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Essential Oils

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Essential Oils

PostAuthor: Tylluan » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:58 am

LAVENDER

A plant native to the Mediterranean, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis) gets its fragrance from the essential oil found inside its flowers. In aromatherapy, lavender essential oil is often used for its many healing properties.

Thought to help calm the nervous system, lavender helped ease anxiety among a group of adults shown anxiety-provoking film clips in a 2009 study. According to the study's authors, lavender appears to act as an anti-anxiety agent under conditions of low anxiety, but may not be as useful in conditions of high anxiety.

Often touted as a natural sleep aid, lavender may have sedative effects. In a small study published in 2005, a group of people with insomnia reported improvements in sleep after four weeks using lavender (with the help of an aromatherapy vaporizer) at bedtime. Study results showed that women and younger volunteers with a milder insomnia improved more than others.

In a study of 86 people with alopecia areata (a disorder that causes the rapid onset of round patches of baldness), researchers found that 44 percent of those who massaged lavender essential oil (along with oils of thyme, rosemary, cedarwood, jojoba, and grapeseed) into their scalp daily had an improvement in their condition after seven months.

Often incorporated into massage, lavender essential oil can also be applied directly to the skin, added to baths, or inhaled (typically after sprinkling a few drops of the oil onto a cloth or tissue, or by using an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer).

Lavender essential oil is sold at many health-food stores and may also be found at spas. Although dried lavender is available in tea form, lavender essential oil should not be taken internally without the supervision of a health professional.

Although lavender essential oil is generally considered safe, it may cause irritation when applied to the skin or aggravate drowsiness for people taking sedative medications.

A small study published in 2007 also showed that lavender oils in personal-care products may cause gynecomastia (breast development in a male) in boys.

How to make a relaxing, fragrant essential oil blend. This essential oil blend can be added to massage oil or added to an aromatherapy diffuser to scent a room.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 10 minutes


If you simply want to make an essential oil blend to use in an aromatherapy diffuser (a small table-top device provides continuous scent) or to store in a bottle for a variety of purposes, you will need a 10 ml small amber or blue glass bottle with a dropper cap. This essential oil blend should not be applied to skin undiluted.

If you would like to make a massage oil, you will need a bottle that holds between 4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup or 125 ml) and 8 fluid ounces (1 cup or 250 ml), depending on how much you would like to make. Again, amber or blue glass is preferred.

To make this essential oil blend, you will need:

    * Lavender essential oil
    * Chamomile essential oil
    * Sandalwood essential oil
    * Ylang ylang essential oil
    * An appropriate-sized dark glass bottle with cap
    * Massage oil (optional)

To fill a 10 ml bottle of the essential oil blend, add the following to the bottle:
    * 1 teaspoon plus 20 drops lavender essential oil
    * 30 drops chamomile essential oil
    * 30 drops sandalwood essential oil
    * 20 drops ylang ylang essential oil

Cover tightly.

To make a massage oil, add the following essential oils to the 4 fluid ounce bottle:
    * 24 drops lavender essential oil
    * 6 drops chamomile essential oil
    * 6 drops sandalwood essential oil
    * 4 drops ylang ylang essential oil

Fill the rest of the bottle with your desired massage oil. Cover tightly.

To make 8 fluid oz (1 cup or 250 ml) massage oil, use:
    * 48 drops lavender essential oil
    * 12 drops chamomile essential oil
    * 12 drops sandalwood essential oil
    * 8 drops ylang ylang essential oil

Tips:
    1. Be sure to label the bottle. List the ingredients. Indicate that the contents are for external use only.
    2. There are different types of chamomile essential oil. Roman chamomile is believed to relax muscles, whereas German chamomile is thought to be better at decreasing inflammation.
    3. To convert measurements:
      1/8 teaspoon = 12.5 drops = 1/48 oz. = approx 5/8 ml
      1/4 teaspoon = 25 drops = 1/24 oz. = approx 1 1/4 ml
      3/4 teaspoon = 75 drops = 1/8 oz. = approx 3.7 ml
      1 teaspoon = 100 drops = 1/6 oz. = approx 5 ml

