Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!

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Natural Hormone Support with Progessence Plus

Natural Hormone Support with Progessence Plus was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures

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Moving Through Grief with Essential Oils

Grief & Loss is a topic near and dear to my heart after having struggled with personal loss with the passing of my first husband in 2009.  Today marks the 8th Annivesary of his death.  Some years I pass by and don’t even realize what day it is.  Other years, I’m crippled with grief.  While I am grateful that I have been blessed with meeting and falling in love with someone who knew my late husband, who has been incredibly supportive and allowed me everything I needed to move forward after such a loss, very few days go by that I don’t think of my dear Rob at least once.  He may be gone but he will never be forgotten and I’m thankful of the short time we had together.

Today is one of those years that I struggle.  I didn’t sleep well, it’s rainy and dreary outside and there’s not enough coffee in the world to give me the get up and go I need to feel motivated.  I know several other friends and family members who have struggled with grief and loss of loved ones and thought maybe I would use this pain today as a way to reach out and share some of what I’ve learned with others.  So I’m taking a snippet of my class I taught last year on Mental Wellness and Emotional Support with Essential Oils to share with you today. I hope you find something of value in this post.

The class I taught back in May of 2016 referenced Dr. Carolyn Mein’s Releasing Emotional Patterns book and techniques.  I will not be reviewing her technique in detail so I highly encourage you to check out her book.  It is a must-have for any oily reference library, especially if you struggle with mental health issues.  As a licensed mental health counselor, I can tell you it has been an invaluable reference for helping to start to bring essential oils into my practice with clients.

Unfortunately, my go-to reference guide for all things oily, the Essential Oils Pocket Reference by Life Science Publishing, doesn’t really list oils specifically for grief.  They do have a section on emotional trauma but that was pretty vague.  So, I’ve included the graphic above from an online class I attended last year on Essential Oils and Emotions taught by Rosy Crescitelli.  I do not know the source of the image with oils added, but the original “Five Stages of Grief” image source credit belongs to Journey to Genius. You can use the oils listed aromatically, topically on VitaFlex emotional points on the ear (see picture below), or use in conjunction with Dr. Mein’s Releasing Emotional Patterns techniques.

For Denial – use Transformation to help start to accept your loss and move forward

For Anger – use Release to let go of anger and Forgiveness to help forgive yourself and others

For Bargaining – use Peppermint to help uplift and cleanse/purify your soul

For Depression – use Joy to bring peace to your heart

For Acceptance – use Acceptance to help move towards acceptance of your loss

Another of my favorite oily resources, the Reference Guide for Essential Oils app (on iTunes and Google Play for Android), which I love for the convenience of having right in my phone at all times, did have a few suggestions for using essential oils for grief and loss.  Here is what it suggested:

Usage Instructions from the Reference Guide for Essential Oils app:

  • Aromatic – diffuse into the air, inhale directly or apply to tissue
  • Topical – apply to auricular emotional points (see picture below). Dilute with V-6 or other carrier to create a massage oil and massage onto the skin.

Emotional Ear Chart from Essential Oils Pocket Reference Guide

I also found a really useful blog written by Mary Hyatt on how to help move through grief with essential oils.  She has a lot of great recipes for help dealing with the different stages of grief so I wanted to include it in addition to the oils and blends listed above.  She uses a different oil company so I have modified the recipes slightly to reflect the corresponding Young Living blends where appropriate.  Here is a link to her original blog if you would like to read it:

To release – 25 drops of Bergamot + 15 drops of Roman Chamomile + 7 drops Cypress + 6 drops Marjoram. Mix up in a glass vial or empty glass bottle.  Add 5-7 drops to a diffuser and run for 15 minutes per hour while home.

For denial – Blend an equal ratio of Geranium and Lavender. Apply to the bones behind the ears from the tops of the jawline; inhale; apply to the back of the neck, rubbing up into the hairline.

For anger – Equal parts Peace & Calming and Roman Chamomile. Use an upward motion to apply from the center of the chest to the top of the throat; inhale; apply around, not in, the belly button.

For bargaining – Blend an equal ratio of Ginger and Peppermint. Dab on wrists, rub together, and inhale every two hours.

For sadness – 6 drops of Cypress + 4 drops of Frankincense + 4 drops of Joy. Mix up in a glass vial or empty glass bottle.  Diffuse for 15 minutes every hour.  Apply a few drops to the forearms, rub together, and inhale often.

For acceptance – Blend equal parts Coriander, Frankincense, and Orange. Apply around the core and across the heart ever two hours.

If you are stuck in old grief – 4 drops Valor* + 4 drops Orange + 2 drops Lavender + 2 drops Melissa. Mix up in a glass vial or empty glass bottle.  Diffuse for 15 minutes every hour.  Apply a few drops to the forearms, rub together, and inhale often.

And here’s another great blog with suggestions and experiences from other essential oil users on how essential oils and blends have helped them cope with their grief:

And lastly, I thought it might be useful to include my notes from the Grief Seminar I attended as part of my grief process group in 2009.  This doesn’t include any oily information but it would be easy to incorporate the oils discussed above during a discussion of the following topics.  If you are not my friend on Facebook you will need to send me a friend request to view the notes (please send me a Private Message first so I know who you are and why you are requesting to be my friend so I don’t ignore the request):

So there it is.  Today I’m diffusing Joy and Orange in my office and wearing Peace & Calming on my wrists to help find some peace and get through the day.  I hope that you too find peace today if you are struggling with grief and loss or any other emotional difficulty.

Love and Light to you my friend,



* Because of Young Living’s Seed to Seal Guarantee and commitment to sustainable farming practices, Valor and Peace & Calming essential oil blends are often out of stock.  You can substitute Valor II and Peace & Calming II for these oil blends when not available.  While slightly different oils go into these blends, they were designed by Gary Young to have similar energetic properties and to be used for the same purposes.  Just another reason why I love Young Living!

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor. Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

Moving Through Grief with Essential Oils was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures

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2016 – My Year for Crushin’ Health & Fitness Goals! (Part 3: Oily Tips & Tricks to Help You Reach Your Goals!)

weight loss

Welcome back to Part 3 of my Health & Fitness blog series: Oily Tips & Tricks to Help You Reach Your Goals! I’ve enjoyed sharing my journey with you and have really appreciated all the supportive feedback I have gotten from family and friends.  It’s such a wonderful feeling to know that my journey has helped inspire so many others and I can only hope to continue to motivate and inspire as I move into 2017 with bigger and better fitness goals in mind.  But today I want to share with you a little bit about how my oily obsession has helped me meet my goals this year!  So read on!

For the Athlete on the Go: Active & Fit Kit

Perfect to throw in your gym bag or for the student athlete, the Active & Fit Kit was created by Young Living ambassadors and athletes to help you rev up your workout by combining the power of Cool Azul Sports Gel, plus Deep Relief, Peppermint Vitality, Copaiba, R.C., and Thieves essential oil blends. This kit is designed with convenience in mind with a carabiner for easy attachment to any gym bag, an exterior pocket that perfectly fits a Slique Bar, and an interior pocket sized just right for a tube of NingXia NITRO. As an added bonus, this kit will include three roller fitments to complement each topical essential oil. The Active & Fit Kit supports every fitness regimen, from elite competition to daily workouts.

This was on my wishlist for several months after it was released in 2016 and I’m super excited to have it as part of my on-the-go gym bag! I use this kit several times a week. I’ve added and changed a few things so below I’ll tell you how and why I use each of the oils in my Active & Fit Kit!

