Essential Oils and Fragrant Medicinals


Make A Gel Diffuser

Have you tried making a gel air freshener? These are incredibly simple to make. It’s just polymer absorbent crystals (like these), water, and essential oils. The polymer absorbent crystals also come in the form of beads (clear and colored), and are called “water beads.”

Here’s a recipe from One Essential Community:

  • 1 tsp water-storing crystal (a little goes a long way)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 20 drops essential oil

Stir together until well mixed. Keep gel freshener in glass jar without a lid (so that the gel/oil mixture can easily scent the air). Large glass salt and pepper shakers are decorative, and have holes in the lids to allow the aromas to diffuse easily.

  • If you are using water beads:

1 tsp dry beads will yield about 1 quart when fully hydrated. The marble size creates glimmering floral or candle arrangements in clear vases and bowls. Ideal for candle, silk and fresh flower arrangements. Easy to use – just add water and essential oils. Layer your favorite colors for stunning effects.

Beads can be allowed to shrink and dry out for later use, or be kept alive by adding water and essential oils every 7 weeks. Completely non toxic however should not be placed in mouth due to choking hazard.

If you decide to use water beads, you can find them at Walmart and on Amazon. More about water beads can be found at the Jelly Beadz website. Here’s a link to their FAQ.

Make it with Gelatin

If you prefer, you can make your own gel. It’s pretty simple. This recipe is from One Good Thing. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 individual envelopes of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 Tbsp. Salt
  • 20 drops of your favorite essential oils
  • Heat-Safe Containers
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Silk Flowers (optional)

In a small saucepan on the stove, heat 3/4 cups of water (or liquid potpourri) and the salt. When the salt is completely dissolved, slowly add the gelatin, and stir until that is completely dissolved as well. If you add the gelatin too quickly, it might get a little sticky and “clumpy,” but just keep stirring until it dissolves.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and then add the remaining liquid. Stir until fully blended, and pour the mixture into the containers of your choice.

Now add your essential oils. You can always add more or less essential oils based on your preference, and you can do different oils in each air freshener!

Now it’s time for a bit of decoration, if you want to! Some silk flowers and a drop or two of food coloring make them look so fun! Now that your air fresheners are scented, colored and decorated; let them cool to room temperature.

You don’t have to add a lid, but the gel will dry out a little faster without a lid. You could also use a hole punch to make your own vented lid! Just a couple of punches through a standard lid will work perfectly.

This project is super easy, and a cute flowery air fresheners would make a great hostess gift! You could easily double or triple the recipe to make more at a time, but keep in mind that they do dry out in a month or so (faster if you don’t use a lid of some sort.)

10 Helpful Tips for Diffusing Essential Oils

  1. Ensure the diffuser of your choice meets electrical safety standards for your country, especially since many are being shipped from China.
  2. Check the thickness or viscosity of the oils you wish to use. For instance, patchouli is a very thick oil and it can easily plug up your diffuser. If it takes forever to coax out of the oil bottle, it’s probably not a good oil to diffuse.
  3. Start slowly with diffusing times − this allows your body and your brain to become more accustomed to the oils. Start with 15 minutes per day and slowly increase the diffusing time. If diffusing makes you feel bad, it could be that your body is detoxing. Drink some water and back off the diffusing time until your body adjusts.
  4. Place the diffuser up as high as possible in the room so that the oil mist falls down through the air.
  5. Always wash the diffuser before use, especially when changing oils or blends. Read and follow the cleaning instructions supplied for your diffuser.
  6. In the ultrasonic cool mist diffuser, use distilled water for best results.
  7. Try not to use too many different oils together as this can be overwhelming to your senses. Diffuse two to three oils at a time for best results.
  8. If using a nebulizer-style diffuser, only run it for ten minutes at a time − two to three times per day for adults, and much less for children due to the concentrated nature of the essential oils emitted.
  9. If using the ultrasonic diffuser, make sure that the room where you wish to use the unit does not suffer with mold or mildew or you will need to treat that first with specific essential oils because this method does increase the humidity in the room where the diffuser sits.
  10. Do not use citrus oils in ultrasonic cool mist diffusers.

From: The Truth About Cancer

Why Diffuse Essential Oils?

