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Our Favorite Essential Oils and a Few of Their Uses

Find Out Why I Never Leave Home Without My Peppermint Essential Oil

Part of the reason I love essential oils so much is due to their versatility.  Very few oils offer the amount of versatility as peppermint oil does.  This was one of the first oils I ever used and I have carried a bottle in my purse since that very first day. 

The peppermint plant is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint.  Peppermint oil is commonly used in chewing gum, toothpaste, and mint flavored treats.  It reminds me of Christmas time…mostly because of the homemade Peppermint Bark I make for stocking stuffers and end up devouring most of it myself (oops!).  A high quality peppermint oil will have a very high menthol content.  The high menthol content brings Christmas to the desert this time of year.  At 110 degrees outside any sort of reprieve is cherished.  A single drop to the back of the neck offers a much needed refreshing cooling sensation.  

Peppermint oil works very well for digestive health.  My grown kids rub a drop onto their stomachs to help alleviate occasional indigestion.  I’ve also used it in a pinch when I’ve been inadvertently glutened to help fight off the unavoidable protests from my gut.  

A few other common ways my family and I use peppermint oil include a drop in a shot of water to freshen our breath, a drop rubbed in our hands and inhaled for a pick me up midday, and diffused or inhaled to promote respiratory health and breathing.  One of my favorite blends for our diffuser is peppermint and wild orange which smells absolutely divine.  I commonly add peppermint to skin care products for its cooling sensation and invigorating effects.

How do you use your peppermint oil? ~Kris




5 Essential Oils To Have On Hand While Eating Out

Those of us who have worked in a restaurant know that those lemons and limes served with drinks are not always the cleanest. In fact, they have been found to pass microorganisms and even fecal matter (yuck!). So what do you do when you want a little flavor in your water but not the bacteria? Add essential oils! I always have a little travel case of my emergency oils attached to my wallet. That way I am never without my favorite essential oils. This comes in very handy when I am enjoying a lunch out and a glass of water is set on the table in front of me. I always remove the lemon (ideally you would order one without the slice) and then pull out my arsenal of oils. Here are my top choices:

Lemon oil: If you are really wanting that lemon taste this is your best option. It only takes a drop or two and you will have more of the lemon pop and less of the germs!

Wild orange oil: This is my favorite oil to add to water and seltzer. It is high in antioxidants and a great addition to any beverage! It is also amazing in Blue Moon beer if that is your thing.

Lime oil: This oil has so many restaurant beverage uses! From Coronas to Margaritas this choice gives any drink a kick while boosting your immune system.

Grapefruit oil: This is a no brainer for me. This oil has a great taste and helps support a healthy metabolism. I drink this one in seltzer daily!

It just takes 1-2 drops of these oils to clean and purify your beverage while tasting great. I have them on hand at all times. Just make sure the ones you are ingesting are pure therapeutic grade oils without any pesticides, synthetics, or added fillers!

Bonus: Want to skip the mints on the way out but need fresh breath for your afternoon meeting? Peppermint oil is my rescue. A drop or two in the mouth or in a swish of water is all you need. You will breathe easier as an extra bonus!

Don’t leave home without these essential oils, especially when heading to a restaurant! I never do!


*Loving, Anne LaGrange and John Perz.   “Microbial Flora on Restaurant Beverage Lemon Slices.”

    Journal of Environmental Health.   1 December 2007.

clary sage

Clary Sage: A Woman’s Best Friend!

I have only been recently experimenting with this amazing essential oil. Why did it take me this long? I have a hormonal blend that I use to help with monthly cramps which already contained clary sage. That blend takes care of any issues I experience so I never had the single oil on the top of my “must buy now” list so it kept getting left behind. Now that I have it rotating in my arsenal I cannot believe I have lived without it for this long!

First of all…it smells amazing. I would wear it as perfume if it had no other benefits besides its appealing aroma. Oh, but it does! Check out some of the wondrous things Therapeutic Grade clary sage essential oil can do!

