Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Tag: aromatherapy (page 1 of 3)

Essential Oil Spotlight: Balance

     Hey There, Well Beings!

If you are part of my Essential Oil Academy, you got to experience the Emotional Aromatherapy series. What you maybe didn’t know, is that these are the newer kids on the block when it comes to blends that support the emotions. The OG emotional support blends were Citrus Bliss, which we covered last week, Serenity, Balance, and Elevation. We spent some time covering Serenity in our Essentials for Sleep class, but this week I want to brag on Balance, the Grounding Blend a bit. (And don’t worry, because I’ll be talking about Elevation next week!)

Oh, Balance. This blend has such a special place in my heart. I often struggle to describe it’s lovely scent, but no trouble at all explaining how it makes me feel. When you struggle with anxiousness, a feeling of balance is something you learn to cherish; the ease with which you move through the day. The peaceful, even keel is almost meditative, and that’s such a blessing when you tend toward tension and tightness. Rolled over my heart, on the bottoms of my feet, and the back of my neck, Balance gives me this whole-body sense of calm and tranquility, and being that it’s grounding, I reach for this during meditation sessions when I’m struggling to quiet my mind. This little bottle of good feels contains Spruce, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, and Osmanthus essential oils in just a touch of Fractionated Coconut Oil to help these perfect plant essences emulsify and merge together. The end result can only be described as divine.

This little bottle and I have been through some tough times together and it’s always had my back. <3

Speaking of Fractionated Coconut Oil, there isn’t enough present to properly dilute the blend, so you will still want to use safe dilution ratios when using this blend on the skin. It’s not so much though that you can’t put this beauty in your diffuser, though. I love to use this one at my desk when I’m working to meet a stressful deadline or in the evening when I’m winding down from a long day and my mind is still racing. As as long as you wipe the inside of your diffuser with a soft cloth once you’re ready to switch over to another oil and are good about running a regular cleaning cycle of water and white vinegar through every couple of weeks, you should be just fine.

The color is the prettiest green thanks to the naturally occurring constituent chamazulene, which makes it such a beautiful oil to add to clear glass rollers. I haven’t had any trouble at all with it staining my skin or clothes, but creature of the night that I am, I don’t wear a lot of light colors, so just keep this information in your back pocket and don’t go rolling it on your brightest whites.

Citrus Bliss and Balance is one of my all time favorite combos for emotional support.

This is another blend that I find isn’t a strain on my pocketbook because of the perks of having a wholesale membership, and when this is one of our BOGO offerings, I stock up because I use this oil multiple times a day, every single day. If you think Balance might be a perfect fit for you, I’m happy to share how I shop smart to get the best deals and get free oils each month. (If you have a wholesale membership to Sam’s Club or Costco, you’re already doing this.)  Let me know if I can help you, Love. It would be an honor to help change your life with this blend like it’s changed mine.

 

Wishing You Total Well-being,

 

Jennifer

Essential Oil Spotlight: Citrus Bliss

     Hi There, Well-Beings!

This week, I wanted to focus on an oil blend that has served me very well over the past year and is a VIP in my emotional support lineup. It smells like liquid sunshine, so I often wear it in my aromatherapy locket and use it in my perfume blends. I have yet to find someone who isn’t enchanted by this sweet, fun-loving, delightful little oil, so I’m pleased as punch to share it with you in this Essential Oil Spotlight.

Citrus Bliss, also known as the Invigorating Blend, is a sunny, sumptuous blend of Wild Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Bergamot, Tangerine, and Clementine essential oils, with the sweetest touch of Vanilla Bean Absolute. It is refreshing, purifies and cleanses the air, and reduces stress and uplifts the mood all at once. You can add Citrus Bliss to a spray bottle of water and use it to clean surfaces, add to wool dryer balls to freshen laundry, and diffuse, or dilute and roll on the wrists as a mood boosting personal perfume.

Absolute sunshine. I dare you not to love this blend.

I love lavender, but I find that as an extra-sensitive HSP and an Empath, lavender isn’t a great oil for me in the evening hours. In fact, it kinda makes my mind race. What’s been interesting over this past year has been discovering the special plant magic of certain oils. Chemically speaking citrus oils contain both calming and energizing constituents, and like I said like magic, you get what you need in the moment. Citrus Bliss is an oil I know I can always reach for, day or night. It keeps me cheery and refreshed when the sun is up and calms me down and keeps me happy while I drift off to sleep. Pretty nifty, huh?