Copaiba (with roller fitment)Copaiba is one of those oils that I tend to forget about because its less commonly used or talked about but it has so many awesome uses!  Copaiba is distilled from resin harvested from the tree that grows native in South America.  In addition to all it’s amazing oral and digestive health benefits, Copaiba also helps support the body’s natural response to injury and irritation. It is a key ingredient in Young Living’s best-selling roll-on blends Breathe Again and Deep Relief.  I mentioned in Part 2 of my blog series about my knees showing signs of wear and tear from my increased physical activity this year, hence why I take a Glucosamin Chondroitin supplement each morning.  But for added benefit, I like to roll on a little Copaiba essential oil on and around my knee joints to help give them a little support before I start my exercise routine.  I find this especially beneficial before I go for a run!

R.C. (with roller fitment) – R.C. is a powerhouse blend of 10 essential oils, including Cypress, Spruce, Myrtle, Marjoram, Pine, Lavender, Peppermint and three species of Eucalyptus designed to support healthy respiratory function.  I like to apply R.C. to my chest before physical activity, especially running, to help open the airways and ensure that my respiratory system operating at its best during exercise!  I’ve noticed a big difference when running with R.C. vs the days I forget to apply it.  Especially during transitional months when the sniffles are so common!

ThievesThieves is probably Young Living’s best known blend, so named after the Legend of the 4 Thieves who used to rob from plague victims during the 5th century but never got sick.  Thieves is a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils.  I apply Thieves to the bottoms of my feet before I exercise or go run. Not only does this help support my immune system it also keeps my sweaty feet from stinking up my gym shoes! lol I chose not to put my roller fitment attachment on my Thieves because I tend to diffuse this a lot at work to keep the germs away when I have clients in and out of my office all day.  I have to refill my Thieves for the diffuser so often that I have had to resort to pulling it out of my Active & Fit kit at times so it’s easier to keep it off so I can use it both ways.

Peppermint Vitality – Did you know there is actually a ton of research suggesting that Peppermint essential oil can enhance athletic performance by supporting your respiratory and circulatory systems so you can go faster and farther? Just cracking open and smelling that bottle of peppermint oil can reduce perceived effort, improve your mood and boost your brainpower!!! A recent study by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that adding Peppermint essential oil to athlete’s drinks improved their performance, blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory functioning. In addition, the test subjects were able to increase their performance by 51% as well as increased their time until exhaustion by 25%!!!  Young Living’s Active & Fit Kit comes with a bottle of Peppermint Vitality for just this reason!  Same high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils but labeled as a dietary supplement!  I love adding a drop or two of Peppermint Vitality to my water before exercise to give me a little extra pep in my step!

Deep Relief – The ONLY way you can get a 5 ml bottle of Deep Relief is with the Active & Fit Kit.  It’s the same amazing blend of Peppermint, Lemon, Balsam Canada, Clove, Copaiba, Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Vetiver and Dorado Azul in a coconut oil carrier that you get in the 10 ml Deep Relief roll-on but in a dropper bottle.  I actually find it easier to use the roll-on for my purposes, which is for targeted relief on sore muscles or aching joints after workouts so I replaced my 5 ml bottle with the 10 ml roll-on for daily use.  However, I’m hoarding my 5 ml bottle for other purposes like making my own DIY Bath Salts or Massage Lotion!

Cool Azul Sports GelCool Azul Sports Gel is an aloe based gel with a cooling blend of Peppermint, Wintergreen, Sage, Copaiba, Oregano, Niaouli, Lavender, Blue Cypress, Elemi, Willow, Caraway, Dorado Azul and Vetiver essential oils with Menthol and Camphor as well as Arnica and Chamomile flower extracts making it the perfect choice to use before or after physical activity. Rub and massage generously onto skin targeting sore or overworked muscles.  I’ve actually pulled muscles in my back a couple times over the last several months (picking up my toddler and washing the dogs, not exercising, believe it or not) and I applied Cool Azul to my lower back before bed!  By morning it always feels so much better! But make sure to wash hands after use, especially my gentleman readers, if you catch my drift!


Fitness, Inspired by Oola

Another of my favorite oils that I’ve actually added to my Active & Fit Kit so I have it on-the-go with me at all times is the Fitness, Inspired by Oola blend.  Young Living teamed up with the Oola Guys, creators of Oola to develop 7 essential oil blends inspired by the 7 F’s of Oola (fitness, finance, family, field, faith, friends, and fun). I could do a whole class on Oola and essential oils but today I want to share with you the Fitness essential oil blend. Fitness, Inspired by Oola is a blend of Cypress, Copaiba, Basil, Cistus, Marjoram, Peppermint, Clary Sage, Idaho Blue Spruce, Balsam Canada, Nutmeg and Black Pepper in a Coconut oil carrier designed to help uplift, energize and give you the inspiration to take your workout to the next level! I like to apply a couple drops to my Solar Plexus and repeat the Oola Fitness Affirmation “I am fit, healthy, disciplined and strong” before my workout. It’s also lovely to diffuse in your home gym or living room while you work up a sweat!

Learn more about the 7 F’s and Oola Balance here from the Oola Guys


Runner’s Magic Recipe

This little gem has been a life saver!!! It’s a recipe I’ll be sharing during my 2017 New Year New You: Essential Oils for New Years Fitness Resolutions class but I’ll give you a little sneak peak!  Shin Splints, often thought of as a runner’s injury plague more than just the marathon racer.  Nearly every athlete will get shin splints at some point in their career and also quite common among dancers. But even just running to catch the bus or increasing your activity level as you try to get in shape can lead to shin splints.  But what are they?  Shin Splints can actually be caused by several things from flat feet to inflammation and irritation in the mucles surrounding the shin bones from being overworked to stress fractures in the tibia or fibula!  I added this roller bottle to my Active & Fit Kit and use it after running or plyometric (think jump training) workouts when my shins and calves tend to ache the most!


Runner’s Magic Roller
In a 10 ml roller bottle, combine
• 12 drops of PanAway
• 12 drops of Valor or Valor II
• Fill with Ortho Sport or Ortho Ease massage oil

Roll directly onto affected area for relief from shin splints or other discomfort from overactive workouts.




Post-Workout Relief

Sore muscles?  There’s an oil (well several actually!) for that!  The Active & Fit Kit comes with both Cool Azul Sports Gel as well as Deep Relief (see above) both of which are awesome at targeted relief.  But one of my all time favorite ways to soothe my muscles after a strenuous workout is to take a relaxing bath!  PanAway is one of my favorite oils to add to my post-workout bath.  It is a cooling blend of Peppermint, Wintergreen, Clove, and Helichrysum designed to provide relief from normal aches and pains.  You can also add to Young Living’s Ortho Sport or Ortho Ease massage oils to soothe sore muscles after a workout! Here is one of my favorite, simple DIY post-workout bath salts recipes!

Simple DIY Post-Workout Bath Salts Recipe


Mix ingredients and store in 8 oz glass jar. Throw handful in tub before sinking in and relaxing!  Trust me, your muscles will thank you!

Make sure to check out my 2017 New Year New You online essential oils for fitness class for a DIY Massage Lotion recipe and even more ideas for post-workout relief!


So there you have it.  The 3rd and final installment of my 2016 Health & Fitness blog series: Oily Tips & Tricks to Help You Reach Your Goals! Be on the look out for an invite to my 2017: New Year New You online class about using essential oils to help meet your health and fitness goals!  In the class I will be covering a holistic approach to meeting weight management and fitness goals using Young Living essential oils and supplements.  This post was just a precursor to all the information I will be sharing in that class!  So if you have health and fitness resolutions for the New Year you don’t want to miss it!!! If you’re not my friend on Facebook, or aren’t one of my usual suspects, and want an invite, comment below with your email and/or Facebook name or PM me on Facebook and I’ll be sure to add you to the guest list!

