Abundant Health™ Blog

February 22, 2018
by Abundant Health™
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Emotions & Essential Oils

Essential oils have a great impact on the emotions due to their ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and affect the hormones. Maintaining emotional balance is an important part of both mental and physical health. Emotional balance allows the mind to focus and the body to heal faster.

Although there are many different emotions, and it can seem impossible to keep them all in check, there are some easy things you can do to balance them. Some great oils to help with overall balance include balsam fir, frankincense, geranium, juniper, lavender, orange, Roman chamomile, sandalwood, and vetiver. This may seem like a lot of options, but just experiment to find the ones that work best for you. You may be drawn to certain aromas and feel indifferent to others. Pay attention to how you feel when you diffuse the oils, as your body is trying to tell you which ones it needs!

While you are working toward emotional balance, you may need to target more complex emotions such as the following:

*Anxiety is the body’s way of preparing itself to deal with future stressful events. The symptoms can be both physical and mental, but they can be eased with essential oils. Some oils that are good for anxiety are lavender, orange, lemon, and frankincense.

*Depression is a condition marked by excessive sadness, energy loss, feelings of worthlessness, irritability, sudden weight loss or gain, trouble sleeping, and loss of interest in activities normally enjoyed. Oils that help with depression include lemon, frankincense, lavender, bergamot, rosemary, and grapefruit.

Fear causes the blood vessels to tighten, restricting the amount of oxygen and nutrients that can reach the cells. Some oils that help to calm fear are bergamot, clary sage, cypress, fir, geranium, juniper, and marjoram.

Grief and Sorrow tend to follow the loss of something or someone dear. Oils can calm your sadness and lift your spirits, all while helping your mind and body adapt. Some oils that help with grief include bergamot, clary sage, eucalyptus, juniper, lavender, and Roman chamomile.

*If you experience chronic anxiety or depression, visit a healthcare professional. Although essential oils can benefit many conditions and ease symptoms, they are not meant as a substitute for professional medical advice.

There’s nothing more amazing than a feeling of complete emotional balance and stability—and with essential oils, this can be possible!

Abundant Health offers some great products that can supplement your research on essential oils and emotions, as well as your teaching efforts. These awesome tear pads about emotions, anxiety, and depression are a great place to start. They include information on what oils work best and how to use them. Click here to learn more!

Source: Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2017 Edition.

February 20, 2018
by Abundant Health™
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Addiction & Essential Oils

Addictions of every kind are increasingly common in the world today, and many are struggling to overcome them. Addiction recovery is not an easy journey; however, adding essential oils into your routine can aid you on the path to recovery. Essential oils can’t cure addictions, but they can relieve emotional pain as well as dependence, stress, and withdrawal symptoms.

In the Reference Guide for Essential Oils, addiction is defined as “an obsession, compulsion, or extreme psychological dependence that interferes with an individual’s ability or desire to function normally.” When we hear the word addiction, we tend to immediately think of alcohol and drugs, but an addiction can be a dependency on any number of things. Many addictions are simply caused by an emotional instability that forces the body to fill it with something else. Other addictions are caused by heavily addictive substances entering the body. In both cases, essential oils can help a person refrain from addictive behaviors and may even help heal the brain and body.

Essential oils are not intended as a replacement for medical attention and other rehabilitation efforts. We encourage anyone struggling with addiction to seek out support groups, consult with a medical professional, participate in recovery programs, avoid triggers, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and distract him- or herself with other activities. Recovery is all about finding yourself, so it’s important that everyone gets the individual help that they need.

Essential oils can help one relax, which is extremely important, as stress is one of the most common triggers for addictive behavior. Oils can also help with mental clarity, lack of sleep, mood regulation, anxiety reduction, etc. Below are some oils that can be a great help on the path to addiction recovery.

Grapefruit is commonly used to help with withdrawal, depression, appetite suppression, mental stress, anorexia and bulimia, and drug addictions.

