Build-Your-Immunity Lemon Tonic

anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, apple cider vinegar, cancer, clean, cleanliving, empowerment, essential oils, healing, health, holistic, immunity, natural living, natural medicine, non-gmo, nutrition, organic, recipe, remedy, tonic, Uncategorized, wellness

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I have to start out by telling you flat out that this tonic is pretty darn amazing.  I feel the need to shout it from the rooftops because my results after drinking this tonic for about 6 months have been pretty life changing.  In my opinion, it’s a miracle drink – I can say that since I’m not trying to sell it to you. 😉

I’ve had gastric issues for about 6 years now, and nothing ever helped me.  I saw so many doctors and did so many tests to see what was wrong with me – I’ll be paying off those bills for quite a while!  What a waste – the results didn’t tell me anything helpful.

I had a laundry list of symptoms that were unexplained, so I started going to a nutritionist.  I went to her monthly for a couple of years to gently detox my system from heavy metals and other environmental toxins.  She taught me about making healthier food choices, and why whole foods and whole food supplements were important.  I felt somewhat better, but still had many unexplained symptoms.

When I first started making this drink, I only used warm water with a fresh-squeezed lemon, honey and apple cider vinegar.  I drank it every morning before my breakfast for a couple of months.  At first, I wasn’t sure if it was helping my gastric issues.  But since I had read so many wonderful things about lemon water, I knew that if I kept drinking it I would benefit from it eventually.  I learned that raw, unfiltered honey has the most health benefits, so I started using that instead of the cheap-o kind I was using (think plastic bottle in the shape of a bear….horrible).  Then, I read that adding baking soda to lemon water has even more health benefits, even cancer prevention, so I started adding that to my drink.

All I can say is WOW!  I sure noticed some changes.  I no longer had excessive gas after every meal.  I wasn’t bloating as often.  I wasn’t burping as much throughout the day (I would literally burp every couple of minutes).  I also noticed that I didn’t have explosive bouts of diarrhea (sorry, TMI?) after eating ice cream or pizza.  My skin is clearer (but I also use Arbonne’s anti-aging skin care, which has something to do with that!), and I haven’t gotten sick in a while.  (UPDATE:  It’s now 3 years later, and I finally got a sinus infection…BUT!  I’d stopped drinking this for a few weeks prior!  I don’t think it’s a coincidence.)

I also now take digestive enzymes with every meal, to help my stomach break down the food.  And I take exemplary supplements from a company I represent.  I know that everything I’ve said have played their own part in my current wellness vs. 7 years ago.

I always recommend this lemon tonic to anyone who tells me that they have digestive issues.  I will probably drink this tonic for as long as I live.  Even if you don’t have stomach issues, there are so many other health benefits (listed below) that it doesn’t hurt to try it for yourself.  If you are consistent and drink this tonic every single morning before breakfast, you will notice changes eventually.  Still a skeptic?  Google “lemon honey water” and read on!  There are so many great articles by doctors and health and wellness practitioners praising lemon water.

So, you’re probably wondering, “Why lemon, honey, baking soda and apple cider vinegar?  What makes them so special?”  I have gathered some information and compiled it all here:

Lemon Goodness

Lemons are rich in vitamin C, which enhances beauty by rejuvenating the skin from the inside.  It helps in weight loss, and is a very alkaline fruit (once it is in the body – otherwise it is acidic).

Lemons are a great source of polysaccharides, organic acids especially citric acid, lipids, carotenoid, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, bitter limonoids, potassium, bioflavonoids, and vitamin C.  Lemons also include volatile oil (in the peel – where the lemon essential oils come from), limonene, alpha-terpinene, alpha-pinene, citral, coumarins, mucilage, pectins, and bioflavonoids (pith and peel).

Honey Goodness

Honey is a great source of good carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids.  Honey contains small amounts of the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6.  It also contains vitamin C, and the minerals calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, selenium, chromium and manganese.  The darker the honey, the greater antioxidants.  Honey also contains organic acids such as acetic, butanoic, formic, citric, succinic, lactic, malic, pyroglutamic and gluconic acids, and a number of aromatic acids.

Apple Cider Vinegar Goodness

(This will knock your socks off!)  I use Bragg’s organic ACV, which says “With the Mother” on the front of the bottle.  Seriously…you must use Bragg’s – it is the best.  All others I’ve tasted are disgusting.

