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A Journey into the World of Essential Oils

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Essential Oils?

When someone around says, “oh man I’ve got a neck tension.” and your response is, “Oh I have peppermint oil if you’d like.” and they look at you like you’re a crazy weirdo, don’t lose your confidence homie. The more we look like weirdos, the more we spread the word! If you are reading this and you are the one who looked at someone like they were a weirdo for offering you peppermint oil for your neck tension. Keep on a reading yo! Let me please change your mind.

What in the world are essential oils?

Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds found in seeds, barks, stems, flowers, roots and other parts of plants. What the heck are volatile aromatic compounds? I’m with ya, let me further explain. Volatile aromatic compounds are are small organic molecules that easily change the state they are in, from solid, liquid to gas. For example, let’s say you busted open your new bottle of lavender oil. The second you crack that bad boy open, you immediately smell the aroma. The physical and chemical state of the volatile aromatic compounds allow it to quickly connect to the olfactory sensors in your nose. By inhaling the essential oils, your body can quickly respond and retain the benefits.

Dang, right! And this is only one way essential oils are beneficial. Lets talk about how they actually work.

Wait, how the heck do they work?

Let me break it down easily, our cells including our brain have essentially a layer of fat that surrounds them and protects them from harm. Essential oils are essentially a form of fat. Fat and fat go hand in hand. Kind of like how bacon grease makes everything taste better when you use it to cook! Oh sorry, I got side tracked with bacon! Anyway, essential oils are one of the few things that can actually penetrate that layer of protective fat. Thus allowing all the benefits of that oil to work with your body to heal it. This includes the blood brain barrier, that layer of fat that I mentioned that surrounds your brain. Can you believe it! Essential oils can actually penetrate through that layer giving you incredible results.

Essential oils are a natural substance. Our bodies are designed to metabolize them with little to no effort. Have you ever noticed that when you take a specific medication you notice you’re more tired, nauseous, your stomach may hurt….. whatever it may be, you just don’t feel right sometimes? Essential oils easily pass through our body’s system and allows the body to start healing itself the way it was designed to.

Small example, Ylang Ylang will speed up ones heart rate but is used for maintaining an already healthy blood pressure. I know, you’re like wait what! Wouldn’t your increase if your heart rate speeds up? But in the case of a natural substance like essential oils, no. They allow your body to do exactly what it was meant to do to heal itself.

What in the world!!! Is this for real! Yes, yes it is! Is your mind blown yet, cause mine is!

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A wee bit about quality.

Did you know that essential oils are not regulated by the FDA? What does this mean? This means, companies are legally able to put 100% pure, therapeutic grade or all natural as long as that bottle contains at least 5% actual essential oil. The rest of the bottle is allowed to be filled with synthetic oil, carrier oil or other toxic chemical.

Ever wonder why essential oils say DO NOT INGEST, DO NOT USE WHILE PREGNANT OR NURSING, DO NOT USE ON CHILDREN.

Why? If oils are a natural substance and our bodies are made to metabolize them,  then why can’t we ingest them? I have come to find that many people fear oils for this reasons. They feel like they are toxic in a sense so they tend to stay away from them. Obviously some oils, because of the herb, have their own safety guidelines but could quality be the reason for these warnings. When buying oils you want to buy from a company that has a certified pure seal. This means that each oil has gone through multiple, rigorous testing to ensure that what is in that bottle is actually pure essential oil. When a company is true to their quality, they will provide all third party testing information.

Okay, I’m feeling better about essential oils but how the F do I use them?

You can use essential oils in three different ways, topically, aromatically, and internally.

Topically:

Remember, essential oils are a “volatile” compound meaning it evaporates quickly. To apply topically simply use a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, even olive oil. This allows the essential oil to stay on your skin for a longer period of time, which gives it enough time to enter your pores and begin doing its magic.

Best places to put the oil. Neck, chest, back of neck, wrists, temples and/or bottoms of feet.

Aromatically:

Diffusing oils in a diffuser is a fantastic way to benefit from oils. The oils travel through the air and are absorbed by your smell receptors. You can also place a drop or two on your palm and inhale the oils that way. Using oils aromatically is still allowing the oils to enter your body. It still allows them to penetrate your cells. So using a less quality oil in your diffuser is not the best way to go. Often times I hear that people will use the good stuff on them and their kids then use the crappy stuff from the store in their diffuser. IT’S STILL ENTERING YOUR BODY! Use the good stuff all around.

