Use your horse sense: 6 tips in applying essential oils for horses

Aromatherapy is an alternative system of medicine not just for humans, but for animals too. Ticks, fleas, pain and infections can be treated using essential oils in animals. While dogs and horses respond well to aromatherapy, cats are a bit allergic to oils as they cannot metabolize them in their liver. Owing to this, cats are often administered with hydrosols which are non-toxic and yet useful. This article will provide information on how to use aromatherapy with horses.

Essential oils for horses: A horse is a big animal compared to a dog or a cat. Its reaction (if adverse) to aromatherapy will be intolerable and hence you need to be careful before you start off with application of essential oils in horses. Below are a few tips on how to handle horses when you are administering them with aromatherapy oils:

1. Consult a vet: Consult a holistic vet before you start off with anything. Though horses respond to essential oils well, you cannot be sure of anything until you test it. Anyhow it is safe beforehand to do a checkup or consultation with your vet. Consider going to a holistic veterinarian who would not ignore aromatherapy as humbug.

2. Dilute each essential oil: This is important. Essential oils are natural substances. But that does not mean they are non-toxic substances. Highly concentrated, essential oils can cause adverse behavioral and physiological changes in human beings. To avoid trouble, dilute each and every essential oil before use. Add 2 to 3 drops of essential oil to 5 ml of base oil. For base oil, choose whichever pleases you. Avoid strong or thick carrier oils. Also, do not offer more than 5 oils at a time.

3. Assess the reaction of your horse: You have to do this every time you use essential oil therapy. You need to know if your horse likes it or not. You need to gather the degree of interest too. Decipher the mood of your animal before you start off. This is because an already stressed animal can react badly to aromatherapy.

4. Choose a quiet time: Important for your horse and you. Choose a time that is not food or play time. Let your horse loose in the stable so that it is free to roam. Do not keep the oils close to the horse’s nostrils. Keep at a distance of say at least 8 inches. Since your horse is free, it will come near the oils if it likes them. Then, observe the reaction of your horse.

5. Look for signs of interest: If a horse is interested in an essential oil, it will smell it for a long time, will curl its lips, follow the aroma and even nibble the bottle for sometime. Use the oil twice a day. Don’t overdo as it can have severe reactions. If your horse is just moderately interested, it will take a few sniffs and turn away from the bottle, keep its ears forward, have slightly flared up nostrils and can be easily distracted. In case of moderate interest, use the oil only once  a day. If the horse is not interested at all, it will turn away from the aroma, with ears back. Never use the oil in which it is not interested.

6. Application methods: It is better to open the particular oil bottle and keep it near your horse’s nostrils. The horse’s senses are sharp and hence, it will absorb the aroma into its olfactory system and brain quickly. Sometimes, your horse may indicate that it needs the oil to be applied in a particular spot. Notice its actions and do accordingly. When your horse starts inhaling the oils, it may go into a trance-like state. Never worry. Understand that it is keenly intaking the oils into its blood stream. Do not offer the oils for more than 1 to 14 days. If your horse does not show any interest even after 3 days of inhalation, stop administering the oil and switch to others.

Bubble-gum recipes and boo-boo blends: Aromatherapy for your little kiddo

Aromatherapy is not all about serious or medicinal stuff. It can be fun too. You can use aromatherapy for your kids too. Yes, you can make your children great essential oil blends and treat them to the scent of health. You can make them essential oil recipes that would drive away their fear, frustration and blues and make them jump and play in joy. You can make them sociable, jovial and funny with your blends. You can energize them, make them proactive and sharp-minded with your plant oils. Above all, you can cook great fun recipes to drive off their fear of monsters, teachers and injuries. This article will provide you all possible tips and recipe ideas to make your child live in happiness and excitement.

Essential oil blends for children: These blends are ideal for kiddos of any age. In fact, you (if you are an adult) can try them yourself to become a child once again.

1. Bubble Gum blend: Made for bubble gum lovers. If your child is one, this is the way to please him or her. Make the blend and use it in a diffuser in your child’s room or add it in his/her bath water. You can even pour some in your air freshener. Children love bubble gums and this recipe is sure to register aromatherapy as a great fun idea in their minds. To make the recipe, mix 4 drops of Grapefruit oil with 2 drops of Ylang Ylang and 1 drop of Eucalyptus Radiata. When you are done with the blending, follow the safety precautions and use the recipe in  a way which would suit your child.