“With the Mother” means that it still contains all of the good stuff, unlike other apple cider vinegars that are void of it.  ACV contains pectin, Vitamin C, Vitamins B1, B2 and B6, biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, and small amounts of minerals like potassium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.  It has a wide range of benefits, such as it:  helps stomach troubles, cures hiccups, soothes a sore throat, could lower cholesterol, prevents indigestion, clears a stuffy nose, aids in weight loss, gets rid of dandruff, clears acne, boosts energy, cuts down on nighttime leg cramps, banishes bad breath, whitens teeth, fades bruises, helps control blood sugar.  Amazing – and it’s only about $8 for a large bottle at the grocery store!

Baking Soda Goodness

Baking Soda isn’t just for baking cookies!  When consumed, it works by immediately kicking stomach acid in the face, which then helps relieve heartburn, indigestion and even ulcer pain.  When consumed in a lemon tonic, it gets your digestive juices flowing, and will help your stomach in digestion.  If that wasn’t enough, it is also known to alkalize the body and help with kidney disease, cancer, athletic performance, skin conditions and can be used in homemade deodorants (RECIPE HERE) and toothpaste (RECIPE HERE).

In Summary, here’s a list of health benefits of this tonic:

  1. Enhances metabolism.
  2. Aids digestion.
  3. Cleanses the intestines, which improves the absorption of nutrients.
  4. Boosts your immune system.
  5. Cleans your urinary tract.
  6. Balances pH levels.
  7. Clears skin.
  8. Promotes healing.
  9. Freshens breath.
  10. Hydrates your lymph system.
  11. Aids in weight loss.
  12. Boosts energy.

I am sure this isn’t even an exhaustive list.  But it is a very good start!  I feel that everyone should drink this daily, and I hope you will give it a try.  If you don’t have all of the ingredients, make sure you at least have water, honey, lemon and ACV.  Those are good enough in themselves for boosting your immune system.

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LEMON WATER TONIC

  • 8 oz. warm water
  • 1 fresh-squeezed lemon
  • 1 tsp raw, Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs raw, unfiltered, organic honey (the darker the better)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (aluminum-free)
  • Essential oils of choice (see note in red below)

First, heat up the water in either a glass or ceramic mug, for 35-40 seconds in the microwave.  Next, stir in the honey until it is dissolved.  Then you can add in the ACV and baking soda.  (**you can toss in some of your favorite essential oils if you’d like!)

The last part is a little tricky.  Before you add the lemon juice to the mixture, be forewarned!   It can get messy if you don’t slooowly add it in.  The baking soda reacts to the acid in the lemon juice and foams up quick!!  I’ve had mine spill out onto my counter a few times.  If you slowly add the lemon juice, but use a spoon to break up the foam as you continue to pour the lemon juice, you should be alright.  I drink it with a stainless steel straw because the acid from the lemon can eat away at your teeth.  If you don’t have one, just sip it, but rinse your mouth with water from the faucet after you finish your drink.

So, if any of you start doing this daily, and notice some changes in your health, please feel free to tell me about it!  🙂  I love success stories!

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

Blessings

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Vegetable Enzyme All-Purpose Cleaner – And Baby Shampoo??

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UPDATE!  2 years after purchasing a gallon of Botanic Gold (n/k/a Enviro-One), we finally ran out.   We used it consistently for everything from foaming hand soap, to cleaning up cat puke, to all-purpose cleaner spray and more.   It has saved my family some pretty good coin over the past 2 years!  Just wanted to share because this stuff is awesome!!  It cleans grease and grime in the kitchen better than store-bought cleaners.  I spray it on my stove, counters, cat puke, etc., and within seconds, it wipes off so easily!   It’s our go-to for EVERYTHING.  For reals.

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Recently on Facebook, I came across an article stating that Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo contained formaldehyde, an ingredient that is not necessary in any of our personal care products.  J&J has since changed their ways, but I am still not convinced that using even their “Naturals Baby Shampooline is the best thing.  The ingredient list is posted below.  Pay particular attention to the bolded ingredient at the bottom:

Water, Decyl Glucoside (Source: Coconut, Palm Kernel, Corn), Cocoglycerides (Source: Coconut, Palm Kernel), Sodium Coco-Sulfate (Source: Coconut, Palm), Coco-Glucoside (Source: Coconut, Palm Kernel), Glyceryl Oleate (Source: Sunflower), Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate (Source: Coconut, Palm, Soybean), Glycerin (Source: Coconut, Palm, Soybean), Xanthan Gum (Source: Soy, Corn), Sodium Benzoate (Source: *), Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose (Source: Plant, Mineral), Citric Acid (Source: *), Sodium Hydroxide (Source: *), Parfum (Source: Plant), * The remaining ingredients are essential to blend the product together and maintain effectiveness.

