Health · Uncategorized

Under the Weather/There’s an Oil for That!

IMG_2171

After a long weekend I was feeling refreshed and ready to take on the new week. Even if the outdoor thermostat was reading subzero temperatures this morning. I put on my new puffer vest and thick coat and braved the cold for a day of teaching. Things were going smoothly until lunch time. At a quarter til twelve my sister (AKA the babysitter) called my phone. Immediately, I knew something was wrong. Not because I’m a doomsday prepper, but rather because she never calls me if she needs anything. Texting is our mode of communication during the day since I’m usually unreachable in front of the classroom.

So I answer the phone and find out Arianna is sick.

She was puking and running a fever. Quickly, I switched from teacher-mode to mom-mode. I started to prep to take the afternoon off when my husband volunteered to take the half-day instead. We are lucky being teachers because not many professions give employees the ability to leave at a moment’s notice. Sam’s old school wasn’t as easy to take off from so one thing we have found that we love about working in our district is that they are extremely family-friendly and allow us to take time off to be there for our sick child.

Since she was running a high fever I decided to take my turn and call off for tomorrow. I stayed a little later today to run off substitute plans. It can get annoying to make plans for someone else, but nothing trumps staying home with a cuddly, sick girl.

I arrived home today to Arianna buried in the covers and Sam doing a fantastic job caring for her. He’s a great dad who always does his very best. We are lucky girls!

So the rest of the evening and tomorrow will be spent in the oils cabinet. I realize its been awhile since I last spoke about using essential oils. I’m constantly adding to my collection and even gifted some oils to people on my Christmas list. I’ve been using essential oils in place of over-the-counter medications for about a year now and I’ve found some great remedies through the process. A disclaimer before I discuss how I use oils, ALWAYS RESEARCH THE OILS BEFORE USE. SOME REQUIRE HEAVY DILUTION OR HAVE SPECIAL USE INSTRUCTIONS. MANY OILS ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR DIRECT USE ON CHILDREN OR WOMEN WHO ARE PREGNANT. ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT EACH PERSON RESPONDS DIFFERENTLY TO OILS, SO RESULTS MAY VARY.

IMG_2111

First of all, over the Christmas season I received my first essential oil diffuser. I am absolutely in love with this product. All you have to do is fill the base with water to the fill line and add 4-6 drops of the desired oil. My diffuser can be in use for up to four hours. I also love the changing light colors. There is something therapeutic about the changing colors and cool mist. I love to sit in the bedroom with a good book while the diffuser is on. Since using the diffuser requires heavy dilution almost every oil is safe to use, but there are a few oils that children should not be exposed to aromatically, so again, do your research before using.

Some of my favorite oils to put in the diffuser are peppermint (for energy, upset stomach, headaches, and allergies), lemon (for anxiety, disinfectant, and stress), wild orange (for digestion, anxiety, and aroma), and lavender (for allergies, calming, skin, and sleep.)

Also, the last time I wrote about essential oils my husband was still a bit unsure about them. However, his mind has been changed. Instead of heading straight to the medicine cabinet when he doesn’t feel well he asks me for oils at the first sign of a headache or a sore muscle. Just a few moments ago he approached me for Deep Blue to rub on his muscles after a weight lifting circuit. He’s sold on the results and even trying to learn which oils to use when.

I’m still building my collection, but I am pleased with all of the oils I currently own.

Do you use essential oils? If so, which ones do you prefer?

 

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

 

Health

Essential Oils Party

This weekend has been nothing if not a whirlwind. I was constantly moving from one event to the next without much downtime between. So, to spend the better part of my Sunday afternoon at home is a blissfully welcomed activity. I’ve been off my writing game for a few days so I feel like it is high time to update you on some of the things going on in my life.

Among other things I spent my Saturday doing some Essential Oils mixology with good friends from my church cLife group. My friend has really been educating me on the benefits of Essential Oils and through her I’ve been able to purchase many oils at whole-sale prices. I originally posted about my journey into Essential Oils in March and if you’d like to read that post it is here.

Slowly but surely I have been building up my collection to include: Lavender, OnGuard, Balance, Lemon, Peppermint, Grapefruit, Geranium, and an OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate. At the party I made a few purchases including my new lifesaver: a compact traveling oil carrier which holds eight small sample-sized bottles. I loaded that thing up with some of my favorite oils and others that I would like to try. It’s been such a pain to store oils for traveling before I made this purchase. If I knew I would need an oil I would wrap up the bottle and stick it in my purse hoping that it would not spill all over the contents therein. Now, I can keep all of the oils with me at all times, because you never know when you are going to need a little oil. This was $6.50 well spent!

IMG_0745IMG_0746

I also made my first ever bottle of homemade bug spray using essential oils and other organic ingredients. (Recipe below)

IMG_0747

Essential Oils Bug Spray (4oz):

*As always you want to make sure that you store your essential oils in a glass container as the potency of the oil can eat away at plastic and man-made materials.