Note that certain oils can have contraindications or side effects on children and adults. For instance, Grapefruit is photo-toxic and hence this blend should be used with caution when used as a massage oil. Better, do not use it as massage oil. Also, take care that your child does not touch or drink even a drop of the oil. Keep it out of reach of pets and kids and enjoy the aroma of bubble gum pervade your home.

2. Boo-boo Juice blend: Fear is a constant in the lives of children. They fear monsters, injuries, surprise attacks, unknown enemies…in brief, they live in a world of imagination which is entirely different from ours. If your little one is stuck with some sort of “boo-boo” fear, this recipe can cure all that. In fact, the recipe can act as an antiseptic and first-aid to treat any injury major or minor. To prepare the recipe, saturate a cotton ball with witch hazel. Then, apply one drop of Lavender to saturate the cotton ball and ask your little one to smell the boo-boo juice. The aroma of Lavender can be pretty soothing and your kiddo will definitely love it. After calming your child, gently apply the cotton ball (with Lavender) on the wound or injury. If your little one is interested, allow him or her to do the medicating and sit and watch.

This boo-boo blend will make your child happy and fearless. The next time the child meets with an injury, it will calm itself by asking for the Boo-boo blend.

Afraid of your own shadow? 8 essential oil blends for fear and loneliness

Fear is a constant in the lives of many people. Some people can be easily frightened so much so that almost anything can make their blood run cold. Living with phobias and fears will paralyze your day to day life and completely annihilate your sense of happiness in the long run. A life of panic is worse than a life of disease and all those who have had several panic attacks would know what is meant here. There are several therapies to treat fear and most of them are psychological, involving help from a psychologist. Though this therapy helps most of the time, there are times when the patient becomes completely dependent on his or her psychotherapist. This is dangerous as absence of the therapist can set off another series of panic attacks in the patient. It is during these times aromatherapy can help. Essential oil blends can act on the limbic system and relax your tensed nerves, thereby, relieving you for fear and loneliness.

Aromatherapy for treating fear:
Essential oils cannot offer a complete cure for fear. But they sure can help by providing a temporary relief to the situation. Below are a list of essential oil blends which can assist in relieving you of fears and phobias:

1. Fear Relief Blend 1: This blend is ideal for use in times of fatigue and depression. If you are down in the dumps because of your fears, you should never think of anything but this blend. Add 3 drops of Grapefruit with 2 drops of Bergamot and use it in your diffuser, bath water or as massage oil.

2. Fear Relief Blend 2: If you are extremely nervous or panicky and in dire need of relaxation or peace of mind, you can use this blend. Combine 2 drops of Clary Sage with 2 drops of Roman Chamomile and 1 drop of Vetiver to get this aromatic blend.

3. Fear Relief Blend 3: This Jasmine blend is aromatic and invigorating. Add 2 drops of Jasmine or 2 drops of Neroli with 2 drops of Frankincense and 1 drop of Clary Sage. Use the blend as diffuser or add it in bath water. You will feel relaxed and calm after inhaling these aromas.

4. Fear Relief Blend 4: This is a simple blend, but is most effective. Add 3 drops of Sandalwood with 2 drops of Orange and use it in bath water or in massage oil preparation.

Aromatherapy for loneliness: Loneliness is often a cause or a byproduct of fear. If you are afraid to the core, you also feel lonely and dejected to your wit’s end. Try the following blends to treat loneliness:

5. Loneliness Blend 1: Add 1 drop of Rose with 2 drops of Frankincense and 2 drops of Bergamot. Rose activates and uplifts your spirit, making you feel more sociable and lively.

6. Loneliness Blend 2: This blend too involves Bergamot. Take 2 drops of Bergamot and combine it thoroughly with 3 drops of Clary Sage. Ensure that the ingredients are blended well and then use via diffusers or add in bath water.

7. Loneliness Blend 3: It’s Bergamot again. If you feel fatigued, lonely and depressed, then this blend is the ideal recipe. Add 2 drops of Roman Chamomile to 3 drops of Bergamot and mix it with your bath water or massage oil preparation.

