Abundant Health™ Blog

November 16, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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EO Tips for Life: Stay Alert While Driving

If you are planning a road trip, try using essential oils to keep you going. Of course, if you feel drowsy, pull over to take a nap. However, if you just feel yourself going on auto pilot, try diffusing or rolling on peppermint, sage lavender, basil, lemon, or rosemary to help you stay alert.

To Diffuse: Just add 1–3 drops total of any of the above oils to a car diffuser or a jewelry diffuser, and let the AC circulate the aroma.

To Roll On: Dilute 1 drop of essential oil with 4–10 drops of carrier oil in a roll-on bottle. For a 5 ml roll-on, add 10–20 drops of oil, and then fill the rest with a carrier oil. For a 10 ml roll-on, add 20–40 drops essential oil, and fill the rest with a carrier oil. You can even use a tiny roll-on bottle that fits neatly in a key chain case. Some common carrier oils include fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and jojoba oil. To use your roll-on: Simply roll the oil onto the wrists and neck.

Source: Reference Guide for Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley, 2017 Edition.

November 14, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Essential Oil Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce should be made from scratch—not eaten from a can. If you have never made your own cranberry sauce for your Thanksgiving feast, then you need to give it a try this year! It is incredibly easy to make and so tasty—especially with the added essential oils!

Essential Oil Cranberry Sauce

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

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) honey
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) orange juice
  • 1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries
  • 1 toothpick cinnamon essential oil
  • 1 drop orange essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Bring sugar, honey, water, and orange juice to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add cranberries. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10–15 minutes or until sauce thickens. Smash cranberries with the back of a spoon, if desired.
  3. Remove from heat, and allow to cool completely before stirring in the essential oils.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Extra Ideas:

  • If you have leftover cranberry sauce, try spreading it over cream cheese and dipping it with crackers.
  • We also like making Thanksgiving sandwiches with cranberry sauce: Spread this cranberry sauce and mayo on your bread, and then layer with turkey, potatoes, stuffing, or whatever else your heart desires.

November 7, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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The Ins and Outs of Carrier Oils

Have you heard the word “carrier oil” and not really known what it meant or what you were supposed to do with it? Well, you aren’t alone. We’ve received a lot of questions about the subject, so we decided to write this post to clarify some things and give you some ideas as to what you can do with the carrier oils we offer. By the end of this post, you’ll have the means to figure out the differences between carrier oils and choose the ones that will work best for you and your needs.

What are carrier oils, and why do I need them?

Let’s start with definitions. Carrier oils are vegetable oils pulled from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels, or nuts. Carrier oils get their name because they are used to “carry” an essential oil into the skin during topical application.

Carrier oils also help dilute essential oils. Since essentials oils are very concentrated and potent, it is highly recommended that you dilute them to use them safely. Children, pregnant women, and those with sensitive skin especially need to dilute their oils. In addition to safety, diluting your essential oils and adding a carrier oil stretches out your supply and allows you to spread the essential oils out on a larger area than if they were used neat (without dilution).

While the word “dilute” typically means that it is not as concentrated or strong as it was before, when using a carrier oil, it does not dilute the effect of the essential oil. In fact, it prevents waste due to excessive application. This blog post is a great reference for diluting your essential oils.

In this article, we will include oils, butters, glycerin, salts, and soap bases, as they can serve similar purposes, even though some aren’t technically carrier oils.

How can I use carrier oils?

Carrier oils can be used in a multitude of ways. Probably the most common way is to mix an essential oil and a carrier oil in a roll-on bottle. This can be a very easy way to apply a diluted essential oil topically.

Many of the carrier oils and butters can be used to make sprays, massage blends, soap products, body care products, creams, candles, diffusers, lotions, air fresheners, lip balms, and various other products.

Since water and oil don’t mix, it is sometimes necessary to include an emulsifier such as Vegetable Glycerin, Castile Soap, or Epsom Salt, or our vegetable-based Essential Oil Emulsifier. Emulsifiers help disperse essential oils and carrier oils through other ingredients such as water, keeping them from separating. The essential oil emulsifier can even be added, along with essential oils, to drinking water to prevent the essential oils from floating on the top of the water. Epsom salt is most commonly used as bath salt and can be a fantastic way to dissolve essential oils throughout a bath.

How do I use the solid butters?