So, there’s something important to know about citrus oils, and that’s that most of them are considered photosensitive. In a future post I’ll be going into more detail about exactly what photosensitivity is, but the Cliff’s Notes here are that you want to avoid putting these oils directly onto skin that will be exposed to the sun or UV light or any kind. Photosensitive oils can speed up the effects of the sun’s rays, which can put you in a potentially dangerous situation, and is why I love to wear Citrus Bliss on aromatherapy jewelry instead. It’s safer and more stylish. What’s not to love?

Don’t have diffuser jewelry? You can make your own with lava beads. I get mine at Michaels.

Citrus Bliss is one of my favorite blends to give to the special people in my life who aren’t quite sure about essential oils, because it’s so versatile and is such a home run for both men and women. It’s one of the more reasonably priced oils when you have a wholesale account too, so I go through quite a bit of this stuff and it isn’t hard on my budget when it’s time to reorder. My secret weapon personal fragrance is a mix of Whisper, the women’s blend, with a touch of Citrus Bliss for extra sweetness. It gets a lot of compliments, and my boyfriend enjoys it because it isn’t “perfumey”.

My parting gift to you this week is my all time favorite diffuser blend for warm, sunny days (or maybe just days you wish were warm and sunny). This blend is ready to add ambiance to your next get-together or just to spread joy in whatever room you’re in. It’ll give you those beachy vibes whenever you want them. I call it Sun & Surf, so feel free to put on some Beach Boys or Dick Dale to complete the mood, or put on your favorite Frankie & Annette movie. (Mine’s Beach Blanket Bingo!)

Sunscreen and frozen beverage optional.

Could you use a little Citrus Bliss in your life? Comment below! I’m always happy to share my best tips with you for using oils on a budget, and will give you the scoop on how I get free oils every month. (It’s no scarier than using your Costco or Sam’s Club card and smells a whole lot sweeter!)

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Tejomaya Wellness: A Written Return

 

     Hi there, Well-Beings!

I’m back after a very extended break and am looking so forward to sharing from my heart with you again. Enough time has passed and there are so many beautiful new faces in my life as a part of my Essential Oil Academy, that I thought it might be nice to do a little re-introduction and catch up with a quick 5W style interview.

Who am I? For those who don’t know me yet, my name is Jennifer, and I am a meditation teacher, an artist, a Usui Reiki Master, an essential oil educator, and after about a year and a half away, I am a wellness blogger again. I’m also dog mom to rescue terrier with a big personality named Harrison (after George), and if you couldn’t tell already, a Beatlemaniac. I’m a novice chef, a collector of plants, an up-lifter, and a dream encourager. I hope those last two are reflected in everything I say and do.

What is this Tejomaya Wellness thing all about? I completely and totally believe we are here to teach the things we most need to learn in this life, and after struggling with chronic illness, debilitating grief, and crippling anxiety and depression , I learned how important Self Care can be. In the worst of it, it was the difference between ending my life and living to see another day. It was the light in the darkness for me. Learning stress management techniques like meditation, using herbs and oils to support the emotions, reaching out to my doctor for help when I couldn’t do it on my own, and reducing the toxic load in my home and in my food choices all contributed to that light burning a little bit brighter, the by-product being a deep desire to spread that light to others who are struggling with the same kinds of things I went through. Tejomaya is a Sanskrit word that means full of light, and I hope you find that light on these pages. You have gifts inside of you that the world needs, Love. I’m here to help you find the spark.

When did you decide to come back to blogging after being away for so long? Somewhere in my heart, I always knew I’d come back, but there was a lot of resistance in the year I spent away. First, because I was healing. I left a job where daylong panic attacks were the norm and I think I underestimated the amount of time it was going to take me to come out on the other side of it. I expected a couple of months, but it took a full 12 and counting. I still have flare-ups from time to time, but I developed protocols with emotional support oils, I check back in with my doctor as needed, and I rest when I know I should. It feels right now though, so I let my heart lead me back. Second, I have been teaching about the thing I’m most passionate about in the whole world, essential oils, but I am an introvert, so I learned pretty quickly that videos and a social media heavy presence aren’t really me. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and tried them anyway. Sure, I could do them, but there’s always been something deep down inside me that knows I’m a writer, and that I find my most authentic voice behind my laptop with a mug of steeping tea to my left, and a snoozing terrier to my right. It’s just my nature. I’m thankful that I heard and heeded that little voice in May that said I should renew my webhosting, because this was always part of the plan. I’m even more thankful that I am listening to the little voice that said it was time to start typing again.