First, what are these “remaining ingredients that are essential to blend the product together and maintain effectiveness,” as stated in the last sentence?  I would sure like to know – I mean, if they are natural, why not include them on the label?

Second, why does a “natural” shampoo need all of those extra ingredients?  There are cleansers that are all natural, and don’t have a bunch of stuff added to them.  I understand many of their ingredients act as emollients, and help soften/moisturize skin, but they are not necessary.  All-natural oils, such as sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil, are a better substitute for retaining moisture in the skin, and can be added to a homemade shampoo for it’s added benefits.

The main reason I posted that listing is the bolded ingredient Sodium Hydroxide.  Why is Sodium Hydroxide concerning?  Because the New Jersey Department of Health has a “Hazardous Substance Facts Sheet” for this chemical, which is posted in industrial facilities so that workers know how dangerous it is:

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Sure, I know, this fact sheet is for factory workers who are dealing with the concentrated chemical in it’s purest form, but even a tiny amount of a toxic chemical has no place in a baby shampoo.  In my honest opinion.

Here is another clip from that same Fact Sheet:

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Billion dollar product companies like J&J claim that the actual amount of an otherwise toxic chemical is not actually toxic when a minimal amount is used in personal care products.  This may be true, but the question begging to be asked is – why is it used at all when there are more natural options out there?

Why do we blindly accept everything at the grocery store as safe, or even good, for us, just because it has pretty packaging, and the word “Natural” printed on it.  Does this make it actually good for you?  Not necessarily.

We are living in a time where we cannot trust multi-billions dollar corporations to have our children’s best interests at heart.  We are their advocates, nurturers, caretakers, etc., and need to be aware of these things.

By no means am I a “crunchy” person in all aspects of life, but I do try and cut out unnecessary toxins from my personal care, medication and cleaning products.  Every product that I make has a natural base (i.e., apple cider vinegar, or sweet almond oil, etc.) and then I add essential oils to it for its potent health benefits or cleansing properties.

Here is my proposition:  If you have the ability to make your own all-natural personal care and cleaning products for you and your family, then do it.  You will not regret it.

I don’t know about you, but when I make something in my own home, from all-natural ingredients that I choose, I know that my family is getting the best of the best.  Making your own personal products is not complicated, nor does it take up much of your time.  And it saves you money in the long run.

So, back to the lil ones.  Below is a super easy homemade baby shampoo recipe, that can also be used on their hair and body, and on yours too!  The base soap is an all natural botanical soap, made from plant enzymes, called Enviro-One, that can be used for just about everything:  skin care, brushing teeth, household cleaner, baby care, fruit/veggie washing, cleaning your toilet (!) and so much more.  (I love this stuff so much that I should get paid for how much I talk about it online!  (*hint, hint, Enviro-One executives*)

There are actually over 200 uses for Enviro-One all-natural soap.  I pick up mine at their website:  Enviro-One.  It is super concentrated, so it will last a very long time.  It may seem expensive, but when you use one part soap mixed with 10 parts water, and you can usually replace all of your cleaning and skin care products with it, it’s totally worth it in my opinion and experience.  My first gallon lasted me over 2 years.  (I have not been paid by Enviro-One to write this).

Just check out the back of the bottle – those ingredients!  Now that’s natural soap:

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Muuuuch better than the J&J, right?  I love how safe it is, and how much money it will save me.


 

Homemade Baby Shampoo Recipe:

– Plastic shampoo bottle
– Small amount Botanic Gold soap (see bottle for measurements)
1 Tbs of a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil
– (see below for amounts) 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils per ounce of soap mixture (see note in red below)

Combine ingredients together in a plastic shampoo bottle, shake and you’re done.

Essential Oil Options:

Babies 3+ months (2-3 drops oil per ounce soap):  lavender, roman chamomile, frankincense

Babies 6+ months. (3-5 drops oil per ounce soap): tea tree, bergamot, tangerine, sandalwood, geranium, helichrysum, cypress, cedarwood

Children 2+ years (not more than 20 drops per ounce soap):  basil, clary sage, ginger, juniper berry, lemongrass, lime, myrrh, parchouli, ylang ylang.

