Hello Fellow Health Seekers! Spring is in full swing here in coastal Maine. Our official state bird - the black fly - ha ha ha - is arriving in droves to bite everyone's flesh and hover around their heads! The joy of a Maine spring! It's still too cool at night to plant the vegetable garden yet - I'll give it another two weeks just to play it safe.
Here's a quote I came across that I really like: "Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts." - Rachael Carson
Today, I'll continue with the essential oil series that I began last blog - Essential Oils For Health & Home - Part 2. I'll discuss spearmint, peppermint, and sweet orange and how to use them to help improve health and freshen your home, etc. You can find more information and uses for essential oils in my Organic Body Care Recipes book as well as my latest, Hands-On Healing Remedies book. Hope you find this blog to your benefit!
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) - Derived from the plant leaf, this is one of the most common medicinal and culinary herbs in the world with cooling, antiseptic, and expectorant qualitites - valued for an inflamed respiratory tract. Hot peppermint tea with 1 added drop of essential oil does wonders for sore throats and helps calm the spasms of coughing while a drop of pepperint oil applied to the nape of the neck will help relieve a tension headache. Apply a hot, damp washcloth over the back of the neck after application of the essential oil and your headache will vanish even faster!
Cold, strong peppermint tea makes an excellent, slightly astringent mouthwash and a drop or 2 of essential oil can be added to your toothpaste to help heal gum infections and canker sores.
I like to place a few drops of a combination of peppermint and lemon essential oils in my vacuum bag when cleaning the house. My home fills with the fresh, minty-citrus aroma and enlivens my senses. Nothing smells cleaner than mint and lemon!
Spearmint (Mentha Spicata) - is used much in the same way as peppermint. It has a more calming and mild or more yin action than peppermint. Spearmint essential oil makes for a quick, temporary stress reliever using just a drop applied to the temples, forehead, and back of neck. A few inhalations taken directly from the bottle works well, too, just don't overdo it, or you might get a wee bit lightheaded. You can also try placing a drop in your palms and cupping your hands over your nose and mouth and inhaling. As a digestive aid, place a drop or 2 in your cup of herbal tea or per quart of drinking water.
To freshen the bathroom, I like to add a few drops to my baking soda-based shower scrub. To freshen the cat litter box room, I make an aromatic spritzer using 4 ounces of inexpensive vodka combined with 10 drops of spearmint oil and 10 drops of sweet orange oil. Shake well and spray at least 6 feet away from the litter box. Really neutralizes odors. You can also soak a few cotton balls with this blend and scatter them around the room. Smells quite nice!
Sweet Orange (Citrus Sinensis) - This is one of the least expensive and most common of all essential oils on the market. Like lemon, sweet orange, derived from the orange peel, has a universally pleasing aroma that acts on the mind. While lemon is more stimulating and makes you more alert, clear-headed, and analytical, orange activates the more intuitive, artistic side of your nature. Sweet orange essential oil is rather calming, having sedative effects. Wonderful for easing indigestion, relieving stress, sadness, nervousness, and anxiety. But . . . as with all naturally-derived ingredients, it can be relaxing or energizing, depending on the your constitution and needs at the time - rather amazing, actually.
I use this essential oil to flavor lip balms due to the sweet taste and to scent foot balms, due to it's deodorizing properties. This is another disinfectant oil that I like to add to my vacuum bag when cleaning the house as well as add to my baking soda shower scrub - makes the house smell so fresh and delightful. Orange essential oil is fabulous when combined with lavender essential oil - both are antiseptic and calming to the psyche.
Orange essential oil can be added to recipes when making sleep balms and dream balms (my Organic Body Care Recipes book has a couple of recipes like this that you'd probably like) . . . it is said to help induce colorful dreams and also make you relax when you've had a very stressful day and your mind just won't shut off - and we've all had days like that!
Until next time . . . be happy and whole, enjoy your relationships, and celebrate life! Life is indeed short so make the most of it . . .
NOTE: This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, lic. esthetician, herbalist, and author. Her website is www.stephanietourles.com. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.