DIY Deoderant

 

deoderant

One of the ways I use Essential Oils (EOs) is in personal care products.  Whether I am buying ready-made products that use EOs (like my shampoo, conditioner, skincare, hand soap, and toothpaste), or making something of my own, I feel better knowing that I am helping to reduce my toxic load by replacing some chemicals with natural products.  The product I am most happy to have swapped out is my deodorant.  There has been a lot of publicity lately about why commercial deodorant and antiperspirants are not so great for you, so I’m not going to re-hash it all here.  I am going to tell you what I use and what to expect if you use it also.

First, let me tell you what happened before I started using this recipe.  I was stinky.  It was not cool.  I have no doubt that I need deodorant to remain an accepted part of modern society.  In fact, before I started trying all-natural recipes, I was using over the counter clinical strength deodorants, I even tried a few different brands, but I would still get stinky sometimes.  I don’t just mean at-the-gym stinky, I mean in-the-middle-of-the-workday-sitting-at-my-desk stinky.  My pits have issues.

I was given some recipes for deodorant using essential oils that would be liquid and used as a roll-on.  They all called for fractionated coconut oil as a base, but I used grapeseed oil because I had more of that at the time and I didn’t realize that the type of carrier oil was important, I thought the EOs were doing all the heavy lifting.  The result was me raising my arms to take of my backpack, my hubby getting a whiff of said raised arms, and then loudly exclaiming in the middle of an airport that he couldn’t believe I was the stinky person on the plane he was suffering through the whole flight!  The carrier oil is important!!!!  Coconut oil has its own anti-bacterial properties, and it’s the bacteria that causes the stink.  Stick with the coconut oil.  I was also sweating a lot, but I think that was merely an adjustment period and not necessarily related to the carrier oil.

After that I went back to my old deodorant for a bit until I came across a better recipe, which I found here:

http://www.easypeasyorganic.com/2010/06/best-deodorantantiperspirant-youll-ever.html

I have tweaked it a little, this is what I use (mostly because I was being lazy, that’s how I roll):

  1. In a small glass or high-grade plastic jar, mix ¼ cup of softened or liquefied coconut oil (virgin, cold pressed), 6 drops Melaleuca (Tea Tree) EO, 6 drops of yummy smelling EO of your choice.
  2. In a separate small jar, mix equal parts corn starch and baking soda.
  3. Apply the oil mixture daily, use the powder mixture as needed.

When I first started using it, I was using both parts of the recipe: the oil and the powder.  This was partly because I didn’t know I couldn’t, and partly because I needed the powder to absorb the sweat, as you can expect to have a sweaty adjustment period.  I think (it was about a year and a half ago so I may not be remembering correctly) that the adjustment period was only about 2 weeks, then the sweating slowed considerably.  Mind you that this is not and antiperspirant, but that’s okay, sweating is actually good for you!  These days my shirts will get damp if I get hot, but not enough for anyone to notice unless I am raising my arms up.  There aren’t big sweat circles or anything.  And no stink!  Well, okay, occasionally there is some break through sweat, but it’s much better than the clinical strength stuff I was using.  Like I said, my pits have issues, I don’t think anything will be 100%, but I’m really happy with 98%!

One day, maybe a month into this new recipe, I was applying the deodorant and noticed in the mirror a large red patch under my arms.

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What the heck?  It wasn’t itching or burning or anything, I wouldn’t have even noticed if I hadn’t seen it in the mirror.  I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but after more research, I came across this post which is super duper helpful at troubleshooting natural deodorant issues.  I realized that the repeated application of baking soda had caused a PH imbalance in my armpit.  I stopped using the powder for about a week, and did a diluted apple cider vinegar wash on each armpit before I applied the oil mixture.  I was back to normal in no time.  This is one of the few recipes I found that keeps the oil and the powder separate, but it’s much easier to control my PH issues this way.  Now I only apply the powder when I think I will be extra sweaty that day.  This is obviously more often in the summer, but in the winter I apply it on average of once or twice a month, and am doing just fine.

Some pointers and answers to frequently asked questions:

-I apply the oil mixture using an old makeup brush I had lying around, but you can apply it with just your fingertips.  I bought a cheap bronzing brush to apply the powder mixture.

-Dab the powder on, don’t try to brush it, on or powder will go everywhere.  Until I got the hang of this, I would stand in the bath tub to apply so I could easily wash away the excess.

-All the jars I use are old jars I had lying around the house.  You typically want to use glass when dealing with EOs, but in this case they are so heavily diluted that I feel fine with using my high-grade plastic tub that used to hold my mineral makeup.

