Saturday, 30 April 2016

There are lots of essential oils available out there. And I’m the first to admit that I have several. But if you’re new to essential oils or you just want to keep it really simple these ARE THE  eight essential oils a must-have in your home:

1. Lavender

Widely known as the calming oil, lavender essential oil use is pretty mainstream. And for good reason. Lavender essential oil is great for soothing you when you’re stressed, calming down crazy kiddos and helping you ease into peaceful sleep. But did you also know it’s great for burns? And that it soothes irritated skin? It even takes the sting out of bug bites and makes for some great headache relief.
Ways to Use …
  • Add 5 to 8 drops (depending on your preference) to 2 oz. of water in a mini spray bottle and spritz on pillows and linens before bed.
  • Mix 2 drops each lavender and frankincense in 1 tablespoon coconut oil and apply to temples to take away headaches and relieve stress.
  • Apply neat (undiluted) to fresh cuts, scrapes and wounds to speed healing and kill bacteria.
  • Add 5 drops to a homemade cleaner for antibacterial properties.
  • Diffuse 5 drops in your house to promote peace and calm.
  • Add 2 to 3 drops to one cup of epsom salts and stir into a hot bath for extra relaxation.

2. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil is antimicrobial and makes a wonderful addition to any homemade cleaning recipe. It’s also used as an expectorant and can be diffused in the air for respiratory issues.
Ways to Use …
  • Add 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, 2 tablespoons of liquid castile soap and hot water to the mop bucket to clean your floor.
  • Add 2 to 3 drops eucalyptus to 1 tablespoon coconut oil and rub into your chest when you have a cold.
  • Add 5 drops to your diffuser to clean and freshen the air.
  • Add 5 drops each of eucalyptus and tea tree oil to a 16 oz. glass spray bottle full of water and spray down your shower after each use to inhibit mold growth.
  • Mix 3 to 4 drops into your pet’s shampoo to keep away fleas.

3. Lemon

Lemon is the ultimate degunkifier. Not only will it get the gunk off of your dishes and surfaces, but if you’ve got a congested chest or gunky throat, it will take care of that as well.
Ways to Use …
  • Add 1 drop to 1 teaspoon of honey to soothe a dry or sore throat.
  • Diffuse 5 drops in a room to kill nasty odors and to lift your mood.
  • Apply 1 to 2 drops neat to remove sticky residue (either from your hands or surfaces).
  • Use 3 to 5 drops neat to remove gum from fabric (or hair).
  • Mix 5 drops with 4 oz. unscented liquid dish soap for extra grease-cutting action.
Apply topically with caution if you’re putting it on skin that will be exposed to the sun – it may cause sensitivity.

4. Peppermint

Peppermint can be used to help relieve nausea, increase energy and ease headaches.
Ways to Use …
  • Apply 1 drop to temples and forehead to relieve pain. Don’t get it in your eyes. Trust me.
  • Add 5 to 7 drops to a 16 oz. glass spray bottle of water and use as a cooling spritz when it’s hot out.
  • Inhale deeply from the bottle to relieve nausea.
  • Apply 1 to 2 drops to the bottoms of feet to reduce fevers.
  • Add 5 to 7 drops to a 16 oz. glass spray bottle full of water and spray around molding to keep pests out.
  • Combine lavender and peppermint to make  A super simple balm.
Don’t get it in your eyes!

5. Frankincense

Yes, frankincense is a pricier oil, but there’s a reason for the saying, “If in doubt, use frankincense.” I use it regularly to relieve stress and deal with any headaches that might pop up. It also gets added to my baths with lavender and epsom salts for a super relaxing experience.
Ways to Use …
  • Apply 1 drop to minor cuts to speed healing and relieve pain.
  • Apply 1 drop to bug bites and stings for immediate pain and itch relief.
  • Apply to temples with lavender to relieve stress and headaches.
  • Apply 1 drop to the temples or bottoms of the feet daily for immune system support.
  • Apply 1 to 2 drops neat to scars on a daily basis to reduce their appearance.
  • Massage 2 drops mixed with 1 tablespoon coconut oil to soothe painful muscles and joints.

