Though we are all excited about the stirrings of spring, with this change of season comes … the pollen.
For Sylla, that means lots of sneezing, a runny nose, and red eyes. After a day of thinking she might be coming down with a cold, the increasing green and warmth reminds her that it’s probably just allergies. Sound familiar?
That’s why she made some aromatic honey for allergy season a few weeks ago.
Not only do the oils help us control our symptoms from the increasing pollen of the spring season, but local, seasonal honey is a great way to treat this issue as well.
Watch our video to find out:
Why local, raw, honey helps allergies
How to make your own aromatic honey
Plus 3 more ways essential oils can put allergy symptoms at bay
Aromatic Honey Blend:
8-10 Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia) -or- replace with another Melaleuca species like Tea Tree
2 Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annuum)
1 Peppermint (Mentha × piperita)
The therapeutic effects of these oils result in a honey that is anti-infectious, decongestant, and anti-inflammatory. It’s perfect for easing inflamed sinuses and sore throats, and it allows for much better breathing.
We recommend making a big batch so you can use it in an inhaler and oil blend as well!
After watching, comment below and tell us:
How do you prefer to take your honey? On a toothpick, in your tea? What other creative ways can we use it?
What other oils might be good in some honey and why? (Think of other therapeutic actions you’d like to utilize internally … We use this thinking process to help our students become more confident and creative aromatherapists.)
Hot Pepper Jelly is another holiday favorite that was a local home made gift to my mom at the holidays; and she always had it on hand with creme cheese and ritz crackers. This year my daughter Nyssa gave me some locally made balsamic pepper jelly. I thought this would be a great time to continue exploring aromatic creations like my recent aromatic medicinal honeys.
I decided to play with adding essential oils to see what may work best.
First, I separated it into three samples and heated just slightly so it was easier to blend.
Then, I picked my three oils to add. The oils I chose were: sweet orange, lime and cinnamon bark (just for an extra kick).
I added 1 drop each to 2oz sample. It is important to keep dilutions low, using only what is needed for effect. Believe me, these oils are pretty potent so you won’t need much. And you are keeping it safe.
Lime won out!
Orange had a “orange cleaner” overtone of limonene, and cinnamon was okay but not over refreshing lime with this pepper jelly with balsamic vinegar. Taste tested by my husband, we agreed lime wins!
To use I spread on cracker with cream cheese, though you can use any soft cheese like brie also. Add it a croissant or use as a glaze on veggies or meats!
I plan to try some other oils with my strawberry basil jam and mango lime salsa, yum! Watch for those to come.
We encourage you to support your local jelly vendors (found at most community markets). Or if you are more of the jelly making type, here are some links for Pepper Jelly.
We discussed aromatic honey in the Internal Use blog earlier, but we wanted to expand and share some more variations.
These include honey, jams and chocolate!
You can can take honey with a drop of peppermint by the tablespoon, or make a larger and stronger amount to be used more sparingly. For the larger option, keep the mixture in a closed-up container once you’ve added the peppermint (or another essential oil depending on purpose) to the honey with a ratio of 1 drop per ounce. Any container works!
You can stick a toothpick or tiny spoon in the honey and suck on the end of it, and you can also add the honey to tea or hot water when you’re stuffed up or feeling queasy.
You can use alternative essential oils and combinations for different purposes like:
Rose for an uplifting mix
Lavender and sweet marjoram for a sleepy-time mix
Rosemary, spearmint or lime added to a single oil or used alone for a zingy, wake-up mix.
For anti-infectious honey that can help you combat colds or illnesses, a good choice would be teatree (although it doesn’t have the most pleasant taste). You can also combine the “big gun” essential oils for more germ-fighting ability.
Those include clove, cinnamon, thyme and others. But these are also oils with the most irritant potential, and they require caution. I suggest adding in tiny amounts to avoid burning your mouth. And these should only be used for fighting off infection–no long-term use!
I was also inspired when my new wonderful friend Leslie (“La Grand Jam Dame”) gifted me homemade blackberry jam with a hint of lemon
she’s perfecting her culinary skills and wanted to share! The awesome touch of lemon came from the couple drops of lemon essential oil she adds at the end when the jam has cooled. It was such a nice, subtle lemon taste in blackberry, and it was the best combination!
And because we focus on this, here’s some quick safety information about using essential oils in recipes: This jam is made to be eaten sparingly and savored, and two drops of essential oil in a large batch of jam is perfectly safe according to the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) designation for lemon oil. That means lemon oil has been deemed safe for its intended use as a food additive to enhance flavor in minute amounts like this recipe.
All essential oils are considered GRAS, and it’s not an FDA approval–just a list of flavorings and seasonings that are allowed in minute amounts in processed food. This does NOT mean that essential oils, extracts, and so on have nutrients or that they’re missing from our diet any more than salt or castoreum, which are also on the list.
And now back on topic: Once inspired by the jam, I had to try my own hand at creative honey flavoring. I already had some local raw honey with raspberry infusion, and I added 2 drops cardamon essential oil and 4 drops of pink grapefruit oil to 6 oz of honey. Stirred and tasted, and WOW, what a treat!
It was an unusually tasty combo, and I enjoyed by spreading the mix on a hot croissant or nice bread, with some fine cheese
preferably with cranberries! Once spread, reheat gently, then get a napkin and enjoy! This is safe because it’s a small percentage of oil in honey
1 drop per ounce
and it’s made with safe, non-irritant oils and meant to be eaten occasionally.
And then Leslie provided me with this recipe (below), and I thought I’d share it with all of you. It will be my next holiday creative project.
Have a CHERRY CHRISTMAS, y’all!
Coming next: OG (“Original Gangster”) Jam, kicking it up with Aromatic Medicinal Jams!
More yummy resources from our colleagues:
West Coast Aromatherapy has more information on adding oils to chocolate!
In celebration of the Spring Equinox and our new virtual home, we wanted to bring you an inspirational spring-time blend.
Robbi Zeck says that Vetiver provides assurance and grounding; Petitgrain awakens that which is no longer stifled, and Mandarin brings the peace of composure for moving us forward.
This blend represents the support of earth with the smell of freshly turned garden dirt and roots (Vetiver), the leafy greenness of new growth (Petitgrain) opens us to start a new journey, and the soft, sweet scent of fruit (Mandarin) reminding us that rewards do come from our past year’s growth. This is what spring shows: out of the darkness of the earth, new life emerges.
Use this blend to help pave the way for a new emergence in your life. What will your growth look like in the next year?
Dilute 2.5% (15 drops of your blend in 1 oz. of carrier oil) for a blend for face and body. Great for a transformative massage session or an anointing oil after a shower. You can also diffuse it in the environment to really get spring in the air.
While using this blend, simply repeat this affirmation:
I am supported and protected as I emerge into my new life.
We wanted to use Mandarin because it is not phototoxic like other some citrus oils, but alternatives could be sweet orange (C. sinensis), grapefruit (C. paridisi), or even Neroli (C. aurantium). If you don’t have Vetiver, find another oil with a grounding/earthy quality, patchouli (P. cablin) comes to mind. Share with us in the comments on what your variations are. Don’t take our recipe too seriously, you can totally make up your own. We want to hear from you and what you are blending for Spring.