-If you make a big batch at once, put about ¼ cup in a small jar for daily use and store the excess in the refrigerator, because coconut oil will spoil.

-Don’t try putting it in a deodorant tube.  Coconut oil melts at 24°C (76°F).  You are likely to have a completely liquefied mixture in the middle of the summer, which is another reason I use a brush instead of my fingers to apply.  Also the reason I put my oil mixture jar in a ziplock bag when I travel.  The makeup jars I use were not meant to contain a liquid so they leak when I travel in warm climates.

-To soften or liquefy your coconut oil to ready it for mixing, the easiest way is to put the jar of oil in warm water bath and let it sit for a bit.  If you have a small jar of coconut oil, you can put the whole thing in the water bath.  If you are buying the huge tub from Costco, then chip out some with a butter knife and put the chunks in your small jar or a glass, then put that in the water bath.

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-When it is especially cold in my bathroom, I blow my hot breath on both the brush and the surface of the hardened oil to soften them up enough to use.  You only need a tiny bit to warm enough to scoop out, so I usually only need one or two breaths to do the trick.

-Most recipes call for a pea sized amount of deodorant mixture.  This is about how much I use for each arm, maybe a little less.

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-Keeping your armpits well shaved will help a lot.  The armpit hair is a breeding ground for bacteria and we are trying to eliminate the bacteria.

-Wearing natural materials (like cotton), instead of synthetic, around my armpit seems to help a lot with both the amount of sweat and the amount of stink.

-You don’t need to add the smell good oils to the mixture, but if you get hot you will start to smell the deodorant mixture a bit, and I would rather smell like pretty flowers than like Melaleuca EO.  I don’t suggest leaving the Melaleuca EO out, it’s a great antibacterial.  I had tried Wild Orange EO (which is also a great antibacterial) for a bit, but smelling like hot oranges was a little strange for me.

-I do get some oil residue on my shirts, but I find that it comes right out in the wash without any pre-treating or anything.

-Virgin cold pressed coconut oil does still smell like coconuts a bit, but it’s not like wearing coconut scented lotion.  Plus the smell good EOs I add cover it up nicely.

-If you think buying a whole jar of coconut oil is not worth it for just this recipe, consider all the other awesome DIY body products you can use it for, that it is a great carrier oil for your EOs, and that it it wonderful for cooking and baking.  Swapping out liquefied virgin cold pressed coconut oil for the vegetable oil when you are making boxed brownies will give you the best fudgy brownies ever!  And don’t believe the negative hype, it’s actually good for you!

I encourage you to give this a try, and for at least a month to give your body sufficient adjustment time.  Worst case is you won’t like it, go back to your old stuff, and you can use the oil mixture you have left over as body butter!

Happy Oiling :)

Internal usage and dilution

As with any hot topic, there are differing opinions among community members.  In the Essential Oil (EO) community, I have noticed hugely varying opinions centering around two hot topics: topical application and  internal usage.  These differing opinions come from different schools of thought, largely based on how you were “brought up” in the community, and not so much on actual scientific studies.  I encourage you to do some research on your own and form your own opinions, but here is where I am going to put in my two cents.  This is my opinion and should not be taken as a hard and fast rule or as medical advice.

Neat topical application (diluting):

Neat topical application means putting the EOs directly on your skin without first mixing it with a carrier oil.  A carrier oil is a vegetable oil, and once mixed with a carrier oil, an EO is considered “diluted.”  However, unlike the typical meaning of this word, diluting EOs does not make them less potent.

There are some oils that absolutely must be diluted before using topically. The only exception I can think of is if you are trying to burn off a skin tag.  Those “hot oils” are: Cassia, Cinnamon, Oregano, and Thyme.  See how I used the words burn and hot?  Remember that.  Direct application of these oils will definitely feel hot and will likely burn your skin.

Oils that should be diluted, especially if you have sensitive skin, are Black Pepper, Clove, Peppermint, Spearmint, and the Protective Blend or other blends containing these oils.

I have usually used EOs, other than those listed above, neat.  There is plenty of support for using EOs neat.  However, there is more and more support among the Wellness Advocate community to dilute all oils, even for internal usage (either pre-mix a batch of diluted EO or fill the rest of your caplet with a carrier oil before sealing).  So now I am having a “do as I say, not as I do,” moment.  I can be stubborn and lazy sometimes, and for both reasons I know I will still find myself using oils neat, but am trying my hardest to amend my ways and start diluting everything.

