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 drops Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia) -or- replace with another Melaleuca species like Tea Tree
2 drops Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annuum)
1 drop Peppermint (Mentha × piperita)
The therapeutic effects of these oils result in a honey that is anti-infectious, a 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 homemade gift for my mom at the holidays. She always had it on hand with cream 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 around and added 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 three oils to add. The oils I chose were: Sweet orange, Lime, and Cinnamon Bark (just for an extra kick).
I added one drop each to 2oz samples. It’s 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 limonene “orange cleaner” overtone, and Cinnamon was okay. However, Lime was very refreshing with this balsamic pepper jelly. Taste-tested by my husband, we agreed that Lime wins!
To use, I spread on cracker with cream cheese. You can use any soft cheeses, like brie for example. Add it to 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 our internal use blog, but we wanted to expand on that and share more variations.
This includes honey, jams, and chocolate!
You can take honey with a drop of Peppermint by the tablespoon. Or you can make a larger batch with more Peppermint, to be used sparingly.
For the larger option, keep the mixture in a closed container once you’ve added the Peppermint (or other essential oil—depending on the purpose). Blend the honey and essential oil with a ratio of 1 drop essential oil per ounce of honey. Any container will work!
Stick a toothpick or tiny spoon in the honey and suck on the end of it, or add the honey to tea or hot water when you’re stuffed up or feeling queasy.
Alternatively, you can use essential oils 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 blend, or used alone for a zingy, wake-up mix.
For anti-infectious honey to help you combat colds or illnesses, choose Tea Tree (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. Be aware that these oils are also the most potentially irritant oils, and they require caution. I suggest adding in tiny amounts to avoid burning your mouth. These should only be used for fighting off infection—no long-term use!
Essential Oils in Jam
I felt inspired when my new, wonderful friend Leslie (“La Grande Jam Dame”) gifted me homemade blackberry jam with a hint of lemon. She was perfecting her culinary skills and wanted to share!
After the jam had cooled, she added an awesome touch with a couple drops of Lemon essential oil. It was such a nice, subtle lemon taste in blackberry—the best combination!
NOTE: This jam is made to be savored and eaten sparingly.
And because this is our focus, here’s a little safety information about using essential oils in recipes:
Putting 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. This means Lemon oil has been deemed safe as a food additive, to enhance flavor in minute amounts, like in this recipe.
All essential oils are considered GRAS, and it’s not an FDA approval. It’s just a list of flavorings and seasonings that are allowed in minute amounts in processed food. This does NOT mean that essential oils, extracts, etc. have nutrients or that they’re missing from our diet any more than salt or castoreum, which are also on the list.
Now, back to the topic at hand: Once I was inspired by the jam, I had to try creating my own honey flavoring. I already had some local, raw, raspberry-infused honey. Then I added 2 drops of Cardamon essential oil and 4 drops of Pink Grapefruit oil to 6 oz of this honey. After that, I stirred and tasted it, and WOW, what a treat!
It was an unusually tasty combo. I spread 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. Remember, it’s an occasional treat.
Leslie provided me with this recipe (below). I thought I’d share it with all of you. It will be my next creative holiday project.
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 us with 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 up to start a new journey. Finally, the soft, sweet scent of fruit (Mandarin) reminds us that rewards do come from the growth of the previous year. This is what spring shows us: 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 this year?
Dilute 2.5% (15 drops of your blend in 1 oz. of carrier oil) for a face and body blend. This is great for a transformative massage session or as 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’s not phototoxic like some other citrus oils. 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. Tell us in the comments what your variations are. Don’t take our recipe too seriously. You can totally make up your own. We want to hear from you about what you’re blending for Spring.