CITRUS. Similar to sandalwood, this is a group of scents that can be stimulating or sleep-promoting, depending on your individual reaction and the type of citrus oil used. Bergamot, a type of orange, has been shown to relieve anxiety and improve sleep quality. Lemon oil has demonstrated anxiety and depression-relieving effects in research. Citrus may help some people fall asleep more easily, while others may find these fresh, bright scents are relaxing, but not sleep-promoting. If citrus scents are stimulating to you, don’t use them before bed—but do consider using them during the day, to help you feel both refreshed and relaxed.
As a person who was pretty much born anxious, I’m always looking for something to take the edge off. Meditation, mental exercises, eliminating sugar from my diet, and yes, medication, have helped a lot, but I’ve started to dabble in aromatherapy too. Diffusing calming essential oils like lavender and clary sage helps me drift off to sleep at night when I used to lie in bed worrying—with the bonus of making the bedroom smell amazing.
I really enjoy Lea’s website too! One thing I recently learned about the 3rd party testing she had done though, was it may not be very reliable. She chose a chemist in France who used outdated testing equipment simply because it was the cheapest. And although I greatly appreciate her knowledge, she gets very defensive and on the verge of rude at times in the comments. I also know she doesn’t appreciate learning that isn’t taught by a certified aroma therapist.

Since I have asthma, dust mites are a problem. I use a mattress pad that can be easily removed and washed. Make sure all bedding is machine washable in hot water, as this kills the mites. I put my down comforter in a washable duvet, so it can be washed weekly with the other bedding. I’m sure a spray of tea tree oil on the bedding couldn’t hurt. I put eucalyptus in my eo diffuser in my bedroom. I keep dust attracting items in closets or drawers, exchanged my dry-clean only bedroom curtains for washable ones and got rid of the hard to clean blinds. For kids, no stuffed animals in the bedroom unless they are machine washable.

There seems to be new essential oil companies popping up every day, but I’ve used doTERRA essential oils for nearly 4 years and I’ll never go anywhere else. The oils are third-party tested for purity (you can SMELL the difference if you compare them to other brands), ethically sourced around the globe, and I love that doTERRA is a humanitarian-geared company. Hearing stories like this of a Wellness Advocate who is working hard to help Ebola-ravaged areas of Africa makes me so proud to be associated with this company. I’m happy to personally help you get these oils in your home and tell you more about why I chose doTERRA-– click here to connect with me. 


Disclaimer: The information on Don’t Mess with Mama is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. I am not a medical professional and the information contained on this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented here.
This may have been discussed in some of the comments…I did not read them all. I have read to put a drop of essential oil on a white sheet of paper and put aside for 24 hours. After that time, if you see a shadow the oil is not pure and if there’s no shadow it’s pure. Is this a reliable test? And, is there an expiration date on oils…I have some with an exp date. I always put a sticker on the bottle the day I opened it.
I’m glad you liked the article Jennie. I’m no expert when it comes to aromatherapy so I’d definitely search some other aromatherapy blogs like LearningAboutEOs.com and the Aromahead Blog for arthritis blends, but I think I’d make a cayenne salve like the one here and then add essential oils that contain menthol like peppermint or wintergreen to it.
A diffuser is a unique household must-have that can replace those plug-in air fresheners – which contain chemical ingredients that have been linked to a number of serious health issues – together with scented candles – which are far from “natural”. When you see the term ‘fragrance’ on an air freshener or scented candle, remember that it can include up to 300 toxic chemicals but still just say ‘fragrance’. There have been a number of studies that have shown that both synthetic air fresheners and scented candles can pose health risks.

This is a crude list… a rough draft of sorts. You will not be using all of the essential oils you put on this list, and you are not concerning yourself with essential oil brands at this point. You’re basically gathering a lot of ideas and information here. The idea is to come up with a list of 10-20 essential oils to get you started, and as you progress through the steps for blending essential oils, you’ll begin to simplify this big list.

Thank you SO MUCH for your information in regards to the so called “therapeutic Essential Oils” I long suspected there was no such thing and it is a Marketing ploy for these two companies in question as well, I have been personally challenged by doTERRA consultants because my Essential oils are much cheaper than theirs, but I purchase Pure essential oils, bottle and resell, I have had no complaints in 17 years, your information has helped me feel much more secure in what I am doing?Kind regards Linda