Why switch it up when I’ve been using EOs neat with no issue?  The main argument is sensitivity.  There is anecdotal evidence that using EOs neat long term can cause sensitivity to that oil, and if that happens you can never use that oil without having a reaction (like a rash).  The secondary argument is that the carrier oil helps “carry” the EO and it is more easily absorbed through your skin.  Check out this video talking about evaporation and skin irritation as well.

Even dōTERRA corporate is changing their message.  When you go to www.doterra.com, you will now find this information under topical use:

Essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin and many can be safely applied topically when used in conjunction with a carrier oil, such as Fractionated Coconut Oil.

So how to dilute?  Check out this handy infographic!  (you can get a clearer version of it HERE)

dilution carrier oils

Please not that only Fractionated Coconut Oil will not go rancid. Virgin Coconut Oil will go rancid.

When I first looked at this, I asked myself the question you are probably asking yourself right now: So when do you use 1% and when do you use 10%???  Well, some basic guidance I found is to use 5% dilution on healthy adults for typical concerns and regular usage, but up to 25% for short term usage.  For children (2-5 years old) use 2%.  For infants either use 1% or stick to diffusing.

You can mix as you go (put carrier oil in your hand or a small bowl, then drip in the EO), but if you are using an oil regularly, I recommend mixing up as small a batch as possible (some carriers oils can go rancid so you don’t want it sitting around too long) and putting them in an empty EO bottle.  Ask any Wellness Advocate, they probably have a stock pile of empty bottles they would be willing to share with you. Try to mix the oil in an empty bottle of the same oils, as it is difficult to get every last drop out of those bottles.  You can also buy empty amber or cobalt colored bottles HERE.

I also use EOs on my dog, Miss Molly, who is about 60 lbs, so I treat her more like an adult than a child when applying.

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Momma’s pretty girl likes EOs too. They help her feel better when she’s eaten something she shouldn’t have!

But small dogs, like cutie Miss Katie here, should be treated like an infant.

Katie

Miss Katie, my Mom’s dog, received a topical application of EO’s for her back pain after she slipped on the steps.

Internal Usage:

I take oils internally on a regular basis, and find that, in some cases, internal usage is the most effective method of usage for me.  Whether this is because I needed direct interaction with my digestive system, or if it is because there is no evaporation of oils, I don’t know.  I just know I see more effect.  Sometimes I take them internally because it is just more convenient for me that topical or aromatic.  The argument against internal usage is generally that it can cause damage to your esophagus or mouth.  I personally find this isn’t an issue if you take reasonable precautions. Drinking Oregano Oil mixed with water (as opposed to milk or vegetable oil) will burn you all the way down.  DON’T DRINK HOT OILS!  I’ve taken Oregano Oil many times in a caplet with no problems (make sure you don’t drip the oil down the side of the caplet).  You can see me making a caplet in the video about my story.

Essential Oils are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  They are, however, addressed (not as strong as being regulated) by the FDA under 21 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Chapter I, Subchapter B – FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, Part 182 – SUBSTANCES GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS SAFE (GRAS), specifically 182.20.  Sorry, this is my Government Contracting background coming out, but bear with me a minute as we are dealing with Government regulations.  The point of showing you the actual regulation numbers is to show you how the FDA classifies Essential Oils.

21 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR)

Chapter I

Subchapter B – FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

Part 182 – SUBSTANCES GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS SAFE (GRAS),

182.20 – Essential oils, oleoresins (solvent-free), and natural extractives (including distillates)

First and foremost, they are under the section called Food for Human Consumption.  So if you put stock in the FDA guidance, that is one point already in the internal usage camp, they are saying right out it is for human consumption.  Second, they are under the Generally Recognized as Safe section.  Point two in internal usage camp, Generally Recognized as SAFE.  Did you notice that 182.20 includes “extractives?”  Check out that list, see vanilla on there?  Have you ever worried about eating vanilla extract?  I haven’t.  Vanilla Extract is on the same list as Peppermint EO!

You know what else is under Part 182 – GRAS?  Spices (182.10).  Things like mustard, allspice, ginger, and even black pepper.  I never batted an eye before trying any of those either.

So yes, I support internal usage, but for me that usually means in a caplet and taken like any other pill, not always mixed with water or other beverage before drinking.  Also, never take an oil internally that doesn’t have a nutrition label on the bottle.  Only GRAS oils have these labels, and oils like Wintergreen, which are not intended to be taken internally, will not have such labels.  Even the EOs that are GRAS still should not be taken to excess, and for most oils that means not more than a few drops.  Read more about toxicity related to high dosages HERE.

