Aromatherapy Part 2: The Dark Side

Although essential oils are natural products, it is still necessary to follow certain precautions when using them. Essential oils are very concentrated and volatile, this is why they work so well! There are certain essential oils that should never be used in aromatherapy. They are all either narcotic, toxic, capable of causing miscarriage, likely to provoke epileptic seizures or can seriously damage the skin.

Dangerous Essential Oils

These oils should Never be used

  • Aniseed Pimpinella anisum
  • Arnica Arnica montana
  • Boldo Leaf Peumus boldus
  • Calamus  Acorus calamus
  • Camphor Cinnamomum camphora
  • Cassia Cinnamomum cassie
  • Cinnamon Bark Cinnamomum zeylanicum
  • Costus Saussurea lappa
  • Bitter Almond Prunus amygdalis
  • Bitter Fennel Foeniculum vulgare
  • Elecampane Inula helenium
  • Horseradish Cochlearia armorica
  • Jaborandi Leaf Pilocarpus jaborandi
  • Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris
  • Mustard Brassica nigra
  • Origanum Origanum vulgare
  • Origanum (spanish) Thymus capitatus
  • Pennyroyal (European) Mentha pulegium
  • Pennyroyal (North American) Hedeoma pulegioides
  • Pine (dwarf) Pinus pumilio
  • Rue Ruta graveolens
  • Sage Salvia officinalis
  • Sassafras Sassafras albidum
  • Sassafras (brazilian) Ocotea cymbarum
  • Savin Juniperus sabina
  • Savory (summer) Satureia hortensis
  • Savory (Winter) Satureia montana
  • Southernwood Artemisia abrotanum
  • Tansy Tanacetum vulgare
  • Thuja (cedarleaf) Thuja occidentalis
  • Thuja Plicata Thuja plicata
  • Wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens
  • Wormseed Chenopodium anthelminticum
  • Wormwood Artemisia absinthium

Rosemary: Should not be used by people with epilepsy

In addition to the above list, there are a number of oils that do have valuable therapueutic properties, but need to be used with caution.

Oils that should not be used by people with Epilepsy

  • Fennel (Sweet) Foeniculum vulgare
  • Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis
  • Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis

(plus Sage and Wormwood, from the previous list)

Geranium Oil: Do not use during Pregnancy

Oils That Should Not be Used During Pregnancy

  • Basil Ocimum basilicum
  • Birch Betula alba, B. lenta, B.alleghaniensis
  • Cedarwood Cedrus atlantica
  • Clary Sage Salvia sclarea
  • Cypress Cupressus sempervirens
  • Geranium Pelargonium asperum
  • Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis
  • Jasmine Jasminium officinale
  • Juniper Juniperis communis
  • Marjoram Origanum majorana
  • Myrrh Commiphora myrrha
  • Nutmeg Myristica fragrans
  • Peppermint Mentha piperata
  • Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Tarragon Artemisia dranunculus
  • Thyme Thymus vulgaris
  • Camomile Anthemis nobilis, et al.
  • Lavender Lavandula vera
  • Rose Rosa centifolia, R.damascena  

Lemon Oil: Do not use for prolonged periods

Essential Oils with a Risk of Chronic Toxicity

Do not use these oils for more than a few days at a time

  • Basil Ocimum basilicum
  • Cedarwood Cedrus atlantica
  • Cinnamon Leaf Cinnamomum zeylanicum
  • Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus
  • Fennel (Sweet) Foeniculum vulgare
  • Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis
  • Lemon Citrus limonum
  • Orange Citrus aurantium
  • Nutmeg Myristica fragrans
  • Thyme Thymus vulgaris

Clove Oil: Can irritate the skin

Skin Irritants

Always dilute these oils to 1% before using

  • Angelica Angelica archangelica
  • Black Pepper Piper nigrum
  • Cinnamon Leaf Cinnamomum zeylanicum
  • Citronella Cymbopogon narus
  • Clove (all parts) Eugenia caryphyllus
  • Ginger Zingiber officinalis
  • Lemon Citrus limonum
  • Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus
  • Lemon Verbena Lippia citriodora
  • Orange Citrus aurantium
  • Nutmeg Myristica fragrans
  • Peppermint Mentha piperata

