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Essential Oils, Home Remedies, Natural Alternatives, Uncategorized

Gentle, Lovely Mandarin

Aside from German chamomile, Roman chamomile and lavender; mandarin is one of most gentle oils available. In fact any of these oils can be used sparingly on infants as young as two weeks old when they are heavily diluted. (One drop into 1 oz. of carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil.) Mandarin is also an excellent choice for digestive issues, emotional issues and skin problems.

The digestive system causes many of us serious issues more often than not. Mandarin is an excellent oil to try and alleviate the symptoms of IBS, stomachaches, stomach cramps, constipation, intestinal spasms and probably one of the most important for new mothers is its ability to help expel gas from the intestines. You can feel the tense, hard stomach of a colicky baby. Using heavily diluted mandarin to release the gas on these sweet little ones while administering a gentle massage could definitely change the whole family’s lives.

Getting a thorough night’s sleep is high on the list for most people. Mandarin is an excellent oil to create a sedative and calming environment just for this. Colicky babies benefit from the relaxing effects of mandarin as well as children and adults. We use mandarin in our Baby and 3+ roller bottle blends, as well as our Rest diffuser blend. Along these same lines, this oil is excellent for nervousness, nervous tension, irritability, stress and can be uplifting to help people get out of their funk when you’ve had a bad day.

The final quality mandarin has is the ability to enhance skin cell growth. Because of this it is used in anti-aging creams and oils for mature skin. It also diminishes scarring and stretch marks. It can be blended with many other oils to create a synergy blend that makes a big impact on all skin issues.

My favorite thing about this gentle, yet versatile oil is it’s ability to help out the little ones without fear of using OTC medications which don’t seem to work anyway. When you have a colicky baby there is not much you can do, but using mandarin is a great way to be proactive. I also love the relaxing environment you can create while diffusing it to get a great night of sleep, because if you know me, I’m just a little grouchy if I don’t get that!

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Uncategorized

Frankincense

If you were stranded on an island and could pick one essential oil, frankincense would be an excellent choice. Historically used for thousands of years in rituals, meditation and to clear negative energy in incense form, frankincense as an essential oil has many other uses as well.

Gentle enough for babies 7 months+ as well as the elderly, frankincense is a fantastic choice for any respiratory issue. Dilute in a carrier oil and massage onto the chest to relieve coughing, bronchitis, reduce congestion, mucous and inflammation. It is also used for its calmative properties during asthma attacks as well as to slow the breath down. While dealing with any respiratory issue you can safely reach for a frankincense blend to alleviate symptoms without any side effects from OTC meds.

Frankincense is also terrific at healing the skin. Applying frankincense to wounds and scars promotes quicker healing and less scarring. It can be used on oily skin to help balance it and to an anti-aging mixture to reduce wrinkles and regenerate aging skin. It combines nicely with lavender and helichrysum to create a synergy blend for skin vitality.

The digestive system can also benefit from using frankincense if a person has issues with this area. And women can use it to regulate their menstrual cycle and alleviate cramping. Mixing with a carrier oil and rubbing directly on the abdomen would be the best way to apply frankincense for these ailments.

In our crazy busy fast paced world frankincense is an excellent choice to help stay grounded. While historically they burned it, today we can use the essential oil to slow down, reduce stress, calm the nervous system and allow ourselves to be “present” in life, not just going through the motions. You can find frankincense in our Stability blend combined with Ho Wood, Lavender, Clary Sage, Marjoram and Ylang Ylang, which is quickly becoming a favorite for many.

Essential Oils, Natural Alternatives, Uncategorized

Muscular Pain or Bruising?

If you regularly use Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen this essential oil blend is for you! I rarely take over the counter pain relievers, but I have been known to buy lots of Arnica cream/gel for all my aches, pains and bruises. Playing soccer over the age of 40 has its many challenges, but being sore is one of the main issues I deal with.

I actually started experimenting with different oils after getting stepped on during a soccer game. The summer before I broke my toe from someone stepping on it and this time I had an instant knot and bruise on the top of my foot. I knew it couldn’t have been broken because I kept playing, but it felt like it was and definitely looked like it too. I went home, did some research and came up with a blend with the oils I had on hand at the time. I used them that night and twice the following day. By the third day I could barely feel the pain in my foot and on the fourth I had forgotten all about it until someone asked me how it was feeling. I’ve been a believer ever since and this is the blend that I have finalized and use regularly for every muscle ache, pain or bruise.

Another testament to this blend has to do with baseball. My sister’s son is a fantastic ball player and my sister is his #1 supporter. Needless to say she is at almost every single game. She was bound to get hit by a fly ball at some point and she did last fall. Her hand and thigh looked awful! I gave her a sample of the blend and it worked for her just as it did for me. This spring my nephew had a knot similar to mine on his hand and it worked for him too. If you play any sort of sports you cannot go another day without this. It truly works miracles.

businesswoman-company-computer-7357

This is not just for sports though! If you sit at a computer and have tense neck or back muscles it works just as great for those as well. My daughter has scoliosis and I’m sure you can imagine how that affects her muscles because of the asymmetrical shape of her spine. We use it to help her shoulder which can get extremely tight especially during volleyball season. She also thinks my bottle is hers because of the many aches and pains due to soccer and track as well. I am constantly on the hunt for it because she is always taking it for herself.

