Sunday, March 09, 2014

How Lemon Changed My Life - The End of a Series


So I didn't reckon on the fact that when I decided to chronicle "head to toe" how essential oils have made a difference in my life, that I actually don't have a lot of experiences with them from my thighs on down. I mean, besides the fact that you can apply oils (diluted or neat, depending on the correct indication) to the bottoms of your feet for quick absorption, the only thing I've done is use some Deep Blue to get some cramps out of my legs. (Yes, it worked, and quickly too!)


So instead of making stuff up for the legs and feet (you're welcome!), I thought I would give a bit of a grab bag with how I've incorporated oils into the way I live my life from day to day now!

Two big ways I've incorporated oils into my routine is in cleaning and cooking. This might start to sound crazy, but stay with me!


Photo Credit: Leigh-Anne Eagerton, painting via Compfight cc
I have to be honest and say that, in the beginning of this adventure, "green cleaning" was really the last thing on my list of reasons why I wanted to try essential oils. I was perfectly happy with my Method Grapefruit spray and my Windex, thankyouverymuch. I thought it seemed like a waste of money to pour precious oils into a spray bottle and go to town all over my counters. But once I got my hands on some of the oils, I really couldn't wait to try them everywhere and in every way! 

Now, dōTERRA actually has some products specially formulated for cleaning, such as the OnGuard cleaning concentrate. However, I have found it effective to simply put 1-3 drops of oil in a smallish squirt bottle from Dollar Tree and use that on my countertops, range top, bathroom counters, kitchen and bath fixtures, and my glass shower doors. I used Lemon because I like the clean scent and I know it is antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antiviral. The other reason I like to use lemon is that it is one of the least expensive oils that dōTERRA sells. Remember this cool post from Stockpiling Moms about the "price-per-drop"? Talk about good value for money...I'm cleaning half the rooms in my house with a $1 squirt bottle full of water and 12 cents worth of oil!! And the VERY best part of all is, I could spray this stuff on my face to combat oiliness, I could spray it on my dinner if I didn't have a lemon, and yes, my son could get his hands on it and drink the whole lot and the only thing that would happen is that he would smell lemony-fresh!! You cannot say that about a spray bottle of bleach or other store-bought household cleaner! (Would I actually do all those things? Maybe. OK fine, yes. Yes, I have.) 





That's all well and good, but...does it WORK? I mean, water is cheap and I could just put that in a spray bottle, too. I decided to test out my lemon cleaner on my range top the other day. It had baked-on grease and general gross-ness that a range top gets from a few days of cooking and not cleaning it (whoops). I sprayed my mixture on, waited about 20 seconds (yeah, I'm not too patient) and started wiping. I was shocked at how quickly that stuff cut through the grease! There was no streakiness, no grimy residue, nothing. Then I though to myself, self? What is the grimiest thing in your kitchen? I remembered how the top of our coffee maker has that gnarly grease that you just can't wipe up ever and it collects dust and gets even grosser and you just ignore it because it seems impossible to clean...and I decided to spray on some lemon water. Guess what? Clean as a whistle. No joke. I just wish I had thought to take a before and after photo! I couldn't have been more pleased! 

Another one that people like to use in cleaning is OnGuard. Good for protecting against illness, and it smells divine (cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, rosemary and wild orange). 

Now, on to cooking! 

Photo Credit: ArtMind etcetera via Compfight cc

I never, ever thought about this when trying out essential oils. If green cleaning was last on my list, cooking didn't even enter into my consciousness! However, I have found it yet another fun way to incorporate oils into the life of my family. Also, it works great in a pinch when you don't have certain ingredients on hand!

Remember, there are some that caution against taking oils internally without the approval of a licensed aromatherapist or other health care professional. I'm going rogue on this. Another thing to remember if you do join me in cooking with oils is that heat can mess with the benefits of the oils, so the best time to add them is towards the end of whatever process you are doing. This blog is purposed to educate and entertain, not to prescribe or give medical advice. =) OK, disclaimer over. 

The main ones I've used so far are lemon and oregano in food and OnGuard in a very delicious chai-like drink that I will introduce to you in a minute. 

