Antique recipe book

Mom’s first recipe book

Consider this recipe that I recently found in my mother’s decrepit family recipe book:

Peppermint Oil – To stop vomiting, saturate a cloth in peppermint oil and lay it across the bare stomach.

Amazing isn’t it?  I am guessing this recipe dates back to the early 1900’s  as it is from my great-grandmother, Ma’am Beech’s original recipe book passed down through the family.  It later became part of my mother’s first recipe book as a young woman in the 1940’s.

Pure peppermint oil placed on the stomach to soothe discomfort!  It sure beats all the commercial medicinal treatments by a mile!

Buckeye butterfly on flowers

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

My friend and colleague, Jannette Semenic (well educated in the field of aromatherapy) told me one way she uses peppermint oil.  She said, “I use peppermint oil as a natural breath freshener.  I simply dab a few drops of the oil on my tongue”.  It certainly makes you wonder why we all buy Tic-Tacs and Lifesavers that are full of ingredients we don’t need in our bodies.  Jannette knows that the simplicity of what nature has to offer us is the best tonic for us.

A history of essential oils

Natural oils are derived from flowers, leaves,  the bark of trees, roots and any other part of a plant or tree that has medicinal properties.

From the earliest of times, oils have been used for medicinal purposes.  In fact, as far back as 4500 B.C. there are historical records of the use of essential oils.  Furthermore, the Bible is full of notations about herbs and essential oils.  Considered mankind’s first resource for medicinal purposes,   oils were at one time even more precious than gold.

Essential oils in modern times

Purple wildflowers

Photo credit: David Solganik

Today, essential oils can be found in many of the products we commonly use on a daily basis.  I for one think retailers and corporate America have manipulated us with these products  because in truth they rarely contain much of the essence of the plant from which they originate.  Yet, we spend endless amounts of money on these new products every single day knowing full well they often contain a mere smidgen of nature’s gold.  Amazing.

Here’s an example- one day recently I was really missing my precious little granddaughter, Ansley (you know, God’s Littlest Angel) and so instead of using my normal hand lotion, I used a lotion I have for when she visits.  It is a product for babies.  It is meant as a calming lotion for bedtime and has the words lavender and vanilla on the front of the bottle.  Not to discount this product but, in reading the list of ingredients there is no mention of what percentage of oils this product contains.  So, how much calming from the lavender and vanilla is really going on?  Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?  Why not simply put a dish of fresh lavender in the baby’s room?  Or diffuse through the air a mixture of distilled water and organic lavender oil prior to bedtime?

Using essential oils in a form such as a diffuser is one form of Aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is the practice of using natural oils to enhance both physical and psychological well-being.  As I said in a recent post, The Smell Test, the number one crucial ingredient required to make your homespace beautiful is a wonderful smell.  Seriously, the nose knows and the brain remembers.

Soothing the energy of your space with fragrance

Busy bee

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

Smells can transport you to other times in your life.   How many times do you smell something and immediately connect it to a memory of something?  My friend, Jannette and I were talking about this.  She told me how she always remembers going to her grandmother’s home and seeing fresh orange peel hanging in the kitchen.  To this day she uses essential oils such as tangerine to transport her back in time to being with her grandmother.  Talk about creating warm fuzzies!

For years as a young mother I had a special pot I used to keep fresh cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg in on the stove.  I would keep the pot of spices (in water) on a low simmer so that the wonderful aromas of these spices would fill the air. This was my first use of aromatherapy to create beauty in my home.

Wyndmere Ultrasonic Nebulizer

My Wyndmere Nebulizer

Now, I use a nebulizer for diffusing essential oils into the air.  After having tried several, I have settled on one that works best for me.  It is manufactured by a company called Wyndmere and can be bought in stores or online.  Every single day I use it in my home office to bring fragrance and medicinal therapy to the air.  All essential oils have specific benefits to them.  My choices of which oils I use each day are for whichever benefit I am aiming for.  (You can bet if I am working late in the evening at my desk I have a mixture of lavender and lime in the nebulizer filling the air to prepare me for a restful night!)

Essential oils can do wonders for our homes and our bodies.  Absolutely, positively I believe they have medicinal benefits.  Look for future posts about specific oils such as Lavender, Lemon, Sandalwood, Lime, Frankincense and my favorite, Fragonia by Wisdom of the Earth.  In these posts I will give you an explanation of their uses and benefits.  I hope you enjoy learning about them and decide to infuse your home with oils yourself.  I cannot stress enough the restorative powers nature has for us in essential oils.