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my journey! In case you missed it, make sure to check out the other installments of my 2016 Health & Fitness blog series Part 1: Intro to my Diet and Exercise Routine and Part 2: My Supplement and Protein Shake Reviews.

Disclaimer:  I am not a health professional, certified trainer or nutritionist.  I am merely an average girl just like you who got sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I have been asked about what I’ve been doing to have the results I have been blessed with so wanted to share the love!  Please consult with your medical professional to ensure that you are healthy enough for increased activity levels and/or a nutritionist to ensure that any dietary needs you may have are being met by whatever nutritional program you choose. 

2016 – My Year for Crushin’ Health & Fitness Goals! (Part 3: Oily Tips & Tricks to Help You Reach Your Goals!) was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures

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French Aromatherapy: Hydrosols


I have been so busy with clients at work and creating online classes to share my love of essential oils that I have not had much time to study my aromatherapy certification material let alone blog lately.  But today I had an unexpected free day where I was caught up with all my classes and team obligations and my only client on my schedule at work no showed.  So I took advantage of this opportunity to pick up where I had left off with my aromatherapy certification course.  As I started studying this material I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to share another installment in my French Aromatherapy blog series.  Today’s topic: Hydrosols.

What are Hydrosols?

Hydrosols, are the water-soluble components of the plant that is produced during the distillation process.  Many essential oil distillers will simply throw out the hydrosol as they are after the essential oil.  However, hydrosols have a long history of use in aromatic medicine and are often a better option for certain uses or individuals.  Hydrosols are often referred to as “flower waters” yet this name is misleading as not all hydrosols are produced from flowers or even from aromatic plant material.  Like essential oils, hydrosols may be produced from the whole plant or individual plant components such as leaves, stems, roots, seeds, flowers or resins.  However, unlike essential oils, hydrosols may also be produced using nonaromatic plant material, such as nettles or plantain.

Hydrosols contain many of the same therapeutic properties of essential oils.  However, they take much less plant material than essential oils to produce and generally contain less than 1% of the chemical constituents found in essential oils.   The other constituents are the hydrophilic compounds not found in the essential oil at all.  While hydrosols only contain small quantities of the plant molecules, this does not necessarily mean that they are less effective than essential oils.  Sometimes, the more a preparation is diluted the stronger its action may be on the organism.  In other words, less is sometimes more!

Uses of Hydrosols

In general, hydrosols can be used in almost anything that essential oils can be used in.  They are perhaps best known in the following aromatherapy applications:

  • To support the individual’s overall terrain
  • For internal use (in water or tea, alone or with other hydrosols – full strength)
  • In cream, lotion or gel recipes
  • As Facial toners
  • In Facial and body cleanser recipes
  • In facial exfoliants
  • As bath additives
  • In clay compresses
  • Room spritzers
  • As mouth washes and gargles
  • For an internal detox
  • In hydrotherapy
  • In Sitz baths
  • For nose washes
  • As an addition to baby baths
  • Towel baths (for elderly or in hospice)
  • For eye rinses and compresses
  • In house cleaning products

Hydrosol Dilutions

Since hydrosols are far less concentrated than their essential oil counterparts, they are considered extremely safe and effective with few known side effects.  Hydrosols are not mucous membrane irritants like many essential oils, have no known contra-indications and are a safer alternative for long-term treatment protocols.  They are considered ideal for babies, children, and pregnant or breasfeeding women.   Hydrosols can be used both internally and externally without any significant safety concerns.

For internal use: Add between a tsp and a dessert spoonful to a glass of water or herbal tea at least three times per day. This protocol can be continued for up to 21 days if needed.  If longer treatment is desired, take a week off then resume the same protocol listed above.

For creams, lotions, gels and cleansing bases: Choose your hydrosols based on the desired therapeutic properties.  Simply replace the water content in your recipe with a hydrosol or combination of desired hydrosols.  For cleansing bases, a general rule of thumb is to combine 3 ounces of your base, such as Castile soap, with 1 ounce of hydrosol.  You may need to experiment to find the perfect ratio for your cleanser, however.

For clay and other facial exfoliants: Again some experimentation may be warranted but begin by adding 1 tsp or 1 Tbsp of hydrosols to your clay or other exfoliant and blend.  You may need to add more to achieve your desired consistency.

With the elderly: Because elderly individuals tend to have thinner, more sensitive skin many essential oils may be too strong when used topically or internally.  Hydrosols are an excellent option for helping to provide support for digestive and respiratory systems as well as to support their overall terrain.  They may also help promote relaxation and soothe and calm the individual.  Safe for internal usage.

With babies and small children: Unlike essential oils, hydrosols are safe for both internal and external use with babies and small children.  Hydrosols may be diluted with water, juice or warmed milk (dairy or nut milk).  Internal usage of hydrosols can be very effective at helping to support the child’s overall terrain.  For children under 3, reduce internal dosage to 1/3 tsp 3x day in water, juice or milk for up to 21 days.

Dilutions for Baths, Compresses and Spritzers/Toners: 

Infants to 6 months of age – Add 1 tsp of chosen hydrosol to an infant bathtub or 2 tsp for an adult tub filled to baby depth
Children up to 12 years of age – Add 1 tsp of hydrosol per year of age, up to a maximum of 8 tsp
Adults – Use from 30 to 250 mililiters (or 1 to 8 ounces per tub)
Foot Baths – Add 2-3 Tbsp for foot bath
Compresses – For adults, add 3-5 Tbsp of hydrosols to 1 liter of water at the desired temperature; for children, add 2 to 3 tsp of hydrosols per 1 liter of water
Spritzers/Toners – Use 100% concentration of single hydrosols or a combination of hydrosols

