Tag Archives: Essential Oils


Using Essential Oils for Kids Going Back to School

By Susan Hilton RN, MSN & Certified Aromatherapist

The summer of 2017 is almost over and school will be starting for most kids in the coming weeks.  I’d like to show parents how to incorporate therapeutic essential oils to the routines you will be creating for your children when school starts back. I’m going to be discussing four routines that will be helpful to get your children off to a good start.

BacktoSchoolCreating a calm environment is the first routine. Going back to school can be challenging for many parents and children. To ease the transition, about a week before the first day of school, start their bedtime routine about 10 minutes earlier each night and wake them up 10 minutes earlier each morning, every day, until they’re back on track. Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) essential oil is probably the best oil for all ages. It is safe to use without a carrier oil and can be diffused or applied topically. A calming bath with Himalayan or sea salts and 4-5 drops of lavender oil can promote a restful transition for going to bed. If needed, lavender can also be applied to the bottom of your child’s feet or a couple of drops diffused in their room for a few hours. Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) is another safe essential oil for bedtime.

studychildPreparing for the day is the second routine. Getting up early after a summer of sleeping late is a hard habit to get used to. Transitioning everyone’s routine as I talked about earlier can help. However, the early morning has its own issues. Diffusing peppermint (Mentha piperita) and orange (Citrus sinensis) or lemon (Citrus limon) in the bathroom or kitchen table is a good way to help everyone wake up and be ready for the day. Peppermint is stimulating and citrus oils are uplifting.

Boosting your child’s immunity (and your own) is the third routine. Children love to share everything including viruses, bacteria, and sometimes even bugs. Using any citrus essential oil will help to boost immunity. However, sometimes we need more potent essential oils to prevent illness and promote healing. One blend that is safe for all ages is Get Well Kiddo. Its ingredients are cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana), lemon (Citrus limon), ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis 1, 8 cineole). All these ingredients have the ability to fight off viruses and bacteria. Ravintsara and rosemary also relieve stuffy noses. Cedarwood helps to relax the body and mind.

For kids aged 10 and older, the blend called Defend can be used. Its ingredients are cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), clove (Szygium aromaticum), Eucalyptus radiata, lemon and rosemary. These oils fight off viruses and bacteria, open sinuses and relieve stuffy noses, and boost immunity. Get Well Kiddo and Defend can be rubbed on the bottom of your child’s feet or diffused. Parents can use them, too.

Head lice is another issue for some children returning to school. Again, kids share everything, including combs and hats. Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil is the main essential oil for this problem. Tea tree oil can not only prevent lice, but it can also kill the eggs. A drop can be massaged into the hair before school. It can be added to water in a spray bottle and sprayed on the hair before and after school. You can use a drop in shampoo. It can also be used to spray beds and other furniture and carpet.

The fourth and final routine is improving concentration and focus. Some children find it difficult to get in the habit of focusing on studies and homework. Spearmint (Mentha spicata), peppermint, cardamom (Eletteria cardamomum), and rosemary are some oils that are known to stimulate the mind, strengthen memory, and enhance concentration. A blend of these oils in a carrier oil can be used in a roller bottle. The child can take this to school and use when needed.

The Nature Cottage has a kit with the oils that were discussed. Contact Susan to get yours before school starts. You can call 336-843-4297 or email at info@thenaturecottage.com. The Nature Cottage is located at 21 S. Main St. in Lexington.



How To Get Started With Essential Oils – Business Spotlight

By Susan Hilton MSN, RN & Certified Aromatherapist

Essential oils are becoming extremely popular worldwide, but what in the world are they? In short, essential oils are concentrated, liquid plant extracts used for therapeutic and medicinal purposes. They are called “essential” because they contain the essence of a plant, including its aroma and health properties. Since essential oils can be taken from virtually all plants, essential oils come from various sources, including flowers, grasses, fruits, roots, trees, and leaves.

Have you ever thought about using essential oils? Every day, more people are turning to a holistic approach to life. We’re just not satisfied with the ordinary level of care or pat answers anymore. For those of you searching and embarking on a quest to learn more about pure essential oils and how to incorporate them in your everyday life, this article is for you!

essential-oilsThere’s nothing new about the medicinal use of plants. Our ancestors have used plants, seeds, wood, and resins from nature to care for themselves and their families since the beginning of time. Happily, in more modern times we don’t have to forage in the forest anymore because we’re blessed with the convenience of a little glass bottle brimming with pure, healing essential oils. Essential oils are not a cure-all, but you’ll be surprised at just how many issues can be taken care of with high quality, pure essential oils.

