Category Archives: recipe with essential oils

How to Experience the Ultimate Aromatic Bath (Plus Recipes!)

This post first appeared on the blog of the American College of Healthcare Sciences on January 13, 2015. Reprinted with permission.

For those of us who reside in chillier climates, there’s nothing better than slipping into a soothing hot bath to soak away the winter doldrums. But if you haven’t tried adding essential oils to your bath time routine, you’re missing out!

Essential oils are extremely effective when added to bath water—they’ll work wonders on your skin, and you’ll feel radiant inside and out. And you don’t need to trek to the spa to have a rejuvenating, relaxing bath. Here are a few simple ways you can create the ultimate aromatic bath experience right in your own home:

How to Draw Your Aromatic Bath with Essential Oils 

Essential oils can be blended with your favorite base oil and then added to the bath. Or you can learn how to make fizzing herbal bath bombs with essential oils. But if lack of time is a factor in your life, you can add essential oils directly to the bath water.

  • Run the bath water first.
  • While your tub is filling, prepare all you need for a relaxing and comfortable bath. Set up your music, a few cushy towels, a head pillow or folded towel, your favorite cup of herbal tea, candles, and (especially for the parents out there) a “do not disturb” sign for your door.
  • Once your tub is full, turn the water off, and add your essential oils.
  • Swirl the oils around in the bath with your hands or feet to ensure dispersion.
  • Enter the bath and soak for around 10 minutes.

For a stress relief-booster, add one cup of Epsom salts. These magnesium sulfate salts mix well with essential oils and water and the extra magnesium gives the added benefit of a deeper, more relaxed sleep.

While you soak, be sure to take advantage of this “me” time. Meditate. Practice gentle stretches. Or simply shut your eyes, inhale the enchanting aromas, enjoy the warmth, and be fully present in a moment of peace.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a full bath in your home—a hand or footbath can be an excellent alternative.

Safety Tips for Bathing with Essential Oils

It can be tempting to want to add more than the recommended daily dose (RDD) or stated dose in the formula, but you must resist—a little bit of essential oil goes a long way. Remember that essential oils should never irritate or burn the skin, and if you have skin sensitivities, be sure to do a skin patch test before adding them to the bath.

Also, the heat and the water of the bath can enhance absorption, so it’s important to be cautious and use less than you think you need. If you absolutely need to add more, add one drop at a time every five minutes.

You may experience slight tingling with essential oils that contain menthol, such as peppermint Mentha ×piperita (L.), but this disappears quickly once you’re out of the bath and dry. The activity of citrus oils in particular can intensify on the skin when mixed with hot bath water, so always remember to use only the stated amount in the formula.

It’s Bath Time!

Now that you know how to draw the perfect aromatic bath, here are two delightful essential oil blends you’ll have to try this winter:

Stimulating Aromatic Bath

Stimulating Morning Bath

  • Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil: 5 drops
  • Peppermint Mentha ×piperita essential oil: 2 drops

Once your tub is full, turn the water off, and add your essential oils. Swirl the oils around in the bath with your hands or feet to ensure dispersion. Enter the bath and soak for around 10 minutes. Inhale deeply and enjoy the invigorating aromas.

Aromatic Bath Recipe

Calm and Restore Bath

  • Geranium Pelargonium graveolens essential oil: 4 drops
  • Basil Ocimum basilicum essential oil: 2 drops

Once your tub is full, turn the water off, and add your essential oils. Swirl the oils around in the bath with your hands or feet to ensure dispersion. Enter the bath and soak for around 10 minutes. Inhale deeply and enjoy the soothing aromas.

You can find all of these oils in one easy >>Aromatic Bath Kit at the Apothecary Shoppe store here.

Aromatic Bath Kit

What essential oils will you choose for your ultimate aromatic bath? I’d love to know in the comments.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

Dorene Petersen is the Founder, President, CEO, and Principal of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS). She has over 35 years clinical teaching and lecturing experience in aromatherapy and other holistic health subjects. She has presented papers on essential oils and clinical aromatherapy at the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades Annual Conference (IFEAT) in California, USA; the Aroma Environment Association of Japan (AEAJ) in Tokyo, Japan; the Asian Aroma Ingredients Congress (AAIC) and Expo in Bali, Indonesia; the International Center of Advanced Aromatherapy (ICAA) at the WonGwang Digital University in Seoul, Korea; as well as the AAIC Expo in Kunming, Yunnan, China. Dorene currently serves as Chair of the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC), and she is also active with the Distance Education Training Council (DETC). Dorene is a travel junkie, and she hopes you will join her for the ACHS Study Abroad Program in Indonesia and India in 2015!

