Posts tagged ‘Essential oil’

August 22, 2013

Birch and Wintergreen Essential Oil Have Almost Identical Chemistry

P. Wintergreen, may4 '03

Birch and Wintergreen essential oil have 98% the same chemistry and smell almost identical, but wintergreen has a stronger aroma being more fruity, fresher, greener, and sweeter smelling. What makes them chemically the same is that they share a key ingredient called methyl salicylate, and they are the heaviest essential oils known to date. Each plant is 98% esters, which turn into methyl salicylate after acetylation from the fermented fresh leaves in warm water induces an enzymatic reaction to free the glycoside bound methyl salicylate.

Wintergreen was traditionally used for its key ingredient methyl salicylate, which was used as food flavouring for confections, non-alcoholic drinks, chewing gum, and toothpaste. It has also been used by the perfume and pharmaceutical industry but is now replaced by a cheaper synthetic alternative. It has a long history of use by Native Americans as a pain reliever and it is used in the form of teas, baths, and ointments. Methyl salicylates are aspirin like compounds.

Wintergreen grows in open woods, moist soil and underneath evergreens. The creeping stems send up erect branches 2-6 inches high. Alternate oval leathery leaves with serrate margins hold nodding white waxy flowers near the top of the stem. It blooms anywhere from May to September. Gaultheria fragrantissima from the Himalayas, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and East Asia is a different species but it is used in the same way and has the same chemistry too.

COMMON NAME WINTERGREEN aka Checkerberry, Spiceberry, Teaberry


Latin Name Gaultheria procumbens
Family Ericaceae (Heath family)
Country of Origin Native North America, China, India
Volatility Top
Extraction Steam distilled from fermented fresh leaves. Warm water enzymatic reaction frees glycoside bound methyl salicylate


Colour Clear yellow
Aroma Sweet, fat, green, fruity, wet


Caution Contraindications Medium Strength: Do not use neat, undiluted.Dermocaustic, irritating to skin.

Anticoagulant. Caution in conjunction with blood thinning drugs

Do not use with nephritis, it is an irritant to kidneys.

Do not use with compromised liver function.

Do not use in pregnancy, lactation, with children or those who are allergic to aspirin.

Primary Uses Pain: in general-Headache, aches and pains, arthritis, rheumatism, backache, sciatica, neuralgia, gout, fever, fibromyalgia, sprains, cramps, gas, bloating, bunions, corns, cysts, warts, calluses

Caution: blood thinner

Respiratory: coughs, spasms

Properties Analgesic, aromatic, anti-inflammatory, febrifuge, astringent, stimulant, antibacterial, anti-rheumatic, carminative, haemostatic, cholagogue, diuretic, expectorant, counter irritant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-coagulant



Constituents Essential Oil Yield: .5%

Esters 98%:

after acetylating forms-

methyl salicylate

Betula spp. L. Birch bark has the same chemistry

July 15, 2013

DIY Aromatherapy Body Spray

imageCreate your own multi-purpose aromatherapy spray to use for body spritzers, perfume, cologne, first aid, linen or room spray.

Create amazing smelling essential oil recipes to use as a first aid spray treating wounds and burns, or use the spray as a body mist, perfume, aftershave cologne or deodorant. Spray it on clothes and linens in closets to repel bugs and to make it smell fresh. Making your own body mist and room spray is better for your health and more economical.

For a body spray use cooling essential oils to lower body temperature when it is too hot or use warming essential oils to warm the body when it is cold.

One way to beat the summertime heat wave is to cool off using essential oils that lower body temperature. An easy and effective recipe is to use the powerful cooling action of peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle.

Peppermint is really strong so be careful and keep spray and essential oils away from eyes.

Read more about the many medicinal uses and cautions of peppermint essential oil

Here ->

imageCool Peppermint Spray Recipe


Spray bottle
Essential oils
Witch hazel or vodka
Distilled water


1. In a spray bottle add essential oils.
If using an 8 oz bottle which equals 1 cup or 250 ml

Add 16-17 drops of peppermint essential oil

For a strong oil like peppermint I use less drops-

Around 1 drop per 15 ml of liquid.

