Category Archives: For Family

The sweet scent of natural incense: How to make incense at home

Incense and aromatherapy are inter-related like no other. Since ancient times, people have considered it essential to burn incense to clear out odors, to bring in positive energy and create a refreshing and pleasant atmosphere. Our forefathers used natural herbs, resins and gums as incense during religious or ritualistic events and ceremonies. Though incense burning is more common these days, most of the incense burnt are synthetic stuff, made out of chemical fragrances than natural essential oils or resins. One can make natural incense at home using aromatherapy essential oils. This article will elaborate in detail on how to make incense using plant oils.

Forms of incense available: It is not that only ancients used essential oils for incense making. Even our incense manufacturers use them for better aromas. But the problem is, most of such current day incense sticks contain a lot of synthetic materials. Completely devoid of natural stuff, synthetic incense sticks may emit toxic elements in the atmosphere, and slowly turn detrimental to our health.


Incense sticks: Incense sticks are the most common form of incense. They can be dipped or hand-rolled, depending on the manufacturer and their place of production. Dipped incense sticks consist of thin wooden sticks that have a combustible powder coating of charcoal or wood. These sticks are then dipped aromatic essential oils and dried for use. Hand-rolled incense sticks are popular in countries like India and are more natural compared to the dipped ones.

Incense cones: These are commercially available stuff and contain a lot of synthetics. However, you can use essential oils to make natural incense cones. The basic ingredients include a combination of powdered plant substances, aromatic items like resins, gums etc. and combustible powders.

Other incense items: Smudge sticks used by Native Americans use white sage and make long sticks out of them. Then, they bundle them and burn them together. Most of the smudge sticks are made from plant products like Sweet Grass, Juniper Berries etc. Another incense item of significance is the Japanese ‘Koh’. It is an equivalent of spaghetti in structure and shape and is made of powdered wood, herbs, resins and essential oils. Aromatic natural resins like Frankincense, Myrrh, Opoponax and Dragon’s Blood can be burned alone as incense. Woods like Aloeswood, Sandalwood and Cedarwood can also be burned alone, with chips, woods or resins.

If you note, aromatic oils play a part in all the above forms of incense. Though this is good, when commercially used, these aromatic substances are mixed with synthetics and sold. This can be toxic to people with respiratory problems and others who are allergic to certain chemicals. To avoid such overuse of synthetics, it is better to use natural plant products. Below is a recipe on how to make incense at home:

How to make incense at home: Combine 1 part of Frankincense powder, 1 part of Myrrh powder, 1 part of Sandalwood powder, 3-4 parts of Makko powder and 4-5 drops of essential oil of your choice. This one part can be one tbsp of something. Mix the ingredients with a spoon or fork in a bowl and add water drop by drop. Bring the mixture to a dough like consistency and add essential oils of your liking. You can use Frankincense, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Vetiver or Orange. They work well when it comes to making incense. Once the mixture is ready for use, make them into cones or roll them using your hands into sticks. Dry the cones/rolled sticks on wax paper for 2 to 3 days and use after that.

Perfumed airs and lively rooms: 4 essential oil air freshener blends

Aromatherapy was initially considered as an aromatic use of essential oils and people bought essential oils to aromate their self, their living spaces and their work spots. Aromatherapy has been in practice right from the time of the ancient Egyptians. Greeks, Romans and Egyptians used essential oils for refreshing their personal spaces and anointing themselves with good scents. Only later, the use of essential oils as a healing massage oil or bath water came to be known. Basically aromatic oils were made to make incense, air fresheners and massage oils. This article will throw light on how to make essential oil air freshener blends.

Essential oil air fresheners recipes: To make an aromatic air freshener, you can try out a simple recipe as the below one. Take a 4 oz of spray bottle with a  fine mist setting and use it for spraying. Do not use bottles that have been previously used for cleaning products or hair products such as shampoo, hair spray etc. Add 30 to 40 drops of your favorite essential oil blend with 1.5 oz of distilled water and 1.5 oz of high-proof alcohol. If you are allergic to alcohol, you can increase the amount of distilled water to 3 oz. But understand that only the alcohol can make the aroma linger for a longer time.


