Summer Sampler of Perma-progress

July 26th, 2016 by Lukah

Namaste Y’all,

So here is a quick update on what has been going on out here that the Gritstead! I want to give a special thanks to Priscila and Eliott for hanging with me and putting their divine energy into the permaculture design project out here.  I am fortunate to have met you all at the permaculture institute in 2015 and I look forward to our next rendezvous:)

Thank you Eliott, my French connection, for helping me finish the zone 1 phase of land prep/chop and drop( we were fruit smoothie fueled machines!:)


We were able to make enough space to have over 30 trees planted for the new zone 1 food forest.  Will have update soon with more details on the food forest plantings and growth.

Also had much success and fun teaming up with the one-in-a-zillion lady-Brazilian!


Priscila showing off the turkey tail logs first fruits! She helped me inoculate many logs when we first started working with mushrooms last year.  I hope you have fun and success continuing your mycology journey in Brazil:)

Here is a close-up of a beautiful young turkey tail forming a fruit…


The bio-char unit has successfully pumped out more batches to help fortify/build the land and beds.  It is also a great addition to the compost- check it out….


Fill and prep the biochar unit and bring the Bazilian heat, check!


Watch the flame with amazement like I have never seen fire before, check…


show off perma-culture style black gold, check:)

Sometimes instead of chopping and dropping there is trimming and repurposing!… like moving a lot of native yucca for bed space and using it to make a new living border/wall….




There is also a baby dragon citrus fruit tree in there that was planted as part of the food forest build out:)

Sometimes trying to make the world a cleaner place for yourself and others involves….


watching Eliott…


and Priscila…


make awesome soap with coconut oil, olive oil and essential oil blends (while I tap into my inner Tom Sawyer;)

Thanks again for everything guys!

All work was done with the official Gritman oversight committee deciding WHO does what=P


And information may be shared freely using the world wide WEB


stay tuned for a post detailing the food forest plant out as the surrounding land is properly covered/layered and more…

Scientific Names & Why They Are Important

July 13th, 2016 by Natalie

Every animal species and every plant species has its own scientific name. Scientists have assigned these names to avoid confusion when talking about plants and animals. This process of assigning scientific names is called taxonomy which was developed by a Swedish scientist named Carolus  Linnaeus.


The first part of a scientific name is the genus of the plant, and the second part is the species of the plant.

Example: Lavandula (genus) angustifolia (species). This is one of the scientific names for lavender. 

The first part of the name groups the plants by it’s botanical features. Such as flower type and leaf arrangement. The second part of the name is based on habitat or distinguishing characteristics. Sometimes a third name is added if there is a difference within the species.

scientific name example

So why is this important? There are many reasons why this is important. If you are wanting to buy lavender essential oil and you walked into a store and just asked for lavender, they are just going to hand you a bottle of whatever they have. But, there are differences in lavender. And to know these differences, you need the scientific name. The scientific name provides you with all the information about the plant and how it was cultivated.

Lavandula angustifolia which can be from Mediterranean, Bulgaria, and English lavenders.

Lavandula x intermedia (these are english hybrid lavenders, also called Lavandin)

There is actually around 70 species of lavender! Not all are used to make essential oils though.


The same can go for Chamomile. There is Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla). Also with eucalyptus oils. And each of those also have several scientific names. The scientific names tell us what genus and species the plant is, the area the plant was grown, therapeutic properties, and chemical composition which is very important because some essential oils have certain natural chemicals in it that are not safe for children or pregnant women.


If you order the Gritman Guide, there is a chart in the back which lists the scientific names and the common names next to it, as well as listing the common names and then the scientific names so you can study it and become familiar with using scientific names when talking about essential oils.




What Can You Do With An Aromatherapy Certification?

June 7th, 2016 by Natalie

Before signing up for classes, many people wonder what exactly can you do with an aromatherapy certification. What kind of jobs can you apply for? Can you open your own business? What school should I choose? When it comes to choosing a school, that is a very personal choice of the consumer. What is important to you for your education? Do you learn better online at your own pace, or do you learn better in person? Do you want to be challenged into doing all the research for your questions? Do you work well under deadlines? These are all things to take into consideration when looking at schools.



So what kind of jobs can you get once you complete your certification courses?


There are many different options to choose from when applying for a job. It might be hard, but it is not impossible. Here are a few things that you can look for in your area:

  • Hospice/Palliative Care
  • Aromatherapy Educator/Teacher
  • Consultant for spas
  • Business Owner
  • Author
  • Public Speaker
  • Aromatherapy Consultant
  • Design your own products
  • Work in an alternative medicine clinic
  • Custom blending for your clients
  • and many more!

Many people continue on with their education and pursue their massage therapy license so that they can incorporate the essential oils into their massage therapy work. Currently, aromatherapy is an unregulated and unlicensed field of practice, but that can always change. So it is a good idea to check with your state laws where you live to see if there are any rules or regulations where you are if you are wanting to make and sell products, or start a private practice.

