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Episode 185: Oils for Outdoor Adventures Plus a Look at Citronella

Description: In this episode we sit down with Samantha Lewis, a member of the doTERRA Product Marketing Team, to talk about her favorite essential oils to use when she's enjoying the outdoors. We'll discuss products to use when seasonal threats are high, when you experience skin irritation, and how Samantha likes to use one of her favorite outdoor products, TerraShield. Plus, we'll take an exciting look at the history of Citronella.


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doTERRA: As the weather warms up, you might be itching to get outside and spend some time in nature. And thankfully, essential oils are ready to help provide their benefits to you in your outdoor adventures.

Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful, and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field. If you like what you hear today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. We always appreciate hearing from you.

Today, we're excited to talk to Samantha Lewis, a member of the doTERRA product marketing team, about how you can use your favorite essential oils outdoors. Plus, we'll take a look at the history of Citronella. Remember, if you're interested in any of the products we talk about today, make sure to click on the link in the episode description. Samantha, thank you so much for being here with us today.

Samantha Lewis:  Thanks for having me!

doTERRA: I am really excited to talk about this topic. The weather is warming up, and I'm excited to get outside. So my first question is why can essential oils be so beneficial for outdoor activities?

Samantha: I'm totally with you on loving the warmer weather we're experiencing right now, and I think that's a great question, especially for this time of year, because there are so many uses for essential oils during outdoor activities.

From cooling Peppermint to invigorating TerraShield®, you can use essential oils to help the skin, ward off pests, support your respiratory system, and even soothe tired muscles.

doTERRA: Well, that all sounds amazing, and it definitely ticks a few things off of my list that I'm worried about when I go outside. And a big one of those things is mosquitoes. What can I use if mosquitoes are a problem for me during my outdoor activities?

Samantha: Yeah, absolutely. Mosquitoes are just—they're so pesky, so annoying. Hate getting bites.

So one of my favorite refreshed essential oil blends that we've done recently is TerraShield. If you don't know, we recently reformulated this to be an EPA compliant insect repellent, which is really exciting. So we can say that it repels mosquitoes. It's been tested to do that. We've spent the last few years really understanding which essential oils are the most powerful against mosquitoes and give the best support outdoors.

So citronella is an obvious one, right? But we also included EPA-recognized essential oils like Lemongrass, Thyme, Cedarwood, Geranium, and Peppermint, all in a base of Sesame Seed oil. And Sesame Seed oil actually still adds to the repellent benefits, which is kind of cool.

And the spray is a really convenient way to apply quickly to the whole family. That should really help to deter any mosquitoes from ruining your time outside.

doTERRA: And that all sounds amazing! And then we definitely don't have to worry about some of those nasty chemicals that are in some other mosquito repellents.

Samantha: Exactly.

doTERRA: Now, when we're out in nature, there are a few different things that can happen that might cause some skin irritations. What oils can I turn to, to help soothe those?

Samantha: I love this question because I actually have more sensitive skin myself, so I feel like I have a few tips and tricks I use to help soothe skin irritations and even prevent them, some based around essential oils and then some not, just how you can change the way you go about your outdoor activities to improve your skin health.


So if you're past the point of no return and your skin is already a little scuffed up from an intense hike or something, my first go-to is Lavender or even just Lavender Touch. It's in that pretty diluted format you can quickly roll on. And also being in that Touch format, it's a little gentler for broken skin.

Helichrysum Touch

And I like to layer this with some Helichrysum Touch to really help boost the hydration of the skin and target that specific area that really needs a little more support.


And then we also have Correct-X. Correct-X is another great product to go to. I always have it in my bag when I'm hiking or even a bottle in my purse in case, on the go have a scuff, or even like hangnail or something that's bugging me.

It already combines the Helichrysum and Lavender we talked about with Frankincense, Tea Tree, and Cedarwood and other powerful skin health ingredients to really improve skin texture and to help promote that healing that you need when you've experienced those kind of scuffs and bumps and scrapes.

Proactive Measures

But if you're just preparing for a long hike in the sun or a date on the beach, there are a few proactive measures you can take that can help prevent skin irritations. I think a must is sunscreen and reapply this throughout the day.

