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Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy, LLC Newsletter Vol 91


In this issue:

Physical Ailment


by Penny Keay

If you have ever experienced sciatica you know what a pain it can be, both literally and physically.

The pain and discomfort though are just the symptoms of an underlying problem. Sciatica is really the irritation and inflammation of the large nerve that runs in your lower back (sacrum) into your leg. You have one on each side of your body.

When, some how, this large nerve gets irritated or pinched you can have anywhere from a little "twinge", all the way to pain so severe it will stop you in your tracks for several days.

One common cause for men especially is sitting on their wallet. Those beautiful pieces of folded leather have taken more than one man to their knees.

For women, you may have sat crooked or funny on a chair, not even realizing you are giving yourself a pain in the back.

More serious causes would be disc or lower back vertebrae involvement. If you are unsure what is causing your sciatica, see your physician.

Sciatica always seems to get worse in the evening. At least I think so. Especially when you are trying to fall asleep.

The very first thing to do is to start putting on ice packs. This will begin to give relief within a few minutes. It helps to quiet the inflammation and the numbing action of cold, will help diminish the pain.

Things that may help when you are being bothered is to put cold packs on the area. Cold is better at giving relief for sciatica than anything else you might try.

Start with cold packs. Hold in place over the sore area for no more than 20 minutes. Repeat this every 2 hours.

The cold will help to reduce swelling and give relieve from the pain too. But do not leave cold/ice packs directly on this area for more 20 minutes at a time, you could risk freezing your skin and more than 20 minutes actually does no good.

For some people after the first few days, it might feel good to alternate with heat. In some folks, heat is aggravating and will only make matters worse.

Again if you choose to alternate with heat, no more than 20 minutes at a time and continue to alternate every couple hours with ice.

Also if you have someone that can give you a good but light back rub in this area and down into your affected leg will not only feel good but can help relax the tense muscles you may develop because of the discomfort.

Essential oils that are good and that help to penetrate the tense and sore muscles are Juniper and Black Pepper.

Others include Lavender, Eucalyptus globulus, Ginger, Nutmeg, Pine needle, Rosemary, Peppermint, Thyme and Oregano. Several of these may also help to relieve inflammation of the nerve involved.

Add up to a total of 12-15 drops of two or three different essential oils to 1 ounce of a carrier oil. Blend well and use to massage.

This blend may feel very good and give you the relief you need.

Sciatica Relief Massage

Peppermint - 10 drops
Rosemary - 10 drops
Lavender - 5 drops
Helichrysum - 5 drops
Sunflower oil - 1 ounce

Blend all together in a bottle. Shake well. Then use for massage.

Hope these suggestions help. We have used the above methods when our sciatic nerve has been inflammed. If you start early with the ice/cold packs you will have conquered half the battle. Keep the inflammation down and you will feel better quickly.

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Emotional Concern

Comforting Essential oils

by Penny Keay

What could be better than enjoying wonderful smelling essential oils while being comforted?

After any type of extremely stressful situation or loss of someone close to you, you and others around you can get comfort and peace from smelling various essential oils.

They would be getting relief without really knowing what is going on.

Of course, there are other reasons to use comforting scents too.

Maybe you've had a hard week at work or dealing with the kids, chores or who knows. Sitting there in peace and enjoying some comforting essential oils will undoubtedly make you feel better.

Some well known essential oils for just this purpose are:

Comforting Essential oils

Rose Otto, Neroli, Melissa, Patchouli, Lavender, Frankincense, Vetiver, Cypress, Mandarin, and Roman Chamomile.

Yet others feel comfort while smelling Cinnamon, Clove bud and Pine needle scents.

Try blending any 2 or 3 of them together and see what you think.

Or try this Comforting blend

Mandarin - 20 drops
Geranium - 10 drops
Patchouli - 10 drops

Mix well in an amber bottle, then diffuse in any Diffuser.

or Comforting blend 2

Neroli - 10 drops
Mandarin - 10 drops
Cypress - 5 drops

Again, mix well in an amber bottle and then diffuse in any Diffuser.

Relax and enjoy the smell of these and other essential oils.

If you prefer to use a preblended synergy, please check out our blends.

Calming blend and Relaxing are very wonderful blends used just for this purpose - they are very comforting!

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Health and Beauty

Nail Fungus

by Penny Keay

Fungus amongus - Yikes!

When you have a fungal infection that has invaded your finger and toenails it can be one of the hardest things to get rid of.

Unfortunately, fungal infections can be transmitted easily and once they begin can be hard to eliminate.

Several prescription drugs are available but can have detrimental effects on your liver. So many people seek alternative methods for treating this problem.

To start with you need to get a positive diagnosis from your physician and then make sure they have no objection to you trying an alternative solution to this problem.

Once you have the okay there are certain things you need to do besides using essential oils.


Be sure you are willing to follow the regimen for the length of time needed. Treating nails for fungus can take several months. You will need to continue until the nails have all grown in with new nails.


Wash your feet and clean your toes daily. Dry them thoroughly. (If you have infections in you fingernails you still need to clean them good and dry them too!)


Change your socks every day, twice a day if you have sweating feet problems.


