Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Practical Aromatherapy: Using Aromatherapy to Help Attract Home Buyers

Experts say selling your home takes a little luck and a lot of preparation. With a gaggle of homes currently on the market, spending that extra time to make the best first impression may make all the difference. It certainly couldn’t hurt!

To prepare your home, realtors suggest taking several steps to present an organized, clutter-free and clean home, including cleaning out your drawers and cabinets, making minor repairs, and deep cleaning.

Part of deep cleaning is scent. For example, it’s important to clean out drains so they look nice, but also because hidden debris can encourage mold and an accompanying musty smell. A little tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil diluted in water can be an effective, chemical-free alternative to more traditional cleaning products. Plus, it smells better than synthetic cleaners and room sprays used to mask odors.

You may also want to diffuse some essential oil into the air before you show your home. This can help to freshen the air and to encourage a positive first impression. There are many essential oils to choose from, but you may want to select an oil that has general appeal, that is a familiar, and that is uplifting, such as bergamot (Citrus aurantium var. bergamia), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), mandarin (Citrus reticulata), neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara), and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata).

Watch Aromatherapy Blending from ACHStv next!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Using Aromatherapy in Fall: Bring the Spirit of the Season Indoors

Fall has arrived! And, right on its heels, cooler weather. The good news … there is a lot to love about the fall: pumpkin patches, rich colors, root vegetables, warm herbal teas, and essential oils.

Just as nutritionists recommend eating with the seasons, there are aromatherapeutic essential oils that complement the seasons too. Select spicy, earthy, rich aromas to bring the spirit of the season indoors and to create feelings of warmth. We suggest a blend of sweet orange, cinnamon, ylang ylang, and lemon (the Festive Spice blend from our Apothecary Shoppe).

Sweet orange Citrus sinensis essential oil helps to support emotional well-being and has a sweeter, fruity scent. It blends well with basil, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, lavender, neroli, lemon, and nutmeg. For more information about sweet orange visit here.

Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum essential oil supports healthy digestion and stress management and has a spicy, earthy aroma. It blends well with ginger, nutmeg, rosemary, frankincense, and the citrus oils. For more information about cinnamon, visit here.

Ylang ylang Cananga odorata essential oil is attributed with analgesic, antidepressant, and aphrodisiac properties. It has a sweet aroma with long-lasting woody undertones and blends well with lavender, bergamot, the citrus oils, and sandalwood. For more information about ylang ylang, visit here.

Lemon Citrus limonum essential oil supports a healthy respiratory system and has a refreshing aroma. It blends well with cedarwood, chamomile, clove, eucalyptus, fennel, juniper, lavender, neroli, oakmoss, petitgrain, pine, sandalwood, and ylang ylang. For more information about lemon, visit here.

Festive Spice Blend
6 drops Sweet Orange
1 drop Cinnamon
2 drops Ylang Ylang
1 drop Lemon

We hope your first day of fall is fantastic and look forward to hearing more about your fall aromatherapy blends. Post any blending tips, photos, recipes …. here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Essential Oils May Be Effective with Lice

Creepy crawly lice torture school-aged children. It can be hard to rationalize with kindergartners, to make them understand why they really don't want to touch their hair or scratch or share their personal hygiene products with friends.

Instead, it may be more effective to focus on prevention. Check your children regularly. Because lice can be spread person-to-person without physical contact, the USA Today article "Lice: Any kid can get 'em, so comb early, comb often" recommends 1. maintaining appropriate personal space; 2. having shorter hair, and; 3. checking your child's hair regularly.

If it's too late, however, you will want to check everyone in the house, select some kind of product to help rid the lice, and wash all clothes and furniture.

There are many products on the market, including chemical shampoos. But before you use chemicals, you may want to consider essential oils. Evidence suggests essential oils--specifically cinnamon, peppermint, and eucalyptus[1]--may effectively kill lice.

Natural Health Magazine suggests you "mix 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon leaf oil and 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint oil with four ounces of a basic shampoo. Apply to your child’s head, leave on for 20 minutes, and rinse. Don’t leave on overnight: Essential oils are too concentrated to be used for that long."*

If you have used essential oils with lice, we want to hear your story. Please post any suggestions you can share and/or essential oil recipes!

[1] Toloza AC, LucĂ­a A, Zerba E, Masuh H, Picollo MI. 2009. Eucalyptus essential oil toxicity against permethrin-resistant Pediculus humanus capitis (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae). Parasitol Res. Jan;106(2):409-14. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Antiviral Activity of Essential Oils: It's Never too Early for Good Health

It's started to rain here in Portland, a not-so-subtle reminder that fall is on the way. It seems this time of year usually comes with a spike in seasonal colds and flu, as well as the gray-scape of clouds. Not so fun!

Before the season sets in, you may want to take stock of your essential oil inventory at home. Do you have the basics--like eucalyptus, lemon balm, and peppermint--which are thought to help kill airborne viruses when diffused into the air? These essential oils can also be added into hand creams to help stop the spread of infection through person-to-person contact.*

For more health-promoting tips this pre-fall season, check out ACHS Academic Dean Dr. Arianna Staruch's article about the antiviral activity of essential oils:

You also may want to visit the Apothecary Shoppe, where most essential oils have posted information about their traditional use and wellness support, and some even include blending formulas.

