Essential Oils and Cats

CatsA few times a week I’m approached with questions about essential oil use and cats.   As aromatherapists, we have studied the interaction between humans and essential oils pretty thoroughly, but there is still quite a lot of speculation and controversy regarding efficacy and safe use for cats.

In my opinion, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  I’m always on the side of caution, because I have seen the effects of misuse of essential oils first hand too often.   Because animals can’t communicate directly the issues they may experience, it is even more important that as their guardians, we are extra careful.

Here are the practices that I follow personally, as I’ve been blessed with many kitties in my home.  I do not advocate applying essential oils neat (undiluted) ever to cats, and really to any animal without the guidance of a veternarian or a clinical aromatherapist.  Cats do not have the liver enzymes that humans possess to metabolize many essential oils, which is the entire point of using aromatherapy therapeutically.  If they are unable to uptake it, we shouldn’t be applying it to their skin, as it won’t do them any good and could quite possibly harm them.  I would never suggest giving a cat essential oils to ingest, either. If you apply essential oils to your skin, let them soak in before holding your cat so that it doesn’t transfer to them through snuggling and kitty kisses.

Diffusing in a home with cats can be safely done, with a few precautions.  Remember, diffusing essential oils can be toxic to humans if it is overdone.  You’d usually notice headache or fatigue as first symptoms of overuse, cats can’t let you know that.  The key to keeping things safe is low level, intermittent diffusion.  Make sure you are diffusing in small amounts, for limited periods of time and offer your cat a way out of the room, should they need some fresh air.  They are smart and will leave if something is bothersome to them.

There are a few books that I recommend to check out if you’re interested in more information.  Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals by Kristen Leigh Bell and Veterinary Aromatherapy by Nelly Grosjean.  They have both worked extensively with animals and aromatherapy and are great resource books.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.  I’m always happy to help in any way that I can.

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy and herbal collections lovingly handcrafted in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let Your Roses Live On

Looking for something to do with your Valentine roses? Separate the petals by twisting off the bases and spread them out on a single layer on a cookie sheet that’s lined with parchment paper. You can let them air dry or bake the petals for 10 minutes at 200 degrees Fahrenheit or until the petals are crisp. If they’re still flexible, bake for 2 more minutes and recheck. Let them cool completely and store in an airtight jar like a mason jar. They’re a beautiful addition to any bath. Keep in mind that they should never be used in tea unless you know they’ve never been sprayed with pesticides. #roses #valentine #twigleafflowerroses

How do I clean my diffuser?

Diffusers are an awesome way to add the magic of aromatherapy to your home and office.  Sometimes, they start to smell funky or your essential oils are diffusing as well as they once did.  That’s a sign that it’s time for some maintenance. Luckily, it’s super easy to clean!  Just follow a few quick steps, and you’ll soon be back to enjoying all the benefits that essential oils bring to your life.

Unplug and Empty Your Diffuser

First, unplug your diffuser.  There will be steps that you’ll need to plug it back in, but be sure to start with it unplugged.  Try to clean your diffuser once it’s naturally run out of oil, so that as little oil as possible goes to waste.

Fill Your Diffuser With Clean Water

Try to use filtered water for this step, tap water will work fine in a pinch. Be careful not to fill your diffuser past the fill line, as doing so can affect your diffuser’s ability to cycle the liquid properly.

Add White Vinegar to the Water

Next, add ten drops of white vinegar to the water in your diffuser.  The vinegar is necessary to get rid of any lingering oil and deposits that are stuck to the walls.

Plug in Your Diffuser and Let It Run For Five Minutes

The cleaning solution you just made needs to be run through your diffuser.  Once the five minutes are up, empty your diffuser out into your sink.

Scrub or Cotton Swab Tight Spots

If your diffuser came with a cleaning brush, get it ready.  If not, a cotton swab works super well.  Either way, dip your cleaning tool in vinegar and clean the crevices and corners thoroughly.  Dry your diffuser completely before moving on to the next step.

Just Another Step…

You’re almost finished! Fill your diffuser with clean water again and let the diffuser run for three minutes.  Empty it and dry it completely.  You may need to use cotton swabs to get in the nooks and crannies.  Allow your diffuser to air dry before diffusing your favorite oils.  That’s all!  I clean my diffuser once a week to make sure I get the most benefits from my essential oils.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottle of mint essential oil on wooden background with selective focus.

Did you know that essential oils can offer natural relief from allergy symptoms? They  help reduce inflammation, which is the cause of most of the severe allergic responses, they can help bolster your immune system making your body less vulnerable to allergy triggers and they can block the allergens from entering your home and your body in the first place. What more can you ask for?

Here are a few essential oils I rely on during allergy season:

Lemon Essential Oil helps with lymphatic drainage and helps soothe respiratory conditions.

Peppermint Essential Oil works as a relaxant and will help clear your sinuses.

Lavender Essential Oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory and also a natural antihistamine.  So it can strengthen your body against allergens and reduce many of the painful symptoms of your allergies.  A drop of Lavender oil applied to the skin can also help treat rashes and hives that can appear from skin allergies.

Try a diffusion blend or a blended roll on remedy and see the amazing difference nature can do for you before you run to the pharmacy for a pill.

If you’d like more information or to purchase an organic aromatherapy Allergy Relief Blend, please visit the link below.

