Juniper Berry Essential Oil; who, what, when, where and why

Juniper Berry Essential Oil; who, what, when, where and why

This little nugget is a well kept secret, but Juniper Berry Essential Oil packs a punch with a myriad of emotional and physical uses that will benefit you and your home.

If your looking for a natural solution to a series of ailments including fluid retention, urinary tract infections, abdominal bloating, menstrual cramping, heavy legs, detoxifying, cellulite, gout, rheumatism, arthritis, acne, ulceration, eczema, mental exhaustion, chronic fatigue , anxiety or tension  inJuniper Berry or Juniperus Communis can be a great resource. (Worwood, The Complete Book, 1991, p 549), as it is analgesic, anthelmintic, anti inflammatory, antiseptic, caminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, nervine, spasmolytic and tonic.   But WTF does all that mean in laymen’s terms… lets go through it.

Who Started this Phenomon?

Juniper was used to burn as incense in Tibet for both religious and medicinal purposes, and was used to ward off evil spirits.  Historically it was also used as a disinfectant in times of plague or other contagious diseases.  The French burned a mixture of juniper and rosemary twigs in hospital wards to purify the air and in Yugoslavia, juniper oil was a cure all in their traditional folk medicine.  Then there is my favorite use, making GIN. (shout out to The Botanist) my favorite gin at the moment. Not just because the bottle is beautiful, but because they are from the Isle of Islay, which also happens to be my favorite hashtag right now ( #ISlay )  Not to mention it tastes sooo effing good with some lime essential oil on the rocks in the heat of the summer, or with a little tonic sitting by the fire in the winter.

For the astrologers out there, Juniper Berry Essential Oil falls under the astrological signs of Pisces and Libra and is ruled by the planets Jupiter, Neptune and Venus (Lembo, The Essential Oil Guide to Vibrational Healing, 2016, p127).   Libra’s in our trying to always be in balance often suffer from lower back and kidney pain, no wonder this is our oil.

Interestingly, a juniper branch was traditionally hung on doors the eve of May Day to ward off witchcraft.  In Italy it was burned on Christmas Eve to deflect the evil eye.  Who isn’t about warding off the evil eye, I mean really.  Seriously, I’m about to plant a juniper berry plant in the front yard so I can burn the berries and ward it off too.

What is Juniper Berry Essential Oil?

The juniper is a small evergreen tree or shrub with short spiny leaves.  It matures at 4-6 feet in height and is often found in chalky or limy soils.  The oil is steam distilled from the small berries that are similar to black currants in appearance.  The berries turn from green to a deep purple when ripe.  Beware, there are also oils derived from the wood of the plant, but the oil from the wood doesn’t have the same intensity of therapeutic values (Tisserand, The Art of Aromatherapy, 1977, p241).

When to use Juniper Berry Essential Oil

Well the olds (I’m talking the super olds, as proof of their language) say this:

“The berries are hot in the third degree, and dry in the first being counter-poison, and a resister of the pestilence and excellent against the bites of venomous beasts: it provokes urine, and is available in dysenteries and strangury.  It is a remedy against dropsy, and brings down the terms, helps the fits of the mother, expels the wind, and strengthens the stomach.  Indeed there is no  better remedy for with in any part of the body, or the colic, than the chymical oil (essential Oil) drawn from the berries.  They are good for cough, shortness of breath, consumption, pains in the belly, rupture, cramps, confulsions…. the berries stay all fluxes, help the haemorrhids or piles, and kill worms in children (Niholas Culpeper),

In more recent (and FDA Compliant) times it is said to support healthy kidney and urinary tract function, it reduces the appearance of skin blemishes and acts as a natural skin toner, and it is a natural cleansing and detoxifying agent and also helps to promote a healthy complexion…Yes Please!

While we’re on the topic of purification and detoxification, it is also said to cleanse and purify your aura specifically working on your crown, Third eye and Navel Chakras and can relieve your mind of repetitive negative thought patterns.

