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Since a clinical study dating back to 1995, for example, we have known that sleep duration significantly decreases in older patients who are dependent on benzodiazepines. However, once lavender essential oil aromatherapy was introduced into their lives, their sleep quality and duration can be restored to previous levels, in spite of not being on the drugs. According to the researchers who conducted this landmark research, “This study suggested that ambient lavender oil might be used as a temporary relief from continued medication for insomnia and reduces the side-effects of these drugs.” (6, 7)

Our sense of smell is directly wired to the brain’s centers of memory and emotion. Cells inside the nose detect smells in our environment, and send information to the brain, via the olfactory nerve. (We also have a cluster of cells the top of the throat that detect scents from the food we consume, and pass that information along the same olfactory channel to the brain.) The information about smell does immediately to the limbic system of the brain, which includes regions like the amygdala that control emotional reactions and memory.  
I recently took a class at my university on the use of essential oils and my professor mentioned that in rare cases peppermint can be extremely dangerous in children under 6. I believe Amplatz Children’s Hospital in Minnesota uses spearmint rather than peppermint as it produces similar effects. Please follow the link bleow for more information about this under the Special Considerations section. If you also find this information concerning I would suggest removing peppermint from your children’s top ten list.
One of the things I did for my kids when they were younger and had a hard time going to sleep was put one to two drops of either chamomile or lavender eo in the palm of my hands, rub them together, then rub them all over the kids pillowcase and sheets. It worked like magic! The oils would wear off through the night and by morning the kids were refreshed and in a great mood.

This is so perfect. I have been studying so much on herbs and oils. I make my own herbal tea blends that I sell. I just finished mixing the oils for a calming aromatherapy oil. I used a 1oz bottle. I kind of go big or go home… And this is my first go at it. It has lavender, majorim, orange sweet, and sandlewood. They are “resting” now. I like to use oil like this before bed. So I decided to try my own mixture with what I have learned and my favorite and most soothing smells. I will then mix the rest with my carrier oil and have my first ounce of a blend. But it’s just for me. If it turns out well… I may make roll on scents to sell in my shop!
On your comment about learning from other certified aromatherapists… I’d agree with you there, but most of us are that way too. If we’re gonna trust people, we wanna see that people have credentials or at least a lot of experience. We go to doctors because they have the title MD… we don’t go to our friend down the road that got her medical knowledge by reading medical textbooks only. Same reason applies to why we hire lawyers, licensed plumbers and electricians, or pay alternative therapists with certificates showing they complete some sort of schooling. It’s a way to see that there’s knowledge and practice there. I think her big beef is with big EO company distributors that are giving unsafe advice as if they have tons of experience. I do know that she’s supportive of bloggers sharing safe EO information because she’s been kind about what I’ve shared here on this blog as well as some other blogs.
There are quite a few essential oils that can help with the issues that pertain to sleepless nights. Some are great for calming the body down while others can help shut off the mind when it won't shut up. Not all essential oils are created equal! If you are using these for small children and babies, be sure to check out my post on Essential Oil Safety for Babies & Children. These are just some essential oils that you can use in a sleepytime blend:

What would your recommendation be when making blends not for scent but for therapeutic use such as in skincare? I want to try adding essential oils to my skin care routine, specifically adding them to a basic, existing lotion. I’ve done my research and have a bunch of oils selected that are supposed to be helpful for skin care, but I’m not sure where to go from here! Do I figure out the dilution % for each one and add it to the lotion? Or do I need to only add a maximum amount of essential oils in total? Is there a maximum number of oils you can use at one time or a maximum percentage of oils in total that can be safely added? Are there oils that react badly to each other? Sorry so many questions, but I’ve been searching a lot and can’t seem to find any answers!

