Herbal Homekeeping with Essential Oils

Vic VioletsnRoses       More Room Fragrancing Ideas ~


* BOWL Method: 2-6 drops essential oil in 1 cup hot water; set in room until water cools.

*OIL BURNER: Follow manufacturer instructions.

*Light Bulb Ring: follow instructions on package, generally 2-3 drops essential oil on ring, place on light bulb.

*Scent a Fire: place 1 drop essential oil on each log before burning; or pine cones, to toss into fire.




For “doggy smells” in pet beds, spray with a solution of 3 drops eucalyptus oil + 2 drops rosemary oil + 2 ounces purified water.





Shoes can be freshened with a drop of Tee Tree Oil (essential oil) with a drop into he shoe, or on a cotton ball placed in the shoes.


We recommend a blend of Tea Tree and Lavender essential oils!






Scent padded hangers, neck and bed pillows with a couple of drops of essential oil on them, before using.





For Scented Linens:


Add 6 drops of essential oil in 1/2 pint water in small spray bottle, to scent sheets.


We recommend Lavender, for sweet dreams!




For Steam Inhalation & Vaporizer:


Add 2-3 drops of essential oil —


*In hot water, lean head over bowl and inhale 1-5 minutes (NOT safe for young children or asthmatics).


In vaporizer filled with water (NOT safe for young children or asthmatics).



We do hope you enjoyed reading about essential oils. I have studied aromatherapy and herbs since 1982. If you are interested in reading more similar information and herbal ideas, please sign-up to receive our  *FREE* Herbal Treasures’ E-zine!


Good Stewardship: Herbal Preservation

scntd ger      The Herb Society of America has long been dedicated to the preservation of herbs through various established programs throughout its nearly 75-year history.

The annual useful plants seed exchange offers many not readily available through traditional sources.

Recently, due to donations made by collectors:

The Salvia collection at the

New Orleans
Botanical Garden
was reestablished.

The Lavender collection lost due to disease at the National
Garden is restored.

Herbal Homekeeping: Aromatherapy – Final Part of VI

Rose Pnk       Herbal Homekeeping: Herbal Inspirations – Using Essential Oils




Scenting your laundry:

Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil in lingerie, linens, sheets and towels, or hand washed items’ final rinse water.


Sprinkle a few drops of your favorite essential oil onto a small piece of terry cloth, to toss into the dryer, while drying above loads.


We recommend using Lavender essential oil!





Refresh your potpourri scent or sachets with a few drops of a favorite essential oil!

Try a blend of favorite scents!





Scent a favorite candle, by carefully placing a drop or two into the pooled hot melted wax surrounding the wick, after lighting it.




To naturally scent a room, add a few drops of essential oil into:


* a small pan of water, to simmer on the stove

* in a potpourri simmer pot

*in an aromatherapy diffuser





Make an air freshener!


Add 6 drops of essential oil to 1/2 pint water in a small spray bottle.


We recommend a blend of oils: Lavender and
Orange, to invigorate and refresh!





Refresh your rugs and carpets!


*By sprinkling a few drops of essential oils onto a cotton ball, to place in your vacuum cleaner bag.


*By mixing in well 30 drops of favorite essential oil to a medium sized box of baking soda, sprinkle over carpet and then vacuum.

Herbal Homekeeping: Aromatherapy – Part V of VI



                                  — especially the ingredients! 

Caution Regarding Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils: Use with Great Care!                                                   

Is it an essential oil?   OR   Is it a fragrance oil?  OR — what ??!

With the growing popularity of aromatherapy products, the increasing use of essential and/or fragrance oils and matters further complicated by the fact that there are no standard regulations universally defining what an ‘essential oil’ or ‘essence’ actually is, a whole range of products may be described under these loose terms — and may  -or-  may not  have anything to do with the real thing.