Fixing the Earth in the sign of Fixed Earth- “Bio Char”

May 2nd, 2016 by Lukah

Shalom Namaste and Greetings,

Here is another update on the latest happenings for the permaculture build out and Gritman Garden loving.  The focus of this post is to share an ongoing project making and using “bio-char.”  It is very exciting to be working on this and using this rich organic matter to provide the energy that will help support the new life that is growing all over the land.  There is an update coming soon on the mushroom progress- as beds are being prepared for the logs (in between the rainy days) and I hope to have an update to show the new trees, vegetables and herbs that are enjoying their new home.  Several trees with their companions are already in as well as new beds with a variety of new plants (okra, squash, cucumber, herbs, and more)- but there is still more work to finish on that end.

The Bio-char that is being made will definitely benefit all of the plants growing around the land- Meg’s Magical Garden (where many beautiful macerations come from)- the new forest of trees being planted and of course the new sustainable beds.  Here is some great info from the International Biochar Initiative



Biochar Is a Valuable Soil Amendment

This 2,000 year-old practice converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancer that can hold carbon, boost food security, and increase soil biodiversity, and discourage deforestation. The process creates a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that helps soils retain nutrients and water.

Biochar is found in soils around the world as a result of vegetation fires and historic soil management practices. Intensive study of biochar-rich dark earths in the Amazon (terra preta), has led to a wider appreciation of biochar’s unique properties as a soil enhancer.

Biochar can be an important tool to increase food security and cropland diversity in areas with severely depleted soils, scarce organic resources, and inadequate water and chemical fertilizer supplies.

Biochar also improves water quality and quantity by increasing soil retention of nutrients and agrochemicals for plant and crop utilization. More nutrients stay in the soil instead of leaching into groundwater and causing pollution.

Biochar is a Powerfully Simple Tool to Combat Climate Change

The carbon in biochar resists degradation and can hold carbon in soils for hundreds to thousands of years. Biochar is produced through pyrolysis or gasification — processes that heat biomass in the absence (or under reduction) of oxygen.

In addition to creating a soil enhancer, sustainable biochar practices can produce oil and gas byproducts that can be used as fuel, providing clean, renewable energy. When the biochar is buried in the ground as a soil enhancer, the system can become “carbon negative.”

Biochar and bioenergy co-production can help combat global climate change by displacing fossil fuel use and by sequestering carbon in stable soil carbon pools. It may also reduce emissions of nitrous oxide.

We can use this simple, yet powerful, technology to reduce carbon emissions. Learn more at

And now what you have been waiting for….pics of the process =D

Lou preparing the chamber

Lou preparing the chamber

Lou making final adjustments to the chimney flute

Lou making final adjustments to the chimney flute

when burning things in a drum....remove the rubber seal first=P

when burning things in a drum….remove the rubber seal first=P

The South American Taurus vibes- to bring that "terra petra" dynamic!

Beautiful South American Taurus vibes- to bring that “terra petra” dynamic!

Taylor planted a seed for this project a while ago- so only fitting he lights the celebratory fire:)

Taylor planted a seed for this project a while ago- so only fitting he lights the celebratory fire:)

small sample of the wood after how do we crush it?...

small sample of the wood after process…now how do we crush it?…

Taylor putting his sole in it;)

Taylor putting his sole in it;)

More sole fixing the earth, from the Venus Taurus herself:)

More sole fixing the earth, from the Venus Taurus herself:)

Hey look, I have sole too!

Hey look, I have sole too!

another onlooker no intention to help... lazy lizard!

another onlooker no intention to help… lazy lizard!

what do you think of our new friend the skink?

what do you think of our new friend the skink?

Thank you to all that were a part of this awesome and exciting process! Especially, Lou, Taylor, Brody and Priscila.  Although this is just the beginning, we are off to a wonderful start.  As the rain dissipates we have plenty of wood around the land to carbon sequester and continue adding beautiful layers to the improving rhizosphere.  Thank you to the Gritman family and friends for your continued support and interest- I look forward to the next update in the not too distant future=)




Chakras & Aromatherapy

April 13th, 2016 by Natalie

I have always enjoyed learning and teaching myself about the chakra system and how they play such an important role in our journey of life. I get asked pretty frequently about how to incorporate aromatherapy into chakra balancing or clearing chakra blockages so I figured I would spend some time today going over this topic a bit.

So if you haven’t worked with energy before, you might be asking yourself “What is all this chakra stuff?”. Chakras are energy, and energy is life. The chakras is where universal energy flows, it comes up from the earth and passes through our energy field at each chakra point. It doesn’t move in a straight line though, it is cyclic.