Below are a few essential oil recipes that can be used to make air fresheners:

1. Air Freshener Blend 1: To make this blend, add 20 drops of Lime to 14 drops of Bergamot, 4 drops of Ylang Ylang and 2 drops of Rose. Mix well and use in your air freshener or diffuse the oil through the room.

2. Air Freshener Blend 2: This would make a sweet aromatic blend as Lemon and Lavender are involved. Add 15 drops of Clary Sage to 9 drops of Lemon and 6 drops of Lavender. Mix the ingredients well and use them in an air freshener. If you want to add some other oil for more aroma, do so.

3. Air Freshener Blend 3: This is for the fresh and peppy spirited. Add 15 drops of Bergamot to 15 drops of Spearmint and mix well. You can increase the amount of spearmint if you like its aroma.

4. Air Freshener Blend 4: A complete Rosemary blend. Everyone will love it and you can use it anywhere – in your living room, bedroom or even toilet. As Rosemary is both uplifting and aromatic, you can use it with any oil. To make this blend, use 20 drops of Rosemary, 8 drops of Grapefruit , 4 drops of Peppermint and 2 drops Spearmint. Blend well and use with air freshener.

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.

How to keep your weight-meter down: Aromatherapy for weight loss

Weight loss and aromatherapy, are they connected? Of course, they are. But you need to know the basics of which oil works well for you, before you enter into aromatherapy for weight loss program. Another fact to remember is, weight loss is in no way associated with essential oils except that some oils help you forget your appetite or improve your fat-burning activities. The first step toward a weight loss program with essential oils is to check whether your body is acclimatized to aromatherapy and how you can use oils in the right proportion to help with your weight loss. This is because one individual is different from the other and not all individuals can work with the same weight loss principles.

Aromatherapy for weight loss – first steps: The first step, as mentioned above, is to consult your regular medical practitioner on how to control weight gain and which program is suitable for you in aromatherapy. You can also discuss with a  licensed aromatherapist on this. Work with both your doctor and aromatherapist to design a safe plan that will suit your needs. This plan has to be framed after you analyze the reason for your food cravings or whether you eat more. If yes, why do you crave for food? The reason could be – physical or medical, you may have a poor quotient of nutrition supplements in your food, you may consider eating as a form of comfort or an activity in an otherwise boring routine, or you maybe suffering from grief, depression or other emotional problems. Once your freeze on the reason for your food cravings, base your weight loss program on that.

Why essential oils for weight loss? There is no particular reason except the scientific. Aromatherapy is the only kind of alternative medicine which has a huge impact on the limbic node of the brain. This limbic system activates the hypothalamus immediately and releases hormones or chemical messengers into the body. By controlling the hypothalamus, one can control everything from sex drive to appetite. Called the Master Gland, hypothalamus helps stimulate your hormones and reduce your cravings for food. To be exact, oils stimulate the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus and that can cause fullness in the stomach. This kind of satiety can reduce your appetite to a phenomenal extent, make you food-proof and a regular eater.

Dr. Hirsch in his book, ‘Guide to Scentsational Weight Loss’ talks of how he experimented with 3000 people and how most of them where able to reduce more than 30 pounds within a short period of time.

Weight loss tips with essential oils: Once you have identified your cravings, choose your essential oils. Yes, choose oils of your choice. Oils that can please you and make you feel full always. Once this is done, eliminate oils that may cause problems for you. For instance, some oils like Ajawon, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Juniper, Garlic and Nutmeg etc. can burn the nose if you are not prepared. So, avoid them. Also avoid oils that can induce migraines in you.

Weight loss essential oils: The best oils for weight loss are – Peppermint, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang and Patchouli. Most of the oils are either sedatives which relax you and give you adequate rest or energizers which uplift you and make you feel full.

