Category Archives: AROMATHERAPY RECIPES

ADIOS ANTS! DIY Ant Spray

There they were: a small army of ants, marching across my window sill from the window to the wall.  (This is the first time I’ve ever had to deal with ants!  I guess I’ve been lucky before, considering all the places I’ve lived).  

So, I started thinking about a way to make them not be there that did not involve a shoe or a store-bought spray.  Today, I live ant-free.

DIY ANT SPRAY
Kills and repels ants on all types of surfaces, leaves little residue.

2 C white (distilled) vinegar
2 C water
3 T Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap (or any dish detergent that suits your fancy)
3 T table salt

Combine ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a spray bottle.

Shake before each use.
Thoroughly spray the entire area where ants are, as well as their trail. The ants will die.
Once the ants are dead, use a paper towel to wipe off the sprayed area to remove any residue (and deceased ants). The detergent and vinegar smell will repel ants from the sprayed area.

It is said that the soap makes the spray stick to the ants, thereby increasing the effectiveness of this spray.

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Oh, I just can’t stop with one remedy! Here are some others.

VINEGAR AND WATER DIY ANT SPRAY
1 C white (distilled) vinegar
1 C water

Combine water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
Spray on ants anywhere. Use a paper towel to wipe away residue (and deceased ants).

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ESSENTIAL OIL AND VINEGAR DIY ANT SPRAY
Essential oils that will kill ants on contact include clove, lemon, peppermint, and tea tree.
40 drops, clove, lemon, peppermint, or tea tree EO
1/2 C distilled white vinegar
1/2 C water

Mix in a spray bottle.
To use, shake the bottled mixture, then spray on the ants (they will die). Also spray in places where ants can enter, to repel them.

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ALL ESSENTIAL OIL DIY ANT SPRAY
1/2 cup of water
15 drops lemon EO
30 drops peppermint EO
30 drops tea tree oil EO*

Combine in a spray bottle.
To use, shake the bottled mixture, then spray on the ants (they will die). Also spray in places where ants can enter, to repel them.
*NOTE: Do not use tea tree oil on surfaces used for food preparation. Instead, use:
30 drops peppermint EO
15 drops lemon EO
1/2 C water

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CASTILE SOAP SPRAY:
1/4 C liquid castile soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s)*
20 drops of peppermint oil
1 qt water

Mix in a spray bottle. Shake bottle and spray liquid on the ants to kill them. Also spray in places where ants can enter, to repel them.
*NOTE: you can also grate 1/4 cup-worth of a bar of castile soap, and mix it in thoroughly with the liquids, until it dissolves.

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TWO GOOD SITES FOR ESSENTIAL OIL/AROMATHERAPY INFO

Here are two good sites for aromatherapy/essential oil info.  

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Complete_Guide_to_Essential_Oils

http://www.aromaweb.com/essentialoils/essentialoilsguide.asp

MAKING YOUR OWN FRAGRANCE PRODUCTS: getting bottles and ingredients

On my way to see a client, I  noticed a store with all sorts of bottles in the window. Since I make up lots of different oil blends, I am always looking for a good source of little bottles.

When I went in, I saw that this store, Gold Star Fragrances, carries all sorts of fragrance oils.  Most of these are of the famous fragrance brand names (you can  get Thierry Mugler Alien, or Philosophie Amazing Grace, for instance), but there are others to use for making up one’s own blends. They do have a few essential oils, but most of their oils seem to be of the synthetic variety.

I had planned to buy two bottles to make a calming blend and a gem elixir for a client.  I thought the price for the bottles was a little steep, but I was stunned to find out, when the clerk plopped two large plastic bags of bottles on the counter, that the quoted price was for a dozen glass bottles!

Armed with so many bottles, I came home and started to think about how to make cologne for me and  mine.

There are recipes on-line, of course!
Pioneer Thinking website has a lot of information as well as recipes.
How to Make Perfume with Essential Oils contains tips on types of fragrances as well as a basic recipe (all of this at the end of the article).
4 Ways to Make Your Own Perfume  is just that – from essential oil-based to how to use herbs and flowers.
How to Make a Natural Perfume has more thoughts.

More later!

NATURAL HEALTH CARE & PERSONAL HYGIENE LINKS

I’ve just discovered a couple of very nice spots for natural beauty and health care.