Hi Rachael. Great questions! Those high dilution rates (20% and 10%) are just so you can smell your EO blend mixed with a carrier oil to see if you like it or not. All carrier oils smell different, and they can effect how your blend smells in the end. That’s why I recommend testing your EO blends in different carrier oils at different dilutions to see what you like best. And, because the smells of EO blends change depending on what they’re mixed with, it’s always a good idea to test them in small batches before making bigger batches (hence using drops and not teaspoons or ounces!). Once you know what you like, you can then move on to making larger amounts of preblended oils (EO blend + carrier oil) for skin application using a lower dilution rate (3-5% for adults and anywhere from .25-1% for children depending on their age). This is my article on using EOs for children safely. There is a lot of different opinions on using EOs for kids. Since I’m not a trained aromatherapist, I tend to take the safe route with it comes to EOs. Hope this helps answer your questions a bit!! PS. Just for the record, higher dilution rates are often used in bath products (body wash, shampoo, shave creams, etc.) as they don’t sit on the skin, but are washed off fairly quickly. This decreases the amount of EO absorption you would have, therefore, higher percentages of EOs can go in those products so they smell stronger.
Hi Cari. I don’t have much experience with different types of EO diffusers. I have a Young Living diffuser that my MIL bought me, and I love it. I use it often and it works great. It’s pricy, but totally worth it to have one in my opinion. However, I have heard others say that the cheaper ones work just as well. I know Plant Therapy carries diffusers, and I think they have some really great ones that are lower priced. Hope that helps!

Aaaah… sleep! Such a popular and much talked about topic. Lack of sleep can be harmful to any individual’s health and well-being, while adequate sleep assists in the retention of stamina and provision of energy that fuels you to function all day long. With an increase in everyday stress levels, hypertension, and the overall pace of life, individuals are resorting to all sorts of things to help improve sleep.
Many essential oils will fit into more than one category. You can blend them with other essential oils that blend well with the categories they fit in, or you can smell the essential oil and decide which category you think it best fits in. Blending is more about what you think rather than a list of hard and fast rules. I’m not sure if there’s a book on blending or not. I know you can learn more about it by doing it. I also know that some aromatherapists and perfumists teach courses on it so you may want to Google that.
You can definitley combine both, Elizabeth. The ratio is totally your choice depending on what helps you. One thing you could do would be to make two separate personal inhalers (one with rosemary and one with lavender) and take a few deep breaths of the rosemary as needed, then, if you start feeling too anxious, start using the lavender one to calm you a bit. Maybe try it BEFORE you take a test… like during a study session, to see if it helps or not. Best of luck in your studies… I remember a lot of late nights getting ready for those big tests!
JASMINE. A sweetly floral scent, jasmine appears to have serious sleep-promoting capabilities. Research shows jasmine improves sleep quality and cuts down on restless sleeping, as well as increasing daytime alertness. A 2002 study showed that jasmine delivered all of these sleep benefits, as well as lowering anxiety, even more effectively than lavender.

It’s important to note: sandalwood has also been shown to increase wakefulness and alertness, even when it is also triggering physical relaxation. Everyone reacts to scents differently. Sandalwood may deliver sleep benefits for some people, while for others, it may promote wakeful, attentive relaxation. If that’s the case for you, sandalwood isn’t right for nighttime, but you can use it during the day to feel relaxed and alert.
Master the Art of Using Essential Oils at Home! To help you reach your health goals with essential oils, please be sure to take the time to learn the fundamentals of aromatherapy. To help you do this, we have created a 10-Part Video Masterclass that we want to give you an opportunity to watch for FREE. This is our gift to you for being part of our Natural Living Family All you need to do is reserve your spot by clicking HERE. We'll see you there!

