Lemongrass essential oil

Ooh!! the fresh, invigorating, and tingling citrus scent. It always manages to clear up space both physical and emotional.

I am talking about Lemongrass essential oil. I must have walked by it so many times but only this time it caught my attention! I wonder why? Maybe I needed a change, a new EO to add to my collection or was it because it “chose” me? I don’t know but as soon as it arrived, it got down to the serious business of healing all of us in the family who coincidentally came down with muscular aches and pains one after the other.

Let me tell you EOs are not magical shots, they work slowly but steadily. You need to have faith in them and patience too. The ingredients in the oils comfort us on a deeper plane while they fight the inflammation.

This particular lemongrass EO comes from the East Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus). It is light in texture and smells heavenly like lemons. But it is capable of irritating the skin if used directly. So always, always dilute it with a carrier oil. I usually use Avocado oil as a carrier.

To combat the aches and pains, I use lemongrass EO along with two other oils mainly because of their chemical composition. The citral in lemongrass oil, menthol in peppermint oil and eucalyptol in eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory. They are useful in combating muscle pain and headaches. Peppermint and Eucalyptus also help in respiratory problems. All three oils blend well and are really useful in flu-like conditions.

I add 4 drops lemongrass eo, 2 drops eucalyptus eo, and 4 drops of peppermint eo to 2 tsp (10ml) avocado oil. This is about 5% dilution. A couple of drops of this mixture can be used to massage on the painful areas.

I also use a drop or two of the above to massage on the throat and the area under the collar bones when I feel a sore throat or cold coming. Alternately I use a drop or two on the wrist and palms, rub them together and inhale the scent. It helps clear the sinuses as well as refreshes the mind.

A couple of drops of diluted lemongrass oil can be also added to the face wash. I am not sure if it really does something for the skin but the skin does feel clean and fresh.

I also add 2 drops to a cotton round pad and stash it somewhere in the car. It serves as a safe air freshener!

So these are some of the ways I use this oil. Hope you find it useful. If you know of some other ways to use this oil please share it here. I would love to hear about it.

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Skin friendly essential oil – Helichrysum

If I could add another essential oil to my list of favorites ( lavender being my no.1 ), it would be Helichrysum.

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First some facts – I bought this little bottle at my local Sprouts. It is sold in a carrier oil,  jojoba. It has a herbaceous and honey like aroma and as it says on the bottle, it is “restoring” which means it helps skin heal. Even though it was a tad pricey, it is totally worth!

I love this oil for only one reason – skin benefits!

  • Dryness – As temperature and humidity dips in fall and winter, dryness takes over and it can be pretty rough (pun intended) on my skin especially the hands. To combat this I keep a concoction of helichrysum and rose oils using avocado oil as a carrier. All these oils including the jojoba (carrier oil for helichrysum) are extremely soothing and healing for the skin while the rose oil lends its heavenly aroma to the mixture.

My recipe for this is very simple – I add about 4 drops of helichrysum and 6 drops of rose to 200 drops of avocado oil in an amber colored glass bottle with a dropper and massage  3-4 drops into my skin whenever needed. I keep this oil combo on my kitchen counter at room temperature as I discovered early on that it solidifies in the refrigerator.

Other uses of this oil – I have used this on someone with eczema and psoriasis of scalp too and it has worked well.

  • Eczema can creep up with changes in the weather or stress and it leaves the skin inflamed. I use the same recipe mentioned above for healing the rawness using a couple of drops on the area affected.
  • Psoriasis (of scalp) – This is an autoimmune disorder and does not have a cure. You just need to give your skin a lot of TLC! For this I use 2-3 drops of Helichrysum oil alone and massage it into the area especially after a bath when the skin is still soft and absorbent.
  • Anti-aging – It is only natural that an oil with so many skin benefits is also anti-aging! While it helps combat dryness and inflammation, it is believed to work on wrinkles too!

My favorite essential oil!

Lavender of course! If I could own only one essential oil it would be lavender hands down. I will not dwell upon the botanical facts of the plant from where this amazing oil is extracted…instead I will jump right into the reasons I love this EO.