From cooking and cleaning to pet care and home remedies, essential oils provide many alternatives to harsh chemical products, allowing you to create the healthy environment your family deserves. They can be used in homemade skincare, bath, and body products to help you radiate beauty naturally. Essential oils also have the unique ability to help relax the body, mind, and spirit, thereby making your life feel more balanced and at peace. Use the right oil, and it can also boost your energy, supplement your diet, or help manage your weight. Essential oils are 50 – 75% more powerful than the herb or plant themselves, so a little goes a long way.

Many people start using essential oils after purchasing a diffuser. Who doesn’t love a fragrant home? When you learn that you can scent your home with something organic and purify the air we breathe or help another health issue, you’re on your way to using essential oils. If you do nothing but diffuse, you can improve your health and your environment.

spavapor2-0To get started, I recommend a short list of essential oils that are the most versatile. They are the oils in The Nature Cottage’s Starter Kit: Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint, and Tea Tree.  Once you start using oils every day and enjoy the benefits of how they make you feel, you’ll soon wonder how you ever got through a day without them. Adding more oils to your natural health kit can quickly become a new obsession.

Did you know that essential oils only stay in your system for about 24 hours? Once they have “done” what they need to do, the body eliminates them. Essential oils are miniscule in molecular size, which means they are absorbed well by the skin – making them perfect ingredients in personal care items intended to heal, soften, and nourish.

Not all oils are created equal though. Just like the food you eat, the oils you use should be as pure and free from extra “stuff” as possible.  If there is an ingredient included other than the essential oil, it is not pure. At The Nature Cottage we only use 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils and they are also certified organic. We also have an RN and certified aromatherapist who can guide you in your desire to start using essential oils. Buying a few good essential oils can save you a lot of time and money, plus they can help you avoid the use of chemicals and other unsavory ingredients in your home and with your family.

Let us help you begin or continue this journey at The Nature Cottage. We’re located at 208 E. Center St in Lexington.




Stay Cool With Essential Oils

By Susan Hilton RN MSN, Certified Aromatherapist

It’s summer! The temperature, humidity, and dew point are rising. Some of us have already had some summer temps and probably turned the air conditioner on to keep cool.

The summer can get hot – really hot. As you sit there, sweating and wishing you could get cool – or maybe you’re out and about for the day with no time to relax in your temperature controlled home – it can feel like there’s no relief to be found. There’s no way of hiding from the extreme heat that promises to remain for another few months. But with the right essential oils, you can fight the hot and humid temperatures and keep cool all summer.

Cooling Essential Oils
Essential oils belonging to the mint family, especially those with higher percentages of menthol like Peppermint oil will help make the body feel cooler. Spearmint is another oil to keep you cool. Eucalyptus oil works well, too.
I’ll spare the chemistry lesson, but menthol apparently has the ability to trick receptors in the brain into thinking that the body is cooler than it really is, most particularly the part of the body that is in contact with the menthol. The Eucalyptol in Eucalyptus oil acts similarly.

Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil contains a significant amount of menthol. Besides its cooling sensation, menthol is known to help relax and ease tension headaches and muscular aches and pains. Peppermint oil is quite stimulating and may interfere with sleeping.

Spearmint Essential Oil
Although Peppermint oil contains significantly more menthol, I personally prefer the aroma of Spearmint essential oil. I can substitute Spearmint essential oil for some or all Peppermint essential oil in a blend for a more gentle and fruity aroma.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil acts as a nice alternative or complement to Peppermint and Spearmint oils in cooling blends. In addition to its ability to provide a cooling sensation, Eucalyptus radiata essential oil contains a significant quantity of the oxide 1, 8-Cineole. 1, 8-Cineole is said to act as both an anti-inflammatory as well as an expectorant. People with respiratory disease should be cautious in using Eucalyptus and children under the age of 10 should not use it at all.

A hydrosol is the aromatic water that remains after producing an essential oil by steam distillation. It contains about 3-15% of the essential oil. Some plants can also be distilled for the resulting hydrosol instead of the hydrosol being simply a byproduct of the distillation.

Hydrosols are gently aromatic and soothing. They are a wonderful addition to room mists and body sprays intended to help keep you cool and refreshed. Unlike essential oils that should be diluted prior to application to the skin, hydrosols are water soluble, are much gentler than their essential oil counterparts, and can be used directly on the skin without further dilution.

