Monday, August 31, 2015

Buzz Guard Works Wonders for Horses to Repel Flies around the Eyes

Part II: Guest Blogger Pat Campbell, Writing from New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Last time I wrote about the amazing wonders of Canine Calm for thunderstorms. Florida is a hotbed of storms all summer long. And speaking of Florida, the flies are horrible this time of year!! I put a fly mask on my horse Play Me Coltrane (Cole) but I hate leaving it on at night. He is happier without the mask but if I leave it off his eyes get super weepy, which then leads to Cole scratching his face, which has led to some bad cuts..  I’m now using Buzz Guard (in a balm base) around his eyes and it has really made a big difference. And Cole loves when I put it on (see video below). Regular bug sprays work but I really don’t like putting anything like that near his eyes or his nose because inhaling the chemicals simply can’t be good. And the directions on any of the horse bug sprays highly caution you not to get it in their eyes so you know it has to be bad.

I love the smell of Buzz Guard. And Buzz Guard is definitely helping to keep the flies at bay. Cole is scratching his face less so it must be having a soothing effect.  If only horses could talk. If flies are an issue where you live I highly recommend Buzz Guard for your horse. The balm has all kinds of great things in it like shea butter, olive oil, avocado oil, neem seed oil and the same Buzz Guard essential oil blend that's used in the spray.  I love the balm...makes it so easy to apply and Cole loves the massage and it works.  Watch this one minute video to see how easy it is to use.

No More Grumpy Horses
I’ve asked Vicki to help put some concentrates together that I can use for a slew of horse conditions. One of the horses at the barn has scratches so Vicki is working on a special formula for me.  Since scratches is about bacteria and fungus essential oils are a natural for helping to take care of the problem.  Our horses are out in the fields most of the time. So we are going using a balm made up of oils which will create a protective barrier from the wet. I'll report back on our progress. 

The horses get pretty grumpy in Florida in the summer…I’m hoping that these EO remedies will result in no more grumpy horses!!

For more information about Buzz Guard Balm, contact Earth Heart at or call 847-551-1806.

Friday, August 21, 2015

True Story: Eradicating Thunderstorm Phobia with Canine Calm

Pat Campbell is Guest Blogging this week.

Confessions of a burgeoning EO addict because it really does work. 


Calvin Not Very Happy Before Thunderstorm
As I reported to you at the beginning of the summer my dachshund Calvin has developed a real discomfort of thunderstorms. It was less of a fear and more related to the noise clearly agitating him. I used Canine Calm with a great deal of skepticism the first time but nothing else seemed to be calming him down. In Florida there are thunderstorms almost every afternoon. As I reported before, within ten minutes he was snoozing on the couch without a worry. And I thought…beginners luck.  Second time…same results but even faster.  I called Vicki and asked if it was possible I was using too much but she assured me that was not the case.

No More Upsetting Thunderstorms


Calvin sound asleep after Canine Calm
Well I have become a real believer. I would say that I’ve used the Canine Calm and Travel Calm at least a dozen times now and with the same results every single time. A whining wiener dog turns into a snoozer within ten minutes of putting canine calm on the tips of his ears.  Here is all I do now…I put about three sprays into my hand, rub it around just a bit then put a hand on either side of his ear and rub it in gently.  Then I do the other ear and then I put just a touch on either side of his nose.  I’ve actually been able to use less and less with each storm.  

This is how much of a believer I’ve become – I had to travel recently and the only instructions I left my husband with was how to use the Canine Calm on Calvin while I was away! It was the only thing I cared about.  
 Calvin Waking Up from his Canine Calm sleep

So I admit it. I'm becoming an EO addict myself. If I get a cut now I reach for an EO remedy (such as Guard Well) rather than the Neosporin. I read recently about using EO remedies for yeast infections which I’m plagued with in the humidity in Florida. It works and so much better than spending $25.00 each time for Monistat. 

A note of caution for those starting to use essential oils. Through my EO journey I have really learned that having the right concentrations of different EOs is critical for its effectiveness and SAFETY. And knowing how different EOs work together is also a skill. Its not about just throwing a bunch of oils into a bottle and using it. I completely trust Vicki to come up with the right formulas. She has 23 years of experience and is certified, and I've now seen her products work first hand. There is a real science to using these natural products so having the right advice that is trustworthy is super important.

For more about Pat's journey into aromatherapy, visit In Pursuit of Greytness.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fragrant Friday: Calm Yourself Down

Stress surrounds our everyday lives and prolonged stress can create a cycle of decreased energy, mental tension, disturbed sleep and physical illness. Relaxation is crucial in relieving stress and avoiding burnout. Aromatherapy massages, baths or inhalations can promote relaxation and have a powerful effect on both physical and mental health.

In our last Fragrant Friday we looked at the ways lavender essential oil (EO) can be very beneficial for first aid. This week we look at the stress-relieving benefits of lavender and other essential oils. We will tell you which oils are best for different kinds of stress relief – from depression to rejuvenation.