6. Tea Tree

Tea tree essential oil is a must in any home. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a powerful addition to homemade cleaners. And its skin-soothing properties work wonders on rashes and owies.
Ways to Use …
  • Apply 1 to 2 drops neat around the base of the ear to treat ear infections naturally. (This is the only reason I’ll use it on my kids, otherwise I keep it out of their reach – make sure they do not ingest it.)
  • Apply 1 drop neat on skin rashes to stop itching.
  • Add 1 to 2 drops to your homemade shampoo and hair rinse.
  • Add 5 drops to cleaning spray recipes to help kill germs.
  • Apply 2 to 3 drops diluted in 1 tablespoon coconut oil to toes and feet twice a day to stop athlete’s foot.

7. Oregano

While oregano essential oil makes few appearances in our home, it’s still a must-have. Oregano has powerful antibacterial properties, and, while it will leave you smelling like pizza, it’s great at helping your body fight illness.
Ways to Use …
  • Dilute 2 drops in 1 tablespoon coconut oil and rub onto toenails plagued with stubborn fungus twice a day until its gone.
  • Dilute 2 drops in 1 tablespoon coconut oil and dab on skin tags to remove them.
  • Apply 1 to 2 drops, diluted, to the bottoms of the feet when you’re fighting a bacterial infection (every 4 to 6 hours).
  • Add 1 to 2 drops to homemade cleaners for potent germ-killing properties,
Avoid during pregnancy and always dilute before using.

8. Wild Orange

While you’d probably want to use wild orange for its amazing smell alone (I know I do), you’ll be pleased to find that it’s got a lot of great properties. It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, sedative (seriously!) and used for digestive upset.
Ways to Use …
  • Mix 1 drop with 1 tablespoon coconut oil and rub onto an infant’s upset tummy for relief (a stronger mix can also be used on adults).
  • Massage 2 to 3 drops mixed with 1 tablespoon coconut oil onto the chest at the onset of a cold.
  • Diffuse 3 drops wild orange and 2 drops lavender for a soothing effect (and amazing smell).
  • Diffuse 5 drops in any room to kill bacteria.
  • Mix 3 drops wild orange, 3 drops peppermint and 20 drops liquid carrier oil in a roller bottle. and rub on the back of the neck for help with focus.
If applying to skin, wait at least 6 hours before sun exposure as it can cause photo sensitivity.

Are you eager to start making the switch over to natural remedies, but unsure of where to start?

I know that when you’re first getting started with the world of herbs, essential oils, alternative medicines and so on, it can feel daunting.

  Walking into a health food or vitamin store is an exercise in overwhelm. And googling what you’re trying to find out can be even worse!

I think the best course of action when you’re just starting to make the transition from pharmaceuticals to natural remedies is to pick a few simple ones with a variety of uses, and get comfortable with them, before moving on to more.
To help you do just that,

 I’ve put together a list of the 5 natural remedies that I would most highly recommend to a beginner.

1. Clay

More specifically, bentonite clay. This might sound like a bizarre first remedy (she’s recommending dirt??), but stick with me a moment, OK?
Let’s go back to that well-known pink stuff… Pepto Bismal. Any guess what’s in it? That’s right. Clay (but unfortunately, also all sorts of other ingredients your body doesn’t need).
The reason it works is that clay is able to attract toxins to itself, and draw them out of the body. It can absorb nasty stuff in our digestive systems and clear it out the other end. It can remove toxins, impurities and infections from skin. It can also be very soothing.
For all of these reasons, we use both powdered clay and liquified clay in our family for:
  • insects stings and bug bites
  • stomach upsets (diarrhea, digestive troubles, general tummy yuckiness)
  • to soothe cuts and scrapes and aid healing process
  • draw out an infection in the skin
  • detoxifying (we use it most specifically for baths)