There is a profusion of good reasons for diffusing essential oils! Here are some of the best:

  • Rid your home or office of unwanted odors and purify the air
  • Deepen your meditation practice
  • Get rid of dangerous airborne bacteria
  • Help a loved one (or yourself) with a head cold or bronchitis get better quicker
  • Promote a low stress but high functioning workplace
  • Promote optimal sleep
  • Remove mold from a room, basement, or attic
  • Create calm and peace before guests arrive (or in the rooms of warring children!)
  • Reduce food cravings
  • Dispel negativity
  • Boost immunity
  • Increase mental clarity and recall
  • Boost motivation

As you can see, diffusing essential oils makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons!

From: The Truth About Cancer

A Guide To Essential Oil Diffusers

If you’re an essential oil newbie (or even if you’ve been using oils for awhile) you might feel completely overwhelmed by the different methods of diffusing essential oils. After all, there are a vast array of diffusing devices out there in the market place. How do you know which essential oil diffusers are the best to use? Which ones are best avoided? Have no fear, this article will help you through the maze of essential oil diffusers. You’ll discover how they work, and the pros and cons of each one.

Tea Lght Essential Oil Burner

  • How It Works:

Oil burners usually work by placing the essential oils of your choice into a ceramic reservoir, with or without water, and then placing it over a heat source. The heat source is usually a naked flame (like a tea light candle). The heat acts to vaporize the essential oil and release it into the air.

  • Pros:

Oil burners are cheap, easy to find and they produce an excellent aroma. They are portable, robust and don’t easily break, and can be used pretty much anywhere that is safe (ie not a fire hazard and out of reach of children and pets). They are lovely to look at, and only a few drops of essential oil are required.

  • Cons:

Oil burners require a lit candle, which means you’ll have a naked flame in your home and that means there is a fire risk. Also, oil burners create an aroma by heating the essential oil, which changes the composition of the oil slightly and you don’t get as pure an aroma as when you inhale the oil in its natural room temperature state. The heat from the candle flame obviously heats the bowl with the water and oil which means there is a risk of being burnt – be careful not to touch the bowl or spill the contents!

  • Safety Precautions:

Oil burners are best kept out of reach of children and pets and on raised surfaces – bedside tables, coffee tables, cabinets, mantelpieces, desks and worktop surfaces etc. Also, please don’t leave them unattended… there is a naked flame and anything can happen! If you leave the room, it’s best to put the candle out. Make sure the water doesn’t completely dry up whilst the candle is still burning or you’ll burn the container.

Electric Essential Oil Burners

The electric essential oil burners are similar to a tea light essential burner, but instead of a lit candle, an electric element, such as a light bulb, is used to create heat, which vaporizes the oil and disperses it into the air. Some types consist of a terracotta ring that fits over an incandescent light bulb.

  • Pros:

These burners are cheap, easy to find and they produce an excellent aroma. They are portable, robust and don’t easily break, and can be used pretty much anywhere within reach of an electrical outlet, and is safe (ie not a fire hazard and out of reach of children and pets). They are lovely to look at, and only a few drops of essential oil are required.

  • Cons:

They are powered by electricity so there is a risk of electric shock – they should not be used in bathrooms or within reach of children or pets. Oil burners create an aroma by heating the essential oil, which changes the composition of the oil slightly and you don’t get as pure an aroma as when you inhale the oil in its natural room temperature state. The reservoir will be hot, so be careful not to touch the bowl or spill the contents!

  • Safety precautions:

Electric oil diffusers are a little safer to use than oil burners because there is no naked flame. Just be very careful about the wire, especially with pets around! Also, don’t use them in a bathroom – electric appliances and bath water are not a good combination! Make sure you get one that has an automatic off switch. This helps to keep the diffuser in good working order and also helps to prevent any electrical problems that may cause a fire.

Reed Diffuser

  • How It Works:

A reed diffuser comprises a small bottle or vase that is partially filled with an aromatic oil and several natural rattan reeds. The oil wicks up the reeds and releases the fragrance into the room where the diffuser sits, on an ongoing basis.

  • Pros:

Reed diffusers look stylish. If you make your own you can utilize high quality essential oils and enjoy the aromas. They are inexpensive to make (depending upon the essential oils used).