Essential oils are highly concentrated, aromatic extracts and distillates from different parts of plants, with no alcohol added, thus the scent is longer lasting and stronger. All are highly volatile, evaporating easily in the open air. Quality may vary depending upon the country where the plant was grown, climate, how the plant material was collected and stored, and process utilized to extract the oil.

As an educated consumer, you must be aware of imitations! Fragrance oils (synthetic aromatic chemicals) are widely distributed and used; many people are unaware that the choices they can make already exist with pure essential oils. Here are some ways to ‘sniff out’ those imitators:

Prices of pure essential oils vary, depending upon their accessibility and method of extraction — beware if all the bottles are the same price! Imitations (ie, fragrance oils) and dilution of pure essential oils is a common practice. Synthetic scents can be manufactured at set price and rate of manufacture.

Buy small quantities from reputable suppliers you know. Look for pure essential oils packaged in full, dark glass bottles. Read the label carefully; look for the designation “pure essential oil” or “fragrance oil” and cautions “For external use only”, etc.

Buy high quality essential oil only, especially for use in personal care products — for bath and body. We stress your special attention and caution with those diluted oils, which may cause an unfavorable reaction from application or use with the combination of chemicals!

Gardening for Wildlife: Creating a Backyard Habitat

Bfly    Spring and Summer in Your Backyard


Maintaining your Backyard Wildlife Habitat throughout the year, keeps you busy in your garden, while keeping your yard attractive to wildlife, and active!



Based on the necessary provisions required to create a suitable environment attractive to wildlife, here is a checklist for maintaining your Habitat during the growing season:




Provide Food Sources:


A natural choice is to choose plants that provide natural foods such as fruits, seeds, nuts, and nectar, for backyard wildlife throughout the year. Native perennials and annuals provide nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are attracted to tubular-shaped, red flowers like bee balm, wild columbine, and native honeysuckles. Butterflies tend to prefer flat or clustered flowers, like purple coneflower, phlox, and zinnias.


Bird feeders supplement natural food provided by native plants. Special feeders provide nectar for hummingbirds during the summer, and into the fall. Every few days, change the nectar in hummingbird feeders, frequently in hot weather. Every time you refill them, Wash them thoroughly with hot soapy water and rinse completely. Pay special attention to the feeder ports, as you wash these feeders, as they can easily get black mold on them, especially in hot weather.


 A variety of seeds (such as sunflower,
niger, safflower, and millet) should be provided for other birds year-round. Feed only as much food as your birds will eat in a day. Bird seed should be kept dry. Always be sure to remove any seed or fruit that is molded or spoiled. 


It’s important to keep feeders clean, to keep avian diseases from spreading. Keep feeders clean by washing them thoroughly every few weeks, using hot water, a mild soap, and rinsing thoroughly. Allow feeders to dry before refilling.


If you provide suet, use rendered suet or heat-resilient suet blocks. Reduce amount of suet offered during the hot weather months, as heat can make it turn rancid, thus unhealthy for birds, and can also stick to their feathers.





Provide a Water Source:


Wildlife needs water for drinking, bathing, and for some species, also for reproduction. Water can be supplied in a birdbath, a small pond, a recirculating waterfall, or simply in a shallow dish. If you have a natural pond, stream, or wetland on your property, preserve or restore it as these are excellent aquatic habitats.


A small pond set into the ground provides water for drinking, bathing, cover, and breeding areas for small fish, insects, amphibians, and reptiles.


Keep a watch on your birdbaths, and be sure to keep them fresh, clean water in them. The water should be changed daily. Every few days, empty the birdbath, scrub it with water and white vinegar solution or hot soapy water, using a stiff-bristled brush, and rinse.





Provide Protective Cover:


Include some evergreen trees and shrubs in your backyard habitat, to provide protective cover from weather and predators year-round. Choices that provide food as well, include: juniper, hollies, and oaks.


Deciduous trees and shrubs offer effective summer cover for both nesting and protective cover.


Rock, log, and mulch piles offer cover. Small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and other small animals make homes in these structures.


