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My love affair with Essential Oils

15 Feb
This is part of a rosemary plant. Español: Una...

Image via Wikipedia

My love affair with essential oils began when my husband and I were researching how to treat swollen adenoids and tonsils without surgery. We kept seeing essential oils are great for getting rid of bacteria and infections which was causing the swelling….and is better than surgery. Hmmm are essentials oils that powerful I thought to myself.? So I  decided to learn more about them.

What are essentials Oils?

Essential oils are found or stored in different parts of plants. For example, lemon essential oil is extracted from the rinds from the peel, rose essentials oil is extracted from the flowers, sandalwood from the woody part of the plant.  The oil can be extracted from the plant using various methods and the rest is highly concentrated aromatic oil.

I can’t really remember which essentials oils I purchased first but I do own quite a few.

Why do I love them so much? Well I love their ability to  “take my breath away” … it is like being transported to smell heaven. I also love essential oils  for their many of health benefits. Just yesterday I woke up with a severe sore throat, my head felt congested and nose was clogged and I felt like a mess.  I filled the tub with some hot water, add some rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree and lavender essential oils and climbed in Aahhh!! A hot bath with aromatic essential oils…you can’t beat that. I took a long soak and by the time I got out of the tub, my head and nose felt clear and I felt much better.

I use essential oil a lot especially during the winter to keep germs away. I use them at bath time to calm the kids down after a long day  and I love body butter, creams or soaps that have being scented with pure essential oils…not fragrances which are synthetic and for some reason gives me headaches.

Many of us are accustomed to relying on over the counter drugs to solve many of our ailments but did you know that essential oils can be used to ease many everyday ailments? For example peppermint and lavender are great for headaches, eucalyptus, ginger, lemon, rosemary for colds,  peppermint and rosemary for joint pain.

While essential oils offer a lot of health benefits, they should be used with caution. Some essential oils should not be used while pregnant or on babies and other like cinnamon may irritate the skin. Essential oils should be diluted in a vegetable oil otherwise known as a carrier oil before using on the skin.

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Herbal Teas For Colds and Hacking Coughs

22 Jan

Recently we were at a play group and a few of the kids were sick so I was not surprised when my girls ended up a cold and a hacking cough.
I knew right away it was going to be a bad cold so got my garlic oil ready and made a batch of elderberry, mullein, and yarrow tea. The mullein and elderberry tea have an expectorant effect so my girls “noses” were just running tons of clear mucus. It got a bit overwhelming that I had to suction the noses every few minutes so I decided to stop the tea for day. Once I stop the tea the mucus production slowed down and I thought good….until the next day I regretted stopping the tea. No One slept that night. Poor girls were up all night with a dry, hacking cough. After several hours of trying to persuade my little 2 year old to take some onion cough syrup, she got tired and took it and went out like a light within 5 minutes. Needless to say tea was brewing the next morning. Elderberry and mullein tea work by keeping the mucus loose so the body can get rid of it which makes them great for hacking coughs and whooping coughs.
There are so many blends of teas you can use to heal and help a cold. I often use catnip, lemon balm and chamomile in the teas help relax and soothe if the kids are cranky and fussy along with the elderberry tea or honey and lemon for sore throats. Nothing beats a warm cup of tea.

Eczema Herbal Tea Bath

11 Dec

One of things I love to do for the girls is to give them a herbal tea bath for their eczema. Herbs such as  burdock root, red clover, nettle are great at detoxing the body. Calendula, chickweed, and chamomile heals, soothes broken skin and ease the itching. Soaking in warm water also rehydrates the skin.

You can make the tea by either placing the herbs in a muslim bag and let the hot water run through the bag to make the tea.

2. You can steep the herbs in a pot, strain and add to the bath water or steep the herbs in a cup and make into a strong tea then add to the bath.

Once herbal tea is added to the bath, let the kids soak in it for a good 20 minutes. Then add a lot of natural moisturizer such as shea butter or a shea butter base moisturizer to the skin.

Baltic Amber Teething Necklcace- Do They Work?

7 Dec

Raw amber teething necklace

Teething can be hard on babies. Some babies may go through the teething stage without any problems while others experience a lot of pain, fever, diaper rash, vomiting. Many moms are now looking for natural ways to soothe their babies without having to rely on baby Tylenol since teething last for a long time. While there are many natural ways to soothe a little one while teething, such as using a natural teethers,  hyland teething tables, chamomilla, I have totally fallen in love with Baltic amber teething necklace.

Amber necklace is relatively new to us in the US but not to Europe. Europeans have being using Baltic amber teething necklace for centuries to  soothe the babies.  Amber beads contain succinic acid, a substance that is present in both mammals and plants so I like the idea of using it as it is not a foreign substance.

Does Amber Teething Necklace Work?