 

 

 

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twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy company founded in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com

Proper Dilution is Your First Priority

Special care needs to be taken when working with essential oils and aromatherapy.  Pure undiluted essential oils are very potent and some can cause harm if used improperly.  For example, approximately 3 pounds of lavender flowers produce just 15mL of lavender essential oil and more than 10,000 pounds of rose petals distill just one pound of rose oil.  Most aromatherapists agree that lavender essential oil is the only oil that can safely be applied to the skin neat, or undiluted.  All other oils need to be blended with a carrier oil.  A carrier oil can be coconut, almond, jojoba or even olive oil.  The carrier oil disperses and dilutes the essential oil enough so it can safely be applied to the skin for the maximum therapeutic benefit.  I’ve included a handy chart below for your reference.  dilution-chart-WEB.jpg

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy company founded in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally rebecca@twigleafflower.com

Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Use the longest sunshiny day to get outside and celebrate! #summersolstice #sunshine #aromatherapy #twigleafflower #gardening

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy company founded in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com

2017 Bloomers Tour of Back Mountain Gardens

 

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I’m excited to be a sponsor and a presenter at this wonderful event, The 2017 Tour of Back Mountain Gardens!  Stop by and see me in Garden #3 at Harveys Lake.  All proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Anthracite Scenic Trails Association, which includes the Back Mountain Trail.  You’ll get an inside peek at unique local gardens, DIY displays and design exhibits.  I’ll have my Essential Art of Aromatherapy Book and a selection of twig leaf flower goodies for purchase.  Rain or shine, this Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm. I look forward to seeing you!

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy company founded in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com

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Lavender Love- How to Dry Lavender

Drying-English-Lavender-square3-MediumThis is one of my favorite times of year!  Everything is a beautiful green and new flowers and herbs are popping up each day.  As many of you know, lavender is my absolute favorite!  My plants are blooming and it’s time to start drying them to use throughout the year.  Don’t be intimidated by drying herbs, it’s much easier than you think, and it will add a touch of sunshine even during the dark days of winter.  I’m going to walk you through this simple and rewarding process.

Gathering Lavender:

The first step is to gather together a long stemmed type of lavender.  If your particular lavender is leafy,  you can just remove the excess leaves from the base of each stem.  It is best to pick your lavender before it is in full bloom.  This ensures that the dried buds will retain their fragrance for longer time, and it also means that they won’t fall apart as they dry.

As with most herbs, the best time to harvest is in the morning after the dew has disappeared.

Drying Lavender Buds:

If you want to only dry lavender buds or petals, remove the fresh lavender from the stalks, keeping the purple lavender heads.

Line a box with newspaper and place your lavender heads in a single layer in the bottom of the box.  Store this box in a warm, dry place. Each day, gently shake your buds to aerate.  Once dried, you can separate the lavender heads off the bud grouping.

How To Dry Lavender Bunches:

To dry lavender bunches, simply cut long stems of lavender.  Gather a small bunch and secure the stems together with a rubber band.  The lavender will shrink as it’s drying, so you may need to tighten the rubber band.  Hang your lavender bunch upside down in a well ventilated, dry part of your home.  Put a paper towel lined tray under your bunch to catch any petals that release during the drying process.

I have found that my lavender takes about 3 weeks to dry in my basement.  Your lavender drying time will depend upon the temperature and level of humidity, so check on your bundles every few days.  Some friends are able to have fully dried lavender in a week and others take 4 weeks.

Properly dried lavender should feel crunchy and a little brittle to the touch.  Make sure they’re completely dry before using or you could have an issue with mold or other not fun things.

Uses for Dried Lavender:

Dried lavender stems that are wrapped with a pretty ribbon look beautiful in a vase.  Take a few stalks and hang on a door knob or place on a shelf in your bathroom.  Your only limit is your imagination.

Create simple lavender sachets from your grandma’s handkerchiefs by placing the buds in the center and tying with a ribbon.  Make an eye pillow to help with relaxation at the end of your yoga practice or meditation.  A handful of lavender buds in a nice bowl brings a bit of relaxation to any room.  If you pick up a few buds and lightly squeeze them in your palm, you’ll release the beautiful scent even more.

How to Store Your Dried Lavender:

Your dried lavender will do best if you keep it out of the sun, heat and humidity.  I keep mine in a sealed mason jar and refresh my sachets and bunches throughout the year.

I hope that you’ve been inspired to bring the beauty of nature indoors with a bit of dried lavender.  I’d love to hear your suggestions and see photos of you using it in your home!  Please email me at rebecca@twigleafflower.com and visit twig leaf flower.

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy company founded in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com

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Using Essential Oils at Home

essential oil bottles

Did you know you can use your Essential Oil Diffusion Blends for more than diffusing?  Here are a few additional ways I suggest incorporating them in your life.

Bath: Dilute 8 drops of your essential oils into a half ounce of carrier oil and stir into a warm bath.  The carrier oil will help to disperse the essential oils more evenly in the water.

Massage:  Mix 3 to 6 drops of your essential oils in 1/2 ounce of a carrier oil like jojoba oil, for adults.  For kids under 10 years old, pregnant and nursing mamas or the elderly, just blend 2 to 3 drops in 1/2 ounce of a carrier oil.  Before using, make sure the oils are safe to use topically.

Foot Bath: Mix 4 to 5 drops of essential oils with a teaspoon of a carrier oil.  Add into the warm foot bath and soak for 20 minutes.

Car: If you don’t have a car diffuser, just add a few drops to a cotton ball to take your favorite blend with you.

Looking for a new blend?  Check out my selection of organic aromatherapy blends here.

If you’d like to try your hand at blending your own, check out my new book for ideas and recipes here.

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy company founded in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com