The oils you can find in this blend are: geranium, lavender, ravensara, marjoram, helichrysum and roman chamomile. This combination creates a synergy blend that is hard to beat when it comes to pain relief. While these oils are lovely by themselves, together they create a blend that is a must-have in the medicine cabinet. Maybe you will be able to ditch the OTC meds for good! The table below shows some of the properties each of these oils possess. While these oils can be used for many other ailments; I only listed properties that apply to this specific blend.

Analgesic

(pain

reliever)

Anti-

inflammatory

Circulatory

Spasmolytic

(relieves smooth

muscle spasm)

Muscular

Spasm/ contraction

Muscular

pain/

fatigue

Anti-

spasmodic

Geranium

X

X

X

X

Lavender

X

X

X

X

Ravensara

X

Marjoram

X

X

X

X

X

Helichrysum

X

X

X

X

X

Roman Chamomile

X

X

X

X

If you’ve been thinking about an alternative for pain relief, essential oils are a great place to start. Some side effects you can have from the over use of acetaphetomine and ibuprofen are pretty disturbing. Using nature’s gifts as God intended has definitely been a game changer at our house. It’s pretty amazing when you sit down and actually think about it.

Essential Oils, Home Remedies, Natural Alternatives, Uncategorized

Roman Chamomile, More Than a Nighttime Tea

For at least two thousand years Roman chamomile, anthemis nobilis, has been used for many medical purposes. It is distilled from the flowers which contain chamazulene, which has anti-inflammatory properties. This essential oil is light blue in color and has many different uses. We love that it’s gentle enough for babies 2 weeks old and up when heavily diluted. It can ease babies crankiness, restlessness, colic and teething problems. This fantastic oil is in our Baby Rest synergy blend, but has many other uses as well.

One of the best things about Roman chamomile is that it is antibacterial. Because of this quality it is wonderful for many skin ailments such as: dermatitis, eczema, insect bites, cuts, boils, blisters, burns, acne, hives, rashes, fungal infections and promotes scar tissue for wounds. I wish I was aware of these qualities when my son suffered from horrendous eczema as an infant. There wasn’t one cream, ointment or lotion that helped him. This would have definitely been worth trying. The anti-allergenic properties this oil is known for would have been very beneficial.

Because Roman chamomile is an analgesic, it is excellent when used for anything pain related. Ailments such as neuralgia, strains, inflamed joints, arthritis, sprains, rheumatism, migraines, headaches and toothaches all can benefit from a few drops of Roman chamomile. Used in a massage blend, bath or hot compress on the affected area can help ease any discomfort.

The digestive system can also benefit from this versatile essential oil. It not only aids in digestion, it stimulates the liver, increases urine flow, stimulates bile production, can aid in the discomfort of flatulence, diarrhea, gastritis, nausea, cystitis, colitis, and any other stomach issue. It is an excellent choice for your suitcase while traveling to combat some of these issues.

While there are several oils that are great for the woman’s reproductive system this specific oil is beneficial for PMS and menopausal symptoms such as irritability and it can promote feelings of calmness. It is also used for painful menstrual cycles, to increase menstrual flow and to regulate irregular periods.

You’ve probably heard a lot about chamomile tea and its ability to help you decompress before sleeping. The essential oil has many of the same benefits and can be used to ease excitability, especially in children, insomnia, stress and to help you turn off that mental load that won’t ever seem to go away. We could not pass this oil by when creating our blend, Rest.

Wow! After writing this I realize Roman chamomile, though somewhat expensive, is worth every single penny. This oil is a definite must have in your essential oil arsenal. You can also try it out by using a few of our blends if you do not want to invest in a full bottle just yet.

Home Remedies, Natural Alternatives

How to make Elderberry Syrup at Home

Okay guys, this is so easy! I think the hardest part is searching for organic elderberries and raw honey. Also, you’ll notice if you do this that elderberries are sold out all over the place due to this crazy flu season. So get to it now and you’ll have a supply that’ll carry you through these cold and sick months, which around here seems to last through April.

If you’re not sure why you might want to make this for your family, go here to read all about elderberries and their history with health and wellness.

Dry elderberries in bowl

You need to purchase Elderberries in bulk and can do so at Mountain Rose Herbs and Oregon’s Wild Harvest, you might check out the syrups they have as well if not yet ready to make your own. When shopping, look for certified organic berries. I believe it is counterproductive if you use conventional berries, no point in putting pesticides and chemicals in your body if you’re trying to build up your immune system!

