The Benefits of Orange Essential Oil

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On a typical day, I start with five drops of orange and one drop of frankincense essential oils in my diffuser. This is my favorite way to clear my work space to begin to create. In feng shui, oranges and orange peels represent vibrant, life affirming yang energy. Yang energy is like the energy at high noon – bright and strong.

It is good practice to clear your space at least once a year. The most auspicious time to do this is on Chinese New Year.  The Lunar new year is symbolically a great time to clear out the old stagnant energy in your home to make space for new positive energy. Changing seasons can also be a great time to practice space clearing!

Fresh orange peels work the best to bring out the good, but you can also use 27 drops of orange essential oil. Place the orange peels (or essential oil) in a spray bottle and fill it with water. Walk around your home and spray this citrus essence all around, paying special attention to dead corners and closets. Orange peel carries with it vibrant life energy to clear space and, in turn, rejuvenates you and your home. This is excellent to do on an annual, or even monthly basis. 

Besides its feng shui applications, the benefits of orange essential oil range from internal to external, from mental to physical. Many of us are looking for a heal-all for modern struggles, and we may all be overlooking the immense benefits of orange essential oil. 

Orange essential oil is almost a miracle substance! It is an organic anti-depressant to some degree. When treating mild depression, orange essential oil works to lighten the mood and reduce anxiety by increasing circulation and cleansing the liver. While orange oil is also safe to use with severe depression requiring medication, it should not be used in place of medication. Some research also supports the use of orange essential oil as an aphrodisiac, as it works to reduce stress and promote relaxation in the body, which is often the cause of sexual issues and frustration. In this same function, orange oil can serve as a natural, non-toxic sedative following a long day.

Physically, orange essential oil goes a long way as well. On a surface level, orange oil can help to reduce inflammation, no matter what the cause. It can also be effective against inflammation for everything from excessive consumption (of food or drink) causing gas or pain to fever, infections and more. In addition, orange oil not only alleviates pain, but also acts a regulator for the body and its functions. Orange essential oil rids the body of excess gas and flushes bodily toxins through urination, which in turn promotes healthier digestion.

Other uses for orange oil are almost endless, from relaxing spasms to acting as a disinfectant to promoting healthy menstruation and alleviating acne. The list goes on, and it’s worth taking a peek. You have little to lose except negative thoughts and unwanted gas!

by Anjie Cho


How to Use Oranges to Welcome Positive Energy Into Your Life

featured this week on MindBodyGreen

image credit: Stocksy via  MindBodyGreen

image credit: Stocksy via MindBodyGreen

Whenever I need a little sunshine, a little uplift, I place nine drops of orange essential oil into my diffuser. In case you didn't know, in feng shui philosophy, the scent of oranges and orange peels can bring in happy and life-affirming yang energy.

Yang energy is like the sun at high noon, shining vibrantly with strength. It's bright and constant. Even on rainy or cloudy days, the sun is still present above the clouds. Similarly, the scent of oranges just makes you happy and cheery, feeling strong and energetic. Alice Waters (founder of Chez Panisse), the American pioneer of a culinary philosophy that maintains that cooking should be based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients that are produced sustainably and locally, says that since oranges are available year-round, they can brighten up even the darkest of winter days and provide much-needed immune system support no matter what the season.

...read full article

by Anjie Cho


Holistic Spaces + Jacq's Organics GIVEAWAY

The giveaway includes: 

  • 1- Signed book 108 Ways To Create Holistic Spaces by author Anjie Cho
  • 1- Holistic Spaces Aromastick
  • 1- Sampler that includes a Happy Mist, Clarity Mist & a Clearing Mist
  • 1 - 8 oz Lune Candle
  • 1 - 8 oz Le Soliel Candle

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE!

GOOD LUCK!

Start date: July 13, 2015 (12:00 a.m. Eastern Time)

End date:  July 21, 2015 (12:00 a.m. Eastern Time)

Oranges Are Happy

I recently launched a new apothecary section in the Holistic Spaces Store, and one of my first products is the HAPPY room mist.

Holistic Spaces worked with Aromatherachi to create unique blends for each of the mists for our apothecary, creating scents to support and enhance the energy in any interior environment.  Our formula no.1 HAPPY is a blend of orange essential oils and clear quartz crystals for uplifting abundance and positivity. We used oranges for this scent because they provide positive and life-affirming energy to lift your mood, and added 9 pieces of Clear quartz in each bottle to support positive transformation.

