I chose Cedarwood as I thought I would be able to make up some sachets that I could add the oil to which would protect my yarn from insects but have yet to make them up.
However, I did make up some washing powder using Racheal's recipe from the Homemade Cleaning Products Presentation held in October. This required 6 cups of washing soda, 2 bars of soap as well as 1-2 ml lemon/citrus essential oil which is optional. The instructions were to grate the soap in a food processor, add 1 cup of the soda and process and then add the remaining soda and process. After this add the essential oil and briefly process before putting into a container.
I must admit I was a bit disappointed with the result as mine wasn't as fine as Racheal's and I wondered if her food processor was more powerful. Then I remembered that she buys her Bicarb Soda in bulk locally and she pours it into baking trays or casserole dishes and bakes it at 200C for an hour which makes washing soda! You do need to package it in airtight containers though or it can convert back to Bicarb Soda over time. THAT is why her laundry powder is so fine! :-) Anyway, I did add some of the lemon essential oil from the Introductory Kit and at first I wasn't fussed with the smell but after I had left the powder overnight it had a lovely smell when I took the lid off the next day and the powder works really well.
I also wanted to experiment with adding some of these oils to soap and, as it was a couple of months since I tried making soap with the quick method of not heating the oils, I decided to use the same recipe but this time heated the oils and added 1T of the green clay I bought at Simply Natural Soap Making Supplies and 2.5ml of doTERRA peppermint essential oil. The white soap is from the last batch I made and the soap in the front is what I turned out of the moulds this morning before it was ready as I was impatient and it made a mess of course so I put the remaining moulds in the freezer for a while and they came out beautifully....nice and smooth unlike the messy ones in the front. Oops!
As you can see this batch is much darker than the last batch which was white and it also smells lovely with the addition of the peppermint essential oil. Hopefully the smell won't dissipate over time but I was quite pleased with my experiment yesterday. I wasn't totally happy with the whiter batch of soap as it formed a crust on the top which I had never had before when using the method of heating the oils. However, I will use the quick method again with a different recipe and perhaps some lard which one of my friends had had success with. Nothing like experimenting ;-)
I asked Racheal to write a little about the doTERRA essentials oils which you can find below. If you live in Toowoomba and would like to learn more about the product you can contact her personally via the doTERRA website as she doesn't currently have a blog. If you would like to have some friends around she is happy to come and show her products and you will receive the Introductory Kit containing Lavender, Peppermint and Lemon oils. I am sure you will be impressed with the quality of them. Now...it is over to Racheal.
A relatively recent company, doTerra began in 2008 with the purpose of creating pure therapeutic grade essential oils. Sadly in our country (and others) an essential oil can be labeled as '100% Pure Essential Oil', 'organic' and 'natural' yet have as little as 10% purity while the rest can be a colourless, odourless petrochemical or carrier oil. There are some brands out there with integrity, but unfortunately, just reading the label on a bottle isn't a guarantee you're getting what you think you're paying for.
So doTerra began by sourcing the plants for their oils from the regions where they naturally grow, and therefore grow best. They also have the plants harvested at the optimum point in the plants life for extracting the best oil.
They believe in co-impact sourcing of their plants, so also were looking for growers who were working with the environment, and were part of a local community. For example, in Nepal they have many native mothers working to harvest their wintergreen. We have friends in Nepal and know the desperately low employment rates in that country. So for these women to be able to have a job, which only takes up half of their day and provides income for them to provide education and provisions for their children, is a huge blessing for them.
A different example is New Zealand, where Douglas Fir is growing like a weed and taking over a region. Douglas Fir is used in a headache blend of oils, and has other benefits too. So doTerra are working in that area, harvesting the Douglas Fir for oil...which is both producing a quality product and helping to manage a species that's growing out of control.
They have each batch of oil independently tested multiple times by a third party lab. And if it doesn't meet the high standard, it is not sold. For example, there was a problem with the Roman Chamomile crop last year, and so that oil is just not available until the next crop is harvested and the oil extracted!
The proof is in the pudding. I was skeptical of an MLM company selling these little bottles of oil (so was my husband)...until I tried them. The children's sore tummies would disappear with one drop of digestive blend oil in some water. Headaches would disappear with a little rub of their headache blend on the temples. An arthritic joint in my hand was healed in 2 days. My husband had an arthritic/clicky knee that was healed overnight with a few drops of frankincense. During winter when the nasty flu was going around, my family all got sick, but I took a drop of their protective blend in water each morning and stayed well. Their respiratory blend diffused at night has helped the children breathe easy while they had congestion. And much more. So I believe this is a pure, therapeutic grade of essential oils and that they are a safe and effective way to take control of your health.
On a different note, most Aussies would be aware that there have been catastrophic fires in South Australia. One of our Down to Earth forum members has thankfully survived this terrible event. You can read Emma's harrowing account of the Pinery fires on her blog A Simple Living Journey.
Have a great weekend and stay safe everyone.