10 drops Terra Shield

10 drops Purify

10 drops Cedarwood

10 drops Peppermint

1 Tb Witch Hazel

Fill to the top with water

Now, I’m ready and armed for the upcoming graduation parties and Memorial Day Grill-outs. Bring it on Mother Nature ๐Ÿ™‚

The last ย time I posted about Essential Oils I gave a list of some ways that I’m using Essential Oils in my home and with my family. Here are some ways I’ve been using oils recently:

1. Grapefruit and Geranium: As many of you are aware due to my recent posts I’ve been struggling with gall bladder issues lately. My good friend had some extra Grapefruit and Geranium oils and brought them to me. Geranium supports the overall digestive health, but the Grapefruit oil is specifically used for breaking up gall stones. I had a few episodes while passing gall stones a few weeks ago and so I would place a little bit of oil on my skin around the locale of the gall bladder. At my ultrasound appointment last week the doctor reported that the swelling of my gall bladder had gone down and I had no more stones visible. I am so grateful!

2. Peppermint: Peppermint is one of those oils that has many uses. It can help with headaches, body aches and pains, energy, and insect repellents (especially spiders!) Most recently my husband has been asking for Peppermint when he gets headaches. At first, he thought I was crazy replacing many of our medicine cabinet staples with oils, but he has really seen results. Even just today he was beginning to feel a headache coming on so he went straight for my carrier and rubbed a little bit of the oil on his temples. I sometimes put a little bit (less than a drop) in my coffee in the morning since it is an invigorating oil. For the same reason I sometimes put a drop in the bottom of a hot shower which creates a Peppermint mist throughout the room flooding the shower with the beautiful aroma and energy. I could go on and on with uses for Peppermint.

3. Lavender and Balance: As I mentioned in a previous post I use both of these oils with my anxiety. Lately, I have been facing some major anxiety. Anxiety is something I am dealing with on multiple levels as far as how it is affecting me mentally and physically. In order to avoid medicating myself for my anxiety I have been using Lavender and Balance daily. If I miss a day of using these oils it is evident in my mood and behavior. Yes, a big part of my anxiety is triumphed by prayer, but I use these oil blends to help with the physical effects as well. A couple of times a day I rub Lavender on my chest. When we have anxiety we often feel that anxiety manifest itself in certain parts of our bodies. Lately, I have experienced anxiety so strong that it has led to chest pain and the Lavender works as a calming agent which also helps me to relax my chest muscles. I use Balance on the back of my neck and shoulders to help relax those muscles as well. I have a CAT scan this week to look into the chest pains and make sure there is nothing beyond anxiety as the cause. I am almost certain that my recent illness coupled with the end of the school year have just caused me to subconsciously stress myself out. The oils have helped my muscles to relax and prayer and wisdom from friends have helped with the mental aspect of anxiety.

A couple more things I learned at this Mixology party:

1. Not every person will react the same to each oil. One oil that helps me deal with headaches and tension may not work for someone else. You find what works best for you by trial and error.

2. Less is more. Whether you use a dime sized drop or three drops on your temple you will get the same results. The oils are potent and you should save your oils and your money and use the least amount possible.

3. Oils can be used to treat both physical and emotional symptoms. Every oil has a few physical ailments that it can treat, but it also has some emotional symptoms it can heal and help you work through.

4. Always dilute oils when putting them on children. Oils can be diluted with water, lotions, and other carrier oils like Grape seed Oil and Fractionated Coconut Oil.

So what’s next for me?

My family’s next oil investment is a diffuser for our home. So far we have been able to mask the method of diffusing through using hot showers filled with oils and putting oils on the air filter, but as the summer months approach neither of these methods are going to be quite as effective. I’m in the market for a diffuser and would love some help in deciding on the best size and brand. Please comment below with some advice.

Thanks for letting me talk your ear off about oils. I get excited as I learn more and start seeing results. If you have questions about Essential Oils I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I can help you find them. Please comment below with questions.

IMG_0749

Organization

Another Busy Weekend

Today is the first official day of Spring. Hallelujah!

Luckily we’ve experienced some lovely spring weather in Ohio for a little over a week now. The only thing that I’m not crazy about when it comes to the changing of seasons is the seasonal allergies I experience along with the beautiful weather. It makes it a little harder to enjoy time outside, but I’ve been working on some remedies to help me out.

For me, I have the biggest issue with my sinuses. I experience sinus pressure, watery eyes and headaches. Since I have recently begun to use Essential Oils I found an attack method that works better than Vicks at clearing my sinuses. I have been taking my normal facial moisturizer and adding 1-2 drops of lavender Essential Oils and applying the mixture to my face and feet. I specifically massage it into the sinus and forehead area. I can instantly feel the difference! Over the past week or so I’ve been repeating this process a couple of times a day. It works wonders with clearing up the unpleasant stuffiness and pressure. (I’ve read that you can do the same thing with Melaluca oil, but I don’t currently have that oil so lavender works just fine.)