Oregano essential oil, as I've mentioned before, is quite potent and very strong-tasting in its pure, essential state. Therefore, when using it in cooking, measurements call for a "toothpick" of oregano, which literally means to stick the end of a toothpick in the vial and then use that to swirl in your food. Don't even put a whole drop in there to start with! I used two drops for a whole batch of homemade spaghetti sauce, and I probably could have made do with just one. That's eight cents' worth, if we're still counting price-per-drop. 

Lemon essential oil was great one night when we had three frozen fish filets in the freezer and not much else. I decided to make foil packets with olive oil, salt, pepper, and barely-hanging-in-there thyme sprigs, and put them in the oven. The best thing for a plain fish recipe is fresh lemon, and I was fresh out. So, lemon essential oil to the rescue! My husband thought I did a great job and even asked, "Where'd you get the lemon from?" Mua ha ha. 


dōTERRA sells Basil, Ginger, Black Pepper, Wild Orange, Grapefruit, Rosemary, and Thyme, in addition to the essential oils I've mentioned. I can only imagine that there's a plethora of ways to use oils in cooking and baking. I've even tasted some dōTERRA Lavender brownies...delicious!


I'll leave you with a delicious drink recipe that I read over at a great blog called Venison For Dinner. She makes a mean "London Fog" with black tea, raw honey, milk and OnGuard. It tastes so similar to chai but is so easy to make at home (in about three minutes) AND boosts your immune system! I have been drinking one as often as I can...watching my OnGuard bottle get emptier and emptier in the process! Ha ha. Worth it. If I'm going to protect my immune system, it might as well be delicious and caffeinated. =)

Don't forget to join my raffle for a Free dōTERRA Introductory Kit before it ends! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for joining me on this journey and putting up with my endless oil rants. I hope you learned something new and maybe, just maybe, I've planted the seeds for a whole new way of looking at caring for your family and your home. One last plug for Preferred Membership (for $10 lifetime membership you can save 20% on everything you buy from dōTERRA...no monthly minimum and no recurring fees) and I'll leave you alone. =) 

There are so many avenues for you to learn more about essential oils (either dōTERRA-specific or just generally) , and I hope that your interest has been piqued sufficiently to spur you on. You can follow my Healthy Living Pinterest board to share some of the great stuff I've been learning and will continue to learn. 

I'm hoping to have some new great posts and series for you soon. Until then, Godspeed and Good Health to you all. 

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Trust Your Gut - Essential Oils for the Tummy and more...


Thanks for continuing to join me on this journey! Writing this Health Series has been quite fun for me, and I hope y'all are learning as much as I am!

Today we're moving on to the tummy and reproductive regions (didn't want to put that in the title! ha!)- this one has been really important for me! It's actually one of the biggest ways I wanted to "test" the efficacy of essential oils, and I must admit, I have NOT been disappointed! 

Can't believe I could find a photo of a normal person's tummy! 
Photo Credit: ~*Leah*~ via Compfight cc
Since I was a teenager, I've struggled with stomach issues from food. After nearly every meal, I'd have some sort of stomach upset or even (ugh) gassiness...the painful kind. This was horrifying on first dates, but just sort of terrible in general. I'd learned to live with it because I didn't think there was much I could do, as I refused to avoid "gassy" foods. (I'm sorry but life without beans and garlic is not worth living, so forget it!)

So, as I said, this was my big test for oils. I knew that Peppermint is supposed to soothe the tummy (I'd previously tried mint tea, to some success), and dōTERRA has a proprietary blend called DigestZen that I was particularly eager to try!
My method of application was two drops in about 24 ounces of water (shake it up!) and I sipped on that during and after meals. If I forgot to do that and was faced with an already-upset stomach, I would dilute a few drops in fractionated coconut oil (you can use any pure vegetable oil) and rub it on my sad tum-tum. I was pretty shocked with how effective both of these were. I have done DigestZen and Peppermint in my drinking water, but mostly DigestZen topically, since I didn't need the cooling power of peppermint on my skin!

And now, let's move on to the lady problems

Cute, cuddly uterus. For more fun stuffed toys, go to iheartguts.com
Thankfully, I've outgrown the very painful period cramps. They used to be so bad as a teenager that I would literally pass out in the bathroom. You can imagine my mother's horror in finding me like that! 

