Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy

Your One Stop Aromatherapy Shop since 1997

Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy, LLC Newsletter Vol 96


In this issue:


Getting Started using Essential oils and Aromatherapy

by Penny Keay

This article is a help to those just getting started in the use of essential oils and for those of you that want to introduce aromatherapy and those wonderful essential oils to those around you.

So what do you tell someone about Aromatherapy or the use of essential oils that might spark their interest?

Simply, it's something NATURE provided for us to use to make us feel better, whether it is emotionally or physically and sometimes one helps the other. The fact that many of them smell great also helps!

Many are seeking natural ways of helping yourself. Folks are tired of the quick fix pills that have so many, many side effects.

Did you know that essential oils only stay in your system for about 24 hours? Once they have done what they need to do the body eliminates them. Unlike some drugs that may never leave your body or have been known to take months to leave.

Let's get started.

First you will need some essential oils.

The most basic kit would include:

Lavender, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lemon, Tea Tree and Rosemary.

Now this is an extremely basic set of oils but will help with many emotional and physical needs.

The next would be a carrier oil - most likely Sweet Almond oil, Apricot oil, or Sunflower oil. These are used to mix with the essential oils for massage and baths.

A simple diffuser - There are many to choose. If you want something just for personal use, a cotton ball, handkerchief or a personal inhaler is all that you need.

If you want to scent an entire room you may want a more powerful fan or other electrical heat source diffuser. You might want to check out our descriptions of diffusers by clicking here.

You'll also need a book, a decoder, or chart. These can be quick reference sources for finding what oil or oils will help with a particular concern.

There are many good books for anyone starting out but the simplest way to introduce essential oils is a decoder. We have a large selection but the two most basic ones - Aromatherapy and Advanced Aromatherapy decoders are two of the best for anyone, beginner to advanced.

They are simple to use as they have a books worth of information on each 'wheel' of the decoder. These are also handy to carry in your Essential First aid kit or Travel kit.

Last, you might want to have a few empty bottles to mix blends in and or to share your creations.

As you explore the use of essential oils you will quickly find out that you just don't have some of the oils you might need. So you will need to purchase more oils.

So what is next? If you are getting more interested in Aromatherapy and essential oils, you'll definitely want to buy more books. You will be able to learn a lot from the several good books available.

When you are very serious you will probably want to take a course. There are several home study courses available.

Or if you live in an area where there is an aromatherapy school, you might want to check them out too. Prices for home study courses usually run from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand or more.

You might not be aware that we have several basic kits for those just beginning to use essential oils. Please visit our Sampler kits page. We have kits for all levels of interest.

As always, if you have any question about essential oils we are here to help. Please feel free to send us an e-mail at and we'll get you an answer as quickly as we can.

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How to Use Essential oils

by Penny Keay

All the ways to use them in Aromatherapy!

Here are a few common or general ways to use Essential oils:

  • Inhalation - a drop or two on a tissue and inhaled
  • Applied to a terra cotta disc or other clay diffuser and placed in the sun.
  • Use a Tea light or other electric oil warmer so the essential oils can permeate the room, home or office.
  • Put a few drops in a foot bath.
  • Add a few drops to your regular bath.
  • Put upto 15 drops in 1 ounce of carrier oil and massage.
  • Put upto 15 drops in 1 ounce your shampoo or conditioner, then use as normal for hair care.
  • Put upto 10 drops in 1 ounce of lotion to smooth on your skin.
  • Add several drops to a spray bottle, add distilled water, shake well and spray around the room.

We are often asked for the ways we use essential oils here are some of the more specific ways we use them.