Some of the butters we offer are solid at room temperature and need to be heated to mix them with oils and other ingredients. To heat butters (and other carrier oils), we recommend using a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can easily create one by placing the ingredients in a heat-proof glass dish (a measuring cup works great!) and then placing the glass dish in a pan that contains an inch or so of simmering water. It is very important to use low heat for most carrier oils and butter so you don’t alter their constituents and their effectiveness. Do not microwave carrier oils or butters.

One butter that can become gritty if not melted and cooled properly is Shea Butter. Heat shea butter to at least 175ºF for at least 20 minutes. Let it cool in the refrigerator if possible. Store the shea butter at room temperature after it has cooled.

Is it possible for carrier oils to go bad?

Yes, it is. Carrier oils are pressed from the fatty portions of a plant, and they often contain essential fatty acids that, although very beneficial to our body, unfortunately contribute to a short shelf life. Because the ratio and the specific essential fatty acids differ from one carrier oil to another, their shelf life also varies. The level of natural fatty acids, tocopherols (vitamin E compounds found in many carrier oils), method of extraction, and other characteristics of an oil can all affect how quickly it becomes rancid.

How can I tell if a carrier oil is rancid?

The best way to tell if the carrier oil has gone rancid is to compare the odor with the odor of the same carrier oil that is fresh. In general, carrier oils should have a soft aroma, so if you find your carrier oil has a strong, bitter aroma, it has likely gone rancid.

What is the best way to store my carrier oils?

To prolong shelf life, most carrier oils (except Avocado Oil) can be stored in the refrigerator. However, some oils stored in the refrigerator may solidify or become cloudy and need to be returned to room temperature prior to use. Because avocado oil contains many important, fragile constituents that can be affected by lower temperatures, it shouldn’t ever be stored in the refrigerator.

Some carrier oils that are less fragile and have a longer shelf can be stored at a cool room temperature. Check the shelf life info on each of the carrier oil graphics below to see how long each can be stored. There should also be an expiration date on the bottle you purchase. Try to use the oil up before that expiration date and store it properly to prevent your carrier oils from going rancid.

General Safety Information

It is important to use caution when trying out any new ingredient. Carrier oils are no different. If you have a nut allergy, consult a medical practitioner before coming into contact with nut oils, butters, or other nut products. If you have an allergy or sensitivity to latex, avoid shea butter (and shea oil), or perform a skin patch test prior to use. Latex (a natural rubber) is a natural constituent of shea butter. Even if you don’t have a known allergy, it is always a good idea to do a skin patch test on a covered area of your body before using the oil elsewhere.

What carrier oils does Abundant Health offer?

Abundant Health offers the following carrier oils:
Epsom Salt
Beeswax Pellets – Yellow and White
Cocoa Butter Wafers
Mango Butter
Shea Butter – Organic Unrefined and Organic Refined White
Shea Oil
Jojoba Oil
Sunflower Oil
Sweet Almond Oil
Avocado Oil
Grape Seed Oil
Sesame Seed Oil
Coconut Oil
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Vegetable Glycerin
Liquid Castile Soap
Vitamin E Oil
Zinc Oxide
Citric Acid
Natural Essential Oil Emulsifier

Information Charts

For more information about each carrier oil and how it can be used, click on an image below to enlarge.

 

November 2, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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“Relieve Your Stress” Diffuser Blend

Stress affects all of us at some point or another. One way to handle stress is to breathe deeply. An even better way to handle stress is to breathe deeply while diffusing this essential oil blend. Both oils in this blend are known to calm anxiety and promote a relaxed state, so all you need to do is diffuse and breathe.

Do you have a good diffuser at home or the office to diffuse this blend? Consider one of our most popular diffusers, the Airmid Ultrasonic Diffuser!

The sleek Airmid is a great way to diffuse your desired essential oil or blend! Ultrasonic diffusers transform water and essential oils into a fine, cool mist that preserves the oils’ health benefits and humidifies the room. The Airmid has timer settings from 1 to 4 hours and also has 3 different lighting options (no light, 1 color, or rotating colors), so it can be used anytime to suit any mood or attitude.