However, with advanced age has come a new fun challenge: a fun little thing the Germans call "mittelschmertz". It's translated "middle pain" and it's basically ovulation pain. It's helpful for knowing approximately when I'm ovulating, but other than that, it pretty much is horrible. So much so that I've just been taking OTC pain meds when I feel the ol' ovaries start tingling. 

But once I got my oils, I wanted to see if there was a natural solution to my natural problem! Indeed, there is. Although it seems like it wouldn't work for this purpose, DigestZen comes to the rescue again! A few drops diluted with a carrier oil, I put it right on the site of the pain, and YES - in a few minutes it was gone! GONE! It's hard for me to type this because I hate these too good to be true stories. But gals...would I lie to you about ovaries? I don't need to take synthetic meds for this problem now! Huzzah!!

Happy Guts!!

Did you know that you can get Peppermint and DigestZen in the Family Physician Kit from dōTERRA? And did you also know that you can get every single thing you ever buy from dōTERRA at 20% off? For a $10 lifetime fee (one time, never again) you can become a Preferred Member! No minimums, no hidden fees. Go to my site and find the "Join" link in the top right hand corner. Click "Preferred Member" and you can look through the application before you finalize anything or pay any money. 

My friend Holly is doing a very honest review of her adventures with dōTERRA on her blog. Stop by and say hi, especially if you're a VERY HARD SKEPTIC like she is. ;)

PS One more thing: I found this super-helpful blog post from StockpilingMoms via Pinterest that tells you the "price per drop" of each oil that dōTERRA sells. When you break it down and understand that you're using one or two drops (usually) per application, the oils seem much less expensive than perhaps they do initially. You might follow my "Healthy Living" Pinterest board while you're checking it out. 




I'll be back soon as we move on down the body!

This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is simply the personal experience and opinion of one very satisfied small-time blogger!

Friday, March 07, 2014

Breathe Easy - Essential Oils for the Chest and Back

Essential Oils Head to Toe - The CHEST & BACK

Thanks for sticking with me on this one, people! Or if you're just joining us, welcome. This is the fifth in a health series about my experiences with essential oils and oil blends. If you're interested, you can go back and read the Intro post, and the ones about the FACE, HEAD and NECK. Or you can continue on to today's topic, the CHEST and BACK!!


Now, in the previous post I let you know about the yucky cold or bug of some kind that infected our family for a few days. Sorry to say that my little one (2.5 years old) got it too (boo!). I had already been putting OnGuard Protective Blend on the bottoms of his feet every day, because he goes to a friend's house four days a week who watches him while I go to work. She's got three kids and knowing what germ factories kids can be (cute ones!), I didn't want mine to be Agent Zero for some horrible disease that would spread to her brood. Alas, it got us anyway. The great thing is that she uses OnGuard, too, so besides a short coughing stint, none of her kids got sick from mine. 


My precious little germ factory, filthy as usual.


However, we're here to talk about the CHEST, so that was just an introduction to say that once he was already sick and stuffy and coughing and congested, I loved the relief it gave him when I slathered his chest, neck and upper back in dōTERRA's Breathe Respiratory blend. I do a drop or two of Breathe and about a teaspoon or so of Fractionated Coconut oil to dilute it, since my little guy is small. I believe the general rule is one drop pure oil to 1 tsp carrier oil when the child is under six years old, and even more diluted for babies. I have used it on myself with a carrier oil too, simply so I could spread it over a larger portion of my body. It is very akin to a topical salve or ointment you would usually use for a cough, but without all the extra additives or carriers. You can find ingredients and other uses at everythingessential.me, which is an invaluable online resource that I highly recommend whether you're just starting out or you just are curious to learn more about these oils. 