Check out the American College of Healthcare Sciences at

Product Review: LabAroma

AnalysingTheBlends_homeWhen I heard about LabAroma I couldn’t resist the temptation take a look at the website. Being a bit of a closet techie it looked like something that would be fun to use and valuable for anyone doing lots of blending. The website is wonderfully simple in layout and easy to navigate. There is a short video and lots of information explaining all about LabAroma and how it works. An opportunity arose for me to try it so I jumped at the chance and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

Armed with loads of questions, I made a start! The programme continues the clean and clear layout on the front page of the website. I managed to work out how to use the blending tools without reading the instructions. It is simple and intuitive, but for the complete technophobe there are easy to follow instructions. The video tutorial is now available for anyone who prefers to see it done.  I tried the programme on various tech—laptop, notebook, tablet and my Blackberry—and it adjusted to the screen size for each and worked well across all the platforms. I didn’t try it on an Apple device but would expect it to work the same. 

The process to formulate a blend is simple – you select the essential oil from the palette and drag it across to the ‘My Blend’ section. You can add as many as you want. If you’re going for a really complicated blend you can add limitless essential oils. Next comes the slightly tricky bit! You then add the percentage required for each essential oil in the blend.  I did ponder if a ratio option could be added here or a calculator using drops for people who don’t like percentages or fractions. When you’re happy with your percentages, click “calculate” and it works it out for you. There are options to start again or add more if you’re not happy with the blend. 

The blend you have created is displayed as a pie chart with the chemical breakdown listed. This can be saved as a .pdf, printed or added to the ‘My Blends’ area. I loved this option as it means I could have gas chromatigraph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS) data sheets for the blends that I supply as part of my schools’ work. I could also play around with the percentages to see if I could create a more effective blend. On the LabAroma+ option the Safety data/warnings about the blend are displayed for various countries: EU, Australia, USA and Japan. This option, although quite a bit more expensive would be invaluable to anyone making products for the retail market. There is also an effect section which lists in descending order the body systems that the blend would be effective in treating. This would be great when blending for more than one condition.

There is an option to add your own oils if you have the GC/MS breakdown. If the components aren’t currently listed you can request for it to be added. I learned they would be adding and updating the oils on a regular basis. Be aware that when selecting the essential oils you can only see the common names. I missed Cistus on the first look through as it is listed as Rock Rose. This isn’t a great problem and it would probably complicate the clean buttons for each oil. You can select each oil button and get a GC/MS data reading. The profiles for the individual oils are still to be added at the time of writing this review.

Another feature is the search by component feature. You can carry out a search by setting up a less or greater than percentage field for a component. You can specify more than one component which gives really precise results. There’s also a blog on the website and an option to sign up for the newsletter.

When I had finished my trial I had answered all of my initial questions. Although the initial purchase may seem a bit expensive, I can see that it would save lots of time and become an invaluable tool for any practitioner who does a lot of blending. I wish it had been around when I had trained; I will be recommending it to my students. It is simple to use, and gives results that are easy to view and utilise without you getting bogged down with loads of tech or research. From me it gets a thumbs up!

Enter to win a free 1 year subscription to LabAroma!                                                   The competition ends January 31, 2014. Send a brief (140 Character) of your favorite essential oil and a description of why you love it and what you use it for to The profile descriptions will feature in LabAroma and be credited to the contributor. Each profile description given will enter the contributor into a drawing to win a years subscription to LabAroma. Enter as often as you like!

This review was written by UK Aromatherapist Anita James and appears in the Spring Issue of the IJPHA (Vol. 2, Issue 4).