8. Loneliness Blend 4: Frankincense can also lift your spirits and make you more jovial and friendly. Add 2 drops of Frankincense with 3 drops of Clary Sage and use it in your diffuser or add in your bath water.

You can use the above blends as diffuser blends, massage oils, bath oils, bath salts or air fresheners. You will need the following quantities of the blend for use – 20 drops for diffuser oils, 15 drops for bath oils, 5 drops for bath salts, 10 drops for massage oils and 30 drops for air fresheners.

Why essential oils can be toxic to cats

Aromatherapy and cats don’t go together. If people, aromatherapists or essential oils suppliers, fool you into believing that essential oils are safe for use in cats, know that it is all humbug. Though aromatherapy as such is not harmful, use of essential oils can be very toxic to cats. Unlike puppies, dogs and humans, cats do not have the capability to metabolize the essential oil molecules they receive through aromatherapy. There is no way of them eliminating such accumulated bouts of aromatherapeutic oils, which sets off build up of toxins in your cat’s body. In the long run, this becomes even fatal for the cat. This article will detail on how aromatherapy using essential oils can be toxic to use. We will also discuss on replacing essential oils with hydrosols for cat aromatherapy.

Essential oils and toxicity in cats: Cats do not have the same liver as humans or dogs. They cannot stand any strong aroma, leave alone the effect of essential oils (diluted or concentrated). If you administer a cat with essential oils through diffusers, it may accumulate in the animal’s body and grow toxic day after day. Since cats have very thin skin, essential oils rubbed on to the body are easily absorbed into the blood stream. This in turn causes skin problems and liver disorders, leading to vomiting, dizziness, clumsiness, loss of appetite and reduced immunity etc in the cat. It has been found out that even a single drop of diluted essential oil (with a strong aroma) can set off several physiological changes in a kitty. In cats, physiological changes are often associated with psychological changes and hence, disturbance of physical or biological rhythm can upset a cat’s moods, causing anxieties, stress and panic.

Lavender cat: Aromatherapy has been used for cats for several years. Only recently, studies have revealed that essential oils can be very toxic to cats. A special concept called Lavender Cat, created by Dr. Khan revealed the amount of toxicity involved in administering essential oils to your beloved kitten. Sue Martin, in an article titled ‘Be wary of aromatherapy claims for cats’ states why plant oils are  harmful to cats: Essential oils usually consist of hydrocarbons in the form of mono-functional compounds with volatile aliphatic and aromatic substances. Many of the terpenoids in the essential oils are rapidly absorbed and used in the cat’s system to be metabolized in the liver. Normally, these terpenoids and their metabolites are conjugated with glucuronic acid and glycine. But cats are deficient in this because they do not have glucuronidation (elimination mechanism required to excrete toxic wastes from essential oils) and hence results in slower exit of essential oils. This in turn leads to build up of toxicity and thereby, health problems in cats.

Toxic essential oils: Some of the essential oils which are potentially toxic to cats are: Peppermint oil, Lemon oil, Lavender oil, Melaleuca oil, Tea Tree oil, Cinnamon Bark oil, Wintergreen oil, Thyme oil and Birch oil. Oils containing phenol are also toxic to cats.

Which is a safer alternative? You can replace essential oils with hydrosols in cats. Though derived during essential oils preparation, hydrosols are just byproducts which are much safer than strong, concentric oils. Since cats can tolerate them, they are not toxic. Hydrosols can be spritzed on the cat for deodorizing or flea or tick control purposes. Some of the hydrosols work well as ear cleaners or stress-calming agents too. You can combine and be as creative as possible with your hydrosol blends as there is not toxicity or concentrated plant oil involved.

Scent your life with love: 5 fragrant essential oil blends you’ll adore

Essential oils are not just healing oils, they are fragrant oils too. They have the aromatic potential to scent your life with love, joy and happiness. A waft of Lavender can lull you to sleep, a streak of Rosemary can brighten your mood, while a strain of Peppermint can make you feel enthusiastic and happy about life. Essential oils have strong aromas which cannot be replicated effectively by synthetic or chemical perfumes. Since the intensity of their aromas are highly concentric, their scents last long, more than synthetic aromas. On delving deep, you would understand that it is the aromas or scent of essential oils which brings forth an instant reaction from your brain. This article will provide recipes on how to make fragrant blends using essential oils.

