Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy

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Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy, LLC Newsletter Vol 109

January 17, 2008

In this issue:
PHYSICAL
EMOTIONAL
BEAUTY
HOUSE & GARDEN
RECIPES to Try

Physical Ailment

Winkin’, Blinkin’ and the Land of Nod

by Penny Keay

Sleep is such a much needed daily activity. Many people including children, teenagers, adults and even babies never seem to get all the sleep they need.

Sometimes it is not being able to drift off to sleep that cause adults the most distress. Once asleep they will sleep through the night but getting to sleep is more the problem.

We all have experienced sleepless nights here and there. But for some it seems to be a daily occurrence that soon drags into weeks and months. Then what happens when you have lost too many hours of sleep? Well you will most likely get sick!

Illness from lack of sleep can fester itself in many ways. From depression, to being more susceptible to colds and the flu (and what can put you in bed sleeping faster than the ‘flu!), others will develop skin problems, heart problems, diabetes, and muscular/ skeletal problems such as a bad back.

Truly, any health care professional will tell you the list of problems is very long for health being ruined due to lack of the proper amount / time of sleep.

So yes, Sleep is very important. Not only good sleep but ENOUGH sleep.

Essential oils can play a very important role in helping you get the sleep you need. The following suggestions can be used in part or the suggestions can be used however you desire.

What ever you do, try to keep a diary so you can remember what works and what doesn’t work for you.

First is one of the simplest things we suggest for any and everyone. Whether you have had a stressful day or just want to wind down at night.

Simply put a drop or two of Lavender on each side (end) of your pillow case about 10-15 minutes before you go to bed. This gives the essential oil a little time to diffuse into the air and permeate the area around where your head will be.

This simple thing can help many folks. You also can diffuse, with a fan diffuser, a few drops of Lavender too. Some people like the ‘white noise’ of the fan. It will lull them to sleep along with the Lavender.

If you don’t want to use a fan diffuser the little Terra Cotta Disc style diffusers can sit quietly on your nightstand with your Lavender or other essential oils diffusing throughout the night.

For those that feel the Lavender isn’t working, you can always try adding a drop or two of Roman Chamomile. We have one client that found using Lavender a couple nights a week and then switching to Roman Chamomile, both he and his wife have had the best sleep ever.

He was the one that suffered from lack of sleep. Restless nights for him kept his wife from sleeping too.

In fact, even though they are retired, they occasionally have to set their alarm clock, they told me that a few times they were sleeping so hard they barely woke up to the sound of their alarm. Realize this is more in likely an exception as most folks are accustomed to waking up at a certain time each day.

Another group of clients found that Ylang Ylang and Bergamot alternating along with the continuous use of Lavender worked to lull them to sleep. Again, you have to experiment a little to see what works for you.

Other essential oils that have been known to help include:

Clary Sage, Cistus, Sandalwood, Mandarin, Marjoram, Vetiver Lemon, Geranium, Rosewood, Neroli and Petitgrain. Again, there may be others that work better for you.

Now of course, there are other things you can do and should do to help you fall asleep.

Set up a bedtime routine. This tells your body that it will soon be time for the night rest period. Don’t eat for a couple hours prior to bed time, but if you enjoy a bit of herbal teas you might want to give that a try.

Read a book, listen to quiet music and take a warm bath for 20 or so minutes. Not to hot, as if you get over heated your heart will race to help cool you down and a fast beating heart may give you energy and not let you drift off to the land of Nod!

Before I forget, I may have mentioned this in another article before. For you to get a good night’s sleep you have to have some daily sunshine. Yep, real daylight! Many of us work all day in artificial lighting. In the northern half of the USA in the winter months (like here in Minnesota) we have days where we go to work in the dark and return home in the dark.

Some folks, possibly, never see the sun for several days to weeks. And do they have problems falling asleep – Ya you betcha! (My Scandinavian coming out in me – he, he!)

There is something very special about direct sunlight especially in the early part of the day. To help your body make some special hormones needed to help you sleep at night you need the sun light to trigger the chemical reaction.

If this doesn’t happen in the morning hours or not at all, your body has a difficult time knowing when it needs to shut down for sleep.

So, if you are one of those folks that have a hard time falling to sleep and winding down each night, it is very important for you to get a minimum of 30 minutes a day of walking around (you can sit too) outdoors with your glasses and sun glasses off.

Now you don’t need to be looking at the sun or anything like that, but you need to be in the bright light from the sun just for 30 minutes. This will help trigger the making of the hormones you will need later (melatonin) to help you sleep.

If you can get the 30 minutes shortly after rising in the morning, which is best, then before noon is better than in the late afternoon.

Remember the trigger of the hormone – well it needs several hours to develop too, so if you don’t see the sun until late afternoon – when do you think the hormone for sleep will be ready for you to sleep??? Late, late at night – of course!