For information about Antia James visit

Mango Seed Oil-True nectar from the seductive fruit


Mango Seed oil has a treasure-house of nutritional benefits including antioxidants, fatty acids and other health-supporting components. It is an excellent choice for skin care preparations aiding in hydration, elasticity and sun-protective qualities. Mangos have long been coined as the “Food of the Gods.” It is no wonder the heart of this fruit has so many heavenly, healing properties.

Fatty acids in Mango Seed oil                                                                Fatty acids are needed for the body’s health and play a key role in skin care.  They act as elemental building blocks in the lipid layers of the skin, thus retaining the skin’s moisture. Essential fatty acids is a term given to fatty acids that are not produced within the body, which are necessary for cellular health. Linoleic acid, for example, is classified as an essential fatty acid and contributes to healthy hair, skin and wound healing. A deficiency of linoleic acid or other fatty acids can lead to dry skin and a compromised skin barrier function. Conversely, linoleic acid supports sunburns and even mild cases of acne vulgaris by accelerating the regeneration of the skin barrier. Through integrated skin conversions, linoleic acid is responsible for tissue hormones that contribute to immune response, allergic reaction counteracts, anti-inflammatory action and wound healing support (Lautenschlager, 2003).

Youthful skin is smooth and plump, in part from healthy, hydrated cells. Fatty acids maintain the integrity of cellular walls which allows the transference of waste and water. Topical application of products containing essential fatty acids have been shown to benefit dry skin conditions, psoriasis and atopic eczema (Price and Price, 2008).

by Kc Rossi, Certified Aromatherapist

To read the full article including Kc’s recipe for a protective “Sun Balm” see the Summer 2013 issue of the International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy (IJPHA-Vol. 2, Issue 1).  Visit to subscribe.

Image: WikiMedia Commons/W.A. Djatmiko

Disclaimer                                                                                                                                                   The editor/publisher does not accept  responsibility for the opinions, advice, and recommendations of its contributors.  Furthermore, the IJPHA accepts no    responsibility for any incident or injury to  persons or property resulting from the use of any method, products, instructions or ideas contained within this publication.

Summer Sweetness of Linden


Linden flowers (and bract – the leaf-like structure attached to the flowers) make a beautiful and delicate tea that eases tension and anxiety and has an overall calming effect to the body, making it an excellent evening tea to aid sleep .  It can also be used to ease muscle tension, headaches and menstrual pain.  It has an affinity for the heart and is an amazing heart tonic on all levels.  It lowers blood pressure and can help arteriosclerosis and works well in combination with Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) for heart conditions. Emotionally, the two combined can ease heartache and help heal a broken heart. Traditionally, Linden was used to treat epilepsy and convulsions.

Try these recipes…

Linden Cooler

Recipe by Erin Smith

1 part Linden Tea (you can use fresh or dried linden flowers)
1 part Lemonade
Sliced strawberries (to taste)

If possible, make the linden tea the night before, allowing it to infuse overnight. Strain and combine with the lemonade in a large pitcher. Add the strawberries; if wanting a stronger strawberry flavor fill a 1/4 of the pitcher with slices. Add ice and serve.

Linden infused honey

1 part linden flowers
1 part raw local honey

Place your fresh linden flowers in a glass jar. While the bract is also traditionally used for medicinal purposes, using only the fresh flowers will make a stronger flavored honey.  Cover with honey.  Make sure that the flowers are completely submerged in honey. The flowers will tend to sit at the top for the first few days.  If after a few days, they are still not submerged, add more honey until they are covered. Allow to sit for 2-6 weeks and use as desired.  The flowers will become candied and are delicious on their own.  If you wish to remove the flowers after infusing, then place the flowers in a make-shift tea bag made out of cheesecloth and place in jar (with the edges sticking out of the top so it will be easy to remove later). Cover with honey.  After it has infused, lightly warm the honey (do not over heat) until it has a more liquid consistency and remove the “tea bag”.  For a lighter flavored honey, cut the amount of flowers used in half.

For more delicious ways to use herbs in food, check out Erin Smith’s Herbal Kitchen program in Boulder on July 17th.