I hope this gives you some insight into proper usage of EOs, and didn’t just confuse the heck out of you! My goal is not to confuse or argue, but to help spread the word abour proper EO usage so we can all enjoy their benefits!  Happy oiling!

 

Easy wood polish

wood polish

We just moved into a furnished apartment, and one of the pieces of furniture was a coffee table that needed a little love.  I think that the damage around the inner edge of the table was caused by glass cleaner used on the center of the table.  And of course, there were the water rings and scratches that come with normal wear and tear.  As we had just moved, and our household goods hadn’t arrived yet, I didn’t have my Pledge handy.  I am trying to eliminate chemical cleaners from my home, so didn’t want to go out and by any more.  I was never very happy with Pledge anyway, my tables just seemed streaky and collected more pet hair than normal for the few days after use.

I finally decided to try out one of the recipes listed in the “Using Essential Oils, a Beginner’s Guide” booklet that I give out at every 1 on 1 personal essential oil consultation.  There is a section in there with recipes which I have yet to try.  I use lots of similar recipes from other sources that I love, but decided it was time to try one of these.  The Furniture Polish recipe would be perfect for this project: 1/2 cup olive oil with 10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil.  As My table was half glass and half wood, I only made a half batch, and that was still more than I needed.  All I did was rub the oil mixture into the wood with a paper towel, then go over the table once more with a dry paper towel to blot off any excess oil.  I didn’t even use any elbow grease ;)

Check out these before and after photos, I think you will agree the results were pretty impressive!

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Obviously this is not a refinishing job, but for just a little oil mixture that I wiped on and wiped off, I was very happy!  It has been about 2 weeks since my first application, and it still looks great.  Best of all, it was never oily, streaky, collected any pet hair, or required any harmful chemicals!

Cleaning with Oils and doing your research

I only want to use safe, easy, and effective non-toxic cleaners in my home, and especially my kitchen.  My biggest concern is after I handle any meat in my kitchen.  I want to disinfect the counter, the sink, the sink handle (that I handle with meaty hands), the knife, the cutting board…everything!  Maybe it isn’t as big a deal for the counters and sink (even though I am still breathing in the mist of whatever spray I am using, so still a concern), but I certainly don’t want to spray anything on my knifes and cutting board that says “avoid contact with foods.”  My knifes and wooden cutting board are not dishwasher safe, and I don’t trust that my sink water is getting hot enough to kill the germs, so I always spray them with my dōTERRA Lemon Essential Oil and water mixture before I start cleaning them with the dish soap.  I was telling my Hubby about this, and he didn’t believe that Lemon Oil was powerful enough to kill salmonella, so he Googled it.  He found articles that showed that Lemon Oil was in fact very effective against salmonella.   Plus, one of my favorite things about using my Oils for cleaning is that I can use the oils for so many other things as well!  I haven’t just purchased a cleaner, I’ve also purchased something that I can use to help my digestive health, improve my mood, help me focus, take as an antioxidant, and help reduce allergen response.

My go-to surface and air disinfectant has been my Lemon Oil mixed with some water, about 5 drops of oil per ounce of water.  Search for natural kitchen cleaners and you will find all kinds of options, but for me it doesn’t get any easier than fill bottle with tap water, drop in some oil, shake and spray.  There are many oils I could use to disinfect, but Lemon Oil has been my favorite because I love the clean smell, it is the cheapest single oil we carry, if I don’t rinse well enough and there is some lemon flavor left on my cooking surface it won’t ruin the taste of my food, and it works.

However, when I was looking up some research studies to show you how awesome Lemon Oil is for cleaning, I changed my mind!  I’ve been happy with my Lemon Oil, but after doing even more research, I found that Lemongrass Oil (same price and smell is pretty close to Lemon) may be more effective against some common kitchen bacteria, and Oregano Oil is even better!  I just added some Oregano Oil to my current batch of cleaner, and did not find the smell as overwhelming as I anticipated.  Once this batch is gone, I’m going to switch to Lemongrass and Oregano oil only, because why use “good” when you can be using “better?”  Update:  I now use about 10-20 drops each (because I want it super strong when spraying raw meat juice, you can try less) of Lemongrass and Oregano mixed with 4oz of water in a dark glass spray bottle as my antibacterial cleaner and love it!  The smell is actually rather nice, very much like the Lemongrass, not so much like the Oregano.

In summary, I have two take-aways for you:

  1. Oils are a great all natural cleaning option
  2. Do your own research (well, at least your own Googling).  Essential Oils are being researched more and more every day, and doing your own searching helps you get the most up to date information.

The resources I use when trying to research an oil, or a problem I want to solve with oils, are the following, in order:

  1. Modern Essentials book
  2. Emotions and Essential Oils book
  3. www.neweverythingessential.me
  4. www.aromaticscience.com
  5. Google
  6. Ask another oil user what has worked for them

Once you get familiar with these resources, using oils are much easier than you might think!  Plus, the websites will be there for you in the middle of the night when your child wakes up feeling sick and you aren’t sure what to use.  I am always here for you if you have a question, but I encourage you to use these other resources as well.

Tummy trouble getting in your way?

It seems like every time I travel lately, even domestic trips, I end up with an upset gut every time. I say gut because it is more than just stomach, in fact it usually is more like diarrhea or constipation. To much information, I know. But let’s be real, it happens to lots of us. At first I thought it was because I was just eating out more when I traveled, and the food was too rich for me, but as I got closer and closer to the big move to Ireland, I was eating out almost exclusively. So I think it is just trying different types of foods, or more likely, adjusting to the water in the new place. I usually just drink unfiltered tap water (if it is safe), and the content of the water varies from place to place, so I suspected that is the culprit.

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Regardless of the cause (as long as it is not an infection of somesort, which is a whole other ball of wax), it has become expected whenever I travel. Nothing like going to visit friends and having to excuse yourself to disappear to their bathroom every 20 minutes. Or even better, out on a bus tour with no bathroom breaks available when you get the tummy rumbles. I started to get the rubles as we were waiting in line for hours outside the immigration office. There was one place open nearby that early in the morning, but I don’t know if they had a bathroom, and you don’t want to risk losing your place in line.

When I was in High School, diarrhea was an everyday thing for me. I don’t know why this was happening, but know I got really good at chugging Pepto right out of the bottle and swallowing Imodium AD caplets dry as I was in the bathroom stall. Yuck. Not to mention these can both lead to constipation later.

Now I am so glad I have a better solution! Many Essential Oils help with digestive issues, but my favorite is definitely the Digestive Blend, which helps sooth your digestive tract no matter what the issue. I have a bottle of this in my purse with me ALWAYS, along with my headache blend and hand sanitizer/throat spray (yep, one thing for both, pretty cool!). Now whenever I start to feel heartburn, stomach-ache, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea coming on, I just drop a drop or two of DigestZen under my tongue and feel relief in just a minute or two. To be honest, I think rubbing it right on the skin over where there rumbles are happening works faster (meaning rub a drop or three on my lower abdomen if the big D is coming on), and is easier to use if you aren’t used to dropping such strong tasting things in your mouth. However, when I am with Mr. What-is-that-smell (he says that about even the yummy oils), I would rather just put it in my mouth where I can chase it with a drink of water or juice and make the smell go away faster. Plus I kind of like the taste, and if I am on a bus or at a table in a restaurant, it is less embarrassing than putting my hand under my clothes and rubbing :) Save that one for after you are in the bathroom!

There is a no-smell option as well, you can put 1-3 drops of oil in an empty veggie-caplet or gel-caplet and take like a pill, or use the lovely Digestive Blend softgels, which are caplets already made up for you. But a small sample-sized bottle of the oil is, I find, much easier to stash in the purse, and then I also have it handy for when I need to rub it on to relieve my sinus pressure.
Take some Digestive Blend with you on your next trip, and relax and enjoy your stay!

Healthier New Year, Part 1: Exercise

Healthier New Year: Exercise

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How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?  I hope you are continuing on your journey towards a healthier new year.  For most people that means a new exercise routine.  If you are embarking on a new exercise routine, or just revamping up your current routine, I want to introduce you to my 3 best exercise friends: Lemongrass, Peppermint, and the Soothing Blend.  While these are not the only tools you can use to improve your performance and reduce post-exercise pain, these are the ones that I consistently use, and feel significantly less pain the day after exercise than when I forget to use them.

Both Lemongrass Essential Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil have analgesic (pain killer) and anti-inflammatory properties, and I definitely want to reduce my pain and inflammation!!!  They both have individual uses that are very helpful as well.  Of the many uses listed for  Lemongrass Essential Oil in the Modern Essentials book, tissue repair and repairing ligaments are the ones I am most interested in.  As you may know, the micro-tears you create during exercise, particularly weight training, are what helps build your muscles, but also is what is responsible for a lot of the post-exercise pain.  I use the Lemongrass to help repair those micro-tears, which both helps my body heal faster and helps prevent next-day pain.

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The Peppermint Essential Oil is necessary in my routine because, again according to the Modern Essentials book, some if its uses are to help with muscle aches and muscle fatigue, so this one helps me feel a bit better immediately, while the Lemongrass Essential Oil really helps my next-day pain.  Peppermint Essential Oil has also been shown to help with athletic performance.  Both adding a drop of Peppermint Essential Oil to your water and inhaling the aroma will help with your performance during your workout.

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Who looks good when they’re running anyways? This was towards the end of a 5K race I ran last summer.

My exercise of choice is running/jogging/walking, which is hard on my knees (getting older stinks!).  Use of the Soothing Blend, which contains oils known for soothing inflammation, alleviates pain, and reduces soreness, is what has been saving my knees.  While the Soothing Blend is good for both muscular and joint pain, I have a few things that work for muscle pain, but the Soothing Blend is my hands down favorite for joint pain.  Last spring I was having a lot of problems with my left knee.  I went to an Orthopedic Surgeon who found out that my problem was resulting from the squats and lunges I was doing in my workout class (not the running, yay!).  I told him that I was using the the Soothing blend, and he said to keep on using it …. and lay off the squats and lunges.  So I keep on using it!

Now for the actual helpful part, what to do with these oils.  I pre-mix a bottle of Lemongrass Essential Oil (20 drops), Peppermint Essential Oil (20 drops), and top off with Fractionated Coconut Oil in a 2 oz. glass bottle, but you could also make it up as you need by adding a couple of drops of each to a Tablespoon of Fractionated Coconut Oil in your hand.

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  1. Make your mix, if you are going that route, so it is ready when you get home.
  2. Add a drop of Peppermint Essential Oil (please don’t ingest any oils that don’t have a nutrition label on the bottle) to your water; shake well before drinking, re-shake if it’s been a minute since your last drink.
  3. Rub a drop onto your chest (think vapo-rub effect) and inhale out of your hands after you are done rubbing in.
  4. Go burn some calories!!!!!! 
  5. When you get home, use enough of your Lemongrass/Peppermint/Fractionated Coconut Oil blend to cover your to-be-sore area.  For me that means thighs, hamstrings, and calves.  I also make sure to cover the area below my calves, because I have a tendency to get tendonitis there (remember the lemongrass is good for repairing ligaments?).
  6. Rub the Soothing Blend over any effected joints.  For me that means knees.  If it’s a really rough workout, I put it around my knee-cap and behind my knee.  Then wash your hands well to prevent getting the tingly/cooling Peppermint and the Soothing blend on sensitive areas.
  7. Cover it up (like put your workout pants back on), and wait a few minutes (maybe more like 15 minutes) for the oils to fully absorb into your skin.  I do my stretches, get a snack, log my workout, etc.   Then you can take your shower and move on with your day.  You could apply the oils after your shower just as easily.  But…as much as I love the way this blend makes me feel, the smell can be quite overpowering.  I prefer to get it in my body then get rid of the smell.

That’s it!  Add a drop pre-workout, rub some oil on post-workout, and you are done, and you’ll be thankful the next day.

I should also add that I use the Lifelong Vitality Pack of vitamins and supplements every day, which give me the energy to get up and get out.  Many people also use the Mito2Max supplement to increase their energy even more.  This is not like an energy drink, it gives you consistent energy all day very day, no peaks and valleys, no caffeine, no weird taste.

If you want to reduce your post-workout pain as well, or learn more about other was essential oils can improve your life, contact me  for a free consultation.

Happier New Year, Part 2: Emotions

In part 1 of having a happier New Year, I discussed regulating your mood with the Mood Matrix oils.  In part 2, I want to discuss addressing specific emotional issues.  There are two books that I love for addressing emotional healing.  The first is “Living Healthy and Happily Ever After: Psychological and Physical Remedies to Jump Start Healing,” by Rebecca Hintze and Sue Lawton.  This book is a great tool for walking you though the journey of emotional healing, and also has a lot of Essential Oil blend recipes to deal with specific emotional and physical issues.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have this book when I started on my essential oil journey, but I did have “Emotions & Essential Oils: A Modern Resource for Healing,” by Daniel Macdonald (hereafter called the Emotions book).  That is the resource I am going to focus on here, and all references to the properties of oils in this post will be from that book.  I think of the Emotions book as more of a reference guide for my oils than a manual on dealing with emotional healing, although it certainly does have a short guide to healing.  That is to say, rather than reading the Emotions book from cover to cover, I just flip to an oil and see what it has to say, or look up an emotion I am feeling in the index to see what oils to use.  As the book puts it, “We all hold unresolved feelings of pain an hurt which need to be brought to the surface for transformation and healing,” and if you already know what those feels and pain are for you, then you are ahead of most people!

I am not sure that I could have picked my issues out of the air, but as I explain in my testimonial video, I did a Zyto Compass scan which identified some oils that would be beneficial for me, and when I looked the resulting oils up in the Emotions book, I was shocked at what I found!  The emotions called out by my Zyto scan oils addressed exactly what I was feeling at the time.  Here are some of the ones that came up for me and a brief synopsis of what the Emotions book says about them:

Oregano: The oil of Humility & Non-Attachment, addresses negative, excessively willful, pride.  Let’s just say that some of these issues were causing major relationship problems for me.  Yes please, I would love to work on those!

Thyme:  The oil of Releasing & Forgiving, addresses unforgiving heart, anger, age, bitterness, resentment.  So after the emotion mentioned in Oregano caused arguments and issues, my unforgiving heart, bitterness, etc. sure made it hard to heal the relationship and move on to happier times.

Melissa (Lemon Balm):  The oil of Light, addresses depression, darkened, dreary, suicidal, overwhelmed.  This one was the hardest for me to read, most people didn’t know that I was fighting all of these emotions almost every day.

Grapefruit:  The oil of Honoring the Body, addresses anxiety over appearance and addiction to food or dieting.  I was struggling to maintain a 90lb weight loss and still trying to get used to my new body, I definitely needed this one!

Ouch, sometimes it is hard to face our weak side and admit that we feel some of these things.   But I was also super excited to find a resource that would help me heal.  Typically, when you are dealing with an emotional issue, the first thought is to use the oils aromatically, but I tried a few different application methods.  I found that for me, taking the oils internally (which I would not recommend for any oils that do not have a nutrition label on the bottle) was the most effective.  After a few weeks of use, and remember that I didn’t have the other book and didn’t really know what to do other than take the oils regularly, I stated feeling amazing!  My poor boyfriend didn’t even know how to deal with me, because he had gotten used to always expecting a fight, but now I was just sprigging things off and moving on, a huge improvement!

Unfortunately, I did the equivalent of stopping my antibiotics after I started to feel better instead of finishing the bottle, and some of the emotions started to return.  So I started taking them again, and sure enough, the feelings started to abate again.  If the feelings return again, I will use the oils in conjunction with Living Healthily and Happily Ever after book and work though my emotional blocks for good.  My point being that the oils are so powerful, that even not knowing what I was really doing and stopping them before I was ready, I STILL saw amazing results.  The benefits would have been even better if I had been using them in conjunction with some form of therapy.

Most of my issues seemed clustered around anger and depression, but here are some examples of other emotions addressed in the Emotions book:  addicted, spiritual blindness, poor boundaries, burned out, blocked communication, disheartened,  drained, envy, forgetful, grief, hesitant, holding onto the past, attached to illness, isolated, judged, know-it-all, left out, manipulated, need for approval, obsessed, overthinking, panic, powerless, quick-tempered, reclusive, scattered, self-sabotage, trapped, unfulfilled, victim, or workaholic.

I would be happy to help you discover which Essential Oils can help you address you specific emotional issue, but the resources I use is not available online, so you can send me a message and I’ll so some research for you, so we can all have a happier new year!

 

Have a happier New Year, Part 1: Mood

New Year fireworks

 

Ready for a happier and healthier new year?  Me too!  I am doing a series on making a happier and healthier new year; let’s start with happier.  I’m not going to pretend that there is one thing that will make everyone happy, or that happiness means the same thing to everyone.  Although I think most people will be cheered up by this cute guy.

puppy

Puppy aside, I am not going to trying to discover the source of your individual happiness, I just want to help your body be in a position to be able to accept happiness.  If you are overwhelmed with feelings of anger, anxiety, depression, etc., cute puppies aren’t really going to do much for you.  Some of the Essential Oils I recommend most often are the four oils blends in the “Mood Matrix.”  I try to explain these by saying when you feel like your emotions are all out here (then I wave my arms around my head like a crazy person), the Mood Matrix oil blends help bring them back in here (then draw my hands back towards my heart).  I am a visual person, can you tell?  As a visual person, this chart really helps me understand, and explain, what these oil blends are designed to help with.

MoodMatrix1

I use them all, but not every one every day.  The Calming Blend is my go-to relaxing before bed oil blend, the Grounding Blend is great for when I am feeling anxiety or anger, and the Invigorating Blend and the Joyful Blend both help me when I’m feeling down in the dumps or just need a little more pep in my step.  You can use one at a time, but my brother turned me on to layering the Joyful Blend and the Invigorating Blend, which is now my favorite pick me up.  Layering means putting one oil on, letting it absorb into your skin, then adding the second one.