  • Calm – First and foremost it’s my go-to oil for calming down. You know how there are those days when everyone and everything around you needs your attention asap – those are the moments when I grab my lavender roller bottle. I roll it on the wrists and take a whiff or into the palms rubbing them together and placing them gently on the face, inhaling the calm and peace.
  • To the rescue – Have you ever burned your finger while simply turning the quesadillas over on a hot griddle or deep frying something? Ouch! That can hurt a lot…well for those once-in-a-while days I dab a little lavender on the burn and voila it takes away the searing sensation.
  • Catch the zzzs – How many times have I gone to bed just to end up lying there – simply unable to sleep. It may be nervousness, boredom or nothing at all. That’s why I keep a lavender roller bottle next to me – massage some on my hands and forehead and then wait a little before I fall into a sweet slumber.
  • Beauty – I have already mentioned the use of this oil in my beauty recipes in earlier posts – Nourishing face oil and DIY lip balm
  • Pet grooming – Finally I come to our beloved pets! I keep a container with ¼ cup cornstarch mixed with 5-6 drops of lavender EO. Every once in a while I sprinkle a little of this mixture into my maltese’s coat followed by brisk brushing. The result? I can buy some time before his next grooming.

Before I forget let me share the Roller recipe. Mine is a 10ml bottle. I fill it with grapeseed oil (it’s light in texture) and 6 drops of lavender oil followed by rolling it gently between palms. I usually make a couple of them and keep them closeby. I always keep one in my bag.

NOTE – A very dear friend of mine who also happens to be a physician however suggested that we not use this oil around kids as it’s very calming in nature and kids need to be focused and be able to concentrate on their school work or other activities most of the time.

Do you know of any other uses of this oil? I would like to know.

Nourishing face oil

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I am always looking for beauty products that are as natural and non toxic as possible and nothing can be more natural than those you can create on your kitchen countertop with your own hands! So here I present my very own soothing and nourishing face oil for those cold dry wintry months! You can use this oil on your face as such or under your regular moisturizer.

The EO in this recipe stands for essential oil. I buy the Aura Cacia and Now brands from Sprouts or Natural Grocers.

Now for the scoop on the oils! All the oils mentioned here are absolutely amazing for the skin and are so good at moisturizing but they also have some special qualities-

  • Frankincense and Helichrysum are anti-aging with the former working on wrinkles and the latter working on scars and discoloration.
  • Rose is anti-inflammatory but I use it mostly for its uplifting aroma.
  • Lavender is my absolute favorite as it’s so calming. (I add it to almost every recipe).
  • Avocado oil is a carrier oil (something that carries the EOs) as one shouldn’t use EOs directly on skin. It has a good shelf life of about a year and is rich in vitamins A and Bs and oleic acid and boasts some UV protection.
  • Vitamin E has moisturizing and UV protective qualities. It also extends the shelf life of the product!

Ingredients

1 drop frankincense EO

1 drop helichrysum EO

5 drops rose EO

1 drop lavender EO

2 vitamin E oil capsules

60 drops avocado oil

A clean dry amber colored glass bottle with dropper

Method

In a clean dry bottle, add all the ingredients. Keep it in a cool dark place.

DIY lip balm

 

Ever since I walked down the Essential oils aisle in Sprouts about 4 years ago, I have been intrigued by the healing properties of those oils and as I read up on them I became more vigilant about using commercial products even something as simple as a lip balm. So, I decided to experiment and after a few clumsy takes I came up with this simple method that became my go-to lip balm recipe.

It’s easy to prepare and has two of my favorite ingredients – Lavender essential oil and Avocado oil. I picked lavender for its anti-inflammatory and calming effect on the skin as well as mind. I chose avocado oil for its long shelf life (1 year), UV protective factor and its high oleic acid content which makes it a great moisturizer in the cold dry months of winter. I opted for Vitamin E as it boosts the shelf life of the balm and provides a decent amount of sun protection.

Ingredients

Avocado oil – 1 ¾ tsp

Beeswax – ¾ tsp

Vitamin E capsules (400 IU) each – 2

Lavender essential oil – 2 drops

2 Lip balm containers clean and dry

Method

Place a pan of water with a heat resistant glass bowl over it on medium flame. Add the beeswax and let it melt slowly. You can lower the flame to medium low. As it begins to melt, stir in the avocado oil using a silicone or wooden spatula. Remove from the flame and quickly squeeze out the oil from the vitamin E capsules into the mixture along with the lavender oil. You’ve got to be swift here as the mixture starts solidifying soon so quickly pour it into the lip balm containers and let them cool before capping them.

I make a batch of 3-4 balms and keep them in the fridge to keep them fresh and last longer. Yields about 2 balms. Don’t worry if there’s a little leftover! Store it in a tiny container for your bag.

Try out this recipe and let me know what you think about it!