Black Pepper can be used to help with increased energy, addiction (especially to tobacco), appetite loss, and nausea.

Clove in commonly used to help with tobacco addictions (relieves desire to smoke), muscle aches and pains, metabolism balance, and nausea.

Lavender is used to relieve anxiety, increase alertness and mental clarity, treat insomnia and nausea, and relieve tension, stress, depression, and pain.

Lemon is used to increase concentration, relieve anxiety, depression, stress, and anemia, improve clarity of thought, energize, relax, and help with overeating.

Orange can be used for fear, obesity, anxiety, relaxation, and withdrawal symptoms. It is emotionally uplifting.

Peppermint is commonly used to calm breathing, increase concentration, relieve cramps, headaches, heartburn, nausea, fatigue, and muscle aches, energize, improve memory, and treat shock.

Roman Chamomile is used for anxiety, shock, soothing and clearing the mind, calming, cleansing the blood and liver, depression, insomnia, relieving stress, and promoting peace and patience.

Rosemary is used to help with alcohol addictions, muscle cramps, headaches, low blood pressure, mental fatigue, nervous exhaustion, and stress.

These are only some of the oils that can aid you on your path to addiction recovery. To learn more about essential oils for addiction, consult the Reference Guide for Essential Oils. Remember that the journey to recovery is difficult and long, but not impossible! Addiction recovery is possible if you have a strong support system and goals in place. Now go take your life back!

Source: Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2017 Edition.

February 15, 2018
by Abundant Health™
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Essential Oil Spotlight: Patchouli

Patchouli essential oil (Pogostemon cablin) is steam-distilled from the leaves and flowers of the plant. This oil is recognized by its earthy, herbaceous, sweet-balsamic, and rich aroma. Patchouli primarily affects the skin.

Patchouli contains anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, antitoxic, astringent, decongestant, deodorant, diuretic, insecticidal, stimulant (digestive), and tonic health properties. Aromatically, it is sedating, calming, and relaxing, even reducing anxiety in some cases. Patchouli may also have an influence on sex and physical energy.

Anciently, patchouli was used by Asians to fight infection, cool fevers, tone the skin, and as an antidote for insect and snake bites. Today, common uses of patchouli include allergies (skin), bug repellent, dermatitis/eczema, hemorrhoids, insect repellent, jock itch, snake bites, and wrinkles. Other possible uses include acne, appetite, cellulite, congestion, dandruff, depression, hives, skin conditions (chapped; tightens loose skin), water retention, weight reduction, and wrinkles.

Safety Data: Patchouli has been approved by the FDA as safe for human consumption and can be used as a flavoring agent. It is safe to use during pregnancy and with children over 6 years old when diluted.

Ways to Use Patchouli Essential Oil:

  1. Bath salts are a great way to relax while absorbing the benefits of essential oil. Add 10 drops patchouli, 7 drops cypress, and 3 drops rose to 1 cup (250 g) epsom salt, and mix thoroughly. Add the salts to your bath by mixing under the running tap of warm water.
  2. Roll-on blends make applying oils so simple! Just add the oils, and fill the remainder of the bottle with your favorite carrier oil. Here are some blends using patchouli that you can try out! These blends should be mixed with 2 tsp. (10 ml) carrier oil and placed in a 10 ml roll-on bottle.
    Calm the Nerves
    5 drops patchouli
    4 drops rose
    2 drops neroli
    Emotional Balance
    5 drops patchouli
    4 drops orange
    2 drops geranium
    Inspiration
    4 drops orange
    3 drops tangerine
    2 drops patchouli
    Sweet Dreams
    4 drops lavender
    3 drops neroli
    2 drops patchouli
    1 drop ylang ylang