Use other cooling essential oils of your choice to create your own blends.

Make it stronger or weaker depending on if you run hot or cold.

When using other less strong oils like citrus top notes add more essential oil drops to make stronger smelling room sprays. An estimation is 1 drop per 2 ml

2. Add 1 Tablespoon (which is equal to 15 ml)
of distilled witch hazel or rose-water/ hydrosol for body recipes
Or use vodka or pure ethyl alcohol for room spray

3. Fill up the rest with distilled water

(around 75 ml in a 100 ml bottle )

You can make it with just water but adding the witch hazel or vodka makes it lasts longer and the essential oils mix together better. Adding Aloe Vera juice will help to treat burns or wounds.

Make your own cooling recipes with these cooling herbs and essential oils found here ->

Mix together and spray all over for a refreshing cool down.

More information about peppermint herb found here->

July 15, 2013

Keep Cool in the Summer Heat with Herbs and Essential Oils

imageThere are many essential oils and herbs that help to cool the body down when feeling too hot and sweaty, but the best known one is peppermint.

See my blog about the many medicinal uses and cautions of peppermint -

The mint family lowers body temperature which is good to help cool off in the summer heat, but there are other essential oils and herbs besides peppermint that lower body temperature including spearmint, lemon balm, lavender, eucalyptus, chamomile, geranium, rose, frankincense, comfrey and borage to name a few.


Ways to Keep Cool with Herbs

1. Drink iced herbal infusions. Use peppermint, chamomile iced tea or use flavours of your choice to create your own recipes that help cool the body.
I love mints like peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, bee balm mixed with rose petals.

See my blog about herbal infusions and floral waters -

Put a drop of organic peppermint essential oil in drinks

2. Eat mints and cooling herbs as food.
Experiment with many culinary herbal delights incorporating these cooling herbs as delicious food.

3. Make an essential oil spray or spritzer to cool down your body, and spray linens and rooms as well. See my blog on how to make DIY body spray and there is a cooling peppermint spray recipe here->

4. Soak your feet and ankles or hands and wrists in cool herbal infused water or add your choice of cooling Essential oils
See my blog about Bath Recipes -

Soak a cloth or bandana in a cool herbal infusion and wear around your neck, this will cool main arteries and veins.

5. Make a massage oil blend using a carrier oil and some cooling essential oils. Use coconut oil it lowers body temperature and cools the body as well and is great to quench dryness.

Peppermint is so cooling it may cause hypothermia in the bath so caution is advised using that method to cool off. See more of the uses and cautions of peppermint essential oil here -

Enjoy the summer here in the North!


July 11, 2013

DIY no-‘poo alternative shampoos & conditioners

Earth Elixir:

This is almost exactly what I was about to post! I have been experimenting with alternatives to shampoo and love the no poo idea! I love the soapwort mixed with argan and jojoba oils but the clay is my favourite and of course I always mix in essential oils or herbal teas. I am just about to try the soap nuts with shikakai and I am sure I will love it too and so will my hair. Try the way of no poo today!

Originally posted on almost exactly:

as we know, no-‘poo can be pretty difficult to master. i did “no-‘poo week” in hopes i’d help a lot of people. but there’s still one huge thing i wanted to address & publish…

diy natural shampoos and conditioners

for some people, baking soda/acv isn’t the route to go. neither is castile soap. but what do you do when those no-‘poo methods don’t work for your hair, but you don’t wanna go low-‘poo?

try these homemade alternatives i’ve gathered up! these do require more time, but you should be washing your hair much less, so no big deal, right? :)

as with any no-‘poo/low-‘poo method, there is a transition period when you first switch from regular shampoo/conditioner. and with these following recipes, using hair products is not advised since there’s nothing in these mixes that will clean the products back out of your hair.

also, these methods won’t lather (unless you add soapwort)…

View original 1,017 more words

June 6, 2013

Do Not Use Peppermint Essential Oil in the Bath

Caution when using peppermint essential oil, it is a medium strength remedy.

