essential oils

Rosemary Essential Oil: Profile and Use Guide

Essential Oil Profile: ROSEMARY

botanical name – rosmarinus officinalis


Rosemary is an herbal shrub with needle-like leaves, a woody stem, and is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). The fresh herb is often used in cooking (as an Italian girl, one of my favorites!) and has many other uses such as a tonic for memory function or digestion, as well as a tea or steam to fight off colds. It has been used throughout history for food and medicine. For example, during the plague rosemary was used to protect against infection.

Rosemary essential oil is made through the steam distillation of the leaves and flowering tops of the plant. The scent of the essential oil, while similar to the fresh herb, is a bit different with a strong camphor and medicinal aroma. The essential oil is clear in color and has a thin consistency…so it should come out of a bottle with ease.

An important thing to note with rosemary oil is that it has a few chemotypes. What does this mean? Well, when producing an essential oil from a plant species you can get various types of oil from the same plant…or chemotypes. While they come from the same plant, chemically, the chemotypes are different and therefore have different therapeutic properties. Rosemary essential oil has several chemotypes, with the more popular ones being 1,8 cineole CT, camphor CT, and verbenone CT…so make sure you know which one you are getting.


Actions/Properties of rosemary essential oil:

antibacterial, antimicrobial, fungicidal, digestive (aids digestion and eases indigestion), antidepressant, stimulant (circulatory and adrenals), tonic (strengthens the body), vulnerary (helps to heal wounds), hepatic (stimulates and strengthens the liver), restorative



  • skin care – acne, eczema, toning (astringent)
  • athlete’s foot and fungal issues
  • hair – dandruff, oily hair, promotes hair growth
  • muscular and joint pain
  • respiratory issues – cough/colds, bronchitis, asthma
  • headaches
  • memory and attention
  • mental fatigue or lack of energy
  • hypotension (low blood pressure) – rosemary helps to RAISE low blood pressure
  • stress


There are some safety considerations when using rosemary essential oil. Do not use the 1,8 cineole CT on or near the mouth of infants or children. Some professionals recommend not using rosemary essential oil on children under the age of 2. Use smaller, diluted doses during pregnancy and avoid bornyl acetate CT and verbenone CT as they have not been studied for use while pregnant.




Oily Hair Rinse

(use after shampooing)

1 c. apple cider vinegar (ACV)

lemon, lavender, and rosemary essential oils – 20 drops of each

Combine 1-2 tsp of hair rinse with 2 cups of water and pour over your hair.


Acne Face Mask

1 tsp. raw honey

2 drops rosemary essential oil

1 drops tea tree essential oil

Mix essential oils in honey. Apply to face and keep on for 2-5 minutes. Rinse off face mask with washcloth and water.


Sinus Headache Blend

3 drops peppermint

3 drops rosemary

3 drops lavender

2 tsp. carrier oil (grapeseed, sweet almond)

Add essential oils to a 10ml roller bottle and then fill the rest of the way with the carrier oil. Apply to temples, forehead, and back of the neck for pain relief. This recipe is for a 3% dilution.


Attention/Focusing Blend

3 drops rosemary

3 drops basil linalool

3 drops lemon

2 tsp. carrier oil (grapeseed, sweet almond)

Add essential oils to a 10ml roller bottle and then fill the rest of the way with the carrier oil. Apply to temples, back of the neck, or behind the ears. You can also use the base essential oil blend in a diffuser or on aromatherapy jewelry. This recipe is for a 3% dilution.


**If you are looking for the benefit of rosemary essential oil, but want something milder, a rosemary infused oil or rosemary hydrosol would be a great alternative.





Disclaimer: This information or any other health topics covered here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or replace personal judgement or medical treatment. Always discuss the use of complementary methods with your health professional or naturopathic doctor.

essential oils

Aromatherapy and Sleep

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”


One problem that gets brought to me a lot as an aromatherapist is the issue of sleep. Not being able to fall asleep, stay asleep, get quality sleep, or wake feeling rested and ready to tackle the day. And this is also something that I personally struggle with. So the big question is…does aromatherapy…do essential oils help to address sleep issues?

Insomnia can be a very frustrating issue to deal with and can have an effect on many areas of your life including your family, work, level of happiness, and even how you handle stress. It can present itself as difficulty getting to sleep at night. You lay in bed tossing and turning, may even feel tired, but just can’t get to sleep. Or maybe you can fall asleep, but find yourself waking often during the night and then feeling tired and stressed the next day. No matter what sleep issues look like in your life, if it’s something you struggle with, finding help with it is a priority.


Before addressing the use of essential oils for sleep problems, there are some points to remember: Insomnia is caused by a variety of things including stress, depression, anxiety, changes in your schedule, and medical conditions including hormone imbalances, thyroid problems, arthritis, and GERD (Mayo Clinic 2014). Because it typically has an underlying root cause, essential oils (or aromatherapy) are not going to cure your sleeplessness. Aromatherapy is simply a tool to bring about some relief to the sleep issues you may be having and is best used in combination with other alternative treatments, which I’ll discuss later.


Aromatherapy is the use of plant oils, including essential oils, through inhalation (aroma) and physical application, to have a positive impact on your physical and psychological wellbeing (Aromaweb). So, when we are looking at aromatherapy and how it relates to sleep, we are looking at how the inhalation and topical use of essential oils affects sleeplessness or sleep issues.

The use of aromatherapy has a long history which provides for a large amount of anecdotal information on the therapeutic effects of essential oils, in particular oils used to treat problems with sleep. For example, roman chamomile is known to contain properties that help with insomnia and that oil has been used for that, as well as many other medicinal purposes, for over 2,000 years. Lavender essential oil has also been used for thousands of years for many uses, one of which is to provide calm and balance, and relieve stress and anxiety…all of which can have a great impact on a person’s sleep. And this anecdotal evidence has continued over time. Even today, many people, including myself, claim to have received significant relief from the use of essential oils, such as clary sage, cedarwood, and vetiver, to treat issues with sleep.