Where do you use Juniper Berry Essential Oil

  1. So My top 5 Uses for Juniper Berry Essential Oil:
  2. Put a drop in my toner to make my skin tone
  3. Diffuse with Bergamot to promote feelings of calmness and self assurance.
  4. Use in meditation to break ties to anything (including internal dialogue) that is holding you back.
  5. Apply (using proper dilution) to the bottom of my feet after an evening spent with the Botanist or over indulgence in any adult beverage.

 

Massage Blend to Help Reduce Fluid Retention

Mix together:

  • 15 drops Cypress Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Juniper Berry  Essential Oil

Let them mix together as the synergy of the three oils together is where the most benefit comes from.

Add this mixture to 3 TBSP of Sweet almond oil and massage from feet upward towards torso, then from fingertips up arms toward torso, which helps with lymphatic drainage and reduces fluid retention as well as cellulite dispersal (Worwood, The Complete Book, 1991, p 413).

Anti-cellulite Bath

While getting rid of Cellulite is a multi faceted project, baths along with the above massaging can help with that.

Dissolve 1 cup Epson Salt and 1/2 cup of Sea Salt in your bath.

Mix the following Essential Oils together:

  • 6 drops Juniper Berry Essential Oil
  • 10 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Grapefruit Essential oil
  • 8 drops Basil Essential oil

Dilute 5 drops of this mixture to 1 tsp of sweet almond oil or jojoba Oil  and add to your bath.  If any of the oil is floating on the top of the water, scoop it up and massage it in to the cellulite prone areas.

To Get my favorite book on Essential Oil Recipes Click Here.  It is The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy and is about 700 pages of goodness.

 

Contraindications: Don’t use Juniper Berry Essential Oil if you are pregnant or nursing and avoid in cases of Kidney disease.  Just be cool! Check with your physician, this blog is never meant to treat, diagnose or cure anything other than your curiosity about essential oils.  For Medical advice, talk to your Medical professional.

 

Watch this Video on Juniper Berry Essential Oil

 

Why use Peppermint Essential Oil

Why use Peppermint Essential Oil

Ahhh Peppermint Essential Oil, it is one of my favorites.  It can do a plethora of things from helping cool your body to keeping ants and spiders out of your house.  Here’s the skinny on this fantastic oil and how I use it… what seems like daily.

Who came up with the bright idea to use this plant originally.   It came on the scene with the Romans and Greeks who would crown themselves with peppermint at their feasts.  It was also used by them to season both sauces and wines (I’m not entirely confident in their wine decisions, but I guess it’s too late to really tell them).  Although there is a little evidence that it was also used by the Egyptians, it was definitely used by the Roman and Greek Physicians in their medical practice.

In Greek Mythology, of course, it has a romantic somewhat tragic story.  Mint was once the nymph Menthe, whom Pluto had wondering eyes for because she was super hot.  Persephone, Pluto’s jealous wife, pursued Mentha gave her a smack down like no other, ferociously beating her into the ground.  Pluto then changed Menthe into a delightful herb, and she was no longer a problem for Persephone.

What is peppermint?  Peppermint (menthe piperita) is considered the “River of Creativity”, peppermint is a plant that grows from 1-3 feet in height.  The oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowers of the plant.

When do you use it?  Well if you’re me, every day.  I love the way that it smells, and it’s cooling affect on the body.  Historically it has been used in tons of medical treatments.  It is even the original chemical constituent that is synthetically reproduced in aspirin, “always use peppermint instead of aspirin“-Tisserand, 1977 p269.  Tisserand goes on to quote many essential oil scholars about the cooling affect it has on the body, the stimulation of the bowel, its ability to dispell nausea as well as its antiseptic qualities.  I never travel out of the country without it, as when traveling across Thailand in a train, or using public restrooms in Cuba, I need it to either help stave off motion sickness, or cover unbearable smells by rubbing it under my nose.

While Peppermint is also used to relive skin irritation or itching, for some, it can also be very irritating to the skin and should always be diluted to less than 1%, as over time the body can become sensitized to it and a sudden reaction could happen (Tisserand, 1977, p270).  It should also be avoided while pregnant or nursing. Tisserand also states that “when applied externally it relieves the breast of curdled or congested milk and prevents infection.  Internally it will discourage the flow of milk to the breast“. Which makes no sense to me after he says not to use it while breastfeeding or pregnant, but, hey I’m not one of the worlds leading experts in Essential Oils, so I’m not going to argue with him.