  • Cons:

Reed diffusing tends to be a more expensive way to diffuse essential oils because a large quantity of essential oil is required. Unlike nebulizers or ultrasonic diffusers, the aroma of the oil is not carried throughout the room, but only in a small zone around the reeds.

  • Be Wary of Reed Diffuser Kits

The kit-style reed diffuser generally comes with a container of fragrance. This fragrance not usually therapeutic grade, and cannot be counted on to be free of pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals that you may not want to diffuse into your home.

By making your own reed diffuser using organic essential oils and other good quality ingredients, you can turn this style of diffusing into a much healthier and enjoyable way to diffuse essential oils.

Nebulizer Diffuser

  • How It Works:

When you turn on the nebulizer − sometimes known as a cold air diffuser − an air pump sends condensed air to a nozzle tube which controls the direction of the oil. A stream of air whizzes across the nozzle tube, creating a vacuum and causing the essential oils to move upward. As they rise, the stream of pressurized air hits the essential oil droplets and causes them to atomize into micro-particles which fill a glass reservoir. Once in the glass reservoir, the micro-particles rise and are emitted out of a glass cap as a vapor which is released into the room.

  • Pros:

This type of diffuser is considered to be one of the most therapeutic because the essential oils are not diluted − the nebulizer operates without water or a carrier oil. It also does not heat the essential oils, thus the therapeutic properties of the oils are retained. The essential oil molecules released into the room are so fine they tend to remain suspended in the air for a few hours. Some feel this method energizes the oils and increases the oxygen content in the oil molecules. Another benefit is that it adds no humidity to the room, which can occur with the ultrasonic cool mist diffuser. Most models allow you to sit the bottle of essential oil directly on the atomizer so it is relatively easy to use.

  • Cons:

Nebulizers tend to cost more than other styles of diffusers for essential oils. A nebulizer can be fairly noisy while operating unless it is specifically designed not to be. To avoid this, look for models that say “whisper quiet” or “silent.” Because the essential oils are not diluted, much more essential oil is utilized during operation. This method really eats up the oils.

It is more difficult to use a blend of essential oils since a single bottle is normally placed on the atomizer. You can overcome this by mixing up the oils of your choice and putting them into an essential oil bottle, or by using a pre-made essential oil blend.

Ultrasonic Cool Mist Diffuser

  • How It Works:

An ultrasonic diffuser has a water reservoir that is covered with a lid. At the bottom of the unit is a small, flexible membrane which vibrates ultrasonically. This passes energy to the water, breaks up the water molecule, and turns it from a liquid into a vapor. The vapor is propelled into the air and carries along with it the volatile components of the essential oils. It effectively disperses the oils you are using into the entire room where the diffuser is sitting and helps them to stay suspended in the air for a long period of time.

  • Pros:

This is one of the most economical ways to diffuse essential oils. Due to the fact that the oils are dripped into a water reservoir, only a few drops of each oil are required. The cool mist diffuser can double as a humidifier − it does add humidity to the room. This type of diffuser generally has a timed function so you can set it to run for a particular length of time. It usually also has a safety off-switch when the water level falls too low, and is easy to clean and refill. Some ultrasonic diffusers also have lights that change colors, which is a nice feature to some people. This is a good style of diffuser to use with children as the concentration of the oil will not be too potent.

  • Cons:

The ultrasonic cool mist diffuser can be a little on the expensive side although cheaper models are increasingly available. Also, because it does emit the oils in a micro-fine mist, it does add humidity to a room. If there is an existing mold problem, this may not be the best diffuser to choose. It is also not recommended to use citrus oils with the cool mist diffuser because they can potentially damage the diffuser.

The Oldest Method – Your Hands!

  • How It Works:

Simply drip the oils you wish to breathe into your hands, just a drop or two will suffice. Rub your hands together and make a tent over your nose with your hands (be careful to leave your eyes out of the tent) and breathe in deeply. Some have described this process to be as if one were pulling the oils up into and over the brain and/or lungs. Take several deep breaths.

  • Pros:

This is one of the quickest ways to get instant results. It is cost-effective, as it only requires one to two drops of essential oil. It can be done almost anywhere.