But why orange oil for a scent called "Happy?" When you peel an orange…how does the orange peel smell make you feel? Happy, bright and cheery, right? In feng shui, we use oranges in many adjustments. They’re used for space energy clearings and to uplift the qi of an environment. The yang quality of the scent of oranges invokes positivity, happiness and brightness like the brilliant sun at high noon. 

Neal’s Yard Remedies also notes that orange essential oil is beneficial if you have trouble getting things done and are lazy about making changes in your life. Orange oil can hurry the sluggishness, so the “tenor of your life will also begin to change as you become more optimistic and purposeful." There are scientific, historical and symbolic explanations for this too!

On the scientific end, oranges are a fruit high in vitamin C. One orange can provide 90% of the daily recommendation. Plus, in Alice Water’s Chez Pannise Fruit book, she tells us that oranges are seasonal year round. If they’re available year round, they can brighten up even the darkest of winter days and provide much needed immune system support no matter what the season. Not to mention they smell awesome! Actually, The Food Lover's Companion tells us that the word "orange," comes from a transliteration of the sanskrit, "naranga," which is derived from the Tamil, "naru," or "fragrant." That, they are! 

When we smell a fragrance, that olfactory information is delivered directly to our limbic systems and hypothalamus, producing deep emotional and behavioral transformations. Studies have linked the smell of oranges to improved emotional and immune responses, serving as everything from anti-depressants to energizing and revitalizing agents. In fact, a 2000 study in a dental office found patients experienced reduced anxiety during visits when orange oil was diffused. 

Oranges are significant historically and symbolically as well. Having originated in China, oranges are considered by the Chinese culture to be symbols of good luck and auspiciousness. Oranges are also associated with wealth in China, since the Chinese term for "orange" rhymes with the term for "gold." For this reason, they are very popular during the Chinese New Year and are shared freely to encourage nationwide wealth and good luck. 

Oranges are round in shape as well, so they are associated with the pure, never-ending cycle of a circle and are considered to be a symbol of completeness as well as to provide bright, positive energy to any space. Even now, oranges and other citrus fruit are used to brighten food and the visuals on a plate..

It's not difficult to see why oranges hold so much importance in some cultures. All natural, sweet, filling and an easy way to add color.  What do you think? Does this energizing citrusy aroma of sweet oranges make you happy?

by Anjie Cho


Creating Kid-Smart Spaces with Magalie René-Hayes

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AC: “The places children learn in shape them, and help them shape the world. Space, light and movement are integral to wellness and success. Every child deserves beauty and inspiration in their daily life.” Tell us more about this statement and how someone can integrate this into their home for their children.

MRH: We’re an amalgam of the experiences we’ve had and the environments we’ve encountered along our journey. We contribute that energy, who we are, to the world every day (whether we’re conscious of it or not). I believe we, as adult guides, have a responsibility to provide inspiring, healthy, stimulating, and even beautiful learning environments so our children can discover their personal skills and gifts. The gifts they’ll eventually contribute to the world in hopefully positive, meaningful ways. 

After several years creating what I’ve termed Kid-Smart Spaces for elementary and middle schools, I’ve learned academic achievement is directly linked to supportive physical environments. Integrating this into your home means being thoughtful and deliberate in creating your child’s spaces, especially where learning is involved.  

What are some important things parents should consider in designing and decorating their desk/homework area?

  • Kids are like us.

If you think about it, kids react to many of the same stimuli we do.  If you had to work in a small space with bright red walls, only had one foot of desk space to work on because of messy, scattered papers or if your desk faced a window with a great view might you feel anxious, frazzled or distracted? When you’re designing their play and study spaces, put yourself in their shoes. 

  • Beware of overstimulation.

As adults we often get stuck thinking kids' spaces need to be bright and stimulating.  Certainly areas of play can be high energy, but beware of overstimulation.  Mental, process-oriented tasks require balanced spaces that are conducive to processing information and thinking creatively.  Think through what kinds of activities your child will be doing and decide whether certain design elements might be counter-productive to the task at hand.

  • Consider the “5 C’s”.