The Science Behind Essential Oils

OpenStax College - Anatomy & Physiology

Inhalation of essential oils affects health through the mind and emotions, and is the quickest method for producing results. Molecules rise on moist warm air when inhaled, and as air passes over the cilia at the top of the nose, individually shaped indentations accept different aroma molecules. Receptor cells carry this information to the olfactory bulb and onto the limbic brain and hypothalamus where neurochemicals are released to either relax or stimulate the body. The limbic brain is the seat of memory, emotion and learning. The hypothalamus is responsible for integrating many of the mechanistic and behavioral patterns that involve the correlation of neural and endocrine functions. Aggression, sexual drive, and emotions are all affected here.

Best Ways to Deliver Essential Oils

  1. Inhalation of essential oil vapors is a very effective modality for correcting emotional imbalances and is safe to use daily. It can be as easy as placing a few drops of essential oil on a handkerchief or keeping a vial in pocket or purse.
  2. Using a diffusor or spritzer is an efficient way to deliver a dosage to several people at once to relax or rejuvenate, relieve depression or irritability, and to purify the air.
  3. Massage has been accepted for a long time as relaxing to mind and body. Since the skin is the largest organ of the body, it absorbs whatever is on its surface. Application of essential oils is effective because the molecules penetrate the skin and are absorbed into the blood and lymph systems, circulating throughout the body within 2 to 20 minutes. The essential oils are eliminated in ½ to 3 hours via exhalation, urination or perspiration.
  4. Adding appropriate essential oils to hand lotions, shampoos, facial scrubs, creams and masks is another way to customize an anti-stress program. 1-2 drops per ounce in facial products, 4 drops per ounce in general skin care products, and 5 to 30 drops in massage oils, are appropriate dilutions.
  5. Balneotherapy or bathing is one of the best methods to absorb essential oils for relaxation, rejuvenation or detoxification. 3 to 10 drops of essential oils in a carrier is sufficient. ½ to 1 cup of  milk, colloidal oats, Epsom salts or sea salts as a carrier is effective for use in a bath.
  6. Showers are another way to receive the benefit of essential oils. A brisk scrub with a dry washcloth and 2 to 4 drops stimulates circulation and assists the skin in releasing toxins. Essential oils can be applied with the washcloth while washing, and are refreshing as well as deodorizing. A cold rinse for a few seconds is rejuvenating and increases circulation. 

Which Oils for Which Conditions

Lavender is one of those essential oils that serves to reduce a wide variety of stress conditions. The
key word for lavender is soothing. It is soothing to skin, nerves and inflammatory conditions. It has been widely used to promote meditation, for strengthening the conscious mind, and in rituals for health, love, celibacy, and peace.

Diffused lavender EO can soothe headache, insomnia, depression, stress, irritability, tension, anxiety, mental chatter, mood swings or PMS. Diffused with Rosemary EO it can help with memory and concentration.

Other essential oils which can be used for more specific conditions or emotions which one would want to evoke.

Trigger Wonderful Memories: Cinnamon, cloves, orange, lemon, spearmint and peppermint can recall wonderful memories that trigger a relaxation response.

Euphorics: Increase self-confidence, joy, and a general feeling of well-being with black pepper, grapefruit, ginger, jasmine, neroli, sandalwood, patchouli, clary sage, rose and ylang ylang.

Relieve Mental Fatigue: Cedar, cypress, eucalyptus, fir, juniper, pine, and spruce.

Create a Feeling of Grounding: Earthy and woody scents, such as patchouli, vetivert and sandalwood.


Reduce Stress from Overtaxed Immune System: camphoraceous scents, including rosemary, eucalyptus, niaouli, marjoram and pine are important.

Help Soothe Depression: basil, clary sage, neroli, rose, ylang ylang and bergamot, known as "the oil of anxiety."

Safe Use of Essential Oils

Before using essential oils, it is important to check for sensitivity. Mix one drop of the essential oil into a teaspoon of a light oil such as grapeseed oil, rub a small amount inside the crook of the arm and cover for 24 hours. If there is any irritation within that time, uncover and wash immediately with soap and water, and discontinue use.

It is also important to use essential oils sparingly since they are highly concentrated. Caution is necessary when used during pregnancy or on babies and others with sensitive skin.

Studies have also shown that synthetic scents can have undesirable effects, such as increased anxiety, headaches, or allergic reactions, and so using pure essential oils from a reliable source is a good idea.

Natural remedies are most effective when used consistently. Results may be noticeable in as little as a week, but depending on the severity of the symptoms, may take longer. If there is no improvement after a few weeks, a different set of essential oils can be used, herbal or nutritional supplements added, or advice sought from a qualified health care provider.

©Vicki Rae Thorne, certified aromatherapist and herbalist, has been formulating essential oil remedies since 1992. She founded Earth Heart in 1996 to help others learn how to safely and effectively use herbs and essential oils as part of everyday life.  Vicki is a member of the American Herbalists Guild, the Alliance of International Aromatherapists, and Women in the Pet Industry Network.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Fragrant Friday - Lavender Doesn't Just Smell Good. It is One of the Best Essential Oils for First Aid.