Bergamot Oil: Can cause sunburn or sun damage

PhotoSensitising Oils

Do not use on skin before sun exposure

  • Angelica Angelica archangelica
  • Bergamot Citrus bergamia
  • Lemon Citrus limonum
  • Orange Citrus aurantium

I certainly don’t mean to scare anyone away from using essential oils, but I think a lot of us (myself included) think we can just go around using essential oils without a care in the world, without realising that they are incredibly strong and can have harmful effects if used improperly. It’s easy to think of the as just fancy scented oils, that you can add to whatever you want. For example, if you add lemon or orange oil to your body lotion recipe and use it every day, you run a risk of toxic levels building up in the body over time. Also be careful about gift giving. I was going to make peppermint shower scrub as a Christmas gift last year, until I researched peppermint oil and found it can cause spontaneous abortion!

Honestly if you are nervous, I would contact a Certified Aromatherapist (which is where I got these lists). I have been using essential oils myself for many years, with no ill effects, but I always research an oil before I use it.

Related Posts:

Aromatherapy Part 1: How it Works

Essential Oil of Bergamot

Essential Oil of Geranium

Essential Oil of Thyme

Cinnamon Bark: A Dangerous Essential Oil

Aromatherapy Part 1: How it Works

Aromatherapy is the use of plant oils in treatment. Although the word aromatherapy was first used in 1937 the principles on which it is based are very, very old. The use of infused aromatic oils, made by macerating dried plant material in fatty oil, heating and then filtering date back to the first century.

The lungs and the skin are both vital to the practice of aromatherapy, as these are the two routes by which essential oils enter the body.

Essential oils evaporate on contact with the air, so when breathed in they are carried with the inhaled air through the nose and into the lungs. The two primary bronchi, which first bring air into the lungs, divide into smaller passages, which in turn divide and subdivide into tubes of every decreasing size The smallest being called the bronchioli. The bronchioli then lead to the even smaller alveolar ducts, which look like tiny balloons or bunches of grapes. These alveoli, supply oxygen to the blood and remove waste matter in the ‘exchange of gases’. The walls of the alveoli are made of the thinnest tissue in the body, and through this fine membrane fluids can pass. The surface of the membrane is always moist, so that oxygen and other soluble particles dissolve before passing through it.

The importance of this process is to understand that the particles of essential oils that have been breathed in can pass directly through these thin-walled structures, and enter the bloodstream for circulation to other parts of the body.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the base materials of the aromatherapist. They are the pure cells of a plant extracted by distillation.

We use the term essential oil loosely to describe all the oils used in aromatherapy, but strictly speaking only those extracted by distillation should be called essential. Some oils are extracted by pressure (most citrus oils) and should be called “Essence of”. Some are solvent extracted (most floral oils) and should be called “Absolute of”.

Essential oils are very highly concentrated, and should only rarely be used undiluted. They are very volatile and evaporate quickly. They should be kept in airtight bottles in a dark and quiet place. They are damaged by sunlight, temperature changes and even loud noise.

Carrier Oils from Mountain Rose Herbs

Even though they are called oils, they are light and non-greasy. They dissolve easily in fatty oils, but not in water.

Essential oils are highly complex chemically and this makes them both versatile and safe, since many properties act together to balance them out. Some people are surprised by the many therapeutic properties mentioned for a single oil, but this reflects the complicated chemistry of the oil.

How you apply essential, or aromatherapy, oils has an impact on their healing capabilities.  Because they are so highly concentrated, it is not often recommended that you apply essential oils in their pure form directly to the skin.