Internally:

Now, here is why quality is extremely important.

You are not going to just go to the grocery store and pick an oil off the shelf and take it internally. There is a reason why most oils say do not ingest. Quality! So please, please be mindful and purchase from a reputable company that completely provides all quality testing information. A company that stands by their product and puts directly on their bottle: “For internally use take one drop in 4 oz of water”

So, with that said. You can take oils by placing in liquid, or in food to cook with or by placing a drop or two in a veggie capsule.

Sold! But wait, where in the heck do I buy these oils from, since quality is so important?

doTERRA, is the only company I feel 100% confident taking internally, using topically and using on my children. That is a huge plus. When my kids are in need, I reach for oils to help heal. When I am in need, I reach for the oils. When my husband has an issue, first question is, “did you use an oil?” This is our family’s source of health. A natural solution that makes us feel incredible. Quality is what you need in a natural resource and doTERRA gives you just that. The extent they take to ensure each bottle of oil is cared for, is an incredible feeling. They not only take care of the farmers they buy from, they take care of my family and for that, doTERRA is the only company I trust.

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Happy essential oiling!

 

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If you would like advise on where to start in your oil journey, leave a comment below. If you want to know what oil is best for a specific ailment, comment below or email me. If you would like more information on doTERRA, please send me an email or comment below. I would love to help guide you anyway I can. 

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Medicinal Herb Series: 6 Benefits of Lavender

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Medicinal herb series: Lavender

Oh my, let’s talk lavender for a second shall we. I mean, there is nothing quite like it. The fragrance just fills the air with this delicate aroma. The flowers stand tall and proud. The deep purple color just pops against the muted green leaves. It is just a heavenly plant that is filled with medicinal properties that you should not be without. Let’s do it to it.

Growing lavender

Lavender, or lavendula angustifolia, part of the mint family. It is a drought tolerant plant that loves full sun. Allowing for adequate soil drainage can help keep this plant happy and thriving. Lavender is a bush that grows best in zones 5-9. It is a hardy plant that makes any space in the garden a beautiful pleasant space to be in.

Growing lavender is also a fantastic way to bring bees into your garden. They love the lavender flowers and the more ways you can bring bees into your space the better…. am I right, or am I right, y’all.  Besides the bee benefits, let’s talk about all the other incredible uses for lavender and why it is a must have for your cabinet.

6 Benefits of lavender

Sleep Aid: Lavender is a fantastic sleep aid. It helps rest the mind from the daily chatter. It allows the body to fall into a restful sleep, as well as, fall back to sleep easier when awaken.

Reduces anxiety and stress: Lavender helps relax the mind and body during times of high stress and anxiety. Lavender is a grounding herb that allows one to stay centered.

Used for minor cuts and burns: Lavender is an antibacterial, antimicrobial and an antiseptic. Rub some lavender Essential  oil on minor scraps and burns to help relieve the pain almost immediately.

Reduces headaches: Diffusing lavender oil or taking Lavender internally can help decrease headaches.

Anti-depressant: Lavender helps increase the serotonin levels in the brain that give us that “happy feeling.” By diffusing lavender or by taking it internally one can lower the feelings of depression. This is a great go to for mamas that are dealing with baby blues or postpartum.

Skin care: Lavender is used in a lot of skin care products. It helps rebuild the cells within the skin allowing for a beautiful peaceful glow.

How to use lavender

Essential oils are a fantastic way to get all the benefits of lavender. Essential oils can be used topically with a carrier oil if needed. Rubs some on the temples, chest, neck and or bottoms of feet. It can be taken internally by placing a drop in a veggies capsule or in 4oz of water and drinking. Or it can be used aromatically through a diffuser.

Tinctures are our go to. Tinctures are to be taken internally by placing a dropperful under the tongue and holding for 30 seconds. This allows all those beautiful properties of this herb that we just talked about to enter into your blood stream faster. Visit our shop to purchase our lavender tincture.

Lavender salves can be used on the bottoms of feet or on chest to help promote sleep and reduce anxiety.

Lavender tea is a great way to relax the body after a long day or to be sipped on while sick.