Now, back to sleeping and the use of essential oils, certainly for some, you may have many different types of stress. Please look over the sections in our previous newsletters that are about Stress.

If you can’t fall asleep due to pain or muscle aches, you may need to use massage oils with essential oils added that can give you relief.

If you have been suffering from lack of sleep try using essential oils to help build your immune system or to help to fight off existing infections.

Even though you might not be getting enough sleep yet, at least you can help your body not get to the point of putting you in bed with something dreadful!

You might also be interested in previous articles written about Insomnia and Fatigue please see our Past Newsletters and our Health and Beauty Index for other areas of interest that may cause you to have difficulties in falling asleep. Don’t forget to check out the Recipes Section for additional recipes to help too!

If you have tried this things and are still having difficulty, please send Al an e-mail at bhhinfo@birchhillhappenings.comfor a consultation and let him know you have tried the things mentioned above. We will suggest a few other oils that may be better – just for you!

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Emotional Concern

Loss and Grief

by Penny Keay

Everyone will experience some kind of loss in their lifetime. Some are not so hard to handle, while others can take you months to recover.

Sometimes the loss is emotional, sometimes monetary. Essential oils can help with the emotional part but please realize that no matter what, you will still need to go through the grieving process.

Essential oils can make it a little easier to cope.

The emotions triggered by a loss of a loved one or close friend can be many. Loss of a home, job or other valuable can trigger a few emotions just the same but some will be different.

Some will be easier to deal with and recovery will be quick. Anger, anxiety, sadness, sorrow, confusion, guilt and depression are just a few.

There are still many other emotions you may experience during the period of loss. You will not heal overnight. It can take months to years in some cases.

It has been 10 years since Al’s mother passed and soon it will be 5 years since I lost my mother. For us it took a while to heal from the losses. We were both very close emotionally to our mothers, (both of us to each others too).

Everyone will handle loss and grief differently. Some can go on easily, while others it takes time to heal.

We know that had it not been for our constant exposure to all these wonderful essential oils, our coping with the deaths of his mother, my mother and my father all within a 5 year period of time would not have been easy.

It seemed for us that we were always exposed to the right oils at the right time.

Some essential oils used for grief include:

Bergamot, Cypress, Roman Chamomile, Jasmine, Marjoram, Neroli, Rose Otto, Nutmeg, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lavender, Patchouli, Mandarin , Melissa, Spikenard, Vetiver and Vanilla

Each one of these oils can be used separately or in combinations. Try not to use more than 4-5 oils in a blend.

These can be used in diffusers or in a nice relaxing, warm bath. Truly, any essential oil that makes you feel good inside, may be just the oil you should be using.

Giving a small silk arrangement with some of these oils applied to the flowers to someone grieving is a beautiful way to brighten someone's day.

Give them a small bottle of the blend to freshen the scenting so they can continue the healing process. They will start to feel better without knowing the real reason why!!

Please check through the list of our synergy blends as several contain one or more of the above mentioned oils and diffusing these may help with loss too.

Some suggestions would be Calming blend, Beautiful, My Angels, Sensual, Tropical Dreams, and For Women’s blends.

Each of them has wonderful smells that may help you or another loved one or friend deal with a loss of any kind.

Any essential oil that is liked and that makes an individual feel better will help them emotionally. They will be the ones to choose.

If you are choosing an oil or two for yourself or someone close to you, smell several different ones and if one of the oils you feel you just can’t get enough of, try diffusing it for a few days. Of course, you may have 2 or 3 you want to use and that is fine too.

Use the oils daily and soon you will feel better. They say time heals. But with essential oils things seem to be better faster and are definitely more enjoyable.

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Health and Beauty

Winter time skin

by Penny Keay

DRY, Dry, dry! Not sure why winter has to be so tough on our skin. Of course it’s probably more the case that the weather, heating and the fact that many of us drink less in the winter as the cooler temperatures usually disrupt our signals for thirst.

Even if you have normal, oily or dry skin naturally, you will most likely need moisturizers in the winter. The humidity level in many homes tends to be low because of the need for heat.

We never want to tell you to minimize hand washing any time (unless you are obsessive/compulsive) as with everyone being in closer contact, you will want to try to keep germs to a minimum that can cause the cold or flu.

What we do suggest is that you wash your hands, dry them with a towel then apply a moisturizer and let it dry or absorb into your skin before going out in the cold and frigid outdoors.

This same advice is for you after washing your face and applying makeup or moisturizer too. Extreme changes in temperature of your skin can dry, irritate and chap them too.

In cases of dry skin, we suggest a 2 step approach. First is to moisturize from within – drink plenty of liquids especially water.

This helps your body to replenish what the skin needs without having to conserve what it needs for other body functions. Secondly, keep the moisture in by using oils and natural waxes to keep the water in your skin from escaping.

First part is easy – just drink plenty of liquids.

