Tag Archives: essential oils

  • Muscle Aches? Try Essential Oils for Pain

    Aches and pains got you down? If you’ve already run the gamut of prescription and over-the-counter medications, you may want try essential oils for pain and muscle aches. Essential oils, extracted from plants, flowers and trees, have powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic (i.e. pain-relieving) properties. Essential oils also act as a detoxifying agent. Menstrual cramps, sports injuries and joint pain can all be treated safely and naturally with essential oils.

    Because essential oils are too concentrated to put directly on the skin, they have to be blended with carrier oils such as grapeseed or almond (bonus: these oils also help moisturize the skin). You can also add diluted essential oils to bath water or soak a washcloth in warm water and essential oils and place on the body at the site of the pain.

    Some popular essential oils to try for pain relief include chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, marjoram, peppermint, birch. So how do you use them? Here are some essential oils recipes for pain relief:

    • General muscle aches: Combine 5 drops lavender, 4 drops marjoram and 3 drops rosemary with 30 ml of a carrier oil in a hot bath
    • PMS pain: Blend 5 drops clary sage, 5 drops geranium and 5 drops chamomile oil. Rub in a clockwise direction as you massage into the affected area
    • Menstrual cramps: Blend 4 drops jasmine, 4 drops clary sage and 2 drops lavender with 5 tsp sweet almond oil. Massage in the abdominal region and around the lower back
    • Stomach cramps: Add 2 drops cardamom, 2 drops basil and 3 drops marjoram to 2 tsp of carrier oil and massage over stomach and abdomen

    Want to get started with your essential oil arsenal? Check out Pharmaca’s extensive line of essential oils for pain relief.

  • Essential Oil of the Month: Tea Tree

    Tea tree oil can be found in almost everything these days. It’s taken from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, native to the northeast coast of Australia, and has long been used by Australian aborigines for its healing properties.

    What it does
    Tea tree’s antibacterial and antiviral properties make it a healing tool for everything from acne to sunburn to infections. As such, tea tree oil can be a valuable addition to a summer first aid kit.

    Bonus use
    Tea tree can be an effective household cleaner—simply combine 2 teaspoons oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.

    Ways to use it

    • Add to unscented body care (e.g. lotion, shampoo or conditioner) to increase their effectiveness. Tea-tree infused shampoo can even help combat dandruff and head lice.
    • Apply to blemishes several times a day (with a cotton swab) to speed healing
    • Add a few drops to a bowl of steaming water and inhale to promote respiratory clearing. Can also be added to a vaporizer or to a hot bath.

    Interesting tidbit
    Bees that feed on flowers of the Manuka bush, a close relative of the tea tree plant, produce Manuka honey, also known for its antibacterial properties.

  • Make your own bug spray

    While we love Pharmaca's all-natural bug repellents (check out Badger's Anti-Bug Balm or Quantum's Buzz Away), we also like the idea of making our own insect repellent with a few of our favorite essential oils.

    According to an article in Whole Living, "Essential oils that have pungent, spicy, or woodsy odors repel insects by masking our natural scent." They offer up this recipe for a DIY repellent,  perfect for mixing in one of our My Own Blend bottles:

    5 drops patchouli essential oil
    2 ounces of witch hazel
    8-10 drops of cedarwood essential oil

    Apply frequently on clothes (don't spray on face). Enjoy the outdoors!

    Read more at Wholeliving.com: Bugs-Be-Gone Spray Recipe
  • Essential Oil of the Month: Ginger

    Most of us don't know much about ginger (aside from its ubiquitous presence, in pickled form, on our sushi plates). That's why we decided to celebrate its warmth and spiciness as April's essential oil of the month. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oil is created by steam distilling the extensive root of a perennial herb that's indigenous to southern Asia.

    What it does
    Ginger can help relieve aching muscles, stimulate circulation and soothe the stomach.

    Bonus use
    In the British Herbal Pharmacoepia, ginger is indicated for flatulent intestinal colic.

    Ways to use it
    •    Add to a hot bath to bring stimulation to sore, overworked muscles
    •    Combine with a carrier oil (in very low doses) to add soothing, warming effects to a massage
    •    Rub on temples and stomach to help quell motion sickness
    •    Heat in a diffuser to bring energy to a room

    Interesting tidbit
    In Ayurvedic cooking, ginger is added to dishes to enhance a meal's digestability.

  • Essential Oil of the Month: Lavender

    This month, we're starting a new tradition of examining a new essential oil to discover more about its healing properties. Since March is Sleep & Stress month, we thought it fitting to take a closer look at the benefits of everyone's favorite relaxing essential oil: Lavender. Pharmaca offers two different strains: French lavender and Bulgarian lavender.

    What it does
    Lavender is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic and anti-depressant. Lavender is best known for its balancing properties, as it can rejuvenate and inspire a tired person, or calm someone who is stressed or tense. 

    Bonus use
    Lavender can also stimulate the immune system and allay the effects of shock or injury.

    Ways to use it

    • Add to a hot bath for a soothing, stress-relieving experience
    • Add to a carrier oil or unscented body product and smooth onto skin
    • Put a few drops on your pillow for relaxing sleep
    • Add to laundry rinse or your iron to freshen clothing
    • Keep a bottle and tissue in your purse or car. Drop lavender oil onto tissue and inhale when you're on the go for an immediate feeling of clarity and calm.

    Interesting tidbit
    One of the founders of aromatherapy, R.M. Gattefosse, started his research into essential oils when he experienced how well lavender helped heal a burn on his hand.

    Discover the power of lavender today!

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