ill post more about this the next post

2. Garlic

Not just any old garlic, but even more specifically, raw garlic.
And here’s the beautiful thing about garlic… you can buy it at any grocery store. It keeps for a long time in a cool, dark place or in your fridge. There’s no reason not to have it on hand for when sickness strikes.
there are two many things you need to remember about using garlic effectively:
  • It really needs to be raw to be truly potent, and is more active once minced or crushed in some way.
  • You can’t take it once a day like an antibiotic pill and hope for the same result. It’s not a pharmaceutical. To get great results with many natural remedies, you want to take them steadily over the course of the day, every few hours. If you take it this way, you’ll be amazed at the results!
Garlic can be used for so many things, but here are just a few to try:
  • treat ear infections
  • ward off a cold, flu or infection more quickly
  • thrush/Candida/yeast/fungal infections

look out for more infomation on next posts coming soon

3. Herbal salve

This is my wonder cream. My kids all know exactly what I mean when they have an owie of some sort and I tell them to go “put cream on it”. It’s also one of the very easiest natural remedies that anyone can start with.
Really, it’s not cream at all, but an herb-infused blend of oils that are solidified into a salve which you can rub on, like an ointment. It’s similar to using something like a Neosporin or antibiotic ointment from a tube at the pharmacy, except that it’s all natural and beyond just preventing infection, it really encourages healing.
There are many salves out there and you can even make one yourself if you prefer. I’m all for DIY
We use herbal salve for:
  • nappy rash
  • chapped lips
  • cuts and scrapes
  • minor infections
  • rashes

((((1. Fill a mason jar (you pick the size) halfway full with equal parts of the following organic herbs:
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Echinacea Purpurea Root
  • Echinacea Purpurea Leaf
  • Plantain Leaf
  • Yarrow Flower
  • Rosemary Leaf
  • Comfrey Leaf
  • Calendula blossom
2. Cover with virgin, organic olive oil and allow to infuse for 2- 4 weeks in a sunny window, shaking daily.  Alternatively, use the crockpot method to heat infuse the oils for two days.
3. Strain oil into a sauce pan and add 2 ounces of unrefined beeswax per pint of mixture and heat just until the beeswax is melted.
4. Add a few drops of vitamin E oil and grapefruit seed extract.
5. Pour into containers and allow to cool.
6. Apply to bug bites, sunburn, minor scratches, poison ivy, diaper rash, and anything else you might use an antibiotic ointment for.)))))


4. Essential oils

I’ve grown to love using essential oils more and more over the years. They’re so quick and easy to reach for, and when used properly, can be very effective. The more basic ones are also very affordable and last a long time, making them a good choice for someone just getting started.
There’s a fair bit of controversy out there over whether you should or shouldn’t ingest oils, and I would agree, it’s a murky subject which I won’t into for now.
What I will say is that there are a number of uses that I would recommend to anyone, with just a few of the more inexpensive oils out there.
Peppermint – Great for sore muscles and for headaches (particularly tension headaches). Also for nausea (smelling it helps a lot for this use, as can rubbing it on temples or behind ears). It’s a bit strong, so usually best to mix it with a carrier oil (coconut or olive oil work great) before rubbing onto the skin, since it irritates some people and don’t let it come in contact with eyes (ask me how I know).
Eucalyptus – You can make your own version of Vapo Rub with this oil

  • 2 parts coconut oil
  • 1 part beeswax
  • eucalyptus essential oil (about 10 drops per ounce)
  • white camphor essential oil (about 5 drops per ounce)
Simply melt the oil and beeswax in a pan and then add the essential oils. Pour into your metal tin(s) or other container. And that’s it!
The salve will harden within 10-15 minutes. If you find it is too soft, like the consistency of an ointment, you can scoop it back into the pan, remelt it and add more beeswax. If it is too hard, remelt and add more oil. I’ve also remelted to add more essential oil when I wasn’t satisfied with the strength of the oils.

and it really, truly works. Or, you can be simple like me and just pour a little olive oil into the palm of your hand, add a few drops of eucalyptus, and bada bing, bada boom. You’ve got “vapo rub”. Rubbing it on the chest and back works, but also, try the bottoms of bare feet, and then put socks on overnight.
Lavender – I have used this oil many times in its neat form (undiluted) when I’ve burned myself. Just rub a drop or two straight onto the burn (you wouldn’t do this with a really serious burn – it’s more for your average kitchen burn). It usually helps to relive the pain within about 5 minutes, and sometimes I re-apply it 10-15 minutes later if needed. It’s also very helpful for calming and relaxing, whether used with a carrier oil and rubbed gently on the skin, or by smelling it (a diffuser is great for this purpose).