Author David Pond explains how the chakras correlate to our life journey with this simple explanation: “Picture the spine as an elevator shaft and the chakras as the various floors from which we can experience life. When you rise from one floor of consciousness to another, your perceptive expands. Or imagine the chakras as seven floors of a building. When you are on the bottom floor and looking out the window, the view is significantly different from the view through each of the other floors. With each successive elevation, one’s view becomes successively more expansive.”

When you are working with the chakras, you want them to be balanced. Any un-balance can cause unwanted situations and trigger issues related with that chakra.



There are seven main chakras that fall along different areas of the body. We are going to start at the bottom with the first chakra and work our way up and I will explain each one and which essential oils you can use to help balance these chakras.

Muladhara root chakra

  1. The Root Chakra (Muladhara)
    Color: Red
    Location: The base of the tailbone.
    – The Root Chakra is the first one, located at the base of the tailbone and opens downward. This chakra is associated with the element of Earth and the basis of life. This chakra focuses on “grounding” or “rooting” which represents stability and security, and being at one with life and ourselves. When you start working with your chakra system, this is where you will start. You cannot balance any other chakras without balancing the ones that come before it.
    Essential oils that can be used to help balance the Root Chakra are: Citronella, Eucalyptus 80/85, Dalmation sage, Spanish Sage, Summer Savory, White Thyme, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Patchouli, and Myrrh.


  2. The Sacral Chakra (Svadisthana)
    Color: Orange
    Location: Upper part of the sacrum below the navel.
    – The Sacral Chakra is the second chakra and corresponds to the element of Water and is associated with sexual energy, or “prana”. It is also associated with creativity, enthusiasm, friendships/relationships, and feelings of joy. When the Sacral Chakra is not in balance, we can have feelings of anger, jealousy, overprotectiveness, and just an inability to feel love. Essential oils that can be used to balance the Sacral Chakra are: Damiana, Davana, Laurel Berry, Mentha Citrata, Dalmation Sage, Summer Savory, Black Spruce, Hemlock Spruce, Tea Tree, White Thyme, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, and Champaca.

    Manipura solar plexus chakra

  3. The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
    Color: Yellow
    Location: Between the navel and the bottom of the sternum.
    – The Solar Plexus Chakra is the third in the chakra system is yellow which symbolizes the Sun, but it is also associated with the element of Fire. The Solar Plexus is the location where we hold our power, expansiveness, and growth. When this chakra is out of balance, you can be experiencing feelings of sadness, disgust, fear, jealousy, anxiety, stress, and being opinionated. Essential oils that can be used to help balance the Solar Plexus Chakra are: Clary Sage, Juniper, Geranium, Galbanum, Lemongrass, Bigarde Petitgrain, Pine, Cineole Rosemary, Dalmation Sage, Summer Savory, Spikenard, Black Spruce, White Thyme, and Vetiver.

    anahata heart chakra

  4. The Heart Chakra (Anahata)
    Color: Green
    Location: At the center of the chest on the sternum.
    – The Heart Chakra is the fourth chakra and represents love, passion, compassion, empathy, and devotion. But not just love as in loving another person, or loving your children. It represents the love of all things. The Heart Chakra is symbolized by the element of Air. When this chakra is out of balance, we can experience anxiety, hatefulness, a feeling of longing, arrogance, incompetence, discrimination, and a defiant attitude. The Heart Chakra is considered at the middle of the chakra system and often called the gateway to conciousness, because once you have balanced chakras 1-4, the following chakras 5-7 are more of the spiritual enlightenment aspect. You can use essential oils to balance the Heart Chakra such as Rose, Melissa, Neroli, Ginger, Goldenrod, Guaiacwood, Helichrysum, Hyssop, Linaloe, Litsea Cubeba, Lovage, Palmarosa, Cineole Rosemary, Rosewood, Spikenard, and Wintergreen.

    2000px-Vishuddhi_blue.svg throat chakra

  5. The Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
    Color: Turquoise
    Location: Between the collar bone and larynx in the neck.
    – The Throat Chakra is the fifth chakra and it is associated with the element ether/akasha. Vishuddha means “to purify” and the lotus has 16 petals which are linked to each of the Sanskrit vowels, mantra, or a musical tone. The Throat Chakra is like a bridge from the heart where we start to raise our conciousness. It takes us from the physical aspect, to the spiritual aspect. This chakra represents our voice of goodness and speaking kind words, having fluent thoughts, feeling independent and secure in our life journey and our choices or decisions. When the Throat Chakra is not balanced, we can be speaking hurtful words, or we speak bitterly with the intention to hurt or break down others including ourselves. Essential oils that can be used to help balance this chakra are Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Allspice Berry, Erigeron, Marigold Absolute, Patchouli, Sandalwood, and Tea Tree.