Another top seller for doTERRA is Deep Blue. I'll start this one off by saying that my husband does CrossFit, so he is my main guinea pig with this one, as it is supposed to work really well on joint and muscle pain. It is a lovely rub and feels quite amazing on, due to the peppermint and wintergreen it contains. My husband said it felt nice on and of course loved the back rub that came with it. I asked him to reciprocate with an upper back rub as I had been suffering from super-tight muscles to the point of pain in my upper back and neck. He gave me a nice short massage and it eased it a bit, then I watched some "Breaking Bad" and went to bed. The next morning I woke up with no pain, but was so pain-free that I didn't even notice it until the next evening!! Haha. Last night we had a toddler in our bed, so I have a major crick in my neck this morning. Cannot wait to get some Deep Blue on that crick and banish it for the day!

Today's Chest "Believe it or Not" story is about Clary Sage, an oil which I have not gotten my hands on myself...yet! I've heard it is miraculous for "lady problems" and that while it cannot make your breasts grow...it CAN tighten and firm them. What natural breasts don't need a little of that after awhile, amiright?! Hey, no shame in trying! ;) Read about it on LiveStrong.com


PS Remember, if you have specific questions about oils, leave me a comment and I will tell you what I know! And as always, there's my site if you're ready to purchase some oils for yourself to try them out. A reminder that you can sign up for the Preferred Member program and get 20% off everything you buy from doTERRA for just a $10 one-time lifetime membership fee! To find out more, leave me a comment. Thanks!


This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is simply the personal experience and opinion of one very satisfied small-time blogger!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Health Series: Essential Oils Head to Toe - NECK


If you're just joining me, then welcome! Be sure to check back on the earlier posts in the series: Intro, Face, and Head. If you're feeling overwhelmed and have lots of questions, I tried to stop and answer a few burning ones yesterday in "But How Do I USE It, And Other Oily Problems". There's a surprise at the end of that article, if you haven't checked it out. =)

Here we've now arrived at the NECK. This has definitely been my problem area for the past week and it is driving me crazy! I couldn't figure out whether I had allergies or if I was coming down with something else like tonsillitis.


A nice artistic look down someone's throat! 
Photo Credit: Lil' Pete // www.FAO2.co.uk via Compfight cc
I'm going to be honest and admit that I have not experienced any immediate relief with oils and the THROAT such as I had with my headaches or my skin. I think this is possibly because it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what is going on (since I'm not a doctor!) and therefore how to treat it. I've been haphazardly trying this and that based on symptoms, and I know I have a lot to learn about taking oils preventatively as well as habitually for better health. 

I think in the past week I have tried everything from Frankincense and Oregano to OnGuard and Peppermint in an effort to help cleanse myself of whatever this yucky illness is. Certain times I have felt relief in my sore throat but sometimes I haven't. I've also been concocting a "tea" made with hot water, a couple drops of Lemon and OnGuard, and sweetened with raw honey to help soothe the throat. It is definitely delicious and feels really nice on my throat as it goes down. I have felt a certain relief from that mix, so I've done it a few times. I am still hopeful I can kick this thing in the metaphorical butt one way or another!

I made yet another misstep in my big oil adventure the other day and decided to put two drops of diluted Peppermint oil on the back of my neck in an effort to help my sore throat, which I thought might be coming from seasonal allergies. That in itself was a good idea. The fact that I decided to do this right before bed was a terrible idea...Peppermint is quite refreshing and the back of my neck was delightfully tingly for about an hour and I felt rather awake and energized when I really needed to be sleeping!

So, I've been trying to use it as a pick-me-up in the morning, along with a little whiff of a citrus (Orange, Grapefruit or Lemon, depending on my mood). A couple drops of that stuff diluted (with fractionated coconut oil or another our vegetable oil) on the back of the neck is great to wake up to!

I've read a lot of directives that say to tap a drop or two of a certain oil at the base of the neck for relief from myriad complaints, so I know it is a powerful place. If you have more experience with a certain oil used on the neck or throat, please leave a message in the comments! I look forward to hearing from you.

**UPDATE** Here's your too-good-to-be-true story for this post. I finally got my Veggie Caps in the mail and was able to take some Oregano internally. By the time I woke up the next morning, I was feeling absolutely 100% better from that yucky sore throat and cold I mentioned (and though he was loathe to admit it, so was my skeptical husband!) So next time I am feeling all cold and sinus-y, I know exactly where I will turn. Three drops dōTERRA Oregano in a Veggie Cap, three times a day. Maybe even a drop of Frankincense, just for good measure. Miraculous! What I've later learned is that OnGuard is more protective (use it to avoid getting sick), while Oregano is gonna get in there and kill a bug that you already have very effectively. 