Features:

  • Humidifies and purifies the air while providing aromatherapy.
  • Near silent operation, so you can use it at night in the bedroom without the fear of extra noise keeping you awake.
  • Ultrasonic diffusion at 2.4 MHz.
  • Separate reservoirs for oil and water protect ultrasonic disc from precipitation.
  • 3 lighting options (kaleidoscope of colored LED lights, solid LED light, or no light), making it ideal for a child’s room.
  • 4 timer settings (1, 2, 3, and 4 hours continuous) to accommodate any schedule.
  • Auto shutoff mechanism (when water or time expires).

To read more about this great product and to order your own, click here.

October 26, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Chunky Apple Spice Cake

If you love cinnamon and apples together, then you’ll love this Chunky Apple Spice Cake! This is the perfect dessert to take to an autumn party or to share at your essential oil class. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all at our fall gathering this year!

Chunky Apple Spice Cake

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

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (120 g) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp. (8 g) arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 g) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (142 g) plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (67 g) cane sugar or brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) melted coconut oil
  • 2 cups (200 g) peeled and chopped apple (we used Granny Smith, but you could use sweeter apples)
  • 2–3 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 1–2 drops clove essential oil
  • 1–2 drops nutmeg essential oil
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) raisins (optional)

Cinnamon Whipped Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. (16 g) powdered sugar
  • 1–4 toothpicks cinnamon essential oil (add a toothpick at a time until you like the taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) vanilla extract

Cinnamon Topping Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. (22.5 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) old-fashioned oats
  • 3 Tbsp. (37.5 g) coarse cane sugar or brown sugar (not packed)
  • 2 Tbsp. (24 g) coconut oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 toothpick cinnamon essential oil
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour an 8″ × 8″ (20 × 20 cm) baking dish or a round cake pan. We used a 7″ round glass baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, arrowroot powder or cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and allspice until combined.
  3. In another bowl, mix together eggs, yogurt, vanilla extract, sugar, and essential oils. Mix until well combined.
  4. Melt coconut oil on the stove over low heat.
  5. While the coconut oil is melting, peel and finely chop the apples. Toss chopped apples in with the flour mixture. Stir to coat the apples with the flour mixture before they brown. This step helps with evenly dispersing the apples throughout the cake.
  6. Pour wet ingredients and melted coconut oil into the flour/apple mixture. Add raisins, if desired, and stir mixture until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, or the cake will turn out dense.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan.
  8. Bake for 25–40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Thinner cakes require less time than thicker cakes. Our cake (which was on the thicker side) took 35 minutes to cook.
  9. Cinnamon Whipped Cream: Whisk the heavy cream until it starts to form stiff peaks. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon essential oil, and whisk for a few seconds to incorporate into the cream. Taste, and stir in more cinnamon essential oil as needed.
  10. Crispy Cinnamon Topping: In another bowl, stir together the flour, oats, coarse cane sugar, and walnuts. Pour in 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) of coconut oil, and stir in a toothpick of cinnamon essential oil. Add a little more coconut oil if too dry or a little more flour or oats if too wet.
  11. Sauté the cinnamon topping mixture over medium low heat, stirring continuously, until golden brown.
  12. Allow the cake to cool, then top with Cinnamon Whipped Cream and the Crispy Cinnamon Topping.

October 19, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Essential Oils for Sinuses

Sinuses are the cavities inside the skull that allow it to be lightweight yet strong. Small channels connect the cavities with the nasal cavity. These channels can become blocked if the mucous membrane lining them is swollen or inflamed as a result of allergies or illness. Blocked sinus cavities behind the cheekbone, forehead, nose, and eyes can result in facial pain or pressure, headaches, and congestion.

The anti-inflammatory and infection-fighting properties of certain essential oils can be helpful in treating sinus congestion and infections. The following essential oils can be used in a variety of ways to alleviate symptoms:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Thyme
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Myrtle
  • Cedarwood
  • Ginger
  • Tea tree

Diffuse

Diffusing several drops of essential oil in your environment is a good way to clear the sinuses and hydrate the inflamed mucous membrane of the nasal cavities. Have a diffuser going in the areas where you spend the most time. Consider diffusing by your bedside while you sleep as well.

Hot Bath

Relax in a soothing hot bath. Add 12–15 drops of essential oil to the hot water, and the steam will carry the oils to the affected sinus areas and help thin the mucus.

Massage

Dilute a few drops of essential oil in a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil. Massage your pressure points with a mix of oils. Avoiding the eyes, gently rub on the side of each nostril, on the temples, between the eyebrows, and across the forehead.