  6. The Third Eye/Brow Chakra (Ajna)
    Color: Deep Blue or White
    Location: The center of the brow.
    – The Third Eye Chakra is also known as the Brow Chakra. Either name is fine to use. This chakra is represented by 2 petals which stand for the two aspects of prana that meet here. It represents the element of Ether. When the Third Eye Chakra is balanced, you are able to step beyond the physical mind of desires and enter realms of knowledge and wisdom. When this chakra is not balanced or blocked, you will tend to use your own powers or insight for negative things and spiritual arrogance. You mistaken information gathered with knowledge received or gained from insight. The Third Eye Chakra is used for intuition, deep meditations, and emotional clarity. Essential oils to assist in opening or balancing this chakra are Frankincense, Holy Basil, Peppermint, Spanish Sage, Tangerine, and Ylang-Ylang #2.

    crown chakra sahasrara

  7. The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
    Color: Violet
    Location: Top of the head.
    – The Crown Chakra is the last of the seven chakras. This chakra represents meditation, universal consciousness, being, and unity through transcendental consciousness. This is the place of pure consciousness and the balance of duality within us. It is hard to describe the Crown Chakra on a personal level because it is something that one must experience themselves to understand. It is a feeling of being completely one hundred percent at peace with all that is. When it is out of balance, many people often experience constant headaches which can mean you have an overactive mind, or your thoughts are so burdened with worry or obsession. You can use essential oils to help calm your mind and to balance or open the crown chakra. Essential oils you would want to use are White Thyme, Ylang-Ylang, Rosewood, Lime, Pink Lotus, White Lotus, or Blue Lotus.


When working with the chakra system and achieving balance or if you are wanting to open the chakras, it is important to prepare yourself and come up with your own rituals or ceremonies for this process. This gives intention for your actions and when you are wanting/needing to do energy work, these small phsyical actions will help calm your mind and prepare yourself in focusing on what you are wanting to do. Here are some examples that you can try out…

  • Smudging before meditation.
  • Washing your hands with cold water before and after your session.
  • Belly breathing through meditations.
  • 4 Part Breathing (breathe in for 10 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds, breathe out for 10 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds)
  • Check chakra flow using a pendulum or doing an aura check.
  • Color channeling to each chakra.
  • Using sound therapy such as tibetan singing bowls.
  • Using crystals that are associated with each chakra.
  • Reiki

Essential Oils & Grief

April 11th, 2016 by Natalie

Grief is a process that eventually everybody goes through for various reasons. Loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of a beloved pet… The processing of grief is very important for ones emotional well being, and also their physical well being. Many people turn to their family and friends for support and comforting during this time, sadly others turn to drugs or alcohol or other vices to help numb the pain away. But with grief, as much as we want to make the pain disappear, you just can’t. You end up riding the waves and doing the best you can while processing and working through the emotions you are having. Anger, sadness, loneliness, agitation, insomnia, nightmares, etc… these can all be part of the grieving. And grieving has no time frame. For some people it can take a few weeks, for others it can take several years. However long it takes, just know that you are not alone. You will get through this.

It is important to take care of your physical body at this time making sure you are eating properly and staying hydrated and nourishing your body with what it needs. But it is also just as important to nourish your emotional and spiritual mind too. Using aromatherapy can be very beneficial to the grieving process. Essential oils can help you through the emotions of anger, resentment, sadness, and many others. They can be used in bath therapy, meditation, massage, diffusing, or personal inhalers.

  • ACCEPTANCE: Egyptian Anise Seed, Helichrysum, Yellow Lemon, Orange, Hemlock Spruce.
  • ANGER: Allspice Berry, Peru Balsam, Cajeput, Cassia Bark, Blue Chamomile, Davana, Dill Weed, Ginger, Melissa Blend, Red Mandarin, Rosemary, White Thyme.
  • COMFORT: Lavenders, Sandalwood, Canadian Balsam, Rosemary, Rose
  • DEATH: Cade, Storax, Valerian Root
  • DEPRESSION: Allspice Berry, Himalayan Cedarwood, Wild Chamomile, Bergamot, Patchouli, Bigarde Petitgrain, Rose Absolute, Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Tea Tree, Red Thyme
  • EASE OF EMOTIONS: Chaste Tree, Green Lemon, Lemongrass, Indian Lemongrass, Patchouli, Bigarde Petitgrain
  • FORGIVENESS: Bay, Cade, Frankincense, Ginger, Winter Savory, Blue Tansy
  • GUILT: Cade, Cajeput
  • HEALING PROCESS: Cardamon Seed, Labdanum, Black Pepper
  • LONELINESS: Sweet Basil, Patchouli, Wormwood (under supervision)
  • LOSS: Anise Seed, Bay, White Birch, Maile Fern, Rosewood, Clary Sage, Wintergreen
  • PEACE: Copaiba Balsam, Benzoin Absolute, Roman Chamomile, Cistus, Galbanum, Garlic, Labdanum, Northwest Lavender, Spike Lavender, Neroli, Bitter Orange, Oregano, Parsley, Winter Savory, Blue Tansy, Valerian Root
  • PROCESSING EMOTIONS: Anise Seed, Hops, Turkish Pennyroyal
  • RESENTMENT: Ginger, Onion, Peppermint
  • SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE: Tolu Balsam, Mugwort, Olibanum (Frankincense), Onion, Sweet Orange, Red Mandarin, Winter Savory, Spearmint
  • STRESS: Blue Egyptian Chamomile, Cypress, Cypriol, Davana, Dill Weed, Elemi, Gingergrass, Goldenrod, Turkish Hyssop, Northwest Lavender, Neroli, Nutmeg, Bergamot, Bitter Orange, Summer Savory, St.Johns Wort, White thyme, Ylang Ylang #2, Ylang Ylang #3
  • STRUGGLE: Ajowan, Canadian Balsam, Champaca, Guaiacwood, Lavandin, Niaouli
  • TRAUMA: Star Anise, Cajeput, Thuja Cedar Leaf, Atlas Cedarwood, Clove Bud, Garlic, Sweet Marjoram, Bigarde Petitgrain, Pine, White Pine, Tangerine, Vetiver, Wormwood, Yarrow
  • WORRY: Copaiba Balsam, Goldenrod, Black & Red Henna, Turkish Hyssop