Where do you see this blog going in the future? It’s hard to say anything with any certainty, but I know that right now, I want this to be the central hub for all of my essential oil education. I see Essential Oil Spotlights on the horizon, a space to share blends and protocols that I hold dear, and most importantly a safe space to share with each other and ask questions. Will it be just essential oils? Heavens, no.  I have no doubt my heart will lead me down all kinds of paths when it comes to wellness, but Self Care and Aromatherapy will be at the heart of all I do, because it’s been the thing that’s helped me the most. It’s hard not to talk about what you love. <3

Why did you decide to start writing again? Because there are people in this world who are hurting as I was, and I may have learned something from my own pain that could help. Because when you go through something that’s hard and you let it soften your heart and teach you things, you can’t help but try to help. I do this because sometimes after a long period of not putting my fingers to a keyboard, the words just bubble over and find their way out anyway. I share because it’s a creative outlet for me and as an artist, I’ve learned some of my best life lessons in the quiet stillness of the creation process. I write because my heart says “write”.

I am so happy to be back, Dear Hearts. I hope you find comfort, knowledge, and love here. Let me know if there are any essential oils or topics that are close to your hearts that you’d like to see me cover and I will do my best to make that happen for you. Until the next post, may you be well, may you be happy, and may you live with ease.

Wishing You Total Well-being,

 

Jennifer

 

 

The Tejomaya Wellness: Essential Oil Academy Starts Monday

     Hey There, Well Beings!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared anything on this page, but it’s for a really exciting reason, I promise! My Essential Oil Academy, a dream a very long time coming, starts on Monday! I’ve been busy prepping videos and materials for what has been my biggest, scariest goal of the past few years. There’s something about the energy of 2018 that made my decide to face the fear and just do it anyway, so read on for all of the juicy details!

Those of you who have spent any time talking to me know that I am super passionate about essential oils and I have probably had conversations with you about the health benefits and uses of them over the past several years.

Many of you may already have oils in your home and some may be curious if they would be a good fit for your lifestyle.

In order to better serve you, I have created an exclusive Facebook group where I will be teaching about the practical and daily uses of doTERRA’s essential oils and supplements to support a variety of different health/wellness concerns.

The cool thing about the group is you can absorb the education at your own pace so there is no obligation to login or watch videos live. There will also be giveaway opportunities for members of the group to win oils, accessories, and more!

My group is geared towards breaking down essential oil use in a way that is simple, easy and applicable to your daily routine!

This time of year, many people start thinking about bettering their health, and creating habits that support their physical and emotional well-being in the year ahead.

If you are interested in learning additional tips for using your oils or are brand new and excited to learn and start using oils, I would love to have you join!

The group starts Monday! Comment below if you would like to be added and I’ll get you all set up!

Essential Oil Spotlight: Peppermint

     Hey there, Well-Beings! If you asked me for a list of what I thought every brand new essential oil user should start out with, peppermint would be non-negotiable. I use it every single day, and I get a little twitchy when I don’t have a back up waiting in the wings. Straight from the bottle it’s aroma is impossible to mistake, but it plays so well with others that it’s likely hiding in many your favorite blends. Even if you’ve been using oils for as long as I have, you might be surprised by all that it can do.

First, a little botany. Peppermint oil, or Mentha Piperita, is the steam distilled, perennial hybrid of spearmint and water mint. The herb is cultivated on continents with a lot of rainfall, such as Asia, Europe, and North America. It stands around 20-40 inches tall, has a sturdy, square shaped stem, green leaves, and occasionally is seen sporting pale pink or purple blooms. The Pacific Northwest is the top producer of peppermint in the U.S., with the majority of that yield coming from Washington state. The scent is fresh and herbaceous and is used in everything cosmetic preparations to cooking.