(As a disclaimer, I will again repeat that many aromatherapy books and students would say that it isn't necessary to take the oils internally and they warn against it unless it has been prescribed by a professional. So I totally went rogue on the internal thing. Please do research if you wish to try it for yourself!)

 Thanks for joining me! Next, we move on to the CHEST!




PS I just learned something that can save you lots of money, my readers! I'm so sorry I never knew this before, but hopefully it will help some of you to take the plunge and get started with a few oils of your own! For a $10 lifetime membership fee (as in, you'll never pay it again), you can become a Preferred Member through my site, which saves you 20% on everything you buy from dōTERRA! If you would like to know more about this, you can leave me a comment. If you add a personal e-mail where you can be reached in your comment (if we're not friends on FB, where I can also be reached) I will not publish it. It goes through moderation first, but I can use it to contact you if you like. 

This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is simply the personal experience and opinion of one very satisfied small-time blogger!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

But How Do I USE It, & Other Oily Problems


I'm taking a break from the Essential Oils Head to Toe series today to address some big issues and questions I've seen and heard from you, dear readers! I feel like some of these are big enough concerns that it won't matter what I say until they are addressed! 

Regarding essential oils: 
"Are they safe?" 
"Are they effective?"
"I'm overwhelmed with the uses. I just want someone to tell me what each one does."
and my favorite, "Why are they so expensive?"

Photo Credit: Marco Bellucci via Compfight cc

Let me start out by saying once again that I am not a doctor. I am not an aromatherapist. I am not licensed or certified in any way. This is my blog and my opinion and I hope you are helped but that you are spurred on to do more research and learn more about essential oils yourself. I honestly don't care what brand you land on, as long as they are safe and effective and support the health of your family! Again, I write about dōTERRA because it is what I know so far. But are they the only brand to offer quality? I'm sure not. Do your research. 

ARE THEY SAFE?
Most essential oils are safe and free from nasty side effects if used properly. Many people will say never to ingest them, while some say it is very effective and totally fine. As with other medicine, you need to pay attention to dosage, purity, and correct application. I found this article from the University of Minnesota to be clear, concise, and very helpful. 

As far as purity is concerned, unfortunately we don't all have a mass spectrometer in our living room to test these things ourselves. And honestly, even if one did appear I'd have no idea how to use it. ;)

Ummmmmm...
So it comes down to finding a brand you trust. 
BUT, I found this from a blog called CrunchyBetty.com

"To test your essential oil to see how “pure” it is, put a single drop of it on a piece of construction paper. If it evaporates quickly and leaves no noticeable ring, it is pure. If you have a ring left, then it is likely diluted by the manufacturer with an oil of some sort (this test will not work for myrrh, patchouli, and absolutes)."

So there's that. 

ARE THEY EFFECTIVE?
If you Google the phrase "essential oils didn't work for me", you'll have trouble finding articles, I've found. Essential oils are nature's medicine cabinet, what mankind has been using for time immemorial (in one form or another, maybe not in little glass vials!) to heal our bodies and minds. 

In my estimation, what some people find frustrating (including myself, as you'll read in subsequent posts) is finding the thing that works for you. The trouble is, we're all different and more importantly, the root of every health problem we have is not the same! So this is indeed a challenge that you will face if you decide to ditch common pharmaceutical solutions to everyday problems. However, I have found certain things to be greatly effective, so that has given me hope and kept me going!

JUST TELL ME WHAT EACH OIL DOES!
I think the frustration here I felt at first too. It's like, "What do you mean lemon can be used to combat oiliness on my face but also can be used to clean my countertops?! Just tell me which thing to do and I'll do it!!"

And lists like "101 Uses for Lavender, Lemon & Peppermint" can seem wonderful at first, but quickly grow overwhelming!

What I want you to hear loud and clear in this section is that each oil has multiple properties, which is why it can have multiple uses. Let's take Lavender as an example. When I think of the scent of lavender, the first two words I think of are "clean" and "calming". And indeed, you will find that Lavender essential oil is a mood-lifter and as well as cleaner and disinfectant! 