Fragrant essential oil blends:
The memory of a scent is far-fetched. It can rise up a whale of emotions, a series of unexpected associations and even conjure up something from your childhood. A fragrance has such power and hence essential oils should not be handled with care. The following blends will invoke, cure and heal a number of emotions (from love to playfulness to fun) and help to attain a state of peace and calm.

1. For your man: The man of your life will surely love this. You can massage it on to him, or if you are a man, do a self-massage. This blend yields a deep, mysterious and masculine scent which is strong and powerful. To make the blend, add 4 drops of Frankincense to 4 drops of Myrrh, 2 drops of Sandalwood and 1 drop of Vanilla. Use the blend in your massage oil preparation for best results.

2. For stunning aroma: This blend idea was created by Jenine Stanley and this yields a stunning, aromatic perfume for daily use. Add 10 drops of Cedarwood to 5 drops of Juniper, 25 drops of Bergamot Mint and 10 drops of Lavender. Mix the ingredients and use Jojoba oil to blend everything well. Use as perfume or pour into diffuser to scent your living space.

3. Sweet diffuser blend:
If you are the kind who would use essential oils only in diffusers, you would surely like this. This is a sweet, aromatic blend that has a Florentine streak to it. To make the blend, add 1 drop of Jasmine to 6 drops of Sweet Orange and 3 drops of Patchouli. Combine the ingredients well and use in your diffuser. This would make a huge difference to your home environment and make home sweet and pleasant.

4. Intimacy blend:
An intimacy blend that would set you in mood for a romantic evening with your loved one. To prepare this blend, add 6 drops of Rose Absolute (diluted with Jojoba oil) with 6 drops of Sandalwood, 4 drops of Black Pepper, 2 drops of Ginger CO2 and 2 drops of Ylang Ylang. Combine the ingredients well and blend into Jojoba or any other favorite carrier oil of yours. Massage on to the body and tune yourself for a romantic evening.

5. Valentine blend:
This is a fragrant blend to pep up your desire for love. To make the blend, add 2 drops of Sandalwood to 2 drops of Ylang Ylang, 1 drop of Jasmine and 1 drop of Black Pepper. Combine the ingredients well and use in your bath water or inhale through a diffuser.

Moon cycle or mood cycle? Aromatherapy oils for PMS relief

It is often considered a curse. Some people call it a monthly disorder. Others treat it as a mood-syndrome that rhymes with the moon cycle. Only a few see it as a periodical cleansing of toxins from the body. We are talking about Premenstrual Syndrome or what is better known as PMS. PMS is common among women who menstruate. It is a collection of disorders which ranges from headaches, stomach disorders, breast swelling to extreme mood swings and unusual behavior. Though not all women experience severe PMS, most women have it, thanks to the increase in stress levels and lifestyle changes.

Though PMS symptoms last only for 3 to 5 days, it can be very debilitating. Women throw temper tantrums, go through a short state of depression and irritability during this period. Though there are many oral pills to treat the symptoms, nothing offers instant and natural relief as aromatherapy. In many ways, aromatherapy essential oils are the best remedies for PMS. You can find great relief to any kind of Premenstrual Syndrome symptom by taking an aromatherapy massage or inhaling a diffuser oil or bathing in aromatic water.

Essential oils for menstrual cramps: PMS is characterized by depression, irritability, mood swings, migraines, backaches, temper tantrums, breast tenderness and swelling, water retention etc. Women often tend to be touchy during this period so much so that any frustrating incident can make them highly reactive and emotional. One can avoid the pain of PMS by using essential oils in a variety of ways. Some of the essential oils which help with PMS relief are Neroli, Rose, Jasmine, Clary Sage, Lavender, Geranium, Marjoram, Rose and Chamomile.

1. For moody behavior: Nothing can beat Clary Sage in treating depression and mood swings. Women  tend to be emotionally hyperactive during PMS and hence a dose of Clary Sage would be helpful in keeping them normal and down to earth. Temper tantrums can be reduced by using Lavender, Neroli, Jasmine and Rose.

2. For bloating and breast tenderness: Breast tenderness and heaviness is common during this period. Women suffer from the pain of swollen breasts and bloated bodies. To alleviate these symptoms, you can use Juniper Berry, Patchouli, Grapefruit and Carrot seed oils. Birch oil can also be used as it is a natural pain reliever.