  • Soothes monthly discomfort associated with menstrual cycles
  • Helps balance hormones
  • Soothes nervous tension and lightens mood
  • Calming and soothing to the skin

I immediately felt more relaxed and balanced when I initially did the sniff test. I was very surprised after I applied to my arm by how incredibly distinctive the aroma was! I now like to put a drop on my wrists so I can enjoy the scent and effects throughout the day. Try using clary sage essential oil in one of these ways:

  • Apply few drops with a carrier oil and massage into lower back or bottoms of the feet
  • Apply topically over lower abdomen
  • Use as needed for acute issues and for chronic problems try applying twice a day for up to three weeks to see improvement
  • You can also enjoy the therapeutic benefits by inhaling the aroma from the palm of your hand, adding it to a lotion, or applying it on your wrists

However you use it, you will be surprised by the overall experience and I’m pretty sure you will become as obsessed as I am! What are YOUR favorite uses for clary sage oil?


Explorations in Cooking with Essential Oils…

I have made some amazingly delicious food with essential oils and I’ve also made some pretty horrendous mistakes. I am going to start passing along my successes and failures so that you can learn from my mistakes!

Mistake number #1: Do not add the essential oil to an already full pan of food. Wherever the drops hit the oil will be concentrated. We learned this the hard way when my husband got the one yellow squash chunk that my 2 drops of black pepper oil landed on. I thought my recipe was wonderfully flavored while he was not as impressed!

The Fix: Add the essential oil to the cooking medium (coconut oil, ghee) first.

  • Let the oil or ghee melt and then add the essential oil and mix. 
  • Add the meat or vegetable and the flavor will be evenly distributed.

I made a mix of ghee and a drop of basil oil this weekend. I rubbed it on our hamburgers before grilling. They turned out AMAZING.

Stay tuned for more mistakes and fixes in my “Cooking with Essential Oils” exploration!


Tea Tree Oil Uses

Tea Tree oil, aka Melaleuca, has been utilized by the Aborigines of Australia for centuries for it’s purifying properties.  This powerful oil is made up of over 92 different compounds which makes it very versatile and one of the oils we use in my house on a daily basis.  

Common uses for Melaleuca:

-Protection against environmental and seasonal threats

-Promotes healthy immune function

-Rejuvenates and cleanses the skin

-Promotes clear, healthy complexion

-Soothes minor skin irritations 

We often use the oil in our homemade cleaning products for the home and office to protect us against environmental threats.  

My family is pretty active and adventurous so I never leave home without Melaleuca on hand to use on any minor skin irritations we experience.  I love the fact that it soothes the skin and helps it recover quickly.  Remember with oils, less is more, they are very powerful.  For skin irritations apply 1 to 2 drops of Melaleuca essential oil to the affected area.

Diffusing Melaleuca is a great way to purify the air.

I love using Melaleuca in my home to promote a clear and healthy complexion and to cleanse and purify nails.  Add 1 to 2 drops to our daily skin and hair care products for additional cleansing properties.  I love the after shave gel from our Father’s Day DIY gift idea article that uses Melaleuca to help prevent razor burn.

What are your favorite uses for Melaleuca?


Awesome Natural “After-Bite” Recipe!!

Ok, they got us! Before we sprayed ourselves with our homemade bug spray, these little mean black flies hid in my kids’ hair and had a feast. We had no idea until the complaints of pain and itching began that evening. We now have devised a natural “after-bite” recipe that keeps my kids happy and itch free! Here it is!

Natural After-Bite Roller


1 empty roller ball container
15 drops lavender essential oil (Therapeutic grade)
15 drops peppermint essential oil (Therapeutic grade)      
fractionated coconut oil (enough to fill the rest of roller)


  1. Pour 15 drops of peppermint oil and 15 drops of lavender oil into empty roller ball container base
  2. Add enough fractionated coconut oil to fill container
  3. Insert rollerball top onto base and push down until you feel/hear it click in place
  4. Label and cover
  5. Use when needed- apply directly on bug bites or roll on hand and then rub onto bites. Do as often as needed (when the kids start to complain again!).