Go for the gold

Using essential oils is one way to honor yourself and your homespace.  Simply by infusing oils in the air you can manipulate the energy around you.  You can change negativity, lower stress and restore harmony.

Nature's wondrous scents

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

Also, by using oils that evoke good memories attached to them, you continue to create an atmosphere of good feelings.  In this busy, busy world we live in we want our homes to create a sanctuary of calm for us to surround ourselves with.  Pleasing fragrances are certainly one way to help.

Using essential oils to beautify your home is also being kind to the earth.  Keeping things as pure and simple as possible is living with global consciousness in my book.  I believe that as part of humanity we must both singly and collectively connect with nature.  Using 100% natural oils in your home is one step in this direction.

Yep, essential oils are liquid gold – for many, many reasons.   Beautify your home with the aroma of nature.

Go for the gold…

“Always remember, there is nothing better for your home than a breath of fresh air.  Occasionally open your windows and let nature inside!”

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10 thoughts on “

  1. Wonderful post, Jamie! I, too, love essential oils and enjoy mixing them with a bit of carrier oil to wear instead of perfume. (I like Grapeseed because it has no real aroma to interfere with the essential oils.) I’ve never used a nebulizer for aromatherapy and cannot wait to get one! Thank you for your recommendation of the Wyndmere one. They are also a wonderful source for the essential oils and carrier oils.

    • How did I know you loved essential oils, too? Birds of a feather?!? I am and always have been obsessed with smell and have to admit to purchasing expensive perfumes most of my adult life- I don’t care about trendy clothes, I just need “to die for perfume”. But honestly once I discovered essential oils, I rarely use any other form of fragrance on my body. And, like Jannette, I now dab peppermint oil on my tongue for instant natural breath freshening. Try the Wyndmere, you will love it. Let it transform you and your space with its vapors! Mine is bubbling as I write…

  2. Thank you for this wonderful post Jamie! Love it. Aromatherapy & essential oils are good for the body, mind & healing for the soul. <3 :)

    • Jannette, I am so glad that you enjoyed this post! So much of my interest in essential oils came from you so, I thank you for that. I absolutely know first hand the restorative powers they achieve in ALL three parts of us ~ the mind, the body and the soul. I am grateful to have learned about them at this time in my life. Readers take note: One way to create harmony in your life is through nature’s gold- essential oils!

  3. When my mother was here at my home the last few months of her life…the Hospice nurse (a true Angel on Earth) used aromatherapy for her. It really seemed to soothe her. To this day when I need to I open the bottle of Orange Sunshine “Mysty” and it takes me right back to that time and soaking up all the last precious moments with her.

    • Shell,
      Wow, you make a heartfelt point about the calming powers of aromatherapy in a really poignant example. I am so glad that your caregiver from Hospice understood the benefits for your mom in using this age-old medicinal treatment. Regardless of the circumstances of what stage of life we are in, essential oils are liquid gold just waiting for us to partake from. My example was about my precious granddaughter and yours is about the last days of your gravely ill mother (and my aunt). Two ends of the spectrum of life with both benefiting from nature’s essential oils. You also point to another important truth – smells evoke feelings in us. I am thrilled to know that you can find such peace in merely opening a bottle of Orange Sunshine. The smell of this scent clearly became stored in your long term memory for a reason ~ to always remind you of your wonderful mother! I looked up the site you mentioned in your comment, Readers, please take the time to visit this site. Many wonderful oils are explained not just for hospice patients but for those of us with health issues. Essential oils really and truly have restorative powers. As the holidays approach, perhaps we all can gift others with oils and nebulizers and pass on this wonderful treasure that nature gives us! Imagine all the feel good moments and memories just waiting to happen…

  4. Hi Jamie..speaking of aromas – when you walk into a home you have never been in or haven’t for a long time you notice the aroma of the home.
    When I come back from a week away and I walk in the door I am greeted by a warm and tangy woodsy smell. I finally figured out it came from the old pieces of wood furniture I have. I love the smell. A friend of my middle son once commented our home had a special smell.
    Thought this was interesting.
    Joy Stark

    • Joy, it is truly fascinating that each home you enter does have its own aroma. We all must be aware of this because certainly we want others that enter our dwellings to have a “positive nose experience”. The nose knows and never forgets. Furthermore, when someone remarks that they like the smell of your home or that it has an interesting aroma, the feel good vibes embedded in their brains makes them not only enjoy the experience of being in your home but, makes them want to come back for more. By the way, any time I return home from a trip the FIRST thing I make note of is the smell that greets me. The smell of my home is that important to me!

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