The Van Dyke

Recipe by Michael Heim

2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz linden infused honey syrup (3:1 honey:water)
1 Bar spoon of house grapefruit bitters.
Shaken, double strained up in a chilled coupe glass

For more information about Linden/Lime (Tilia spp.) check out The Center for Integrative Botanical Studies Newsletter at

Image:  Linden blossoms and leaves Copyright All rights reserved by Jude’s Jewels /

Essential Oil Profile: Eucalyptus staigeriana


Eucalyptus staigeriana is an uncommon essential oil, so little information is available on it as a whole essential oil.  Due to the lack of information on the therapeutic applications of E. stageriana, we can look at its chemistry in-order to extrapolate some of the potential applications for this beautiful and gentle lemon-scented essential oil. It differs from Eucalyptus citriodora, which is rich in the aldehyde citronellal. Citronellal, unlike citral, has a much harsher potent lemon aroma.

The main components according to one of the few papers available on its chemistry are: limonene and citral. We will explore research on each of these components to further our understanding of the potential applications for E. stageriana.

Therapeutic actions                                                                           Analgesic, antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral, anthelmintic, anxiolytic, immune modulatory, sedative, skin penetration enhancer

Relieve inflammation massage oil

1 oz/30 ml Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)

7 drops Eucalyptus staigeriana

5 drops Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)

2 drops German chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Blend all essential oils into the jojoba oil and pour into a 1 oz bottle. Gently massage a small amount into area/s where needed

by Jade Shutes, BA, Dipl. AT, Certified Herbalist

Image:  E. staigeriana by John Moss/WikiMedia Commons

The full article appears in the Summer 2013 issue of the International Journal of  Professional Holistic Aromatherapy (IJPHA-Vol. 2, Issue 1).  To subscribe visit

Disclaimer                                                                                                                                                   The editor/publisher does not accept  responsibility for the opinions, advice, and recommendations of its contributors.  Furthermore, the IJPHA accepts no    responsibility for any incident or injury to  persons or property resulting from the use of any method, products, instructions or ideas contained within this publication.

Recipe from the Sensual Kitchen–Summer Gazpacho

Kris_GazpachoSummer Gazpacho

Enjoy this really delicious and filling summer gazpacho.  Not your typical gazpacho as this has salty olives, chickpeas and is enhanced with essential oils for an extra kick of flavor!







Pour the following into a large bowl:

46 oz/1274 ml tomato juice

15 oz/425 gm frozen or fresh cooked corn

15 oz/425 gm garbanzo beans

30 pitted black olives (optional)

16 oz/454 gm medium size fresh tomatoes, diced

29 oz/822 gm fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles

1/2 large yellow pepper, diced

1/2 large red pepper, diced

1/2 large poblano pepper, diced

1 large cucumber, peeled and diced small

In a saucepan over low heat add the following:

1/4 cup/113 gm honey

20 drops Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil

3 drops Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) essential oil

Remove from heat and add the following:

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon coriander

Mix the spices and essential oils well, then add to the tomatoes and peppers.  Mix well and serve chilled.

Serves 10

Kris Wrede is an Aromatic Alchemist offering classes in aromatherapy and cooking with essential oils.  Her fabulous recipes and guidelines for cooking with essential oils can be seen in several issues of the International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy.  This recipe appears in the Summer 2013 issue of the IJPHA.  To subscribe, visit

Image:  Lora Cantele

Disclaimer                                                                                                                                                   The editor/publisher does not accept  responsibility for the opinions, advice, and recommendations of its contributors.  Furthermore, the IJPHA accepts no    responsibility for any incident or injury to  persons or property resulting from the use of any method, products, instructions or ideas contained within this publication.

Natural Spring Cleaning

Natural Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently estimated that seven pathogens including Salmonella, Toxoplasma, Listeria, Norovirus, Campylobacter, E. coli O157, and Clostridium perfringens, are responsible for 90% of illnesses, hospitalizations, and even death. Most people are concerned with the cleanliness of restaurants and other public places, however 30% of food-borne illnesses are found in the home. The kitchen is known for being a bacteria factory. Kitchen counters, cutting boards, and every knob, drawer and door handle are part of a breeding ground for bacteria to grow. The biggest offender in the spread of nasty microbial trespassers, such as E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella, is the sponge or dish cloth. They clean up everything from milk spills to raw meat juices and leaky food pack

ages. But after repeated use, how clean are they? The bathroom isn’t much cleaner, either, and may contain many bacterial species that can potentially cause harm if not adequately maintained. Staphylococcus bacteria, which are especially widespread, are frequently found in and around toilets, in showers, on door handles, and in and around the bathroom sink. Essential oils can be just the antimicrobial agents we need.