Along with this anecdotal evidence, there has been a small amount of research done on the use of aromatherapy to help treat issues such as insomnia. For example, a study done over a one year time period starting in 2007 on middle-aged women in China, looked at the effectiveness of lavender essential oil on the treatment of insomnia. In the study, the experimental group of women were given an inhalation of lavender twice a week and this treatment lasted twelve weeks total. The control group was given sleep education with no other treatment. The findings of this research experiment showed that the women who received the aromatherapy treatment with lavender essential oil experienced a noticeable improvement in the quality of their sleep, as opposed to those in the control group, even for up to one week after the aromatherapy treatment ended (Li-Wei Chien, et. al. 2012). This one study alone shows that there is scientific support for what many people find true with their own anecdotal experience. And this has not been the only study done that supports with use of aromatherapy or essential oils for insomnia and sleep issues (see studies done by N. Goel, et. al. and Bradley et. al.).


Lavender, the oil used in the above mentioned study, is one of many oils that can be used for general sleep problems. These oils have chemical constituents (for example, esters in oils like clary sage) that are known to have a sedative effect and therefore help to combat issues like insomnia. Some general calming, sedative oils that can be used for insomnia and sleep problems are:

            clary sage                   vetiver

            lavender                      cedarwood

            ylang ylang                  petitgrain

            roman chamomile       sandalwood

            jasmine                        valerian

Another factor to look at when using essential oils and aromatherapy to treat insomnia is the cause behind the sleep issues. For example, if anxiety and stress are what trigger the sleep problems, specific essential oils can be used to treat the anxiety, which would potentially bring relief so that the person can get sleep. Other underlying causes for sleep problems could be – dealing with death or loss, worry, relationship problems, or even overstimulation. So rather than just using as essential oil to treat sleep problems in general, an essential oil could be used specific to the underlying issue, which once dealt with, would provide relief for the secondary sleep problem.

Here are some of the underlying issues a person may be dealing with, which can create problems sleeping, and the essential oils that can be used to treat them:

            anxiety – bergamot, lavender, basil, marjoram

            grief – geranium, cypress, roman chamomile

            overstimulation – rosewood, cedarwood, vetiver, frankincense

            overthinking – sandalwood, ylang ylang, sweet orange

            pain (physical) – wintergreen, clove, cypress, rosemary, juniperberry

            worry – tangerine, sweet orange, sandalwood

A single oil or combination of oils could be used for the issues given above. Once the underlying problem is relieved, the quality of sleep should improve.


Some ways to apply/use these oils (to address underlying issues or just general sleep problems) for aromatherapy relief:

  • apply topically with a relaxing massage before bed
  • mix up a blend of oils in a roller bottle and apply before bed to the back of the neck, behind your ears, or on your chest
  • diffuse in the bedroom before bed and during the night
  • make a pillow spray using one or a combination of oils and spray the pillow and linens just prior to bed
  • use these oil in a calming bath before bed


Aromatherapy is not the only insomnia treatment to use. Combining essential oil use with other methods can provide a well-rounded treatment plan. Some examples of other alternative treatments are – regular exercise, avoiding or limiting altogether caffeine and alcohol, setting a and sticking to a regular sleep schedule, limit naps, acupuncture, and yoga (Mayo Clinic 2014). You could also try some of these:

  • herbal treatments (ex. teas or tinctures) – an herbal tincture of valerian root and hops flower makes an excellent remedy for insomnia. This is one that I use and love.
  • avoid rigorous activity right before bed
  • turn of the computer and t.v. 30-60 minutes before going to bed
  • don’t sleep with a t.v. or light on in the bedroom
  • avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
  • avoid using stimulating essential oils close to bed time – lemon, basil, peppermint are examples of stimulating oils


Remember…the best approach is a holistic one, using a combination of essential oils/herbs, diet, and lifestyle changes, to bring about the best results.



Disclaimer: This information or any other health topics covered here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or replace personal judgement or medical treatment. Always discuss the use of complementary methods with your health professional or naturopathic doctor.





“Aromatherapy for Insomnia and Difficulty Sleeping”. AromaWeb. 2015.

Chien, L. et. al. “The Effect of Lavender Aromatherapy on Autonomic Nervous System in Midlife Women with Insomnia”. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Vol. 2012

Lawless, J. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. 1995. Element Books Ltd.

MacDonald, Daniel. Emotional Healing with Essential Oils. 2012. Enlighten Alternative Healing LLC

Mayo Clinic Online. “Insomnia”.

Purchon, N., Cantele, L. The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness. 2014. Robert Rose Inc.



An Herbal Guide to Three Spring Backyard Weeds

Spring has arrived and so have the weeds…You know the ones that first pop up as soon as the grass starts to shows signs of life after winter. It’s the usual suspects…dandelions, those little purple flowers that don’t seem to go away, and green leafy weeds as far as the eye can see. But before you break out the weed killer, I’m going to challenge you today to look at your spring lawn a little differently this year.

What most call menacing weeds, I’m going to call something else…healing and healthful plants that God created for our benefit. That’s right. Those dandelions you can’t seem to pull fast enough were once a cherished food item (and for some, still are today!). The violets that sprout up throughout your grass are in fact excellent in a healing balm. And that leafy weed that you find throughout your yard is plantain, and makes an amazing anecdote to a bee sting. Each of these plants is actually a very beneficial herb. And even better, you can harvest them out of your own yard for FREE and use them in wonderful things for your family.

I like to lovingly refer to it as the spring backyard herb trifecta. No need to go to your local herb shop…just step outside and start picking. So let me take you on a little trifecta tour and share with you some of the ways you can use each of these wonderful little plants.


dandelion (taraxacum officinale)

This is the little golden flower that springs up in your yard and gives every grass lover a bit of anxiety. But fear not…this plant has so many amazing uses, you’re going to wish your yard had more!