Lavender is one of those herbs that can be found everywhere. Please do your research when using essential oils. You want your essential oils to be distilled in the purest form, especially if you are going to take it internally. Remember the FDA does not regulate essential oils, so what you buy from the store may not be lavender. The bottle can read “therapeutic grade, organic, 100% pure” as long as it contains at least 5% essential oil. The remaining 95% can be chemicals, carrier oil, or synthetic oil. So buy from a reputable company that provides third party testing. Click here to read why we use the brand we use.

Tinctures are available in our shop for purchase. It is one of more popular tinctures and for a good reason. There is not a night that we don’t take a dropperful to help us relax before bed. In fact, I took two dropperful today when both the kids were driving me to the point of ripping all my eyelashes out! Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do right?!

If lavender tickled your fancy, you gotta check out our medicinal herb series on chamomile. 

Happy Lavendering!

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Medicinal Herbs Series: Chamomile

Medicinal Herb Series: Chamomile

Let’s talk about chamomile for a bit shall we. Chamomile is one of my favorite herbs, much like lavender. Chamomile is insanely safe to use and is one of those herbs you must have on hand for babies and kids. I’m sure you have indulged in a chamomile tea or two in your life time. So let’s dive in and explore what what it can really do.

Growing Chamomile

There are two types of chamomile, Roman chamomile (chamaemelum nobile) and German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) They are both grown best in zones 3 to 9. (Check your growing zone here) Chamomile enjoys full sun but can tolerate part shade. It is a drought tolerant plant, needing water only a couple of times a week depending on the weather. Once chamomile is established, it is a pretty hardy plant.

If I am being totally honest here, we have not had to much luck growing chamomile. That doesn’t mean we are not going to keep trying. Chamomile is just one of those amazing herbs that you must have  on hand. Why is it so amazing? Well let’s get to it shall we.

Medicinal uses

The medicinal parts of this plant are in the delicate little daisy like flowers. The flowers contain volatile oils that hold all this little plants powers. Powers that can help bring relaxation to ones mind, help calm an uneasy stomach, reduce fevers, reduce inflammation, sleep, colic, teething, for sore muscles and anxiety. Chamomile can ease the mind from stress, making high intense situation feel more manageable. I mean come on, is this not amazing. Here are a few medicinal properties to chamomile that help relieve some of these alignments.

Medicinal Properties

Chamomile is an antipepsin, which helps calm the stomach.

It’s an antibacterial, which helps kill the bad bacteria that causes sickness.

Chamomile is an antifungal, to help eliminate the bad fungus that causes sickness.

Chamomile is an antispasmodic, which helps relieve sore muscles.

It’s an antipyretic, which helps relieve fevers.

Suggested Uses

Chamomile can be made into a tincture, salve and tea or used as an essential oil.

A tincture is a sure way to receive all the benefits. A tincture is made by infusing an herb in alcohol, apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin. Once made it is used by taking a dropperful under the tongue. By taking tinctures under the tongue, it enters the blood stream faster, allowing it to go to work right away.

Use a tincture to help relieve most if not all alignments. It is a concentrated does that works fast. To me this is the best avenue in regards to building your herbal medicine cabinet.

For more information on tinctures in depth, check out our complete guide.

Another use is a salve. Salves can be used to rub chamomile on the chest or bottoms of feet to help relieve a cold.

And lastly, chamomile tea can be made to help bring relaxation to the mind and help with sleep. It can also be used to help relieve colic or teething babies. I also brew a double strength batch and pour it in my kids bath when they are to crazy to tame. And best of all it can also be used to reduce fever.

Recipes

Chamomile Tincture

You’ll need:

Quart size mason jar

Dried chamomile herbs

Dropper bottle

80 proof alcohol (vodka or brandy)

Directions

Fill your mason jar half full with your dried herbs.

Next pour alcohol, apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin about half an inch over the herbs. Now the herbs are going to rise as you pour your liquid, don’t freak out, just when you see about an inch or two of liquid on the bottom of your jar, stop pouring.

Place a lid on it and place either in a sunny window or a dark cool pantry for 6-8 weeks. This is really up to you, I have read that the sun helps infuse the herbs and brings in that good pure energy. Then I have read that the herbs need to be in a dark spot. To each their own. I have infused my tinctures on my window sill and have had fanstatic results. Everyday or a few times a week you want to shake up your jar. Get those oils moving around in your liquid. I like to say a little something like a prayer or mantra to help send it good juju. Sounds hippy but hey man, you are giving your family this stuff, you want it to work. Why not say a little something positive.