An alternative approach against these germs is to integrate non-toxic cleaning products into your home. Most commercial cleaning products contain chemicals and cleansing agents that are potentially toxic and, when breathed in, some of these substances can irritate the respiratory system. This can cause allergies, headaches and a multitude of other health concerns so it is wise to limit your exposure to chemical toxins. You can safeguard your health by making your own simple, all-natural household cleaners with a few affordable ingredients:

  • Baking soda acts as a natural abrasive deodorizer and cleanser, and is gentle enough to use on most surfaces.
  • Borax is a natural mineral compound that lifts dirt, softens water, and is an insecticide (Woods, 1994).
  • Castile soap is made with fat from a vegetable origin (usually olive oil) rather than animal fats. It is high quality soap, is gentle on the skin and a great cleanser.
  • White vinegar can inhibit the growth of bacteria, including E. coli (Entani E et al, 1998), by creating an unfriendly, acidic environment.
  • Essential oils offer antimicrobial properties for cleaning, such as ~Eucalyptus (E. globulus) which is effective for cleaning children’s toys to remove house dust mites (Chang et al, 2011)  ~Lemon (Citrus limonum) which is “second to none in its antiseptic and bactericidal properties” (Valnet, 1990)  ~Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) which is an “anti-infective agent with very broad-spectrum of action” (Schnaubelt, 1998)  ~Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) which is effective against food born bacteria including Brochothrix thermosphacta and Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella abony, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and P. fragi (Schmidt et al, 2012)

Deodorizing Room Spray
2 oz/60 ml distilled water
10 drops Lemon (Citrus limonum)
5 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
5 drops Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

In a 2 oz/60 ml spray bottle, combine water and essential oils. Shake vigorously and mist into the air. Avoid spraying into eyes or on animals.

Written by Andrea Butje, Clinical Aromatherapist and Linda Byington, RA, Certified Reflexologist
This article appears in its entirety in the Spring 2013 Issue of the International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy. For more information visit

Image: © franny-anne

Disclaimer                                                                                                                                                   The editor/publisher does not accept  responsibility for the opinions, advice, and recommendations of its contributors.  Furthermore, the IJPHA accepts no    responsibility for any incident or injury to  persons or property resulting from the use of any method, products, instructions or ideas contained within this publication.

Recipe from the Sensual Kitchen: Blood Orange Shrimp

shrimpBlood Orange Shrimp

4 Tbl. key lime juice

2/3 cup/168 gm frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed slightly

1 1/2 Tbl. soft crystallized ginger, finely chopped

3 Tbl. lemon curd

1/4 cup + 2 Tbl./89 gm brown sugar

1/4 cup/85 gm honey

10 drops lime (Citrus medica) essential oil

30 drops blood orange or orange (Citrus aurantium var. sinensis per.) essential oil

40-50 raw shrimp

Soak 10 wooden skewers in water.

Mix the first five ingredients together in a medium size bowl and set aside.

Warm the honey, then add the essential oils to the honey.  When incorporated, add honey to the bowl.

Stir together, then add cooked thawed shrimp and let marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Set oven shelf so that the broiler pan is about 7”/18 cm below the flame.  Place 4 to 5 shrimp on each skewer and broil in oven 5 to 7 minutes on each side.

Serves 10

For the general guidelines on cooking with essential oils subscribe now to the IJPHA at  Each fabulous issue contains a cooking recipe or two from practitioners all over the globe and general cooking guidelines courtesy of Kris Wrede of Kismet Potions.

For more information about Aromatic Alchemist, Kris Wrede and her aromatherapy courses (and cooking with essential oil adventures) visit her site at

Image: © Daniel Loiselle

Disclaimer                                                                                                                                                   The editor/publisher does not accept  responsibility for the opinions, advice, and recommendations of its contributors.  Furthermore, the IJPHA accepts no    responsibility for any incident or injury to  persons or property resulting from the use of any method, products, instructions or ideas contained within this publication.