There’s How Many Lavenders?

March 29th, 2016 by Natalie

Lavender…. A very popular and well-known word amongst the majority of people. You can buy lavender lotions, bubble baths, epsom salts, pillows….. There is an endless supply of merchandise that has lavender in it. But, did you know, there are different types of lavender essential oil? And each one is a bit chemically different than the other.


So let’s take a look at the different lavender essential oils that Gritman carries currently.

That’s quite a few different lavenders isn’t it? Well no worries! I am here to explain the differences to you so you can make the best choice for whatever you need it for.

So let’s start off with Spike Lavender, what do we know about it? Spike Lavender (Lavandin latifolia) is also called Aspic or Broad-Leaved Lavender. It comes from the Lamiaceae (mint) family of plants and is indigenous to France & Spain. Spike Lavender has more of a harsher scent than the other lavenders. This is not the lavender you would want to use for calming properties as it is actually does quite the opposite and can be stimulating. Spike Lavender has a higher 1,8-cineole count which makes it a suitable essential oil to use for coughs and congestion. Spike Lavender is not recommended to use during pregnancy.

Next, we move on to Bulgarian Lavender. Bulgarian Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia, L. officinalis) also is from the Lamiaceae (mint) plant family and is indigenous to the Meditterranean. This specific lavender has a more spicier scent than other lavenders and is a good choice if you are trying to find a good median among the other lavenders. Overall, Bulgarian Lavender is an all-around good lavender. Since Bulgarian Lavender is distilled at a higher altitude than the former Spike Lavender, it has been distilled at a few degrees lower so the distillation process takes a bit longer. When this happens, the ester counts are a bit higher which gives it that sedative/calming effect. So Bulgarian Lavender would be a good choice to use to promote sleep or during stressful times so you can calm yourself. Bulgarian Lavender is safe to use during pregnancy, but do not use it with preperations containing iodine or iron.

Now onto French Lavender, which is also known as Lavender 40/42. French Lavender is a perfume standard, which means it is highly used in the perfumery industry and for making products such as soaps, candles, lotions, linen sprays, etc. The 40/42 refers to the ratio of linalool and linalyl acetate. This essential oil is very popular as this is the lavender scent that many people are familiar with from it being used to scent various products. It is not recommended to use this specific lavender for therapeutic uses as it is mainly used for perfumery and scenting products. Because of the 40/42 ratio of linalool and linalyl acetate, it is often adulterated with synthetic constituents.

Albanian Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia, L. officinalis) is indigenous to the Mediterranean and comes from Albania. Albanian Lavender is a very gentle lavender and is lower in esters than Bulgarian Lavender. This lavender is a popular choice to use for aiding in sleep. This is a safe essential oil to use during pregnancy and with children.

Next, we have Lavandin (Lavandula hybrida, Lavandula x intermedia, L. hortensis) which is also commonly called Bastard Lavender. Lavandin is actually a hybrid of lavender and spike lavender. Lavandin grows larger than true lavender so it yields a larger amount of essential oil which makes it a cheaper option also. Lavandin is also an ester and contains linalyl acetate and linalool, but also contains cineol, camphene, pinene, and camphor. Lavandin has a sharper scent to it so it is also popularly used in product making, and the addition of camphor to it, unlike the other lavenders, makes it a popular choice to use for easing sore muscles and helping aid anxiety and stress. It is advised to avoid use of Lavandin during early pregnancy.

Now we have Northwest Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, L. vera, L. officinalis) which is also commonly called English Lavender, Garden Lavender, or Common Lavender. Northwest Lavender is a combination of Lavandin, Bulgarian Lavender, and Tasmanian Lavender (Gritman does not carry Tasmanian). Northwest Lavender is indigenous to the Mediterranean but is produced in the USA, France, and Spain. Many people use this blend of lavenders to ease headaches and relieve tension. Northwest Lavender is safe during pregnancy, but do not use it with preparations containing iodine or iron.