Hydrate

It is important to drink plenty of water when fighting off infection. Add a drop of essential oil to water or herbal tea. When dealing with children, elderly persons, or pregnant women, use caution when suggesting oils for internal use.

Compress

Soak a cloth in essential oil–infused hot water. Wring it out, and place it over the forehead or face. Relax and breathe deeply.

 

See the Reference Guide for Essential Oils to learn more about how essential oils can help alleviate the pain and discomfort of sinus issues.

Source: Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2017 Edition, p. 560.

 

October 12, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Italian Dipping Oil with Essential Oils

Try this easy appetizer for your next essential oil class. Sit around a table and enjoy it while you talk, or offer slices and little condiment cups for refreshments after the class. This delicious dip is packed with the wonderful flavors of Italian herb essential oils and is a great way to introduce your class attendees to using essential oils in cooking.

Italian Dipping Oil with Essential Oils

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

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 drop rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop basil essential oil
  • Grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a glass dish, and let it sit for an hour to allow the flavors to blend.
  2. Dip french or sourdough bread in the oil, and enjoy!

October 5, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Refreshing Waterfall Diffuser Blend

If you don’t have a waterfall nearby that you can hike to, try diffusing this blend while you workout instead. Its refreshing scent is sure to lift your spirit and energize your body!

Need a diffuser? We’ve just added several new diffusers to our product line, so make sure to check out the latest styles. We’re sure you’ll find one that is perfect for you!

October 2, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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White Bean and Chicken Chili

When the weather gets chilly, it’s a great time to make some—you guessed it—chili. This delicious white bean chili is full of healthy ingredients and makes a warm, delicious, and nourishing meal on a cold day.

 

White Bean and Chicken Chili

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil
  • 2 lbs. (1 kg) cubed chicken
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp. (4 g) sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. (5 g) dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. (5 g) chili powder
  • 1 tsp. (3 g) cumin
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (240 ml) salsa verde
  • 4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock
  • 5 drops fennel essential oil
  • 3 drops oregano essential oil
  • 3 drops coriander essential oil
  • 1/4 tsp. (42 mg) crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (4 g) chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, brown chicken in olive oil (about 8 minutes).
  2. Add the onion, and cook until translucent. Add the bell pepper and garlic, and let cook a few minutes.
  3. Mix in dry spices and salt.
  4. Add the beans, salsa verde, and chicken stock.
  5. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 55–60 minutes or until the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and essential oils, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. You can also add a dollop of sour cream or top with grated cheese.

 

September 28, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Essential Oils for Meditation

The constant movement and demands of life can disconnect you from your inner self. Stress and anxiety can reduce your productivity and endanger your health. It is helpful to take the time to reconnect with yourself and with the world around you in meaningful, centered ways.  Meditation is a good way to relax your mind and decrease stress and anxiety.

Meditation has proven health benefits. It lowers stress, which then lowers the probability of stress-related health issues such as high blood pressure, hypertension, inflammation, and heart problems.

High-quality essential oils can enhance the advantages of meditation. Fragrances have long been an important part of meditation in every culture that practices it.

  • Vetiver: grounding, helps focus wandering thoughts
  • Neroli: promotes self-acceptance, helps one face fears
  • Rose: opens the heart to receive love, promotes a deeper connection to the spirit world
  • Frankincense: increases faith and connection with spirit
  • Myrrh: reduces stress and brings focus
  • Sage: cleanses and purifies, restores balance
  • Cedarwood: helps focus inward and illuminate one’s spiritual path
  • Sandalwood: helps heal emotions and promotes trust

These oils promote a calm mind and increase focus during individual meditation. Diffuse these essential oils, or mix them with carrier oils such as sweet almond oil or jojoba oil, and rub them into your skin.

It is important to clear your mind and only let in positive thoughts at the beginning of each day and especially after a long or difficult day. Lay down or sit in a comfortable position. Breathe in deeply through your nose and slowly out through your mouth. Allow warmth and light to fill your mind. Sometimes repeating a key word or positive phrase in your mind can be an empowering way to center yourself. Some people prefer to combine this time with affirmations or prayer. It only takes a few minutes to relax your body and calm your mind, but it can make a difference in how you feel throughout the day.

See the Reference Guide for Essential Oils to learn more about how essential oils can be used to promote health.

 

 

 

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