After the long wait of 6-8 weeks, you are going to want to strain out your herbs. Remember to compost those little suckers. Once you have your clean strained liquid, pour it into your dropper bottle. And store the rest in your pantry. Slap a label on that puppy and enjoy.

Alcohol infused tinctures last 5-10 years.

Apple cider vinegar infused tinctures last 3-5 years.

Vegetable glycerin infused tinctures last 1-2 years.

Bath Tea

No this is not a tea to drink while you are taking a bath. It is to actually go in the bath.

Directions

Boil about three cups of water on the stove.

Pour 1/4 cup of herbs in water stir it up a bit. Put a lid on your pot. Turn off the flame and allow to steep for about 20-30 minutes.

Once steeped, strain out herbs and compost them. What you have left is some double strength bad ass tea. Throw it in the bath for the kiddos or yourself to help relax or reduce fevers.

Chamomile salve

What you’ll need:

Quart size mason jar

Carrier oil such as olive oil, apricot oil, almond oil, fractionated coconut oil.

Beeswax

Dried herbs

Small jar

Directions

Fill mason jar about half way with dried herbs. Pour oil about half an inch over the top.

Place a lid on it and place in your pantry for 6-10 weeks.

After 6-10 weeks, strain out herbs and pour herb infused oil on a pot. Begin to heat oil on low heat. Slowly stir in beeswax. For every cup of oil you put a tablespoon of beeswax. Slowly melt the wax. Once melted take off heat and pour in your small jar. Once it cools it will solidify. Use as needed.

Get some chamomile in your life y’all

All three of these recipes can be used with any herb. So while chamomile is just bad ass, feel free to indulge in some lavender or whatever herb tickles that little fancy of yours.

If you have not had any luck growing chamomile hit up Mountain Rose Herbs. I am not affiliated with Mountain Rose Herbs, I just have been super satisfied with their products. They are an all organic, non gmo, fair trade company.

Please share what recipe you tried and loved.

Happy Chamomiling!

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Comfrey and Lavender Salve Recipe

Lavender Comfrey salve recipe

Let’s make a comfrey lavender salve people.

How do you make a salve?

A salve is an ointment made with healing properties. And as with most things I try and do, this comfrey lavender salve recipe is super duper easy man. You can literally make a salve with any dried herbs or oils. I choose to make a comfrey and lavender salve because well, if you don’t know by now comfrey is just straight up amazing and lavender is just heavenly. So there ya go. Let’s roll shall we.

There are a few ways to make a salve. You can use dried herbs from your garden or Mountain Rose Herbs, which I’ve been super pleased with. Or you can add essential oils to it. When using dried herbs you need to make an infused oil with it. You can cold steep it for ten weeks like my husband is doing with some comfrey, post to come. Or if you’re impatient like I am, you can crock pot it for 3-4 hours. Let the crock potting begin! Let’s get this lavender comfrey salve recipe goin’!

What you’ll need for your lavender comfrey salve:

Dried herbs

Essential oil

Vitamin E oil

Carrier oil of choice

Beeswax: 2 tablespoons for every 1 cup of oil

Glass jar

Step 1: Lavender Comfrey salve recipe

I happen to have a little baby crock pot that came with our crock pot. Feel free to use your regular crock pot or you can use a double broiler as well. A double broiler if you’re unfamiliar, is a pot with water on the bottom and a bowl or another pot that fits on top. This helps heat stuff without putting direct flame on to it.

Step 2: Lavender Comfrey salve recipe

To make the infused oil, place dried herbs in a crock pot and pour enough oil to cover the herbs. So the amount can vary depending on what you have and or need. You can use what ever oil tickles your fancy. I used olive oil here. But avocado oil, apricot oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and fractionated coconut oil are also great options. So, in whatever cooking method you choose, place herbs and oil in and cook for about 3-4 hours. The longer the better but you can still get a nice oil from 3-4 hours.

Step 3: Lavender Comfrey salve recipe

Step 4: Lavender Comfrey salve recipe

Once your oil is done, strain out the liquid into a pot. I used a jar and that was pointless because I made a mess and I had to just transfer it anyway to a pot. So save your self the oily mess and strain in into a pot. Now add your beeswax. Melt down your beeswax but make sure not to bring to a boil. So you are going to have to watch this part carefully. Once your wax is melted turn heat off and add 20-30 drops of your choice of essential oil and 5-10 drops of vitamin E. You’re done homie, pour into a glass container and bam you got yourself some lavender comfrey salve. See now wasn’t that easy peasy. Feel free to use like lotion.