Here's the recipe to prepare an inhalation from the eucalyptus webpage:

Alcohol, 90%: 4.5-cups
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus oil: 6-t
Thyme Thymus vulgaris oil: 3-t
Pine Pinus sylvestris oil: 3-t
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia oil: 2-t
Lemon Citrus limon oil: 2-t

Mix all ingredients. To prepare as an inhalation, add 3-t to 6-cups of boiling water. This mixture can also be added to the bath water or to footbaths. Use 3-drops in the bath or 1-2-drops in a footbath.

* This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, or prescribe.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Aromatherapy Essential Oils Help Reduce Stress

We spotted this article on and thought you'd find it interesting, "Use Aromatherapy to Reduce Stress." Though the information is fairly introductory, the author does makes some useful suggestions for simple ways you can start using aromatherapy as part of your everyday health routine.

The ACHS Wellness Guide includes some more specific information for how to use aromatherapy essential oils. You can download it here:

You might also be interested in this free download, What is Aromatherapy?, by ACHS President Dorene Petersen. The lecture was originally presented at the Portland Chinese Gardens as part of their Festival of Fragrance, and there is a lot of useful information about how essential oils are produced and how they can be used to support optimal health. Here is the link from the ACHS website, under News and Events:

To get you started, here's the recipe for our Calming and Relaxing Herbal Bath Blend. You can download more recipes from our Apothecary Shoppe. Select "Free Downloads" from the left-hand toolbar and click on ACHS Holiday Recipes:

Calming and Relaxing Herbal Bath Blend

Use 2-10 drops of essential oil per bath. Use equal parts of spearmint leaves, comfrey root, chamomile flowers, and valerian root. For a foot bath, use 10 drops of essential oil per 1⁄2 gallon of water.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Clove Essential Oil Support to Ease Pain, Kill Viruses

Clove essential oil is in the news ... again! A new article from is a great addition to our post last week, New Study Finds Clove Essential Oil May Help with Rashes.

Here's a snippet of the article, "Essential Oil Eases Pain, Kills Viruses," featuring the analgesic and antifungal properties attributed to clove Syzygium aromaticum essential oil:

"Easing Pain: Clove essential oil’s is best known for its ability to alleviate toothaches, making it a common ingredient in natural toothpaste and mouthwash. Additionally, it is often added to liniment and massage oils since it component, eugenol, has anti-pain properties.

"Kills Viruses: This potent aromatherapy oil has also been shown in studies to halt reproduction of the herpes viruses including those linked to cold sores and shingles.

"Because it is a potent oil and can be irritating to mucous membranes and the skin, it should always be diluted in a carrier oil like sweet almond or extra virgin olive oil (about 3 drops in a teaspoon of carrier oil). Also, be sure to do a test patch on the inside of your arm and wait for 24 or 48 hours to be sure you aren’t sensitive to the oil."

To read the full-length article, visit the website here:

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

New Study Finds Clove Essential Oil May Help With Rashes

A new study from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) has found that clove essential oil may help with itchy rashes, such as those associated with scabies. (Perhaps it may be useful with bedbugs, considering the recent U.S. outbreak? Hmmm?)

"Essential oils and their active chemical components have long been proven to be effective against animal parasites such as cattle ticks, sheep ticks, and rabbit mites. Our research is applying this theory to the human scabies mite," said Pasay, one of the researchers.

"We also tested eugenol, which makes up 80% of clove oil, and its related compounds for their effects on the mites and found they were comparable to an existing treatment for scabies," Pasay said.

Clove essential oil contains the constituents eugenol, beta-caryophyllene, alpha-humulene, and is attributed with antiseptic, antispasmodic, and insecticide properties, among others.

To read the full-text research announcement, go to:

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Tea Tree Essential Oil Helps Clean Mold from Your Home

It seems like near every day there is a new article about the health benefits of cleaning your home with natural, chemical-free products. We're happy to see this information is out there for people to read and use!

In fact, we recently spotted an interesting article about a specific use for tea tree essential oil in the home. Mold. As explained in the article "Does Tea Tree Oil Help Kill Mold?" from, mold not only looks unsightly, is can pose several potential health risks, including triggering allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

Tea tree essential oil is attributed with antibacterial and antiviral properties, and is a good alternative to more traditional cleaning products, like bleach. Plus, a little bit of the essential oil used in water goes a long way. You may, however, want to wear gloves while cleaning with tea tree essential oil. It can cause skin irritation is those who are sensitive. We recommend using a skin patch test before cleaning your home.* recommends making a tea tree essential oil mold spray from 2 cups of water and 1-2 drops of the oil. Shake the bottle thoroughly before spraying. Then saturate the moldy area with the spray and allow it to sit overnight; wipe down the area the next day.

For more information about the chemical constituents and benefits of EcoCert organic tea tree essential oil, visit the Apothecary Shoppe Store: Tea tree Australia (Melaleuca alternifolia) and tea tree New Zealand (Leptospermum scoparium).

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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