3. For water retention and headaches: Juniper Berry is the ideal antidote for water retention. If you are afflicted with headaches, inhale Lavender, Marjoram or Rose for relief.

It is better if you use all these remedies a couple of days before your PMS starts. Sometimes you may experience symptoms like hypertension, acne and fatigue. You can use the appropriate essential oil blends for the same.

4. For uplifting mood: If you are down to the dumps, try this aromatherapy recipe. Add 9 drops of Geranium oil with 6 drops of Chamomile, 3 drops of Clary Sage, 3 drops of Angelica, 2 drops of Marjoram and 2 oz of vegetable oil. Blend everything together and massage the oil on to the body or add a few drops in your bath water. The recipe is a great mood enhancer which gets you out of the blues even if you don’t have PMS.

5. For migraine relief: Add 6 drops of Lavender to 3 drops of Juniper Berry, 2 drops of Birch and 1 drop of Patchouli and mix the ingredients well. Include a tsp of the blend in your bath water or foot massage preparation. You will get instant relief from your migraines.

Age cannot wither you: 6 anti-aging essential oils you can use

Stressful times and 24/7 routines make people age early and this brings a drastic shift in the psychology of individuals. In order to reduce wrinkles and reduce aging signs, many seek commercial anti-aging cosmetics and products. Though such products are a big hit in today’s world, they come with a load of other disasters – commercial products contain harsh chemicals such as mineral oils and skincare products which take their toll on skin health in the long run. What’s more, these skin products (like anti-aging or anti-wrinkle creams) clog skin pores, making it difficult to breathe freely and eliminate toxins through skin. This results in a lot of skin conditions like acne breakouts, allergies and inflamed or irritated skin due to accumulated toxins.

Essential oils for anti-aging: Aromatherapy offers remarkable anti-aging solutions. Many essential oils treat wrinkles in a natural and safe way, without skin disorders. The following oils are ideal for removing wrinkles and offering you a rejuvenated skin:

1. Olive oil: When it comes to skin nourishment, Olive oil has topped the preferred list of oils right from the ancient times. It can be remembered that Greeks and Romans used Olive oil to anoint their heads on a daily basis. Olive oil helps in removing wrinkles and treating skin problems. It is also a great skincare product which moisturizes and rejuvenates skin naturally. Its essential nutrients soften skin and help it glow.

2. Jojoba oil:
Though popular as a carrier oil, Jojoba oil is one of the best natural moisturizing oils. A powerful pore cleanser, it is used in many anti-aging skin products. It can be used along with Castor oil to give an extra cleansing effect and with Lavender oil to have a soothing effect on the skin. Jojoba also balances the production of sebum on the skin, thereby, reducing excessive oil production in oily skin. In brief, it acts based on your skin type to keep your skin replenished and healthy.

3. Grape seed oil: An antioxidant, Grape seed oil moisturizes the skin on a deep level, getting rid of wrinkles on the surface. It works by revitalizing the skin and preventing it from aging. It makes the skin  supple and young too.

4. Walnut oil: Walnut oil is great for regeneration of skin. It moisturizes damaged skin and helps prevent wrinkles at an early age. Applying Walnut oil with carrier oil will be of use for eliminating wrinkles.

5. Marula oil: This is a remarkable oil with antioxidant properties. It penetrates deep into the skin and works wonderfully on damaged or lifeless skin cells. Rich in nutrients, it coats the skin with a peerless glow and softness.

6. Other oils:
Lavender and Rose are two other oils which work well in treating skin problems. Other than these, fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is     also effective in preventing wrinkles. Fish oil works by stimulating the growth of a vital collagen protein in the body, which, in turn, makes the skin wrinkle-free and youthful.

Skin can be damaged or wrinkled on account of several disorders too. If you want a blemish-free skin, you need to use essential oil blends that can cure skin disorders like psoriasis, acne and other skin conditions. Some essential oils are great moisturizers. Adding such oils to your bath water can make a huge step toward personal care.