Many people dismiss amber necklaces as  fake but they are not. Succinic acid  is present in living tissues including humans and plays a central role in providing oxygen to the cells within our bodies. Succinic acid is used in several fields including the medical field to treat mitochondrial disorder, anemia since its supplies the bodies cell with oxygen and is used also as sedative.

I cannot claimed to understand how amber works but one of the most noticable difference since my daughter started wearing  hers is NO Drooling. Some how she manages to be putting out 2 molars and 2 other teeth without drooling. I recently saw in a forum where a mom said her pediatrician says that amber as a drying effect on the body which might explain the no drooling. I have also noticed that she doesn’t get very cranky when the teeth are coming out but still wants to be held….I can take wanting to be held any day over cranky. Also I haven’t had to use any chamomilla or hylands teethingtablets.

I have forgotten to put the necklace on her once for 2 days and she got so irritable and that she wouldn’t sleep. I sent my hubby out at 11pm to get some Tylenol for her. After he left, I realized that she wasn’t wearing her necklace so I put the necklace back on, nursed her in our boba carrier and she finally went to sleep.  The next day she was fine so we return the Tylenol.

I know there is not much research done on amber necklace but that is always the case when it comes to natural alternative medicine or treatment as there is no money to be made so no one pays attention to it. I know there is no one solution to any problem but this was money well spent for me.

How to make garlic oil for ear infections

26 Oct

Garlic oil is a staple in our house especially during the cold season. Here is how to make garlic oil.

Slice or Chop Garlic

Add garlic to the container

Add enough olive oil to cover the garlic

Let the garlic sit in the oil for a few hours until you smell that garlic aroma. You can also gently warm to oil for about 5 minutes. The oil should not be hot!. You should be able to stick your finger in the oil and not get burn

Remove the garlic from the oil and your garlic oil is now ready to be used.

Natural easy cold and flu remedy

19 Oct
An Ikea garlic press, with pressed garlic.

Image via Wikipedia

Its cold and flu season and while many are lining up to get the flu shot I am checking my fridge and cupboards to make sure that I have all my cold and flu essentials.

Without further ado here is my basic list

  • Garlic – garlic is a must have for cold and flu season. It is antibacterial and antiviral which makes it great for respiratory infections like a chest cold, bronchitis etc.

Uses – Garlic is most potent in its raw form but not easy on the stomach. So my favorite way to use garlic, especially for little ones, is in the form of  garlic oil . Garlic oil is quite simple to make just chop up a few cloves of garlic and cover with olive oil. You can allow the oil to sit for a few hours until you notice the garlic aroma or you can gently warm the oil for a few minutes. For ear infections,  warm the garlic oil and drop about 2 drops in the ear. You can place a cotton ball  in the ear or just let the child rest on their side for a few minutes so the oil can sit in the ear.  Garlic is often combine with mullein to make one of the best ear infection ear drop…better than any antibiotics. Do you know that you can put the garlic on the feet? The pores on our feet are really large so anything we rub on the feet gets absorbed quickly into the body . You can rub the garlic oil on the little ones’ feet at nights when they have a cold to help kills bacteria and viruses within the body ( put socks on their feet). Garlic can also be taken in the form of capsule well or mix into a cough/cold syrup.

  • Onion  is a milder version of garlic and has similar healing properties like garlic.

Uses –  Onion makes an excellent  cough syrup  as it helps to reduce the intensity and frequency of a cough. Onion is also makes an excellent ear pain reliever. Just cut the onion in half and warm it gently in a microwave.  Let the onion cool, then wrap in a towel or paper towel and apply it over the ear for 5-10 minutes or until the pain goes away.

  • Tea –  Hot/Warm teas are so great for soothing sore throats, getting rid of toxins in the body and has a soothing effect on the mind as well.  You can use many of the teas found right in your pantry or cupboards. Teas such as peppermint and  ginger are great to drink if you child develops a fever as they help “sweat the fever out”. Lemon and honey tea is great for sore throat but both lemon and honey have  antibacterial properties which also helps to kill bacteria. Try to use raw honey if possible since it  antibacterial. If you love herbs, there is elderberry tea, (elderberry can be made into a syrup) catnip, lemon balm, mullein are some excellent well-known tea for colds and flu.  Don’t forget chamomile tea for its ability to soothe and calm a cranky, irritable and agitated child.
  • Essential oils  Essentials oils are amazing as they are antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, etc. I have at least 1/2 doz essential oil,  my favorite being eucalyptus. Eucalyptus a must have for stuffy noses as it opens up the air ways to help you breathe easier. No need for petroleum synthetic vicks when you have the real thing.