Essential oils are not only added for their scent, but for the slew of health benefits the provide.  While certain oils would be added for their cleansing properties, others can aid in relaxation/sleep, calming, skin irritations, etc.  If essential oils are added, please be sure not to get the soap in or near your baby’s eyes.

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

Blessings!
Karen

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea

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My cup of deliciousness

Turmeric is all the rage these days, and I just had to try out a recipe for cinnamon-turmeric tea I found online.  It.  Was.  Delicious.  My husband even liked it – he said it tasted like Thanksgiving.  With flavors like clove and cinnamon, and it’s pumpkin-y color, you could make this healthy drink for your holiday party.

**Please read this great article on Authority Nutrition‘s website on the many benefits of turmeric.

After reading about the benefits in the article above, now it is time to make your own turmeric tea!  Gather up your ingredients and let’s get started:

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Simmer all spices in water for ten minutes, strain.

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Put 1/3 cup of tea in a mug and add some raw honey (even better, how about some local honey!). Then add in 2/3 cup of milk and stir well.

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CINNAMON-TURMERIC TEA

1-2 tsps turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
3 cloves (I had ground clove, so I used a tea sachet)
A pinch of grated nutmeg
4 peppercorns
1 1/2 to 2 cups of water
1 tsp raw honey
1/2 cup milk of choice

(**Add some pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils for added health benefits!  (See note in red below).  My choices would be myrrh, clove or cinnamon bark.  But only a drop or two into the whole batch.)

Simmer all spices in water for ten minutes, strain.  Put 1/3 tea, 2/3 milk in a teacup.  Add raw honey and milk and stir.  Adjust to taste.

You can save the remainder of your tea mixture in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days.  Just warm up a batch of the mixture each time, and then add the honey and milk.

(**turmeric tends to sink to the bottom.  Be sure to stir/shake well before each use).

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FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

To your health!

DIY Facial Serum

clean, cleanliving, diy, do-it-yourself, empowerment, essential oils, gifts, gluten-free, health, holistic, homeopath, homeopathic, natural living, organic, pure, recipe, wellness

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Facial serums are an important part of a skin-care regimen, just as much as a good cleanser and moisturizer.  Serum will provide nourishment and soothing to your skin.

If you have acne-prone skin, you would benefit from a light, astringent serum to keep your face moisturized and nourished without clogging pores.  And you will also want to use as a toner, either Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, or organic witchhazel – or both combined (witchhazel-based toner is the best for your skin, as it will not dry it out like an alcohol-based toner would). Toner is always a must in any skin care regimen because it firms, tightens and tones the skin.

If you are 25 or older, I would highly recommend using an anti-aging facial serum.  It’s never too early to start nourishing your skin.  As skin ages, it loses its elasticity and starts to sag.  Without proper moisture and nourishment, you may end up looking like an American bulldog by the time you are 60.  Sorry, it’s truth – and the truth hurts sometimes…

Let’s get started!


FIRST, choose your carrier oil – which is your main ingredient.  It’s also known as a base oil.  Below are a list of very light base oils that will not leave your skin sticky or greasy.  I would try to always get organic or cold-pressed:

Argan oil (for dry, aging, oily, normal, or acne-prone skin)
Jojoba oil (for dry, aging, oily, normal, or acne-prone skin)
Apricot kernel oil (for any skin type, but especially dry, aging skin)
Sweet almond oil (thicker, and takes longer to sink in, but nourishing)
Grapeseed oil (for normal, oily, or acne-prone skin)
Avocado oil (for dry and aging skin)
Hemp seed oil (for any skin type, also very light)
Calendula oil (extremely healing to irritated, sensitive skin)

My favorite base oils are jojoba oil or sweet almond oil.  They are very lightweight and do not clog pores.