And then when hiking I found lightweight clothes that cover most of my arms and legs can help. Not only does this help prevent sun burns, but also any little bumps or scrapes, brushing up against trees or rocks that might come from a more intensive hike. But if I forget or things happen along the way, I can always rely on the protocol we talked about with the Lavender and Helichrysum Touch.

doTERRA: Absolutely. And I love that proactive care. But also make sure you're prepared if something else happens.

Samantha: Yeah.

doTERRA: Okay, my last question for you is one that I think, again, is a big thing this time of year. What product can I use before I go outdoors if seasonal threats are high?

Samantha: Yeah, I totally agree. I mean, I suffer from, you know, really bad discomfort from the seasonal threats. I've been, you know, experiencing it personally since like February. So I take a few different things that help prevent because I feel like prevention is such a key piece of holistic wellness. So what kind of I'm going to get a little bit nerdy with you real quick about your inflammatory system and your immune system.

So oftentimes the irritation caused by seasonal threats creates inflammation, and that comes from my immune system. So anything we can do to help support our body's natural inflammatory response is really important.

Turmeric Dual Chamber Capsules and Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex®

We can do this in many ways, but one of the simplest ways is by using products like the Turmeric Dual Chamber Capsules or Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex, they can both support the body by encouraging a healthy response to inflammation. I personally like the Deep Blue a little bit more when things warm up because I'm a bit more active and it seems to help best throughout my body after a super active day.


Another preventative product you could take is TriEase. These softgels are a great blend of equal parts Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint, super simple. And they can actually help support a healthy respiratory system while supporting clear breathing.

doTERRA Breathe®

And since I mentioned clear breathing, we'll get into my favorite blend, arguably, my favorite functional blend at least is the Breathe blend. I think it's a great companion before and during outdoor activities, but just use caution where you apply it, not all over your chest or your face because it does have Lemon essential oil, which can create UV sensitivity. So if you're going outside in the sun, maybe apply it where your clothes are going to be covering it.

And then if you're hanging out on the deck or by the pool, you can even add a few drops of Breathe with a few drops of TerraShield into the portable Pilot diffuser.

doTERRA: All of that sounds so amazing, and there's so many resources that you can tailor to your individual needs, which is great.

Samantha: I totally agree. There really are so many things we can do, and I think what's so important is figuring out what that preventative care looks like for you. It might be tweaked a little bit, but I think that those are some really great places to start. And then you can add or subtract as you see necessary.

doTERRA: Absolutely. Samantha, thank you again for being with us today, for teaching us a little bit more about how we can use our essential oils to have a great time outdoors.

Samantha: Yeah, thanks for having me.

doTERRA: Citronella is a plant that you’re probably used to hearing about in relation to the outdoors, most likely in candle form. It’s a grass plant that is commonly mistaken for or even sometimes referred to as Lemongrass, because they are so similar in appearance, growth, and processing method. However, the two plants simply belong to the same plant family, more like cousins. Other notable members of the same plant family are vetiver, bamboo, and wheat.

Citronella Uses

Citronella is popular for many different applications, including as an insect repellent, a fragrant candle ingredient, and it’s utilized in perfumes, deodorants, skin lotions, and soaps. It has soft, fuzzy leaves that emit a pleasant lemon scent that has gained much popularity.

It’s even used for freshening up a room in a floral arrangement. The scent is released when the plant is rubbed or crushed, so it’s recommended to give the leaves a little squeeze after they’re been placed in a vase.

Citronella is popular in fragrances because of its high concentration of citronellol. Citronellol is said to be a fragrance enhancer, enhancing the aromas of floral types, particularly rose.

History of Citronella

This fragrant grass earned the name Citronella from the French word meaning “lemon balm.” And the trademark clean, lemon-like aroma of citronella becomes especially apparent when the plant is crushed. Many people find that dried citronella grass is an excellent addition to potpourri.

Citronella has a long history of being used as a mosquito repellent. In fact, it’s thought to be one of the first effective mosquito repellents. And in 1901 they began using it as a fragrance in hair products because of its ability to repel insects.

For centuries, Citronella has been a natural remedy and a food ingredient all over the world—places like China, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. Poultices of the leaves are used as a natural remedy. And it’s also used for everything, from flavoring culinary dishes to lending its scent to natural cleaning products and pest-repelling candles.

The dynamic, bright, lemon-like aroma and the incredible usefulness of Citronella make it a powerful asset to your collection.

Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you want to try any of the products you learned about, click on the link in the episode description or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today. And remember, if you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen.

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