This is because Lavender has Anti-Depressive, Anti-Spasmodic, Antiseptic and Analgesic properties. So YES, it is as good for calming a burn on your skin as it is for calming your kid before bed. 


Photo Credit: J.G. Damlow via Compfight cc I feel calmer already...
Maybe the better place to start is an ailment or problem you're trying to solve and then finding out what oils work for that instead of trying to discern each and every use of the hundreds of essential oils available on the market. For instance, I have a headache, or I am depressed, or I want to clean my house with natural substances, etc... Just a suggestion to tone down the info dump!!

OK BUT WHY ARE THEY SO EXPENSIVE?
This is a favorite of mine. It took me an entire year to get over how expensive these oils seemed to me. It took me a bout with cancer (my husband's) and the hospital bills that brought (even with insurance) to realize the value of health. 

If you know me, I'm like one of the cheapest people you will ever meet. But all the sudden I'm dropping what, in my mind, is serious cash on little bottles of oil! 

1. You have to pay for quality. This is your body we're talking about and your health. If you're using them therapeutically, you need the good stuff. If you're using it for cleaning or for perfume, then sure...go for the less expensive stuff and you don't really worry too much. 

2. It is super-concentrated. It takes a lot to make a little vial. Like 100 POUNDs of lavender to make a pound of oil. I haven't seen 100 pounds of lavender, but I imagine it's a lot! Some are harder to find, harder to grow, harder to process, etc, etc. However, the good news is that a little goes a long way! Again, one DROP of peppermint is equal to 28 cups of peppermint tea!

3. The price-per-drop is actually not bad. When you think that a "dose" of oils usually involves no more than a drop or two, the perspective changes. And since some of these oils seem to work for nearly everything (I'm looking at you, Frankincense!), you really only need a few oils to start with. And for me, I think about how many OTC drugs I'm no longer buying (and hopefully will never have to!), and it starts to seem like a pretty good deal. 

I HOPE I HAVEN'T LOST YOU!!
If you're still with me, here's a prize to be won. 



Enter the raffle to win! I'll announce the winner at the end of the Head to Toe series! And as always, if you are interested in purchasing some for yourself, you can visit my site


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Health Series: Essential Oils Head to Toe - HEAD



After concentrating in a previous post on just my experiences with essential oils and the skin on my face, today I'm moving on to the rest of the head. We'll jump right in!

Let's talk about HEADACHES! I had one all day due to a low pressure weather system the day I was waiting for my oils to come in the mail. I was praying that they'd arrive so I could test them out for this specific ailment, since I thankfully don't get headaches very often! Well, indeed they did come that afternoon. I'd read that you can do a drop or two of lavender and peppermint on the back of the neck, temples and forehead for headache relief, so that's just what I did. Besides smelling glorious, I waited about five minutes and yes...I felt a significant improvement! The headache went away almost entirely. I did come back a few hours later, but the great thing about essential oils is that you can use them as needed. Unlike synthetic, over-the-counter medication, you don't have to wait 4-6 hours before applying essential oils again! Needless to say, I was pretty darn excited that my very first encounter with my oils was so positive. 


MOUTH: peppermint is wonderful to freshen breath and gives a great pick-me-up! I've also used a drop of peppermint or a drop of lemon on my toothbrush after I'm done using it to cleanse and freshen it for the next use. 


Quickly, I'll reiterate something from my previous post: dōTERRA are the only essential oils I know that are CPTG: Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. That means that most of these are able to be used safely as a supplement and internally. (Obviously there are some plants harmful when ingested and so their essential oils are not safe to ingest either.) I mention this because your TONGUE is a part of the head, and some people use drops under the tongue for quick absorption into your system. I know that people use the dōTERRA blend OnGuard for this purpose, as well as frankincense, as a preventative measure to assure their families' immunity and overall health. 