A Brief Overview of a Few Hydrosols and Their Uses

Cistus Hydrosol – has toning properties that are beneficial for skincare and can help tighten the pores, calm occasional acne breakouts and protect against wrinkles.  Cistus Hydrosol is also useful in your natural first aid kits as it can help slow bleeding and promote wound healing.   For bloody noses, spray Cistus Hydrosol on a cotton ball and insert into the nose to help slow down the bleeding.
Eucalyptus Globulus Hydrosol – a refreshing hydrosol beneficial for oily and acne-prone skin.  Eucalyptus Globulus Hydrosol may also help calm red, dry, or irritated eyes when used in a compress for the eyes.
German Chamomile Hydrosol – useful for children and related skin problems as it can help calms and soothe common skin irritations.  German Chamomile Hydrosol is commonly used for the eyes and ocular irritations.  When used internally, may help to calm digestive problems, such as nervous digestion.  In a mist spray, German Chamomile may also help protect against seasonal irritations and calm occasional coughs.
Helichrysum Hydrosol – may help minimize bruising and alleviate minor pain from bumps and bruises, such as trapping a finger in the door. Also useful for ciruclatory support and can be used in a bath or Sitz bath to encourage circulation to the pelvic region and soothe vaginal or anal irritations.  Helichrysum Hydrosol has a calming effect that may help sooth burns or sunburns, either alone or used in conjunction with Lavender, Chamomile or Plaintain Hydrosols. Energetically, Helichrysum Hydrosol can have a calming and nurturing effect that can help with emotional turmoil or working through trauma.  Simply add to a spray bottle and spritz in the mouth and around the aura from time to time.
Lavender Hydrosol – Just like the essential oil, Lavender Hydrosol is like the Swiss Army Knife of hydrosols because it has so many uses! It is yet another calming hydrosol that can help soothe sunburns or other burns.  Lavender Hydrosol may also be used externally in a spray or internally in a glass of water 2-3 times per day to help calm overly excited children or decrease stress and worry in both children and adults.  It may help reduce inflammation and calm insect bites or stings.  It is also beneficial for oily or acne-prone skin and other skin irritations due to its remarkable ability to help promote healing.  In addition, when blended with Clary Sage and Rose Hydrosols, or used alone, Lavender Hydrosol can be a great relief in the bath for menstrual pains or just simply to soothe and nourish the skin for a relaxing bath before bed.
Melissa Hydrosol – known to be calming to the digestive system and can appease indigestion or upset stomachs.  Like many hydrosols, Melissa has astringent properties which suits oily skin and can be especially useful for when those monthly acne breakouts pop up.  Melissa Hydrosol also has a calming effect which can help promote relaxation, calm anger and rage as well as help promote a restful night’s sleep.   Add a soup spoon full of Melissa Hydrosol to your evening herbal tea or in the day to help alleviate stress and sadness.
Peppermint Hydrosol – an excellent general toner which can bring back vitality to tired skin and support circulation.  A strong digestive support which can help ease occasional queasiness and travel sickness.  Peppermint Hydrosol can also be used alone or in combination with Rosemary Hydrosol as a mouth wash or gargle to help get rid of bad breath.  In addition, Peppermint Hydrosol may help ease a pounding head when used alone or in a 50:50 blend with Lavender Hydrosol to create a compress and place on the forehead.  Add 2 soup spoons full to hot water and inhale the vapors for 10 minutes a couple times a day to clear a stuffy head and support the respiratory system.
Sage Hydrosol – unlike the essential oil of Salvia officinalis that needs to be used carefully and sparingly, Sage Hydrosol is very well tolerated by individuals.   It is a powerful antioxidant that effectively combats free radicals, and helps regenerate the skin and fight against wrinkles.  It is known to harmonize, purify and helps protect the skin and scalp, bringing vitality back to lifeless hair and may help regulates excessive secretions such as sebum and perspiration.  Sage Hydrosol also helps provide hormone support, especially for premenopausal women.  Like Peppermint Hydrosol, Sage Hydrosol also makes an excellent general mouthwash and supports oral health.  Energetically, Sage Hydrosol is considered to be opening and may help one confront fears and support meditation practices.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris ct linalool) Hydrosol – Be aware of different chemotypes of Thyme as they do not contain the same quantities of each molecule and therefore have different usages. Thyme Hydrosol is considered to be stimulating to the nervous system and is often used in herbal teas, diluted in water or in inhalations for respiratory irritations.  It is also helpful in calming intestinal inflammations and may help support the urinary tract and a healthy vaginal flora.
Witch Hazel Hydrosol – best known for its astringent properties and is often recommended for sensitive skin and those who have a tendency to suffer from rashes.  Witch Hazel is a very gentle hydrosol and suitable for all skin types, especially mature skin due to its antioxidant effect.  May also help support the circulatory system.
Plaintain Hydrosol – any of the three common plaintains: Plantago media, Plantago major, and Plantago lanceolata can be used – although Jade Shutes prefers the Plantago lanceolata variety, Plaintain Hydrosol is useful for calming insect bites, stings, blisters and other skin irritations or as a facewash for acne-prone skin.  It is also effective as an eyewash for ocular  irritations and can be mixed with Cornflower, Greater Celandine, German Chamomile and Sweet Clover Hydrosols for those who suffer from chronic weakness and sensitivity of the eyes. When taken internally, Plaintain Hydrosol may be beneficial in supporting the respiratory and digestive systems.  Can also be used in conjunction with Plaintain tea and tincture for seasonal relief and to create a protective barrier against pollen.
Nettle Hydrosol – provides a grounding effect to help manage stress and helps the individual pace themselves in order to push forward and carry on.  Nettle Hydrosol may also be helpful to nourish and fortify the hair, bringing a shine to dull or lifeless hair.  When used on the skin, it can help tone and regulate sebum and is an excellent choice for acne and skin related issues.

Where to get Hydrosols

Unfortunately, Young Living does not carry hydrosols at this time, although I hear rumors through the grapevine that some of them are used for hydrotherapy and in organic farming practices on the Young Living farms.  I hope that one day they will realize that there is a market for high quality, therapeutic grade hydrosols for aromatherapy students, practitioners and members who are interested in living a more natural lifestyle.  While I have never used and cannot endorse the essential oils from the following companies (you guys know I only trust Young Living due to their Seed to Seal guarantee!) these are the companies that Jade Shutes and Cathy Skipper recommend:

Stillpoint Aromatics – a small, boutique essential oil company based out of Arizona that distills their own oils and hydrosols.  They have relationships with organic and ethical farmers around the world and promise quality, therapeutic grade products.

Inshanti – another small, boutique essential oil company founded by a spa owner in Pennsylvania who wanted to create her own pure synergies and blends.  She studied aromatherapy at another reputable school, Aromahead Institute, and has expanded her selection of essential oils to include hydrosols over the years.

Mountain Rose Herbs – A larger company but one I respect and trust.  Before discovering Young Living I used Mountain Rose Herb’s essential oils and I’ve also used many of their butters, waxes, carrier oils, herbs, salts and spices over the years.  They promise an extensive selection of organic products and I’ve always been really pleased with the products I’ve ordered.


So there you have it.  The latest installment of my French Aromatherapy blog series that follows along my journey while I study for my certification in French Aromatic Medicine.  Hopefully I’ll be able to give more attention to my studies and get back to writing more consistently in the near future.  Just in case you missed them, here are the links to my other French Aromatherapy blog installments:

French Aromatherapy: My New Adventure

French Aromatherapy: The Concept of Terrain and “Oil Mapping”

French Aromatherapy: Chemistry of Essential Oils (for the non-Chemistry major)

French Aromatherapy: The Ternary Concept

French Aromatherapy: Methods of Application

* Source: Jade Shutes and Cathy Skipper’s Hydrosol course material in the School for Aromatic Studies French Aromatherapy Certification program


Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor. Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

French Aromatherapy: Hydrosols was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures

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My newest and favorite DIY Deodorant recipe (for sensitive skin)!

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you may remember my previous post on my Quest for the Holy Grail of DIY Deodorants.  Turns out, what I thought was the holy grail failed to live up to my expectations in the long-run.  It was great in the beginning but then the unthinkable happened, I was approached at work and informed that there had been a complaint about my body odor.  Seriously, the most embarassing thing to have ever happened to me in my adult life.  Try as I might, I still to this day cannot figure out who would have been close enough to actually smell me.  But I digress.  Either way, a change had to be made so I headed to some of my crunchy granola online groups to see if anyone had any suggestions.

In one of my previous deo posts I shared about my failed attempt at using Milk of Magnesia as a deodorant alternative.  You may be wondering how on Earth MoM would work to decrease body stank.  The active ingredient, magnesium hydroxide, is alkaline it helps balance the acidity of the sweat and sebum (skin’s natural oils) mixture thereby preventing odor from this buildup.  When I turned to my support group for answers, several of the women pointed out that they had also had failed attempts until they learned the magic trick.  See, MoM works best when it has dehydrated a bit.  Someone, somewhere along the way discovered that the thicker, creamier paste that started to crust around the top of their MoM container was more effective than the liquid itself.  Who knew?  The trick they suggested was actually pouring it out onto a baking sheet and letting it dehydrate for 24 hours or so to let it thicken up. (More information about this trick from Buddhaful Brit) So, I thought “What the hell? I’ll give it a shot!” But I was a bit skeptical that MoM by itself would be effective enough.  I wanted to make sure it had some drying power and that it smelled good too.  So I set to researching options.

