Ask the Naturalista: Aromatherapy

I’m excited to begin my new series of interviews, “Ask the Naturlista” , where I chat with experts, educators and those living and leading by example on topics like aromatherapy, fitness, green beauty, nutrition and more.

It’s fitting that my first interview is with Andrea Butje from Aromahead Institute: School of Essential Oil Studies Andrea is very knowledgeable and experienced in aromatherapy, and incredibly generous with that knowledge!

Andrea Butje

Andrea offers a an amazing aromatherapy certification program, both in person and online.  For me, this program encouraged the launch of my new company, makemine Bodycare, and her informative “Building Web Presence” class persuaded me to start this blog!

I’m thrilled to have Andrea to kick off my “Ask the Naturalista” series:

1.     Andrea, as a student of yours, I know firsthand how passionate you are about aromatherapy.  What first sparked that passion?

I was always interested in plants and herbs and started to work with essential oils in 1994 – our first year of owning and running the Finger Lakes School of Massage in Ithaca, NY. I went to aromatherapy school in England, and traveled to France to visit some essential oils distillers and that first trip to the distillery transformed me. I loved talking with the famers and distillers and the aroma of lavender at the distillery was extraordinary. Understanding where that little bottle of lavender on my desk at home came from was very exciting. I was hooked.

2.     You teach aromatherapy certification and many other classes both in person and online. What is it that you enjoy most about teaching these courses?

As I read this question I thought about all the aspects of teaching, and how much I enjoy them.The prep work for in-person classes is really engaging. It involves organizing the materiel I want to teach, writing extensive manuals for the students, ordering and testing the essential oils, gathering the supplies, and making the classroom beautiful. For the online classes it involves making dynamic, fun videos for students all over the world and writing the course material in a conversational style.

The actual teaching itself is my reward. All the work is done ahead of time, and the classes are when I interact with students (either in-person or via email) and witness the extraordinary response that people have to the essential oils. I see the oils and the information changing people’s health and lives! It is deeply inspiring.

3.     I imagine your spend a lot of time collecting and recording recipes. What was it that spurred your decision to share these recipes in your first book?

I have always enjoyed sharing what I know about essential oils. My motivation to share the recipes started when I realized how many of my friends had health issues that the oils could address. Additionally, so many had chemical cleaners in their homes, and I see how challenging that can be on the immune system. I know how easy it is to make your own health and cleaning products. I was constantly sharing these recipes with friends. Finally I decided the information needed to be in a book that included a wide range of recipes including body care products and blends for issues like colds and flu, sleep and pain.

4.     In your book, you suggest a list of essential oils for an aromatherapy starter kit. Can you tell us about two of those oils and how you use them?

I use white pine and lemon a lot for cleaning. Both have refreshing aromas and are disinfecting. I add a drop of each to my kitchen sponge to clean the sponge itself. I also add both essential oils to water with touch of vinegar for cleaning the shower, tub and sinks. Pine and lemon also can be used in a diffuser to prevent the spread of germs when someone is sick in your house.

5.     Can you share a favorite recipe for muscle soreness from your book?

Sure! In the chapter called Medicine Chest there is a recipe for a Therapeutic Bath Salt for Aches and Pains. This blend has an essential oil in it that is new to many people called Saro. I love this oil, it smells like eucalyptus and brings relief to sore muscles.

Makes: One 8 oz jar of bath salts (enough for about 8 baths)


  • 8 oz natural, unbleached, bath salts (pink Himalayan salts, epsom salts, sea salts)
  • 20 drops Saro essential oil
  • 10 drops Frankincense essential oil


  • One 8 oz PET plastic jar
  • Stirring spoon


1. Fill empty jar with bath salts.

2. Add essential oils directly to the salt and mix vigorously for at least one minute.

 Add about one ounce (around two tablespoons or a small scoop) to your bath after the tub has filled. Soak and enjoy. Use to soothe the body after a vigorous workout or to relax and unwind after a tense day at work.

Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health and Home

6.    Where can people go to find your new book?

To buy the book (15.95):

To buy the eBook (12.95):

7.  Can you provide a few sources that you rely on for your essential oil purchases? 

Aromatics International, <>

Essential Elements, <>

Stillpoint Aromatics, <>

Thank you, Andrea, for your time and for sharing your story.  I think I might have to order that Saro essential oil for my next bath :)


  1. Liz Fulcher says:

    What a great blog post! I’ve known Andrea for years and she is not only a fantastic educator but amazingly lovely person. I loved reading that her online Building Web Prescence inspired this blog – it’s really good!

  2. anat9926 says:

    Thanks for taking the time to read this post, Janice. You are right -it’s always great to get fresh ideas for blends, and Andrea is always a great source of info!

  3. I’m with you Terri! Time to try a new oil and read Andrea’s new book for a fresh perspective on some blends. Great interview as well.

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