Posts Tagged ‘lemon’

Thieves is an essential oil blend that is reported to support the body’s natural immune system. Used regularly during cold and flu season Thieves can help ward off those pesky seasonal illnesses which is particularly helpful if you have a short person in your house who attends that all-day germ fest called school!

Last year, you may remember, was the year of the dreaded H1N1 flu strain. Despite having two short people enrolled at two separate schools and foregoing the flu vaccine, we did not get sick once! Ok, there was one 24 hour stomach thing but I’m quite sure you don’t want the details of that. So what’s our secret? And what do I plan to do this year? Read on…

Thieves combines Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus radiata, and Rosemary for a wonderful, spicy and potent essential oil blend. It smells like a warm winter kitchen, a simmering pot of mulled cider or wine.

The story goes that in 14th Century Europe during the times of the plague, grave robbers and the looters of the sick and dying would anoint themselves with aromatics while “on the job” to prevent getting the dreaded illness themselves.  One of the many  stories tells us that in exchange for a smaller punishment the thieves had to reveal their secret.  However there are also many versions of this story.  And many recipes for the Vinegar of Thieves.

I tried making my own Vinegar of Thieves this year and have been steeping garlic cloves, cinnamon sticks, clove buds, rosemary sprigs and black peppercorns in a mason jar of red wine vinegar. Wow, is it ever potent! I can’t imagine any germs living in it, but I think I’ll stick to my lovely essential oil blend, thank you very much.

Last year, my daily Thieves routine was to apply Thieves (diluted for the kids, full strength for the adults)  on the bottoms of our feet every night before bed. In the event of a sore throat or other symptoms I add a second application to the feet in the morning for an extra boost.

Particularly with oils that may be irritating to more sensitive skin, the feet are a great option. Essential oils will absorb through the skin and reach the blood in 20 minutes, regardless of where you apply them, so why not get the benefits and take care of stinky feet at the same time?

This year, I’m well into the routine of Thieves Feet again and…well, I don’t want to jinx ourselves, so let’s check back in after the winter and see how it went. Want to join me in my rather un-scientific but oh, so wonderfully smelly experiment? Contact me at scentedjourneys@gmail.com to get your own bottle of Thieves.


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Is there anything better than a nice cup of tea and a piece of shortbread? Yes there is! Shortbread scented and flavored with essential oils. I’ve been experimenting with flavors over the past 6-8 months. I’ve made some bizarre flavors such as black pepper-tangerine, lemongrass and grapefruit-sage, but my favorite shortbread flavor at the moment is lavender-lemon.  Many essential oils are safe for internal consumption and Young Living products will always have the nutritional information label for those that are.

My recipe for shortbread is as follows:

1/2 cup old fashioned oats (ground to a fine powder is a spice/coffee grinder or blender, yeilding 1/4 – 1/3 cup oat flour)

1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 sticks unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1/8″ slices

Pre-heat the oven to 450F. Mix dry ingredients together. Add your essential oil(s) of choice, usually between 5-10 drops of each flavor. Add butter slice by slice and mix on low until the ball of dough forms.

Grease the non-grooved side of the collar of a springform pan and place (closed) on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Press the dough into the collar evenly. Cut out the center with a 2″ round cookie cutter (mine is a flower shape and it works just fine!) Leave the cut out center dough next to the springform collar on the parchment and replace the cookie cutter to the center of the dough making an open hole in the center of your dough. Open the springform collar, but leave it in place around the dough.

Bake for 5 minutes at 450F then reduce oven temperature to 250F and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.  Remove shortbread from the oven and turn the oven off.  Remove the springform collar and score the shortbread with a knife into wedges, only cutting halfway into the dough. Poke 6-10 holes in each wedge and return to the oven propping the door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Let the shortbread dry in the warm oven for about an hour. When cooled, break or cut the shortbread into wedges along the score lines.

Now pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy! That’s what I’m going to do right now….

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I love to travel. Part of the travel experience for me is always scent. Scent is more likely to trigger strong memories than any of the other senses. I remember landing in Belgium when I was 18 years old and thinking that the entire country must smell of cheese! Surprising since Belgium is known for beer, chocolate and waffles above cheese. But the smell that I encountered was definitely one of dairy. I’ve been back to Belgium several times since my year abroad and that familiar smell, almost as the plane lands, is like a welcome home hug from my “other” home country.
One of the down sides of travel is the musty smell of hotel rooms and rental cars, especially if they are not designated “smoke free”. Or the flip side when rooms and cars are so overloaded with chemical fragrance that you can’t breathe fresh air through the cloud of “spring fresh” or “summer breeze”.  For situations like these I always travel with a blend called Purification. Just like it sounds, Purification helps to neutralize odors and purify the air when diffused.  In a rental car I simply sprinkle a few drops on the floor mats. In the hotel, it’s easy to freshen up the room quickly by sprinkling a few drops onto the output of the air conditioning unit and turn it on. Within a few minutes the air will smell better.

Most recently we were in Washington DC for the weekend and the hotel we were staying at didn’t have an “under the window” AC unit. The intake and output were both on the ceiling. After a quick deliberation with myself about gravity and the possibility of applying oil directly to the filter, I decided to simply put the Purification on a tissue and hang it from the grill allowing the passing air to diffuse the oil for me.

Purification blend contains lemongrass essential oil and is beneficial in both repelling  insects and treating bites and stings.  In the home, I fill a wide mist spray bottle with 20-30 drops Purification with distilled water for quick sprays in the rooms or on linens that need a little freshening.  I also put a few drops on the outflow of my vacuum cleaner filter so that I get a scent boost every time I vacuum. The clean fresh scent of Purification is pleasant to most noses.

You can find Purification in either of the Young Living kits Everyday Oils or  Essential 7 or it can be purchase à la carte. You can go to my Oils tab above for info on ordering.

I’ll be traveling again soon, back to my home state of Washington (which smells fresh and green and salty). In addition to the Purification, I’ll bring along Lavender, Peace & Calming blend, PanAway blend, peppermint and probably Frankincense. I may also bring Joy blend to use as perfume or my own perfume blend that contains jasmine, cedarwood and lemon.

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