Humblebee and Me is a compendium of various DIY ideas, with a number of DIY beauty and hair care projects. Definitely worth saving and revisiting often.  I was drawn to this site for its argan beauty serum, but stayed for all the other good things.

Everyday Roots has a lots of natural health and wellness DIY recipes.  They also have a Facebook page

I’ll bookmark these sites and visit often.

NO-SEE-UM’s WAR REVISITED – Compendium of Recommendations

A while back, I wrote on “no-see-ums”whatever that is that bites you and you can’t see it, but you start itching like crazy — not bedbugs, not mosquitos, not fleas, not lice(those you can see)  – and it only happens, usually, in specific places.  The big symptom of “no-see-ums” is uncontrolled itching – you can scratch yourself bloody before you even notice you’re doing it.  

No-see-ums can make you wonder if you’re losing your mind – you may find yourself scratching yourself raw before you even realize you’re doing it, while others, even in the same room, may not recognize the issue.  If you think you are getting bitten, you are getting bitten. It is not in your mind, even though you can’t see what is biting you (I believe that no-see-ums can be in one part of a room but not in another, and that some people in the room may be more susceptible to them than others: case in point: I teach in a private adult education facility, and, sometimes, I will be scratching myself to pieces and no one else will be affected, while, at other times, several other people will complain that they feel they have been bitten by something). 

A number of people have written their comments, or their requests for help, or, even, sometimes things they have found useful, so I’m going to reprise the topic, and list what I have found useful, as well as ideas I’ve gotten from readers who have told me what has worked for me.

A couple of ways to double-check, if you want to prove to  yourself that it is nothing else:

  1. Are you getting this reaction all the time? If so, could it be that you are allergic to something you are eating? Figure out what you have eaten in the past 2 hours before the “attack”, and eliminate that from your diet for a day or two and see if the itching stops.
  2. Do you get this reaction in specific places, but not in others?  If so, you’ve got no-see-ums in the place where you’re having the reaction.  (If you have it anyplace at all, then go back to #1)
  3. Do people doubt what you say about getting bitten in a specific place where they have not been? Do people disbelieve you just because it is not happening to them?  These are both signs that there are some no-see-ums where you are when you experience the itching.  (They seem to be place-specific, and, even in one room, they might be in one spot, but not 10 feet away)

Now, if you do believe that you have a no-see-ums issue, you can take some evasive action:
FOUR THIEVES OIL OR VINEGAR – this antiseptic/anti-viral formula really works for taking out the itch. The vinegar recipe takes a while to make, but you can but it on food (so you might develop an immunity – I haven’t personally explored that idea), but the problem is that you will smell like vinegar.  The oil recipes smell kind of nice (people often ask me what fragrance I’m wearing), and you can carry them with you and apply the oil as soon as you notice you’re itching – it might sting a bit at first, but it will take the itch away, and it has antibiotic properties, so, if you’ve already drawn blood, it will protect against infection.  This is one remedy I swear by – I always carry a little bottle of Four Thieves oil with me.

LAVENDER OIL – This is an antiseptic essential oil which will help with the itch and does seem to stop the bites from coming. I carry it with me always, as it is a good emergency remedy, and, if I have nothing better, I use it for no-see-ums. It works reasonably well for me and smells very nice, as well. I don’t think it works as well as other remedies for spraying a space, though.

BABY OIL – Someone suggested this one, and, although baby oil is not organic or anything close to natural, I will still go with it because it seems to repel the no-see-ums — if you slather it all over your skin, you get a moisturizer and you don’t get bitten.  It works as a repellent, and it doesn’t worry people too much if you drag it out and start rubbing it all over your arms (where I usually get hit)

LEMON GRASS/LEMON GRASS ESSENTIAL OIL  – A reader suggested planting lemon grass around one’s home to prevent entry – this reader felt that the lemon grass all around the home kept the no-see-ums from coming in.  I live in a New York City apartment (I haven’t had no-see-ums here, but…), and I work in a New York City office building (no way to plant lemon grass there), but I have found some apartment-friendly/public space-acceptable solutions: 