Do not use with children under the age of two, peppermint is so relaxing it may cause passageways to collapse.

Do not use peppermint essential oil in the bath it may cause hypothermia because it lowers body temperature.

Do not use when breastfeeding unless it is to dry up milk production.

Do not store peppermint essential oil with homeopathic remedies it is really strong.

It is good to use peppermint essential oil to cool hot conditions as long as it is not accompanied by dryness or irritation.

Latin Name Mentha x piperita
Family Lamiaceae
Country of Origin North America, France, England
Volatility Top/middle note
Extraction steam distilled from leaves and flowers
Colour pale yellow to colourless
Aroma light, sharp, refreshing, a bit pungent, strong
Caution Contraindications Medium strength: Do not use with epilepsy, convulsions, during pregnancy, dry conditions, gastric hyperacidity or with children under the age of two. Do not use if breastfeeding. Do not store with homeopathic remedies. Use in low concentration, may cause skin irritation. Do not use in a bath, it may cause hypothermia.
Primary Uses Digestion: Fortifies liver, stomach, and intestines. Stomach upset, gastritis, indigestion, nausea, colitis, Crohn’s, relaxing digestive, infection, inflammation, spasms

Respiratory: infections, bronchitis, sinusitis, cooling, colds, flu, coughs nasal catarrh, pain,

Nervous: migraines, headaches, stress tension, itching,

Muscular: relaxes smooth muscle, arthritis, neuralgia, aches and pain, sciatica, bruises,

Properties Analgesic, antiallergenic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-emetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-galactagogue, antiseptic, antispasmodic (digestive, general, respiratory), antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, decongestant, diaphoretic, relaxing expectorant, febrifuge, nervine relaxant, stomachic, tonic tranquilizer, vasodilator, vulnerary,
Constituents Essential Oil: 2%Ketone: menthone,Aldehydes: Esters: methyl acetate,Monoterpene alcohol: Menthol 30%,

Oxide: 1, 8 cineole

Monoterpenes: menthene, phellandrene, azulene, limonene, pinene


June 6, 2013

Healing Properties of Peppermint Herb



Peppermint is best known for its beneficial effects on the digestive system and strengthening action on the stomach and liver.

It calms and relaxes smooth muscles and eases stomach pain, indigestion and nausea.

Its analgesic properties bring pain relief to headaches and all kinds of cramps.

Peppermint is widely used as a flavouring agent in food and cosmetics like shampoo.

Peppermint is a hybrid perennial herb which grows up to 30-90 cm tall. The stems are erect and square-shaped like most mint plants, and it has creeping root stocks called ‘stolons’ that grow rapidly. The leaves are sharply toothed, pointed, and in midsummer dense clusters of tiny pink-purple flowers appear. Mints prefer moist shade with partial sun.

It is invasive and spreads quickly so it is best grown in pots if you don’t want it taking over.

Common Name

Peppermint herb


Latin Name

Mentha x piperita
Family Lamiaceae(Mint Family)
Parts Used Perennial- herb picked all season
Target Organs Digestion, Nervous System, Liver/gallbladder, Stomach, Respiratory, Muscular
Common Uses Digestion: Fortifies liver, stomach, and intestines. Stomach upset, gastritis, indigestion, nausea, colitis, Crohn’s, relaxing digestive, infection, inflammation

Respiratory: infections, bronchitis, sinusitis, cooling, colds, flu, coughs, nasal catarrh, pain,

Nervous: migraines, headaches, stress tension, itching,

Muscular: relaxes smooth muscle, arthritis, neuralgia, aches and pain, sciatica, bruises, inflammation

Properties Analgesic, antiallergenic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-emetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory (local, systemic), antiseptic, anti-galactagogue antispasmodic (digestive, general, respiratory), antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, decongestant, diaphoretic, relaxing expectorant, febrifuge, nervine relaxant, stomachic, tonic tranquilizer, vasodilator, vulnerary.