  • In the dish wash water - a few drops of Peppermint or Lemon. We wash dishes by hand. Although you can add a few drops to the powder or gel when you put them in to your automatic dishwasher.
  • In the bath tub - Lavender or a synergy blend - Theratone is one of our favorites.
  • You can use many of our synergy blends in the bath tub or shower. Experiment with a few!
  • On the bed sheets - again Lavender
  • In the Automobiles - Conifer Blend, or Citrus Blend. Although we have a Car Scenter and an Aeron Car diffuser, some times we just put some on a tissue and lay on the front seat.
  • In the vacuum cleaner - Pine or one of the Fir needles, or Peppermint or Mint Energizing blend, or for a change Anise .
  • By our Computers - Grapefruit, Spearmint, or Rosemary on a small passive diffuser like the new little Terra Cottas.
  • When we travel - to hotels - we use our Natura or a Scentball - We usually start by diffusing Lavender and Purifying blend blend, sometimes we might add a little Theives blend . Then before bed a drop or two of Lavender on the pillows.
  • We use Lavender on Burns & cuts.
  • Peppermint and Rosemary - on the back of the neck when we have headaches.
  • Helichrysum on bruises, cuts and other scar producing injuries.
  • When we have a back ache or muscle aches - We use Muscle Warm blend, or Dar's blend mixed in a little carrier oil and massaged into the affected areas.
  • Kerchew! - Coughing When we have been exposed to people out in the public who are sneezing and coughing. We will use Purifying blend and Theives blend (mixed with carrier oils ) massaged into the bottom of our feet at bedtime.
  • Sorethroats - at the start of a sorethroat - we gargle with a drop of Thyme or Oregano in 2-3 ounces of water every couple of hours. Usually knocks it out within a few hours.
  • Dry chapped skin - A blend of Lavender and Rose lotion or sorbolene cream.
  • Canker sores - ever brush your teeth and have the tooth brush miss your teeth and hit your gums? Next thing you know you have a sore on your gums. A drop of Myrrh in warm water and swish around. Do a couple times a day and soon the sores are healed.
  • We have 2 dogs and so although we keep things as clean as possible - every now and again you smell doggy smells in the house. So we spray some essential oils in the air. In our Recipes Files we have several Room Spray recipes. I like the citrus sprays but you may prefer one of the others.
  • This time of year we seem to have a few mice that like to come in, but Peppermint on the thresholds of the doorways keep them from 'sneaking' in.
  • During this time of the year, it is always fun to burn a few candles, so often times, if we aren't diffusing other essential oils will light a candle or two.

These are just a few of the ways we use them in our daily life.

Hope this gives you a few ideas as you begin the wonderful journey into the world of True Aromatherapy!

Exactly, What is an Essential oil?

As you study and learn more about Aromatherapy you will quickly find out what an essential oil is.

And to get the quality and purity you need to use in Therapeutic aromatherapy there are certain things you should be looking for too.

To start with an essential oil comes from a living PLANT. Not an animal, not the earth or out of the air, or from a the petroleum industry.

Essential oils are always distilled or cold pressed from various plant parts.

Plants can be trees, shrubs, grasses, and bushes. The parts distilled might be the flower, the seeds, the peels, the bark, the twigs, branches and trunks (including the resins they produce), the leaves and the roots.

Some oils are extracted by solvents or carbon dioxide. Technically they aren't called essential oils if extracted using those methods - they are concretes and absolutes.

Essential oils are the subtle, volatile liquids extracted by steam distillation and cold pressed (peels of citrus fruit). They are the essences of life of the plant. They are unique to each plant variety. Rosemary smells different than roses and oranges smell different too. The essential oil is the so called fingerprint of each plant!

Volatile means to evaporate rather quickly into the air from a liquid state to a gaseous state.

Things to look for in Therapeutic Essential oils.

The label should state the following information:

Common name of Essential oil may also include a chemo type i.e. Thyme - ct Linalool.

Botanical name of plant the essential oil is extracted from i.e. Thymus vulgaris.

The Part of the Plant extracted from. i.e. the leaves

Other helpful information but not crucial is the country of origin. The method of extracted is nice to know and most companies will have this too.

Another factor is to find out if they have the oils tested for Purity? The most common tests run on essential oils are Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry.

These are the basic tests. They tell us the chemical constituents and if there is contamination in any form.

Our supplier does upto 4 more tests if necessary. This assures us we are getting the absolute best products for our customers.

Whether an essential oil is organic, wild crafted or cultivated doesn't assure the therapeutic quality of an oil. Only testing to be sure it is not adulterated with pesticides, insecticides or other man-made chemicals is what's important.

The testing will tell us that and if the biological markers for a particular oil are in alignment with those chemical constituents that it should have.

Of course, unless you are a chemist or know what you are looking for, the tests typically won't mean much to the average person using essential oils.

Today we see a lot of advertised products stating they are Aromatherapy - this or that (could be a lotion or more than likely a scented candle).

But just because a product says it is 'aromatherapy', doesn't mean it is Therapeutic Aromatherapy.

If by chance it only has a few drops of pure essential oils but the rest of the product is made of 'fragrance' oils then it is more detrimental to your health than anything.

Fragrance oils are man-made using different chemicals made to smell like things in nature or our food supply.

As an example, there are no essential oils that when blended together will make the smell of Strawberry shortcake or blueberry muffins or pumpkin pie.

If there was - it would be sold by Aromatherapists around the world. But you won't find those products sold on any TRUE aromatherapy site unless they are selling FRAGRANCE OILS!

If they do not specifically state that their are fragrance oils in a product along with essential oils, you should not buy the product.

And if they state that the scent of a Blueberry muffin will help you with some health problem - I suggest you leave the site or store!!

Fragrance oils are typically petroleum based products with chemically altered scents added to them.

This may sound extreme but you might as well go smell out of your automobiles gas tank as gasoline is a petroleum based product too! Essential oils are too expensive to put in your gas tank to make it smell good!!!

