Wednesday, June 22, 2011

3 Essential Oils for Summer

Summer is here and you know what that means … fun and sun, bumps and bugs. To help stay in tip-top shape all summer long, here are three essential oils to keep on hand.

Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, has a characteristic aroma frequently used in room sprays and cosmetic products to help relive stress and support relaxation. The essential oil also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which can be very handy with minor bumps and scrapes. To make your own lavender ointment, warm 2-oz sweet almond oil over a double boiler and add 1/4-oz grated beeswax. Stir until the wax is dissolved then add 25 drops lavender Lavandula angustifolia oil, 10 drops bergamot Citrus aurantium var. bergamia oil, and 5 drops thyme Thymus vulgaris oil. Cool before placing in jars and leave it to completely cool before putting on the lid to avoid condensation.

Neroli, Citrus aurantium var. amara, has a decadent, light floral aroma reminiscent of a stroll through the garden. It is the quintessential aroma for summer ambiance. To support relaxation and to refresh the air, diffuse around your home (especially if you plan to staycation this summer!).

Sweet basil, Ocimum basilicum, is a pale-colored oil with a slightly spice aroma; it is reminiscent of cloves and camphor. Medicinally, the essential oil has natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which make it a useful ingredient in blends or when diluted in a carrier oil. In addition, basil’s essential oil is an effective natural insect repellent[1] and a good alternative to citronella essential oil if you do not like citronella’s strong scent; diffuse the essential oil at your outdoor events for a fresh aroma and some added insurance against those pesky mosquitoes.

Which essential oil is essential for you? Post a comment and tell us which essential oil is a summer must ... be sure to include your favorite blend and recipes!!

Interested in learning more about aromatherapy essential oils? Visit for more information about aromatherapy classes, community wellness events, and summer study abroad programs with the American College of Healthcare Sciences.We look forward to hearing from you!

[1] Dube, S., Upadhyay, P.D., Tripathi, S.C. (1989). Canadian Journal of Botany, 67:2085-2087.


Tiffany said...

I seem to recall that sweet basil is a problem around children -- or was it just during pregnancy?

Lavender is definitely one of my most used oils in my box -- and lemon. So many uses for both!

Lauren said...

Hi Tiffany! Great question ... sweet basil is not recommended for use during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.

Have some favorite lavender and lemon recipes to share? We're always looking for new ideas.

Thanks for the comment!