Baths- A few drops of oil directly in water

Massage- A few drops of essential oil added to massage oil or any carrier oil (almond, jojoba, coconut etc)

Vapor Inhalation- 5 drops in steaming water. Inhale the steam using a towel tent over the head

Lotion/Cream/Salve- Essential oils added to these products are absorbed through the skin

Compress-Add essential oil to warm water. Dip in a cotton cloth and wring it out. Place this on the body.

If you don’t know where to start with aromatherapy, I buy all of my supplies from Mountain Rose Herbs. You can find them on my blogroll. Enjoy!

Homemade Hippie Bug Spray

In Michigan we are surrounded by water, which causes lots of humidity, which causes mosquitos the size of pterodactyls. For some reason mosquitos love me. Maybe because I am an extremely white, white girl and you can see every vein in my body, which to a mosquito must look like the best all you can eat lunch buffet in town. I also get welts the size of a quarter every time I get bit, so I spend  most of the summer looking like a victim of scabies. They have hatched really early this year, because of the crazy warm weather, so it’s time to get out the arsenal and try to fend them off before they start carrying away small children.

The best natural bug repellant I’ve ever used is Bite Blocker by Homs LLC. I have tried several different kinds, but they all seem to wear off after a few minutes. Bite Blocker really works for hours, and doesn’t smell nasty at all. I decided to make my own version of Bite Blocker at home, because the ingredients list is pretty simple.

If you don’t want to  make your own it can be purcased HERE. If you use the coupon code HIF798 you will receive a $10 discount and free shipping.

Homemade Hippie Buy Spray

1/4 cup olive oil (or any cheap liquid oil you have laying around)

2 Tbsp vegetable glycerin

1 Tbsp Citric Acid

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp homemade vanilla extract

6 drops Lavender essential oil

6 drops Tea Tree essential oil

6 drops Clove Bud essential oil

6 drops Peppermint essential oil

6 drops Rosemary essential oil

6 drops Eucalyptus essential oil

10 drops Geranium essential oil

Mix all ingredients and pour into a spray bottle. Shake before each use. Reapply after 2-3 hours. You can use any strong mixture of essential oils that you prefer, this is just what I had a lot of in the house. I would make sure to use the Geranium oil, because that is the main active ingredient in Bite Blocker. The others I’m sure you could play with and have good results. Let me know what you use!

I have used this a few times so far and it does work very well. Rob and I went to a terribly overgrown area to chop down some dead trees for fire wood. It was way back in the shade, and next to a small creek. Every step we took sent up swarms of mosquitos and I thought for sure we’d be covered in welts. I got one nasty bite on my ankle, through my sock and Rob got zero bites. Considering that we were outside for 2 1/2 hours hauling firewood and sweating profusely I think that is pretty darn good don’t you?

This also smells good, and isn’t offensive to Rob’s manly nostrils, as he doesn’t like to “smell like a flower”.

Related Posts:

Homemade Hippie Wrinkle Cream

Homemade Hippie Mouthwash

Homemade Hippie Face Wash

Homemade Hippie Hand Lotion

Homemade Hippie Lip Balm

Homemade Hippie Hair Spray

Homemade Hippie Body Wash

Homemade Hippie Tooth Paste

Homemade Hippie Body Lotion


I just placed an IHerb order and received $10 off with this coupon code so I thought I’d share. The code is: HIF798

They sell many types of caffeine free herbal coffee, so I ordered a whole year supply for only $41.00. IHerb also has FREE SHIPPING  for any order of $20. How cool is that?

No shipping plus save $10. You can’t beat that. I love a good deal. (Most cheapskates do!)

So again the code is HIF798 and it has no expiration date. Coupons codes are good for $10 off any 1st time purchase of $40 or more, or $5 off any 1st time purchase less than $40.

Other things I order from iherb

  • Loose tea and Tea bags
  • Herbal Coffee
  • Essential Oils
  • Probiotics
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • B-Vitamin complex
  • Organic Bulk Nuts
  • Amino Acids

Their shipping is always very fast. I ordered my herbal coffee on Wednesday and it was at my house by Friday. Enjoy the coupon!

Essential Oil of Geranium and its many uses

Essential oil is produced by steam distillation of the leaves from Pelargonium Radens and P. Capitatum. The main ingredients are geraniol and citronellol. It is a beautiful pale, green color. The scent is mildly green, slightly sharp, and sweet.

Geranium is an antiseptic, antidepressant, and astringent. It stops bleeding and promotes quick healing and is very useful to treat injury. It balances sebum production in the skin and is useful if the skin is too oily or too dry.

Geranium stimulates the adrenal cortex, helping to regulate and balance hormones. It is very useful to treat menopause, PMS and other hormonal imbalances.

Geranium stimulates the lymphatic system and is a mild diuretic. It is used during massage to treat cellulitis and edema. It has a general tonic effect on the liver and kidneys and is helpful for jaundice, kidney stones, constipation and urinary tract infections.

Geranium is an excellent insect repellant, and especially powerful if combined with Essential Oil of Lemon and Citronella.

Because Geranium is somewhat stimulating, it should not be used directly before bedtime.

See also:

Essential Oil of Bergamot and its many uses

Essential Oil of Thyme and its many uses

Rosehip Seed Oil for wrinkles (plus an eye cream recipe)

Essential Oil of Bergamot and its many uses

Essential Oil of Bergamot

The Bergamot tree takes its name from the small town of Bergamo in Northern Italy. The fruit, which looks like a miniature orange, has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years. The oil is obtained by hand-squeezing the rind of the Bergamot.

The active ingredients in Bergamot Oil are linalyl acetate, limonene and linalol. It has a delicate citrus aroma, and is a light green in color.

Bergamot Oil is used to treat urinary tract infections, depression, anxiety and is valuable for skin care. Bergamot Oil, if used at the early stage, can prevent a urinary tract infection from spreading from the urethra into the bladder. For this condition it should be used in a bath or diluted as a wash.

The antiseptic properties  make it an ideal treatment for acne, oily skin and skin infections. A hot compress of Bergamot can be used to draw the infection out of boils or sores. It is cooling to the skin  during fever and is also an excellent insect repellant. Bergamot Oil inhibits the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores and is a relief to those with chicken pox.

Bergamot is also considered a photosensitiser, making the skin more reactive to the sun. If you have very pale or delicate skin do not apply to exposed areas, and then go directly out into the sun. If you tan easily, this oil will help you develop a tan faster.

I love the smell of Bergamot Oil! I put 10 drops in my bottle of Jojoba oil. I use this as a facial moisturizer. I find that it balances out my skin. Because it is an uplifting oil (not stimulating) it is a great bath oil and is good for my mood.

Annoying Health Disclaimer:

All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgement available to the authors, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

Homemade Hippie Body Lotion

Homemade Hippie Body Lotion

1 cup Jojoba Oil

1/2 cup Coconut Oil

1/2 c beeswax pastilles

1/2 tsp Vitamin E oil

20 drops any essential oil

  • Mix oils and wax in a glass jar or large glass measuring cup. Put this jar into a saucepan and fill pan with water, being careful not to get any water into the jar. Heat the water until wax/oil are melted, stirring occasionally.
  • Let jar cool to room temp. Stir every 15 minutes to emulsify. After thickened, add vitamin E and essential oil.

I make this in a pint size canning jar, and keep it in that jar. Then I don’t have to worry about the messy process of transferring the lotion into a different container. You can use any oil that your prefer as long as the measurements stay the same. I have  used grapeseed and almond oils. I’m trying to come up with the perfect combination for an eye cream next. I buy the organic oils and beeswax from Mountain Rose Herbs. I also do a alot of online ordering for Iherb. If you use the coupon code HIF798 you will receive a $10 discount and free shipping!

Need an anti-wrinkle cream? I am posting about that very soon!