The most common use for peppermint oil is oral health products. It’s found in toothpaste, mouthwash, and breath fresheners on shelves in every grocery store in the country. I like to use it to compliment my morning oil pulling routine by adding a drop of peppermint to my coconut oil to improve the taste and kill morning breath. The refreshing flavor really wakes me up when I’d otherwise be sleepily shuffling through the apartment. I also use peppermint oil after a cup of coffee or a pungent meal to keep my mouth fresh. I simply unscrew the lid, press my thumb against the top of the bottle, and then press my thumb against the roof of my mouth and voila! No more fear that I’m offending my coworkers after that onion bagel. Speaking of work, I’ve also been using it to reign in the afternoon slump I sometimes feel when I return from lunch and that little tingle helps me refocus and stay clear headed instead of daydreaming about naps. I apply pre-diluted peppermint oil on my temples and the back of my neck, inhale deeply from the bottle, and I’m ready to answer emails and check projects off my list again.

Peppermint is also a valuable tool for pain management. Because of its main chemical constituent, menthol, peppermint provides a cooling sensation which can be helpful for many types of discomfort. Diluted in a carrier oil and added to a roller bottle, it can be applied to sunburns for soothing relief, can relax sore joints and muscles, and has helped me a time or two with stomach upset, as well. I keep a simple blend of peppermint and lavender in a base of fractionated coconut oil in my purse for head tension and relief from monthly menstrual discomfort, and it’s kept me from tapping out and heading home enough times that I never go anywhere without it.

Perhaps my favorite use for peppermint oil has been to cool off during the summer heat and as relief from hormonal hot flashes. I keep a glass bottle with distilled water, a touch of fractionated coconut oil to coat the sprayer stem, and 10 drops of peppermint oil in my fridge to spray down my face and chest when the heat is on and almost instantly, I’m back to my old self. I get double the use out of this spray by using it as a natural insect repellent for my indoor and outdoor plants and any areas where bugs might get in, I haven’t had a pest problem in over a decade, and it smells so much better than any of the store bought bug sprays I used to use. My finally tip is for cleaning. I add peppermint oil to a vodka and water base and wipe down my sliding glass doors, mirrors, stovetop, and sinks and not only does it fight the smoke smell that sometimes wafts over from neighboring apartments, but it also leaves everything spotless and shiny clean.

Versatile and refreshing, peppermint oil is one my home and handbag aren’t complete without. If you haven’t used it, now is a great time to add it to your arsenal! DoTERRA is giving away a pre-diluted Peppermint Touch roll-on for free through the 15th of September to wholesale members with a qualifying purchase. (Mine is on its way to me right now!) If you want to claim one for yourself, or find out more about how essential oils can uplevel your life, leave a comment below and I’ll give you all the details. Nothing would make me happier than to see you put this beautiful oil to work in your daily life!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Gratitude Review: June

Untitled design(1)     Hey There, Well-Beings!

It’s hard to believe it’s the last week of June. It’s been a pretty busy month for me. I typically opt to curl up at home with a good book, but was able to connect with a few good friends and my family to celebrate my birthday this month, and am really thankful for each of those moments.

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Speaking of birthdays, my fella got us both Kindles this year! I’ve been wanting one for a while, but wasn’t as focused as I wanted to be for Black Friday last year, so I was really surprised when he showed up on Saturday with one for the both of us. We used to go to the library, or hit up the local book fairs and charity sales and then spend one hour of our Saturday together reading. I’m not sure how we got out of the habit, but it was something we both enjoyed doing because we could devote some uninterrupted time to our book of choice, but still be together. I’m thankful that we will be picking up where we left off, and maybe also a little grateful (okay, a lot) that I can watch Netflix in bed! I’ve got new seasons of three of my faves to catch up on.

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This month, I also joined a really amazing essential oil group that’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  Even with my 20 years of experience in aromatherapy, I am still learning something new almost every day and I am surrounded by the most amazing women  who are holistic health professionals, body and energy workers, creative business owners, and some of the coolest and most supportive people in the industry.  I am incredibly fortunate to have been pointed there and even more excited about all of the inspiration I’ve gained and will be able to direct toward an abandoned project that I thought was lost for good.  This has been life changing for me, and I’m only a month in! I can’t wait to see where I am in a year from now.