  • Cons:

The benefits are only enjoyed by one person, and only briefly as the oils are absorbed by the skin quite quickly. If the desire is to get rid of airborne bacteria, or mold, or to have more than one person reap the benefits, diffusing by nebulizer or ultrasonic diffuser is preferable.

From: The Truth About Cancer and other sources.

7 DIY Essential Oil Blends

Many essential oils are sold as blends, but here are seven different blends of essential oils that you can easily make yourself. Start with a 1:1 ratio of oils (i.e. 1 drop lavender + 1 drop orange), but feel free to experiment with different proportions of oils to suit your personal taste.

  • Lavender with Orange:

Both are calming essential oils that help to relieve anxiety and stress, improve immune system function, and are antibacterial oils. Great for diffusing prior to sleep.

  • Clove with Grapefruit:

These oils are effective antibacterial and antifungal oils, so if you do have a problem with mold in your house, this would be a good pair to diffuse. They are also both powerful anti-inflammatory oils.

  • Rosemary with Clove and Eucalyptus:

This is a powerful combination against airborne bacteria. This would be a great trio to help someone fight or prevent a cold, bronchitis, or flu. Add or substitute oregano essential oil for additional germ-killing power.

  • Basil with Geranium Rose and Orange:

This trio makes a great study blend or for any time when increased mental functioning would be useful. All three oils have been researched for increasing mental alertness, brain clarity, and concentration. If nervous jitters are also present, add a single drop of lavender to the diffuser.

  • Geranium Rose with Lavender and Oregano:

If allergies are causing you big problems, this trio of oils has research showing they have anti-allergy properties. Oregano works by decreasing inflammatory markers. Lavender has anti-inflammatory effects and has been used to treat asthma. Geranium rose has an inhibitory effect on certain immune cells involved with triggering allergic reactions.

  • Frankincense with Orange or Lemon:

Spiritually uplifting, great for meditation, and relieving stress. It is also good for assisting creativity.

  • Pine, Cinnamon, and Orange:

Spicy, warming, and uplifting, this blend is great for massage sessions, meditation, clearing the mind, and grounding.

Source: The Truth About Cancer

Best Diffuser Blends for Sleep

  • Blend #1

3 drops Lavender
3 drops Cedarwood

  • Blend #2

3 drops Bergamot
3 drops Lavender

  • Blend #3

3 drops Lavender
3 drops sweet (wild) Orange

  • Blend #4

2 drops Lavender
2 drops Vetiver
2 drops Marjoram

  • Blend #5

3 drops Roman Chamomile
2 drops Bergamot
2 drops Frankincense

  • Blend #6

2 drops Lavender
2 drops Roman Chamomile
2 drops Marjoram

  • Blend #7

3 drops Patchouli
2 drops wild (sweet) Orange
2 drops Frankincense

  • Blend #8

3 drops Vetiver
3 drops Lavender
2 drops Frankincense

  • Blend #9

3 drops Lavender
3 drops Vetiver

  • Blend #10

3 drops Patchouli
3 drops sandalwood

Source: One Essential Community

Make A Reed Diffuser

Reed diffusers are great for small spaces and rooms where you may not have easy access to a wall outlet. They’re perfect for bathrooms, foyers, and closets!

It only takes a few ingredients, and you probably have most (if not everything) you need already in your kitchen. There are so many great reasons to make your own reed diffuser:

  • Much less expensive than buying one, and they work great!
  • Almost anything (with a narrow neck) works as a vase– match your décor!
  • Create your own custom scent.
  • It’s really simple. Just mix 3 ingredients together and you’re done.
  • Great for small rooms where a plug-in diffuser just isn’t practical- perfect for bathrooms!
  • Makes a great gift too!

Making A Reed Diffuser

It’s simple. All you need is…

  • A glass container with a narrow opening (to slow evaporation)
  • 1/4 cup of a light oil like apricot kernel oil or safflower oil
  • 15-20 drops essential oil
  • 2 Tbsp of alcohol to help oils travel up reeds (vodka works great)
  • Reed sticks
First You Need A Container

Any narrow-opening container made of an essential-oil-safe material can be turned into a reed diffuser. Glass, ceramic, earthenware, wood, or stainless steel all work great. Look around your home, you probably already have something that will work. Other great places to find a vase or jar for your reed diffuser?