Why would you layer instead of mixing them before you apply?  Well, that goes all the way back to Chemistry class.  The simple explanation: mixing two things together may change their chemistry.  My favorite company has put extensive research and testing into the most effective way to blend the oils, including which oils will produce the best synergy, what order to mix the oils in, and how much of each oil to use.  This is why I LOVE the these Essential Oil blends, they’ve already done all the work for me!

You absolutely can try mixing oils yourself, use other blend recipes that Essential Oil users recommend, or even seek out single oils that will help you, but these blends are always the first tool in my toolbox (or medicine cabinet) that I reach for when I feel like my emotions are out of whack.  If you have a specific emotional issue you are trying to address, that’s when I pull out my emotions book and start researching!  More on that one later.  In the meantime, I hope these Mood Matrix blends can help make your new year a little happier!

Preparing to go back to school class

back to school

Preparing to go back to school with doTERRA

I had so much fun at my class today sharing with my friends how to make this upcoming school year a more successful one.  Well, at least one person didn’t have kids, and others admitted that the products were for themselves, so I guess it is more accurate to say we are just going to have a great year, school or not.  I’ll try to record the class for all my long distance “students,” but might not get that done before school starts.  So in the mean time, here is the info I handed out:  class handout  You can see that most of the info applies to all of us, like how to keep from getting sick, focus on our work, combat anxiety, and recover from a tough workout.

Of course, we went much more in depth, demonstrating how to apply some oils, discussing things like not diffusing citrus oils around cats (toxic to the poor things), and how to get the doTERRA Essential Oils at the best price.  So you will probably have questions, just ask!

It is so much fun when we get to try out the oils out, and especially watching everyone’s reactions to the oils.  Did you know that we tend to be drawn to the oils our bodies need most?  So when I put the Melissa Essential Oil (aka Lemon Balm) on the roof of my mouth, I just love it, but a person at class tried it and….well…. didn’t care for it.  Now we know she should stick to aromatic application!  That’s why I love doing in person sessions.  That, and because I am demonstrating how to apply the oils, I end up putting quite a few on and smell delicious AND feel awesome by the end.

Watch out for more upcoming classes, or schedule a 1-on-1 consultation, and try the oils out yourself!

Question: What was your favorite subject in school?

 

Lavender Essential Oil and Allergies

cat allergy collage

Well, okay, maybe the equation is a little more complicated than that, but my Lavender Essential Oil at least made it POSSIBLE for me to love the cats.

I have been allergic to cats since I was a little girl.  Not deathly allergic, but mega itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing type allergy.  I have a time or two been in a position where I have to live with cats, such as my current situation, when I moved in with my BF who already was the proud owner of two cats.  I have found that as long as I don’t touch the cats, stay away from areas where they like to sleep and therefore have accumulated hair, don’t touch them, clean regularly, don’t touch them, keep them out of the bedroom, don’t touch them, and stay on allergy medications, then it is tolerable.  That’s fine if I’m visiting for a weekend, but full time living with them makes it a little harder, and this does not lead to a situation where it is easy to fall in love with cats.  It stinks living with two sweet cats that you can’t touch!  Especially when they come up to me meowing for pets….sigh….I feel like such a meanie!  I was forced to harden my hearts against the cuties, so I wouldn’t be tempted to pet and snuggle them.  I would ignore them, and they got used to it.  After about a year and a half of this, Boddington had decided he had enough!  He was claiming my lap as cat territory.

boddington on lap

This picture documents the day it all changed.  I gave in and let him up, but refused to touch him!  But he decided that was good enough and forced his way onto my lap every day after that.  Time to try something new to fight my allergies. The over-the-counter allergy medications, and even some prescription ones I’d tried, wouldn’t allow me to pet the cats without breaking out with itching and sneezing, even when the cats were freshly out of a bath!  So I started trying the “allergy shot,” which is 2 drops each of Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint.

The first day I started with about 5 doses of this, and then cut back to 2 times a day (mostly because I would forget to take it).  I tried it on my brother too, but he couldn’t handle the taste of them all mixed together, so I started experimenting with different combinations that I could recommend to him, and found that for my cat allergy (pollen may be a different story once fall comes), that Lavender alone was working for me.   So now I take 4-5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil twice a day, and am able to pet the cats finally!  I may not dig my face into their fur in a turbo cuddle (I haven’t tried this yet), but I can touch them and brush them without worrying.  And now Boddington and I can be friends finally!

photo (2)