Constituents Essential Oil: 2%

Monoterpene alcohol: Menthol 30-70%,

Ketone: menthone,


Esters: methyl acetate,

Oxide: 1, 8 cineole

Monoterpenes: menthene, phellandrene, azulene, limonene, pinene

Other: tannins, bitter

Cautions Medium strength: Do not use with epilepsy, convulsions, during pregnancy, breastfeeding, dry conditions, gastric hyperacidity or with children under the age of two. Older children, seniors take breaks. Essential oil: Do not store with homeopathic remedies. Do not use in a bath, it may cause hypothermia.
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml

Tea: 1-2 tsp. infuse 10-15 minutes

June 6, 2013

DIY Aromatherapy Bug Repellent

I don’t like using products with DEET or other pesticides as a bug repellent because of health concerns.

It is easy and inexpensive to make your own natural insect repellents because there are some essential oils that are effective bug repellents.

Citronella grass

Citronella grass

Citronella is the most popular in its research to ward off mosquitoes, but other essential oils are just as good if not better.

Citronella will work for over half an hour but needs to be applied often. I dislike the smell of citronella so it is not overpowering in my blends.

Other essential oils like eucalyptus give over an hour and a half of protection but needs to be applied often depending on conditions.

Neem carrier oil doesn’t deter bugs like essential oils eucalyptus and geranium, but it is a toxin and once ingested it will confuse bugs, making them fly away and even forget to reproduce and eat. This oil is strong patch test first and I always use it diluted up to 20% in a formula. Buy oil specifically for body use.

Essential oils for Bug Repellent:

Citronella, Lemongrass, Lemon eucalyptus, Eucalyptus,

All varieties of geranium, lavender, mints,

Use rosemary, tea tree, cinnamon, clove and citronella sparingly in the blend.

All varieties of basil also help to repel flies.

*Citronella and lemongrass come from the Latin Genus Cymbopogon which is a grass family with several lemon smelling species that are all used in similar ways, so go by the Latin name to be sure what you are getting. Citronella has reddish stems while Lemongrass has greenish pseudo stems which is good to know for cooking and other uses.

There is a variety of mediums to mix the essential oils in depending on what you want. I use a carrier oil and put it directly on my skin. Also I use a witch hazel water spray to spray on clothing and other surroundings. Essential oils do not mix well in water so add another medium like vodka, witch hazel, vinegar or use carrier oil.


Use 40% witch hazel or ethyl alcohol or vodka 40 ml

Mix in 60% distilled water 60 ml

For every 100 ml use 50 drops of your choice of essential oil

this is a 3% dilution but you could make it 5% and add more depending on what oils you use

Put in sprayer bottle and spray on area


For every 100 ml of carrier oil of your choice

mix 50 drops of your choices of essential oils

Carrier oils: neem oil, soybean oil, jojoba, castor oil, raw sesame, olive oil, your choice

Castor oil is very thick and needs another carrier oil to thin it but provides a skin like protection barrier. Mosquitoes also don’t seem to bite when the skin is wet.

Put oil directly on exposed skin.

Wild catnip

Wild catnip


Use either fresh or dried herbs stewed in a mix of water / vinegar or water / alcohol. This is particularly good for stinky smelling herbs like catnip, which is too smelly to use as an essential oil but is really effective at getting rid of bugs, and everyone else for that matter! I would only use it going into the deep brush at bug time. Use with the other recipe.


If you do get bitten put a mix of baking soda which will neutralize the acid of the bite and mix it with lavender, peppermint or tea tree essential oil as an antiseptic and to help bring down inflammation and swelling. Mixing the oils with witch hazel or adding it too helps. Find a recipe here ->

Caution is advised when using essential oils with children and pregnant and nursing women.