LAVENDER:  One of the Most Important Essential Oils for First Aid

We often think of lavender as an aroma used to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. This is definitely the case and our next Fragrant Friday will address those applications. Lavender is also one of the most valuable essential oils for a very wide of first aid needs. With summer still here we are going to focus on how lavender can by used for sunburn, bug bites, inflammatory conditions and all kinds of skin problems, many of which are exasperated by hot humid weather.

First some history.

Rene-Maurice Gattefosse

In July 1910, the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse was involved in a laboratory explosion. Both hands were covered with gaseous gangrenous sores. He plunged his hands into a container of clear liquid, which immediately halted the gasification of tissue and caused him to sweat profusely. Healing began the next day. The mystery liquid was lavender essential oil. Gattefosse was so impressed with this experience that he used it for everything, documenting remarkable results in healing all kinds of wounds and sores.

One of the best uses for lavender essential oil (EO) is skin care. It can be used with just about any skin condition including cuts, scrapes, wounds, sores, warts, insect bites or stings, burns, scalds, pimples, boils and rashes. In addition to its cleansing and soothing effects, it can stop bleeding, prevent infection and help skin heal without scarring.

Lavender EO Recipes for First Aid and Skin Conditions

Please note: While it is generally recommended to dilute essential oils before use, lavender EO can be used undiluted (neat) in certain situations.
  • To relieve sunburn, apply lavender EO neat and cover with a cool damp cloth. You can also add 4 to 6 drops of lavender EO to a packet (about ½ cup) of colloidal oats or ½ cup milk to tepid bath water to soothe sunburned skin. Adding 10 to 20 drops of Lavender EO in an ounce of aloe vera gel, aloe vera juice or yogurt can be applied as often as needed to sunburned skin.
  • Alternating neat applications of lavender with ice can prevent minor burns from blistering.
  • Lavender added to massage lotions or baths can reduce muscle and joint pain, inflammation, cramps or colic.
  • 20-40 drops of lavender EO added to wheatgerm oil can prevent or reduce stretch marks.
  • Lavender EO alone or combined with tea tree EO is effective for relieving mosquito bites. Resist scratching the bites, wash with warm soapy water and apply the EO, which can make itching and swelling disappear. If the bites do get scratched, the lavender/oat bath above can stop itching and heal the sores. This same bath is useful for healing and reducing the itch of chicken pox or prickly heat.
  • Make soothing compresses to calm rashes by adding 5 drops of lavender EO to a bowl of cool water.
  • To relieve heat exhaustion it is important to stay in the shade and drink as much water as possible; make a lavender compress as above and apply to the back of the neck, forehead and solar plexus.
  • Lavender EO can be diffused to calm a sick person, reduce headache and fever, and disinfect the living space.
  • For earaches, mix 6 drops of lavender EO in a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Massage this mixture around the outer ear and down the side of the neck. Never use essential oils (diluted or neat) directly into the ear.
  • 5 drops lavender EO with ½ cup vinegar in a sitz bath, or 2 to 4 drops lavender EO in a warm water douche can help relieve vaginal yeast infections.
  • A few drops of lavender EO mixed with ½ cup Epsom salts in a warm foot bath can relieve fatigue or neuralgia.

Know your Lavenders!

Because there are several “lavenders” on the market, knowing the Latin binomial (botanical name) is very helpful for choosing the correct one for use in first aid.

The most soothing lavender EO is produced from Lavandula angustifolia. This lavender, called True Lavender (or Lavender vera), grows in the hot dry, rocky areas of the Mediterranean above 2000 feet, where exposure to more blue light produces a sweeter, powdery scent and more sedative and anti-inflammatory actions.

Spike Lavender (L. latifolia) has a higher yield than True Lavender, is easier to harvest since it grows at lower altitudes (below 1500 feet), and therefore produces a less expensive essential oil. Its scent is camphoraceous, and does not have the sedative and anti-inflammatory properties needed for first aid.

Lavandin (L. x intermedia) is a hybrid that grows where the other two varieties meet. Lavandin has the higher yield of Spike Lavender with similar properties of True Lavender. Lavandin is effective for skin, respiratory, muscular, and circulatory complaints.

Lavender EO should be in all first aid kits. It is easy to find, relatively inexpensive, and has a variety of uses. It is considered non-toxic, non-irritating, non-sensitizing, and blends well with most other essential oils. Lavender EO is one of the few that can be safely recommended for use neat, even for sensitive skin. Remember, however, that all essential oils are highly concentrated and should be treated with respect and caution. People with a family history of hay fever, asthma, eczema, or other skin reactions, may be allergic or sensitive. 

©Vicki Rae Thorne, certified aromatherapist and herbalist, has been formulating essential oil remedies since 1992. She founded Earth Heart in 1996 to help others learn how to safely and effectively use herbs and essential oils as part of everyday life.  Vicki is a member of the American Herbalists Guild, the Alliance of International Aromatherapists, and Women in the Pet Industry Network.