Hi Rachael. Great questions! Those high dilution rates (20% and 10%) are just so you can smell your EO blend mixed with a carrier oil to see if you like it or not. All carrier oils smell different, and they can effect how your blend smells in the end. That’s why I recommend testing your EO blends in different carrier oils at different dilutions to see what you like best. And, because the smells of EO blends change depending on what they’re mixed with, it’s always a good idea to test them in small batches before making bigger batches (hence using drops and not teaspoons or ounces!). Once you know what you like, you can then move on to making larger amounts of preblended oils (EO blend + carrier oil) for skin application using a lower dilution rate (3-5% for adults and anywhere from .25-1% for children depending on their age). This is my article on using EOs for children safely. There is a lot of different opinions on using EOs for kids. Since I’m not a trained aromatherapist, I tend to take the safe route with it comes to EOs. Hope this helps answer your questions a bit!! PS. Just for the record, higher dilution rates are often used in bath products (body wash, shampoo, shave creams, etc.) as they don’t sit on the skin, but are washed off fairly quickly. This decreases the amount of EO absorption you would have, therefore, higher percentages of EOs can go in those products so they smell stronger.
I’m a massage therapist and also a user of EOs. I really enjoyed reading this. I found it to be very helpful in understanding EOs and how to blend them by notes and by and by categories. This has been the most in depth I have seen anyone get into usage and blending. I apreciate how positive you are towards all brands of oils. I have bookmarked your page and will be back for more information.
So again, I don’t know how to figure out the ratios except that the first ingredient is supposed to be the largest and they work their way down to less and less. You definitely could follow this as a guide and try blending small amounts of oil until you find a combination you like and seems to be effective on him. If it were me, I’d try to work through the process to come up with a good blend. I also have a post coming out in February that walks you through exactly how I blend oils. Maybe that will help you out some. Stay tuned, and thanks for your comment Tania!
Environmental Causes: Sleeplessness may possibly be brought on by your environment. This could be things like noise, lighting, heat level, the sort of bed you sleep in, what you wear to bed and more. Some case in points might just also include a bedroom window that faces onto a bright streetlamp, a bedroom that is in near vicinity to a busy and noisy road, or could be excessively warm heating systems (or way too chilled central air conditioning). Other problems could include having a mattress that is excessively hard, or overly soft. Having pillows that don’t cradle your head and neck adequately or having on bed clothes that are unduly restrictive.
For now, you can look to books with essential oil profiles or online websites of essential oil suppliers for information on notes. And just like essential oil categories, the information you find on essential oils notes will vary. Some essential oils have one note while others are thought to have a combination of two with one of the two being more dominant than the other.
All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.
HELP I’m actually planning on making some home heat pads with jasmine rice. My plan was to use dried lavender and rosemary. I saw oils and a fixative would help the scent last in the herbs. So, making a “perfume blend” with lavender as my strongest scent, then rosemary, and oakmoss absolute as my fixative. I was going to put the rosemary and lavender buds in separate bowls with the majority of the rice in the lavender but a smaller portion set with the rosemary…then add a few drops of the essential oils to the separate bowls (rosemary probably 4-6) (lavender 8-12). After they’ve dried I’d like to combine everything and add my oak moss absolute … I want 2-3 drops I just have no idea how to help that spread TBH but this IS my plan-really hoping if you have any advice or experience about my plans to please share before I ruin everything lol THANK YOU!
Would I blend a properly diluted (in carrier oil) say…Eucalyptus, mixture in with my Neem mixture or simply add some drops of Eucalyptus to the Neem mixture with no additional carrier oil? This probably sounds very stupid, but I am a little confused since there is generally a finite number of drops you should use per ounce/ml of carrier oil. Does my question this make sense?
In the United States alone, more than 40 million people suffer from chronic sleep disorders, and another 20 million suffer from acute sleep problems. These disorders can range from chronic insomnia to daytime sleepiness, restless leg syndrome, and various other sleep problems related to substance abuse, anxiety, depression, medication interactions and chemical imbalances. Pharmaceuticals prescribed for sleep disorders can often have extreme side effects and leave people feeling sluggish throughout their day. Experts recommend 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per day for adults, yet in our fast-paced and demanding modern world, this can be very difficult.
Physiological causes of Insomnia: It’s true! Your own individual body can often times conspire to prevent you sleeping, and in many instances you will most likely be its accomplice. If you have allergies then that can trigger you to have troubles sleeping. It’s most likely no surprise that problems with pain can compel you difficulties getting to sleep, or in waking up when you don’t need to.

The shift for me was that I wanted all members to feel they have a say in the development of the software. Showing ads means that advertisers would be the customers, and that doesn't feel right. Ads would take up valuable space on the screen. And ads would distract from the goal of providing you with a simple, streamlined interface to discover new ways to use your essential oils.
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