Here is to make an easy, natural, inexpensive mosquito trap and put it far away from your seating areas.

April 12, 2013

How to Treat a Bee Sting Naturally

Treating Ant, Bee Stings Naturally 


Remove stinger if present. Baking soda neutralizes the formic acid of the sting. An acid and a base neutralize and balance each other. Formic acid is present in bee stings, ant bites and stinging nettle stings.

Peppermint essential oil will help ease pain and inflammation while providing antiseptic action along with baking soda to balance the ph level. Lavender and tea tree essential oil work well too.


Mix 2 drops of Peppermint, or Tea tree, Lavender essential oil

with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and enough water or witch hazel to form a paste.

You can add a bit of white clay if available, it help absorbs toxicity.

***If a bee sting allergy is present go to a hospital immediately, anaphylactic shock can be fatal.

Ants usually bite and don’t leave a stinger like a bee does, but if it does leave a stinger in, remove it as fast as you can no matter how! And then treat it with this baking soda recipe as fast as you can. It is important to remain calm. Put baking soda on right away while creating essential oil baking soda paste.

bee copy

April 11, 2013

Using Essential Oils in the Laundry

Use essential oils to deodorize, disinfect and make your laundry smell superfresh naturally.

trees 031

In the Washer:

Add essential oils to eco-friendly liquid or powder laundry soap. Alternatively you can make your own laundry detergent with soapwort and herbs.

Always use phosphate free laundry detergent it is better for you and the environment.

Place 5-10 drops of essential oil of your choice in ¼ cup of laundry detergent.

Add it to your wash in cold water.

Use Borax or Hydrogen peroxide (H202) for stains, they brighten and whiten naturally. Add ½ cup of borax to boost laundry detergents cleaning power. Borax is found in the laundry aisle in the supermarket.

In the Dryer:

Add a few drops to fabric dryer cloths, or an old facecloth or natural cloth that you can use over and over, and add it to your clothes dryer.

If you want your laundry to smell like the essential oils, put more drops on the cloth right before the end of the cycle.


April 10, 2013

DIY Aromatherapy Bath Recipes

wild rose hearts


Aromatherapy Bath Recipe:

Mix together

½ cup baking soda,

1 cup Epsom salts,

½ sea salt, Dead sea salt or Himalayan salt 

5-10 drops of essential oil

Good for sore muscles, aches, pain and stress

Good essential oil combinations:

Black spruce and Lavender

Frankincense and Mandarin

Add ½-1 cup of mixture to each bath. Relax and enjoy!

Epsom salts increase magnesium levels in the body, which relaxes muscles,   removes lactic and uric acid, and decreases pain and spasms.

Himalayan and Dead Sea salts are for heavy detoxification, fluid balance, and treating infections and skin conditions. ***If you take a salt bath rinse off afterwards.

Baking soda helps prevent the toxins from re-absorbing.

Use this mixture as a body scrub if no bathtub is available.

Foot and Hand baths:  Soak hands or feet in essential oils with medium of your choice. Good to do if you have no bathtub.

Clay bath: Mix ¼- ½ cup of clay with 5-10 drops of essential oils.

lav doc


First draw the bath to the ideal temperature. Close windows and doors.

Mix essential oils with the medium of your choice like Epsom salts, himalayan or sea salt, baking soda, clay or any type of milk or oil and put in the bath.

Caution with Essential Oils in the Bath

Do not use essential oils undiluted in the bath, they will float on top of the water because they are not water-soluble, and may cause skin irritation. Dilute 5-7 drops of essential oil in a medium such as carrier oil, bath gel, clay, nutmilk, baking soda, Epsom or bath salts.

Caution: When using carrier oil in the tub it becomes very slippery so make sure you don’t slip and fall. Clean the tub after each use or a greasy ring will build-up when using carrier oil.

Excerpt taken from my ebook Essential Oils and the Five Elements


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,053 other followers

%d bloggers like this: