How to Make Aloe-Based Sweet Basil Hand Cleanser

Have you ever touched a surface that felt a little sticky or dirty, and then been unable to fully relax until you washed your hands or used a hand cleanser?

Sweet Basil essential oil knows the feeling!

For Sweet Basil, cleanliness and peace of mind tend to go hand in hand. It’s good at both inspiring mental clarity and helping to reduce germs so you feel healthy. You can make a hand cleanser with aloe vera gel and Sweet Basil essential oil that accomplishes both of these things, and use it anytime, anywhere. You don’t have to run and find the nearest sink!

This recipe also includes Tea Tree and Clary Sage essential oils. It has a clean, fresh, herbal scent.

Sweet Basil’s Super Fresh Hand Cleanser

  • 1 oz (28 g) aloe vera gel (Aloe barbadensis)
  • 6 drops Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum linalol)
  • 9 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 3 drops Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)

Make this blend in a 1 oz (30 ml) bottle. Combine the aloe and essential oils, shake well, and use a small amount to rub into your hands and cleanse them, even when you don’t have a sink and soap nearby.

Aloe-based hand cleanser is so convenient, and it doesn’t tend to dry out skin as much as alcohol-based cleansers can. You can even make a version of this blend for kids—it’s very easy for children who are over five years old to use, and can help them stay healthy at school or daycare.

Here’s a version with a low kid-friendly drop count:

  • 1 oz (28 g) aloe vera gel (Aloe barbadensis)
  • 2 drops Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum linalol)
  • 3 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 1 drop Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)

Once you’ve made your first aloe-based hand cleanser, you might get inspired and want to make more!

Essential Oil Hand Cleanser for Kids

This essential oil hand cleanser uses skin-nourishing ingredients, including aloe vera gel, so it’s gentler than alcohol-based hand sanitizers you can find in stores.

I know a lot of parents and caretakers who are big fans of this hand cleanser. They like that it’s natural and that kids can keep it with them and use it on their own without having to ask a grown-up. It’s so empowering for kids and it helps keep their hands clean—a great combination!

This recipe is just right for kids who are at least five years old. You can make it in a 2 oz (60 ml) PET plastic bottle, which is small enough to fit in a child’s backpack or bag without taking up too much space. The PET plastic is very strong and won’t break with rough use. (PET plastic is known as a non-reactive plastic that doesn’t leach. In cases where glass isn’t ideal, PET plastic is a good choice.)

My Hands Are Clean!

  • Just under 2 oz (60 ml) Aloe vera gel (Aloe barbadensis)
  • 2 ml Solubol dispersant
  • 4 drops Tea Tree essential oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 4 drops Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 2 drops Cedarwood essential oil (Juniperus virginiana)

To make it, combine all the ingredients together in the PET plastic bottle. Screw on the lid and shake it gently.

To use it, just spray some essential oil hand cleanser into your palm, and rub your hands together. It feels so good when your skin is dry! I like to use my aloe-based hand cleansers as moisturizers too. (I love that so many Aromatherapy products we can make have multiple uses!)

For kids younger than five, or if you don’t want to use essential oils, you can make a hand cleanser with pure hydrosols.

My Little Hands Are Clean Too!

  • 1 oz (30 ml) Peppermint hydrosol (Mentha x piperita)
  • 1 oz (30 ml) Lavender hydrosol (Lavandula angustifolia)

This one doesn’t double as a hand moisturizer . . . but it can double as a surface cleaner in a pinch! It’s great to have “on hand” (haha!) when you’re eating at a restaurant and want to wipe down the table top.

There are different approaches to using essential oils with little children. The Aromahead Approach for kids under five is extra cautious. For topical use, we prefer to use hydrosols, butters and carrier oils.

Babies’ and young children’s skin can be so sensitive that essential oils can easily become overwhelming for them. Hydrosols, butters, and carrier oils can often give a child the nudge they need toward rebalancing their health

I recommend making these blends fresh every few weeks.

DIY Herbal Facial Steam

As traditional winter wellness practices for our sinus, herbal steams are also appropriate for welcoming spring, as they are a powerful herbal tool for clearing out stagnation and supportive to moving lymph. They are a great way to wind down from a busy day, and a lovely holistic practice to gently nourish the skin, soothe and warm the eyes, face, neck, and jaw.

While inhaling the rich vapors of aromatic plants, the essential oils released from a hot water infusion penetrate the airways and can have an immediate effect on the sinuses and lungs, encouraging deep breathing, and brightening to dull and congested winter skin.

Herbal steams have long been used as a way to help support the body’s natural defenses and are an excellent ally for children and adults alike. The warm touch of steam on the face during the colder days is something appreciated by all, especially when the steam is magnified by powerfully fragrant herbs that are soothing and invoke clarity.

A classic way to prepare a steam is to create a ‘tent’ with a towel over your head. You simply need a pot and a towel. Some of the best preparations are the simplest, so keep it easy!

Below are two uncomplicated yet effective steam recipes that can be prepared quickly as a comforting and soothing practice 1 or twice a week.

For immune and lung support:

Add a handful of herbs rich in essential oils that are traditionally used for supporting the Immune system- often the ones you find in your spice cabinet.

There you can find thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary, peppermint… all rich in volatile oils, ready to be released and breathed in. For a more instant effect, try adding other herbs such as eucalyptus, lavender and essential oils.

For brightening and renewing winter skin:  Herbs like lemon balm, rose, lavender and calendula are great. Add in a drop or two of essential oil, and you have a home spa!

I recommend steaming in the evenings where you can then wind down, stay hydrated and enjoy deep, restful sleep!


  • 1 large stock pot
  • 16 cups of water
  • A handful of dried herbs
  • A few drops of essential oils—eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint (optional)

Bring water to a boil. Turn off the stove, remove from heat source and secure to make sure you won’t get burned!

Add herbs and immediately cover. Place towel over your head, remove the lid and create a tent over the pot. Deeply inhale for at least 10 minutes, adjusting accordingly. The power of a steam is in the vapor…

Steams can be done multiple times a day and are gentle enough for anyone. I recommend re-using the herbs, if possible, for at least 2 rounds.

Cheers to good health!

The Wonder’s of Chamomile

The chamomile herb is another well-known plant, used in making effective herbal remedies for the treatment of a variety of illnesses. The herb has a great relaxant action on the nervous system and the digestive system. The herbal remedies made from this plant are considered to be a perfect remedy for the treatment of disorders affecting babies and children. The main action of the chamomile is that it brings about relaxation in all the smooth muscles throughout the body of an individual. The herb acts on the digestive tract and rapidly brings relief from any muscular tension and spasms, it alleviates disorders such as colic, and it can reduce the amount of abdominal pain, and remedy excess production of the wind and abdominal distension in patients. The other major effect of the herb lies in its ability to regulate peristalsis along the esophagus, resulting in the treatment of both diarrhea and persistent constipation in a patient. The chamomile is well known for its ability to soothe all types of problems related to the digestive system, particularly when these are specifically related to persistent stress and tension affecting the person. The flow of bile is stimulated by the bitters, at the same time, the chamomile also affects the secretion of digestive juices in the body, as a result, it enhances the general appetite and this leads to an improvement in the sluggish digestion of the patient. When used internally and as a topical medication, the volatile oil is known to prevent ulceration’s and is also observed to be capable of speeding up the healing process in areas of the skin affected by ulcers, this ability makes chamomile an excellent remedy for the treatment of gastritis, and in the treatment of peptic ulcers along with varicose ulcers affecting the legs of the patient. The potent antiseptic action of the chamomile is also very valuable, the herb is very active against all infections arising from bacteria, and it can be used in the treatment of various illnesses, including common thrush – caused by the Candida albicans. Herbal chamomile tea is also another way to use the herb, and this tea helps in lowering the temperature of the body during a persistent fever and furthermore, the herbal tea is also effective against colds, flu, common sore throats, persistent coughs, and against all kinds of digestive infections such as the common gastroenteritis which affects a lot of patients annually. Inflammation of the bladder and cases of cystitis are soothed easily by the antiseptic oils in the chamomile – leading to effective and rapid relief from the condition. Herbal remedies made from the chamomile also helps in relieving persistent nausea and sickness felt by a women during the term of her pregnancy, the herbal remedy can also help bring relaxation from uterine spasms and aids in relieving painful periods, it also helps in reducing painful menopausal symptoms, the remedy can also be used to bring relief from mastitis, it is effective against premenstrual headaches and migraines. In addition, the remedy is also used in the treatment of absent flows during the menstrual period – if the condition is due to the presence of stress felt by the women. The pain felt during the contractions of labor can be relieved by drinking herbal chamomile tea; the tea can also be drunk throughout the process of childbirth to help relax the tension in the muscles. The herbal remedies made from the chamomile also function as an effective general pain reliever, thus, the chamomile can be taken to treat persistent and painful headaches, it can be used in the treatment of migraines, it can be used to treat neuralgia, and it can also be used to relieve a toothache, an earache, or the achiness which occurs during flu, it is effective against muscular cramps, it can be used to treat rheumatic and gout pains in the body. Inflammation in arthritic joints can also be effectively relieved by consuming herbal remedies made from the chamomile. The property of the chamomile in the role of a natural anti-histamine has also been observed during recent researchers conducted the chamomile herb – thus there is a possibility that the herb can be used in this role. Herbal remedies made from the chamomile are also used in the treatment of asthma and to treat hay fever and the herb is used externally as a topical remedy for skin disorders such as eczema. As an antiseptic remedy, the chamomile has been used topically in the treatment of all kinds of wounds, it has been used in the treatment of different types of ulcers, it can be used to treat sores, and to treat burns as well as scalded skin. Chamomile in the form of steam inhalations can effectively aid in bringing relief from asthma, it can ward off hay fever, and it can also alleviate catarrh and sinusitis in patients. Topical chamomile cream has also been used to treat sore nipples and this cream is also used as a vaginal douche for the treatment of all kinds of vaginal infections in women. Soothing relief from cystitis and hemorrhoids can be had by sitting on a bowl of chamomile herbal tea. The antiseptic actions of the chamomile herb are also excellent in the role of an antiseptic eyewash to treat sore and inflamed eyes and it can also be used as a lotion for the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions including eczema and common fungal infections such as ringworm.


Chamomile herbal remedies must be considered by anyone who has ever suffered from an occasional migraine headache and this remedy is also effective in treating hyperactive children, the famous French herbalist, Maurice Messegue, had great success with herbal remedies made from the chamomile in treating such ailments. In one example, a man affected by debilitating migraine attacks was cured after just 14 days of intensive treatment using herbal remedies made from the chamomile herb – such is the power of this plant. Herbal teas made from the chamomile can be very relaxing to the body, preparation of such teas involve relatively simple steps, just steep about 2 tablespoons of some fresh or dried chamomile flowers in a pint of water, boil the water for about 40 minutes. After removing the pot, cool down the broth and strain the liquid, it can then be sweetened using some pure maple syrup and this herbal tea can be drunk in doses of 1-2 cups at a time on a regular basis for long-term treatment of headaches.

The chamomile has also been frequently praised for its properties by many European herbalists, who have often raved about its big cosmetic benefits – especially when used as a topical herbal application. A healthier and softer glow can be detected for example, when the face is washed several times every week, with the herbal tea made from the chamomile. At the same time, this tea also has other uses, it is considered to be a wonderful hair conditioner and has great benefits, and particularly when treating blond hair, the herbal tea makes hair more manageable and induces a shinier surface on the hair. This herbal tea can be prepared by bringing one pint of water to a boil, once the boiled water has been removed from the heat, immediately add 2 tsp. of dried chamomile flowers. Now cover the pot and let the herbal essences steep into the water for about 45 minutes. After this infusion process, the water can be strained and the resulting tea can be used while still lukewarm or when fully cooled down.

All external conditions of the body, including inflammation in the skin, can be treated using the chamomile as a herbal compress or in the form of a herbal wash; the herbal oil can also be rubbed into affected areas of the body to treat muscular stiffness and to alleviate temporary cases of paralysis in the limbs. Prepare a consumable herbal tea from the chamomile – which can also be used as a wash – by bringing about 1-2 pints of water to a boil, to this boiling water add 2 heaped teaspoons of dried or fresh chamomile flowers. The pot containing the water must then be removed from the heat at once and the herb can then be allowed to steep into the water for about 20 minutes or so it can then be cooled and strained to get the tea. This herbal tea made from the chamomile can be drunk one cup at a time about 2-3 times every day and the tea can also be used as a herbal wash to treat inflamed areas of the skin, by applying it to the affected area several times per day. Paralysis and stiffness in the limbs can also be treated using a chamomile massage oil, this oil can be topically used to treat all aches such as lower backaches, prepare this herbal oil solution by filling a small bottle with some fresh chamomile flowers and pour some olive oil until it completely covers the flowers inside the bottle. Once the oil and the flowers are sealed into the bottle, place a tight lid over the mouth of the bottle and place the bottle under direct sunlight for two weeks at a stretch, during this time, the herbal essences from the flowers will seep into the olive oil and the remedy is ready, it can then be stored in the refrigerator and used as a topical healing oil whenever necessary. Any oil that is going to be externally applied to the skin must always be warmed before it is massaged into the affected areas of the skin. To gain immediate and incredible relief, and to help you soothe your tired or irritated eyes, soak some chamomile tea bags in some ice water for a little while, this solution can then be used as an application on the eyelids for rapid relief from the tiredness and irritation. The particular topical eye wash is an especially good idea during allergy season when eyes are typically affected because of irritants such as pollen in the air.

A chemical compound known as azulene is one of the chief chemical components in all species of chamomiles, and particularly so, in the German variety of the herb. This particular chemical compound is a very potent anti-allergen and has been recorded as helping in the prevention of allergic seizures, up to an hour following its administration even in experimental guinea pigs. A possible cure for hay fever might lie in careful use and administration of the azulene. In little children as well as in adults, the herbal remedies made from the chamomile are effective in relieving sudden asthmatic attacks – this is another very important ability of the herb. In a majority of health stores, a very effective chamomile throat spray is marketed under the name CamoCare, this spray has been used to relieve the distress and blockage during an asthma attack. Patients suffering from asthma can benefit from this herbal spray by spraying some of this chamomile concentrate into the mouth right at the very back of the throat, the spray will aid in relieving the sudden choking sensations during an attack and it will also help in facilitating respiration during the attack. During allergy season, vulnerable adults are advised to drink 3-4 cups of warm chamomile tea on a daily basis, young children can also benefit by taking 1-2 cups per day during this time, concurrently such vulnerable individuals are advised to inhale the warmed herbal vapors while keeping their heads covered using a heavy bath towel and they should do this while holding the face 8-10 inches above the pan which has some freshly made chamomile tea, inhalation must last for 12-15 minutes every sitting for beneficial results.

Clsoe chamomile

The ability to inducing regeneration in the body is a property possessed by only a very few herbs in the plant kingdom, such abilities as producing brand new liver tissue belong to very few herbs. German chamomile possesses this unique property, and so does the common tomato juice among herbs. The chemical compounds azulene and guaiazulene present in herbs were identified as being able to initiate the growth of new tissues in experimental rats which had a portion of their livers surgically removed, these experimental results were obtained in one research recorded in Vol. 15 of Food & Cosmetics Toxicology published in the year 1977. Patients with wasted liver tissues are advised to take up to 6 cups of the herbal chamomile tea every other day or in an average dosage amount of 3-4 cups every day – this regimen is ideal for encouraging the regeneration of liver tissues in the body of the patient. Compared to the powdered capsules, for example, it is known that the herbal tea works much better and is a more efficient way of treatment over the long term. In the treatment of patients, and especially patients already suffering from some severe degenerative liver diseases such as infectious hepatitis or the complications due to the AIDS virus, the consumption of this remedy will prove to be extremely beneficial in the long term.

Chamomile Hair Rinse

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dried chamomile flowers

Boil together for 5 minutes. Strain. Apply to the hair after washing.

Herbal Shampoo with Chamomile

  • 2 Tbs. dried chamomile flowers
  • 2 Tbs. dried rosemary
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp. borax
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup dried mint leaves, crushed
  • 2 cups no detergent shampoo

Pour boiling water over the herbs in a medium bowl, cover, and allow the herbs to steep for 1 hour. Remove the herbs.
Beat the egg until frothy, and beat into the shampoo, along with the borax. Combine with the herbal infusion. Bottle, and keep stored in the refrigerator. It will keep about 1 month. Use as regular shampoo.

Chamomile Cleansing Milk

Chamomile cleansing milk is excellent for people having dry skin. The ingredients used to prepare this herbal cleanser include:

  • 2 tablespoonfuls (30 ml) of chamomile flowers
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) of milk containing full fat

To prepare this cleansing recipe, you should first gently heat the two ingredients together in a double boiler for about 30 minutes. However, be careful not to allow the mixture to boil. Allow the mixture to cool down for two hours, filter it and store the preparation in a refrigerator. This herbal cleanser ought to be used within seven days of preparation.

10 Tips for Healthy Natural Hair

You can make your very own organic, natural hair products at home for a fraction of the cost of most product lines. It’s easy to create organic shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks right in your kitchen. Completely natural, non-toxic hair products offer hydration, nutrition and stimulation to the scalp and hair.

Here are some of my favorite tips for getting and keeping the best natural-looking healthy hair. I would love to hear all of your personal tips for healthy hair.

1. Make an Herbal Hair Mask

Combine 1 teaspoon of triphala powder (an Ayurvedic herb you can purchase online), with 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel and a small amount of water until a paste is formed. Wet hair and apply paste to scalp and hair. Leave on for at least 20 minutes and rinse.

2. Use Natural Sesame Oil Conditioner

For dry hair, rub a small amount of organic sesame or olive oil on broken and split ends. Cover hair in a plastic bag or a shower cap and leave for at least 45 minutes, or up to overnight. Shampoo and rinse well.

3. Keep Hair Clean, Not “Over-Cleaned”

It’s important to have clean hair but over washing can leave hair brittle and void of natural lubricating oils. Wash hair every other day or every third day.

4. Don’t Drink Beer – Rinse With It!

Pre-shower, give your hair a rinse with 1/4 cup of flat organic, high-quality beer. Leave the beer in the hair for 15 minutes, then rinse with a natural shampoo as normal.

5. Try a Basic Baking Soda Wash

Simply giving your hair a weekly baking soda rinse will help rid the hair of the layers of chemical gels and environmental pollutants that can attach to the hair throughout the week. It also gives the hair a vibrant glossy feeling and may even lighten it. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to your hair while doing your normal shampooing regime.

6. Try a Sandalwood Powder Hair Mask

Add 2 teaspoons of organic sandalwood powder to 3 tablespoons lime juice for an excellent cooling summer hair mask. You may also replace sandalwood with licorice powder, or combine both into a mix.

7. Use a Coconut Oil Conditioner

For dry and brittle hair, increase moisture by giving yourself a coconut hot oil treatment. Massage a small amount of warm coconut oil (organic and cold-pressed if possible), into scalp and through ends. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes, and then shampoo and rinse as normal. You may need to wash twice to get out all of the oil.

8. Use Essential Oil Remedies

Avoid harsh chemical sprays. Rosemary essential oil is an excellent detangler. Rub a few drops into your palms and then through damp, tangled hair. You can also put a little rosemary oil on your hairbrush for de-tangling action.

9. Eat for Healthy Hair

Drinking purified water and eating a healthy, organic, plant-based diet helps healthy locks. Avoid processed foods with chemicals and preservatives that strip body and hair of healthy, natural glow.

10. Use a Castor Oil Deep Conditioner

For extra conditioning and healthier hair, add 2 teaspoons of castor oil to one egg white. Massage the oil-egg mixture into wet hair and scalp. Leave for at least 25 minutes before rinsing.

Is Biotin the Answer for Hair Growth?

Like other B vitamins, biotin is an essential nutrient that’s almost inexplicably important. It helps the body break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It is a cofactor in many enzyme-driven metabolic reactions. And, because biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss (and other effects like depression or an inflamed rash on the face), biotin has been associated with normal hair growth.

You may have noticed that the labels of many brands of shampoo and conditioner boast about added vitamins and nutrients, including biotin. It is true that biotin is essential for hair but biotin isn’t absorbed through the hair or skin in a way that will benefit the cells in the body. This means that a shampoo or conditioner with added vitamins won’t make your hair grow faster, healthier, or thicker. Vitamins must be taken orally to have an effect. Additionally, there’s not yet a clear, scientific consensus on whether or not biotin can help people with normal biotin levels grow more hair.