Personally, these oils are so potent that I have a hard time tolerating them right on the tongue. It's a bit intense. For instance, one drop of peppermint essential oil is so concentrated that it is like 28 cups of peppermint tea. I scoffed at this at first...it didn't seem plausible that only one drop could do much...until I decided one day to try one drop of oregano under my tongue to see what it tasted like...and my eyes started watering like crazy and I felt nauseous and I almost puked it right back up! Don't get me wrong, oregano essential oil is great in cooking (I used one or two drops for a whole batch of spaghetti sauce!), but really concentrated to put on your tongue. dōTERRA or many health food stores sell veggie-derived caplets that you can fill with essential oil and take internally as a supplement...I just bought a few from the website the other day and I think that would be the way I do things going forward! 

There are hundreds of other uses for essential oils that involve the head, but these are at the ones I have used so far. Next time, we move on to the NECK and THROAT!


Also, as promised, here is another story for your consideration. This one comes from Pure Aroma Source. Too good to be true that Frankincense effectively treats chronic migraines? You decide. 


PS Remember, if you have specific questions about oils, leave me a comment and I will tell you what I know! And as always, there's my site if you're ready to purchase some oils for yourself to try them out. 


This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is simply the personal experience and opinion of one very satisfied small-time blogger!

Monday, March 03, 2014

Health Series: Essential Oils Head to Toe - FACE

This is the second in a special health series I'm doing on essential oils and my experiences with them. For those of you interested in a short crash course on essential oils; what they are, why they are useful, how dōTERRA produces them, how they've been used in history and so forth, click here

But you can read more about all of that as your interest is piqued. For now, let's get started with how they've worked for me so far, starting with THE FACE!





So far, I have used frankincense, lemon and melaleuca on my face, along with dōTERRA fractionated coconut oil as a carrier oil (which is simply coconut oil that is liquid at room temperature, instead of the solid it normally is).


You might recognize frankincense from the Christmas story of the three wise men (Magi) bringing it to the Christ child. I'll admit, I thought it was something that didn't exist today (don't ask me why!) and was surprised to find it in the modern market! It is definitely precious...one of the more expensive oils...but has been used in a variety of ways in the ancient world that are now backed by modern medical research.


Anyway, back to the face! I put a few drops of frankincense in some coconut oil the night I had just gotten my oils in the mail. I have oily, acne-prone skin that has been giving me problems consistently for the past twenty years, and I am vigilant about the things I put on my face. So you might be surprised when I say that without any compunction, I slathered that oily, sweet-and-smoky-smelling stuff all over my face and neck right before I went to bed! It immediately melted into my skin and gave me a nice sheen. I felt like friggin' Cleopatra because I'm sure a couple drops of this oil are probably like a dollar or two in price! I might as well be slathering myself in unicorn sweat! (I digress.) But the next morning when I woke up, I still felt like a queen because my skin had that same glow and looked decidedly clearer than it had the day before. I was pumped. 


That same morning, I decided to try lemon. I'd heard that it can reduce oiliness in the skin, and I'm all about that for my face!! Instead of putting it in the fractionated coconut oil, I decided to go crazy and mix it with the BB Cream I use. Yep, I mixed it right into my makeup and slathered it all over my face and neck. I paid close attention to my oiliness that day, and noticed that instead of starting to blot my face around noon-time, like normal, I didn't even start to look slick until 6pm...and this is after just one use! I now use it every day in my makeup, just a drop. (This actually helps me be more careful about sun exposure because lemon makes skin photosensitive and might not be right for everyone in every season). However lemon, like most citrus, has mood-lifting properties, so there's another bonus!


On to melaleuca...this one I had never heard of before. The word sort of reminded me of the word "eucalyptus", and then when I smelled it for the first time, I knew what it was: tea tree oil! It is indeed in the same family with eucalyptus trees, as well as myrtle, allspice, clove and others! If you've had acne problems and searched for solutions, I'm sure you're at least passing familiar with tea tree oil. So far, I've used it as a spot treatment for any acne that has cropped up since I've received my essential oils. I can happily say that I've barely had to use it for this purpose! My skin...which started hating me and misbehaving when I was ten years old, has finally met it's match in these essential oils. Hey, I'm just a shade under 30, so it's been twenty years of that horridness and I couldn't be happier. 


Come back soon for a post about essential oils and headaches, breath, teeth and tongue!


