Here are some helpful tips for storing your essential oils so they keep their composure, and to keep everyone safe in your home:
1. Essential oils can oxidize when exposed to oxygen, sunlight, and heat. Oxidation is a process that can alter the aroma, viscosity, and therapeutic value of an essential oil. To prevent oxidation, always remember to put the lid back on your essential oil, store your essential oils in a cool place such as the fridge, and be sure they are in an amber or cobalt blue glass bottle to prevent the sunlight from altering their constituents.
2. Essential oils are flammable. Each essential oils has its own flash point. This is the temperature at which it will ignite. Do not store your e.o.’s near or above the stove, wood stove, or fire place.
3. Always recap your essential oils and keep clear of opening them in a room that has a lot of moisture. This moisture can sneak into the bottles causing the essential oil to become cloudy, or you may even see water beads in your oil. Bacteria love moisture, so moisture would certainly not be a welcomed friend in the bottle, regardless of if the essential oil has antibacterial properties or not.
4. Keep all e.o.’s out of reach of children. Essential oils are very concentrated and can be toxic if swallowed. They can also cause skin irritation, increased risk for breathing troubles, asthma attacks, and seizures in babies and children with specific health profiles.
5. Keep all e.o.’s out of reach of your furry friends too! Reread all the precautions above for little's and then a few more as follows… Dog’s love to use their sense of smell and if the essential oil is too strong, this may affect their favorite sense and mood! Doesn’t a strong scent do the same to you? Birds, small rodents, other animals, especially cats, also have a high caution with essential oils.
Homework time again!? Parents and students alike can have so many emotions when it comes to getting studies done. Fortunately, we are blessed with options to help assist our bodies to settle down and our minds to tune in. Let’s explore my favorite study time essential oils for the diffuser beneficial for kids and parents.
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Oh for the love of sweet orange! This is my all time favorite essential oil to add to the diffuser while the kids are pulling out their homework from their book bags and getting ready to prepare their bodies and brains for thinking! The sweet orange tree is smaller than the bitter orange tree and also has a sweeter pulp. Hmmm, smaller fruit, sweet in the middle… totally equals little, sweet, smiling, snuggly, children right!?!
Sweet orange essential oil, in most cases, is cold pressed from the rind of the fruit. It has a lovely and sweet orange aroma that is not too stimulating nor too calming, thus it can be diffused any time of day. So whether you have a fifth grader needing to do homework at 6 pm or a high schooler doing homework at 10 pm after sports, this essential oil can be diffused during study time without worry of overstimulating the nervous system and losing out on a good night of rest.
Have more than just sweet orange essential oil? Let’s make it a blend! Two other essential oils that I like to add to the diffuser for study time are Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Lemon (Citrus limon).
I love to grab the lavender and add a few drops along with sweet orange when I notice the school and homework tension and anxiety building in the kids, or even when the kids are just super energetic and aren’t up for studies. Lavender can be calming, for most, in lower amounts. Thus, adding too much can actually stimulate the nervous system, so only add a few drops. This is a beautiful smelling blend that can assist to bring upon a calmer energy, prior to getting started, without losing all motivation to get the studies done.
On the other hand, for days when the kids are overwhelmed with thoughts and need clarity to concentrate, I add Lemon to the mix. Lemon is said to be energizing, uplifting, and helpful for producing clarity and thought. Lemon is cold pressed, in most cases, right from the lemon rind. Lemon should not be used after 6pm as it is a stimulating essential oil.
Can all three of these essential oils be adding to the diffuser at once? Absolutely! You may also try Lavender and Lemon. Have fun with all the different combinations and start to enjoy study time!
The Directory of Essential Oils, Wanda Sellar, Copyright 1992 & 2001, Pg’s 100,101
The next time you have to mop and find yourself looking for alternative options to add in your mop bucket for a fresh aroma, try adding a few drops of essential oils to the bucket of water. Not sure which essentials oils to try? One way to start may be by asking yourself what kind of mood your in, and what kind of mood you would rather be in. Or maybe how would you like your home to smell or what aroma would make you feel happier or uplifted.
Start first by gathering the essential oils you have on hand. Then grab your favorite reputable reference guide or online guide. You will need to closely check all precautions for each essential oil you plan to use prior to using. Also note who else is in the home such as kids, dogs, cats, someone with a medical condition, etc. Be sure to add your essential oil drops to the water after the bucket is done filling, not during, to prevent any intense aroma’s from steaming too close to your face and eyes.
Lemon (Citrus limon) has multiple properties, one of which is being antiseptic. It is known for it’s refreshing, clarifying, energizing, and uplifting aroma, as well as it’s ability to be used in multiple household cleaners, leaving your home clean and lemony fresh smelling! Lemon essential oil is phototoxic however, so if you are using this essential oil, be sure the drops go in the bucket and not on your skin if you plan on spending the rest of the day in the sun.
Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) has antiseptic properties as well, and is known to have an energizing aroma that can add cheer to your mood and uplift a tired mind. Last I checked, mopping surely wasn’t cheery, and brought on more tired than upliftment! So bring on the lime! Lime essential oil is also phototoxic.
Another commonly used citrus essential oil is Orange (Citrus aurantium). Orange essential oil also has antiseptic properties and has the ability to add some sunshine to your mood and revive a lack of energy. Orange essential is phototoxic and may irritate sensitive skin. So as noted above, be sure the essential oils go into the bucket and not on your skin.
How many drops to add? This can depend on how much water you are using, how much of an aroma you prefer, or how many times your will be changing the water as well. Start with less, two or three drops, and add a few more if needed per your preference.
Listed above are just a few common essential oils used for cleaning purposes. There are many more! Use what you have on hand, or be creative with your choices and change with the seasons!
If your looking to add some suds to the bucket, you can add a small amount of Castile Soap to the mix! Not too much though or you’ll have a floor full of suds! If you do not have essential oils but are looking for the alternative to try, some brands of Castile Soap do offer different essential oils blended in already.
So have fun next time you mop by adding your own favorite mood lifting essential oils to the bucket! Blend a few favorites or use one essential oil with each bucket change.
**The essential oils above only list a few precautions, not all. Be sure to always check for a full list of precautions for each individual essential oil prior to using any essential oils from a reputable reference.**
Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Second Edition, Copyright 2014, Pages 331, 371, 337
Spring is finally here and the sun is shining bright as we wait for summer to approach with even warmer temperatures. Yard work is a must every weekend this month to prepare for flowering and gardening, and doing absolutely anything in the warm sun will make for the perfect day.
During the spring we find ourselves reaching for the citrus oils to uplift our mood for indoor spring cleaning. We open the windows to smell the fresh breeze and waft the energies of the lemon and lime essential oil drops diffusing in the air. Clarity, energy, and an uplifted mood are just a few of the amazing benefits of diffusing citrus oils. However, some of you may like to add citrus drops to your favorite lotions or carrier oils for dull or oily skin, slow digestion, or even just for the love of the smell or uplifted mood the citrus scent can bring. The topical application of certain citrus essential oils can actually turn into a painful skin reaction as in a sunburn with redness and blisters if the skin is exposed to UV light after application, leaving you indoors, uncomfortable, with hopes of healing skin to get back out doors. Although citrus oils can have wonderful benefits for our skin, they can also have a very damaging effect in the sunshine.
For example, Lemon (Citrus limon) is a very commonly used essential oil in the spring. Those opening up their cabins from winter may be reaching for lemon essential oil to really boost a better scent of fresher air, while also applying lemon essential oil to the the skin to uplift spirits, benefit skin ailments, spring colds… whatever the reason for topical application, one must know that cold pressed lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil is phototoxic.
Natural chemicals called furanocoumarins (FC’s), found in certain essential oils can react when exposed to ultraviolet light. This causes a delayed phototoxic skin reaction peaking around 36-72 hours after UVA exposure. Extensive sun burn-like redness and blistering of the exposed skin can occur. Not all FC’s are phototoxic and others that are phototoxic have different degrees of phototoxicity. For one who is extremely interested in the chemical make up of essential oils and the percentage one can safely topically apply without risking a damaging phototoxic effect, it is highly recommended to research the essential oils you are going to use prior in the Essential Oil Safety Book by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
Another good bit of information to note is that citrus oils that are “cold pressed” are phototoxic while “steam distilled” citrus oils are not phototoxic. There are also essential oils besides citrus oils that are phototoxic. Photoxicity should also not be confused with sensitization, another reaction that can happen with overuse of the same essential oils and chemical constituents or with repeated undiluted use of essential oils.
Here is a list of a few common phototoxic essential oils: (Please note this is only a very small list of phototoxic essential oils, there are additional essential oils that cause phototoxicity as well as essential oils listed with a “potential” to be phototoxic)
* Lemon (Citrus limon)
* Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium)
* Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
* Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
* Bergamont (Citrus bergamia)
* Angelica root (Angelica archangelic L.)
If a phototoxic essential oil has been applied to the skin, it is best to keep that area of the skin out of the sun or covered to prevent a phototoxic reaction for 12-18 hours after application.
Be safe in the sun and enjoy the warm days ahead!
Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Second Edition; Copyright 2014 Pages 85 & 194
The Aromatherapy Beauty Guide by Danielle Sade; Copyright 2017 Pages 27 & 28
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