The Role of Biotin for Hair Growth

Biological processes are complex–all of them–and hair growth is no exception. Biotin plays a role in the infrastructure of keratin, the protein that makes up hair, skin, and nails. Visible hair is actually cells that have been keratinized, organized into strands, and pushed out of the hair follicle. As they’re pushed up and out toward the scalp, they dry, harden, and actually die because, as they get farther from the follicle, they don’t have access to blood flow and the nutrients it delivers.

Thus, it is inside the hair follicle where cells are alive and active and hair is formed; adding biotin to hair care products isn’t going to benefit those cells. Strands of hair have three layers–the medulla (the core), the cortex, and the cuticle. Healthy hair isn’t produced from the outside in, but rather the inside out. That’s why biotin added to shampoo or conditioner is little more than marketing-speak to spice up the label.

Hair, nail, and skin health are key indicators of nutritional status. Strong, shiny hair is often seen as a physical representation of health and youth; it’s no wonder it’s so desirable. Conversely, not only is thin hair viewed by some as an indication of poor nutritional status, in some cases that may actually be true. Inadequate biotin has been tied to hair loss and increased hair shedding is actually considered a symptom of biotin deficiency. Hair follicles divide more quickly than other cells and hair loss from a biotin deficiency can manifest as quickly as one week.

What Does the Research Say?

Thinning hair and hair loss are troubling conditions that may cause self-consciousness and affect self-esteem. The average person sheds 50-100 hairs a day and not everyone will replace those lost hairs. Though biotin deficiency is rare, evidence suggests that when inadequate biotin is to blame for hair loss, biotin supplementation may help stop the problem and strengthen the infrastructure of keratin.

In one exciting study, women with temporary thinning hair who were given a nutritional supplement containing biotin experienced a 52% increase in hair growth density over the course of 3-6 months of continued use.

Other Ways to Encourage Healthy Looking Hair

There are other steps you can take to promote shiny, healthy-looking hair.

  • Cleanse your hair with gentle products to prevent stripping its natural oils.
  • Style your hair at a low heat.
  • Avoid dying or bleaching your hair to reduce breakage and drying.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet to provide a complete spectrum of nutrition to keep your hair looking and feeling great.

How Much Biotin Should You Take?

At this time, there is no scientific consensus for daily biotin requirements. Estimates range from 30 micrograms up to 300 micrograms for adults. Biotin is water soluble and excess amounts are excreted from the body.

It’s also important to note that even if you’re getting enough biotin in your diet, your body might not be absorbing enough biotin because certain health conditions and foods can impede absorption of the micronutrient. Additionally, biotin doesn’t operate in a vacuum all by itself. It’s one of many important nutrients that work together to not only maintain healthy hair but good health in general.

Best Vitamins and Minerals for Hair Growth

Hair loss and thinning hair is a problem that affects many people. By the age of 35, about 66% of men will experience some type of hair loss or thinning. By their mid-50s, about 85% of men will have lost a significant amount of hair. Although it’s talked about less, hair loss affects women as well; about 40% of people who experience hair loss are women. And, because it’s generally considered more acceptable, or at least more common in men, hair loss can be especially distressing for women, causing depression and negatively affecting self-esteem.

Although full, shiny hair is viewed by many as an outward characteristic of youth and good genes, hair loss is not purely an issue of vanity. Rather, hair health can actually be a telling indicator of health status. 

Vitamins for Hair Growth

Everything your body does is fueled by nutrition. Without enough vitamin B-12, your energy levels will suffer; bone health can be negatively affected if calcium levels are inadequate; your immune system can’t be strong without adequate selenium. Hair growth is no different and, in fact, several nutrients are absolutely critical for normal hair growth–vitamins A, C, biotin (B7), and niacin (B3), and the essential minerals iron, zinc, and iodine. Together, they provide the nutritional foundation for full, thick, shiny looking hair. If you’re short on the essential nutrients that support healthy hair, it won’t look and feel its best.

Vitamin D

Adequate vitamin D is important for preventing hair loss, especially in women. In one study, females who experienced female pattern hair loss also had low levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency accompanies a host of serious health consequences. Though rare, this deficiency also leads to dry hair, which is one of the first indications that you’re not getting enough vitamin A.


Biotin, or vitamin B7, is one of the B-complex vitamins. The relationship between biotin and hair growth is still unclear but it is known that adequate biotin is necessary for healthy hair growth. As with vitamin A deficiency, hair loss is usually one of the first signs of a biotin deficiency. The best way to avoid a biotin deficiency is to simply get enough in your diet. Avocados, bananas, legumes, and leafy greens are some of the best biotin food sources.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it helps mitigate free radical damage. Although many people associate free radical damage as some sort of internal-only process, hair follicle cells are also affected by free radical stress and it can start to show in hair strands, especially as you age. The free radical theory of aging (FRTA) holds that a lifetime of cellular damage from free radicals is what actually causes the effects commonly referred to as aging–the diminished cell and organ function associated with advancing years.

Antioxidants like vitamin C can help reduce oxidative damage. In hair follicles, this translates to preventing unnecessary and premature greying of the hair, as well as hair loss. Fortunately, a balanced diet can supply more than enough vitamin C. Some of the best sources are citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and Brussels sprouts.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that helps fight damage from free radicals. People who suffer from hair loss generally have fewer antioxidants present in the scalp and, thus, more evidence of oxidative damage in the skin. One small study of persons affected by alopecia (a type of hair loss where the immune system attacks hair follicles) found that oral supplementation with tocotrienol, a type of vitamin E, helped reduce oxidative stress in the scalp and encourage more hair growth.

Minerals for Hair Growth


Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. It is extremely prevalent in both developing and developed countries and the causes and symptoms are many. Iron makes up part of the hemoglobin in blood cells and helps carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

Unsurprisingly, several studies have tied iron status to hair loss. While it’s not necessary to screen all patients with alopecia for iron deficiency anemia, hair loss treatments are enhanced when poor iron status is addressed. Iron deficiency anemia is usually remedied with iron-fortified foods or iron supplements. The best iron rich foods include white beans, chocolate, and lentils.


Zinc deficiency has a well-documented history of contributing to hair loss. One study found that patients with alopecia had significantly lower concentrations of zinc in their blood. Unfortunately, it might not be inadequate zinc intake that contributes to hair loss. Rather, it seems patients with alopecia have trouble metabolizing and using zinc. Regardless, zinc supplementation is still useful for those with a low zinc status. Even better, many foods are an excellent source of zinc. Some of the best foods for zinc include garlic, pumpkin seeds, and chickpeas.


Thyroid disruption can cause hair loss and iodine is necessary to support thyroid hormone production. Thyroid disorders have been observed in up to 28% of people with alopecia. Without enough thyroid hormones, hair follicles stay in the “rest” phase (telogen) of the hair cycle, rather than the growing phase (anagen).

Sea vegetables like kelp, kombu, and nori seaweed provide the most consistent iodine concentrations but they’re not very popular among westerners. If you don’t find them palatable, iodine supplementation might be the solution to getting the iodine necessary to support the production of thyroid hormones.