Lavender Dream Soap Recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes


Ingredients
:
    * 6.8 oz. palm oil
    * 10.2 oz. coconut oil
    * 1.7 oz cocoa butter
    * 10.2 oz. olive oil
    * 1.7 oz. castor oil
    * 3.4 oz. sunflower oil
    * 4.9 oz. lye
    * 11.3 oz. of water
    * 2 TBS of lightly ground lavender buds
    * .4 oz. orange essential oil
    * .4 oz. patchouli essential oil
    * .8 oz. lavender essential oil

Preparation:
This recipe makes about 3 lbs. of soap and is formulated using a 5% superfat or lye discount.

    1. Measure out all of your oils, essential oils and colorants
    2. Make your soap batch as you normally would, following basic soap making instructions.
    3. At trace, add in the essential oils and the lavender buds.
    4. Stir well. Add your colorants/swirl, if desired.
    5. Pour into the mold of your choice. Let it saponify over night. Slice it when it's firm enough to slice.
    6. Let it cure for 3-4 weeks.
    7. Enjoy your Lavender Dream soap!

The lavender buds turn brown. This is why it's important that you lightly grind them up first. Otherwise they have a tendency to look like small bugs or mouse droppings in the soap. (I know...ewwww...but that's what people say.) Using flower petals in soap is indeed a challenge. If you absolutely must have intact, naturally colored lavender buds in your soap, this is a good recipe to rebatch and not add the lavender buds until you've re-melted the soap.
May your summers and winters be short, springs be mild and autumn reaping plentiful.

)O(
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Tylluan
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:14 am
Location: Konigstein im Taunus, Germany

Re: Essential Oils

PostAuthor: Tylluan » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:29 am

Five Essential Oils Proven to Work

Although there are hundreds of essential oils said to enhance health, not all have been studied for their beneficial effects. While research on aromatherapy is fairly limited, these essential oils have been found to be helpful in the treatment of certain conditions:

1) Lemon

Breathing in the scent of lemon essential oil may significantly improve mood, according to a 2008 study of 56 healthy volunteers. However, study results also showed that lemon oil failed to lessen stress, ease pain, or lower blood pressure.

In a 2009 study, researchers discovered that animals that inhaled the scent of linalool (a compound found in lemon essential oil, as well as in lavender oil) had a decrease in their levels of stress-elevated immune cells.

2) Lavender

Said to possess sedative properties, lavender essential oil has been found to help relieve anxiety and insomnia in several studies. A study published in 2007 also shows that lavender inhalation may help alleviate agitated behaviors among older adults with dementia.

3) Tea Tree

Long used in folk medicine to treat cuts, burns, infections, and other skin conditions, tea tree oil may help kill Staphylococcus aureus (the bacteria that cause staph infections), according to a 2009 report. Other studies show that tea tree oil may be effective in the treatment of warts, athlete's foot, and dandruff.

4) Rosemary

After sniffing the scent of rosemary for five minutes, volunteers in a 2007 study showed a significant decrease in their levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

In a 2003 study, meanwhile, participants working in cubicles scented with rosemary essential oil were more alert and had better cognitive performance than those who were placed in fragrance-free workspaces.

5) Peppermint

Taking peppermint oil in capsule form may help reduce some of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, according to research published in 2007. When combined with caraway oil, peppermint oil may also be moderately effective in treating dyspepsia (a chronic condition marked by upper abdominal pain).

Applying peppermint oil directly to the skin has also been shown to help relieve tension headaches.
May your summers and winters be short, springs be mild and autumn reaping plentiful.

)O(
User avatar
Tylluan
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:14 am
Location: Konigstein im Taunus, Germany


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