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Episode 78: Creating a Motivational Environment and Caraway

doTERRA: With all of the distractions that can pop up, creating the perfect environment for studying or working at home can be difficult. Thankfully, you have a secret weapon: essential oils.

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 our product marketing team, about how she uses essential oils to create the perfect at-home work environment.

Samantha, thank you so much for being back with us today to talk about a topic that I think everyone has been trying to learn a little bit more about lately.

Samantha Lewis: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to talk about how we can really impact our daily lives when we’re, like you’re saying, stuck at home. It's a little different. Right?

doTERRA: So my first question for you is why is it that creating the right kind of environment for studying or working is so important.

Samantha: I think that's a great question. I'm sure we've all experienced this where you go and you sit down to write a big paper, study for an important test, or even just need to get some last-minute work done at the end of a really long day, and distractions pop up left and right.

So we can totally avoid those things if we set the tone, set the environment, and create a good, harmonized sense—especially with everyone being at home right now. We're all on top of each other, everyone, the whole family is at home.

It can have a huge impact on your productivity and ability to stay on task. For me, creating a clean, simple, and distraction-free environment with the right tools can really improve my productivity. And I think that that's something that a lot of people can implement into their lives.

I always suggest starting off with a clear workspace, no matter where you are. Write down a simple to-do list, roll on some InTune, and diffuse something like Motivate or your own blend of essential oils, then buckle down and just get to work. Oftentimes, it's the little things, like just rolling on that bottle of InTune that make a big impact.

doTERRA: Absolutely. So you mentioned a couple of essential oils there. Can you go a little bit deeper? What are some essential oils that can help me create that atmosphere and make sure that I am doing all that I can be doing?

Samantha: Yeah, so InTune—like I mentioned—and Thinker, they really are the perfect blends to use as part of your work or study time routine to create the type of environment we talked about. These really were formulated for those routines to help you really get into the mood, create that—like I said—harmonized sense. Right? They're so easy to use. They take moments to apply, take no effort. You don't have to think about it. Just create that habit of rolling them on.

You can even diffuse some blends that we already have created for you. We have Motivate, Passion. Those are really easy ones. Just put a few drops in a diffuser in your workspace. You can even diffuse a combination of other oils. My favorites personally are Rosemary, Wild Orange, Peppermint, Tangerine and sometimes even a bit of Eucalyptus.

doTERRA: I love that there are so many options that you just brought up. And one thing that I really appreciate that doTERRA has done is you have InTune and you have Thinker. And Thinker is not just for kids. Sometimes that might be the one that works the best for you.

Samantha: Yeah, it's definitely for the big kids, too.

doTERRA: So what can I do when I get to maybe the midafternoon or right after lunch, and I'm feeling kind of a slump and need a little bit of extra motivation?

Samantha: Well, we know essential oils have such unique impact on the way we react to situations, and they really can help us. Some of the oils that I mentioned earlier—a lot of the citruses, the mints—those can help if you are in the mood to use essential oils.

If you're not, there a few physical things that you can do: stretch, get up and walk for a minute, even just sit down and writing a to-do list—like I mentioned—to really get your mind in that place of, “All right. I need to do this. I need to get things done.”

It gives you some direction. And creating habits using those to-do lists, using those positive habit-building things along with essential oils—like I talked about—that really can create that good environment to motivate you and to get things done.

doTERRA: I love all of that. And I think it is such little simple things that can really help us make sure that we're not getting off task or that we've really made an environment that's going to be productive for us. So my final question for you, I know you mentioned a couple things at the beginning, but can you walk us through how we can create a routine using these essential oils to help keep us on the top of our game.

Samantha: Yeah, so kind of like I mentioned, creating those habits throughout the day, using those different essential oils like InTune and Thinker, or whatever works for you personally, is really going to be great. Figuring out what works for you really well and then having those essential oils easily accessible.

I always say, “If you don't see it, you're not going to use it.” In my home, I have racks of essential oils in every room. I have a couple bottles in every bathroom, in every bedroom, in the kitchen, even in the living room. So if I see it, I'm going to use it. I think that's a great way to create habits of using essential oils to promote a positive, good environment or whatever you're looking for in that moment.

doTERRA: Well Samantha, thank you so much for your advice, your tips and tricks. I think it's going to help a lot of people who are doing their studying or working from home create the best environment for them.