Other Common Causes of Hair Loss

There are many causes of hair loss, some include stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, genetics, and poor hair maintenance. There are even many diseases where hair loss is a primary symptom. The most common form of hair thinning is androgenetic alopecia (AGA or male/female pattern baldness) and it affects both men and women, but the other causes–telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, ringworm, scarring alopecia, and others–are not uncommon.

As a side note, hair loss isn’t the only problem that can arise from AGA. For men, androgenetic alopecia is closely associated with coronary heart disease, enlarged prostate, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and prostate cancer. In women, androgenetic alopecia comes with an increased risk of developing polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Abuse of the hair and poor hair maintenance can also lead to hair loss. Excessive heat can damage hair, leaving it brittle and prone to breakage. Styling and tying your hair too tight stresses the hair follicles and may lead to a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Ponytails, braids, and even turbans are often to blame; the solution is simple–stop binding the hair so tightly.

A Holistic Approach to Hair Care

Strong, shiny-looking hair begins within. Good nutrition is key to supporting healthy hair growth and mitigating diet-related hair loss. If you have trouble getting a complete spectrum of nutrition in your diet, you may want to consider vitamin and mineral supplementation. Antioxidants are also important as evidence suggests scalp inflammation may be associated with hair loss. If you’re losing your hair, work with your trusted healthcare provider to discover the cause. There are many therapies to address thinning hair and identifying the root cause (no pun intended) is key to implementing a successful solution.

Want Healthier Hair, Skin, And Nails?

Want more ways to get healthier hair, better skin, and stronger nails? Try these healthy, plant-based foods that are rich in biotin.

Biotin is a water-soluble, B-complex vitamin. It’s found in all living cells and is essential for cellular metabolism. Biotin is also known as vitamin H, coenzyme R, and vitamin B7. Confusingly, it is also sometimes called vitamin B8, but this is unofficial and relatively uncommon (B8 more often refers to inositol). Biotin is used by all living creatures—plants, animals, and even single-celled organisms.

In animals, biotin is essential for metabolizing proteins and converting sugar into usable energy. It’s necessary for hormone production and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Biotin promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails. Mammals, including humans, cannot synthesize biotin and must obtain it from dietary sources.

Biotin deficiency is rare but dangerous. The vitamin is crucial for normal fetal development and a deficiency during pregnancy can result in birth defects. Symptoms of biotin deficiency include brittle nails, hair loss, muscle pain, nausea, fatigue, anemia, and dry skin.

Not All Sources of Biotin Are Equal

There are two forms of biotin found in living cells: free and protein-bound. The latter is just what it sounds like—biotin bound to protein. It’s mostly found in bacteria and animal cells. Free biotin, which is not bound to a protein, is more common in plants.[5]

The human body can use both forms of biotin, but free biotin is more immediately bioavailable. With protein-bound biotin, your body must break the bond to convert biotin into a form it can use. Free-biotin doesn’t require this step—it’s easily absorbed and utilized in the body. Due to their high free biotin content, plant-based foods are generally better dietary sources of the vitamin than animal-based foods.

Protein-Bound Biotin Sources

Many foods contain some biotin, but the concentration in most is negligible from a nutritional standpoint. Other foods have a very high biotin content. Organ meats, like kidneys and liver, are the most concentrated dietary source. Milk, dairy products, and seafood are other rich, animal-derived sources. Although egg yolks have a high concentration of biotin, they also contain a chemical that interferes with biotin absorption. A diet high in egg whites can actually lead to biotin deficiency.

If you must consume animal products, at least opt for organic whenever possible. This can mitigate, though not eliminate, some of the many health risks associated with the consumption of meat and dairy.

Plant-Based Biotin Foods

Although many types of animal-sourced food contain biotin, it’s protein-bound biotin. Plants contain free biotin, which is more bioavailable. This means that getting enough biotin from a vegan diet is achievable. Considering the multitude of other health benefits associated with a plant-based diet, it’s also the healthiest choice.

As we’ve only recently begun to understand the importance of biotin, nutritional experts are still refining accurate methods for measuring biotin concentration in food. As such, estimates of biotin content vary greatly for some foods and are completely lacking for many others. After exhaustive research, we’ve compiled this list of the best biotin foods.

1. Nuts

Although biotin concentration varies by the type of nut, nuts, in general, are one of the best dietary sources of free biotin. One hundred grams of pecans contains about 28 micrograms (mcg) of biotin; the same amount of peanuts or walnuts contains almost 37 mcg. Nuts are also a great source of energy, omega fatty acids, and other heart-healthy nutrients.

2. Sunflower Seeds

Heart-healthy, high in magnesium, and rich in antioxidants, a handful of sunflower seeds makes a great snack. They’re also an excellent source of biotin. One hundred grams of sunflower seeds contains 66 mcg of the vitamin.

3. Legumes

Legumes are another excellent source of biotin, especially green peas. Peas have 40 mcg of biotin per 100 grams when fresh and 70 mcg when dried; lentils offer 40 mcg of biotin. Even better, legumes are high in folic acid and enhance digestion.

4. Cauliflower

As a cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower is great for detoxing the liver and it’s loaded with healthy nutrients, one of which is biotin. A single serving of cauliflower offers 5% of your daily biotin requirement. Cauliflower is also high in vitamin C and many other health-promoting compounds. Not only is it great as a raw snack, but there are also many cauliflower recipes you can enjoy.

5. Bananas

Generally speaking, most types of fruit are not a very good source of biotin. Bananas are an exception. One, average-sized, peeled banana (about 100 grams) contains 1.18 mcg of biotin. Bananas are also a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, and B6.

6. Cereals

Many cereal grains are a good source of biotin. Rice bran has a particularly high concentration, 66 mcg per 100 grams. Barley and oatmeal offer 31 and 24 mcg, respectively.

7. Avocados

Avocados are more popular now than ever before and for good cause. In addition to their many positive qualities, avocados are also a decent source of biotin. One whole avocado contains 2-6 micrograms of the vitamin, so don’t be afraid to have a little more organic guacamole.

8. Other Good Sources of Biotin

There are many other good sources of biotin. Carrots, leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, raspberries, and mushrooms can all contribute significantly to your daily biotin intake. Yeast also has an incredibly high biotin content, as do yeast-derived products like whole-grain bread.

Top Biotin Foods

Vegan Food Sources of Biotin
Food Biotin Content (mcg/100 grams)
Sunflower seeds 66
Rice bran 66
Green peas, fresh 40
Green peas, dried 70
Lentils, fresh 40
Peanuts 37
Walnuts 37
Barley 31
Oatmeal 24
Pecans 28
Carrots 25
Cauliflower 17
Mushrooms 16
Avocados 4-12

How Much Biotin Do You Need?

Compared to other vitamins, much is still unknown about biotin. There is currently no official daily recommended intake of biotin and hypotheses of what it should vary drastically. The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends a daily allowance of as little as 30 micrograms. At the other end of the spectrum, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends a daily allowance ten times higher—300 micrograms for adults.