  3. Patchouli is amazing in lotions, creams, and massage oils because of its powerful effects on the skin. Try some of these recipes to get you started.
    Calming Massage Oil
    3 drops patchouli
    2 drops orange
    1 drop frankincense
    2 tsp. (10 ml) jojoba oil
    Combine the essential oils with the jojoba oil, and lightly massage into your skin.
    Anti-Itch Foot Cream
    6 drops patchouli
    2 drops lavender
    2 drops tea tree
    1 oz. (25 ml) fractionated coconut oil
    Combine these ingredients in a 1 oz. plastic bottle, and rub onto feet whenever necessary.
  4. Patchouli has some great aromatic benefits, making it a diffuser essential! Its great ability to help us calm dawn and relax makes this diffuser blend complete. Simply diffuse this around bedtime to help you and the whole family get more of that beauty rest!
  5. Create a room spray to enhance your meditation by adding 6 drops lavender, 6 drops cedarwood, 4 drops frankincense, and 4 drops patchouli to 1 oz. (25 ml) water and 1 tsp. (5 ml) witch hazel. Place these ingredients in a 1 oz. spray bottle, and shake to combine. Spray around the room, and begin your meditation and relaxation routine.

Sources:
Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2017 Edition, p. 123.
Organic Beauty with Essential Oil by Rebecca Park Totilo.
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies by Franzesca Watson.

February 13, 2018
by Abundant Health™
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Mini Heart Pies

Looking for a cute Valentine’s Day dessert? These mini heart pies are super simple—and adorable! We’ve also included some of our favorite pie filling recipes that use essential oils. You can enjoy these delicious pies any day of the year, not just on February 14.

Mini Heart Pies

  • Servings: 8–10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 refrigerated or homemade pie crust
  • Pie filling (recipes below)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) milk
  • White sugar
  • 3–4″ (7.5–10 cm) heart-shaped cookie cutter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Using cookie cutter, cut the pie dough into several hearts. You should be able to make 8–10 pies (16–20 hearts total).
  3. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat, and place half of the hearts on the pan.
  4. Whisk egg and milk together, and wet the edges of the hearts with this mixture.
  5. Place a small amount of filling in the center of each heart.
  6. Cut a small x in the center of each remaining heart, and place on top of the filled hearts.
  7. Using a fork, crimp the edges of the hearts together.
  8. Brush the sealed pies with the egg wash, and dust with white sugar.
  9. Bake the pies for 14–16 minutes, or until the crust is browned.
  10. Move pies to a cooling rack, and allow them to cool.
  11. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Strawberry Lemon Pie Filling

  • Servings: 8–10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (600 g) fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup (200 g) white sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. (25 g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
  • 5–10 drops lemon essential oil (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Cut the strawberries into small pieces, and crush 1/4 of them.
  2. In a pot over medium heat, cook the crushed strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and water until the mixture thickens up. Chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. Combine the cooked mixture with the fresh strawberries and lemon oil. Fill your mini pies with this sweet-tangy mixture.

Apple Cinnamon Pie Filling

  • Servings: 8–10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4–6 apples, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
  • 3 Tbsp. (25 g) cornstarch
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place sugar, water, cornstarch, and oils in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add apples, and simmer on medium heat until mixture thickens and apples soften.
  3. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before adding to pie crusts.

February 8, 2018
by Abundant Health™
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Enhance the Romance Diffuser Blend

Many essential oils are known to help enhance a romantic mood. With Valentine’s Day approaching, we could all use a little more romance in our lives. This diffuser blend can act as an aphrodisiac and will undoubtedly help to relax and energize your body, not to mention enhance your romantic feelings and desires.

In need of a new diffuser? Click here to learn about some of the incredible diffusers we offer!

February 6, 2018
by Abundant Health™
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EO Tips for Life: Make Fake Flowers Real

Do you have fake flowers that you wish smelled real? Well, they can—just add essential oils!