Since I have a sensitivity to baking soda I considered adding Arrowroot powder.  This would be effective I’m sure but I’d heard a lot of people say that they had good luck with corn starch.  I had a container of J&J Natural baby powder that is basically just corn starch with some Vitamin E and Aloe added.  I don’t use baby powder on my child so it was never going to get used and I thought it might make a suitable alternative and that the added Vitamin E and Aloe might help soothe the skin as well.

But I wasn’t done yet.  Y’all know me, I had to throw in some essential oils! I had good luck using Rosemary neat so figured I’d add it to my recipe and I had been learning about the deodorizing benefits of Geranium and Cypress essential oils in my aromatherapy class so I set to researching different oils and selected 5 to add to my recipe.  These are the ones I chose:

Geranium – Geranium not only has a pleasing fragrance, it also has properties that help combat odor-causing bacteria on the body.  Geranium essential oil is wonderful to add to your collection for a number of skin conditions as it helps cleanse oily skin and soothes dry, cracked or irritated skin.

Rosemary – Another great oil that provides a refreshing and cooling sensation to your deodorant blend while helping to protect against odor causing bacteria.

Cedarwood – Cedarwood helps provide a nice, earthy balance to this blend while also preventing body odor.

Lavender – Like Geranium, Lavender has a lovely fragrance and many deodorizing, skin-soothing, and healing properties that make it a wonderful oil to add to your homemade deodorant and skin care recipes.

Cypress – Cypress helps reduce excessive sweating and prevents body odor.  It has a somewhat woody fragrance that pairs well with Geranium and is suitable for men or women.


Other oils I researched that you may want to add to your homemade deodorants:

Lemon – Often added to homemade deodorants and body washes, along with other citrus oils (like Bergamot), due to its refreshing aroma.  It’s cleansing properties help prevent odor causing bacteria growth.  Citrus oils pair well with Geranium. *Note: Many citrus oils can cause photosensitivity so be mindful if you are sunbathing as you don’t want to burn your pits. Grapefruit is a wonderful alternative as it does not cause photosensitivity but still contains many of the same properties as Lemon and Bergamot essential oil.

Tea Tree – A beneficial oil to keep in your oily first aid kit as well because of its ability to help cleanse wounds, promote healing, and prevent the harboring of bacteria which can cause odor and infection.

Lemongrass – Another oil well renowned for its ability to help prevent the growth of odor causing bacteria.  This oil has a strong but refreshing fragrance that provides a nice complement to many of the other oils listed or can be used on its own.   Note: Lemongrass is a “hot” oil so make sure not to use this oil “neat” on the skin. 

Patchouli – An acquired fragrance but Patchouli is a strong smelling oil that has long been famed for its ability to help reduce and masque the scent of unpleasant body odor.

**Feel free to research other oils that have antibacterial, antifungal or astringent properties as any of these would make great additions to your homemade deodorant blends!  I really like the Essential Oils Pocket and Desk Reference Guides by Life Science Publishing as well as Dr. Scott Johnson’s Evidence-Based Essential Oil Therapy for references and resources when researching essential oils and their properties.

I’m pleased to report that my experiment was a TREMENDOUS Success!  I have been using it for awhile, long enough to completely run out of my first batch and I also shared a sample with a very athletic friend of mine who has been on the quest for the holy grail of deodorant for a long time as well.  We have both put this recipe to the test! It has not only stood up to the challenge that she has presented it while hiking and rock climbing but it has stood up to the heat and humidity of 100º+ heat index of Alabama summers! I do cleanse with baby wipes and reapply my deodorant after my lunch time walks in the heat of the summer but when it was cooler outside this wasn’t necessary.  And I’m super stoked that no one has complained again! I even walk with my co-workers and have had feedback that my office smells lovely from client’s that have come in for afternoon sessions.

So, without further ado, here it is:


DIY Milk of Magnesia Deodorant

(for sensitive skin)


  • 1 bottle of plain, unflavored Milk of Magnesia
  • ¼ cup Cornstarch (I like the J&J cornstarch baby powder with Aloe and Vit E added)
  • 5 drops each of: Geranium, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Cypress essential oils


1.       Pour entire bottle of Milk of Magnesia out into a baking sheet (with sides) and allow to dehydrate, usually 24-36 hours, until it forms a creamy paste.  If you live in a humid environment, it may take a little longer.  If it starts to harden or crack around the edges just a tad it’s perfect! When you mix it all together it will be like the consistency of cream cheese icing that has started to melt.

2.       Add in ¼ cup of Cornstarch and mix well (before you allow your mixture to dehydrate).  While you can skip this step, I chose to add the Cornstarch to help absorb some of the liquid from sweating and to keep my pits drier.  If you swore by an antiperspirant but don’t want to use aluminum, you probably want to add something like Cornstarch or Arrowroot to help provide a sense of dryness to your homemade deodorant.  This is an especially good alternative if you are sensitive to Baking Soda in homemade deodorant recipes.

3.       After your mixture has dehydrated and is ready, add 5 drops each of your essential oils.  I like Geranium, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Cypress.  Stir until your oils are mixed well throughout your mixture.  You do not want to add the oils before you let your mixture set out because they will evaporate and lose their potency.

4.       Transfer to a small glass jar.  I found this recipe made a bit more than I could fit in my 4 oz jelly jar but I like this size for ease of application.  I now transfer the remainder to a 2 oz tin that I carry with me to work or when traveling.

Instructions for Use:

1.       Apply underarms using your fingers (I find this works better than using a cotton round) and allow to dry while you are getting ready.

2.       If you are especially prone to body odor, make sure you shower or scrub your pits with your soap/body wash of choice before applying.  You can also use Apple Cider Vinegar to help balance the pH of your pits.  I spray a bit on a cotton round and apply under my arms.  Allow to dry before applying your homemade deodorant.  I haven’t had to use this method since I started using this deodorant recipe, however!


So, there you have it! Did you make this recipe? What did you think?  I love to hear feedback from my readers! Please comment below to share your results or other homemade natural deodorant recipes!


Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor. Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


My newest and favorite DIY Deodorant recipe (for sensitive skin)! was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures

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French Aromatherapy: Methods of Application

French Aromatherapy: Methods of Application

French Aromatherapy: Methods of Application

French Aromatherapy utilizes a variety of applications when using essential oils for therapeutic purposes.  In general, these applications will fall under one of three main categories:  Aromatic, Topical, Internal.  I’ll be discussing each of these in a little more detail below.

Aromatic: Diffusing and Inhalation

Perhaps the simplest method of application is aromatic.  There are several ways one can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of essential oils through their aroma, including direction inhalation (smelling the oils direction from the bottle or using 1-2 drops on a cotton ball, handkerchief, or your pillow case), diffusing, steam inhalation, make your own inhalers, or even making your own smelling salts. In general, aromatic application can be beneficial for:

  • reducing stress or anxiety
  • promoting relaxation or a restful night’s sleep
  • providing relief from discomfort from headaches or migraines
  • to minimize motion sickness or nausea
  • to enhance focus and concentation while studying

Rainstone diffuser

Aromatic diffusion involves the use of an electric diffuser that helps break up the essential oils into microparticles which can then be dispersed throughout the air.  You want to make sure to use a cool humidifer rather than one that heats the oils over 55°, as this can cause the breakdown of the therapeutic properties.  Also remember that some essential oils, especially citrus, can degrade plastic (that’s why we store them in glass) so make sure to purchase a diffuser that is made of medical grade plastic, or glass, to prolong the use of your machine.  Young Living has several diffusers to choose from, including the ones available in the Premium Starter Kit.  Some, like the Home and Dewdrop diffusers double as cool-mist humidifiers.  The newest diffuser, and a user favorite, is the Rainstone diffuser (pictured) which not only functions as a diffuser but also features a negative ionizer which helps remove pollutants from the air and increases oxygen flow to the brain! This will be my next diffuser for sure!