Beyond the beautiful sunshine and weather in spring I love building a wardrobe full of bright and vibrant colors. This is especially fun when it comes to dressing a toddler. I love shopping and fashion, but not spending too much on clothes so I love looking for Spring sales and it looks like many of my favorite stores are doing big sales this weekend…so guess who is going shopping ๐Ÿ™‚

This is a somewhat busy weekend for us as we have a family birthday celebration and my husband has two basketball shows tomorrow. As always my family is nothing if not busy. The struggle with this busy schedule will be fitting time in to do some overdue home cleaning.

This fall my husband and I began a Saturday morning routine that has been successful apart from during basketball season when he has early practice and/or games. We each have a list of tasks we work on and generally all of these things can be conquered before noon leaving us the rest of the day to get out and do something we enjoy.

My jobs: I stay home and get caught up on laundry, pay bills, clean the house and vacuum.

My husband’s jobs: I’m not sure if my husband really enjoys grocery shopping, but it beats cleaning in his mind so every week his job is to take the grocery list I’ve made up and purchase the weekly or biweekly groceries. He also does all the dishes. Early in our marriage we made the decision that he would always do the dishes and I would always do and fold the laundry. It works for us.

How do you divide and conquer tasks in your home? What plans do you have for the weekend?

Health

The Essentials

FullSizeRender (6)

Over the past few months I have done some dabbling in the Essential Oil field. A great friend of mine that I met in our church small group encouraged me to educate myself on the benefits and remedies of using Essential Oils. She made my family a few roll on oil blends for helping soothe my daughter to sleep and ease anxiety in our home. Over time, we saw results in using these oils blends. Last week, she helped me to make my first OnGuard cleaner and I wiped down all the surfaces in my house following a pretty nasty illness that my daughter had procured.

Now, I am happy to say that I have bought into the necessities of Essential Oils and made my first real purchase (thanks to my friend and her generous mother). As I researched the needs of my family and matched up those needs to different oils and blends I created a wish list. My first oils are Lavender, OnGuard, and Balance.

Here are some of the benefits that SOLD me on the idea of replacing many pharmaceuticals and harsh chemicals with Essential Oils:

1. Cost- At first, this was my major deterrent in getting my oil collection going. As with anything there is a bit of start-up cost to begin to build up your supplies. However, research has shown me that each individual oil has multiple benefits and uses. This means that in many cases you can use one oil to treat multiple issues. (example: Lavender can be used for anxiety, allergies, depression, dry skin, exhaustion, fever, stress…etc.) So when it came to creating my list of “essentials” for my family I looked at the oils that would treat multiple needs. Also, when you figure the cost of some medications and/or doctor visits that can be minimized, or completely replaced, the oil cost in the long run is exponentially cheaper. Most oils run between $20-$30 if you have a membership with an Essential Oils company.

2. Safe and Organic– Essential oils are extracted from parts of plants and plants themselves. They have natural therapeutic qualities and can be used topically, aromatically, and in some cases internally. They are an organic and natural alternative to some harsh chemicals found in household cleaning, beauty, and skin products. Most oils are also safe for children and pets. I’ve found a lot of information from the book below to be helpful in figuring out how to best use each product.

FullSizeRender (5)

So how am I using my new Essential Oils?

OnGuard: I am using my OnGuard oil to fight bacteria and illness in my home. I put a couple of drops on my air filter. Not only does my house smell clean and fresh, but it also is diffusing the healthy benefits it offers throughout the home.

Lavender: I am using Lavender to combat the dry skin that accompanies winter in Ohio. I have been humidifying my house with water in multiple ways, but skin always seems dry and depleted this time of year. I’ve been taking our already non-toxic moisturizers and adding a drop of Lavender to the moisturizers before application. It adds an aromatic flare and additional dry skin healing. I also use Lavender to break down stress and tension attached to stress for both my husband and myself.

Balance: Both my husband and I battle with back pain regularly. My hope is that in using this oil regularly we can avoid trips to the chiropractor and alleviate other issues associated with back pain. I have applied this oil by massaging it onto trouble areas. Not only is it relaxing to receive a massage, but the aroma is wonderful as well.

Sleepy Time Blend: This is a blend given to me from my friend. It is in a roll-on bottle. I use this to help my family relax before bed time, especially on those nights when Arianna is fighting sleep. I usually apply this oil to the feet and cover with socks. Generally, Ari is out pretty quickly thereafter.

Anxiety Blend: This is another blend given to me from my friend. When I feel tense, and sometimes when I know that day may be particuarly long or stressful I use the roll-on bottle to apply the oil to my temples and gently massage it in.

I’m still fairly new to the Essential Oil scene, so I am in no place to make any calls on the accuracy of the oils, but I can say that what I have been introduced to has pleased me and my family. I will continue to purchase Essential Oils. My wish list contains several more oils and I look forward to getting to know more. I hope to plan a mixology date with some of my “girlfriends” to mix the oils and learn about new ways of use and application. I will keep you updated with anything I learn or find along my journey.

If you use Essential Oils please share some tips and ideas. If you don’t what’s holding you back?