A great time to use Peppermint essential Oil is during meditation as it helps you to truly remain present.  It is also said that it can help you get in touch with your subconscious and deep inner feelings, with peppermint in the diffuser make sure you take some time to journal, as it will be a very effective journaling session.

Complimentary stones to use in combination with Peppermint for any spiritual practice would be Apache Tears, Orbicular Jasper, Orthoceras Fossil, Elestial Crystal, Time Link Crystal (Limbo 2016, p173-174)

Where is Peppermint grown?  Well if you know anything about gardening, you know that it grows just about everywhere and invades into flower beds often taking over where you don’t want it to. Many gardeners consider it a weed and fight like hell to keep it contained.  I have felt a lot like Persephone while trying to keep my peppermint in check, only to eventually rip it all out and limit its growth to containers.  Despite how lovely it looks and smells, I just don’t want all my flower beds to be peppermint beds.

Despite it’s current day affliction to growing everywhere you don’t want it to, it is cultivated in Italy, parts of the US including the Pacific Northwest (shout out to the #PNW ), Great Britain and Japan as well as in the Mediterranean where it originated.

The doterra peppermint is actually sourced from the Pacific Northwest in the most sustainable way possible.  Here is a video on the sourcing of Peppermint Oil that I love.  I really enjoy hearing from the second and third generation farmers that have learned this trade that has passed down through their family.  It is also of considerable note that Dr. Pappas, the worlds leading expert speaks to this brand of Peppermint Oil in the video.

 

Why do I use peppermint?  Well I use it because it takes me back to Christmas time as a child and those sugary candy canes.  It also calms my stomach and keeps me awake in the middle of the afternoon when I’m dying for a nap.  I love to use it with Lemon and Lavender when their are all sorts of pollens in the air.  It is truly just a delicious smelling oil.

Another reason I use it is because of it’s cooling qualities.  I will roll some on the bottom of my feet before going into a hot yoga class.  While I find it cooling there are some that find it warming, which is the body responding and heating up in response to the cooling qualities of peppermint. In this way it has been used both for treating disorders of heat or cold, such as influenza, fevers or chills (Tisserand, 1977 p269).

I have always loved peppermint tea, and I love it diffusing in my house.  I love the taste of peppermint and when I make brownies, which is not often, I put 4 drops in with the brownie mix before baking to have the best peppermint brownies on the planet.

Recently because it is spring I have been getting tons of questions about natural insect repellents.  Here is my recipe that I spray in the corners and wipe my baseboards down with to keep the spiders at bay:

Natural Spider Repellant

  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 7 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil (spiders hate it)
  • 15 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil (spiders Run from it)
  • 15 Drops Cinnamon Essential Oil (it causes irritation to their legs)

Mix it all together in a spray bottle and shake before using.

To learn more about the most high quality essential oils that are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, click here and give me a shout.

Follow this blog, for weekly updates on Essential Oils, Healthy Living, Recipes and other Hippy Dippy stuff.  You can also check out my youtube channel at Essential Oils Gangsta and if you found this helpful or interesting please feel free to share it.

If there are specific blog posts you would like to see, comment in the comments section, or feel free to comment on your favorite use for peppermint essential oil.

Have a Great Day

xo

s

 

**Please note, I am not a medical professional and this information is not meant to diagnose, treat or prevent illness.  Always consult with your physician. These statements have not been approved by the FDA.

 

Manuka Oil…Benefits and Uses

Manuka Oil…Benefits and Uses

Manuka Oil Latin name Leptospermum Scoparium is a great oil, I wish we could have it in the United States but for the time being we will have to live vicariously through our friends down under.  It makes sense that it would be offered in New Zealand and Australia first since the Manuka bush is native to New Zealand.