Last, but not least, we have our newest addition Highland Lavender (Lavandula vera, L. augustifolia, L. officinalis). Highland Lavender is also commonly called Lavender Maillette. This lavender is distilled at high altitudes in France and has the highest linalool count at almost 32% and linalyl acetate at around 46%. With these counts, it makes Highland Lavender a great choice for calming stress or anxiety and promoting a good nights sleep. This lavender is safe to use during pregnancy, but do not use it with preparations containing iodine or iron.


Overall, most people enjoy lavender and its wonderful properties and aroma. I hope you got some great information about the differences in lavenders!


lavender photo

Not Pregnancy Safe Essential Oils

March 2nd, 2016 by Natalie

Many people ask about what oils to avoid during pregnancy, it is a very commonly asked question. Essential oils can be wonderful to use during pregnancy but there are definitely ones you want to avoid during this time. Here is a compiled list of the essential oils to AVOID. This list is pulled directly from the Gritman Guide To Essential Oils 4th Edition. Essential oils will be continuously added/removed if safety information and testing has changed. So this will be an ongoing list.



  • Anise Raven – Ravensara anisata
  • Anise Seed – Pimpinella anisum, Anisum officinalis, Ansium vulgare
  • Star Anise – Illicium verum
  • Artemisia (Greater Mugwort)- Artemesia arborascens
  • Artemisia Douglas (Mugwort)- Artemisia douglasiana, Artemisia heterophylia
  • Exotic Basil – Ocimum basilicum
  • Basil Lemon – Ocimum basilicum varminimum, Ocimum basilicum var citriodorum
  • Buddha Wood – Eremophillia mitchelli, Eremophila mitchelli bentham
  • White Birch – Betula alba, Betula odorata, Betula pendula (silver birch), Betula pubescens
  • Cajeput – Melaleuca minor, Melaleuca cajeput, Melaleuca leucadedron var. cajeput
  • White Camphor – Cinnamomum camphora, Laurua camphora
  • Caraway Seed – Carum carvi, Apium carvi
  • Cassia Bark – Cinnamomum cassia, Cinnamomum aromaticum
  • Cassie Absolute – Acacia farnesiana, Cassia ancienne
  • Lemon Catnip – Nepata citriodora, Nepata cataria var. citriodora
  • Thuja Cedar Leaf – Thuja occidentalis
  • Atlas Cedarwood – Cedrus atlantica
  • Himilayan Cedarwood – Cedrus deodora
  • Red Cedarwood – Juniperus virginiana
  • Red Western Cedarwood – Thuja plicata
  • Texas Juniper Cedarwood – Juniperus ashei, Juniperus mexicana
  • Celery Leaves – Apium graveolens
  • Celery Seed – Apium graveolens
  • Roman Chamomile (avoid in early pregnancy) – Chamaemelum nobile, Anthemis nobilis
  • Chaste Tree – Vitex agnus-castus
  • Wild Chamomile – Ormenis mixta, Chamaemelum mixtum, O. multicaulis, O. mixtum, Anthemis mixta
  • Cinnamon Leaf – Cinnamomum zeylanicum, C. verum
  • Cistus – Cistus ladaniferus, C. ladanifer, C. ladanosma, C. viscosus
  • Coconut Absolute – Cocos nucifera
  • Copper Daisy – Tagetes lemmonii, Tagetes palmeri, Tagetes alamensis
  • Cumin Seed – Cuminum cyminum, Cuminum odorum
  • Current – Ribes nigrum
  • Curry Leaf Tree – Murraya koenigii
  • Cypress – Cypressus sempervirens, Cypressus sempervirens var. stricta
  • Cypriol – Cyperus scariosus
  • Davana – Artemisia pallens
  • Dill Seed – Anethum graveolens, Peucedanum graveolens, Fractus anethi
  • Dill Weed – Anethum graveolens, Peucedanum graveolens, Fractus anethi
  • Douglas Fir – Psuedotsuga menziesi, P. taxifolia, P douglasii
  • Elemi – Canarium species, Canarium luzonicum, C. commune, C. communis
  • Erigeron – Erigeron canadenis
  • Eromenth – Mentha erospicata
  • Eucalyptus Dives – Eucalyptus dives
  • Bitter Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare, F. officinale, F. capillaceum, Anethum foeniculum, F. vulgare var. amarga
  • Sweet Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare, F. officinale, F. capillaceum, Anethum foeniculum, F. vulgare var. dulce
  • Frankincense (some can have synthetics or unidentified ingredients) – Boswellia carterii (Somalia), B. sacra (Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia), B papyifera (Ethiopia, Sudan), B. serrata (India), B. frereana (Somalia)
  • Galangal – Galangal officinalis, Radix galanga, Languas officinarium
  • Galbanum – Ferula species, F. galbaniflua, F. gummosa, F. rubicaulis, F. ceratophylla