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My outdoor photo shoots have been ramping up lately, too.  In fact I’m even looking at adding a fourth camera to my collection and am squirreling away a little cash here and there to make that a reality. (You should see the pictures this thing takes! I cannot wait to take it out for a spin!) I’m even exploring the option of taking an evening class to enhance my skills and get better behind the lens and am having so much fun taking day trips out to practice my craft. I don’t know where I’m headed with this quite yet, but I’m really enjoying the journey and am thankful for the outlet.

What has been making you so happy that you just want to tell the world? Do you have any good news to share? What is the single most gratitude inspiring thing to happen to you in the last few weeks? Share in the comments below and let’s celebrate each other’s happy moments this past month!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

Essential Oil Spotlight: Patchouli

PATCHOULI     Oh, Patchouli! Nothing divides folks quite like it’s rich, pungent aroma. Whether you’re firmly on Team Hate It, or you would roll around in the stuff like I would, there’s still plenty that’s worth noting about this resinous, controversial oil.  Before you write it off as stinky, I’ve written some words about this exotic beauty and it’s many benefits.

If you were alive in the 60s and 70s, you probably got more than a nostril full of patchouli in the form of incense or perfume oil. It was around for centuries prior to the hippie movement, though. My favorite historical note about this plant dates back to Ancient Egypt whee King Tut was said to have arranged to be buried with almost 10 gallons of oil infused with patchouli. In the 19th century, Asian countries began using the oil to protect fabrics from moth damage when being exported to other countries. I inherited a beautiful silk robe from my grandmother who purchased it on a business trip to Hong Kong and to this day, I can still catch a faint whiff of of it if I press it to my nose.  That’s pretty impressive, considering she would have brought it home well over 30 years ago!

silk robe

Patchouli essential oil is made by collecting the flowering tops of the plant and steam distilling it. It’s also a bit like a fine wine, in that the scent tends to deepen with time. This is why it may be time to give that bottle you cast aside another go, if you’ve written it off in the past. It may have reached a point in it’s mellowing where you find it agrees with you. I’ve found that the longer I have a bottle, the more resinous and darker the color becomes. This can make it a little hard to get out of the reducer, but oh so worth it it you adore the scent of an aged patchouli.

So, what is it good for? Patchouli can be quite soothing for the emotions and for relaxing frayed nerves. I get that some of you may be reluctant to put it on as perfume, but it can be quite beautiful in a blend that balances some of it’s noted potency. I love placing it in the diffuser or fragrance blend with citrus and florals (bergamot and ylang ylang are favorites) to soften it’s presence. I also love it for acne flare-ups. I’m starting to see wrinkles, but I still have hormonal breakouts from time to time, and I love adding a drop to my skin creams and serums to keep inflammation and bacteria at bay. I also love to use patchouli as a deodorizer. I use it as an underarm spray and in my running shoes to keep things fresh.

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Patchouli is one of those oils that is generally regarded as safe for humans. If you’re pregnant or nursing, talk to a doctor just to be on the safe side. If you’re interested in using essential oils on your kids and pets, it’s a good practice to run that past a certified professional, especially since they may not be able to tell you that something doesn’t feel right.

Ready to give patchouli a try, or even a second chance? I get mine at Mountain Rose Herbs, and I’m thrilled with the quality and price. I love it so much I became an affiliate!

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I want to hear from you. Do you love patchouli as much as I do? Do you have a blend you use that you just love? Leave me a comment below and tell me all about it!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

Essential Oil Spotlight: Bergamot

bergamot-354152_1920      Earlier this month, I shared with you some of the benefits of lemon essential oil when I posted my tutorial for Lemon Poppyseed Sugar Scrub. Today, I wanted to sing the praises of another, lesser known essential oil, Bergamot.

When you open a bottle of Bergamot for the first time, there’s a good chance it will have you thinking about tea. That’s because Bergamot is the small citrus fruit that gives Earl Grey it’s distinctive je ne sais quois. It’s also been used in men’s and women’s fragrance for centuries. It’s origins are unclear, but a popular theory is that the fruit trees were brought by ship to Bergamo, Italy after a voyage to the Canary Islands. Bergamot is still grown in Italy, as well as some parts of France and Turkey, where it’s used to flavor the delicious dessert, Turkish Delight.