SECOND, you will choose an extra oil, for added nourishment (optional, but very beneficial).  Here are some extra oils:

Tamanu oil (good for acne-prone or oily skin, or skin with scars)
Sea buckthorn oil (for all skin types, but especially aging or dry skin)
Rosehip seed oil (regenerating, firming, anti-aging)
Carrot seed oil (super nourishing! – you only need a miniscule amount
Borage oil (high in oleic acids – for most skin types, especially oily & acne-prone skin)
Evening primrose oil (acne, aging, normal skin)
Neem oil (antimicrobial and healing – for acne and oily skin)
Emu oil (emollient, protective and nourishing – for dry or aging skin)


THIRD, choose your favorite essential oils that work best according to your specific skin care needs.  You will only need a few small drops of essential oil as they are super potent.  (See note in red below)

Here are the most-used essential oils in skin care:

Lavender (oily or dry skin)
Peppermint (oily or dry skin)
Chamomile (soothing for sensitive skin)
Rose (for aging, dry and normal skin) (Unless you are the CEO of Microsoft, you may not be able to afford this oil!  My company finally sells it, and it’s pre-diluted so it’s cheaper!  Hallelujah!)
Geranium (for dry, sensitive, aging, and normal skin)
Lemongrass (brightens/tones – for normal or oily skin)
Rosemary (moisturizes oily skin)

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]


LAST, take the dropper top off of a 1-oz glass bottle and:

1.  Fill your bottle just under 2/3 of the way with your base oil.

2.  Add “extra” oil until the bottle is just about full (If you are using carrot seed oil, only use a few drops)

3.  Add 5-7 drops of essential oil.  (Less if you’re using peppermint!! – and make sure to keep away from eyes).  Put the cap on your bottle and shake well.  You should be able to smell the oils, but it should not be overwhelming.

Apply 2-3 drops to face and neck after cleansing, and before your moisturizer.  If you use toner, use it after the toner.  You will not need a moisturizer after applying the serum – it should give you enough moisture on its own.  Keep your serum out of the sunlight (use a dark colored class bottle, such as amber or cobalt blue).  Give it a little shake each time before you apply the serum, to make sure the oils are well combined.  It should be good for up to 12 months.

This recipe may need tweaking, to accommodate your skin care needs.  We all have different skin types, and an oil that is good for one may not be good for another.  I would suggest by making only a small amount at first.  If it ends up not working for your face, you can always rub it on your body to moisturize before bed, or add it to your whipped body butter (see my recipe HERE).  The mixture will still benefit your skin, and does not need to go to waste.

To learn more about essential oils, or the brand I use, comment below.  I’m happy to help point you in the right direction.

Blessings

Sleepy-Time Bath Salts

bath, calming, Christmas, clean, cleanliving, crunchy, Dead Sea Salts, diy, do-it-yourself, empowerment, essential oils, gifts, gluten-free, health, Holiday, holistic, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, natural living, non-gmo, pure, recipe, relaxation, soothing, wellness

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Quick and easy tutorial on homemade bath salts right here!   These are relaxing to your body and mind after a long day at work, and to help you wind down before bedtime.

Bath salts make a great gift for someone on a budget.  Or, you could just use them yourself!  Dim the lights, put on some soft music, light some candles and pour in your bath salts.  Your stress will drain away and you will sleep like a baby – I guarantee it!

First, grab your desired container (mason jars work best) and fill it with epsom salt but leave about an inch from the top.  Pour the sea salt in the remaining inch.

Next, pour the contents of your mason jar into a bowl, and mix thoroughly.   Add about a tablespoon and a half of almond oil, mix well (the consistency should be a little clumpy).

Add in your lavender buds, if using.

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Add in the essential oil; start with 10 drops and see what you think about the smell; add more if necessary.   I used 25 drops of calming oils, such as ylang ylang, roman chamomile, sandalwood, and 10 extra drops of lavender oil.

Pour the mixture back into your desired jars.  Dress up with cute ribbon and a tag if giving as a gift.

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Sleepy-Time Bath Salts

Epsom salt
Sea salt
Organic almond oil, shea oil OR jojoba oil
10-15 drops of lavender essential oil (see note in red below)
Lavender flower buds, optional

Directions:

Grab your desired container (mason jars) and fill it with epsom salt but leave about an inch from the top).  Pour the sea salt in the remaining inch.  Pour the contents of your mason jar into a bowl, and mix thoroughly.

Add about a Tablespoon and a half of shea/jojoba/almond/calendula oil, mix well (the consistency should be a little clumpy).

Add in the essential oil; start with 10 drops and see what you think about the smell; add more if necessary.

Add in your lavender buds, if using. Pour mixture back into your desired jars.  Use 1/4 cup of your bath salt in a bathtub of warm or hot water.  Relax and enjoy!