Provide cover and a source of seeds, by leaving dead flower heads and grass stalks standing. Collect fallen branches and add to a brush pile.




Sustainable Gardening Practices ~ During the Growing Season:


By choosing native plants suited to the site conditions, little maintenance, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or additional watering will be necessary for the plants to thrive. This creates a healthy habitat for you, your family, and the wildlife your backyard habitat, while saving you money and maintenance time. Try to avoid, or at least minimize the use of chemicals; try natural and organic solutions.




Provide Places to Raise Young:


Understanding the habits of the backyard wildlife helps in providing a suitable habitat:


Evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs provide nesting areas for birds.


Dead and dying trees (“snags”) provide nesting places for owls, flying squirrels, and other cavity-nesters.


Rabbits, shrews, mice, snakes, and salamanders lay their eggs or raise young under the boughs of plants, as well as in rock, log, or mulch piles.


Nest boxes are preferred by bluebirds, chickadees, wrens, and purple martins.


Aquatic animals like frogs, toads, newts, dragonflies, and many insects, deposit their eggs in ponds, vernal pools, and wetlands.


Butterflies require “host” plants as food sources for butterflies during the larval (caterpillar) stage. Generally, butterflies lay their eggs on host plants preferred by the caterpillar.

Native Plant Conservation through Reducing Invasive Plant Spread

Dandelion      A Voluntary Code of Conduct for the Gardening Public is endorsed by the Herb Society of America, as a means of creating awareness for the impact invasive plants can have not only on our own gardens but in our regional ecosystems.

How can we as responsible gardeners and good stewards of the earth help?

Here’s how:

Determine which plant species are invasive in your area through research.

Buy only non-invasive species when you acquire plants.

Do not trade plants with other gardeners if you know they are invasive plant species.

Help promote a community awareness program for invasive plant species through botanical gardens, nurseries, other gardeners, the media.

For More Information:

Invaders Database System

Plant Conservation Alliance’s US Plant List 

Invasive Plants Threaten Our Ecosystem

Dandelion   While we’re on the subject of conservation, did you know that sometimes what we do not plant is actually better for the environment? This flies in the face of “replanting” for a greener earth, to be sure. Surprising as it may seem, plant selection – choosing non-invasive species for your garden can truly impact the world. Here’s how…


Gloria McClure, Herb Society of America Botany and Horticulture Chair in the current issue of the HSA newsletter, warns that the “promise of horticulture depends upon you and me.” Talk about a far-reaching global effect from a grassroots level! “One of the largest threats to native plants (and that includes native herbs) and their communities is invasive species. In fact their toll on the environment is second only to habitat destruction.”


What this means is that certain species of plants are invasive or have negative impact on conservation in the native ecosystems of some regions, but not all.


Learn more here:

Linking Ecology and Horticulture to Avoid Plant Invasion

Center for Plant Conservation

Earth Day

Rugosa       EARTH DAY History and Informational Resources

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  

So God created man in his own image,
       in the image of God he created him;
       male and female he created them. 

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”  

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.  

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

~ Genesis 1: 26-31

                                                             EARTH DAY 


First observed internationally on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was to amplify the necessity for conservation of the world’s natural resources. Initially held on March 21, as a student event on college campuses, Earth Day has evolved into a major educational and media event. Environmentalists point out environmental problems, and solutions which may slow and possibly reverse these situations.


Beginning in 1962, the concept of Earth Day was developing, with the encouragement of Senator Gaylord Nelson, who is credited as its founder. He attempted to persuade President Kennedy to go on a national conservation tour, which resulted in a 5-day, 11-state tour, beginning in September, 1963, and served to spark the event.


The ultimate goals of Earth Day were to draw attention to environmental issues, and to place them squarely on the nation’s political agenda. Due to grassroots level support, this day was established. First held in 1970, Earth Day helped to alert people of the dangers of pollution, increase awareness of environmental concerns, and understanding the concept of ecology, thus development of the environmental movement.