  • One of the most well known and at one time, very popular uses for dandelions is for food. Both the flower and leaves are edible and contain many beneficial vitamins and nutrients. They can be used in baked goods, salads, or even cooked and served as a side to any dish.
  • Roasted dandelion root can make an excellent replacement to your morning cup of coffee. Check out this great recipe…you could even add cocoa nibs and make yourself a “mocha”!
  • Dandelion leaf can be used in a tea or tincture as an effective diuretic
  • The milky substance in the stalk can be used as a wart remover. It is similar to latex, so avoid if you have an allergy or sensitivity to latex
  • An oil infusion can be helpful in relieving aches and soreness
  • Wine…yep, you can use dandelions to make wine



violet (v. odorata, v. sororia)

You’ll know these little plants by their lovely purple, five petal flowers. Resist the urge to pull them all out and try them for one of these uses instead.

  • Make a violet syrup for coughs, colds, and sore throat
  • Because violet is antiseptic, it can be used to treat skin issues, and even cuts and scrapes
  • The anti-inflammatory properties make it useful in treating skin irritations like eczema or psoriasis.



plantain (P. lanceolata – narrow leaf, P. major – broad leaf)

You may not even realize the amazing little gem that you have in your yard with this green, leafy plant. This herb is one of a few on my must have list, and I promise, it will be on your list too!

  • Use this herb as a poultice for stings and bites…chop, mash (or even chew in a pinch) the leaves and apply directly to the problem area. Plantain in affectionately referred to as the “green bandage”
  • Because plantain has “drawing” properties, it can be used to remove a splinter. Soak the splinter in a plantain tea and remove when the sliver comes closer to the skin’s surface
  • Plantain can be added to an herbal slave to promote healing and reduce inflammation
  • Put in your super green smoothies for added nutrition


One of my favorite ways to use the trifecta at one time is in a very useful, all purpose, gardener’s salve. If you spend any amount of time outside doing yard work or gardening, this is something you will definitely want to have on hand. So here’s how to make it:

Green Gardener’s Salve

What you need:

1/2 c. of dandelion, violet, and plantain infused oil – learn how to make an herbal infused oil HERE

1/8 c. beeswax pastilles

lavender essential oil – 20 drops

First, you need to harvest the plants for the herbal infused oil. For this salve, I used the dandelion and violet flowers, and the plantain leaves **Make sure you are harvesting for a space that is free from pesticides and other chemical treatments** After picking the plants, I gave them a quick rinse with water and then set the out on a towel. I allowed the flowers and leaves to dry for a day or two…this helps remove some of the moisture in the plant. When making an infusion with fresh plant material, too much moisture can cause molding. Once everything had dried a bit, you can make your herbal oil infusion…now you are ready to make the salve!

In a double boiler, combine herbal infused oil and beeswax and melt. Once it’s melted, remove from heat. Add lavender essential oil. Pour into a jar or tin and allow it to set.

Apply this salve to your hands after a long day in the yard or garden to relieve soreness, inflammation, and promote healing to any cuts or scrapes you may have.

The salve and the infused oil will last for a year or longer if stored in a cool dry place…and don’t forget to label both with the date and the name of what it is.


I hope after reading this, you see these backyard plants in a new light. So forget about your plot to kill all weeds…get out there and start harvesting!


If you don’t have these great herbal plants growing in your yard, you can purchase them dried at Mountain Rose Herbs



Disclaimer: This information or any other health topics covered here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or replace personal judgement or medical treatment. Always discuss the use of complementary methods with your health professional or naturopathic doctor.





Food On Your Face: Tallow Balm

Food belongs in the kitchen, right? Well, yes…but why not on your face too?!

About two years ago I found this out first hand. I hesitantly swapped out my high dollar face wash for something almost every person keeps in their kitchen cupboard…honey. Yep, honey. I know you’re probably thinking how crazy that is, and who in the world would “wash” their face with honey, and isn’t it a sticky, goopy mess? It’s actually very easy to use, smells great, and is extremely beneficial to your skin. I’ve shared with you before about how raw honey can replace Neosporin because of its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Those same properties, among others, are also what make it an amazing face wash (you can read more here about washing your face with honey).

So honey became my favorite face wash (two years and going!) but I still needed something to replace my moisturizer. I started out just using jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is very moisturizing, absorbs fairly quickly, and isn’t pore clogging, so it seemed like a great option. But it wasn’t love. I decided to just try out honey without a moisturizer since I wasn’t stripping my natural face oils with nasty chemicals and see how it went. No moisturizer was ok for a time, but I noticed my face started to feel dry, and was getting worse. And that’s when it happened…

A fellow crunchy mama and good friend of mine mentioned to me that she started using tallow balm as her facial moisturizer. I know what you’re thinking (because I briefly thought this too)…tallow? Isn’t that fat…from an animal? Yes it is! Specifically, we are talking beef fat. Beef tallow is a fat that is made by rendering suet (the interior fat) from a cow and is used for cooking and frying foods. But if you look back in history, you’ll find that our ancestors used tallow for their skin as well…that is until using animal fats for skin care was replaced with processed chemical s and plant based oils.

So why tallow?

It is more comparable to our own skin than plant based fats:

According to Nourishing Traditions (Sally Fallon):

 “Saturated fats constitute at least 50 percent of the cell membrane. Since saturated fats tend to be more solid than unsaturated fats at a given temperature, they help give the cell membrane its necessary stiffness and integrity for proper function. Healthy, “toned” skin cells with sufficient saturated and monounsaturated fats would undoubtedly make for healthy, toned skin. Interestingly, tallow fat is typically 50 to 55 percent saturated, just like our cell membranes, with almost all of the rest being monounsaturated,so it makes sense that it would be helpful for skin health and compatible with our cell biology.”

Tallow more closely resembles the make-up of our own skin (which makes sense since we’re animals too!) than plant based fats, so it provides for healthier, more toned skin. Biologically, tallow is also very similar to the material that helps keep our skin lubricated and waterproofed (sebum – which means tallow in Latin!), so using it on our skin, especially our face, is simply giving what is already there naturally, a little boost!

It has more of the nutrients our skin needs:

Not only do plant oils lack the saturated fats that our skin needs, but they are also low in many key vitamins and nutrients that we need for healthy skin. Tallow, on the other hand, contains vitamins A, D, and K, as well as vitamin E. These necessary nutrients are abundantly found in animal products like beef tallow. (“Traditional Nourishing and Healthy Skincare”, A.Gardner).

It is anti-inflammatory AND antimicrobial:

Beef tallow contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has natural anti-inflammatory properties, as well as the anti-microbial properties of palmitoleic acid…both of which make for an excellent skin care product.


Now, I’m not saying that plant based oils don’t have a place in your beauty routine or skin care regimen (I still use coconut oil to remove my eye makeup and as a whipped body lotion). But clearly, beef tallow provides some benefits that plants oils do not.

At first I wasn’t too sure how I felt about putting beef fat on my skin, let alone on my face, but I decided to give it a try. Why not? I’m no stranger to using food on my face. What’s the worst that could happen…I’m a little greasy and smell like gravy? Thankfully neither of those things happened, and I’m happy to report that after just a few uses, I was hooked.

At this point you may be wondering how exactly you get this wonderful beef tallow from its solid, not so spreadable state to its magnificent, spreadable, nutrient rich face balm. Because on its own, beef tallow is hard and nowhere near something that can easily be put on your skin without melting it, liquid oils (at room temperature) need to be added to give it a softer texture.

I also went a step further and combined aromatherapy to my new moisturizer, and added a custom healthy skin essential oil blend to the tallow balm. There are several essential oils that are excellent for skin care and different skin issues, so it only makes sense to put them in a natural skin care product.

Here’s how you make it:


Grass-fed beef tallow – you can render your own tallow from suet (Here’s a great article on how to do just that from Raising Generation Nourished), or you can buy it already rendered. I purchase from my local farmer, but you can use this tallow if you don’t have a local source.

* what the cow eats makes a huge difference to the quality of your balm. Only use grass-fed beef tallow in your recipe

 Liquid plant oils – olive oil, sweet almond oil, and grapeseed oil. You could also use coconut oil, but it would need to be used with another liquid oil since it is more solid at room temperature.

Essential Oils – here is a list of essential oils that can be added depending on your specific skin needs

lavender – antiseptic, good for acne, eczema, inflammation, wrinkles; good for all skin types

geranium – antiseptic, stimulates cell growth, balances skin, dermatitis, acne; good for all skin types

chamomile (German or Roman) – good for acne, cracked skin, eczema; good for dry skin

cedarwood (atlas) – antiseptic, acne, cellulite, eczema, scarring, greasy skin, dermatitis, sebum regulator; good for oily skin

palmarosa – skin balancing, helps skin elasticity, scars, skin moisturizer, stimulates sebum production, stimulates cell growth; good for all skin types



1-1.5 cups of beef tallow

2-3 tbsp. of liquid oils (you can use all olive oil, or a combination of oils)

essential oils – a single oil or combination of oils for your specific skin needs. The amount used depends on the dilution you want. The general guideline is:

1% = 10 drops of oil/ounce

2% = 20 drops of oil/ounce

In a double boiler, on low heat, slowly melt the rendered tallow. Remove from heat and stir in the liquid oil(s). After it cools slightly, but is still liquid, add the essential oils. Pour into a glass jar and put in the refrigerator until firm. Once the tallow has cooled, remove from the refrigerator and store in a cool, dark place. Tallow balm should keep for a long time when stored properly.

The amounts I give aren’t exact for a reason…you’ve got some room there to work with the ratio depending on how soft you want your tallow balm to be. So experiment and find what works for you.


Since using tallow balm exclusively on my face as a moisturizer, I’ve noticed that my skin looks healthier and feels softer. My family also loves using it as a hand cream, and this past winter, it saved my husband’s dry cracked hands.

It is so neat to see that you can use food to replace your chemical filled skin care products and get the same, if not better results. Are you ready to give it a try?

If you aren’t up for a DIY kitchen concoction, you can give my tallow balm a try. You can check it out here on my Facebook page.




Disclaimer: All information or any other health topics covered by Genesis Essentials has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Information given and/or products not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or replace personal judgement or medical treatment. Always do your own reading and research, as well as discuss the use of complementary methods with your health professional or naturopathic doctor. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.

essential oils, safety

Using Essential Oils With Children

One of the more controversial issues when talking about essential oils is what can be used on children, if any oils at all. It’s a question I see asked all the time and one that can have very conflicting answers. Just do a google search to find some essential oil suggestions for a kiddo with a cold and you’ll see a variety of suggestions, some that many feel are not safe to use on small children. And it can be downright frustrating! You want to avoid medications and use something natural to help your little ones…but then you’re told that using the wrong oil can be potential dangerous. There is so much info to read through and when you’re all done you can be left with your head spinning, not knowing what is best for your child…

So today I’m going to tackle the topic of essential oil use with children. The information I’m sharing with you comes from a lot of reading and research done on my part, information I’ve learned through my aromatherapy certification, as well as what I follow with my own five children.

Let’s start with when you can begin to use essential oils with children. In Robert Tisserand’s book Essential Oil Safety, he suggests holding off on using oils until a child is at least 3 months old. Why? According to his book,

“Great caution is necessary for infants. Since neonatal skin does not mature until three months of age, it is more sensitive and more permeable to essential oils. A newborn is also less equipped to deal with any adverse effects than an adult…”

I personally tend to lean on the more conservative side of this, and recommend that you try hydrosol or herbal treatments BEFORE using essential oils on children under 2, especially for babies under one. For example, if your eight month old is having difficulty sleeping at night, I would suggest a soothing bath before bed with lavender hydrosol and chamomile flowers, rather than applying lavender and chamomile essential oil.

So can you use oils on your baby or toddler when she gets a cold? Technically, yes. There may be times when a topical application or diffusion of essential oils would be helpful. In the instances where the use of oils is appropriate under the age of 2, there are two very important things to know – 1) What oils can be used at that age 2) What dilution is needed.

At this young age (3 months-2 years), it is recommended that the oils be very diluted at .25-.5% or approximately 1 drop for about two teaspoons of carrier oil (10ml). And this is the dermal dosage amount that should be used through 2 years old.

Another thing to know is that not all essential oils are safe to use on children under 2. Here is a list of essential oils that are safe to use at the proper dilution, topically, for your whole family ages 3 months and up:

Kid safe essential oils chart


When using essential oils with babies and young children, always try diffusion first. Make sure you are in a well ventilated room. That way, if they don’t care for the smell or have an issue with the oil, the child can leave the room and a window can be opened to air it out. If they tolerate diffused oil, then using a topical treatment may be helpful for future issues. And always do a skin test before use to make sure that there isn’t a negative reaction to the oil, and always follow proper dilution.


Once your child is over the age of two, the topical dilution changes and there are also a few more essential oils that can be added to your safe use list. For children ages 2-6 years old, the dilution changes to 1-2%, or 3-6 drops of essential oil in 2 tsp. of a carrier oil.

Here are the additional oils that can be used at 2 years old and up:

  • basil
  • cassia
  • clove
  • hyssop (pinocamphone)
  • lemongrass
  • may chang
  • melissa
  • oakmoss
  • oregano
  • saffron
  • savory
  • treemoss
  • turpentine
  • lemon verbena
  • ylang ylang



After 6 years old, the dermal dilution changes to 1.5-3%. This is about 5-9 drops of essential oil to 2 tsp. of carrier oil. There are also a few more essential oils considered safe to use…

Essential oils for 6 years old and up:

  • anise
  • cajuput
  • cardamom
  • cornmint
  • fennel
  • ho leaf
  • laurel leaf
  • marjoram (Spanish)
  • myrtle
  • niaouli
  • peppermint
  • rambiazana
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • saro



Finally, by the age of 15, a child can use the same dermal dilution as an adult. This is 3-5% or 9 to 15 drops of essential oil in 2 tsp. of carrier oil. And by the age of 10, all essential oils are safe to be used.

Essential oils for 10 years old and up include:

  • eucalyptus


A few of the essential oils that carry some questionable information when it comes to using with babies and children are peppermint, rosemary, and eucaplyptus. These oils have chemical constituents (menthol, 1,8 cineole) that require care when being used with children because of the effect the oils can have on their breathing. There is a potential for reaction when these oils are used, just by simple inhalation, especially if the oil is put too closely to the nose and mouth. Tisserand explains in Essential Oil Safety:

“Studies have shown that non-convulsant CNS effects are likely following inhalation of 1,8 cineole (Kovar et al 1987, Stimpfl et at 1995)”

He further states that studies have shown that the nasal inhalation and nasal instillation of oils containing 1,8 cineole and menthol (eucalyptus/peppermint) by children have reported non-fatal issues such as rapid heart rate, labored breathing, nausea, vomiting, vertigo, muscular weakness, drowsiness, and coma (Melis et al 1989).

Because of these findings, it is recommended to play it safe and not use essential oils that contain these constituents on or near the mouth and face of babies and children under the age of 6 (10 years old for eucalyptus). I’m sure you’re asking yourself…what if I just use those stronger oils on my baby’s feet? That’s not near their face, so it shouldn’t pose a potential risk, right? Well, it could. One issue with this thinking is the fact that often people do not make sure to use proper dilution, something that is imperative when using essential oils with children. If the oil is put on a child without proper dilution, they may be inhaling more of the oil than they should be, which could result in a negative reaction to the oil. The other point I would make is…why use an essential oil that has been proven to have potential risks to babies and small children, when there are alternative oils that can be just as effective?

Here are some safe alternatives for these 1,8 cineole/menthol essential oils that can be used on children of all ages:

  • rosalina
  • spearmint
  • pine
  • fir needle


Essential oils are a great addition to your family medicine cabinet for kids of all ages, but don’t forget that they are highly concentrated substances that contain very powerful chemical constituents – care should always be taken when using them with children. Make sure to do your own research and reading before using them with your family, and ALWAYS follow proper dilution for the age of the child.

A wonderful resource to have on hand for any and all safety questions about essential oil use is the book Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand. I use this as a reference for all of my safe use information…it’s totally worth buying and having on hand.

And since dilution is SO important when it comes to essential oil use with babies and children, here is a helpful chart to have on hand to make sure you are using the proper dilution for your little one.

GE dilution chart

Here are some great carrier oils to use when diluting essential oils:

sweet almond


apricot kernel




Disclaimer: All information or any other health topics covered by Genesis Essentials has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Information given and/or products not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or replace personal judgement or medical treatment. Always do your own reading and research, as well as discuss the use of complementary methods with your physician, health professional, or naturopathic doctor. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.


essential oils

My Top 10 Must-have Essential Oils: #6-10 (Part 2)

top ten oils bottle pic

Last time, I shared with you the first five oils from my top 10 must-have oils list. Today, I give you the rest of my list of essential oils that are always good to have on hand, and would be first on my purchase list, especially if you are new to oils and trying to build your supply.


6. Roman chamomile (chamaemelum nobile)     KS

This is one of my favorite oils, especially when it comes to children…although adults will find it equally useful. Roman chamomile is an effective oil to use for many skin issues such as eczema, dermatitis, acne, and inflamed skin because of its anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and soothing properties. I add this to my tallow balm as a part of my healthy skin essential oil blend, and it has been providing relief to my family’s dry skin all winter. It is a pain reducing oil and because it is gentle enough for small children, it makes a great treatment for teething – just apply diluted roman chamomile to the jawline for teething pain relief (do not use internally). Roman chamomile is known for its sedative properties and can provide calm and relaxation to promote a restful sleep. Combine with lavender and apply topically, diffuse, or add to a sheet spray and apply to your pillow before bedtime.


7. frankincense (B. carteri, B. serrata)     KS

Frankincense essential oil is made from the resin from a tree. Most people are somewhat familiar with this one because it dates back to Biblical times and was one of the precious gifts given to Jesus. There was a good reason why! Not only does frankincense address a wide range of health conditions, it is also an excellent spiritual oil as well. It is often used during meditation because of its ability to relax, calm and slow breathing. It has anti-inflammatory and expectorant qualities, so it can be used to treat coughs and colds. Frankincense is antiseptic and works to eliminate bacteria in wounds and burns when applies topically. Combine frankincense with lavender and Roman chamomile to provide relaxation and anxiety relief.


8. sweet orange (citrus sinensis)     KS

This wonderful smelling oil is one that I use often in the blends that I make for myself and others. It is a great oil for the skin (all types, especially oily), so it pairs well with lavender in a toner, face oil, or even bath for a fresh brightness to your complexion. Orange oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties and can be used with other oils like pine, lemon, eucalyptus, and frankincense for an amazing germ fighter blend. I personally use this oil in my children’s sleep blend…combined with lavender and roman chamomile, it helps them get to sleep and stay asleep at night. As mentioned before, it is one of the many uplifting citrus oils, bringing its anti-depressant properties to change your mood and calm anxiety.


9. cedarwood (cedrus atlantica)(atlas)     KS

Not to be confused with the Virginian variety, which is in fact from the juniper family, atlas cedarwood makes a great addition to your essential oil stockpile. Because of its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties, cedarwood is an excellent oil choice to combat many skin issues including dermatitis, acne, and fungal infections. Cedarwood can be used to treat coughs, colds, and the flu in a steam bowl or just simply diffused, and it can help your whole family because it’s safe to use with kiddos. This oil has sedative properties, which help to bring sleep or even calm anxiety. It can even be used to help calm and soothe people that deal with hyperactivity/overexcitability.


10. helichrysum (helichrysum italicum)(immortelle)     KS

This essential oil is rightfully referred to as “nature’s band-aid”. It’s one of the pricier oils out there, but definitely well worth the investment. Helichrysum has so many important healing properties; anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antifungal, and cicatrizant (helps the formation of scar tissue), it’s actually better than a band-aid! Because it contains these properties, helichrysum can be used to treat cuts, scrapes, burns, wounds, eczema, acne, abscesses, even bruising. Helichrysum is a great alternative to eucalyptus when addressing asthma, bronchitis, or chronic cough with children. Use this oil as an immune boost during cold and flu season. You can also combine this with other pain relieving oils, such as juniper berry or rosemary, to make a massage blend for a sore muscle rub or treatment for sprains. Diffuse with citrus oils, lavender, or jasmine to provide relief for nervousness, anxiety and depressed mood.


**KS = kid safe**



Here are a couple recipes that utilize these must-have oils:


Sore Muscle Massage Oil:

helichrysum – 4 drops

rosemary – 3 drops

frankincense – 2 drops

Combine oils and add to 10 ml (about 2 tsp.) of a carrier oil (an arnica infused olive oil would be great!). Massage onto sore muscle areas.


Aftershave Oil:

¾ c. distilled or filtered water

¼ c. witch hazel

¼ tsp. vegetable glycerin

cedarwood – 6 drops

rosemary – 2 drops

sweet orange – 2 drops

spearmint – 2 drops

Add all ingredients to an 8 oz. glass spritzer/spray bottle. Shake well.





Disclaimer: This information or any other health topics covered here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or replace personal judgement or medical treatment. Always discuss the use of complementary methods with your health professional or naturopathic doctor.



essential oils

My Top 10 Must-have Essential Oils: #1-5 (Part 1)

top ten oils bottle pic

One question that I get asked or see asked a lot is:

“I’m new to essential oils and will be making my first purchase…what are the top must have oils I should buy?”

The answers to this question can vary depending on who you ask. Some consider vetiver a must-have and use it daily, while someone else can’t stand the smell of that oil but can’t live without bergamot. And then there are those who only want to invest in oils that the whole family can use, toddlers on up, so their top oils are all kid safe…so favorites can definitely differ from person to person. However, there are absolutely essential oils that I would say belong on a top ten list and recommend for anyone’s first oil purchase or to make sure to always have on hand. I’m so excited to be sharing with all of you MY top ten, must-have, favorite essential oils. Here is the first half of my list, #1-5, in no particular order.


1. lavender (lavendula officinalis)     KS

As you already know from the post about my new favorite essential oil, lavender is one of my absolute, need to have oils. It can be used for pretty much everything…coughs, teething, colds, immune boosting, cuts, burns, scrapes, bites, sleep, and anxiety just to name a few. It is the oil I reach for most often and include in several of my blends. I also use lavender for my homemade foaming hand-soap, magnesium lotion, and tallow balm. Buy this oil…you won’t be sorry!


2. tea tree oil (melaleuca alternifolia)     KS

Tea tree oil has many useful properties. It is antifungal, antiseptic, and antimicrobial, so the oil is useful for things such as cuts, scrapes, burns, rashes, and even a treatment for athlete’s foot. It is also an immune stimulant, so it makes a great oil for a winter immune boost to help keep you well. This is another one of those multi-purpose oils and could easily replace several things in your medicine cabinet.


3. lemon (citrus limon)     KS

This essential oil doesn’t just smell good, it packs a medicinal punch in each drop! This is another one of those “cure all” oils that everyone should have on hand. Lemon is antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial, so it works great as a disinfectant. It can be used for common ailments such as fevers, sore throat, cough, and colds. This was the first oil I used in my disinfecting all-purpose spray to replace my chemical cleaners, and it worked like a charm. This oil is also astringent, so it would be a help in addressing acne or as a facial skin toner. Just remember…lemon essential oil can be phototoxic, so use with care on your skin if you will be exposed to UV light. Lemon oil has even been used as an effective treatment for more serious illness such as cancer, because of some of its powerful chemical components. And if that wasn’t enough, lemon is one of those citrus mood boosters. It can help to lift your mood, create an alert mind, and settle anxiety.


4. peppermint (mentha x piperita)

Peppermint is a wonderfully refreshing herb that I’m sure you’ve all used in your kitchen at some time. It is one of the most useful herbs in a garden. Essential oil distilled from the peppermint plant is equally useful in your home as well. One of my favorite uses for peppermint oil is for headaches. Once I started applying peppermint when I had a headache, it helped so much, I didn’t need to take my usually dose of medicine anymore. Smell peppermint to reduce nausea or even use it externally for an upset stomach. Using peppermint oil in a steam inhalation (steam bowl) is great for a cough, stuffy nose, or respiratory issues* because of its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant properties. You can mix it up with lemon oil and create a very effective insect repellent. Another great quality of peppermint oil is its ability to cool and soothe skin and muscles. After a strenuous work out or tiring run, apply diluted peppermint oil to your legs and feet for relief from pain and soreness.

*because of the menthol content of peppermint essential oil, it is not recommended to use on or near the face of infants and small children. It is recommended that this oil be used on children 6 and up (Essential Oil Safety Tisserand, R.). Use spearmint essential oil as a great alternative to peppermint for younger children.


5. eucalyptus (e.globulus, e.radiata, e.smithii)

While there seems to be a lot of controversy in the world of aromatherapy with this oil, especially on how and when to use, this is still one of the most useful oils to have on hand. Known as the oil of wellness, eucalyptus it can be used for a variety of illnesses or even to support general health and wellness. Eucalyptus oil is known for its powerful effects on respiratory issues like coughs, bronchitis, and even asthma. Put a drop or two in steamy bowl of water and breathe in the healing vapors that quickly clear nose and chest congestion. Eucalyptus has pain relief properties (analgesic) so it can be used to provide relief for muscular aches and pains. This is another great antiseptic, antiviral, immunostimulant oil, so mix it with lemon, frankincense, and lavender to create an immune boosting blend to help keep sickness away. Add diluted to a footbath if you are fighting a bad cold or flu to help reduce fevers. Eucalyptus can also be combined with peppermint as and effective treatment for headaches.

*because of its high 1,8 cineole content (has the potential to cause respiratory issues in babies and small children), it is recommended that eucalyptus not be used on or near the face of children under 10 years of age (Essential Oil Safety. Tisserand, R). Some great kid-safe alternatives for eucalyptus are rosalina, pine, and fir needle.

(**KS = kid safe**)


And I just couldn’t leave you without some great ways to start using them! These are a couple of my favorite recipes using some of the essential oils mentioned above. Try them out and let me know how you liked them!


Immunity Diffuser Blend:

tea tree oil



*add 1-2 drops of each oil into a diffuser. Diffuse for up to 30 minutes in the main living area of your home.



Homemade Cold Salve:

½ cup organic olive oil

1.5-2 Tbsp. beeswax

eucalyptus essential oil (use rosalina if you are using with children under 10) – 30 drops

lemon essential oil – 20 drops

thyme (linalool ct) essential oil – 10 drops

Combine the first two ingredients in a double boiler. Heat on low until melted completely. Remove from heat and cool slightly but make sure it’s still liquid. Add essential oils and stir. Pour into a tin or jar to cool and harden.

For cold and cough relief, scoop out a small amount and apply to the chest.



Nighty-Night Pillow Spray:

1 tsp. vodka (or witch hazel)

lavender – 20 drops

Roman chamomile – 15

distilled or filtered water

Add the above ingredients to a 2 oz. glass or plastic spritzer/spray bottle. Fill the rest of the way with distilled or filtered water. Spray in the bedroom or on pillows just before bedtime.



Next up, #6-10 of my top ten must have oils!




Disclaimer: This information or any other health topics covered here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or replace personal judgement or medical treatment. Always discuss the use of complementary methods with your health professional or naturopathic doctor.



Nature’s Boo-Boo Remedies

I want to talk about boo-boos today…

With five kiddos, eight years old and under, we have our fair share of scrapes, cuts, bumps, bruises, bites and stings. And while there is nothing like a loving kiss to stop the flow of tears, we keep a few other things in our boo-boo arsenal.

A few years ago, if a little one came to me with some sort of wound or bite, I would have reached for the nearest tube of Neosporin and slapped on a band-aid. But I’ve come a long way in my crunchy mama journey, and today I can’t wait to share with you some other, more natural ways to handle the inevitable injuries that you kids will experience.

One of my favorite go to remedies for cuts, scrapes, and burns, is something you may have sitting in your cupboard right now…raw honey. It has completely replaced Neosporin in our home and works just as well, if not better. So why honey? Honey is naturally antibacterial/antimicrobial. So applying a small amount to a cut or scrape will work to kill off any bad bacteria in there. It’s important to note that you need to be using RAW honey – it has not gone through the pasteurization process. When you pasteurize honey, it kills off all of the enzymatic properties that make it so healing. So if your honey isn’t labeled raw, then it doesn’t have the good stuff. I really love the honey guide that you can find over at CrunchyBetty. She provides great in depth info on the different types of honey out there.

Another one of my favorite boo-boo treatments is tea tree oil. Tea tree, or melaleuca, is a powerful antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral essential oil. Because of these constituents, tea tree is the perfect treatment for cuts and burns. You simply mix it into a carrier at the proper dilution (usually 1-3% for children, up to 5% for adults) and apply. You can also use it to treat fungal conditions, like athlete’s foot. Last year I used tea tree oil to knock out the athlete’s foot that my seven year old developed. After a few treatments, it was completely gone. As mentioned above, make sure you are using the proper dilution, especially with children, for these everyday uses. There are occasions where tea tree oil is used neat (without dilution) to fight very specific, serious wounds and infections, but it should only be done at the recommendation of a health professional or trained aromatherapist.

The last remedy that I want to share with you is one that I really love because it combines both essential oils and herbs to make one super salve that will do wonders with any scratch or burn that comes your way. I call it my nature’s bandage balm. It contains the healing herbs calendula and plaintain, as well as a blend of lavender and helichrysum essential oils. So let’s go over what make these ingredients so beneficial :

  • calendula (calendula officinalis) – this is a flower in the marigold family and the petals are used in preparations. This herb is great for bruises, wounds, burns, and addressing other skin issues because of its vulnerary (wound healing) and antiseptic properties.
  • plantain – This plant is probably something you have growing in your yard and is often regarded as a weed. But this weed is one of the most used herbs when it comes to bites, stings, and other wounds on the skin. Plantain a wonderful anti-inflammatory herb and therefore makes a great addition to a healing salve or balm.
  • lavender essential oil (lavendula officinalis; lavendula angustifolia) – You know how much I love this oil and all of its uses. Lavender essential oil is distilled from the flowering tops of the lavender plant. Not only is lavender antiseptic and antimicrobial to aid in wound healing, but it also has analgesic properties to help relieve pain.
  • helichrysum essential oil (helichrysum italicum) also known as immortelle – This truly amazing oil is distilled from the flowers that are produced by this herbal plant. It contains properties that make it an excellent antiseptic, anit-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal oil. Seriously…if you could have one multi-purpose essential oil on hand, other than lavender, it would be this one. It is often referred to as nature’s band-aid.

So, I bet you’re wondering at this point, how you can create this wonder balm for your own natural medicine cabinet. Here’s how:


salve edit

Nature’s Bandage Balm


1 c. calendula infused olive oil (read here to learn more about making an herbal infused oil)

½ c. plantain infused olive oil

¼ c. + 2 TBSP of beeswax pastilles

lavender essential oil *

helichrysum essential oil *

*I use 10 drops of lavender and 5 drops of helichrysum, but feel free to adjust these amounts. Just make sure not to exceed safe dermal dilutions

  1. In a double-boiler combine both herbal infused oils and the beeswax. Heat on low until the beeswax has melted. To check consistency, dip a spoon in the mixture and stick it in the freezer to see if is hardens enough. If it is too runny add more beeswax. Remove from heat.
  2. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, but still warm and liquid, add the essential oils.
  3. Pour into glass containers with lids and allow to cool completely.

salve 2 edit



And there you have it! Your very own, all natural, band-aid balm. This stuff will last a long time in a dark cool place. I keep mine in a cupboard in the kitchen.

If balm making in your kitchen isn’t your thing, but you still want this balm, you can purchase a jar off of the Genesis Essentials Facebook page.


With all of these excellent, all natural, boo-boo remedies on hand, you can confidently ditch the Neosporin and pull out these instead!


How to Make Herbal Infused Oils

oil infusion

One of the first things I started making after venturing into the world of herbs was herbal infused oils. They are so easy to make and can be used for so many things.

An herbal oil infusion is made when you combine herbs (fresh or dried) and a carrier oil, like olive oil, and impart the properties of the herbs into the oil. Infused oils can be used as a carrier oil in aromatherapy, as a base for salves and balms, or simply used as a treatment on its own.

There are two ways you can make an herbal infused oil:

sun infusion – this method of creating an infused oil takes some time and patience, but is by far my favorite method. To make a sun infused herbal oil you put your desired herbs into a jar (I use my Ball Jars, either the 8oz. jelly jar or the 16oz. pint jar, depending on how much oil I want), fill the jar until the herbs are covered with oil, cover tightly, then place in a warm sunny spot for about 4-6 weeks. Once it has steeped for a few weeks, you can strain the herbs out of the oil with a fine mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth. Place strained oil into another jar.

heat infusion – this method is the short and sweet way to get your herbal infused oil. First, put the herbs you are using into a double boiler on the stove. Cover the herbs with oil. Then over low heat bring the water in the double boiler to a slow simmer. With the burner on low, heat the oil and herbs for 45-60 minutes. Be sure to check on it periodically to make sure the oil doesn’t overheat. Remove the double boiler and allow it to cool slightly. Strain the herbs out of the oil with a fine mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth. Store the infused oil in a glass jar.


Some tips for your herbal infused oils:

  1. You can use fresh or dried herbs. If you use fresh herbs, make sure to chop them coarsely first. If you are using fresh herbs in a sun infusion, be sure to cover them completely with oil to prevent molding.
  2. If stored properly in a cool, dark place, herbal infused oils will last for a year or more.
  3. Olive oil is the most common oil used for infusions. If you will be using the oil for more delicate beauty preparations, grape seed oil, apricot seed oil, or sweet almond oil may be used.
  4. Be careful to label all of your infused oils with the herb used and the date made.


Some great herbs to use for infused oils are calendula, plantain, chamomile, St. John’s wort, and arnica.




essential oils

Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Citrus Oils for Mood and Anxiety

Remember that great song from the 80’s that had one of the catchiest lines..but you loathed getting stuck in your head…”Don’t worry, be happy”

While the lyrics provide a great reminder about letting go of the little stuff in life, it’s not always as easy as humming a tune.

I have dealt with my fair share of anxiety and feeling down in my life, and it is definitely not a fun place to be. At one point in my life, I had such an issue with anxiety that I began having pretty severe panic attacks, to the point of calling an ambulance on one occasion. I’m so thankful to be able to say that over the years I have managed to overcome that anxiety and no longer battle those attacks. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still deal with fear, worry, and depression at times.

When these funky feelings strike, the first thing I do, that has always helped me, is to try and walk out what it says in Philippians 4:6-8:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Pray. Give thanks. Focus on the positive.

But with that, I also love the fact that God provided a secondary help to us with His creation. I have found that essential oils can be very helpful when I am dealing with these emotions.

Some of the most effective essential oils to go to when you are feeling down, in a funk, or anxious, are citrus oils. Not only are they great for disinfecting your home, or fighting off that cold you can’t seem to get rid of, but they are also excellent oils for lifting your mood and brightening your mind. Some of my go-to citrus oils are:

  • lemon (citrus limon) – helps to release feelings of depression, restore joy, provides mental alertness and improves the ability to focus
  • sweet orange (citrus sinensis) – helps overcome fear and anxiety, a cheerful oil that encourages joy and positive mood
  • bergamot (citrus bergamia) – a great antidepressant, helps feelings of hopelessness, uplifting; calms fear, anxiety, and worry

These oils can be used diluted topically, diffused into the air, or even put into a relaxing bath to release their therapeutic properties. You can make a blend of a few different oils, and even add in some great companion oils like lavender and spearmint. Just remember that citrus oils can be phototoxic, so take care when using them if you will be out in the sun or exposed to UV light.

While I have found them to be very beneficial for me, using essential oils is not a cure for serious medical or psychological issues. Seek help from a medical professional if needed.



**If you are looking for a citrus blend that you can use, check out my Facebook page, where you can purchase Citrus Calm, a blend I created specifically to address feeling down and anxious. It contains the three citrus oils I mentioned above as well as tangerine, grapefruit, and spearmint.

 cc bottle2