Aromatic diffusion is especially helpful when wanting to:

  • purify the air, in lieu of candles or air fresheners, or to create environmental ambiance
  • help reduce stress and minimize depressive or anxiety symptoms
  • promote relaxation and a restful night’s sleep
  • increase alertness, energy levels or motivation
  • to support the immune system and keep your family healthy
  • to support the respiratory system

Read the instructions on your diffuser for more detailed directions and follow the times recommended in your resources guides for details on how many drops to use and how long to diffuse.

Safety note: Be cautious diffusing essential oils if you have a history of asthma or epilepsy.   Use with caution around small children.  Be mindful of which oils you are diffusing and be aware of any contraindications or mucous membrane irritants in your selected oil/blends.

Steam Inhalation is another method of aromatic application.  It is one of the classic ways of using essential oils, originating in ancient Egypt and still often used in France for the treatment of common colds, flu and sinus infections.  It is a relatively easy method that anyone can do in their own home.  To use steam inhalation, simply bring 2 cups of water to a boil, remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.  Pour your water into a large glass bowl and add 2-5 drops of essential oil, or blend, to the water.  Place your face above the water and inhale the vapors.  You can also place a towel over your head to increase the concentration of the steam inhalation.  (Does anyone else automatically think of that scene in Crocodile Dundee 2 where Mick dumps the playboy’s cocaine into a bowl of steaming water to help him clear up his congestion!?! lol)

Steam inhalation is a wonderful option to help:

  • provide relief from congestion in the upper respiratory tract (such as common colds or the flu)
  • help reduce pressure and breathe easier when you are suffering from a sinus infection or sinusitis
  • overall respiratory support

Oils that are beneficial to use with steam inhalation are Laurus nobilis, Myrtle, Pine (to help reduce mucous), Cypress, Lavender, Eucalyptus globulus, and Roman Chamomile.

Safety note:  Keep your eyes closed during steam inhalation to avoid irritation.  Use with caution if you have a history of asthma.  Avoid essential oils rich in phenols, such as Clove and Thyme ct thymol as these can be mucous membrane irritants.

Inhalers are a great DIY project for ease of application or to take your essential oils with you on the go!  Check out Sage Marie’s, The Wellness Sage, video on how to make your own inahlers.  She also has a new eBook which has tons of great inhaler recipes for you to try out at home!


Smelling Salts are yet another way you can make your own blend to use for inhalation.  Combine your desired essential oils (using 3-5 desired oils, 20-30 drops total) to create a synergy, or essential oil blend in a 10 ml bottle.  Fill the remainder of the bottle with sea salt, can be fine or coarse.  Simply waft the bottle under your nose while taking deep inhalations.  You can do this 3 to 4 times per day or as needed.

Topical: Cutaneous or Dermal Application

Because essential oil molecules tend to be lipophilic (they combine with or dissolve in fat) they have a unique ability to penetrate the dermal layers of the skin.  Essential oils rich in monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and esters have especially strong penetrating power.  Topical, also known as cutaneous or dermal, application is the most widely used method of essential oil application.  The absorption of essential oils into the skin allows for a local effect (just the area of the skin that is covered), a regional affect on the tissue and organs under the skin (through applications like deep tissue massage), and even a general effect by being absorbed into the blood stream.  There are many methods of topical application, including:

  • facial or body creams, oils, serums, butters or exfoliants (scrubs)
  • massage oils or lotions
  • salves
  • full body baths, hand and foot baths, or sitz baths
  • warm or cool compresses

Topical use of essential oils is the preferred method of administration for many conditions, including:

  • to moisturize and promote healthy skin
  • to slow the visible effects of aging on the skin
  • to assist with ridding the skin of bacterial, fungal, and viral infections
  • to relieve itching
  • to reduce inflammation
  • to help promote cellular regeneration and healing of skin, preventing scar tissue formation
  • to address musculoskeletal issues, including aches and pains, spasms, and sprains
  • to relieve stress and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety

Most often topical application will involve diluting the essential oil with a carrier oil of some kind but some are gentle enough to be used neat, or undiluted.  Traditionally, dilution can range anywhere from a 0.5% solution to 10% depending on many factors including: age, constitution/terrain, pregnancy, use or intention, and the specific essential oil.  Some trained aromatherapists may even use oils in 20, 30, 50 or even 100% dilution for specific uses.  A good rule of thumb to follow with regards to dilution is:

  • 0.25-0.5% for infants 6 months or older, the elderly, individuals with a poor constitution, or immunocompromised individuals
  • 1 % for children ages 2-5 years old
  • 1-2% for use when pregnant or breastfeeding
  • 1-5% for facial serums, creams, or exfolliants
  • 2-5% for stress management, to support the nervous or endocrine systems, for general massage lotions and oils and for body butters and lotions
  • 7% to promote wound healing, to support the lymphatic and circulatory systems and for stronger massage concentrations for localized treatments
  • 10% to musculoskeletal support, including inflammation of the joints, tendons and muscles as well as for deep tissues massage, trauma injury, and to make salves
  • 20% is the highest dilution recommended for oils that can be dermacaustic (irritating to the skin), these include essential oils rich in phenols and aldehydes
  • 30% for localized action, acute musculoskeletal trauma, and for the treatment of warts and worms
  • 30-50% for gentle essential oils and those used for acute treatments
  • 100%, or neat/undiluted for localized frictions (undiluted, 1:1 or 1:2 essential oil combinations use for localized treatment), especially for use to help calm bronchial spasms and as an expectorant

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for how to determine a specific dilution percentage.  And remember, less is often more with essential oils.  Always start with lower dilutions to make sure that the individual will not experience any irritation before increasing your dilution.  And always do a patch test (Mix a very small amount of essential oil/carrier at twice the concentration you plan to use. Using the inside of the forearm, apply a couple drops of your double concentration mix to the pad of a Band-Aid and keep the bandage on the skin. You may repeat to check for allergic sensitivity).

French Aromatherapy: Essential Oils Dilution Chart


Solar Plexus

Often you will hear that you should apply essential oils to the Solar Plexus.  But what is the Solar Plexus? Basically it is concentration of nerves belonging to the sympathetic nervous system that are linked to the stomach, liver and spleen.  The role of the solar plexus is to aid in digestive function and the absorption of food and nutrients. It is located in the middle of your belly button and the tip of your sternum, you might refer to this point as the “pit of your stomach” when you feel anxiety or loss.  In Ayurveda, yoga, and some forms of meditation the solar plexus is associated with the Manipura chakra point.  This chakra point is the source of our personal power and self-esteem, transformation, and our warrior energy.

In French Aromatherapy, it may be recommended to apply essential oil(s) or blends to the solar plexus.  It is believed that this application helps calm the nervous system, can aid in digestion or soothe digestive distress, and provides overall support to the individual’s terrain.  It is usually recommended to massage the oils into the solar plexus or other vital organ areas in a clockwise manner.

Vita Flex

Vita Flex is Gary Young’s reflexology method based on an ancient Tibetan technique that means “vitality through the reflexes.” The premise is that slight pressure applied to reflex points throughout the body can stimulate all the internal body systems.  When applying essential oils to specific reflex points an electrical charge is released which sends energy throughout the body via neuroelectrical pathways.  The idea is that this electrical energy will travel throughout the nervous system following these pathways until it reaches a break in the electrical circuit, usually caused by damaged tissues, toxins, or loss of oxygen.   Vita Flex is different from common reflexology techniques due to the gentle rolling and releasing motion using the fingertips.   You will often see references to applying essential oils on the bottoms of the feet according to the Vita Flex chart and it is a complement to Gary Young’s Raindrop Massage technique.  You can find more information about both these techniques in the Essential Oil Pocket and Desk Reference Guides available through Life Science Publishing.

