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The Seven Essentials: Cooling the summer heat

Post by Sandy Powell on July 22, 2018

So, it’s summer, the harsh damp frigid weather just a few months ago is now a distant memory.  Your attention turns to those uncomfortable hot humid days and sleepless nights; Here in Canada we have an unwritten rule to not complain about the heat given our notoriously cold long winters, which leaves many longing in silent suffering for some cool relief.

You may be aware by now of the tremendous healing effects of essential oils, but did you know that many have cooling properties?  Yes, you can use a select few to casually cool oneself down without carrying around icepacks or divided time running between air-conditioned cars and shopping malls.  Here are our top seven essential oils.

Eucalyptus Radiata – while there are many species of eucalyptus, this is the coolest of them all; chemically speaking of course.  Lower levels of oxides and slightly higher alcohols than the common blue gum variety make this oil gentler on the skin and provide a refreshing inhalant to calm the fire inside.

Frankincense serrata – While so many types and extraction methods create very different oils, the serrata species is the coolest of the frankincense.  Once again, chemically speaking. Higher percentage of monoterpene hydrocarbons of over 80 %, including a -thujene makes it the best for inflammation and cooling effect.  Not as fragrant as some other species but it can be forgiven here if it lowers the temp.

Lime (Distilled) – This method of extractions produces more cooling chemistry such as α‐phellandrene, 1,4‐cineole, p‐cymene, α‐fenchyl alcohol, and α‐ and β‐terpineols not usually found in the expeller pressed oil.  This one is also safe to use in the sun as the furocoumarins found in expeller pressed oil which cause photosensitivity, are lost in the distillation.  The sweet candy like aroma will leave you feeling free and easy.

Peppermint – What can we say; this one is the king of cool. With menthol levels hovering from 30-50%, this oil would put Mr. freeze to shame.

Petitgrain – I refer to this one as the masculine lavender.  While it shares many chemical characteristics of lavender, the earthy aroma and high linalool content will be reminiscent of a cool forest breeze.

Palmarosa – This oil is so cool you should be wearing shades to use it. An abundance of soothing alcohols including geraniol, linalool and farnesol makes it a welcome addition to treat sun scorched, wind burnt skin. The aroma and effect is also reminiscent of geranium, rose, and lemon balm all rolled into one at a fraction of the price.

Rosemary (Cineole) – Nothing screams summer cool like rosemary. Just like eucalyptus, it contains high oxides such as 1,8 cineole and caryophyllene oxide. To top it off, a spattering of camphone and verbenone gives it that fresher herbal smell and feel.

Honourable Mentions

While most oils extracted by expeller pressing the rind of citrus fruit (such as bergamot, lemon, orange and grapefruit) have cooling properties, they do contain photosensitizing coumarins which can lead to serious sunburn if used topically and then exposure to the sun.

Lavender is always great in these situation, but heck it’s great for almost any condition.

Other Great Ingredients

Virgin Coconut Oil

Any Hydrosols such as frankincense, lavender, cedarwood, sweetgrass or witch hazel


Cucumber, aloe or green tea extract


Cooling Sunburn Spray
20 ml Glycerin
20 ml Aloe Extract
10 ml Cucumber Extract
50 ml Witch Hazel
10 drops Peppermint
10 drops Lime distilled essential oil
5 drops Rosemary
150 ml distilled or reverse osmosis water
1 – 250 ml (8 oz) bottle and spray top


Step 1 – Mix all the essential oils (lime, peppermint and rosemary) with glycerin. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
Step 2 – Mix all other ingredients in a 250 ml (8oz) glass or plastic bottle.
Step 3 – Mix in the glycerin & essential oils last. Add a spray top and shake well.
Spray liberally on itchy dry sunburn skin and around your neck for a cooling effect. Enjoy!

Refreshing Body Cream or Lotion
150 gm Cream or lotion (natural plant based where possible)
10 drops Palmarosa
5 drops Frankincense serrata essential oil
10 drops Petitgrain essential oil
10 ml Aloe extract
20 ml Green tea Extract
20 ml Witch Hazel


Step 1 – In a glass or metal bowl, add the 150 gm of cream or lotion. In following order add all other ingredients and essential oils. Stir thoroughly.
Step 2 – Add all other ingredients and mix in thoroughly. Scoop into a suitable clean container. Makes approximately 200 g.


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