No more ouchs or aches: Aromatherapy for arthritis and joint pain relief

Joint pain can be one of the most debilitating of illnesses that can affect any human being. This is more so if you are suffering from arthritis, gout or other syndromes. The first thing that comes to your mind while you are in pain is – “what can I do to get instant relief from this?” Since arthritis is a major illness that affects many Americans, you cannot go in for buying OTC drugs for it. You need to consult a physician and take only prescription drugs. This would normally take time and your pain will grow unbearable by that time. Aromatherapy essential oils can give instant relief from such excruciating pain. Though not all essential oils are good in treating joints, some are very good in alleviating the inflammation and sickness when massaged on to the affected areas. This article will focus on the essential oils which will offer instant relief from joint pain.

Why aromatherapy for joint pain? Arthritis is basically inflammation of the joints and occurs in several types in affected patients. The most common among them is osteoarthritis which affects the bones very badly. Natural remedies in the form of aromatherapy can help treat this condition. As an alternative treatment for arthritis, aromatherapy works with liniments. A liniment heats the skin and underlying muscles to relieve one of joint pain. Often the base of a liniment is rubbing or drinking alcohol. However, this has been changing since the advent of the benefits of essential oils. From rubbing alcohol, people have shifted to vegetable oils/essential oils as base. This is because oils heat up faster and stimulate the muscles (underlying the joints) to act well. Essential oils also stay on the skin for longer time, making it suitable for massaging.

Essential oils for arthritis and joint pain relief:
Some of the essential oils which are used for arthritis and joint pain relief: Rosemary, Marjoram, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Cedarwood, Nutmeg, Yarrow, Clove bud and Sage. These oils should not be applied directly to the skin and should be mixed with carrier oils (1% to 3%) before use. You can massage this mixture in 2 or more times daily. To make a dilution of 1% , mix 6 drops of essential oil to 1 oz of carrier oil.

Another way is to stimulate skin is through liniments. To do that, include Tiger Balm, White Flower oil and Peppermint/Camphor in the preparation. These stimulate both hot and cold reactions in the nerve endings of the skin which makes the liniment hotter than it is and that in turn stimulates healing. To be the most effective, liniments should contain Rosemary, Marjoram and Lavender. For arthritis and other joint pain relief, you can add the following oils in your massage recipe or hot water bath – Chamomile, Marjoram, Birch, Ginger etc. Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Clove and Peppermint make the best liniments.

How to make liniment?
This recipe will help you make a liniment that would cure your pain readily. Mix 8 drops of Eucalyptus oil with 8 drops of Peppermint, 8 drops of Rosemary, 4 drops of Cinnamon Leaf, 4 drops of Juniper Berry, 4 drops of Marjoram and 2 oz of alcohol. Stir the combination two or three times daily to disperse the oils in alcohol. Since the recipe is a bit stronger that the usual massage recipe, never use it over a large area of the body. You can also use this as a warm-up treatment before heavy exercising or physical work. This would prevent the bones from cramping or painful areas.

Kitchen aromatherapy: 3 essential oil food recipes you can try

From health kit to facial masks, aromatherapy has ventured into our kitchen tables too. Not many chefs know the benefits of using essential oils in your daily menus. If you have a holiday plan or want to take a time out for yourself, what can be the best treat for yourself than making recipes using aromatherapy oils? This article will focus on essential oil food recipes that you can try at your home.

Essential oil food recipes: The following recipes use essential oils in the form of highly concentrated preservatives, fragrant/flavorings or hydrosols. Whatever be the case, use essential oils that are within therapeutic grade/food grade quality and ensure that you use them in the appropriate quantity.

1. Rose water German cookies: You will need the following ingredients for this recipe: 1 cup sugar, ½  cup room temperature butter, egg yolk, 1 ½ tbsp vanilla, 1 ½ tsp lemon extract or ½ cup sour cream, ½ tsp baking soda, 1 ½ tsp rose water or Rose Hydrosol, some salt and 3 cups of flour. Add cream sugar with softened butter and beat egg yolk and flavorings to smooth consistency. Next, add baking soda and sour cream into the sugar mixture. Add rose hydrosol, flour, salt and water. Batter the mixture and roll out on floored surface. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter and bake at a heat of about 325 degrees in the oven.

The cookies thus made will carry a subtle rose flavor. If you want the rose flavor to be more pronounced, use rose otto too.