If you’re interested in making a cold infused oil. Place dried herbs in a mason jar or glass container. Pour oil of choice until it covers it. Place a lid on and steep for 6-10 weeks in a dark cool space.

There is also what is called solar infused oil, which are the same steps as above but you place outside or on a sunny window and allow the sun to infuse the oil. Allow to steep for 2-4 weeks. When using either method remember to shake and move around the oil and herbs everyday or a few times a week. I like to send it some good juju while I’m shaking it and just repeat a little prayer, if you will. Whatever I’m making will be used for my family or someone I care about. So sending out that good energy or juju only makes it that much stronger. Enjoy!

Happy salving!

Learn more about the benefits of comfrey here!

Also, check out my step-by-step instructions on how to make a comfrey poultice!

This post contains affiliate links. That means when you click on a product and buy through that link I get some cents here and there at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

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Homemade Deodorant

 

Super Simple homemade deodorant.

Say what! You heard me mang, homemade deodorant.

It really is a satisfying thing to slowly start weeding out commercially made products and replacing them with naturally made products. To tell you the truth, I’ve gone back and forth with weeding commercial products out. I go for a long time with using homemade products and then I get to busy and can’t keep up with making them and resort to buying from the store.

We have learned that there has to be a balance. And sometimes you just can’t do it all, right? When it comes to homemade products, most people, like me, want to make all of it at once. Laundry detergent, soap, lotion…..

The thing is, is it has to be slowly intregated and maintained before adding other homemade products. This way, it becomes a life style and a normal part of your routine.

Now, let’s replace this nastiness we call deodorant.

Why love your armpits?

Well, they are your bodies way of expelling toxins. When we sweat we expel toxins and if allowed, much of that sweating is done by those lovely little armpits of yours. When we use commercial deodorants that contain nasty chemicals like, aluminum, formaldehyde, carcinogens, and antifreeze agents we are contaminating our bodies even more then we realize. These chemicals block your pours from releasing sweat or toxins. They fill your body with unnecessary hormones. I mean…

It’s not good people.

So, let’s love our armpits again and make them some deodorant that’s going to allow them to sing……and sweat.

I’ve made a ton of different deodorants over time. There are a lot of good recipes out there. I’m not saying this is the ONLY one I’ll use. But it’s by far the best most familiar feeling recipe I have found. I may experiment with another recipe later but I’ll keep you posted. For now let’s make this armpit goodness up.

You’re going to need:

Arrowroot powder

Baking Soda

Coconut Oil

Esential oils of your choice. I suggest tea tree oil and lavender. Tea tree will help protect against unwanted bacteria or pathogens. Lavender smells delicious and is an antibacterial and naturally cleanses.

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***Now, for those of you who need exact measurements, this is where your anxiety is going to peak, there are none. You just need to throw a little of this maybe a lot of that to get the right consistency.

If you need a measurement to start with, I would start with a cup of each arrowroot and baking soda and go from there. What you are looking for is, when you crush some in your hand, it will stay intact. If it doesn’t, then add a little more coconut oil. You do not want a paste but you do not want it to be powder. Once you have your consistency down, add in your oils.

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I had an empty Dove deodorant stick that I cleaned and then just packed in my homemade stuff. It packs in pretty nicely and you are still able to use the dial to turn the deodorant up when needed. Boom son, you’re done.

Now go on and let those armpits of yours breath and detox.

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I am serious, they need to detox. This takes about a week or two depending. The first few days you’ll be like, oh yea this is cool, I’m not sweating I smell great…!

Then BAM…

…a week or so later you start sweating like a hog and a nice little musty smell starts taking a toll on your self confidence. This is where you start reaching for the damn commercially made crap. I encourage you to keep going, my friend.

I promise this stage is only temporary. Your little armpits need time to detox and your ph needs to balance back out. Once this happens you won’t sweat as much and the smell may lessen. I say may because you just might be a naturally smelly mofo.

So let’s do this thing together. High five for happy pits!

Happy deodorant making yo!

This post contains affiliate links. That means when you click on my suggested products and buy them. I get a few cents here and there but there is not additional cost for you. Hasn’t happened yet but I’m very excited for it to!