In order to make the oil, all the parts of the bush are steam distilled including the flowers leaves and stems.  It generally grows next to kanuka bush and care must be taken to seperate the differing plant materials prior to distilling them.    History tells us that Manuka was the original tea tree and Captain James Cook, wrote back in the day that the plant has “a very agreeable bitter taste and flavor when the leaves are recent, but loses some of both when they are dried”.  It looks like this, and it is so beautiful that I would love to have it in my backyard. Maybe when I buy a vacation home in New Zealand.
Interestingly, I heard about manuka honey before the oil itself, because Manuka Honey is all the rage in the alternative health circles right now.  And the great thing is that it’s not even like humans are infusing the honey with plant parts. But the pollen of the manuka bush is so strong that they honey that the bees make from it, as tremendous healing benefits that researchers at New Zealand University at Waikato attribute to higher enzyme content in the honey.

So, thats what it is, but What can it do?

Manuka has been a part of the Mouri medical system or, Rongoa Maori.  Rongoa Maori is a holistic approach to health that predates New Zealand’s British collinization, and along with some of their native Mauri arts, this health system is still alive today.   One of the plants featured in this system is Manuka, of which the essential oil that is widely used to heal cuts, infections, burns, scrapes, sores and topical problems of all kinds. Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, Manuka has been intensively studied by scientists for its first aid applications, for which it is highly effective as was written in this Fox News article.  ( disclaimer, I do not usually use Fox News as a reference because I don’t agree with most of what is on the network, but this article was actually good.) And in a 2014 study Manuka was effective in batteling 2 types of candida, staph and e.coli, so it’s a pretty baddass oil.

What does it smell like you ask?  Well it has a very rich spicy herbaceous scent that is calming and grounding.

Benefits of Manuka Essential Oil:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-histamine (think about the antihistamines you take for allergies)
  • Natural cough reliever
  • Reduces scaring on skin (cicatrisant)
  • Cytophylactic (helps regeneration of cells)

10 Uses for Manuka Essential Oil 

  1. Put a drop on a bee sting or insect bit to get relief
  2. Use it in diy deodorants to keep your pits smelling delightful
  3. It helps wounds heal and has been administered to patients after surgery to promote healing
  4. Put a drop in your moisturizer to help with dry skin
  5. Put a drop in your shampoo to help with dandruff
  6. Apply with lemongrass to relieve sore or achy muscles
  7. Mix with water and spritz in sneakers to freshen the smell
  8. Massage on feet daily to zap toe fungus and athletes fut
  9. Diffuse in your home to calm your heart and your mind
  10. Zap a zit.  Manuka helps fight acne because of it’s antibacterial qualities

It really doesn’t have any warnings which is awesome, but I still wouldn’t recommend drinking a bottle of it or anything,  Use your common sense.
Heal Your Heart Diffuser Blend

  • 2 Drops Roman Chamomile
  • 2 Drops Frankincense
  • 1 Drop Manuka
  • 1 Drop Red Mandarine

Red Mandarine Essential Oil Uses and Benefits

Red Mandarine Essential Oil Uses and Benefits

I am so freaking excited.  I just ordered my mothers day trio of spanking new, never been released before oils from doTERRA.  Included in them is Red Mandarine, Kumquat, and Sunny Citrus Blend.  In my world, this rocks.  So while I am trying to get ready for their arrival with the anticipation of someone waiting for the stork, I thought I would share all my preparatory research.

WTF is Red Mandarine is my first question, and other than I citrus fruit being my first inclination I have no idea.  Thank god for the inventor of the internet.   Red Mandarin Essential Oil is sweet, and  floraly, it smells a little like orange blossoms. Red Mandarine and Tangerine have the same scientific species name, but tangerine is an american term for the red mandarine, they are the same thing but as the variety of the tree was spread across the world, the nutrients in the soil have yielded surprisingly different tasting fruits, with different chemical constituencies.  So one must look at both the latin name of the plant, and the sourcing location.  I have emailed doTerra to find out exactly where theres is sourced and will update ya’ll when I hear back.