The second part can be a little more difficult for some folks, if their hands are being exposed to water, soap and detergents.

Secondly is to apply a lotion or oil to trap in the moisture or at least slow it down. One of the best oils is actually a liquid wax – namely Jojoba . It absorbs quickly into the skin and you only need a few drops! There is another oil that many find helpful too. Camellia oil is this other good oil, again, only a few drops are needed. Either of these oils can be used alone or you can blend them together.

If you have special needs other than just dry skin you can easily blend essential oils into these. Or if you prefer you can add Jojoba or Camellia oil to your favorite lotion or cream. One to two tablespoons per 8 ounces of lotion and blend well.

Now onto a few suggestions of essential oils to add to your llotion , creams or oils:

For Normal skin you can add your favorites.

Skin friendly essential oils include;

Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Rose Otto and Ylang Ylang.

For sensitive skin:

try a few drops of Roman Chamomile, Lavender or Helichrysum

For extremely Dry skin:

In addition to any oils mentioned previously - Carrotseed, Geranium, Lavender, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Myrrh, Palmarosa, Sandalwood, Thyme–linalool and Vetiver.

Also in Aromatherapy for Dummies by Kathi Keville suggests a small amount of Peppermint can sometimes stimulate your bodies own oil production.

Erich Keller of Aromatherapy Handbook for Beauty, Hair and Skin Care states that may also help to stimulate or balance oil production by using a little Bergamot, Jasmine or Geranium

For mature skin:

Carrotseed, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Myrrh, Neroli, Rose Otto and Rosemary.

Stay warm and cozy this winter and treat your skin with a little moisturizing inside and out!

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Around the House and Garden

Love those Silk Flowers

by Penny Keay

I’m such a big fan of Silk flowers you just can’t imagine. Especially in Minnesota in the winter when the only life you see in plants are the evergreen trees. So seeing lovely flowering plants brightens up my day.

And trying to transport live plants without them getting frostbite is almost impossible here.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love real flowers too, I love them a lot, but I have NO GREEN THUMB!

Well, not any more, I don’t. Back when I was a young mother I could grow some pretty cool annual flowers in my garden, but for the past 15 years my gardening skills have disappeared – I know, how sad.

So I have resorted to silk arrangements – they don’t die on me and I can make them smell pretty and use different scents for the season or the mood I’m in.

It is so simple. I just put a few drops on several of the petals of the flower arrangement. It will last a day to a week or so depending on the blend I use.

It’s fun to fake someone out!! Buy some Jasmine silk flowers and add a drop or two of real Jasmine absolute. We usually just buy silk flower bouquets of multiply flower varieties and then just add any of our blends that we enjoy.

Place them in the bathroom, dining room, living room or on your mantle. We used Conifer blend on our artificial Christmas tree and wreaths. In the bathroom where there is a exotic looking arrangement, we use our Tropical dreams or Caribbean blends or if we’ve been exposed to folks with colds etc, we may use Pure Cleansing or Four Robbers – a little strange in the bathroom, but since they smell exotic and jungle like (the eucalyptus does to me) we don’t mind using them in the bathroom.

Let your mind and available essential oils to have a little fun. More than once I have bluffed folks thinking the flowers were real! (Until they looked up close that is!)

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Recipes to try

Face Oil for Dry and/or Mature Skin

Palmarosa – 6 drops
Frankincense – 4 drops
Myrrh – 4 drops
Patchouli – 2 drops
Jojoba - 1 ounce
Camellia oil - 1 ounce

Blend essential oils in a PET plastic bottle then add the Jojoba and Camellia oils. Blend well for 24 hours then apply a few drops morning and night to a clean face. This blend can be used more often as desired.


Silk Flower Floral Scent

Ylang Ylang – 50 drops
Geranium – 25 drops
Petitgrain and – 25 drops
Vanilla - 5drops or our V’Nilla Blend – 10-20 drops

Blend well in an amber glass bottlethen apply a few drops to several petals of a silk flower arrangement. Reapply as desired.

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To help you Fall Asleep

Lavender - 15 drops
Roman Chamomile – 5 drops
Ylang Ylang – 5 drops

Blend all in an amber glass bottle, then shake well. Add to any diffuser. If you wish you can add 1.25 ml of emulsifier to the essential oil blend and then add two ounces of water. Shake well and spray around the room as desired.


To Comfort at a Time of Loss or Grief

Rose Otto Otto – 3 drops
Vanilla – 5 drops
Roman Chamomile – 3 drops
Mandarin – 3 drops

Blend the above essential oils in an amber glass bottle. Use in any diffuser or add to 1 ounce of a carrier oil and use as a massage oil.


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All the products listed in the article are available at our Shopping Site - see link below.

© 2008, 2015, 2017 Penny Keay All rights reserved Worldwide.
Please do not use my information without my permission.

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