Fresh, sweet, citrus-y citronella is one of my absolute favorite essential oils and one that I use quite often in my home. It’s amazing and strong citrus scent stimulates the mind and the body. It lifts your mood, balances emotions, and helps people get rid mental fatigue. It relaxes your muscles and eases aches. It is antiseptic and antifungal so it is wonderful for cleaning and it is a great insect repellent.
Ways to use citronella
- Add a few drops to some epsom salts and add to your bath for a mood boost and mosquito protection.
- Mix 5 drops with your body lotion or shower gel.
- Boost insect repelling properties by mixing with geranium, eucalyptus, or lavender oils.
- Soak your pet’s collar in 2 cups of water with 5 drops of citronella. Once dry put it on your pet for flea protection.
- Diffuse in your home when fatigued, sad, or experiencing head pain.
- Diffuse when you need to be uplifted and inspired during work or other creative endeavors.
- Purify sickrooms or other germy areas of the home.
- Use it in especially “smelly” areas of the home such as bathrooms or a teenager’s bedroom.
- Add to baking soda to make a carpet powder or to sprinkle inside stinky sneakers.
- Mix with a carrier oil and rub yourself down after workouts to alleviate soreness.
- Diffuse to support respiratory health.
- Add a few drops to your washing machine for fresh smelling laundry.
I love using citronella oil on its own but my absolute favorite way to use it is in a blend called Purification. It may actually be my favorite essential oil product ever. It is definitely my favorite one to diffuse (along with lemon) when I am cleaning house or I am going to have guests. It has citronella, lavandin, lemongrass, rosemary, myrtle, and tea tree. I love it and must have it on hand at all times.
Many of us natural moms use our essential oils for a variety of things in daily life and using them during the back to school madness is just part of that. We have some amazing oily tools at our disposal so why not? They can used for so many issues that arise. The following is quickie list of the best essential oils to use for back to school issues and concerns such as good sleep, concentration, avoiding illness, nerves, confidence, and more.
For usage I recommend diffusing in the home, diffuser necklaces or bracelets, and roll ons the kiddos can take to school with them.
Focus, & Concentration – Peppermint
Digestive Support – Digize (Tarragon, Ginger, Anise)
Good Sleep – Lavender, Vetiver, Ruta, Valerian
Waking Up – Lemon, Rosemary, Peppermint
Calming Nerves – Copaiba, Lavender, Lime, Ocotea
Confidence – Black Spruce, Clary Sage, Bergamot, Frankincense
Eliminating Odors – Purification (Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree)
Immune Booster – Thieves (Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary)
Drama Be Gone – Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium
Breathing Easy – Spruce, Cyprus, Eucalyptus
In many areas of the country poison ivy is a part of life, especially when you live and work outdoors so much. While I personally find it to be just itchy and annoying my husband is allergic and a little poison ivy for him can turn very bad if we don’t take steps immediately to heal it up fast to prevent infection. This poison ivy paste can be made in minutes and it can be kept on hand during the late spring and summer months when this devious plant abounds. This is handy when your husband makes a living climbing telephone poles covered in the stuff!
Homemade Poison Ivy Paste
* This will keep covered in a jar for about 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
¼ Cup of bentonite clay
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
6-10 drops of peppermint essential oil
3-5 drops of lavender essential oil
5 drops colloidal silver
2 tbsp aloe vera cream (Optional)
In a small bowl add clay and apple cider vinegar, it will fizz just let stand until mixture is stable. Add Peppermint Lavender and colloidal silver to the clay mix and slowly stir until fully combined.
You can use this mix just as it is this way however for more of a creamy consistency organic aloe vera cream can be added and it also helps greatly with discomfort from poison ivy.
Why this works: The Clay mixture pulls the poison ivy oils from the pores thereby drying it up very quickly. Adding the apple cider vinegar and colloidal silver prevents infection. The peppermint oil helps with discomfort and the lavender calms and soothes itchy skin.
I thought this issue had been put to rest long ago but alas it seems the hysteria and misinformation lives on. In 2007 a very poorly conducted study “found” that lavender and tea tree oils caused endocrine disruption among young boys. It was said that these two compounds had estrogenic effects and could cause young boys to grow breasts (prepubertal gynecomastia).
The study was faulty for a variety of reasons but the main being that the study was made up of only three young boys. This is a woefully inadequate study pool. Secondly, the scientists used products that contained lavender and tea tree oils on the boys and measured the estrogenic effects but the product’s other ingredients were not evaluated for estrogenic effects. This alone discredits the study because it is very likely that other ingredients, such as parabens or phthalates, which are PROVEN endocrine disruptors, could be the culprit and not the essential oils. Another flaw in this study was that it used polystyrene rather than glass. It is generally accepted that storing essential oils in plastic can cause the endocrine disrupting chemicals in the plastic to leach out into it the contents. So it is not the oils that have these estrogenic properties, it is the plastic, and oils can cause the plastic to degrade and release them into the product.
The oils used were also not tested for purity. This is a huge problem in a market where oils are often adulterated to make them cheaper and easier to produce. How can they be sure of the integrity of this study when they weren’t even sure of the integrity of the oils they used?
After the tests on the boys showed negligible estrogenic activity they tested human cells in a petri dish, mixed with the essential oils in question. This study also found estrogenic activity but it is important to note they used dimethyl sulfoxide as a solvent to dilute the oils and it is actually a potent endocrine disruptor itself. This study is clearly full of huge holes.
A study in 2013 has since been conducted on rats and found no increase in uterine weight and no estrogenic action. This study used concentrations that were many thousand times greater than those you would run across in a beauty product or personal care product that contains essential oils. Other experts and scientists have also weighed in to debunk the original study and to share their own which lays to rest this idea that lavender oils and tea tree oils will give your little boy man boobs or cause you to miscarry if you are pregnant (another common myth).
There is no reason why you cannot use lavender oils safely on yourself, your pregnant tummy, or your children. Tea tree is safe as well but should always be diluted since it is pretty potent. Enjoy!
I am a reformed bug/insect hater. I grew up hating any kind of bug, insect, spider, flying pest, etc. Then I grew up and started gardening. I learned to love certain bugs and even spiders who kill the bad bugs. When I moved in a rental home some six years ago there were no bugs in the yard whatsoever (except earwigs and ants). I am happy to say that by the time I moved it was bug city! To me it meant the land was thriving if all the bugs wanted to come and hang in my garden. Heck I was (and still am) eyeballing a bug and insect hotel. We hope to have bees and soldier flies soon. Bring me all the bugs!!!
That said, there are certain bugs that are just pests and I want to deter them if possible, like the ones that eat my garden (aphids, snails) eat me (mosquitoes), or the ones that just “bug” the crap out of me (gnats, flies). Here is a handy dandy list of essential oils you can use to get control the population of pests like the above and also slugs, moths, ants, beetles, caterpillars, fleas, ticks, and weevils. Hope it helps!
How to Disperse:
- Add three parts water to one parts vinegar along with a healthy dose of oils. Mix well and spray.
- Add oils to 2 Tbsp carrier like sweet almond oil and polish surfaces.
- Apply oils to cotton balls or strips of cotton muslin and disperse them as desired.
- Add oils to 2 Tbsp baking soda. Shake well and sprinkle where needed.