 

What I do know is that like other citrus, Red Mandarine is high in d-limonene, and let me tell you d-limonene is our friend.  Sounds silly but that d-limonene has been shown to reduce cholesterol, among other things like fighting off cancer cells as explained in this Alternative Medicine Review.  Ummmm Yes Please!!!!!

 

Benefits of Red Mandarine Essential Oil

  • It has a soothing and balancing energy.  that makes it great for yoga or to add to any of these meditation blends.
  • It has superior anti-spasmodic properties and can be used in massage blends to soothe the muscles and relieve tightness.
  • It is great for your skin.  Historically it has been used to clear acne, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and scars
  • It reduces pain and anxiety when used aromatically
  • antiseptic
  • antispasmodic
  • circulatory
  • cytophylactic (stimulates generation of new cells)
  • depurative (a.k.a detoxifying and purifying)
  • digestive
  • hepatic (good for your liver)
  • nervous relaxant
  • sedative

Uses for Red Mandarine Essential Oil

  • Put a drop  in your nighttime facial moisturizer to reduce acne, and improve cell regeneration while your body is resting.
  • Instead of drinking orange soda try putting a drop of this in your soda water for a delightful tasting bubbly water.  Make sure you use glass as oils deteriorate plastics and you don’t want to drink that.
  • blend with lemongrass and coconut oil to massage on sore muscles
  • Add 4 drops to a diffuser during your meditation or yoga practice
  • Make a room spritz and deodorize rooms that have stagnant air

 

Red Mandarine Diffuser Blend That is Spicy Grounding and sweet

  • 3 Drops Red Mandarine
  • 1 Drops Basil
  • 1 Drops Black Pepper

 

And just in case you think I’m a freak,,,, check out this guy… I love this song, and even more, this parody.

 

If you haven’t started on Your Essential Oil Journey yet, I’d love to get you started  Visit this page to get started

 

That’s it for now

xo

s

Not your Grandma’s Lavender Oil!

Not your Grandma’s Lavender Oil!

Let’s get off on the right foot!!!!!

Lavender Oil is great to give to your friend that talks too much:

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Ok, so now that we’re off to a good start, we can talk about lavender with as much seriousness as I can muster.  Which is quite a bit because it’s early and I haven’t had any wine yet.

Lavender Essential Oil has been used and cherished for centuries for its unmistakable aroma and myriad benefits. In ancient times, the Egyptians and Romans used Lavender for bathing, relaxation, cooking, and as a perfume.  And while this all sounds well and good, you’ve probably read it a thousand times because Lavender oils is the oil of grandmothers.  It is comforting and has been around (rightfully so,) for ages.  The reason Lavender oil is so boring, and because it is tried and true; it is safe and it is effective. Today, lavender oil is extracted mostly from the flowers of the lavender plant, primarily through steam distillation, which produces a much different product than was used in ancient Egyptian or Roman times.  Today oils are much more pure (depending on the source) and some say thinner than oils distilled in ancient times.  One thing for sure is that with todays testing, (with the oils I use at least) you can make sure that if you are buying a great brand of oils, you will get consistency from bottle to bottle.

Recently a lot of research is being done around essential oils and using them medicinally, which I am super excited about.  A couple of studies that I recently came across taught me a couple of things that I didn’t know.

Recent research shows that Lavender Essential Oil improves blood circulation and reduces blood pressure. Improved circulation, increases oxygen that is available to your cells, organs, brain and skin.  Since oxygen is necessary for proper cell regeneration and function, lavender essential oil can be a great thing to add to your health arsenal.  It has also been proven to treat insomnia in a recent study which may be why everyone talks about putting a drop on your pillow; don’t you love how science is catching up with experiential knowledge of centuries ago.

Linalool is one of the major naturally occurring chemicals in Lavender oil.  Linalool is an anxiolytic, which means natural stress reducer. Although Linalool is available from a variety of plants, Lavender has it in very high concentrates.  In this study linalool from coriander seeds was shown to prevent the growth of HepG2 cancer cells, and since the amount of linalool used in the studies was equal to 25 drops of lavender oil, it could prove to be a promising tool in the fight against cancer, but of course more research will need to be done.