  • At home, you can burn dried lemon grass as incense, or you can add organic lemon grass essential oil to water and spray it in areas where  no-see-ums seem to get you, or else all over the place.  
  • At work, you can surreptitiously spray the lemon grass/water mix around where you feel you’re getting bitten (it smells nice, and, since, or course, you are using organic lemon grass essential oil, no one should complain, because it is good for lots of things, including bad smells in your workspace)

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HEADACHES

POST #48
I found this information on 877MyJuicer.com

BEST ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HEADACHES
 Lavender: this gentle, sweet-scented essential oil will help you relax, alleviating tension that brings on headaches. It’s also a favorite oil for use at night – sprinkle a few drops on your pillowcase for sweet dreams.
Peppermint: rich in menthol, this minty oil helps with tension and sinus headaches. It’s stimulating and energizing, so use it during the daytime.
Roman Chamomile: relaxing, anti-inflammatory, and sedative, Roman Chamomile essential oil is another great choice for before-bedtime headaches. Pair with a cup of chamomile tea, perhaps?
Eucalyptus: relieve a pounding sinus headache with eucalyptus essential oil, which is said to act as an anti-inflammatory agent.

TECHNIQUES
Massage
When you’re suffering from a headache, it can feel great to massage a few drops of these essential oils into your temples, your forehead, and the back of your neck. Just make sure to dilute the essential oils with a “carrier oil” (a mild, fairly unscented oil such as grapeseed, jojoba, sweet almond, or olive oil), as essential oils are very powerful. Mix 10-12 drops of your chosen oil (6-8 drops if using eucalyptus or peppermint) into one ounce of carrier oil. Gently massage away the headache.
Inhalation
Put 1-3 drops of your chosen oil onto a cotton ball. If this is your first time using the oil, use one drop to make sure it doesn’t aggravate the headache. Hold the cotton ball beneath or near your nose and inhale steadily. Try to release all the tension in your neck and temples.

I add:
I always carry lavender oil with me.  It is good for headaches, for bad smells (I rub it on the end of my nose, and, if the bad smell emanates from some person in the room, I just leave the bottle open in front of me).  Lavender is also an antibiotic, so if I get a paper-cut or any other open-skin injury, I drag out the bottle and apply some.  My flu remedy involves lavender and clove oils, but if I am away from home and clove oil, I’ll put about 3 drops of lavender oil in a cup of hot water and drink that if I feel a cold or the flu coming on).

20 THINGS TO DO WITH ALOE

POST #47

This is useful interesting information from MYJUICER.COM

  1. Soothe sunburn! Pure aloe feels cool and comforting against fried skin.
  2. Rub a bit on minor itches like mosquito bites.
  3. Mix one part aloe and one part water in a spray bottle to use as a facial mist or general skin-soother when you’re hot and sticky from the sun…
  4. …or spray onto your hair to moisturize and refresh your ‘do.
  5. Suffering from seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis? Aloe applications may help – give it a try!
  6. Instead of shaving cream (full of nasty chemicals), use aloe gel on your skin before reaching for the razor…
  7. …and if you’re suffering from razorburn, apply aloe after shaving, too.
  8. Use it to tame frizzy hair before styling. Think of it as a 100% natural smoothing serum (it’s the smoothing ingredient in conditioners and defrizzers that don’t use silicone!)
  9. Looking for an oil-free moisturizer for sensitive or acne-prone skin? You can use straight aloe on your face instead of schlepping to the drugstore.
  10. Put it on bruises…
  11. …rashes…
  12. …canker sores…
  13.  …Athlete’s foot…
  14. …blisters…
  15. …and pimples! Dab a little aloe on your acne and leave it on overnight.
  16. Make a tightening facial mask by mixing aloe gel with a few spoonfuls of oats and something moisturizing (honey, your favorite oil, or a few drops of essential oils, for example.) Leave on for 15-20 minutes.
  17. Exfoliate by mixing a few teaspoons of sugar with the juice of half a lemon. Scrap in the insides of one aloe leaf. Rub over your face in gentle circular motions and rinse.
  18. Drink aloe juice (available in most grocery stores) to help with indigestion, constipation, and mild gastrointestinal complaints.
  19. Splash some aloe juice into your green smoothie and enjoy the benefits.
  20. Put on a cowboy hat, mix yourself a Southwestern-style cocktail, and toast to the amazing powers of this succulent little plant!