Related Posts:

Homemade Hippie Eye Cream

Homemade Hippie Mouthwash, Face Wash, Body Wash

Homemade Hippie Lip Balm

Homemade Hippie Hand Lotion

Homemade Hippie Toothpaste


Essential Oil of Thyme and its many uses

Thyme is a member of the Labiatae family and is native to the Mediterranean. It has been known as a medicinal plant since early civilization. The latin name for common Thyme is Thymus vulgaris.

It is often used to treat cough, cold and sore throat and as a general disinfectant. Thyme is very stimulating to the respiratory system, and can be used during steam inhalation or as a mouthwash or gargle.

Thyme stimulates white blood cell production, strengthening the bodies immune system. It has been used for fatigue and depression and to raise low blood pressure. Some say it improves memory and brain function.

Thyme can be used in a compress for infections and wounds. It is useful when added to soaps or lotions as a disinfectant, and is excellent for insect bites or bee stings.

I use it often in steam inhalations. I boil 1 quart of purified water and pour it into a ceramic bowl. I place a heavy bath towel over my head and breathe deeply. I add one drop of Thyme oil and breathe this in until it has dissipated. Then I follow that with 1 drop of Tea Tree Oil and 1 drop of Eucalyptus Oil. I find it helps to kick any kind of infection or cold that I may be struggling to fight off.

I would suggest tying your hair back and protecting your skin from the hot steam with a thin layer of jojoba or coconut oil. I have delicate skin and it gets really dry if I don’t do this first. Steam inhalations are great for cleaning out your pores too, especially if you apply oil first. Its like the Oil-cleansing method on steroids 🙂 If you are using this for children or those with senstive skin, I would suggest diluting it in oil first.

Has anyone made their own Essential Oil? I would love to learn how to do that!

Annoying Health Disclaimer:

All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgement available to the authors, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

Homemade Hippie All Purpose Household Cleanser and Disinfectant

I refill a spray bottle and use this to clean just about everything. I figured out my cost today and for a 32 oz spray bottle it cost me 0.27 cents. With the tea tree oil being the most expensive ingredient. I have also been known to spray out my kitchen sink with just plain vinegar, which is by itself a strong disinfectant.

All Purpose Disinfectant and Cleanser

2 tsp borax

1/4 cup vinegar

4 cups hot water

12 drops tea tree oil

1/4 tsp liquid soap

Mix all ingredients (except tea tree oil) in spray bottle and shake. After mixture has cooled, add tea tree oil. Shake before each use.

Related Posts:
Homemade Hippie Orange Cleaner

Homemade Hippie Dishwashing Detergent

Homemade Hippie Windex for .12 cents

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

Complete List of Homemade Hippie Recipes HERE

Homemade Hippie Mouthwash

The risk of acquiring cancer rises almost five times for users of alcohol-containing mouthwash. Over the counter mouth washes can contain coal-tar, colorants, synthetic dyes and other petroleum-based chemicals. They also commonly contain formaldehyde, parabens, methyl salicylate, sodium lauryl sulphate, synthetic sweeteners and flavorings, triclosan and thymol. Many of these ingredients are known carcinogens.

I didn’t want to give up mouthwash all together, so I decided to make my own.

Homemade Hippie Mouthwash

1/2 cup purified water

1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide

2 tsp baking soda

5 drops essential oil of Peppermint

Shake before use.  I find this to work just as well as the store-bought mouthwash I was previously using. It also whitens your teeth. If you gargle with it, the hydrogen peroxide gets bubbly and frothy. These tiny bubbles help disinfect the sinus cavities and can prevent sinus infections.

Related Posts:

Homemade Hippie Wrinkle Cream

Homemade Hippie Tooth Paste

Homemade Hippie Face Wash

Homemade Hippie Hand Lotion

Homemade Hippie Body Wash

Homemade Hippie Hair Spray

Homemade Hippie Lip Balm

Homemade Hippie Bug Spray

Complete List Of Homemade Hippie Recipes

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