Another thing I learned was about the whole “therapeutic” thing. I always thought that when an oil company claimed that their oil was “therapeutic grade” it meant that it could be used medicinal purposes, not just for aromatherapy purposes. I’m sure that’s true, but from what you, the article I just read, and other EO experts are saying, that isn’t true. Pure essential oils can be used for their “therapeutic” or medicinal qualities just like they can be used in aromatherapy. The term “therapeutic grade” means nothing. Eden’s Organic oils say 100% Pure Essential Oils on their bottles, but I think somewhere on their site it says therapeutic grade. I’m assuming many small companies like theirs are having to claim this in order to keep up with the bigger companies, whether it’s true or not. Either way, it doesn’t matter to me, but I did take that wording out of this post so that it’s more accurate!
If your oils do not have a dropper orifice, you may want to pick up a glass dropper. If you wish to blend a large quantity that you can save for later, be sure to gather an appropriate number of small, dark-colored glass bottles. And if you plan on using your creation on your skin, you’ll want to have a carrier oil handy. Jojoba, Almond, Olive, or Coconut oil are all excellent options.

the scents bring back memories and make me feel good — I LOVE fall!  And I love fall diffuser blends!  The changing colors of the leaves, sweater weather, fireplace nights with a bowl of popcorn and a movie, a breath of crisp air, cuddling up with a good book, Thanksgiving dinner, pumpkin carving, wearing scarves again, baking cookies & pies, apple picking, jumping in leaves, roasting marshmallows, crisp hikes, making stews and chili, Eskimo kisses to warm the nose, chimney smoke, hot apple cider, being wrapped in cozy blankets, hay rides, farmers’ markets, and cinnamon everything.  Filling my home with these fall diffuser blends, evokes warm memories and makes me feel good.
Thank you so much for this information, and the links you have provided. I’m new to this whole world of oils and thoroughly confused. One of my 9 year old sons has ADHD, Autism, severe anxiety and phobias, and a severe peanut allergy. On top of all of that he has a higher heart rate due to the anxiety and phobias setting everything else off, and cannot take any medications to help calm him down. He goes to therapy and social skills twice a week and has TSS workers at home and at school, but he still suffers and I needed to find something to help him without modern medicines in the mix. As it turns out, his therapy center is directly next door to a place called Penn Herb Company, so we ventured in to inquire about alternatives. He took a big sniff when we went in and I could see him relax. They helped me get a small stash of relaxing oils and make him a “calm down potion.” It worked every time I tried it on him before full meltdown. I am now on a mission to help him and the whole family get better without chemical medicines, but cannot spend hours in a store or classroom, or even at my computer (I have 4 boys, 2 of them not school aged yet and I stay at home to raise them) so sites like yours are now my lifeblood. Everyone else seems to have a grand opinion on a brand of oil and says the others are no good. It is so hard to decipher some of this stuff. It is awesome to have someone give the truth about different brands, and their claims. All the best to you, and thank you so much again from the bottom of this Mama’s overflowing heart!!!!
You can definitely add essential oils to lotion bases. The ratio will depend on the essential oils in the mix and how much area of the body they will cover. This will definitely require more research and perhaps consulting from an aromatherapist. There are also a lot of great books out there that teach you how to use essential oils in skin care products that could offer more information as well. Hope this answers your question!
The most effective way to consume them, according to “The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy,” is to add a drop of oil in a glass of water or in a teaspoon with honey. (16) You can simply add a drop or two underneath the tongue. This is beneficial because the blood capillaries are so close to the surface of the tissue under the tongue, allowing them to pass more quickly into the bloodstream and travel to the different areas of the body where they’re needed. (17)
Hi Meagan, Thanks for sharing, you really broke the process down in an easy to understand way. Wish I had the oils you used in the example so I could try it out. I’m going to read more of your blog. I do have a question though, I think you said you’ve used Eden’s Garden and Young Living. I’ve been using Eden’s Garden for 2 years now and since I never tried anything else I am very satisfied, just needed an opinion from someone else to help me in my research. Today I went to a class and made YL Thieves Disinfectant spray. All the oils she let us smell seemed more fragrant than my EG EOs, I was wondering if you ever noticed that and what may be the reason. I’m not sure how oils are “supposed” to smell, only that I did notice a slight difference.
As far as the testing goes… I don’t know much about it other than I think she did opt for more expensive and more accurate testing the 2nd and 3rd time she had oils tested. I’m not sure on that though. All I know is that her tests got a lot of attention… much of which brought about changes from some of the bigger EO companies so she must have done something right.
Disclaimer: The information on Don’t Mess with Mama is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. I am not a medical professional and the information contained on this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented here.

Glad to hear you’re finding the info helpful. I’ve never heard of the Majestic Pure brand before so I can’t comment on how strong it is. I always look for EOs from brands I know and trust that are high-quality, pure oils. If you can’t smell your blend well once it’s added to your alcohol, it could be that your dilution rate is off. I’m not sure. If you’re looking for a good company with a lot of oil choices, be sure to check out Edens Garden essential oils. They offer pure EOs, and they carry a ton of scents!