  • Garlic – Allium sativum
  • Egyptian Geranium (avoid in early pregnancy) – Pelargonium graveolens, P. asperum, P. odoratissimum, P. roseum, P. radens, P. capitatum
  • Ginger Lily Root – Hedychium spicatum
  • Gingergrass – Cymbogon martini va. matinii, Andropogen ahoenathus
  • Goldenrod – Solidago canadensis, S. altissima, S. odorta
  • Black Henna – Lawsonia inermis
  • Red Henna – Lawsonia inermis
  • Hyssop – Hyssopus officinalis
  • Turkish Hyssop – Echinophora tenuifolia
  • Lemon Scented Ironbark – Eucalyptus staigeriana, Eucalyptus stage
  • Juniper Berry – Juniperus communis
  • Katrafay – Cedrelopsis grevel baill
  • Kunzea – Kunzea ambigua
  • Labdanum – Cistus landaniferus, C. incanus, C. landanifer, C. landaniferus var. pinene, C. ladanosma, viscosus
  • Wild Lanyana – Artemisia afra
  • Laurel Berry – Cinnamomum glauceschens, C. cecidoaphne
  • Laurel Leaf – Laurus nobilis
  • Lavandin (avoid in early pregnancy) – Lavandula hybrida, Lavandula x intermedia, Lavandula hortensis
  • Spike Lavender – Lavandula latifolia
  • Stoechas Lavender (Spanish/French Lavender) – Lavandula stoechas
  • Lemongrass – Cymbopogon citratus, Andropogon citratus, A. schoenathaus
  • Indian Lemongrass – Cymbopogon flexuosus
  • Leptospermum (Manuka) – Leptospermum scoparium
  • Lotus Blue – Nymphaea caerulea, Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea
  • Lotus White – Nelumbo nucifera, Nympheae lotus
  • Magnolia Lily – Magnolia fargesii
  • Maile Fern Extract – Phymatosrus scolopendria, P. grossus
  • Marigold Absolute (Calendula) – Calendula officinalis
  • Sweet Marjoram – Origanum marjorana, Marjorana hortensis
  • Massoia Bark – Cryptocarya massoia, C. aromatica, Massoia aromatica
  • Mugwort – Artemisia vulgaris
  • Myrrh – Commiphora myrrha, Balsamodendrom myrrha
  • Sweet Myrrh – Commiphora erythrea var. glabrascens
  • Lemon Myrtle – Backhousia citriodora
  • Nerolina – Melaleuca quinquenervia, M quinquenervia CT nerolidol
  • Niaouli – Melaleuca viridiflora, M. quinquenervia
  • Nutmeg – Myristica fragrans, M. aromata, M. officinalis
  • Olibanum (Frankincense) – Voswellia carteri, B thurifera, B serrata, B paypyrifera
  • Onion – Allium cepa
  • Oregano – Origanum vulgare
  • Parsley Leaves – Petroselinum crispum
  • Parsley Seed – Petroselinum crispum, P. c. var. neapolitanum
  • Pennyroyal – Mentha pulegium
  • Turkish Pennyroyal – Micromeria fruticosa
  • Green Pepper – Piper nigrum
  • Peppermint – Mentha piperita
  • Petitgrain Lemon – Citrus limon, C. limonum
  • Petitgrain Mandarinier – Citrus reticulata blanco, C. r. mandarin
  • White Pine – Pinus palustris
  • Radriaka – Lantana camara
  • Ravensara – Ravensara aromatica, Agathophyllum aromatica
  • Rose Otto (avoid during first 4 months of pregnancy) – Rosa damascena, Rosa gallica, Rosa canina
  • Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis, R. coronarium
  • Verbenone Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Rue – Ruta graveolens
  • Clary Sage – Salvia sclarea
  • Dalmation Sage – Salvia officinalis
  • Spanish Sage – Salvia lavandulaefolia
  • Summer Savory – Satureja hortensis, Calamintha hortensis
  • Winter Savory – S. montana, Calamintha montana, S. obovata
  • Seaweed – Laminaria digitata
  • Spikenard – Nardostachys jatamansi
  • Hemlock Spruce – Tsuga canadensis, Pinus canadensis, Abies canadensis
  • Tagetes – Tagetes minuta, T. glandulifer, T. patula, T. bipinata
  • Blue Tansy – Tanacetum anuum
  • Wild Tansy – Tanacetum vulgare, Chrysanthemum vulgare, C. tanacetum
  • Tarragon – Artemisia dracunculus
  • Lemon Tea Tree – Leptospermum petersonii
  • Lemon Thyme – Thymus hiemalis, T. vulgaris
  • Red Thyme – Thymus vulgaria, T. zygis, T. sylvestris, T. sabulicola
  • Thyme – Thymus serpyllum
  • White Thyme – Thymus vulgaris, T. zygis
  • Tobacco Leaf – Nicotiana tabacum
  • Turmeric – Curcuma longa, Amomoum curcuma
  • Valerian Root – Valeriana fauriei, V. wallichi
  • Vanilla Concentrate – Vanilla planifolia, V. fragrans
  • Vanilla Oleoresin – Vanilla planifolia
  • Wintergreen – Gaultheria procumbens, G. fragrantissima
  • Wormwood – Artemisia absithium
  • Yarrow – Achillea millefolium, A. m. var. ligustica, A. m. milfoil
  • Zanthoxylum – Zanthoxylum alatum, Z. amerianum, Xanthoxylum alatum, Xanthoxylum americanum