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

Until next time – bathe for relaxation and wellness!

Blessings

A Day in the Life – My Oiling Routine

calming, cats, clean, cleanliving, diy, do-it-yourself, empowerment, essential oils, felines, health, holistic, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, immunity, natural living, non-gmo, pure, recipe, relaxation, soothing, wellness

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Every time I introduce someone to essential oils, they ask how they can incorporate them into their daily lives.  Easy peasy.  You just start with one oil at a time and work your way up as you learn more about each oil.  Otherwise, you may become overwhelmed with the vast amount of information out there, and the plethora of uses for each and every oil, and then throw your hands up in defeat.  It is so sad to see that happen, and I’ve seen it happen, because essential oils and aromatherapy are so beneficial to our bodies.

When I first start using essential oils in 2014, I started with oils that would help my mood issues.  I started using calming and uplifting oils every morning and every night on the bottoms of my feet, or on the back of my neck.

Then, I started using peppermint oil for various reasons, such as to give me a chill and cool me off during the 90+ degree weather in the summer (I also hot flash like I’m menopausal!), as a breath freshener, and in my homemade toothpaste and deodorant.  I use it for clearing my nasal passages by breathing it in deeply a few times, from a drop rubbed between my palms.  And, it’s great for keeping away the spiders!

Next, I added frankincense to my regimen for its relaxing and mood-lifting properties, and also to help build and maintain a healthy immune system.  This oil is a part of the big leagues.  It is one of the best oils to promote cellular health, and I had to have it.  What I love about “frank” is that it acts as an “intensifier” to the other oils you’ve applied.  That’s right, it helps them become more effective.  How awesome is that?  It’s no wonder it was given as a gift to baby Jesus, it is highly valuable!

I also started using melaleuca (“tea tree”) oil to cleanse and rejuvenate my skin when it got too oily, or if I had a blemish or two.  Just dab a tiny bit of oil on it 3 times a day, and it will start to dry up.  And, if I have a canker sore, I dab melaleuca on it a few times to help ease that nasty sting – and it even seems to “cauterize” the sore, for lack of a better word.  This helps your body repair itself.

Below is a step-by-step list of my own personal daily oiling routine (I don’t always follow this routine religiously, but you get a nice little picture of how you can incorporate oils into your own life):

1.  Every morning, after showering, I apply 2-3 drops of calming and uplifting blends (comment below for my favorite brand!), and I layer 2 drops of frankincense over those.

I will also cup my hands over my nose/mouth and breathe in the remaining oils deeply for added olfactory benefits.  Various oils, when inhaled, help to relax, calm and promote an overall feelings of well-being.  And believe me, I have ALL of them in my arsenal.

I also put 2 drops of frankincense under my tongue for to promote cellular health, or a specific blend of oils that also help in that area. (email me to find these oils).

2.  Before brushing my teeth, with my homemade toothpaste (see recipe here), I will add a drop of peppermint oil to my toothbrush for added freshness.  The toothpaste already contains a little Peppermint oil, as well as a immune system enhancing blend of oils, to provide a soothing protection for my mouth, gums and throat, and to strengthen teeth through remineralization of surface tooth enamel.

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3.  After lunch, rather than chewing Trident (like I used to do 4x a day!), I place one drop of peppermint oil on my tongue and swallow.  This provides the mouth with a burst of freshness, if you do not have a toothbrush with you at work.  Trident, and many other gums contain aspartame, saccharin and other nasties that are not good, especially if you’re chewing it as much as I did.

4.  Not long after lunchtime, I may or may not need to rub a drop or two of a digestive-soothing oils onto my belly.  If I was a good girl and ate healthy, I don’t need the tummy taming oils!  These digestive enzymes aid in the proper digestion of foods that are hard to digest (i.e., meats, dairy, etc.), and soothe the occasional stomach upset.  They also support a healthy gastrointestinal tract.  These enzymes are phenomenal for one other reason – they also aid in digesting gluten!  I’ve never seen another product out there like that.  Pretty sweet, and incredibly helpful.  Comment below for my favorite digestive enzymes.