Things We All Can do to Re-Leaf the Earth:

Educate our Children

Discover and Learn –

Audubon Society

Bring Nature to Life – Guide to more than 5,500 species!

Natural History Organizations

Smithsonian Museums & Research Centers: Smithsonian Ecology and Environment

Environmental Health Concerns:

Environmental Protection Agency

National Institute ofEnvironmental Health Sciences

Help Keep Our Earth Green – Plant!

“How tos” of Gardening for Wildlife in Your Backyard!

More Gardening Adventures with Children

Help Keep the Earth Green – Get Involved!

National Arbor Day Foundation

National Wildlife Foundation

Have fun – Enjoy the Earth’s Splendors and Add to Them!

National Park Service

Visit Seussville – Help the Lorax save the Trees!

Adopt a Rainforest Animal – for your website – an eco-wise gift!

Herbal Homekeeping: Aromatherapy – Part IV of VI

Rose Pnk   Important PRECAUTIONS & Considerations When Using Essential Oils 

Because essential oils are highly concentrated, they must be treated with respect. It is important to be knowledgeable about them and their properties.


Note the label warning and cautions.


Most applications require only drops, NOT ounces.


Keep oils tightly closed in dark glass bottles; store in cool, dry, dark locations, out of reach of children; and NEVER ingest.


Always skin test before using: dilute a small amount and apply to skin on arm. Do NOT use if redness or irritation occurs. If at any time redness, burning or itching occur, stop using oils immediately.


Do NOT use undiluted (“straight” or “neat”) on the skin — first dilute with vegetable oil, sweet almond oil, or grapeseed oil.


Avoid eyes and mucous membranes when using essential oils.


These oils may be irritating to the skin: allspice, bitter almond, cinnamon bark, cinnamon leaf, clove bud, sweet fennel, fir needle, lemon Melissa, peppermint, tea tree and wintergreen.


These oils make the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet light ~ do NOT go out in the sun with these on your skin: angelica, and ALL citrus oils.


These oils should NOT be used by anyone with epilepsy: hyssop, sage, sweet fennel, and rosemary.


These oils should NOT be used by anyone with high blood pressure: hyssop, rosemary, sage, and thyme.


REMEMBER: Aromatherapuetic applications require pure, high quality essential oils — in selecting, it is important to consider:


   *100% pure and natural             *extraction method and plant part used to produce

   *country of origin                       *company reputation providing the oils

   *growing season


Do NOT self-diagnose ailments! To treat serious or complicated disorders, seek advice and guidance from a qualified aromatherapist or health practitioner.



In the next post, additional cautionary information will be pointed out to help you use and enjoy essential oils safely.

Herbal Homekeeping: Aromatherapy – Part III of VI

Rose Pnk     Be Careful with Essential Oils


 It should be noted that not all essential oils are beneficial to health — some are dangerous to use. Some are skin irritants, neurotoxic, phototoxic, can cause cancer, are abortive, or not to be used on children or during pregnancy. Before using, it is important to study further about essential oils and their properties.


Prior to using essential oils, be aware of any sensitivity. Never use them on or near the eyes, avoid mucous membranes or taken by mouth. Always skin test first (diluting a small amount with vegetable, sweet almond or grapeseed oil), and apply to skin on arm. Do NOT use if redness or irritation occurs. If at any time, redness, burning or itching occur, stop using the oil immediately. Some oils are irritating to the skin, some make skin sensitive to ultraviolet light, some should be avoided by those with epilepsy and high blood pressure — please be sure to read Essential Oils Precautions.


Because essential oils are highly concentrated, they must be treated with respect. It is important to be knowledgeable about them and their properties.


We recommend reading more about this fascinating subject and/or consulting a trusted aromatherapist to assist you, if you are interested in exploring aromatherapy.



Tomorrow we will cover: Important PRECAUTIONS & Considerations When Using Essential Oils.

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