Some of my personal hydrosol favorites for use in cooling and summertime products are Lavender Hydrosol and Peppermint Hydrosol. Keeping them in the refrigerator adds to the coolness of the hydrosol. You can also take these in a cooler if you are doing an outside event. Speaking of Peppermint Hydrosol, ladies, it can stop a hot flash immediately!

The Nature Cottage carries all of these essential oils and hydrosols to keep you cool. Come by and talk with Susan Hilton, an RN and Certified Aromatherapist about how to keep cool and refreshed this summer. The Nature Cottage is located at 208 E. Center St in Lexington. You can also call us at 336-843-4297.


Sniff Sniff: Inhaling Essential Oils for Their Benefits

Using Essential Oils Through Smelling Them – Is this the best method to use?

By Susan Hilton, RN MSN, Certified Aromatherapist

I’ve just completed the requirements to become certified as an aromatherapist. This was a very involved and challenging course and I am so excited to be finished and certified. I’m also a registered nurse, so I really have two ways to look at using essential oils. First is the traditional way to look at health and wellness through the eyes of a RN, and second is to look through the eyes of a certified aromatherapist. I wrote my research paper on using the inhalation (smelling) method as the best way to get the oil into the body. Using the inhalation method allows 96% of the oil to enter the body through the limbic system.

Olfaction is the medical term for smelling. It is, of course, one of our five senses. All the senses are important, but the sense of smell is something special. When an aroma is “smelled” it is really small molecules naked to the eye that we are sensing. These invisible molecules are sniffed into the nose and come in contact with the olfaction membrane. This sticky member is covered with millions of nerve receptors. When the aroma molecule is captured by the olfaction membrane and a receptor site for the scent molecule is found, an instantaneous message is sent into the limbic system within the brain. This system is comprised of many parts of the brain. The limbic system deals with our emotions and long term memory. It is under unconscious control. The messages that the thalamus, one of the areas in the limbic system, sends to the cerebral cortex is what causes the brain to take action — to create a memory — of the aroma.

There are many ways to inhale these tiny, invisible molecules in essential oils. The simplest way is to open the bottle, bring it up to your nose and sniff the aroma. Some people may want to put a drop in their hand, or on a cotton ball or tissue, and sniff the oil that way. Still others may boil water to infuse the essential oils in steam. Nasal inhalers are another method of inhalation. Single essential oils or a blend of oils can be placed on a cotton wick and inserted in a plastic or aluminum nasal inhaler for you to smell.

A diffuser is a cool mist machine used to diffuse the oils into the air. Most are electric, but a few can run on batteries. There is a wide variety of diffusers available. Diffusers range in price from $25 to $500, so customers have a many options to choose from. Most diffusers use water in a reservoir where the user drops the essential oils. Put the cover back on, turn on the machine, and the mist starts diffusing into the air. Room size will need to be considered when determining the amount of essential oils to use, especially if the aroma is important to you. However, even if you don’t smell the aroma, the therapeutic properties of the oil(s) will still be getting into the air and into your nose. Remember when using this method that other people and animals in your home need to be considered.

There are many benefits to inhaling essential oils. First, these very small molecules are absorbed into our lungs quickly. That allows them to work on respiratory issues such as colds, flu, congestion, and environmental concerns. Second, the nose, eyes, ears, and skin are considered the “first line of defense” of the body. They are openings into the body where bacteria, viruses, and fungi can get inside us. Inhaling essential oils can help to prevent infections coming into the body through the nose. Third, when inhaled, essential oil molecules can cross into the blood stream from the lungs. This is how essential oils can be delivered to the whole body — through the blood. Last, because the oils can get into our body through the lungs, they work on the central nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord where sensory impulses are transmitted and where motor impulses go out to coordinates the activity of the entire nervous system.

There are some general guidelines you should follow when considering which essential oils to inhale. First, check each essential oil to make sure it is suitable to inhale. You should also check the safety information about inhaling certain oils, especially when considering their use by children or the elderly. Some essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary and clove have specific safety issues. Wherever you purchase your essential oils they should come with this safety information.

The amount of essential oil diffused should also be considered. Remember, less is more when it comes to essential oils. They are very powerful because they are so concentrated. Anyone in the room will be affected by the essential oil and its therapeutic properties. Remember carefully to consider the safety of children, the elderly, those with compromised systems due to disease, and women who may be pregnant. You also need to consider your four legged friends. Know that pets will also be affected and never leave a diffuser on when you leave the house if your pets cannot leave the room where the diffuser is located.

If for no other reason than knowing that 96% of essential oils enter your body when inhaled, I am confident that this method is the best to way for you to enjoy their benefits to the fullest. Come by The Nature Cottage to learn more.