5.  As the 3:00 p.m. crash closes in on me, I whip out the peppermint oil as a pick-me-up.  After rubbing only a drop to the palms of my hands, and breathing in deeply, I am more alert and ready to take on the afternoon.  You can also place a drop on the back of your neck or on your wrist and breathe in deeply.  (If you have sensitive skin, be sure to dilute peppermint oil – it is a “hot” oil and you may feel a burn!)  Lemon, or any of the other citrus oils, will also help wake you up and even uplift your mood.  (NOTE:  When using citrus oils, do not let it be exposed to the sun for 12 hours or so, because they are photosensitive and can cause severe burns).

6.  After work, I may rub another drop or two of calming and uplifting oils (email me for these) on the back of my neck, and breathe it in from my hands.  This is to either help me relax or lift my mood for the evening.

7.  If I am wired from working the 9-5, I will put a drop of frankincense on the roof of my mouth, and rub a blend of oils such as: peppermint/cypress/basil/lavender on the back of my neck to promote relaxation of tense muscles.  This helps me begin to relax.

8.  Just before bedtime, I will wash perform my daily skin care regimen, and then I’ll gently rub an anti-aging blend of oils (diluted in evening primrose oil) onto my face before applying a light layer of night cream.  This blend contains anti-aging skin-supporting oils, such as frankincense, lavender, myrrh, helichrysum, sandalwood, etc.  Very soothing, great for those fine lines and wrinkles and does not clog pores!  And believe it or not, it actually minimizes the red scars that you get from blemishes (the ones that usually stick around a looooong time).  LOVE, gumdrops, unicorns and lollipops – that’s what I think about that!

9.  Then, I brush my teeth again with a drop of peppermint or a thieves-type of blend onto my toothpaste (I don’t always do this – I’m lazy a lot of the time and skip this step).

10.  And last, at bedtime, I rub  calming and soothing blends of oils onto the bottoms of my feet and big toes.  I may add in a little vetiver oil (a sedative oil) too.  If there’s any left on my hands, I’ll rub it across my pillow.  The best oils for sleep are lavender, a certain pre-made calming blend, ylang ylang, roman chamomile, sandalwood, cedarwood and vetiver.  I am sure there are more, but those are the best that I know of!

I am wary of diffusing oils throughout the night, because a particular cat of mine hates the scent of essential oils (as most cats do – since many are toxic to them).  He retaliates by leaving me a liquid “present” on my bedspread.  So far I’ve had to bring my bedspread to the laundromat 3 times ($8 each time!) to clean/dry it because it’s too large for my own washer/dryer.  Now I only diffuse oils at bedtime if I need help with respiratory issues.

Our bodies were created to heal themselves during sleep, so it is important to always be able to reach a deep REM sleep.  For general physical and emotional health, and also for skin health.  When using my favorite sleep oils, I wake up more refreshed from having a deeper sleep, and it does not make me drowsy.

Then, I wake up and do it all over again…

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I don’t even remember what life was like before using essential oils, to be honest.  They’ve become such a staple in my life and I know that I will always use them.  It’s so exciting to have everything I need for every issue you could think of, right at my fingertips.  It’s empowering, and fun, and I get to use my creativity when blending.

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

BEST Homemade Deodorant – Better than Tom’s!

clean, cleanliving, crunchy, deodorant, diy, do-it-yourself, empowerment, essential oils, gifts, gluten-free, health, holistic, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, natural living, non-gmo, organic, pure, wellness

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This is by far THE BEST deodorant I have ever used.  No joke – and it comes from my very own kitchen.  I’ve tried so many natural deodorants, regular deodorants, etc., and they all make my pits smell funny.  I used to always think homemade products weren’t as effective – that was until I found essential oils.

First, some info:

Antiperspirants:

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past decade, you already know that antiperspirants contain aluminum salts, which stop you from sweating.  This may sound great to you, and give you confidence at a sweltering mid-summer BBQ party, but it is actually not a good thing.  Your underarm sweat glands are there for a reason – to release the sweat and toxins from your body to keep you healthy.

Did you know that whatever we put on our body is absorbed through our pores, and enters our blood stream within approximately 26 seconds?  Many products out there contain formaldehyde, parabens, mineral oils, petrolatum, etc., which soak right into your pores and swim around your blood stream looking for organs in which they can attach themselves and eventually mess up your body.

Not only do antiperspirants contain aluminum, they also irritate sensitive skin.  Even “all natural” brands can give people rashes or contain ingredients that aren’t 100% pure!  It’s just so hard to find real natural products, you know?

Deodorant:

Deodorant is a completely different product altogether.  Deodorants do not contain aluminum, so they allow you to sweat.  But they do somewhat mask the scent of your body odor – so at least you don’t stink!