Aromatherapy by astrology: 12 signature oils for 12 astrology signs

Astrology and aromatherapy. Is there a connection? There is, say the experts. Yes, human beings can be treated with aromatherapy based on their zodiac or Sun signs. People belonging to different astrology signs have different characteristics and those that belong the same sign have similar personality traits. Aromatherapists say based on people’s signs and  the same characteristics that are associated with the signs, we can use essential oils as preventative treatment and for healing purposes. However, this has to be done after understanding the positive traits and the negative physical/emotional issues specific to the sign the person belongs to. This kind of aromatherapy will be useful to individuals who cannot afford to find themselves a personal aromatherapist. If you find yourself with a dominant trait that is associated with your sign, make use of these oils to treat yourself/loved ones.

Aromatherapy by astrology signs: This is not something new in the realm of aromatherapy. Many expert aromatherapists have suggested treatment by astrology signs and some of them are: Patricia Davis and Stephanie Gailing.     Davis details about the connection between oils and sun signs in her book, ‘Astrological Aromatics’ and Stephanie does the same in the book, ‘Planetary Apothecary’.


The first step in aromatherapy by astrology is to identify the personality traits of each and every sign and then, adopt to a treatment based on that. There are people who are often cusps of signs (who have traits of two signs). For such people, treatment should be given after identifying which sign is dominant in them. Below are a list of traits of particular signs and the suggested oil to combat such traits. Other than this, you can also use oils that are helpful in combating traits dominant in you.

Aquarius:
An Aquarian is a person with the following traits: altruistic, egalitarian, friendly, eccentric, philanthropic, detached, innovative, rebellious and independent. The oil suitable for this type of individual is Neroli.

Pisces: Born between February 19th and March 20th, Pisceans are mostly dreamers, romantics, imaginative and creative people. They are empathetic, psychic, idealistic and selfless. An ideal oil for their spiritual and forgiving nature is Melissa.

Aries: With the swiftness of Mars, Aries individuals act in a willful, enterprising and assertive way. They pioneer whatever they do and are impulsive and brave always. A suitable oil for them is Rosemary.

Taurus: Born between April 20 and May 20, Taureans are best when it comes to hard work. They are sensual, grounded, steadfast, stubborn, predictable and practical. They long for security and often seek serenity.  A suitable oil for them is Rose.

Gemini: Geminis have the gift of Mercury and are extremely talkative by nature. They are curious, adaptable to any situation, quick-witted, youthful and spontaneous in all that they do. Ideal oil for them is Basil.

Cancer: Cancer is a caring sign and everything about the sign is nurturing, sensitive, hospitable and sympathetic. Cancerians tend to get moody at times and hence, need to be tempered with Blue Chamomile oil.

Leo: Leos are the kings and queens of the zodiac. They are self-expressive, generous, faithful, dominant, charismatic, courageous and dignified. Dramatic in all they do, they can be haughty sometimes. The best oil for Leos is Jasmine.

Virgo: Analytical, productive and perfectionist, Virgos are rational and insightful in things they accomplish or intend to accomplish. They are the most methodical of signs and hence need relaxation with Lavender oil.

Libra: Libras are poised well in a tough situation. They are diplomatic, sociable, stylish and charming to associate with. Geranium is best suited for their gracious yet often frivolous nature.

Scorpio: Scorpio is passionate and emotional many a times. To combat their secretive, forceful and brooding nature, they need Patchouli oil.

Sagittarius: Adventurous and optimistic, Sagittarians are the adventurers of the zodiac. They are versatile, zealous and exuberant in all that they do. The best oil for Sagittarius individuals is Black Pepper.

Capricorn: Capricorns are the loyal, hard working and pragmatic individuals of the zodiac. However, they can hold grudges, be over-ambitious and frugal sometimes. To combat their negative traits, the best oil is Vetiver.

Kitchen talk: 7 aromatherapy recipes for domestic purposes

Aromatherapy is not restricted for use only in aromatic or medicinal fields. It can be also be used for domestic purposes, right in the backyard of your kitchen. Kitchen aromatherapy includes use of essential oils for food recipes, making of body oils, aromatic wood polishes, soaps, cleaners, aromatic scents for cupboards, drawers etc. This article will throw light on aromatherapy recipes that can be made with kitchen/household items and can be used in domestic setups.