Use a drying powder - ideal would be to use talc powder impregnated with Tea tree essential oil. Do not use cornstarch as this is food for fungus.


Rotate the shoes you wear. Set them outdoors into the sunlight to air them out, but also let the sun help to destroy any fungus.


Limit your sugar and sweets. Fungus love high levels of sugar. And if you have too much sweets, they stay in your blood and can "feed" the fungus. That is one reason Diabetics (or undiaganosed diabetics) often times have problems with nail fungal infections, along with candidiasis, yeast, etc.


Wear shoes made of cotton or leather. Or wear no shoes as much as possible (while indoors of course).


Consult your physician if you see no improvement after one month. You may have to resort to conventional medicine :-(

To begin you will need to set time aside each day for soaking your feet (or hands). You should begin by washing your feet (or hands) thoroughly.

Clean underneath the nails with an orange stick to remove any dead cells and debris.

In a basin place some room temperature water (about 4 cups) and also 4 cups of distilled vinegar.

Yep, we are pickling your feet!! No not really. But Vinegar is great at killing fungus and it is not too objectionable.

Add 5-6 drops of Tea tree oil to this foot bath. Sit and soak for 30 - 60 minutes.

When you are done, dry your feet well.

You can reuse the same basin of water for 2- 3 days. You will need to add a few more drops of the Tea Tree oil as it will diffuse into the air overnight.

A good time to soak your feet is shortly before bedtime.

You can also add a little Lavender to the basin if you like. Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D in his book "Advanced Aromatherapy" notes that Tea Tree may not work for all toenail fungus.

He suggests you try the following blend applied to the affected nails.

This is a very strong blend and you should test before hand to make sure you do not have a reaction to these oils. This recipe is a two step process.

Please follow directions carefully.

Step one:

Thyme - 4 ml (80 drops)
Oregano - 2 ml (40 drops)
Cinnamon - 2 ml (40 drops)

Blend these oils in an amber bottle.

Step two:

Add 5 ml of the above mixture into 15 ml of your choice of carrier oil. (I would recommend Sunflower oil) Blend well.


Apply 1 drop to each affected nail twice a day. Be sure your feet/hands are clean and dry before applying. (see above).

If you see no improvement after 14 days, discontinue. How do you know if there is improvement? You will see new healthy nail growth. No more hard, discolored yellow nails. New healthy growth will begin to show near the nails growth area.

After 14 days,

and if you see improvement, you should use at least once daily thereafter until there is a complete new nail.

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Around the House and Garden

Scented Greeting Cards

by Penny Keay

If you are like several women (and a few men) who have gotten excited about the scrapbooking craze or maybe you just like adding the personal touch and are making your very own greeting cards.

Well, something else you can do is add a little bit of scent to them. Not much, just a drop or two.

There are a couple of ways you can do this. The simplest method is to place your card or cards in a zip lock baggie.

Add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to a cotton ball and place in the zip lock bag too.

Keep in this baggie for a minimum of 24 hours, longer if possible. This gives the essential oils time to penetrate the paper fibers.

An alternate method is to use a spray bottle and add some rubbing alcohol to this. Then add several drops of essential oils to this bottle.

Shake well and then spray a little on the back side of your cards. The alcohol will quickly evaporate but the essential oil will be left behind.

DO NOT use this rubbing alcohol - essential oil mixture as a perfume.

Rubbing alcohol is very irritating to the skin and mucous membranes.

Only use this for scenting your cards. This method is best used to scent cards where you don't have the 24 plus hours to let it set in a baggie.

As far as what essential oils to use? It's totally your choice. Light refreshing citrus scents or any floral scent.

Also check some of our synergy blends. Calming blend is very wonderful and would be a very welcome scent in any card. Use your imagination and have fun scenting your greeting cards.

And before I forget, don't forget to add the envelope to the ziplock bags too!!

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Recipes to try

Great Back massage

Lavender - 10 drops
Eucalyptus globulus - 10 drops
Ginger - 10 drops
1 ounce of Sweet almond oil

Blend well in a bottles. Shake well before using.

Massage into back and sore, tense muscles.

Comforting Blend

Rose Otto - 10 drops
Roman Chamomile - 3 drops
Mandarin - 2 drops

Blend well in an amber bottle. Place a drop on a tissue and inhale. This is a very strong blend.

So if you choose to diffuse this place only 2-3 drops in your Diffuser at a time. Adjust as necessary.

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Alternate Blend for Fungus

Palmarosa -20 drops
Eucalyptus globulus Globulus - 20 drops
Thyme - 20 drops
carrier oil - 100 ml (3 1/2 ounces)

Blend well and apply 2 - 4 times day for 10 to 14 days. Discontinue after that.

Scented Card blend (Romantic Scent)

Ylang Ylang - 4 drops
Clary Sage - 4 drops
Palmarosa - 4 drops
Sandalwood- 3 drops

Blend well then add one drop to your card or place several cards in a zip lock and add several drops to a cottonball and place in your baggie too!

Don't forget to put the envelopes in the baggie too.

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

© 2006, 2015, 2017 Penny Keay All rights reserved Worldwide.
Please do not use my information without my permission.

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