My Top Five Essential Oils –and why?

What are essential oils?

A-essential oils are compounds extracted/obtained from plants via distillation.

What is distillation?

A- distillation is the action of purifying something through heating and cooling or the extraction of the essential meaning or most important aspects of something.

I’ve been using essential oils for a very long time. I bought my first essential oil a long time before essential oils became a billion-dollar business. My first essential oil was rose oil and I used to use it diluted partially with water as a face mist. My second essential oil was orange blossom oil and I used to steam it and/or put it and a bit of water in a pot on the stove and call it aromatherapy. The year was 1985 and I was experimenting with plants and oils and aromatherapy. Both of these oils worked wonders. To this day I still use them the same way I used them 33 years ago only now instead of steaming them or boiling them in water,  I use them in diffusers.

Time and money constraints keep me from buying every single oil I hear someone rave about. I don’t have the time to look into every recommendation or use, and I don’t have the money to waste trying every single oil to see if it works for me like it worked for someone else. That said there are five essential oils that I have used for a long time and would never be without. They are–

  1. Lavender essential oil- my husband uses this to fall into a deeper sleep at night and by using it and falling into a deeper sleep he is better rested and snores way less.
  2. Copaiba- helps me to manage pain caused by arthritis.
  3. Frankincense- Frank loves the skin and I use Frank on my skin.
  4. Lemon Balm- I use Lemon balm to help me manage PMS, inflammation, and upset stomach.
  5. Bergamot- this oil is so good–smells wonderful and mixed with mandarin orange is the perfect cologne.

**I use fractionated coconut oil as a base to apply all the essential oils listed above to my skin**

Recipes for my five favorite oils:

I put 10-15 drops of lavender in a roller ball and fill with coconut carrier oil. I roll this oil on my husband’s big toe (underside) every night and roll a bit on his pillow an hour before bed.

I mix bergamot with orange oil and use as a cologne. I put 10 drops of bergamot with 10 drops of mandarin orange oil in a roller ball and fill the rest of roller ball with coconut carrier oil.

I use copaiba and fractionated coconut oil in a roller ball and massage this mixture into my feet. I use 2-4 drops of copaiba and the rest fractionated coconut oil in a roller ball.

I use frankincense on my skin. I put 10 drops of frankincense in a roller ball and fill the rest with coconut oil and use on my face, neck, and hands. I also use frank on cuts and burns. Lavender is good for burns as well.

Recently I purchased a Lemon Balm hydrosol online from someone I follow and buy tomato seeds from (yougrowgirl on Instagram). I use lemon balm to help me manage PMS, tummy issues, and inflammation. With the hydrosol (yougrowgirl handcrafts her herb waters herself) I can add to water, or spray on the area of skin that has issues. So as far as Lemon Balm goes I am going to continue to buy it in hydrosol form vs. oil from here on out. I love that the hydrosol I purchased is user-friendly and so pure smelling that it’s unreal. The benefits I get from using it seems to come faster using the hydrosol vs. the essential oil.

Disclaimer- everyone that uses and sells oils or knows someone that does has a different opinion about them and may or may not use them differently than I do. In the section, prior to the recipes, I listed what my five favorite oils are used for in my family. You may or may not have the same experience as I do. I’ve been using these five oils and the rose and orange oil for a long time.  Aside from these oils, I do not use any other essential oils. I purchase my oils from a couple of companies online finding good quality oils at both companies.  Please consult your physician before trying anything new.


2018 Container Gardening – Week Four

My fourth week of gardening was filled with clouds, then rain, some humidity, and then cooler weather. All of my plants seemed to benefit from this. There is definitely a rhythm to gardening this year–in that there is an abundance of mosquitos to deal with. We are still feeding the Baltimore Orioles and American Finches, but this week will be one of the last weeks to do so. So, between work and play there is dodging in and out with water (to avoid mosquitos) the constant feeding and watering of many birds (and clean-up), and of course the ever busy business of sourcing fresh locally grown food. This week in our area there is rhubarb and strawberries available. Usually, I buy a lot of both and freeze, but we haven’t been eating either as much as past years. So, I will buy enough to enjoy eating for a few meals and that will be sufficient. Until next time–happy gardening! P.S. Oh ya my nasturtiums still haven’t flowered!

2018 Container Gardening – Week Two

We are slowly pulling the container garden of 2018 together. I am trying to savor every moment of the month of May. Earlier this year I found myself looking forward to May and realized I am always hurrying every spring along to summer. When in fact, I don’t really like summer. Why? Hot weather, bugs, and high a/c bills to name just a few reasons summer can be kind of frustrating. Because of it, I’ve realized that spring has probably been my favorite season for many years. So, back to the container garden. I went a bit over budget buying the lavender topiary, but I could not resist. I tried and tried to find red geraniums and finally had to settle on bigger plants already planted in containers. I really wanted to find some 6″ geranium plants and fill pots with individual ones and place them along the edge of our deck. This past Saturday hubby set my french cart up and I put it to use right away getting some of the sun lovers up off the deck floor. Weather-wise it has been cloudy here for days and days–the lavender, believe it or not, seem to love this. Though I know the lavender to love the sun. I’ve included a picture of an evergreen tree we have had on our deck for a few years. We bought two of these about four years ago. The second winter both turned completely brown and dropped all of their needles. So, I went to work trying to coax them back alive. I shook them until all their dead needles fell, sprayed them with warm water, watered well, even replanted and fertilized them. Needless to say one of them wasn’t coming back. For the last two years, I have completely babied the one that seemed to have survived, even though two winters ago he turned extremely brown again and appeared dead. All of last year I continued trying to help him survive and alas all new growth–he is doing fabulous! I wish I could say the same for my beloved tomatoes–one of my worries again this year are my wilting tomatoes. The sun hits the deck at 3pm and by 5pm, whether I’ve watered them or not, they are extremely wilted. I’m going to need to look into sun shades for them. We are happy again to host our favorite birds on the deck for yet another season. Currently, I am feeding twice a day–male and female finches, male and female Baltimore Orioles, and our much-loved hummingbirds. I’m also setting out peanuts and sunflower seeds for the nuthatches, woodpeckers, and I guess, though I’m not a fan of them, red-winged blackbirds!

Until next time–