We just pulled our latest batch off the stove last night. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Place 1/2 cup of dried elderberries and 3 cups of water on the stove and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes, remove from stove and allow to cool.
  • Strain liquid into storage container, add 1/2 to 1 cup of raw, local honey. Stir to combine.

Using raw and local honey will best support your immune system. Stirring in the honey after cooling will allow the honey to retain the natural enzymes (otherwise, you’ve just got sugar). Here’s all you ever wanted to know about why honey’s enzymes are important.

Dried Elderberries for scale

I will say, it does smell a bit medicinal in your house, but that’s good right? And our toddler has no problem taking this every day with his course of vitamins and probiotics. He definitely likes the store-bought kids version better (it’s much like candy, which makes me question it’s validity) but after we explain to him how it works with his body, he takes it no problem. Then he proceeds to put water in his glass, swirl it around and then drink it up to “get it all out,” he says.

Now I’m ready to start making more and thinking about good additions. Ginger, turmeric, cinnamon? I’ll let you know how it goes!

Essential Oils

Geranium, Not Just a Patio Flower

When I think of geraniums I picture steamy Oklahoma summers outside at my parents house. My mom always plants red geraniums in white pots and lines her front porch with them. It brings a smile to my face, eases tension I may have and brings a calmness to me only a hot and humid Oklahoma summer day at “home” can do.

Until I found geranium essential oil. It brings all the same feelings and it’s also so much more. I was first introduced to geranium in a Synergy blend. Geranium was one of the most prominent oils in this blend and I fell in love with it. This specific blend was marketed for children’s tension, but I was using it to wind down at night and it was wonderful. Since then I have learned how beneficial this oil is for anything hormone-related. Geranium is also excellent for many things: PMS, stress-related conditions, depression, regulates menopause hormones, nervous tension and is calming in an emotional crisis. This essential oil is so gentle it can be used diluted on babies 3 months old and up and we’ve used it in our baby Blessed Spirit blend to help ease tension and bring feelings of happiness to all the babies.

We use it in our Steady Heart blend for the calming properties, in our Blessed Spirit blend for an ability to lighten your mood and in our Cooling for Women roller for the traditional use of balancing hormones.

Like lavender, geranium is also excellent when needing a remedy for skin related issues. Being an antiseptic it can be used for quick healing of cuts and wounds. It is also beneficial in treating acne, bruises, minor burns, scalds and ringworm. Some other ways you can implement geranium in your chemical-free home is by using it as an insecticide. It is a deterrent for dust mites, termites and some beetles. When you flip your mattress try spraying with diluted geranium and letting air-dry for added freshness and of course the protective measures from crawling critters it will serve.

Lastly, geranium is also known to ease pain so it is an excellent oil to gargle with when you have a sore throat or dealing with tonsillitis. Just be sure to spit out what you gargle because geranium should not be ingested. Also, test for sensitivity before gargling because it has been known to cause contact dermatitis in some individuals, or tingling in the lips.

And while I’ve never personally been fond of heavy floral scents, but I love the floral scent of geranium. It is the perfect oil to bring a calmness and terrific tension reliever after a long, tiring day. I was glad to have come across this versatile, yet gentle oil to use in our chemical-free home.

Home Remedies, Natural Alternatives

Elderberry, Use It to Fight the Flu!

I’m sure during this intense flu season you’ve heard all the hype about Elderberry, Sambucus, Sambucol or maybe it was even called Black Elder. I know in our town people have been scrambling to buy it when someone they love has been diagnosed with the flu and they are having a hard time finding it. I get mine delivered by Amazon every month because we take it every day for preventative measures. But it is pretty simple to make and much cheaper too!

First, in case you are new to Elderberry here is some evidence that might sway you to jump on board the tried-and-true method of using Elderberry to fight the flu. Elderberry has been in known use since 400 BC by Hippocrates. From the 19th century all the way back to the Middle Ages Americans and Europeans used this berry for multiple ailments including a treatment for the flu. When modern medicine became prevalent Elderberry was somewhat lost as a way to treat the flu, but in the 90s researchers in Israel began experimenting and quickly realized the berries can stop the flu virus from replicating inside the body. They used it in 1993 when a major flu outbreak happened. The group they gave the Elderberry to recovered from the flu in three days and the others not taking Elderberry took six days to be symptom-free.

Another study was done during 1999 to 2000 in Norway. Sixty people were either given Elderberry or a placebo. The Elderberry group were well an average of four days more quickly than the placebo group. In 2007 scientists had excellent results giving Elderberry to adults and children who recovered within an average of two days, unlike the control group who were finally recovering after six days. Scientists believe the Elderberry doesn’t actually kill the virus, but boosts your own immunity so the body can fight it. I personally have used elderberry to combat the flu when my son had it. He only had fever for two days and I believe I can attribute that to the intense Elderberry treatment. My husband, who did not take the elderberry, had fever for five days and could barely move for about seven.

When you see the cost of store-bought Sambuca (Elderberry syrup), one of your first thoughts might be, can I make this myself? Yes! and it is so simple. Go here to read all about how we do it.