2. Peppermint Hot Chocolate: This recipe uses Peppermint oil to make hot chocolate with cream and sugar. The ingredients you may require: 1 ½ cups of heavy cream, 1 ½ cups of milk, ¼ cup sugar, 6 oz of bittersweet chocolate, 3 drops of Peppermint, whipped cream for garnish and candy canes. Use a saucepan to combine the ingredients – cream, milk, sugar and chocolate – and cook until the mixture begins to steam. Add 3 drops of Peppermint and blend well. Once the blending is complete, divide the chocolate into mugs and top it with whipped cream. If you want, add candy to each cup. This is a yummy recipe which will be the favorite of kids and adults.

3. Orange oil recipe: This recipe uses a lot of orange in the form of orange juice, blood orange essential oil etc. The following ingredients will be required to prepare this item – 1 cup of soft butter, 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar, 1 ¼ cup of unsifted flour, ¾ cup of corn starch, 3 tablespoons of orange juice and 3 drops of sweet orange or blood orange essential oil. To prepare the recipe, cream butter with essential oil and add ½ cup of confectioners sugar and beat until you get a fluffy consistency. Add flour and corn starch and batter everything. Cover and chill the whole thing for at least two hours. Then, roll out the dough into balls (of your desired shape) and bake in the oven for 325 degrees. Mix the remaining cup of confectioners with sugar and 3 tbsp of Orange juice. Put wax paper under cookies and spoon the orange glaze over them.

Aromatherapy gift ideas: 4 toiletry gifts to surprise your loved ones

Aromatherapy gifts. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to gift someone an aromatic substance? Ever thought of the aromatherapy gift ideas? Contrary to the popular belief, aromatherapy gifts can be stunning and instantly lovable. Since they will be mostly soaps, scents, shampoos or other aromatic healing blends, they will be far from the usual, fancy or pop culture type gifts. Aromatherapy gifts are ideal for people who are special to you in life. Yes, special people should be given special treatment and aromatherapy is one of the best ways to treat your loved ones, friends or family members in a exciting, unusual way.

Aromatherapy gift ideas: The gift ideas given here can be executed at home and packaged with accessories available in your kitchen. No exceptional efforts or expensive ingredients or supplies are needed to make them. The basic things involve aromatic essential oils, mostly of the therapeutic grade efficiency.

1. Salt scrub: This is a recipe for a commercial salt scrub and requires the following ingredients to make: 1 cup of sea salt, ½ of mixture of carrier oils and essential oils (whichever suits your skin type). Essential oil blends should comprise of the following – 10 drops of Peppermint, 5 drops of Orange, 5 drops of Spearmint, and 3 drops of Rosemary. This blend would be great to use in morning shower or for any other bath. You can change/modify the quantity of oils if you want an aroma of your choice.

2. Perfume: Imagine how lovely it would be to gift that special someone a perfume handmade by you. Perfumes are not just about aromas, but are characteristic of the person who wears them. So, if you ever thought you could make a perfume on your own, here we go. An ideal and sensational perfume would comprise of 3 parts of Jojoba oil, 2 parts of Beeswax blends (of oils) and 1 part of essential oil blend. To prepare the perfume, warm the oil and then add beeswax beads. Let the mixture cool until it attains a thickening consistency. Then, stir in the essential oil or blend and pour into wee pots. You can also add different essential oil blends to the perfume and gift them as separate perfumes.

3. Foot soak blend: Refreshing a tired feet with a foot soak or foot massage can do wonders to improve blood circulation in your body. It can also rejuvenate yourself after a hard day. You can present this foot soak blend as a gift to someone you care for (your mother, sister or some other elder in the family). This is also a way of pampering your loved ones. To make the foot soak, combine 1 ¼ cups of Epsom salt with the same amount of Kosher salt in a jar. Blend into the mixture ¼ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of cornstarch, ½ teaspoon of Lemon oil and  ¼ teaspoon of Spearmint oil. Close the jar with a  lid and shake well. Use it after a few weeks of preparation. Massaging feet with this blend after soaking will also benefit a lot.

4. Aftershave gel: An easy to make gel for all your male friends and family members. Mix ½ cup of Aloe Vera gel with 2 oz of Witch Hazel Extract, 1 tsp of Glycerin, 5 drops of Chamomile oil and 3 drops of Peppermint oil. First add the glycerin to the Witch Hazel and then, add the essential oils. Mix the blend with the Aloe Vera gel bottle and use if as an aftershave and also as a sunburn cream.