In study of women who were pregnant for the first time published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, one group of women was received a 10-minute inhalation and footbath with oil rose, another group received a 10-minute warm-water footbath, and they were compared to a control group. The findings showed “aromatherapy and footbath reduces anxiety in active phase in nulliparous women.” (6)

As you’re using essential oils, pay attention to how you feel. Scent is a highly individual experience. Each of us react to smells differently. The right scents for your relaxation and sleep are the ones that make you feel relaxed and sleepy! You may need to experiment with different oils before you find the right one for your nightly routine. If a scent makes you feel alert and awake, it is NOT the right one for sleep. But you can use it in the morning to help get you rolling into your day.
Thanks for your info Meaghan. It was very helpful. I have to say that I love, love essential oils. I did so much research and have used them for years. More than a year ago I decided to give Young Living a try after much research and even though I have tried other companies I have to say that I absolutely love Young Living. I know there are other great companies out there because I have used them. However Young Living is absolutely a wonderful company and their oils are amazing. I totally trust them and I have had such success with them health wise. I am a member of their Blue Spruce Club and everything I ever want to know about how to use essential oils is there. I love Thieves, YLs blend. It is amazing for everything. I still use other oils but YL is my favourite!
When the scent of an essential oil is inhaled, molecules enter the nasal cavities and stimulate a firing of mental response in the limbic system of the brain. These stimulants regulate stress or calming responses, such as heart rate, breathing patterns, production of hormones and blood pressure. Aromatherapy can be obtained by using it in a bath, as direct inhalations, hot water vapor, vaporizer or humidifier, fan, vent, perfume, cologne, or — one of my favorites — through aromatherapy diffusers.
I could be wrong, but I think Danika is confusing the term therapeutic grade with the “100% Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” that doTERRA coined and uses. Some oils are labeled for aromatherapy only, and others state they are therapeutic grade which I imagine is to indicate they are also for medicinal purposes. Not referring to ingestion, but topical applications.

The great thing about these recipes, is that you can experiment and change them based on what you like! So if you start with the recipe, but find you need more, you can add in more! My diffusers are all mid-size and hold between 100-150 ml of water. These recipes are based on that size (most home diffusers are similar in size). You can still use these recipes with yours! If you find you need to add more oil since you’re adding more water, add in a few extra drops of each and see how that does for you. Sometimes in a large open space I find that I need to add in a little more myself. 😉 Hope that helps… have you tried any yet?? I’d love to hear which ones you like!
I hear what you’re saying Scott, and I’m not disagreeing with you. I don’t know a whole lot about the process, but I do know that bigger companies follow harvesting, storage, and extracting guidelines that not all home distillers follow. I also know that bigger companies have their oils routinely tested by 3rd party labs to check them for certain things. Again, not all home distillers do that. I’m sure that’s why people trust bigger EO companies, but if I were making and selling my own oils from home, I’d be sure I did those things and shouted it from the rooftops so people would know my oils were top notch. Thanks for sharing your process!
Next, place the diffuser below eye level. The aroma from your diffuser will rise on its own, so placing your diffuser in an area above your nose will prevent you from ever enjoying your oils. It’s also recommended that you place your diffuser in the center of the room, because the oil diffuses in a radial diameter. In other words, placing the diffuser in a corner of the room may cause the oil to hit the wall and rise upwards, reducing diffusion. However, if you don’t have an outlet in the center of your living room (like most people) just place your diffuser away from the wall.

I found you while searching for information about essential oils. You have a really neat site and with tons of great and valuable information that helps me a lot. I have been using essential oils for some time now, specially for cleaning around my home and for room sprays . I am now making soy candles but I am using essential oils instead of fragrance oils, even though some says that essential oils doesn’t have a very good scent throw in candles. My question for you is, Can I use jasmine absolute in jojoba oil for scent my wax? And what will be the ratio for blending in 6oz of soy wax? Would the 30-50-20 rule apply the same for blending essential oils for candles?
Oh, lavender essential oil is great, and I’d definitely consider it a go-to oil. It’s an easy one for beginners to use, it’s mostly safe, and it has a lot of different uses. I didn’t exclude it from the list for any particular reason. I just went through and tried to select oils with different notes so people would have a good variety of EO choices when making their blends. Hope that answers your question!
Once you’ve blended all your blends together to test them, it’s time to take a break and let your blends rest for a minimum of 24 hours… 48 hours is better. This is so each blend’s aroma can develop. Believe it or not, when you open your blends back up the next day, they’re going to smell a bit different than you remember. This is why keeping good notes is important. You want to describe what you smell so you can remember where your blend has been and where it is now. This will help you to see if you like what you’ve created.
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