  • Garage sales
  • Consignment stores
  • Goodwill or other thrift stores
  • Craft stores (Michaels, JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby)
The How To:
  • Add 1/4 cup of a light oil (like apricot kernel oil or safflower oil) to a glass measuring cup
  • Add 2 Tbsp of alcohol to the measuring cup. The alcohol is to help thin out the oils and help oils travel up reeds. Cheap vodka works great!
  • Add 15-20 drops essential oil
  • Use one of the reeds to stir the oil and alcohol mixture. Stir well until the essential oils and carrier oil are somewhat well dispersed in the alcohol.
  • Pour the oil and alcohol mixture into your chosen container
  • Bundle the reeds and insert them into the neck of the vase
  • Fan the reeds out

The oil will saturate into reeds, and as it wicks up the reeds, it will release the aroma into the air. It will take a few days for the reeds to absorb the oil. Flip sticks every few days to refresh scent. Replace the oil-alcohol mixture once it evaporates and replace the reed sticks about once a month.

Some Favorite Essential Oil Blends

The following blends are perfect for using in this reed diffuser:

  • 10 drops Eucalyptus + 10 drops Spearmint
  • 6 drops Grapefruit + 6 drops Orange + 4 drops Lemon + 2 drops Bergamot
  • 3 drops Geranium + 9 drops Lavender + 6 drops Orange
  • 9 drops Lavender + 6 drops Clary Sage + 6 drops Orange
  • 6 drops Lemongrass + 6 drops Lavender + 6 drops Eucalyptus
  • 6 drops Tangerine + 6 drops Spearmint + 6 drops Lemongrass
  • 3 drops Geranium + 6 drops Lavender + 9 drops Lime
  • 12 drops Lemon +3 drops Frankincense + 3 drops Ylang Ylang
  • 6 drops Lavender + 6 drops Lemon + 6 drops Rosemary
  • 6 drops Lavender + 6 drops Lemon + 6 drops Peppermint
  • 6 drops Lemon + 6 drops Lavender + 6 drops Grapefruit

Source: One Essential Community

When You Don’t Have A Diffuser

You don’t have to have a diffuser to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy. Here are some simple ideas for how to benefit from the healing fragrances of essential oils  without having to buy a diffuser

  • Inhale Directly from an Essential Oil Bottle

This basic approach to getting the aromatic benefits of essential oils works great in a pinch. Simply uncap the essential oil bottle, hold it a few inches from your nose and move your hand back and forth over the top of the essential oil bottle, moving the essential oil vapors towards your nose.

  • Use Your Hands

Put a drop of essential oil in your hand, rub your hands together, then cup your hand over your nose and inhale deeply

  • Toilet Paper Roll

Put a few drops of essential oil on the cardboard tube inside a roll of toilet paper. Every time someone unrolls some toilet paper air will flow across the essential oil and diffuse it into the air. Use single oils like lavender, lemongrass, or orange. Or combine a couple different essential oils for great new blended scents.

  • Furnace Filter

Put a few drops of essential oil on your furnace filter. When the furnace blows air over the filter the essential oils will be diffused throughout your home. The scent will fade after a couple of days. You’ll need to add additional drops of essential oil to the furnace filter every couple of days.

  • Use a Cotton Ball

Just need a quick burst of essential oils? Try using a cotton ball. Put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and then place the cotton ball in your car vent, in your floor vent, or even on the blade of a fan (please be safe– unplug fan and then tape the cotton ball to the fan and completely remove hands from the fan before plugging it back in and turning it on).

  • Tissue Method

Don’t have a cotton ball? No Problem. You can use a tissue instead. Put a couple drops of essential oil on a tissue and put it near where you work or sleep.

  • Pillow Method

Don’t have a cotton ball or a tissue? No problem. Use a cloth or even your pillow case. Put a couple drops of essential oil on the corner (or even underside) of your pillow. Perfect way to drift off and have a great night’s sleep.

  • Stuffed Animal

Similar to the pillow method, you can also put a couple drops of a kid-safe essential oil (like lavender) on a favorite stuffed animal.

  • Facial Steamer

Pour hot water into a bowl and add a few drops of essential oil, cover your head and the bowl with a towel, and breathe deeply.