Years ago, after going to a nutritionist, I learned that aluminum has been linked to many health issues, and that I would be better off making my own 100% natural deodorant.  To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of using only a deodorant, and letting my sweat flow freely (Update: been using this now for a couple years and will never go back to store bought deodorant).

I first started out with drugstore deodorant.  Then, I learned more about harmful chemicals in our products, so I began using Tom’s natural deodorant from the health food store.  Tom’s didn’t mask the odor at all.  Maybe it’s worked for you, but as for me, not a fan.  Then, I joined Arbonne, and started using their all natural Pure Mint deodorant.  I love the smell of their deodorant, like sweet mint gum, but it was a little too pricey for my budget.

I ran out of my last stick of Arbonne deodorant yesterday morning, so I decided to make homemade organic deodorant last night.  I am happy to say that it works like a boss!  It has been almost 9 hours and no pit odor.  All you need are a few ingredients and 5-10 minutes to make your own.

I chose lavender, melaleuca (tea tree), wintergreen and/or peppermint oils.  The lavender and melaleuca have odor-masking properties.  Wintergreen is cool and has that minty/cooling scent that I loved in my old Arbonne deodorant.

Below is a step-by-step photo tutorial on how to make this deodorant.  The full recipe will be posted at the bottom of the page.  It makes an invisible-solid deodorant, that should last up to 3 months!  I had enough to fill up 2 deodorant sticks, and a 4 oz. glass jar.

First, I collected all of the materials I would need.  Small pot, measuring cup, all-natural beeswax, organic cold-pressed coconut oil, arrowroot powder, aluminum-free baking soda and my essential oils.  That’s it.

Next, heat up a small pot on the stove at a very low temp for a couple of minutes.  Once the pot is heated, drop in the coconut oil, add the beeswax and melt together at very low heat.  Once they have melted together, turn off the stove.

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Next, whisk in arrowroot powder and baking soda.  Once smooth, let it cool for about 15 minutes so that it isn’t hot.  Then, you can stir in your essential oils (so as not to be damaged by high heat).

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Take an empty deodorant stick container, or a small glass tub, and pour in the mixture until it tops off.

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Replace the lid and place it in the fridge to cool for a half an hour.  That’s it!

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Store your deodorant in a cool, dry place so that the coconut oil doesn’t melt during the day and leave you with a mess!  The bathroom is fine, unless your home is very warm.  In the summertime, storing it in the fridge would give you a nice, cool application.

You can experiment with your own oils.  Just be sure to have some oils with cleansing and odor-masking properties, such as melaleuca or lavender.  The one I made doesn’t have a strong scent, which is great for those who usually buy unscented deodorants from the store.

DIY DEODORANT RECIPE:

1/2 cup organic cold-pressed coconut oil
1.5 Tbs of organic beeswax pellets (I bought these)
1/4 cup Alumimum-free baking soda (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or food grade Diatomaceous Earth, if allergic to arrowroot)
15 drops of melaleuca essential oil (see note in red below)
15 drops wintergreen, spearmint or peppermint essential oil
6 drops lavender essential oil

Heat up a small pot on the stove on very low heat.  You don’t want it bubbling, just warm enough to melt your ingredients.  Drop in the solid coconut oil, and beeswax pellets, and stir until melted together (the beeswax helps keep the deodorant firm, so that it doesn’t drip down your sides).

Stir in arrowroot powder and baking soda.  Let cool for about 15 minutes so that it isn’t hot, and then mix in your essential oils.  Pour into an empty deodorant stick tube, or in a glass jar with a tight lid.  Place in fridge to cool for 30 minutes.  Store in a cool, dry place so that the coconut oil doesn’t melt.

FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal.  Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where.  The oils I use give full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity.  They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade, and extremely potent.  If you would like to use this brand, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

**[PLEASE NOTE:  According to the compliance rules of the FDA, I am unable to disclose my favorite oil company’s name in the body of this blog, but you can comment below with your email address, and I’ll send you the link, along with some great educational materials on essential oils.]

If you need to purchase glass jars, roller ball bottles, deodorant sticks, etc., you can do so here:  www.aromatools.com or www.bulkapothecary.com.  Both are great stores.

Please let me know if you try this recipe and if you liked it.  Also, if you use different essential oils, I’d love to know which ones so that I can try it too!