5. Ginger

There were so many other remedies I could have chosen for this last one (probiotics, raw honey, colloidal silver and epsom salts  were all on my short list), but ginger is one of the first herbs that I really noticed tangible results with, so I want to pass it on to all the beginners out there.
First of all, it’s very accessible. You can buy fresh ginger root at most grocery stores, and certainly ginger powder in the spice section if nothing else. Secondly, ginger is absolutely wonderful for the digestive system.
I would highly recommend using either:
1. Fresh, peeled ginger (in slices or chunks) OR
2. Ginger tea (either chopping up fresh ginger and making tea with that, or using the dried power with hot water)
Both work amazingly for nausea, morning sickness, heartburn, gas, upset stomach, etc. I regularly drink ginger tea or nibble on fresh ginger while pregnant, especially in first trimester or when I have heartburn later on in pregnancy.
I’ve also found ginger to be very effective in a more uncommon use — the bath! Particularly great for chills, flus and fevers… run a hot bath and dump in 1/2 cup to 1 cup of ginger powder (beware that more will be stronger!) and less for children (maybe 1/4 cup maximum). Sit and soak in the hot ginger water.
It will increase circulation and probably make you feel a bit flushed. Make sure to drink lots of water and only stay in as long as you can (with a child, watch them very carefully if they’re looking flushed and don’t keep them in too long). Then, get out, drink some more water, and wrap yourself up in bed. This circulation boost really helps with reducing the chills and aches of a fever and in my experience, shortens its duration.

The truth is that manufacturers of commercial cleaning products play on our fears of hygiene issues by convincing us that we need the latest and greatest spray that miraculously “kills 99.9% of bacteria” in our home.

 Umm, excuse me?!? 99.9% of bacteria? No thank you!

The introduction and widespread use of anti-bacterial products for home use has inevitably led to drug-resistant bacteria. That’s right, bacteria that has mutated and become completely immune to antibiotics. Not only that, but these products also kill the good bacteria that are supposed to keep the bad bacteria under control.
Of course, anti-bacterial products have their place in society; they were originally used exclusively in hospitals and other healthcare settings, where risk of infection is very high. However, now that they’ve made their way into ordinary households, their use and overuse is doing much more harm than good.
bleach is a popular brand of antibacterial spray and I’d venture to guess that your kitchen or bathrooms have been graced with its presence at one point or another. In reality, sprays with bleach are very hazardous to our health. They can  contain ingredients like formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid, and phenylphenol, a skin, respiratory and mucous membrane irritant, according to the CDC.

What Are We Supposed to Use?

Good old soap and water is just as effective at killing germs – and it’s cheaper, less hazardous, and doesn’t require the use of protective gloves or safety goggles.

But when you need to quickly spray down your counters or other surfaces, making a homemade, all-natural “antibacterial” spray is the way to go. Instead of nasty, toxic chemicals, I like to harness the powers of essential oils. The oils I use each have individual properties which make them great choices for an antibacterial spray:
  • orange: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral
  • lavender: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial,
  • eucalyptus: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal
  • tea tree: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal
Make sure you use 100% pure essential oils (NOT just scented oils). You can find essential oils at your local health food store, or you can purchase them online from Amazon

Below is the recipe that I’ve formulated, but feel free to play around with it to suit your own tastes. Some find the strong scent of tea tree or eucalyptus oils to be a bit overwhelming, so you may want to decrease the amount you use in your spray (or eliminate them completely).

  1. 1 cup water, distilled or filtered
  2. 5 drops orange essential oil
  3. 3 drops lavender essential oil
  4. 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  5. 2 drops tea tree oil
  1. Add all ingredients to a spray bottle.
  2. Shake well before use.
  3. Spray on counter tops and other hard surfaces and let air-dry.
  4. Store in a cool, dark place.

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