You’ll want to use floral-scented essential oils such as rose, geranium, lavender, ylang yang, or neroli. Add your chosen scent (or mix a few of the oils) to a small spray bottle. Add a little water (the more you add, the lighter the scent), shake, and then spray on your fake flowers. Feel free to recharge by spraying it some more whenever you want to breathe in a real floral scent!

To learn more about the aromatic influence of these floral essential oils, see the Reference Guide for Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley.

February 2, 2018
by Abundant Health™
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Whipped Body Butter

This whipped body butter is incredibly easy to make, and it feels great on your body! You can easily customize the aroma to fit your personality or suit your needs. This silky-smooth butter is guaranteed to soften your skin and leave you feeling refreshed.

Whipped Body Butter

  • Servings: Yield=12 oz. (375 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Place shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil in a glass measuring cup or dish, and place in a pot of water. Over medium heat, melt the oils together, stirring with a whisk to combine.
  2. Once the mixture is completely melted, place in the refrigerator for a couple hours until completely cooled and solid. It should have gone from clear to white when cooled.
  3. Using a hand mixer, whip the butter until it is light and fluffy (like whipped cream).
  4. Add in your favorite essential oil(s) until you reach your desired aroma.
  5. Fill a 12 oz. PET jar with the body butter, and refrigerate for another hour before using.

Notes:

  • You can add lavender oil for a relaxing sensation, or peppermint oil for an invigorating skin treatment.
  • If the butter begins to melt, you can whip it again and store it in the fridge.
  • You may also add a natural food coloring if desired.

January 31, 2018
by Abundant Health™
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Essential Oil Spotlight: Sandalwood

Sandalwood essential oil (Santalum album) is steam-distilled from the bark of sandalwood trees. This oil is known for it soft, woody, sweet, earthy, balsamic, and tenacious odor. The aroma of sandalwood can calm, harmonize, and balance your emotions. It helps one accept others by opening the heart while diminishing one’s own egocentricity. Sandalwood is stimulating to the mind, as well as grounding, and helps to enhance meditation.

Sandalwood has antidepressant, antiseptic, antitumor, aphrodisiac, astringent, calming, sedative, and tonic health properties. This oil primarily affects emotional balance, muscles, nervous and skeletal systems, and skin.

Historically, sandalwood was used as incense during rituals to enhance meditation. It is also still considered sacred in many cultures and has been used to free souls of the deceased at funerals. The Egyptians also used sandalwood for embalming. The French have used sandalwood for many years to help with bronchitis (chronic), diarrhea (obstinate), hemorrhoids, and impotence.

Today, sandalwood is commonly used to help with Alzheimer’s disease, back pain, coma, confusion, hemorrhoids, hiccups, laryngitis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis, radiation (UV), and wrinkles. Other possible uses of sandalwood include acne, catarrh, circulation, coughs, cystitis, depression, menstrual problems, nerves, skin infection, and tuberculosis.

Safety Data: Sandalwood is recognized as safe for internal use by the FDA and can also be used as a food flavoring agent. This oil can be applied directly without dilution. Sandalwood oil is not for children under 6 years of age and should be used with caution and in greater dilution for children 6 years and older.

Tips for Using Sandalwood Essential Oil:

  1. You can make a soothing roll-on for dry skin by adding 4 drops geranium and 1 drop sandalwood to a 5 ml roll-on bottle and filling the remainder of the bottle with jojoba oil. Apply to areas of your body with dry skin as needed.
  2. Sandalwood is great for laryngitis! Apply 1 drop sandalwood to your throat. Add 1 drop lemon essential oil to 1 tsp. (5 ml) honey, dissolve in a small cup of warm water, and sip.
  3. Sometimes kids can get a little crazy, and we just need them to calm down. You can make a kids’ calming essential oil room spray to help them relax a bit by combining 4 drops sandalwood, 14 drops orange, 7 drops spearmint, and 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) rubbing alcohol, vodka, or witch hazel in a 2 oz. spray bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with distilled water, and shake to combine. Spray around the room to help the kids calm down.
  4. Anytime you get those nasty hiccups, just rub a drop of sandalwood over your diaphragm (the bottom edge of the rib cage).
  5. The aroma of sandalwood is uplifting and helps to balance emotions. Try this energizing and uplifting diffuser blend to give you the illusion of sunshine in the winter.