Based on my experience, I tend to believe that our biotin requirements are at the high end of that scale. As a water-soluble vitamin, biotin doesn’t accumulate in your body like a fat-soluble vitamin. That means you need to replenish your supply regularly. If you take in more than you need, your body will simply excrete the excess biotin through urine. Individual requirements vary, but I recommend using the following chart as a general frame of reference for your daily biotin intake:

Life Stage Adequate Intake (AI) for Biotin, Daily
Infants 50 mcg
Children under 4 150 mcg
Adults and Children Over 4 300 mcg

Generally speaking, adults need more biotin than children, and pregnant or breastfeeding women may need more than other adults. Many health conditions or deficiencies influence the amount of biotin you need. It’s best to consult your trusted healthcare professional for guidance with your personal biotin needs.

Incorporating Biotin into Your Diet

Biotin is present in a wide variety of food. With a little planning and reliance on whole, real food, obtaining enough biotin through diet is achievable for most people. Biotin is also produced by the microflora in the gut, but it’s not known how much that contributes to meeting biotin requirements. Ultimately, the biotin produced by the beneficial microorganisms in the gut is added to the biotin obtained from food.

Because of its role in strengthening hair and nails, many types of shampoo and lotion boast about containing biotin. Be aware that this is just a marketing ploy. Biotin isn’t easily absorbed by hair or skin, so if there’s any biotin in these products you won’t receive its full effects. Ingestion is the most effective way to get biotin into your system.


Hungary Water, Lavender Washes and More…

Lavender Antiseptic Wash.
This is a favorite treatment for eczema, cuts, acne and minor burns.
Take a good handful of the flowers and boil together with half a liter of water for ten minutes. Filter and allow to cool before using.
Since Roman days this has been used in hot baths, to relax the body, and it is known to have a marked effect on the peripheral nervous system. It has also been widely used as a gargle for sore throats and sore or infected gums, due to its antiseptic properties and relaxant effect on the nervous system.
Hungary Water.
1-gallon brandy or clear spirits {equal to 16 cups}
1 handful of rosemary
1 handful of lavender
1 handful myrtle
Handfuls are measured by cutting branches of the herbs twelve inches long. A handful is the number of such branches that can be held in the hand. After measuring, the branches should be cut up into one-inch pieces, and put to infuse in the brandy. You will then have the finest Hungary Water that can be made.
Soothing Massage Oil.
1/2 cup safflower or sunflower oil
Dried pot marigold petals
12 drops essential oil of rose geranium
12 drops essential oil of lavender
10 drops essential pine oil or oil of cypress
Place the safflower oil in a glass jar and add as many freshly dried pot marigold petals as possible.
Cap the bottle and place in the sun for 4-5 days. Filter off the petals and squeeze out any retained oil from them before discarding. The oil will now be deep orange and fully charged with the active healing principles of calendula. Mix the other essential oils into the infused oil of marigold, bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Hungary Water{2}

Rosemary reinvigorates. As the legend goes, at age seventy-two, Queen Isabel of Hungary was crippled by gout and rheumatism. Her master herbalist concocted a reviving water for her, originally only with the intent of relieving her physical pain. The water was administered in daily vigorous massage. Not only was she soon moving, dancing as well, her former beauty and youthful aura was also revived. Hungary Water has been popular ever since. The original 14th-century formula called for one-and-a-half pounds of fresh flowering rosemary tops added to one gallon of alcohol and distilled. Should you happen to have distilling equipment, you can experiment with that, but modern versions also proliferate. Here’s one formula:

1 ounce infused water of dried rosemary and vervain

4 drops essential oil of rosemary

4 drops essential oil of May Chang

2 drops essential oil of German or Hungarian chamomile

2 drops essential oil of peppermint

1 drops essential oil of neroli

8 ounces vodka or other scent-free alcohol

1-ounce orange blossom water

1- ounce rose water

  • Make the herbal infused water by placing equal proportions of dried vervain and rosemary in a metal bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Steep for 15 minutes and strain out the botanical material.
  • Blend the essential oils and add them to the vodka in an airtight bottle.
  • Next, add the infused flower waters. Shake vigorously.
  • Ideally, this beauty potion should now be allowed to mature for 6 months {giving the bottle a good shake every week} to gain full strength, however as it’s pretty hard to wait that long, give it as long as you can.

Although it lacks a historical tale to equal Hungary Water, the following bath formula can be prepared quickly and simply, perfect for when you just want to feel {and maybe appear!} a little younger. Rosemary and patchouli are both plants of profound psychic power: Both are reputed to ease the physical signs of aging as well as helping to maintain a youthful heart.

Both have powerful aromas. Adjust the formula to please your nose. You can also use this formula for bath salts, a salt scrub or body oil.

Four Thieves Vinegar

This recipe came from my Great Grandmother’s Journal.

Four Thieves Vinegar.
This antiseptic vinegar is attributed to a gang of four thieves who robbed the bodies of victims of the plague in Marseilles in 1722. They washed their bodies with it, frequently disinfecting their hands, and sprinkled it on their clothes and around their houses. It is said that all four survived without infection.
Actually, it is not surprising that this famous aromatic vinegar was so successful. Many of its ingredients are among the most powerful natural antibiotics in the world. Another case of empirically gained knowledge long preceding that obtained by scientific investigation.
*Infuse garlic cloves, lavender flowers, rosemary, sage, calamus root, mint, wormwood, rue, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a glass flagon of wine vinegar and leave sealed in the sun for 3-4 weeks to release the powerfully antibiotic oils into the vinegar. Filter, pour into smaller bottles, add a little camphor and seal until ready for use.

Making Botanical Perfumes and Colognes

Did you know that most perfumes and colognes are manufactured using synthetic chemicals, even petroleum? Many of these ingredients do not need to be listed on the labels but are known allergens, hormone disruptors, and irritants. The majority have never even been studied for cosmetic use! This is pretty scary, but the good news is that we can easily create our own perfumes and colognes from natural ingredients. Not only are they safer, but many botanicals also have therapeutic properties that are grounding, energizing, relaxing, stimulating, uplifting, and balancing. True, these fragrances will need to be reapplied more often than their chemical counterparts, but they are much better for our minds and bodies.  If in need of a little sprucing up during the day, carry a small bottle of your favorite aroma in your purse. You can even make special formulas like a relaxing blend for stressful situations or something energizing for afternoons that drag. The options are endless!  Below are several blends that I have played around with, but feel free to concoct your own special recipes.


Orange Spice Cologne

A warming, spicy, and exotic blend that will lift spirits invigorate senses, alleviate stress, mental fatigue, and tension. The aroma is delightfully reminiscent of Chai tea.

  • 1 organic Cinnamon Stick
  • 25 organic whole Cardamom Pods
  • 15 organic Cloves
  • 1 organic Vanilla Bean – cut into small pieces
  • 1 fresh organic Orange peel – zest only
  • 8 oz Vodka

Crush spices in a mortar and pestle. Combine with Vanilla Bean pieces, Orange peel zest, and vodka in a glass mason jar. Cap tightly and shake once or more per day. After 2-6 weeks, strain the spices and pour the infused liquid into a glass bottle with a mister top. Simply add more spices if you desire a stronger cologne.

Citrus Cologne

A fresh citrus scent with herbal notes, this uplifting aroma is stimulating and revitalizing.

  • 1 fresh organic Lemon peel – zest only
  • 1 fresh organic Grapefruit peel – zest only
  • Organic essential oil of choice, examples: Basil, Chamomile, Lavender, or Peppermint
  • 8 oz Vodka

Combine Lemon and Grapefruit peel zest in a glass mason jar and add vodka until the liquid rises above the peeled zest by at least 1”.  Cap tightly and shake once or more per day. After 2-6 weeks, strain out the citrus peels and pour the resulting cologne into a glass bottle with a mister top. Add 2 drops of essential oil for each tablespoon of finished cologne. Add essential oil if you desire a stronger cologne.

Fresh Floral Cologne

This relaxing cologne can be made with fresh blossoms straight from the garden! The flowers help ease depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, hyperactivity, irritability, tension, and exhaustion.

  • Fresh or dried organic Rose Petals
  • Fresh or dried organic Chamomile flowers
  • Fresh or dried organic Lavender flowers
  • Vodka

Combine all ingredients in a glass mason jar and add vodka until the liquid rises above the flowers by at least 1”. Cap tightly and shake once or more per day. After 2-6 weeks, strain the flowers and pour the resulting cologne into a glass bottle with a mister top.


Woodland Perfume

I love this blend! It truly smells like the forest. Uplifting, grounding, meditative, and comforting.

  • 4 drops Spruce essential oil
  • 2 drops organic Fir Needle essential oil
  • 2 drops organic Cedarwood essential oil
  • 1 drop organic Vetiver essential oil
  • 1 drop organic Bergamot essential oil
  • 1 tsp organic Jojoba Oil

Drop all essential oils into a glass bottle and roll between palms to evenly mix the oils. Add Jojoba oil, and roll again. Add additional essential oils if you desire a stronger perfume.

Sweet Summer Perfume

A relaxing and warming blend reminiscent of summer, with a lightly floral aroma complemented by hints of spice and cedar. Especially useful during times of stress, anxiety, irritability, or depression.  A great lift-me-up during the cold and dark winter months!

  • 10 drops organic Lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops organic Chamomile essential oil
  • 4 drops organic Cardamom essential oil
  • 1 drop organic Cedarwood essential oil
  • 1 drop organic Geranium (Rose) essential oil
  • 1 tsp organic Jojoba Oil

Drop all essential oils into a glass bottle, and roll between palms to evenly mix the oils. Add Jojoba oil and roll again. Add additional essential oils if you desire a stronger perfume.

Refreshing Perfume

Rejuvenating, uplifting, energizing and stimulating. This blend is good for mental clarity, lack of focus, and fatigue.

  • 13 drops organic Peppermint essential oil
  • 13 drops organic Rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops organic Lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops organic Sage essential oil
  • 5 drops organic Juniper Berry essential oil
  • 1 tsp organic Jojoba Oil

Drop all essential oils into a glass bottle and roll between palms to evenly mix the oils. Add Jojoba oil and roll again. Add additional essential oils if you desire a stronger perfume.

Dilution of Essential Oils for Topical Application: What You Need to Know

Although essential oils are absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream somewhat more readily when applied undiluted than when used in diluted form, this is not a good practice because the risks of experiencing skin irritation and sensitization (a type of allergic reaction) increase greatly when undiluted essential oils are put on the skin and the risk of systemic toxicity and drug interactions also increases. I want to repeat that because it’s important – using undiluted essential oils on the skin substantially increases the risk of skin irritation and sensitization reactions and also increases the risk of systemic toxicity and drug interaction.

Risk of Systemic Toxicity

While the risk of systemic toxicity from a reasonable external application of the essential oils used by responsible aromatherapists is very low, the occurrence of skin sensitization reactions has been increasing in the United States as a few companies here have irresponsibly recommended the topical use of undiluted essential oils. Even lavender essential oil, which was once considered by most aromatherapists to be safe for undiluted use, is now being found to produce sensitization in some individuals, apparently as a consequence of over-use in undiluted applications.

Not everyone who uses undiluted essential oils will develop sensitization reactions, and those who do will generally only have problems after repeated use of the same undiluted oil. However, for those unfortunate people who do experience these often avoidable reactions, the experience can be very distressing as it can be accompanied by severe itching that lasts for days. This may leave the affected individual more likely to develop such reactions to other topically applied substances in the future. Why would anyone want to take such risks when diluted essential oils are much safer and work very well to achieve the desired therapeutic effects?

Reasonable Dilution Rates

Here are reasonable dilution rates for several methods of topical use of essential oils:

Procedure Recommended Range of Essential Oil Concentration
Full-body Massage 1.5 – 3%
Facial Care 0.2 – 1.5%
Bath & Body Products 1.5 – 4%
Wounds / Necrotic Skin Ulcers 5 – 15% (in a small area)
Localized Pain 5-15%
Other Localized Issues 3-10%

These are general guidelines and extra care must be utilized with essential oils that are known to be sensitizing, irritating and/or phototoxic, some of which have specific maximum dermal concentration levels.

Using Essential Oils

Two of the most popular ways to use essential oils is by inhaling them {smelling them} and by applying them to the skin {in a massage oil or facial oil}. To obtain the benefits of aromatherapy, essential oils can also be added to bathwater, skin creams, and lotions; used to scent bedding, clothing, and laundry; and incorporated into homemade air fresheners. A diffuser {a device specially designed to disperse essential oils into the air} can be used to fill an entire room with fragrance.

Inhaling Essential Oils:

Add a few drops of essential oil to a piece of cloth or a cotton ball. To make a steam inhalation, add three to five drops of essential oil to a pot of steaming water. Steam provides a vehicle not only for inhaling essential oils but also for carrying the essential oils to your skin. Position your face about 12 inches over the steaming water, drape a towel over your head, and breathe the steam for a moment or two. Remove the towel and take a few breaths of fresh air. Repeat the process for a maximum of 5 to 10 minutes.

Applying Essential Oils to Your Skin:

To protect your skin from irritation, always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil {a vegetable or nut oil} such as sweet almond, grapeseed, sunflower, olive, jojoba, apricot kernel, kukui nut, or hazelnut oil.

Aromatic waters are another easy and pleasant way to use essential oils on your skin. To make aromatic water, add 10 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of water in a spray bottle. To use, thoroughly shake the mixture, then mist your body and face, being sure to close your eyes before you spray.

Essential Oils and Their Properties:

Essential oils are highly concentrated sources of plant compounds. Many of them have healing properties, but they should never be taken internally.

  • Herb: Carrot seed {Daucus carota} – Property: Stimulates and regenerates skin cells; good for dry and mature skin.
  • Herb: Chamomile, German {Matricaria recutita} – Property: Anti-inflammatory; soothes sensitive skin and sore muscles; relaxing, uplifting aroma; might help ease insomnia
  • Herb: Clary sage {Salvia sclarea} – Property: Eases muscle tension and menstrual cramps; helpful for oily skin; relaxing, euphoric aroma
  • Herb: Eucalyptus {Eucalyptus globulus} – Property: Antibacterial, decongestant; clears sinuses and bronchial tubes; stimulating aroma
  • Herb: Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens} – Property: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal; stimulates and regenerates skin cells; helpful for mature skin; relaxing aroma
  • Herb: Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia} – Property – Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal; general first aid; stimulates and regenerates skin cells; helpful for sensitive and mature skin; calming and relaxing, might help ease insomnia
  • Herb: Lemon {Citrus limon} – Property: Antibacterial, antifungal; helpful for oily skin; uplifting aroma; might help ease stress and insomnia
  • Herb: Peppermint {Mentha x piperita} – Property: Antibacterial; uplifting, stimulating aroma
  • Herb: Rose {Rosa x centifolia or R. x damascena} – Property: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory; stimulates and regenerates skin cells; helpful for mature skin
  • Herb: Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis} – Property: Soothes muscle aches; stimulates circulation; helpful for mature skin; stimulating aroma
  • Herb: Tea tree {Melaleuca alternifolia} – Property: Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory

Palmarosa Essential Oil

Palmarosa is a very skin-protective essential oil.

In “The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy,” Salvatore Battaglia says that it hydrates skin, has antiseptic properties, balances all skin types regulates sebum production (the oil that your skin produces) and can stimulate cellular regeneration.

Palmarosa essential oil is also deeply supportive of restoring strength, opening your heart, and boosting immunity. It’s perfect for massage sessions and warm baths right before bed (when its soothing influence on the nervous system help you slip off to sleep).

Here are a few Palmarosa blends that can help you get to know this essential oil like a friend.

Use Palmarosa essential oil in a natural bug spray.

Going for walks, spending time outside with friends, or working in your garden can be so relaxing . . . assuming you don’t get eaten alive by bugs!

That’s where Palmarosa essential oil can help. It’s very protective of your personal space and repels insects that might bite or sting your skin. I like to use it in natural bug repellent.

Here’s one of my favorite recipes. Combine these ingredients in a 4 oz (120 ml) spray bottle:

  • 4 oz (120 ml) German Chamomile hydrosol (Matricaria recutita)
  • 8 drops Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini motia)
  • 8 drops Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
  • 4 drops Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)
  • 6 drops Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

This blend smells amazing! It has no harsh scents that can sometimes “repel” people from bug repellents. I recommend making a fresh bottle of it every few weeks since it’s not made with a preservative.



Add Palmarosa to soothing massage blends and bath oils.

Have you ever had a massage and felt so relaxed, reassured, and healthy afterward—but found yourself wishing for another massage a few days later?

One way to re-inspire that sense of comfort is to use the same aroma in a bath salt that was used during your massage. Scent affects the limbic system (the seat of our emotions), so our bodies respond to it quickly.

I’d like to share an essential oil blend that you can use in a base of jojoba massage oil as well as bath salts:

  • 6 drops Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini motia)
  • 4 drops Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)

You can blend those oils into a base of either:

  • For massage oil: 1 oz (30 ml) jojoba wax (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • For a bath salt: 1 oz (30 ml) natural salts (I like pink Himalayan salts) and 1 tablespoon of jojoba wax

To make your massage oil, add the essential oils and jojoba to a 1 oz (30 ml) glass jar, close the lid, and shake.

To make your bath salt, simply put the salt in a 1 oz (30 ml) container, and drop the oils and jojoba right into the salt, stirring as you go. This makes enough for two baths (I use about 5 drops of essential oil per bath), but if you like the blend you can increase the recipe. The bath salt doesn’t include a preservative, so if you do increase the recipe just be sure to make a fresh jar every few weeks.


Dust mites don’t like Palmarosa!

Dust mites. Nobody wants to talk about them because nobody feels like they can do anything about them.

Dust mites live on dust, which is easily collected by your bed linens (and upholstery, and carpet, and all over your house!). They cause a lot of allergies.

Fortunately, there are natural ways to reduce dust mite infestations. The Mayo Clinic has a great list of tips.

In 2008, a study published in the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology demonstrated that dust mites do not like geraniol, a naturally occurring component in many essential oils. Spray geraniol on a piece of linen, and dust mites will vacate the area.

Palmarosa essential oil has a very high concentration of geraniol. So guess what you can use it for?

Here’s an excellent linen spray recipe that helps keep those dust mites away!

  • 8 oz (240 ml) water in a spray bottle
  • 60 drops Palmarosa essential oil (Cymbopogon martini motia)
  • 20 drops Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)

To get the most out of your linen spray, first, wash your linens in very hot water. Then use the spray several times a day. The ingredients are very skin-friendly and relaxing, so it’s nice to wrap yourself up in the sheets at the end of the day.

I recommend making a fresh bottle of this blend every few weeks since it’s not made with a preservative.


Four cooling summer blends with Palmarosa essential oil.

Palmarosa is a great essential oil to use for summer Aromatherapy blends! It’s cooling and soothing, can repel insects (and those smaller “bugs”—microbes), and supports immunity.

So I’ve got four suggestions for blends you can make with Palmarosa to get a head start on summer.

  • A jojoba massage oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • A body cream to help you sleep (You can use your favorite unscented natural cream.)
  • A bedtime bath salt (I like pink Himalayan salt.)
  • A linen spray (1 oz/30 ml of water is a great base.)

Now I’m going to share a few great essential oils to use together in these carriers, and let you get creative with coming up with your own aromas. Try Palmarosa with Sandalwood in the massage oil, or Palmarosa and Patchouli in the bath salt. Just add one drop at a time to each blend, to be sure you like the aroma you’re creating.

  • Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini motia)
  • Sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum)
  • Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin)
  • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

The rule of thumb when blending for children is to use about 5 to 6 drops of essential oil for every 1 oz (30 ml) of the carrier.

For adults, you can use 10 to 15 drops for every 1 oz (30 ml) of the carrier.

For the body cream and linen spray, I suggest making your blends fresh every few weeks, since they are not made with preservatives.


Palmarosa is a great ingredient for natural soaps.

One of Palmarosa essential oil’s main components is geraniol, which makes it especially cooling, antifungal, and destructive to viruses and bacteria.

Does it sound like a great ingredient for natural homemade soap? (It is!)

Here’s a recipe for luxurious foam soap you can use in your office or bathroom. It also makes a great travel soap.

  • 40 ml castile soap
  • 10 drops Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini motia)
  • 10 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)
  • 2 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

You can make this blend in a 50 ml foam soap pump (which I like to get at Aromatics International). Once you pour the castile soap into the bottle, you’ll see there’s a little room left—that’s intentional because when you screw on the lid, the liquid will rise (you don’t want it to spill over).

This foam soap is especially reliable if you’ve got any cuts or scrapes on your hands. Its anti-inflammatory and bacteria reducing effects are gentle, yet effective.


Get to know Palmarosa.

Palmarosa essential oil’s gentle effect on skin, combined with its strong actions against germs and microbes, makes it a wonderful go-to oil for a wide variety of potent yet nourishing blends. And it smells amazing!