Now, don't get me wrong, occasionally you will find a fragrance oil product that has some essential oil in it. You will even find Fragrance oils called 'Lavender', 'Rose', and 'Vanilla'.

But a good way to figure if you are getting a fragrance oil or a Pure Essential oil is to look through the items for sale.

If all the bottles are the same size and they are all priced for exactly the same price - well, they are all fragrance oils.

Pure Essential oils will vary in price. Rose, Jasmine, Melissa being some of the most expensive essential oils available.

They cost several dollars for just a few drops.

And orange and other citrus oils are very inexpensive so large amounts will be just a fraction of the cost. Just look at our pricing for essential oils - 2 ml of orange and 2ml of Rose otto - you will see there is a big difference.

So, if the name is a food or baked good, or some other goody name, it probably is a fragrance oil.

And although they smell good, they are made with unnatural substances that can be hard for the body to deal with. Some may be more dangerous than you could ever imagine.

Eventually many people will develop some type of a sensitivity to fragrance oils.

We hear it all the time. And although a sensitivity can develop at any time in ones life, natural substances are less likely to cause any kind of problem.

So, once again, Therapeutic quality Essential oils are the volatile essences produced by a living plant that are extracted by distillation or pressing.

They possess anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. They affect you at the cellular level to help your body to be chemically balanced, emotionally and physically.

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Around the House and Garden

How to Scent your Artificial tree!

by Penny Keay

This time of year many of us, (yes we are included due to allergies to molds that are present on live trees) love to have our artificial tree smell like a REAL TREE!

The essential oil that most folks enjoy is the smell of Douglas Fir Needle. We do have those that prefer Siberian Fir Needle as it is a little less intense. Yet for others their trees should smell like a Pine or Spruce.

A combination of any or all of these is wonderful too.

To have your tree smell like a real tree, simply add several drops to cotton balls and place in your tree.

We prefer to use terra Cotta diffusers. We have several little terra cotta discs or Terra Cotta Pendants. You can place them in your tree or near the tree. If you can place it next to a heat source - like a sunny window or near a heat vent, the essential oil will penetrate the air more quickly.

You can also place several small decorative pine cones that you have dropped several drops of oil onto your tree too.

As you are scenting for the tree smell, you might want to think about a corner that has other holiday scents.

I like to put a drop or two on the tree of peppermint. Especially since we hang candy canes on our tree.

Or you might want to put a drop or two of anise (licorice smell) or clove or cinnamon on your tree or in your diffuser. These are all common holiday scents.

So, enjoy your artificial tree. If you get the scenting right, when your holiday guests arrive they will comment, (just as my nephews have,) at how wonderful our tree makes the house smell!!

Of course, they might get close to the tree and discover it is fake, but you can keep the scenting a secret if you wish!!

One added note - As you spend a lot of time in your home and around the tree, realize you will become accustomed to the smell of the essential oils in the air.

You may not smell the tree scent all the time. You will have to test the amount of essential oils you add to your diffusers or pine cones.

You'll figure it out so you can enjoy your natural tree scent on your artificial tree!!

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Recipes to try

Festive Blend

Spruce Needle - 5 drops
Peppermint - 4 drops
Anise - 3 drops

Mix all oils together in an amber bottle. Use 3-4 drops in any diffuser as desired.

Festive Blend 2

Peppermint - 35 drops
Frankincense - 10 drops
Rosemary - 5 drops

Mix all oils together in an amber bottle. Use 3-4 drops in any diffuser as desired.

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Calming Blend for Restlessness

Tangerine - 8 drops
Vanilla - 4 drops
Myrrh - 3 drops

Mix all oils together in an amber bottle. Use 3-4 drops in any diffuser as desired.

This blend is good for young and old. Excitement of the season and anxiousness can make everyone a little restless. This blend is warm and relaxing.

Massage oil blend for tired feet and legs

Spruce - 4 drops
Spearmint 4 drops
Ravensara - 4 drops
Cajeput - 3 drops
Helichrysum - 3 drops
Almond oil - 1-2 tablespoons.

Blend all together, then massage into your feet and lower legs.

You'll want to use this blend after all the preparations for the festivities have ended for the day!!

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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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Aromatherapy Recipe Book

Aromatherapy Recipe book
Hundreds of Recipes using Pure Essential oils. Easy to follow formulas, to blend, use and Enjoy! Available in an E-book Version.
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Essential Oils
We carry over 110 Single note Essential oils for your aromatherapy needs. A variety of sizes to fit every budget.

Choose from over 40 Terra Cotta Disc Diffuser designs!

 Passive Terra Cotta

We have a large selection of diffusers for all your diffusing needs. Here is one of our Terra Cotta Diffuser.
Great to place in all your personal spaces. Read more about using them in your shower, closet, car and MORE!!


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