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When used to make essential oil, the rind of the fruit is cold pressed, as it is with all citrus oils. What results is a fresh, slightly sweet, almost floral fragrance. It plays extremely well with others. In fact, you’d have a hard time coming up with an oil that Bergamot doesn’t blend with. It holds it’s own, too. I love wearing it in my diffuser necklace, as personal perfume and  diffusing the single note in my home. When bad moods, stress and tension try to take your down, Bergamot can be a wonderful means to lift your spirits and stabilizing the emotions. According to Ayurveda, it can also help to balance Vata and Kapha. There have been some interesting studies on the use of Bergamot for a variety of skin complaints, such as acne and psoriasis.

In general, citrus oils have some issues that are worth noting. First, they can be toxic to cats, so don’t apply them directly to your sweet fur-kids. As a rule of thumb, I don’t put any oils on my pets that I haven’t first researched heavily and then talked to my vet about. You’re probably not going to encounter any issues with diffusing it in your home, but dosing fluffy just isn’t a good idea. The other thing to be cautious about when using citrus oils is photo-sensitivity. Citrus oils can cause skin irritation when exposed to direct sunlight for up to 72 hours after using them, so try and limit your time outside if you’re using then on the skin, or just play it safe and stick to inhalation methods only. If you’re still going to apply them, be sure to dilute your oils in an appropriate carrier or lotion. Though it’s a controversial position, I’d also stay away from using any essential oils internally. We just don’t know enough about what the long-term effects of essential oil ingestion are and what happens when we mix them with medicines and supplements. Your health is far more important than any suggested benefit by using oils in this way. Bergamot specifically is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, so mommies, please be careful.

Be careful with your pretty kitty friends. Their livers don't filter most essential oils.

Be careful with your pretty kitty friends. Their livers don’t filter most essential oils.

Ready to add Bergamot to your essential oil line-up? I get my favorite one from Mountain Rose Herbs.  High quality, Certified Organic Bergamot can be a little on the pricey side and I don’t need a wholesale membership to get a good deal. You can get your own bottle of Bergamot here. I do get a small commission for any business I send their way, but it allows me to keep content like this on my blog and it keeps me in Bergamot, too. I can’t wait for you to sniff this stuff!

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I want to hear from you. Are you already using this beautiful oil? What do you love about it?  Tell me all about it in the comments below!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

Gratitude Review: April

tulip-1271715_1920     Happy Sunday, Sweet Readers! How has your April been? Mine has been mostly fantastic and I’m ready to share some of the brightest spots in this month’s Gratitude Review! The weather has been so gorgeous that I want you to promise me you’ll get outside today after you read this, deal? Okay, let’s get to gratefulness!

I say mostly fantastic because honestly, my heart is still very broken and raw from the news of Prince’s passing on Thursday. His metamorphic music served as soundtrack for so many of my own transformations, that I always felt an affinity for him that I have tried and failed many times over to explain in the past few days since he’s been gone. I am forever grateful for the ways his music, and him boldly being exactly who he was, helped me to understand myself. That’s the kind of gift you can never repay.

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I’m still loving my Drops of Joy Jewelry diffuser necklace. I’ve worn it as often as I’ve had a chance. It smells great and looks pretty darn cute, too. It’s wonderful to have a pretty little boost of happy around my neck whenever I need it.

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I stocked up on supplies for several fun tutorials that I can’t wait to get started on. Whenever a Mountain Rose Herbs box arrives, I know there’s awesomeness inside! I cannot wait to get busy making stuff and shooting my photos for these DIYs! This kind of work really makes my heart happy.

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I bought a new camera recently, and while I’m still getting to know it, I absolutely love the feeling of being behind the lens. It’s so relaxing and brings me so much joy. I’ve tried to pick it up and get a few photographs every day, and I’ve been really good about sticking to that. If you’re following me on Facebook or Instagram, you’re probably seeing evidence of that! I’m so thankful for taking the leap and doing this for myself.

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I want to hear from you! What’s made you really happy this month? Are your flowers blooming? Did you book a great vacation? Are you working on a creative project that’s making your heart sing? Tell me all about it in the comments below! I want to help you celebrate the joyful moments! I’m also here if you want to share your memories about Prince. I know he touched a lot of lives, and I’d love to hear about how he changed yours. Much love to you, Darling Hearts.