Domestic recipes using essential oils: These recipes are especially good for use with essential oils that have gone old and have no use for medicinal purposes. When the therapeutic is ruled out, all you can do with essential oils is the aromatic and the domestic. You can be as creative as possible to blend all kinds of aromas and get exotic recipes that can be used in your bath, as soaps, cleaners and room diffusers. Below are some recipes which you can use for household purposes:


1. Bathroom spray: Bathrooms are often the breeding place for several microbes, including virus and bacteria. To clean the bathroom air and keep it free from bacteria, virus and other fungi, you can try this recipe. To make the recipe, combine 5 drops of Cinnamon oil with 5 drops of Eucalyptus, 5 drops of Lemon, 5 drops of Sage, 5 drops of Thyme and 10 drops of Bergamot, 10 drops of Citronella, 10 drops of Lavender, 10 drops of Tea Tree. Shake well to mix all the oils and spray on to your bathroom space everyday.

2. Kitchen soap with coffee scent: If you think that your kitchen needs a kitchen-friendly aroma, here you go. Created by Kay, this Coffee scented essential oil kitchen soap will combine Lemon and soap to yield a coffee soap. Combine 5 drops of Coffee essential oil with 4 drops of Lemon oil and mix them both with 1 cup of unscented liquid soap. Transfer the mixture to a pump and you are done with the recipe.

3. Kitchen bench wipe: This is ideal for wiping up any sort of mess in your kitchen. You will need an old bottle to store this blend and also a spirit pourer. Wash the bottle thoroughly and add water to it. Then, pour 30 drops of your favorite Citrus oils. For best results, you can try a mixture of Grapefruit, Lemon, Petitgrain and other Citrus oils. Blend well and pour into the spirit pourer. Every time you need to clean up a mess, add a drop of this blend to your kitchen sponge/wipe and clean. This is both a disinfectant and a cleaner.

4. For aromatic cupboards and drawers: To make your cupboards smell fresh and lively, you can try this. Add a few drops of essential oils to a cotton wool and place them in cupboards and drawers. Lemongrass and Lavender work well to keep moths at bay.

5. Wood polish: To make wood polish to rub kitchen wood, combine 4 oz of Olive oil with ½ tsp of Lemon essential oil in a small bottle. Blend well and apply with a soft cloth and buff to shin. Olive cleans the dust in wood and makes it shine, while Lemon yields a fresh, aromatic smell.

6. Handbag scenting: If you have a foul-smelling handbag, this is your recipe. Add 3 drops of Bergamot, 2 drops of Geranium and 2 drops of Melissa in a cotton wool or tissue and place it inside your handbag. If there is a leather tag attached to your bags, you can use this to put the blend.
7. Focus blend: To gain focus, this blend will be of great help. Mix 10 drops of Peppermint, 10 drops of Rosemary and 10 drops of Lime essential oil. Mix everything with 3 oz spring water and use in a diffuser inside your study room or home office.

Holiday aromatherapy: 7 ways to make Thanksgiving delightful with essential oils

Thanksgiving, as you all know, is all about fun, food and celebration. You have guests coming in all time of the day and children freaking out in and out of the house every now and then. The kitchen is also very busy during Thanksgiving, thanks to our generous hospitality and willingness to get together with friends, family and loved ones. Though the festivity comes with its own share of the sensory delights like the smell of pumpkin, the aroma of cooking food and the joy of crisp air and pecan pies, it has its share of trouble too. With guests hovering around your house, you will have little time to set things in proper order. This is when you can use essential oils to make your home aromatic and a pleasant place for guests to stay.

Essential oils for Thanksgiving: Below are a list of recipes/oil blends you can use for various purposes in Thanksgiving:


1. Scenting your home: Before your guests arrive, you can scent your room with either a blend of Cinnamon, Clove or Orange oils or Cinnamon, Clove and Vanilla oils. For a dramatic and pleasing visual display, you can even set out Clove-studded oranges in some area of your living room. The scent will waft through the air for a long time and keep guests lively and happy.

2. For bathroom odors: An ill-kept bathroom or toilet can be a disgrace to you as a host. To clear your bathroom of odors, use a blend of Lavender and  Thyme. You can even put a bowl of pebbles on top of your toilet and add the blend into it.

