Top 10 Aromatherapeutic Essential Oils

July 30, 2010
lavender & Honey Bee photo from My Little Eye on Etsy

photo by My Little Eye on Etsy

Aromatherapy is the use of scent to affect therapeutic change on the body: physiologically, psychologically, or otherwise. Researchers find that these effects are measurable and can be quite significant. First all, a few tips about aromatherapy:

Essential oils are the compounds found in medicinal plants that give the plant its smell and taste. These oils are very valuable medicinally and therapeutically. The volitile oils in aromatic plants often provide much of the the medicinal action of the herb. For example, carminative herbs, such as aromatic seeds (coriander, cumin, anise, fennel, carraway and dill seeds) act on the digestive system to expell gas and to ease digestion. It is the volitile oil of the seed that does this work! Aromatherapy uses the essential oils of these plants therapeutically to impact a person’s well-being via smell, and can be a great adjunct therapy.

Essential oils are very potent, and usually only a few drops is all you need (indeed all you can tolerate) and should not be taken internally as a general rule. The essential oils are extracted during steam distillation of the whole plant, which results in the botanical hydrosol (or distillate) and the pure essential oil. Because of their strength, they should always be diluted in a carrier oil, such as sunflower seed or jojoba oil, depending on your goals for treatment.  Finally, fragrance oils are synthetic copies of pure essential oils and are NO SUBSTITUTE. Always buy the pure essential oil and not its cheap imitations, as the copies do not have any therapeutic benefit whatsoever.

Top 10 Aromatherapy Oils

1. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Relaxation, Mood-elevator

2. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis): Mood-elevator (better to stick your nose in the plant, as the pure essential oil is quite expensive!)

3.  Orange (citrus sinensis): Anti-depressant, stimulating

4. Peppermint (mentha x piperita): Stimulating, awakening, enhances awareness

5. Rosemary (rosmarinus officialis): Improves memory and cognitive functioning; energizing

6. Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata): deep relaxation, aphrodesiac, creates euphoric feelings

7.  Rose (Rosa spp.): Instills love & compassion; relaxing

8.  Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): Calming, anti-depressent, mood-elevator, anti-inflammatory

9. Cedar (Cedrus spp.): Emotional fortitude; enhances clarity (Himalayan cedarwood is my favorite!)

10. Basil (Ocimum basilicum): overcomes grief & melancholy, moves stagnant depression

Note: Sandalwood (Santalum album) is noticeably missing but it has become so incredibly expensive that most people are unable to utilize its benefits.

What essential oils are your favorites? I’ll be sure to write future posts about further DIY uses for essential oils and how to apply aromatherapy to your regular life, and of course I’d love to hear your favorite uses here too! Here are some posts you may find interesting:

Fragrant Oils to Condition and Nourish your Hair
Hydrotherapy with Salts
Want to Know More about Natural Insect Repellents?

* Photo copyright by Monica Wiesblott @ My Little Eye : http://www.etsy.com/shop/Mylittleeye


Special Custom order discount for my customers!

July 29, 2010

facial mask kit

facial mask kit

Yup, that’s right. In effort to thank my many repeat customers who come to me for their skin care needs time and time again, I’m offering a special 10% off DISCOUNT on any custom orders placed today! (okay, and probably tomorrow too, if you mention this post…I’m pretty accomodating). I am going to be going on vacation again for two weeks straight, which means I need to take care of everyone’s needs now! So while I’m in Montreal on a terrace sipping Cheval blanc, or sitting at the Jersey Shore reading that novel I always have to put aside, I want to know that my customers have had their needs met and aren’t desperate for their favorite facial cream or mask. So pop on by my etsy shop. http://www.etsy.com/shop/lilithsapothecary


Steamy Summer Sale!

July 16, 2010
"Clouds Today" by Dalia House Studios on etsy

"Clouds Today" by Dalia House Studios on etsy

Well, some of you have been waiting patiently, and here it is! The Steamy Summer Sale, right at the height of summer here in Philadelphia. With temps in the 90’s and humidity about there too, we all can use a little refreshment and pampering. I am happy to offer my delightful blog readers, facebook fans, and Etsy devotees, as well as local customers, a discount on all orders placed today, Friday, July 16th, until Monday (midnight), July 19th. Stop by my Etsy shop to see what’s new!

STEAMY SUMMER SALE
10% off all orders over $25
10% off all orders over $50 PLUS a free BATH BOMB of your choice (based on stock at time of ordering): Lemon Mandarin, Eucalyptus Mint, and Lemongrass Cedarwood ~ all natural bath fizzies scented with pure essential oils that can be used in the bath or shower. Also safe for kids!
NOTE: the order totals above are for products only and do not include shipping.

Simply type in the code SUMMER in the “Note to Seller” box during Etsy check-out.

I realize that I am out of my Geranium Citrus and Sea Mineral toners (alas) but part of the proceeds of this sale will go to stocking up on the necessary ingredients! Lol! In any case, I’ve made a very special substitution just for the special days of summer — a Rose Sandalwood toner that smells so divine, thanks to the loveliness of all natural rose hydrosol. I am also more than happy to package my Cucumber Aloe or Lavender Chamomile facial mists in classic toner bottles in cobalt blue glass, as both of these formulas are marvelous toners and will do a world of good for your lovely face!

I am going to be out and about this weekend, so if there is something you want to purchase and it isn’t listed (due to a purchase or otherwise), just convo me and we’ll be sure to take care of you! You can also go ahead and purchase your other products and we can add the additional items on later with some simple paypal transactions. Thank you, my dearest fans!


Listening to your body when it tells you to Slow Down

July 15, 2010
Sarah powell and daughter, Maeve

Me with my daughter, Maeve, in the Bahamas

Where have I been since my last post…about two months ago? As a blogger, I get a big FAIL in the regular posting department, I guess, but for as much as I get frustrated about the difficulty in finding time to blog about the very many things I would like to share with my readers, I also realize that we all (even me!) need to take time for a little respite.

Sometimes the task of living through a regular work week seems more daunting than climbing Mt. Fuji, and yet, week after week, we make it through. But to what expense? I am a full time employee of Temple University’s Department of Public Health and still manage to work on a business at night — usually from 8pm until about 2am. That means i rarely get the much needed 7 or 8 hours rest critical to long-term health. It’s incredibly difficult to juggle blogging, social media, esty sales, shipping orders, and everything else that goes along with having a small business in the wee small hours of the morning. Did I mention that I’m married with a three year old too? 

I would say that just about 100% of the time I feel I’m neglecting someone or something, if not my own health — and certainly not doing everything that I believe I should be doing to “make it”. I look at the business owners of the Indie Beauty Business Network and think, “wow – how awesome would it be to be able to work on growing my business during the daylight hours?” But on the flip side, I have a full time job salary to lean back on when retail sales are low.

This Spring I’ve made some choices that have also meant neglecting some things — such as blogging — a little bit, including taking a two week vacation to the Bahamas. But I have also been able to allow my body to rest, regain energy, and to hopefully provoke new gustos of invigorated creativity in future months.  I have had to cut back on some of the hours I devote to my business, but I am also able to enjoy some local networking in the herbal community, including starting a facebook page devoted to the herby activities, workshops, events, and retail offerings in Philadelphia. Just spending a little more time in the evening with my feet up can also go a long way and during these very hot, very humid summer days, I’m able to allow new ideas to germinate, as well as plans for the future of Lilith’s Apothecary.

Tell me how you handle those times in your life when your body (and mind!) just say “Slow Down!” Do you listen or do you have to be made to stop?


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