Guest Post: Penni Thorpe

I am so excited and honored to have a guest post today from Penni Thorpe: essential oils and aromatherapy guru (that’s not her official title, I totally made that up).  BUT, it is definitely official that she knows her stuff when it comes to all things aromatherapy.  I was introduced to Penni last year at my younger brother’s graduation from MIIS – she is his girlfriend’s mom.  This is when I was just starting to get interested in essential oils.  I knew practically nothing.  Penni is incredibly generous when it comes to sharing her knowledge and is a wealth of information.  I asked if she’d be interested in maybe doing a post here and she agreed without hesitation!  So, I’ll pass the mic to Penni:


I have been practicing aromatherapy for more than 20 years.  I started when my children were under 5 years old, so I learned the hard way.  It is very easy to overdose young children (and for that matter pregnant and older folks too).  So I tend to be conservative when it comes to the under 5 year old set.

Hydrosols and essential oils were created by humans to have a concentrated aromatic plant material available all year long.  When folks were “settling the west” they distilled their large amounts of collected aromatic material and saved the “waters” they distilled and threw away the essential oil that floated on top because it was “poisonous”.  Make no mistake about it, essential oils are powerful (most oils when undiltued can burn the skin and it is so easy to put too many drops on a tissue or a diffuser or pillowcase.)

Rosemary hydrosol with essential oil floating on top.

Rosemary hydrosol with essential oil floating on top.

Seventeen pounds of spanish thyme distills to  create 1 lb of thyme essential oil and 2 tons of rose petals to create 1 lb of rose oil.  So this is concentrated material that needs to be handled with knowledge and care.

For the pregnant moms and the 5 and under set I highly recommend hydrosols.  The easiest and best application for babies is spraying in the air or place a half a dropperful in a bath.  Internally I would recommend 1-2 drops of hydrosol in a sippy cup for those who are drinking out of cups until they are 3 and 4 drops until they are 5.  For those 5 -10 years old 8 drops in water and over 10 you can use a dropperful.

Three of them are my favorite:

1.Rosa Damascena.  Rose is excellent for soothing the heart center, as well as balancing hormones.  So during pregnancy this is a great headache remedy.  For a pregnant mom or anyone having hotflashes or nightsweats put 1 tablespoon of rose hydrosol (rose water) in a large pitcher of water and drink all day long.  You can also spray on the face which feels lovely.

2.  Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm)

This is an antiviral so it prevents colds and flus and treats colds and flus.  It is also excellent for cold sores and any type of herpes.  Melissa is also excellent for anything to do with unsettled nerves including ADD, ADHD, panic attacks and insomnia.

Hydrosol or 2 tsp dried leaf per cup or boiling water…apply tea to cotton pad and place on cold sore several times a day

3. Lavendula Vera (Lavender)    

Lavender is excellent for bug bites, for burns including sunburns and for calming the nerves.  Lavender hydrosol can be sprayed over a fussy baby or mommy to help them relax and fall asleep.  I had a yoga student who sprayed lavendar hydrosol over her twin babies as a bedtime ritual to help calm her and her children.

An excellent book about hydrosols is:  Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy,  Suzanne Catty

Rose water can be found in  gourmet markets, Middle Eastern and Indian grocery stores and in liquor stores(some alcoholic drinks have rosewater in them).

If you are interested in highest quality hydrosols Mountain Rose Herbs is an excellent source ( as well as

Hydrosols should be stored in a cool dry place and usually need to be replaced after a year.

To contact Penni:

Okay, it’s me again.  Isn’t Penni great?  She gifted me some melissa hydrosol and I’ve been using it for anxiety when I’m just not quite feeling right, but when I know I don’t need to dive in to the really powerful stuff (the medication) I have.  I am loving it!

Thank you, Penni!

For anyone interested in oils/hydrosols/aromatherapy, check out what Penni has on her website and if you direct any questions my way, I’ll be sure to get them answered.


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