Samantha: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I love this.

doTERRA: Today, we also want to talk to you about one of our new favorite oils: Caraway. When you think of ancient spices. You might think of cumin, clove, or cinnamon. But one that might not spring to mind is Caraway

Caraway: An Ancient Spice

However, caraway has been widely used as an herb since the time of the ancient Romans, Egyptians, and Greeks. But there are also indications that the history and influence of caraway stretches far beyond that. Evidence found in lake dwellings in Switzerland suggests it dates back at least 5,000 years. And some sources indicate that the history of caraway even dates back to the Stone Age.

Caraway seeds have been discovered in the refuse areas of prehistoric communities in southern Europe. Those finds are believed to indicate that the caraway plant was a part of early man's daily life.

However, the Romans do get credit for spreading the seeds throughout Europe in their conquering travels, and it has been cultivated in Europe from Sicily to Scandinavia since the middle ages.

Caraway’s Appearance and Scent

Now the caraway plant is biennial, which means that it takes two years to complete its lifecycle. It typically reaches a height of about two feet and has slender branched stems. The featherlike leaves are segregated into small segments. And the plant produces small white flowers during the early summer season. The dried fruit or seeds are brown in color, sharp, and hard to touch.

Now even though they are known as caraway seeds what people use as a spice is actually the fruit of caraway. The aromatic odor evolves when the fruit is bruised, and the taste is pleasant. Its aroma is sharp and slightly aggressive, but beneath the surface there is a complexity to the sturdy spice. It’s peppery and earthy and even a little citrusy.

Caraway and Cuisine

Caraway has been used in the kitchen for hundreds of years. However, its role extends well beyond rye bread or even the German food its most known for. It’s actually a member of the family that also includes carrots, dill, fennel, and parsley. Throughout history, it has been used frequently to put among baked fruit or into bread or cakes.

Caraway is also found in the cuisine of North Africa, most notably in harissa, the hot chili paste used to flavor soups, couscous, stews, and other recipes. Caraway is also the key ingredient in aquavit—a Scandinavian spirit flavored with spices and citrus peel—as well as Kümmel, a sweet liqueur originally distilled in Holland but now primarily produced in Russia.

Ancient Medicinal Uses

Caraway seeds are probably one of the oldest used spices in cooking, but many of the early uses for caraway were actually medicinal. In ancient Egypt, they were used to support the digestive system. And references found in German medical books dating back to the 12th century cite it as a stomach tonic.

Caraway is also frequently mentioned by the old writers. Dioscorides, a Greek physician and pharmacologist, advised in his writings that the caraway oil be taken by pale-faced girls.

Caraway and Shakespeare

Caraway also makes an appearance in some well-known works of fiction. In Shakespeare's Henry IV, Squire Shallow invites Falstaff to a “pippin and a dish of caraways." And the custom of serving roast apples with a little saucer full of caraway is still kept up at Trinity College, Cambridge, and at some of the old fashion London livery dinners, just as in Shakespeare's day.

Additionally, in Scotland to this day a saucer full is put down at tea to dip the buttered side of bread into and is called saltwater jelly

Ancient Beliefs About Caraway

The history of caraway also has a romantic side. Caraway was once used as an aid in preventing fickleness and was put in love potions.

Caraway seeds were also added to chicken feed in hopes of keeping them from wandering off. And it's still sometimes given to homing pigeons.

In ancient Egypt, it was believed to chase away evil spirits. And Caraway was also used to protect men from women. An entertaining Germanic legend tells that the goddess of the earth, Bertha, made her lovers disappear, and the only survivors were those who carried or wore caraway seeds.

In medieval times, it was thought to keep lovers interested in one another. And in German folklore, the belief was that any object containing Caraway could not be stolen. So parents placed a dish of caraway seeds beneath their children's bed to protect them from witches.

With its long and storied history, caraway has impacted thousands of lives. Now, let this powerful essential oil impact your life. We know you'll love it.

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

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