to spread the scent through your room, classroom or office, or you can also add a few drops on a tissue or cotton ball and sniff when needed.

But be sure to use 100% Therapeutic Grade essential oils and oil blends. The better the quality, the better your results will be!

An Ancient Protective Blend

So the story goes: Deep in the Royal English Archives is a 15th century recipe so powerful that it protected those who used it from the black plague. During this time the plague was running rampant through Europe. Four thieves who were robbing the infectious dead bodies of all their possessions, miraculously never contracted the highly infectious plague.

Eventually the thieves were caught and made a deal, sharing their secret for a reduced sentence. They professed herbal knowledge and told stories of their powerful medicinal properties when combined in certain ways.

The traditionally accepted recipe contains a blend of 5 essential oils: Clove bud, lemon, cinnamon bark, rosemary and eucalyptus. Research from Weber State University in Utah showed that the blend has an impressive 99.96% success rate at killing airborne bacteria.

We don’t know whether or not the Thieves story is true, but the essential oils are antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-infectious. Truly, a protective blend!

Essential Oils in your Laundry Routine

Essential oils work quite well in the laundry, not just for their aromas, but for cleaning benefits as well. Add 8-15 drops essential oil per cap of unscented liquid detergent or 3-5 drops to the rinse cycle.

Lavender and citrus oils like orange do very well with laundry because of their ability to help fight grease, stains and odor. Tea Tree is a powerful disinfectant, use with pet laundry, and kitchen towels. Try Peppermint or our Energize Blend for your workout clothes (then hang to dry for maximum benefit). Also, according to a study at the University of Sydney Australia, adding Eucalyptus essential oil to your wash will eliminate 99% of dust mites from bedding.

Other than a very faint smell, the scent you use in the washer does not stick with the clothing through the drying cycle. Essential oils in the washer are mostly for their odor eliminating and bacteria fighting capabilities.

In the dryer, you can add essential oils to wool dryer balls or a washcloth to lightly scent your clothes and linens. Essential oils dissipate quickly when heated, so if you want a more powerful aroma, make the addition toward the end of the cycle. Or use the air-dry option to remove heat from the process entirely. (Do not add the oils directly to your fabrics).

Natural Headache Relief

lavender_n_peppermintPeppermint Oil has a long-lasting cooling effect on the skin as well as the ability to inhibit muscle contractions and stimulate blood flow in the forehead when applied topically.

Lavender essential oil induces relaxation and relieves tension and stress — working as a sedative, antidepressant, anti-anxiety, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and calming agent.

Try combining 2 drops each of Peppermint and Lavender essential oils and rubbing on your temples.

Lavender Detox Bath

Setting aside alone time to de-stress and unwind can be challenging. But allowing our bodies (and minds!) time to rest and rid themselves of toxins is essential to staying healthy.

One of the easiest and most relaxing ways is through a detox bath. Using essential oils, which provide antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory benefits, along with some common household items can help flush impurities from the body.

For this recipe you will need baking soda, Epson salt and Lavender essential oil. The baking soda helps neutralize the chemicals in your bath water and helps increase the absorption of minerals. The Epson salt will help draw toxins out of your body and replenish the level of magnesium in the body. The Lavender essential oil helps relieve anxiety and stress, ease aches and pains and provides antioxidant protection.

Directions: Combine 1 cup of Epson salt, 1 cup of baking soda and 10 drops of Lavender essential oil. Pour contents into hot bath and soak, relax, enjoy for 20 minutes!

Simple Lemongrass Bug Repellent

It’s June and the bugs have arrived with the warm weather. Try using this tried and true plant-based ingredient to protect you and your family.

Conventional bug repellants like DEET are insecticides based on chemicals used in warfare, and have been linked to nervous system disorders as well as seizures. (EPA). When you use essential oils, what you’re using is the life force of the plant, which is very powerful.

Our skin is the largest organ of our body and absorbs much of what we apply, so using less toxic ingredients seems like a good choice.

Directions

  • Fill bottle with a nice unscented lotion
  • Add 5-6 drops of lemongrass essential oil for every 2 ounces of lotion