Safety Notes: Essential oils rich in phenols, such as carvacol, cinnamic aldehyde, eugenol, and thymol as well as aldehydes, such as citronellal, citral, geranial, and neral may be skin irritants or sensitizers.  These oils should always be diluted prior to topical application.  Examples include: Oregano, Marjoram, Thyme, Clove, Cintronella, Ginger, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, and Melissa.  In addition, some oils can cause photosensitization, or a darkening or burning of the skin when exposed to UV light.  Some pharmaceuticals, like tetracycline, may exacerbate this reaction as well.  Use caution with sun exposure when using potential photosensitizing oils.  These oils include: Angelica, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, and Lime.

Internal: Oral, Suppositories, or Pessaries

Perhaps the most controversial method of essential oil application is through internal use.  This appears to be unique to French Aromatherapy and is often shunned by essential oil users that follow English or Anglo-Saxon Aromatherapy guidelines.  However, when properly trained, internal use of essential oils can be utilized safely for a number of conditions.  There are three main ways that essential oils can be used internally: taken orally, through rectal suppositories, or through vaginal pessaries.

The oral route involves ingesting essential oils through the mouth where they are passed into the digestive tract.   Essential oils can be ingested using honey, sugar cubes or alcohol as a delivery medium or through the use of gelatin capsules, herbal tinctures, syrups, or pastilles/lozenges.  I personally like to add essential oils to my herbal tea to support my immune, digestive, and/or respiratory systems.  I like to sweeten my tea with honey so I will get a spoonful of honey, drop 1-2 drops of my desired essential oil into the honey, stir with a toothpick to disperse the oil, then stir the honey mixture into my prepared tea (after I have removed the tea bag – you don’t want the tea bag to absorb your precious oils!).  Some like to drink water with essential oils to help detox or flush the system or for weight management.  It should be noted that oils and water do not mix and your oils will tend to float on the surface (so shake before each drink) and there is the possibility of mucous membrane irritation with this route if you are particularly sensitive.   You can add a small crystal of Himalayan salt to your water which will help bind the essential oils or you can premix an oil blend with a fatty oil, like Olive Oil, which will envelop the essential oils and help prevent irritation as they are ingested.  Remember to always use glass or stainless steel, not plastic, if you choose to add essential oils to your drinks.

Rectal suppositories are another method of internal application. Suppositories are an effective means of delivering the essential oils into the circulatory system bypassing the digestive system where some of the therapeutic properties of the essential oils may be lost due to hepatic metabolism.  They are especially powerful for the treatment of lower respiratory infections, bronchial disorders, constipation, hemorrhoids or rectal fissures.

And vaginal pessaries, a form of suppository, is the third method of internal application. They are generally utilized for vaginal infections, like Candida (Thrush), to soothe irritation in the vaginal canal, or to help with vaginal dryness.

Safety note:  You should be proficient in your knowledge of essential oils or under the care of a trained aromatherapist before using essential oils internally.  Make sure to research any essential oil you ingest or apply internally and know the safety precautions and contraindications of that oil before using. Remember essential oils are powerful and small doses may be very effective.  A general rule of thumb is no more than 12 drops of your essential oil or synergy should be used internally per day.  Some practitioners use more than this dosage safely and effectively but they have extensive experience with essential oils and know how their body reacts to them before beginning these regimens.  For more information or training on the internal use of essential oils I highly recommend the French Aromatherapy course I’m taking through East-West School for Herbal and Aromatic Studies!



Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor.  Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

French Aromatherapy: Methods of Application was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures


French Aromatherapy: The Ternary Concept


The Ternary Concept

When you start to dive into the world of Aromatherapy it is very likely that you will often see the same reference books recommended time and time again by aromatherapists.  One of these books, often cited by French and English aromatherapists alike, is L’aromatherapie exactement by Pierre Franchomme and Daniel Pénoël.  Oddly enough, this book has never been translated to English so if you’re lucky enough to read French you can reference this book yourself.  I, however, can barely speak American bastardized English, let alone read French or any other language.  I am lucky enough though to be taking a French Aromatherapy certification course at East-West School for Herbal and Aromatic Studies taught by Cathy Skipper and Jade Shutes who have shared with their students some of what this book has to offer.

One of the teachings of Pierre Franchomme and Daniel Pénoël that Cathy Skipper often references is “The Ternary Concept.”  Ternary basically just means divided into three parts.  Thus, the Ternary Concept divides essential oils into three aspects: Energetic, Molecular, and Electrical.

Energetic Aspect

The Energetic, or Informational, Aspect of the Ternary Concept pertains to the information about an essential oil that we can perceive through our five senses, with a particular emphasis on our sense of smell. For example, when you open up a bottle of Lavender essential oil and inhale it’s aroma, what do you sense? Most people experience a sense of calm, or peaceful relaxation. This would be an example of the energetic aspect of Lavender.  But the other senses are also important.  What you taste when you eat the plant or ingest its essential oil and the visual characteristics or structure of the plant also gives us information about the possible application and its therapeutic uses.  Cathy Skipper emphasizes the energetic over the informational aspect because essential oils are so powerful that just a sniff can activate our senses, influence our psycho-emotional state and/or spiritual states, even align our chakras all while still having a profound impact on our overall health and well being.

Molecular Aspect

The Molecular, or Substance Aspect refers to the chemical constituents that make up an essential oil.  Remember from my Chemistry post where we discussed hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds?  Every batch of essential oils will vary slightly but the overall molecular makeup of the oil should be similar from batch to batch.  You can find out the exact molecular makeup of your batch by reviewing the Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) report.  Many essential oil suppliers offer this information on their webpage.  Others, like Young Living, view this information as proprietary.  However, if you are fortunate enough to visit one of Young Living’s farms you can view their GC/MS reports in person.  But reading and interpreting a GC/MS report is actually a pretty specialized skill, one which I don’t have.  If you’re like me and it just gets overwhelming looking at all those chemical constituents and teeny tiny percentages you are in luck, because most essential oil reference books (like the Essential Oils Desk and Pocket References by Life Science Publishing and Evidence-Based Essential Oil Therapy by Dr. Scott Johnson) provide you with a handy breakdown of the most common compounds found in each of the single essential oils with a range of acceptable percentages.  It is these chemical constituents that give the essential oil its therapeutic properties (e.g., sesquiterpenes tend to have anti-inflammatory and sedative qualities).   By studying the therapeutic properties of each of the constituents commonly found in essential oils and examining the chemical makeup of specific oils, we can then make educated assumptions about the ways in which each oil can help support the different body’s systems and our overall health and well being.

Electrical Aspect

The third aspect of Franchomme and Pénoël’s Ternary Concept is the Electrical Aspect.  The Electrical Aspect of an essential oil is determined by taking the oil and placing it in a refined aerosol generator. During this process, the essential oil’s components are broken down into very fine particles that tend to have either a positive or negative charge.  What they found is that the chemical compounds that have a positive charge tend to be warming, stimulating, and more humid than drying.  They tend to be good general tonics (providing a feeling of vigor or well being) and help provide overall support to the immune system. In contrast, negatively charged compounds tend to be more cooling, calming or sedative, and more dry than humid.  They tend to be good for “conditions of excess” (e.g., excess heat in the body) and help calm the nervous system.