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

Essential Oil Spotlight: What is an Absolute?

jasmine     If you’re an aromatherapy lover, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the word “absolute” as you’ve scanned bottles of essential oils online or in your health food store. If you’re curious like me, there’s a good chance you’ve wondered what in the heck an absolute is and what makes it different than the other oils it shares shelf space with. Today, I’m answering your burning questions about these oft misunderstood members of the aromatherapy family. Stick around until the end because I’ve also put together a lovely recipe for you!

What is an absolute?    When working with certain fragile flowers, the normal methods of extraction are not always feasible. The heat employed in steam distillation cause the super-delicate plant material to collect in a mass that is too large for steam to pass through and when this happens, a two-stage process is employed to extract the oil. First the material is placed in a cylindrical drum along with a solvent (typical solvents are toulene or hexane) and this drum rotates to allow the material to absorb the solvent and separate the aromatic extract. The extract is then vacuum distilled to remove the solvent, and what remains is classified either as a concrete (if the result is waxy) or a resinoid (if it has a resinous texture), Concretes and resinoids are useful products on their own, but in order to create a liquid from the heavy consistency, a second process is performed. In this step, alcohol is introduced (usually ethanol) and it goes to work to separate the aromatic compound from the wax or resin. Once cooled, the wheat separates from the chaff if you will, the resulting aromatic essence is filtered and the alcohol is vacuum distilled off. What’s remaining is an absolute.

What other differences are there?    The consistency is often heavier, and sometimes requires a little ingenuity to get out of the bottle. If you’ve ever liquefied solid coconut oil by setting the jar in warm water, then you’re already a pro at this. The same method works quite well when dealing with sticky absolutes. The fragrance of an absolute is also pretty dang identical to it’s live, growing source. For this reason, some producers even use this method to extract fragrance from plant material that can endure traditional steam distillation. Absolutes are often more concentrated than their steam distilled counterparts, as well. In some cases, they are so powerful that someone who isn’t trained in aromatherapy cannot even recognize them without heavy dilution. They can be wonderful for naturally scenting beauty products or making perfumes because so little is needed and the benefit is still so great.

Wouldn’t the chemicals used in the process ruin the therapeutic benefit?    You’d think so, but not if the producer can be trusted to uphold good manufacturing standards. This is why it’s so important to align yourself with a company who has a good reputation for clean, quality products and not just slick marketing and pretty packaging. If you trust your company of choice with essential oils, it’s probably safe to assume their absolutes are safe, too. If you’re concerned about solvent use, it’s good to know that they cost a pretty penny, so most companies making absolutes will want to make sure they get as much out as possible for recycling purposes.When in doubt, ask for a recent GC/MS report. If the company is one of the good guys, they will be happy to provide you with one and will take the time to educate you about the process their absolutes go through to put your mind at ease. If they aren’t upfront or something doesn’t feel right, keep looking. As for the alcohols, there are barely detectable amounts left in a properly produced absolute. As long as they are diluted properly and not being applied neat, which you should never be doing unless guided by a certified aromatherapist or physician, you’d be looking at parts per trillion. If you’re still concerned about applying absolutes to the skin, you can simply diffuse them instead, and still get the benefits.

Speaking of diffusing, didn’t I say I was going to give you a recipe? I created this Absolutely Uplifting Diffuser Blend just for you! The beauty of this blend is that while it’s making your home smell amazing, it also contains oils and an absolute that have been reputed to help lift your spirits, too! How rad is that?! Here’s what you need:

Absolutely Uplifting Diffuser Blend

Follow the directions on the diffuser of your choice, hit play and enjoy!

I want to hear from you! Do you have experience using absolutes? Which ones are your favorites? Are there any you’re excited to try? Leave me a comment below and feel free to share any recipes you’ve made using these awesome members of the aromatherapy family!

Wishing you Total Well-Being (and Happy Sniffing!),

Jennifer

P.S. You can get the oils I mentioned above through my affiliate link. If you buy them through me you get good prices on great oils and absolutes, and I get to spend a little extra each month putting together more recipes and future tutorials!

 

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