  • Baking Soda in a Jar

Want the perfect little air freshener for a closet or mud room? Try baking soda and essential oils in a mason jar. Easy and effective! Fill a wide mouth 1 pint mason jar 1/2 full of Baking Soda, then add about 8-12 drops of your favorite essential oil.

You can paint the outer ring of the lid with spray paint to match your decor. The inner disc of the lid can be replaced with card stock or other thick decorative paper that has been cut to fit. This makes it easier to poke holes in the lid to allow the aroma to diffuse into the room.

  • Scented Pinecones

If you have collected pinecones from your yard or nature, then first start with baking the bugs out of your pinecones. Bake in 200 degree oven for 1 hour and then let completely cool

If you bought your pinecones at a store or are reusing ones from your collection of decorations, then you can skip the baking step.

Place your pinecones in a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Sprinkle pinecones with 15-20 drops of cinnamon essential oil (or Christmas blend of your choice). Toss them to coat. Cover bowl tightly. Every couple of days shake pinecones to distribute essential oil and scent. After a few weeks the pinecones are ready to use.

Source: One Essential Community

Using An Ultrasonic Diffuser

The most utilized type of diffuser for essential oils today is an ultrasonic diffuser. This type uses ultrasonic waves and water to disperse essential oils into the air. They are widely available in many sizes, shapes and price ranges.

How To Use An Essential Oil Ultrasonic Diffuser:

  • Choose the Location

Pick an open area in a room or office with a solid surface or tabletop. You will need a outlet to plug it in. Also, since water is being used, it is good to have a place mat or towel down if you are using on a wood surface. For best use, avoid placing in direct sunlight or near a fan.

  • Add Water

Once you have your place picked out. Fill your diffuser to the fill line of the water reservoir with clean tap water that is room temperature. Most diffusers have a fill line on the inside of the water reservoir or a measuring cup to fill up and then add to reservoir, refer to your diffuser manual for recommended water amount your diffuser requires.

*DO NOT OVERFILL or your diffuser may not run properly.

  • Add Essential Oils

Next, add 3-10 drops of essential oils to water. You can use a single essential oil like lavender, or an essential oil blend. See below for recommend oils to diffuse. Usually 6 drops is enough but sometimes you may want more oil for a stronger scent. You can experiment with the essential oil amounts to see what you prefer.

  • Turn It On

Place cap or top of diffuser back on as your diffuser requires. Turn on. Set which features you would like if your model has options.

Not all diffusers are the same, some have options depending on the model you purchase. You may be able to set the length of time you want the diffuser on, or different time cycles you can choose from like on for 30 seconds then off for 15 seconds. Some also have light options you can turn on for a display of colors or a solid color. These features vary widely depending on brand and model.

Quick Cleaning Of Your Diffuser:

It is also best to do a quick clean after use. Just unplug diffuser and remove any water left in reservoir. Clean inside with a small brush and warm water (most diffusers come with one or you can use a clean paint brush dedicated to cleaning your diffuser). Rinse out and dry off. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean ultrasonic chip found in most water reservoirs. Let air dry.

Best Single Oils To Diffuse:

Here are some great single essential oils to diffuse alone in a diffuser along with their fragrant influences.

  • Frankincense: use during meditation, yoga, good for balancing, lifting spirits, improving focus, anxiety, spiritual awareness
  • Grapefruit: helps reduce food cravings, uplifting, balancing, enhances mood, relieves anxiety, stress, tension
  • Lavender: scent is calming, relaxing, good for sleep, anxiety, sadness, restlessness, reducing stress
  • Lemon: good for uplifting, detoxifying, cleansing, purifying, deodorizing, energizing
  • Peppermint: improved concentration, focus, alertness, respiratory support, refreshing aroma, mental fatigue, seasonal allergies, headaches

Source: Loving Essential Oils

Important Notice

Almost anyone can enjoy the benefits of an aromatherapy oil, but certain individuals, such as pregnant women, persons with allergies, and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma should only use essential oils for aromatherapy under the guidance of a trained professional.

Keep in mind that essential oils are highly concentrated botanical extracts and should never be ingested or applied to skin at full strength. Consult a professional aromatherapist or an accredited reference on aromatherapy for advice on these uses.

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