1. Color

There’s a lot of conflicting information on which colors affect mood and in what ways. In an educational environment, bold, bright colors can be distracting and overly pale colors can cause sleepiness. Blues and greens have long been said to support focus and concentration, but I approve most colors. My recommendation is to find balance by using lighter shades on walls. For instance, instead of purple consider a lavender or grey/purple like Benjamin Moore’s Sanctuary. Instead of orange consider peach. Instead of red, consider a mauve or softer pinks. Use pops of bolder colors to accent the space through wall art, lamps, seat cushions, desk accessories, rugs, etc. 

I have only one color caveat: I don’t recommend red for study spaces (psychologists have found it can raise blood pressure, heart rate and cause anxiety). If you really love it, remember to use it sparingly as only an accent. 

(If you’re creating an art space, keep to neutrals because walls are a light source - either emitted or reflected - so the colors of a space influences the perceptions of the colors your child may be working with. Gray is the most neutral color for artists. And don’t worry - it doesn’t have to be drab. There are some beautiful greys out there).

I loved Anjie’s fantastic post discussing the Feng Shui properties of various colors. It’s a wonderful resource that can help you decide which direction to take.  

2. Climate 

This one’s a no-brainer. To use our skills of analysis and concentration, it helps to be comfortable. I don’t know about you but it’s near impossible for me to concentrate when my office is freezing cold or sweltering hot. Avoid setting study spaces up too close to windows or HVAC (heating ventilation air conditioning) systems. Also, it’s very important to be mindful of air-flow. Open windows at some point every day to let fresh air in. It’s energizing, it’s good feng shui, and it minimizes indoor air pollution and germs that impair wellness.

3. Clutter

Neuroscientists at Princeton did a study on clutter and found that when parents dealt with their own belongings, their stress hormones spike.  Children suffer doubly, first as they fight their own battle to focus in a cluttered environment, and again when the parent they depend on for direction and guidance is short-fused or under-performing due to clutter and overwhelm. It’s especially important to keep study spaces neat and organized.

4. Creativity

An educational space in your home doesn’t have to be all about studying.  Certainly it should accommodate more serious tasks like homework and papers but it should also inspire wonder, engagement, and fun. A great way to infuse fun into a space is through multi-functional, modular, moveable furniture. Toy storage that doubles as a reading seat or maybe it’s on wheels so it rolls out to the middle of the room when toys are used. Yoga balls are also on the rise for student use. Or, try mixing it up. Maybe they sit in a chair when completing a school assignment but switch to the beanbag when it’s time to read.  Add a sense of play with fun desk accessories - throw in a Rubik's cube to strengthen problem solving and creative thinking. There are so many creative ideas out there. Your inner child probably has a few in mind!

5. Child-Centric

Make them a part of the design process for 2 reasons. 1. When given the opportunity, kids have a ton to contribute.  2. Meaningful participation gives them a sense of ownership over their domain, connecting them to it and making them happier to be there.  Some ways to involve your child:

  • Let them pick certain decor elements (lamp/ desk supplies/ wall art) that reflects their interests, passions, and identities. 
  • Let them make the final decision between your top 2 paint choices.
  • Let them choose the accent colors.

How do you create your own holistic space at home?

My home is both my physical and emotional safe space. I have several rituals, but one I particularly love and do every day when I shower is I run the hot water for a few seconds and toss in a few drops of essential oil. They rise with the steam and make the bathroom (and that entire side of the house actually) smell like a spa. I use peppermint and orange oil in the morning to get energized, and lavender and eucalyptus at night to soothe. Design-wise, I have a connection to every piece of art or decor in my space. It must evoke positive feelings or it goes.  Which leads me to my last point...I’m an avid believer in the Feng Shui practice of channeling energy flow through de-cluttering. For those who have a tough time with this, Anjie can help you break through in big ways. I also recommend a book that taught me how little the stuff we keep is actually about the stuff itself! Throw Out 50 Things changed my home storage life forever. 

by Anjie Cho


Magalie René-Hayes is a Social Entrepreneur, Interior Designer, and Founder of FOUNDATIONS Design Group. She helps administrators, teachers, and parents create Kid-Smart Spaces™ that support academic excellence. As a result, hundreds of students have been impacted by inspiring physical nvironments that support them in discovering the gifts they will use to make meaningful contributions to the world.  Magalie has worked on a variety of residential, commercial, and institutional projects in the New York Tri-State area and Los Angeles.  She speaks on a variety of topics including personal growth, career transition, and creating “Kid-Smart Spaces” at school and in the home.