Use – You can make a chest rub out of essentials oil by adding a carrier oil such as olive oil to eucalyptus, lemon, tea tree and lavender essential oil. I also love to add them to a diffuser/ humidifier or baths. If you are not into making your own chest rub or essential oil blend for a humidifer, I recommend Badger Balm Aromatic Chest Rub and Sweet Knee Breathe Essential Oil.  I make my own disinfectant spray from a blend of essentials oils rosemary, clove, eucalyptus in a vinegar base.

Of course for babies you need a good nasal aspirator. I love and use  babycomfynose nasal aspirator.

Mother nature has endowed us with so many plants that can aid us in protecting and healing our bodies.

Greening Your Spring Cleaning! Green Cleaning Solution Recipes

4 Apr

My mom is a clean Freak and she would literally use a gallon of bleach in a month. My friends would always joke that they would eat off her floor and could see their faces in the tiles.  Yes, her tiles were so clean, you could see your reflection. Well, in trying to be clean she was unknowingly hurting us. Bleach is toxic, it is also a lung irritant among other things and guess what? we all had asthma. So cleaning with bleach was not a great idea. I can’t quite recall how I found out that a blend of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide was just a potent as bleach, but I do know that once my mom and I stopped using bleach, my dad’s constant coughing and wheezing went away.

Here Is My Favorite Cleaning Formula Mix

16 oz Spray Bottle –I  get a few at the Dollar Store

8 oz vinegar –I buy this in bulk at a BJ’s and I think Costco has it too and it is really cheap  50 cents  for a gallon.

8 oz  Hydrogen Peroxide

10 drops of  lemon essential oil

2 tablespoon eco sprout/rockin green or whatever natural soap you use

Blend and happy cleaning.

Mountain Rose Herbs one of my favorite company also published some natural cleaning recipes which I have included

                                                                Baking soda is a must have ingredient for cleaning naturally!

 

Super Surface Spray
• 16 oz. spray bottle
• 14 oz. – 1:1 solution of distilled white vinegar and water
• 7 drops of tea tree essential oil
• 7 drops of lavender essential oil
• 7 drops of lemon essential oil

Use this aromatic and disinfecting solution for cleaning kitchen counters, cabinets, refrigerator shelves, blinds, painted wood surfaces, painted walls, molding, fan blades, and more.

Herby Soft Scrub
• 12 oz glass jar with lid
• 1/2 cup baking soda
• 1/2 cup castille soap
• 15 drops of antimicrobial essential oils like rosemary and sage

Mix well until you have a nice consistency like cake frosting. If you have leftovers, add 1 tsp vegetable glycerin to keep the blend nice and moist.

Antibacterial Soap Spray
• 16 oz spray bottle
• 14 oz. water or rosemary hydrosol
• 3 tbsp castille soap
• 15 drops of tea tree essential oil
• 15 drops of oregano essential oil

Use this cleaning spray to disinfect your bathroom surfaces. You can use the Super Surface Spray to rinse away any residue left behind by the castille soap.

Refreshing Linen Spray
• 16 oz. spray bottle
• 3 oz. unflavored vodka
• 12 drops lavender, ylang ylang, peppermint, orange or your favorite smelling essential oil
• 12 oz. organic hydrosol of your choice

Spray to refresh your mattress, pillows, bed linens, couches, and fabric covered chairs, or spritz clean winter blankets before storing for the year. Also makes a wonderful ironing spray!

  

  

  

  

     Natural Lemon Furniture Polish
• 16 oz spray bottle
• 1 cup olive oil
• 25 drops pure lemon essential oil
• 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
• fill remainder of the bottle with purified water

Shake well before each use. Spray onto your rag or directly onto furniture. Buff dry immediately.

Tropical Carpet Deodorizer
• 1 cup of baking soda
• 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil  per cup
• 10 drops of mandarin essential oil  per cup
• 10 drops of ginger essential oil  per cup

Mix together and sprinkle the aromatic blend onto your carpet, let sit for 30 minutes, and vacuum as normal. Wonderful mattress deodorizer, too!

Lemony Wood Floor Mop Formula
• 20 oz. spray bottle
• 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
• 1 tsp. vegetable glycerin
• 20 drops lemon essential oil
• Water

Spray, mop as usual, and quickly buff dry to protect your floors. They will be glossy and clean with a lovely lemon scent!

Mop-It-Up Formula
• small glass bottle
• 1/4 cup castille soap
• 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
• 20 drops of tea tree essential oil
• 20 drops of sweet orange essential oil

This is the perfect liquid cleaner for tile floors, vinyl, or linoleum.  Mix the solution with 2 gallons of hot water and mop away the dirt and grime.

Anti-Microbial Essential Oils for Cleaning
Basil, Bay, Bergamot, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove, Eucalyptus, Fir, Ginger, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Orange, Oregano, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine, Rose Geranium, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Spearmint, Spruce, Tea Tree, and Thyme.