Also, I'll be submitting, for your consideration, a hard-to-believe story involving essential oils on each blog post. You can decide what you think for each one. This one is called "Frankincense vs Skin Cancer" and was featured on a blog called Radiant Living. Opinions?


PS If you have more specific questions about these oils or their uses, please be sure to leave a message in the comments. You can also visit my site to purchase and try for yourself! =)


This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is simply the personal experience and opinion of one very satisfied small-time blogger!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Health Series: Essential Oils Head to Toe - Intro Post



So, if you've spoken to me in the past few weeks and mentioned any sort of ailment of any kind, you've probably heard me mention my new (healthy) obsession with essential oils!! 

At the risk of sounding like a complete and utter hippie, let me start out by explaining that I was a huge skeptic when I came upon all this stuff. I went along to a presentation as a chance to get out of the house and leave the kiddo with the husband for awhile. Even after I had heard all about it, about how it was the way our ancestors treated and cured diseases from the beginning of time, I was a little more receptive. At least it sounded a lot less like "snake oil" and more like something that I could get on board with. I was slightly enthused but it sounded a bit too good to be true. Also, I thought the oils sounded a bit expensive to try with no knowledge of whether or not they would work for me and my family. So I went about my business, and kept them at the back of my mind.



Grandpa and his great-grandson/twin. 
Then, later that year, my husband got a diagnosis of thyroid cancer. He would undergo a thyroidectomy and also have some lymph nodes removed, then be subjected to radiation and have to live away from us for a number of days so as not to radiate us. Later that same year, my grandfather was diagnosed with leukemia, decided on the chemo, and then quickly slipped away from us before anyone really knew what was happening. It was devastating to watch this walking, talking person suddenly reduced to a hospital bed and machines beeping out his eventual passing. 

So, 2013 was kind of a terrible year for us (and that wasn't even the whole of it, but that's another story). Health, which had been lingering at the back of my mind, was now at the forefront. I was disillusioned with the way my grandpa was taken so quickly (I blame the decision to do chemo), and the way my husband's thyroid was cut out so quickly. (Don't get me wrong, I'm so thankful he's alive and healthy, but was that the immediate way to go? I'm still unsure.) I was looking for something that put health back in my hands and was preventative as well as a way to treat our common maladies. This is how I returned to the idea of essential oils.

For the sake of clarity and transparency, when I talk about essential oils throughout this series, I'm talking about dōTERRA, the brand which I have had the most experience with and that I have quickly fallen in love with! 


To clarify, I'm not being paid by these people in any way. I have bought enough of their product to have the privilege of buying at wholesale prices, but that's it. Yes, I can technically sell to you (and I would be happy to!), but I'm truly doing this series out of a desire to share my experiences and my excitement about a new way of life for me...one that jibes with my crunchy leanings and neo-hippie sensibilities. =) I'm not doing it to gain followers or money or any of those things, but just to record successes and encourage others to be open to alternatives to drugs in your body and and chemicals in your home. 



The Family Physician kit was my gateway drug to the wide world of essential oils!

My main interest in this company are their single essential oils and some of their proprietary blends. They also have hair care, skin care, weight loss, home care and vitamin lines, but I'm not quite ready to jump into that stuff yet. Oils are where I'm at for the moment, so that's what I'll be sharing about. 
For those of you interested in a short crash course on essential oils; what they are, why they are useful, how dōTERRA produces them, how they've been used in history and so forth, click here


I'll give you the short answers: dōTERRA means "gift of the earth", which is a perfect way to describe the oils. They are aromatic compounds from all different parts (seeds, leaves, stems, roots, bark, etc...) of plants. They can be used aromatically, topically, and in the case of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade dōTERRA oils, many of them can be used internally! A vast majority of the oils are obtained from their source through low-heat steam distillation, as well as some other science-y methods. They are what our ancestors used to deal with illness and health issues before the advent of modern synthetic chemical medicine. So really, they are the original, and not the "alternative", medicine!


So, that's it! I'll be going head to toe first, then if I maintain momentum, I'll move on to household uses, cooking uses and the like. Join me!

PS I suppose there is supposed to be some disclaimer here about me not being a doctor and these oils not being a medical cure-all. This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is simply the personal experience and opinion of one very satisfied small-time blogger!