DIY Portable Hand Cleanser

If you find yourself without running water and need clean hands, here is a great do-it-yourself recipe without alcohol or harsh chemicals.

DIY  Portable Hand Cleanser


  • 5 Tablespoons Aloe Vera Gel
  • 4 Tablespoons water (adjust for your preferred consistency)
  • ¼ Teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • 10-20 drops Essential oil (lemon, lime, melaleuca, lavender, protective blend, or cleansing blend)
  • Dispenser of your choice- glass is best for citrus oils


  1. Combine Aloe Vera gel and Vitamin E oil in a small bowl
  2. Add 10-20 drops of essential oil
  3. Add water and mix well (add more water for a thinner consistency if you choose to use a spray bottle)
  4. Pour into container
  5. Use as needed


Defeat the Boogeyman with Juniper Berry Oil

This beneficial essential oil is made from the mature berries of the Juniper tree and has a sweet woody aroma. The branches of this small evergreen have been used throughout history for religious ceremonies and medicinal properties. The twigs are recorded as being burned in hospitals to purify the air during epidemics and the oil has been used for its diuretic effects and benefits for urinary function.

Juniper Berry Essential Oil:

  • Supports healthy kidney and urinary function
  • May benefit problematic skin areas
  • Acts as a natural cleaning and detoxifying agent
  • Helps relieve tension and stress

To receive the benefits from this oil you can apply 2-3 drops with a carrier oil and rub in topically to the affected area or bottoms of the feet. It can also be added to your bathtub or diffuser for the aromatic benefits.

Juniper Berry is also used for emotional support. It helps one move past fears and allows emotional healing. It can benefit those who suffer from nightmares and children who may be afraid of the dark. I like to spray Juniper Berry and water on my children’s pillows to give them a more restful sleep with no worries about shadows lurking in the dark! No more Boogeyman in our house! 

How do YOU use Juniper Berry? ~Emily~

They are HERE!!!

The bugs are back! As much as I love the seasons changing and the warm weather rolling in, I HATE bug season. Up in the Adirondacks black flies make life miserable for weeks. Do I turn to the toxic DEET bug sprays? Of course not, silly question! Here are my favorite natural solutions:

Natural Bug Spray

In a spray bottle combine:

  • 1 cup water
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil

Shake and spray yourself, your kids, your plants, and anything you want to stay bug free! Reapply every 4 hours.

OR (even easier):

  • Use a repellent essential oil blend and apply to the skin every 4-6 hours

Not a do it yourselfer?:

  • My favorite ready to use natural bug spray is [easyazon_link identifier=”B003EU4BC6″ locale=”US” tag=”thenakephar-20″]California Baby Natural Bug Blend[/easyazon_link]. Click here to purchase from our affiliate amazon link.

Protect your family from bugs without the chemicals!!

My MVP: Lemon Oil

I never considered lemon to be one of my favorite essential oils. Now that I am writing this highlight I am realizing it is one of my most used oils and may deserve the title!


Therapeutic Grade Lemon Essential Oil:

  • Cleanses and purifies the air and surfaces
  • Naturally cleanses the body and aids digestion
  • Supports healthy respiratory function
  • Promotes a positive mood and cognitive ability
  • Helps ward off free radicals with its antioxidant benefits
  • Soothes an irritated throat


What do I use this oil for? What don’t I use this oil for may be a better question! 😉 I use it mixed with melaleuca to clean, diffuse to rid bedrooms of any stinky “diaper” odors near the changing table, add to my water (especially when out at a restaurant), use it in numerous recipes, clean fruit and vegetables with it, use it to remove sticky substances (from hair, skin, furniture, anywhere…), apply to hands when washing then is not an option, add to warm water with honey as a soothing tea, the list goes on and on! No wonder I seem to order this oil every month or two!

SO let’s give credit where credit is due! Lemon oil is AWESOME!! What do YOU use Lemon Oil For? ~Emily~

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