3. For children’s rooms: If you have trouble with children, arrange a separate room for them. To make them stay glued to the room, you can use a few essential oils they generally like. This includes Citrus odors like Tangerine, Grapefruit and Lemon essential oil. You can either diffuse it or spray this in children’s rooms.

4. For avoiding strong cooking odors: If your kitchen happens to be close by your living room, guests can experience strong cooking odors. Some of them can be disturbing and un-aromatic to people. To avoid this, boil a large pot of water and add a drop or two of Clove oil to it. Remove from heat and place the blend in one corner of kitchen.

5. For conversational atmosphere: Post-dinner time is usually set aside for conversation. Use scents like Basil, Rosemary and Lavender or Grapefruit for a creating a relaxed conversational environment at your home.

6. For sanitizing home: To kill germs or insects, use Lemon Eucalyptus with Citronella. To stop the spread of infection in crowded rooms, use a blend of Eucalyptus, Tea Tree oil and Lavender. You can add the blend to a humidifier for better benefits.

7. For aromatic bathing: After the heavy food and chatter of the Thanksgiving day, your guests may want to cope up with indigestion or fatigue. You can help them with an aromatic bath oil made of two drops of Lavender, Grapefruit and Rosemary oils.

Gear up for fun: 5 holiday and seasonal essential oil blends

Holidays are times for fun and frolic. We want to be in our best during holidays as it is the season of year to celebrate with friends, family and loved ones. Holidays can be sober or boring to some. This maybe due to lack of motivation or the cancellation of an exotic holiday plan or inability to get together with friends and loved ones. Whatever be your plight, holidays are meant for enjoyment and you should not miss the holiday spirit even if you are single and not near dear ones. You can maximize your holiday mood with the use of essential oils. Pure oils of the floral or earthy kind can uplift your mood and motivate you to have fun even it means holidaying within the four walls of your apartment.

Holiday and seasonal essential oil blends: Like holidays, seasons too affect our moods and mental dispositions. Autumn and Winter, especially, can take their toll on us and make us sober and uninteresting. To set things right and enjoy life as usual, you can use holiday or seasonal essential oil blends. Below are a list of holiday/seasonal blends that may help you rejuvenate yourself:


1. Christmas Tree Blend: Christmas is a season of joy and happiness. It is a time for sharing love and expressing concern toward others. How would you able to enjoy the spirit of the season, if you are down in the dumps? This Christmas blend will uplift your mood and persuade you to experience the season with an open heart. Combine 5 drops of Spruce oil with 3 drops of Fir needle, 3 drops of Pine oil and 2 drops of Cedarwood. If you want an exotic yet mellow scent, add a few drops of Juniper oil to the blend.

2. Angel’s Breath Blend: During Christmas, we look at things with a religious fervor. This blend will enhance your trust in God and make life pleasant and meaningful for you. Its aroma brings in peace and prosperity in the mind. Add 12 drops of Lavender to 6 drops of Sweet Orange, 4 drops of Chamomile, 4 drops of Ylang Ylang and 3 drops of Sandalwood oil. Combine well and use the blend in a diffuser.

3. Frankincense Holiday Blend: For warm, rich and spicy aromas, use Frankincense oil with Myrrh. Add 5 drops of Frankincense oil, 5 drops of Myrrh, 5 drops of Cedarwood and 5-10 drops of Orange to a dark, amber bottle and shake well. When the oils are blended well, pour them into a diffuser and use.

4. Frankincense and Fir Holiday Blend: Frankincense always carries with it a traditional aroma. Its very scent brings back to the mind things that are religious, old-time or historically significant. Above all, Frankincense is all about sprightly moods. If you think the above Frankincense-Myrrh blend is a bit earthy, try this one. Add 2 drops of Frankincense oil to 2 drops of Fir Needle oil and 1 drop of Grapefruit essential oil. Mix well and use in a diffuser or air freshener. This blend is ideal for invigorating your home or holiday cottage atmosphere.

5. Sugar and Spice blend: This blend is perfect for Thanksgiving. It makes your entire room sweet and aromatic. Add 10 drops of Orange, 5 drops of Ginger and 8 drops of Cinnamon with 1 drop of Nutmeg. Mix in a dark colored bottle and use in your room diffuser.