Diffuser Recipes

March 2nd, 2016 by Natalie

I know a lot of people like finding diffuser recipes for various needs so I wanted to compile some together for everybody. Enjoy!




3-Bulgarian Lavender



4-Bulgarian Lavender

2-Texas Cedarwood


2-Cinnamon Bark



3-Sweet Orange






2-Cinnamon Bark









3-Sweet Orange


1-Cinnamon Bark


2-Sweet Orange






1-Sweet Orange






1-Roman Chamomile

1-Clary Sage


2-Roman Chamomile






3- Texas Cedarwood





Stomach Virus Oils For Adults & Children

February 29th, 2016 by Natalie

stomach ache

Nobody enjoys catching the stomach bug. It’s miserable, you don’t know how long it will last, and there is just not much you can do about it except treat the symptoms that accompany it. It can be even harder when families catch it! It just makes its rounds which can make for a very tired and grumpy situation. I’m going to go over how you can use essential oils to help ease the symptoms of stomach virus/food poisoning/stomach bug/etc…


First we are going to go over what is good to use for symptoms with adults:


Diarrhea: Blue Chamomile, Ginger, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, Sweet Marjoram, Sandalwood, and Linalool Thyme.

Nausea/Vomiting: Allspice, German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Fennel, Ginger, Nutmeg, Rose, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Geranium, and Cardamon.

Applications: These essential oils can be used in a compress over the abdomen. Fill a bowl with warm water and a few drops of essential oil of your choice, soak a wash cloth in the bowl and ring out. Apply the warm compress to the abdomen. Another way to use them is to dilute the essential oils of choice in a carrier such as fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil and massage over the stomach in a clockwise motion around the belly button. You can also massage into the lower back. Alternatively, you can make a personal inhaler with 15 drops of your choice to the wick to help ease the symptoms. Many people also enjoy taking a warm bath with the essential oils. If you do this, please make sure you have properly diluted the essential oils because some of them can be skin sensitizing. Another way to use these essential oils is to diffuse in a diffuser or make a mist spray.



Diarrhea: Blue Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, Lavender, Sandalwood, Ginger, Geranium

Nausea/Vomiting: Ginger, Peppermint, Geranium, Lavender

Applications: MAKE SURE YOU PROPERLY DILUTE FOR CHILDREN! You can make a warm compress to put on the abdomen by placing a few drops of essential oils into a bowl of warm water, soak a wash cloth in the bowl and ring out. Apply the warm compress to the abdomen. These essential oils can also be used in massage by properly diluting in a carrier oil, and massage on the abdomen in a clockwise motion around the belly button and can also be massaged into the lower back. You can also make a personal inhaler with 15 drops of essential oils of your choice which is more convenient for children because they can smell it as needed to help ease their symptoms. Or, you can diffuse a few drops in a diffuser or make a mist spray.


  • Upset Stomach: 3 drops Roman Chamomile, 2 drops Ginger, 2 drops Peppermint. Diffuse, personal inhaler, or use topically (diluted) over abdomen. Massage in a clockwise motion.
  • Diarrhea Blend: 5 drops Ginger, 2 drops Peppermint, 7 drops Sandalwood, 8 drops Roman Chamomile. Diffuse, personal inhaler, or use topically (diluted) over abdomen. Massage in a clockwise motion.
  • Diarrhea Blend: 3 drops Linalool Thyme, 2 drops Lavender, 3 drops Peppermint. Diffuse, personal inhaler, or use topically (diluted) over abdomen. Massage in a clockwise motion.


Other essential oils that are good to focus on when dealing with a stomach virus, is anti-viral and anti-bacterial oils. You can make a mist spray with them, clean hard surfaces with them, or diffuse them in a room to help rid of germs.

Anti-viral: Oregano, Winter Savory, Bandit’s Blend, Rosewood, Patchouli, Orange, Elemi, Cinnamon Leaf, Lemon Eucalyptus, Lime, Sweet Marjoram

Anti-bacterial: Kunzea, Elemi, Bandit’s Blend, Oregano, Cinnamon Leaf, Eucalyptus 80/85, Frankincense, Geranium, Sweet Marjoram, Neroli