Camphor is another of the naturally occurring chemicals in Lavender Oil.  It is the part of the oil that is antispasmodic, antiseptic, decongestant, anesthetic, sedative and nervous pacifier, antineuralgic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, and insecticide substance.  WOW, that is a mouthful.  It is the part that gives Lavender a ton of other benefits beyond those your grandmother was telling you about.

Lavender oil reduces the appearance of surface skin imperfections. Now Were Talking…. You say wrinkles, and my ears poke up.

 

“Forgiveness is the smell that lavender gives out when you tread on it.” -Mark Twain

 

15 Uses for Lavender:

  • Take a Lavender Bath. Put 5 drops of Lavender into 1 Cup Epson salts then add to your bath water for an ultra-relaxing experience.
  • Head to Toe Rest! After a hard work out or a long day on your feet, rub lavender along with Lemongrass on your legs and feet.  It will help soothe sore muscles and allow you to fully rest.
  • Take the Acrid Out of Vinegar. Add 4-5 drops of Lavender oil to your Vinegar Cleaning Mixture for a better scent.
  • Quick Fix. Mix three parts fractionated coconut oil with 1 part Lavender essential oil in a small glass spray bottle or in a roller ball and roll on to help clear up skin irritation associated with chafing.
  • Bring on the ZZZS. Rub on the bottoms of the feet for a more restful sleep.
  • Enjoy a fresh and Clean Mattress. Sprinkle a mixture of 1 cup baking soda and 10 drops Lavender essential oil all over your mattress.  Allow the mixture to sit for an hour then use the vacuum hose to clean it up.  You can also add Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Clove or Rosemary.
  • Ouch! That’s Hot! Put 2-3 drops Lavender oil on a minor burn to decrease pain. I recently did this after I spilled scorching hot tea on my hand at Starbucks and luckily had my lavender with me. Result: NO redness, swelling or pain. NO sign of any burn. Lavender works wonders!
  • The Oatmeal Secret. Fill a baby food jar with oatmeal, add 5-8 drops of Lavender oil, When it’s time to wash your face, add water and it becomes an excellent natural scrub.  A little goes a long way
  • A sleep time Trick. A few drops of Lavender oil placed on a pillow will help a restless toddler (or adult) fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Flavor Twist. Lavender is a flavor enhancer Lavender Sea Saltis a welcome addition to many savory dishes adding to risotto and rice, and makes a fragrant rub for chicken, fish, or lamb, and an unusual and subtle flavor enhancer for freshly cooked vegetables, especially asparagus. Lavender Sugar, you’ll love the flavor it adds to your baked goods and drinks. Try stirring into hot or iced tea, use to sweeten scone and muffin batter, sprinkle over sugar cookies before baking.
  • Drop Lavender oil on cut to stop bleeding, clean wound, and kill bacteria.
  • Take the Ouch Out. 1 drop of pure Lavender Essential Oil will help relieve the pain and sensitivity of occasional sore gums, dry or chapped lips, occasional scrapes and abrasions or after too much sun
  • Clear the Mind. Rub 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your cupped palms, then use the inhalation method to draw the scent all the way into your amygdala gland (the emotional warehouse) in your brain to calm the mind. Then, rub on the feet, temples, wrists (or anywhere) for an immediate calming effect on the body. Great for use in crowded areas like planes or subways to carve out your own personal oasis.
  • Put a drop of Lavender oil on a bee sting or insect bite to stop itching reduce swelling.
  • Therapeutic Dish and Laundry Soap, If your liquid soap smells a bit flat, you can add Lavender for additional aromatherapy benefits. It transforms your cleaning experience.

 

Lavender flavored Sea Salt & Sugar

  1. Add 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil to 1/4cup Sea Salt or Sugar and Mix thoroughly.
  2. Store in a Glass Container or Give in a Jelly Jar.  Add a Label to make a Perfect gift for all the foodie’s in your life.

 

Then Just in case you need a place to store your pencils while letting everyone know what you think, I made this:

And you can get it here https://www.zazzle.com/essential_oils_pencil_case-256252344218509735