So these days, I focus on working with natural and whole ingredients in just about everything I possibly can, like making my own natural body care products, or my own teas as medicine, or creating herbal-infused topical salves for a range of ailments. There’s a self-sustaining aspect that I appreciate, but mainly, it’s the ability to control the quality of my medicine that I have the greatest passion for. I hate the idea that many of the foods on the grocer’s shelves and in the pharmacy are loaded full of additives, chemicals, and other unnatural ingredients that tend to have adverse effects, especially when it comes to medicinals, as they have a tendency to have worse side effects than the originally intended treatment.
That’s why I recently reached out to Rocky Mountain Oils with the hope of teaming up on a feature to discuss this further. RMO was very kind and open to a project, and was willing to send a few of their essential oils for testing and review. I tested Cardamom, Coriander, Copaiba, Niaouli, Petitgrain, and Spikenard. Many of these plants may not be familiar, but their influence should not be lost on many of you, as these are plants that are used in a variety of approaches. For example, Cardamom is famous in its inclusion in recipes for chai tea, but lesser known are its medicinal effects, like that of neutralizing adverse effects of chemotherapy*, reducing nausea, and muscle spasms, and is antiseptic, antimicrobial, astringent, and is considered an aphrodisiac.
Or how about Petitgrain, which is known for its sedative effects on the nervous system, which can soothe irritation, inflammation, anxiety, hypertension and insomnia. And what about Spikenard? Well, spikenard is known for fighting bacteria and fungus, inflammation, while relieving insomnia, constipation, and stress, while promoting hair growth and stimulating the immune system. It’s not hyperbolic to say how amazing essential oils are, or simply plants in general. For thousands of years, we’ve relied on plants to guide us, heal us, and evolve us, and for that reason I have an everlasting thirst for knowledge of the natural world.
While each of these essential oils can be used in a variety of ways, I decided to create two recipes for you, specifically for sore muscles and joints, and for insomnia. One of the most popular ways to employ essential oils is through aromatherapy, which is done by using an air diffuser. These diffusers tend to have a water well where you apply drops from your e.o. bottles, which is then sprayed into the air as a mist. This mist is breathed in and the medicinal properties of the oils enter the lungs and then the bloodstream, which is how they have such a powerful effect. I've included a recipe for insomnia, which can be used as a sleep aid, used prior to bedtime to ease the mind, and relax you into a sleepy state.
Click here to find out more about Rocky Mountain Oils.
I've also included one of my own recipes for a Sore Muscle & Joint rub, which is an herb-infused salve:
In a double boiler, infuse the herbs in oil. Extract the medicinal properties on medium heat for 1.5-2 hours. Let cool, then strain with cheesecloth. Then, in a clean pan, combine oil, wax and heat in double boiler until melted. Remove from heat, let cool one minute then stir in essential oils. Pour into glass jar or metal tin with tight fitting lid. Leave untouched to cool and set, then once cool, rub into sore muscles and joints. Avoid the eyes, as the camphor and menthol can cause irritation. Always do an allergy test by placing a small amount of the salve on the inside of the arm, and if there’s no reaction after an hour or so, feel free to use a bit more liberally as you see fit.
Aromatherapy Blend for Insomnia / Sleep Aid:
The amount of drops is best determined based on your diffuser capacity and desired concentration. I aim for 1-2% typically.
Alternative oils: Vetiver, Valerian, Chamomile, Bergamot
Next, this topical recipe creates 4-5oz of salve, but a little will go a long way, and so if you decide to make the full batch, try making 4-5 1oz tins, so you can share! --------->
Sore Muscle & Joint Rub Recipe:
This recipe has a lovely natural icy-hot sensation, and will make 4-5oz.
*This article is for entertainment use, and should not replace the diagnoses of any disease or the subscribing of any medication. Always consult with your doctor or a medical professional for any and all health-related advice.