Source: Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2017 Edition, pp. 135–36.

January 25, 2018
by Abundant Health™
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Beeswax Ice Candles

Looking for a fun new craft to help enhance your essential oil use? Try out these unique ice candles! Each candle comes out looking different, and you can easily customize the smell to your favorite essential oil aroma. These candles are super easy to make and fun to look at.

Beeswax Ice Candles

  • Servings: Yield=1 Candle
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 8–16 oz. (225–450 g) Beeswax Pellets
  • Essential oil(s) of choice
  • 1 taper candle
  • Ice cubes
  • Empty milk carton

Instructions:

  1. Place beeswax pellets in a glass dish, and place over a pot of water on medium heat to melt down the wax.
  2. Once the wax is entirely melted, add essential oils until the desired aroma is reached. The amount of oil differs depending on the size of candle.
  3. Cut the taper candle to the height of the milk carton, placing the top down into the carton. Fill the carton around the taper candle with ice cubes.
  4. Slowly pour the melted wax evenly over the ice, constantly moving around to coat all the ice.
  5. Allow the wax to cool at room temperature for several hours, allowing the ice to melt entirely and the wax to solidify.
  6. Once the wax has cooled, peel away the carton, pour out the water, and shave the taper candle down until flush with the bottom of the candle.
  7. Allow the candle to sit for 24 hours before lighting.

Notes:

  • Adding dye to the wax can add to the fun of the unique candles, but remember that the taper candle does not entirely melt, so you might have a different colored center.
  • Don’t be alarmed if pieces fall off the candle when you first unwrap it; this in completely normal.
  • The candle size depends on the amount of wax and size of milk carton you use. For the candles pictured, we used approximately 8 oz. (225 g) of wax and a pint-sized carton. For a full quart-sized carton, you will need 16 oz. (450 g) of beeswax, and 32 oz. (900 g) for a half-gallon carton.
  • Do not place the candles in the fridge to help solidify the candles faster. The warm wax slowly melts the ice away, and cooling them faster can slow the ice melting and may ruin the shape.

January 23, 2018
by Abundant Health™
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Pressure Cooker Orange Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This delicious cake is amazingly simple and beautiful. With the use of your electric pressure cooker, this cake is incredibly easy to make but will awe your family and guests. The sweet orange-cheesy flavor makes a great dessert—or even a yummy snack to feed your sweet tooth.

Orange Cream Cheese Pound Cake

  • Servings: 4–8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. (113 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) pancake mix
  • 10–15 drops orange essential oil
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) melted butter
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • Sugar and melted butter for preparing pan

Instructions:

  1. Cream together cream cheese, sugar, and eggs. Stir in pancake mix, then add orange oil, lemon juice, and melted butter. Combine thoroughly, and set aside.
  2. Using a separate baking dish that will fit in your pressure cooker, grease dish thoroughly with melted butter, and sprinkle sugar over the butter to coat it.
  3. Line the baking dish with orange slices.
  4. Pour prepared cake batter over the orange slices.
  5. With 1 cup (250 ml) of water in the pressure cooker, place the baking dish on top of the trivet, and seal the pot.
  6. Turn the pot on manual setting for 50 minutes.
  7. Release pressure at the end of the timer. Once the pot has depressurized, remove the baking dish, and turn cake out onto a plate.
  8. Serve with whipped cream or milk.

Notes:

  • This recipe can also be made in a rice cooker by baking the cake directly in the rice cooker pot for 40 minutes.
  • You may also add orange zest for added orange flavor and a beautiful color boost throughout the cake.
  • Orange juice can be substituted for the lemon juice.

 

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