My Interpretation of the Referential Chart

The Referential Chart

The Referential Chart is Franchomme and Pénoël’s graphical representation of The Ternary Concept and helps merge each of the three aspects addressed above into an easily understandable picture.  The chart can be divided several ways:

Top & Bottom: Those molecules that fall above the middle line in the top half of the graph are more negatively charged and tend to be calming to the body’s systems, somewhat sedative in nature, and grounding or relaxing.  Those molecules that fall below the middle line are more positively charged and tend to be stimulating to the body’s systems and good general tonics.

Left & Right: Those molecules that fall on the left half of the graph are more polar and tend to be humidifying and more soluble in water those on the right.  Those molecules that fall on the right half of the graph are nonpolar, tend to be more drying and are not as water-soluble, preferring instead to be drawn to the body’s lipids or fats.

Cathy Skipper and Jade Shutes added Hippocrates Four Temperaments and Yin & Yang of traditional Chinese Medicine to the graph (I overlaid the Yin & Yang for an easier visual representation of where the molecules would fall with regards to Yin and Yang energy).  So if you’re unfamiliar, here’s a crash course in what those mean:

Hippocrates Four Temperaments:

The Greek physician Hippocrates postulated that there were four main temperaments based on the medical model of humorism (that the four main bodily fluids – blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm – impact personality and behaviors).  He thought that certain emotions or moods were based on an excess, or lack of, bodily fluids and believed that there was a physiological basis for certain human behaviors.  Hippocrates classified these as either hot/cold or wet/dry based on the four elements. Ideally, there is a state of balance between each of these four temperaments.

Sanguine – Sanguine temperaments are associated with the element of Air and tend to be more social, lively, talkative, carefree, etc.  They tend to be imaginative, artistic and creative, make friends easily, and have lots of ideas.  Usually they tend to be somewhat flighty and may struggle with task completion and tend to run late or be forgetful.

Choleric – Choleric temperaments are associated with the element of Fire and tend to be extroverted and egocentric.  They may be impulsive, easily excitable, restless and energetic, passionate or even somewhat aggressive.  Usually they tend to be very task-oriented, like to plan, tend to be solution focused, and often take on leadership roles in order to get the job done.

Melancholic – Melancholic temperaments are associated with the element of Earth and tend to be more introverted, serious, cautious or even suspicious at times. They may be filled with angst and tend to dwell on tragedy and cruelty in the world.  These individuals are often moody and may be prone to depressive and anxious tendencies.  Usually they are more solitary and prefer to keep to themselves.

Phlegmatic – Phlegmatic temperaments are associated with the element of Water and tend to be calm, thoughtful, and caring in nature.  They often seek peace and contentment within themselves and tend to be reliable and consistent in their routine.

What to know what your temperament is? Check out this Personality Quiz to find out!

Yin & Yang in Chinese Medicine:

Yin – Yin is associated with female energy, is more passive, and a negative principle in nature.  It is affiliated with the moon, the direction North, and is the shaded portion of the Yin & Yang symbol.

Yang – Yang is associated with male energy, is more active, and a positive principle in nature.  It is affiliated with the sun, the direction South, and is the white portion of the Yin & Yang symbol

Four Aspects of the Yin and Yang Relationship:

1.  Yin & Yang are opposites but neither is fully positive or negative.  Their relationship is relative and must be understood on a continuum of energy.  So, for example, “water is Yin relative to steam but Yang relative to ice” and like water this state is fluid and an ever changing balance.

2. Yin & Yang are dependent upon one another and neither can exist without the other.  Nothing is totally Yin or totally Yang.  Just as there is no night without day.

3. Yin & Yang are in a constant state of flux, seeking balance.  When Yin and Yang are out of balance they affect one another.

4. Yin & Yang can change into the other but only when the time is right.  Just as spring can only come when winter is finished.

So, taking all this into account, the Referential Graph can also be viewed in terms of its quadrants:

Upper Right Quadrant: Molecules in this quadrant tend to be associated with the Melancholic temperament.  This quadrant represents the Earth element.  Earth is grounding, relaxing and calming.  Esters dominate the upper right quadrant and as such tend to be calming to the nervous system.  This quadrant is represented by the Fall/Autumn season and tends to be mostly Yin in energy.

Lower Right Quadrant: Molecules in the lower right quadrant tend to be associated with the Choleric temperament. This quadrant represents the element of Fire and is molecules that fall within it tend to be characterized by a dry, fiery heat.  Monoterpenes dominate the lower right quadrant which tend to be heating and stimulating.  This quadrant is represented by the Summer season and tends to be more Yang in energy.

Lower Left Quadrant: Molecules in the lower left quadrant tend to be associated with the Sanguine temperament.  This quadrant represents the element of Air and molecules that fall within it tend to be characterized by a more explosive heat, fire fueled by air.   Monoterpenols dominate this quadrant but share it with phenylpropanoids and phenols, all of which tend to be stimulating to the immune system.  This quadrant is represented by the Spring season and tends to be mostly Yang in energy.

Upper Left Quadrant: Molecules in the upper left quadrant tend to be associated with the Phlegmatic temperament.  This quadrant represents the element of Water and molecules that fall within it tend to be characterized by humidity or dampness.  Aldehydes and ketones share this quadrant and tend to be mucolytic, influencing and promoting movement within the body’s mucous.  This quadrant is represented by the season of Winter and tends to be more Yin than Yang.

The lines represent balance between the quadrants and molecules that fall along the lines tend to be balancing, harmonizing compounds.  For example, sesquiterpenes are dry and lipophilic molecules but can either be cooling and/or heating, stimulating and/or relaxing and as much Yin as Yang in energy. Sesquiterpenols and sesquiterpene lactones have similar properties but are more hydrophilic and water soluble than sesquiterpenes. In contrast, Oxides are balanced between wet and dry but tend to be more warming and stimulating.

Ultimately you want to achieve a state of homeostasis or balance, more of a neutral energy than either hot/cold or wet/dry.  Both Yin and Yang.  The Referential Chart is used to help determine what molecules would help bring balance to an individual when choosing essential oil remedies in French aromatic medicine. For example, if a person tended to be very hot, or dry, one might incorporate an oil(s) rich in aldehydes and/or ketones into the mixture to help bring a humid, cooling quality to the remedy.  I tend to be more of a Sanguine personality and equally balanced in Choleric and Phlegmatic characteristics so oils rich in Esters and Sesquiterpenes and/or those that are more cooling, relaxing/grounding, or dry would tend to be more balancing for my personality or temperament.   I find this interesting because I’ve always been drawn to the Earth element and oils rich in esters (like Black Spruce, Frankincense, Lavender, and Neroli) and sesquiterpenes (like Cedar, Myrrh, and Patchouli) have always really resonated with me.  In contrast, someone who tended to be more lymphatic, maybe pale or even clammy would fall within the upper left quadrant.  These individuals would tend to have slower constitutions and would be balanced by oils rich in monoterpenes, or those with a drier, warming effect.

Cathy Skipper points out that the Referential Chart is really just a basic outline and one that is flexible and can easily be looked at from different perspectives to help formulate essential oil remedies.  I’ve really enjoyed taking the time to really sit with this chart but have really only started to grasp these concepts.  I’m hoping that as I move forward with the different essential oils in the class I’ll gain a better understanding of how I can use this chart in my own practice.  So hopefully this helps you better understand what to do with all the information from my last post on essential oil chemistry and how it all relates to picking the best essential oils to help support your specific areas of need.  As I move forward with sharing profiles of the essential oils I’ll be studying I’ll relate these oils to the referential graph so you can see how they all start to fit in.

So, where does your temperament fall in the graph?  Which oils tend to resonate with you? Are they the ones that the graph suggests would be balancing for your temperament?  I’d love to hear how it relates to you!



Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor.  Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

French Aromatherapy: The Ternary Concept was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures