Archive for July, 2014

Why Lavender is the Most Widely Used Essential Oil

July 31st, 2014

The Granddaddy of essential oils, Lavender has been used for thousands of years by a host of civilizations. The Egyptian, Phoenician and Arabian people coveted it for its perfume properties; the ancient Greeks used it as a cure for everything from insomnia to aching backs to insanity; the Romans infused their bath water with its flowers, giving Lavender its name, from lavare–the Latin word for wash. For centuries, Europeans even sprinkled Lavender on interior floors to disinfect and deodorize their homes.

Lavender Essential Oil

Even today, Lavender is the most widely used essential oil. Some could argue it is the (almost) all encompassing essential oil, as its healing properties truly run the gamut. And Lavender’s floral, balanced aroma blends easily with most other oils.


Emotionally, Lavender calms, soothes and nurtures, encouraging balance in all the bodily systems. It should come as no shock that many nighttime lotions tend to have a lavender scent. Many massage therapists use it in massage oils for deep relaxation, and it can be simply dropped (only 3-5 drops) in a warm bath in the privacy of your own home.


But lavender’s properties extend much further than just its calming effects.  Research shows that Lavender is analgesic, antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic and an antioxidant.


Lavender can be found in 6 of our essential oil blends:

Detox – to soothe nerves

Headache – to pacify, nurture and rebalance

De-Stress – to reduce anxiety

Uplift – to brighten the spirit

Carry On – to balance the emotions

Immunity – to help purify the body


The Cary Diaries: Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

July 29th, 2014

No visit to England—a country that prides itself on its passion for gardens—is complete without a visit to Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.



“All life on earth depends on plants. They harness the sun’s energy, provide the air we breathe, give us food, fuel, shelter and medicine.” – Kew Royal Botanic Gardens


From London, I took the scenic tour up the Thames River, seeing many historical points along the way. Upon arriving at Kew, which houses one of the world’s largest collections of living plants (30,000 different species) on its massive 300 acres, I quickly made a plan for my visit.


Of most interest to me were the special exhibits titled Rainforest Remedies and Healing Heroes. These displays showcased the benefits of medicinally healing plants and presented examples of  ‘natural’ pharmaceuticals.




These exhibits teach that plants and humans co-exist and depend on each other in many aspects of life. The fact that we can utilize their manufactured chemicals in the form of essential oils and modern day pharmaceuticals is a great bonus.




It was a beautiful day spent in the garden, appreciating the natural beauty that we have been     blessed with.




Rose-scented geranium has been proven to have antibacterial and antifungal properties, and Madagascar periwinkle has been proven to help fight leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease.



Next time you’re in London, you should definitely check out Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.





Ask Cary: Motion Sickness + Menopause

July 25th, 2014

We get all kinds of questions about essential oil therapy, and Cary makes sure to answer each and every one of them. Recently, we realized that those answers were only going to the person who asked the question. You know that at 21 Drops we believe that sharing is caring, so we decided to do a weekly roundup of some of the Q’s & A’s to help you be your best self!


This week’s topics: Motion Sickness + Menopause




Question: Is there anything you can recommend for motion sickness? Boating is a passion of mine, but the seas often get the best of me…

Answer: Our Digest blend is great for motion sickness. The Cardamom, German Chamomile and Sweet Orange in this blend help ease the stomach, while Ginger works to diminish the nausea.


Question: I am in the clutches of menopause and was hoping you had suggestions on what to pick for some of the symptoms that go along with it.

Answer: I created Transform for exactly what you are experiencing. This blend is formulated to thwart hot flashes, irritability and fatigue. Apply throughout the day and before bedtime to ease the transition into your exciting, new life.


Do you have a question for Cary? Ask here.


A Little Goes a Long Way

July 22nd, 2014

Did you know that an ounce of essential oils can cost anywhere from $20 to $500?!


You’re probably asking how this is possible, right? Well here’s something to help put things into perspective:



Starting to see things more clearly now?


Many plants don’t yield very much oil, so it requires massive amounts to create enough to package and sell to consumers. The rarity of the plant and whether or not it is protected due to deforestation also affects the price of each essential oil.


But don’t panic, we have good news!


You only need a few drops to cure your ailments. Pure essential oils are highly concentrated and too potent to apply directly to your skin. Doing so can result in rashes and irritations. That’s why we dilute our blends in jojoba carrier oil, creating a 2-5% essential oil content.


So remember: When it comes to essential oils, a little goes a long way!


Ask Cary: Pregnancy + Chemotherapy

July 18th, 2014

We get all kinds of questions about essential oil therapy, and Cary makes sure to answer each and every one of them. Recently, we realized that those answers were only going to the person who asked the question. You know that at 21 Drops we believe that sharing is caring, so we decided to do a weekly roundup of some of the Q’s & A’s to help you be your best self!


This week’s topics: Pregnancy + Chemotherapy


7-18 pregnancy + chemo


Question: Which blends would you recommend for someone who is pregnant?

Answer: While I recommend most pregnant women in their first trimester try to avoid using essential oils, if you are experiencing morning sickness or sleep issues, the oils in these blends (Digest and Sleep) are gentle enough to not be of concern. I would use the blends only as needed throughout your pregnancy, and if you can get the same effect from inhaling them vs. rolling them on, that would be milder on your system. I started using the oils when I was pregnant, as I wanted a natural way to treat my concerns and my babies. But less is more when it comes to using any additional supplements!


Question: My mom is about to undergo chemotherapy. Any suggestions on a good aromatherapy product to combat or lessen the side effects?

Answer: Digest can help to fortify her digestive track, but in addition, each oil has numerous healing qualities and positive effects. The ginger in this blend will help with any nausea, the orange is uplifting to the spirit, german chamomile has analgesic, anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory characteristics, and cardamom is refreshing and antiseptic. This blend can also be used to help stimulate the appetite. I suggest rolling it directly on to the stomach in addition to the pulse points. You might also want to consider Uplift to help buoy her spirits, as well as your own, or Sleep to help rest soundly and peacefully.


Do you have a question for Cary? Ask here.


DIY: Natural Sunburn Relief

July 17th, 2014

Summer is the time to relax and soak up the sun, but it’s easy to lose track of time and overexpose your skin to harmful UV rays. If that’s the case for you, no worries, we got you covered! We’ve cooked up a simple, easy-to-make natural sunburn relief and are happy to share the recipe with you:


Natural Sunburn Relief Ingredients




•  1 oz. Red Palm Oil – considered the richest natural source of carotenoids which act as biological antioxidants, protecting cells and tissues from the damaging effect of free radicals.

•  1.5 oz. Aloe Vera Gel – cold-pressed and polysaccharide-rich, which significantly increases collagen synthesis after topical application. It also has special effects that soften the skin.

•  1 oz. Virgin Coconut Oil – cold-pressed, pure, natural, unrefined and made from fresh coconuts. It is one of the most effective natural body moisturizers for after-sun exposure to nourish your skin.

•  0.5 oz. Tamanu Oil – renowned for its remarkable skin healing properties. It has been shown to promote new tissue formation and aid in reducing scaring and many other irritations and wounds.

•  30 drops Patchouli Essential Oil – excellent for treating skin conditions, such as dryness, inflammation, scars, sores, eczema and wounds. It is moisturizing and cooling for the skin.

•  20 drops Carrot Seed Essential Oil – has an extraordinary amount of Caratol, which is best known for its skin-healing abilities and its tonic, rejuvenating effect on the liver.

•  10 drops Rock Rose Essential Oil – has wound-healing abilities for new or old scars, wounds, inflammation and infections. It is wonderful for nourishing mature skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that aid in skin repair.




Step 1: Combine the Red Palm Oil, Aloe Vera Gel, Virgin Coconut Oil and Tamanu Oil in a saucepan on low heat and mix until it becomes a solid yellow/orange color.

DSCN0838 copy


Step 2: Add in the Patchouli, Carrot Seed and Rock Rose essential oils and stir until fully incorporated into the mixture.

Add Essential Oils


Step 3: Pour the mixture into a jar or container of your choosing and allow to cool before applying to the skin.

Pour into Jar


Step 4: Voila! It’s finished! Rub onto the skin in affected areas. We suggest applying twice a day (morning and night), especially after a hot shower, as you would a regular moisturizer.

Natural Sunburn Relief

3 Essential Oils that Stop Headaches

July 15th, 2014

Looking for a natural way to help relieve headaches? Essential oils are a great alternative to over-the-counter and even prescription medications. We’ve put together a list of the three oils that stop headaches (all of which can be found in our Headache blend) and why we love them.




If you have these oils on-hand and want to do some blending yourself, follow this simple recipe:

Add 5 drops of Rosewood oil, 7 drops of Lavender oil and 3 drops of Peppermint oil to 1 ounce of unscented lotion or jojoba oil, mix and rub on the insides of your wrists, temples, back of your neck and chest. Take a nice deep breath and feel your headache melt away!

Not into DIY and looking for a simple solution? Try our 21 Drops Headache blend.


Ask Cary: Skepticism + Dilution

July 11th, 2014

We get all kinds of questions about essential oil therapy, and Cary makes sure to answer each and every one of them. Recently, we realized that those answers were only going to the person who asked the question. You know that at 21 Drops we believe that sharing is caring, so we decided to do a weekly roundup of some of the Q’s & A’s to help you be your best self!


This week: Skepticism + Dilution




Question: As someone who uses medicine a little bit too freely, I’d love to find an alternative. But I’m not going to lie, I’m a little bit skeptical. Can you give me a little more information on essential oils?

Answer: What most people dont realize is that their “pharm meds” are actually the synthesized molecules that are naturally found in plants. Chemicals that are known to cure specific ailments are extracted from plants, synthesized and then turned into pill form. For example, “Camphor” is naturally occurring in Juniper and Rosemary, but today is synthesized into camphorated chest rubs. Bromelain, an anti-inflammatory drug, comes from pineapples. Yes, you can take the “drug” form of these remedies, but you could also rub these oils (properly diluted) on your chest for the same effects- plus, essential oils are natural, gentler on the body and have no side effects!


Question: Why are your essential oils diluted? Wouldn’t that make them less effective?

Answer: It takes hundreds of pounds of plant material to extract and create just a few ounces of essential oil. Pure essential oils are highly concentrated. Not only will it be too harsh on one’s skin to apply undiluted (neat), but it is also very wasteful, since you only need small amounts to be effective. Essential oils are highly active and function at small percentages within a carrier oil. 2-5% on a regular basis for particular concerns is more than enough. You would never exceed 10% for even an acute condition, as the oils are too strong and can be overwhelming  to the body’s systems.


Do you have a question for Cary? Ask here.


14 Essential Oils to Get You Through Tough Times

July 10th, 2014

It happens to the best of us. We get stressed out, worn down and begin to feel lost. Whether you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, a break up or are simply feeling down, essential oils can provide the emotional support that you need.




Feeling frustrated, anxious or nervous? Try these calming oils:

Bergamot: a great sedative for anxiety

Chamomile (German): a grounding oil that helps with tension, anxiety, restlessness,  and irritability

Chamomile (Roman): calming to the mind and emotions

Lavender: a soothing and nurturing oil that reduces anxiety and fear

Opopanax: supports meditation and inner unity


Feeling distracted, depressed or sad? Try these uplifting oils:

Rosemary: helps to clear the mind and aids in concentration

Geranium: increases imagination and intuition

Grapefruit: helps prevent and alleviate depression

Lemon: this uplifting and cleansing oil is full of happy, outward energy

Lemongrass: used during difficult emotional transitions, reduces fatigue

Orange: combats pessimism and expands energy


Feeling off-centered, gloomy or un-stable? Try these balancing oils:

Helichrysum: healing for emotional trauma and wounds

Marjoram: calms obsessive thinking and warms the heart

Patchouli: provides grounding and reduces nervous strain


Need help with suggestions on how to blend or need some more information, click here to Ask Cary.


12 Heathy Foods to Keep You Cool This Summer

July 8th, 2014

We all love summer, but the heat causes us to sweat more than usual. Because of this, it is more important than ever to make sure you get plenty of water to replenish the vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that are lost through perspiration.

Shopping basket fruit and vegetables isolated on white


How you ask? Focus on eating foods rich in:

Sodium – The electrolyte that we lose the most when we sweat! While we usually try to keep our sodium intake low, now is the time to enjoy those summer pickles and marinated goodies from the fall harvest!

Chloride – The mineral we need to maintain our balance of body fluid. Make sure to eat natural sources, such as lettuce, celery and olives.

Potassium – Plays a big role in muscle contractions as well as cell and heart function. Bananas, sweet potatoes, leafy greens and avocados are great sources of potassium.

Calcium – Not only found in dairy products! Try eating leafy vegetables to keep fortified.

Magnesium – Helps fight fatigue. Whole grains, leafy vegetables and peanut butter can help give you that extra boost.


Still a little confused? Don’t worry! We’ve compiled an easy-to-follow grocery list with water-rich foods:

•  Broccoli

•  Cantaloupe

•  Celery

•  Coconut Water

•  Cucumbers

•  Grapefruit

•  Iceberg Lettuce

•  Radishes

•  Spinach

•  Strawberries

•  Tomatoes

•  Watermelon

Happy (and healthy) shopping!