Hyper-parathyroidism and Multi-Nodular Goiter = Total Thyroidectomy & Sub-Total Parathyroidectomy

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Hi, that’s me in the photo above – goiter and parathyroid tumors and all. According to my surgeon, this smallish visible bump is just “the tip of the iceberg.” Apparently, the rest of it is deeper inside and about the size of his fist! It’s also growing downward into the sternum towards my chest. I know…gross.

I’m hoping by writing about this, I can help others who might be in a similar situation, and are frustrated because their doctors can’t figure out what is making you so sick.

I’m also going to educate on how oils can be used post-surgery for comfort, wound soothing and scar diminishing. Rather than using drug store ointments, I will be using 100% pure essential oils and some extra carrier oils known for their skin benefits like Vitamin E and Rosehip seed oil. And documenting it all – mostly on my YouTube channel and my Facebook oils page, but I’ll put some in here too. ūüôā


As you may have read in my previous blog, I had Grave’s Disease (hyperthyroidism) as a teenager, and had toxic multi-nodular goiter (which is, in a nutshell, an enlarged thyroid with nodules on it, that produces too much thyroid hormone). Scary stuff to hear as a kid! After taking PTU and Synthroid medications for about a year, and not getting any results, my doctor decided it was time for the Radioactive Iodine Treatment (“RAI”). RAI is a large radioactive pill that they drop down your hatch, while trying to not let it touch your mouth or anything else due to its radioactivity. Scary!

For the following 3 days, I was told by the doctor to flush the toilet a few times every time I used it. I could only use plasticware and disposable plates when I ate and I couldn’t sit next to anyone who was pregnant. Yikes!! I didn’t glow, nor was I green, but apparently I was dangerous to an unborn fetus that was not even in my own body! This whole shebang was hopefully going to stop my thyroid from overproducing thyroid hormone. And, it worked! For the most part.

All was well in the thyroid department for the next 23 years – or so I thought. My goiter stopped overproducing thyroid hormone, which was great, an and added bonus was that my thyroid didn’t become hypo (which normally happens to patients who have this treatment). I think the goiter even shrunk a little after treatment.

Now, rewind to about 10 years ago. I began experiencing annoying symptoms that no one could explain. My leg muscles were always cramping. My anxiety had gotten worse. I was extremely fatigued, often depressed, and rarely wanted to clean my house or go out with friends. Over the years, more symptoms were added to the list. Below is my running list of symptoms (the list isn’t conclusive to the actual disease – there are a few others that I never acquired):

– extreme fatigue (even brushing my hair poops me out)
– GERD (acid reflux) (diagnosed and taking Omeprazole)
– depression (let’s not even go there)
– anxiety (waking up every morning with a nervous stomach ache, fears, inner shaking and sometimes hand tremors)
– hair loss (pony tail? more like a paintbrush)
– brain fog/confusion (bosses think I’m an airhead)
– memory loss (I’m apparently a very large goldfish)
– frequent urination (I should set up my work computer in the stall)
– constant thirst/dry mouth (drinking so much water makes the frequent urination frequent-er!)
– dry, scratchy eyes (used Restasis for a few years)
– stomach issues (let’s not even go there)
– hoarse/scratchy throat/voice (no, not the sexy kind)
– trouble sleeping (due to frequent urination all through the night!)
– irritability (sorry, hubs!! I’ll be normal soon!)
– muscle & joint aches (I’m only 39!)
– frequent headaches (sort of dull, and sometimes daily)

Over the years, my previous doctor would test my thyroid hormone, to see if my thyroid was over- or under-producing thyroid hormone. The results always came back normal, and so I assume the doctor (and possibly friends and family members) thought my bodily complaints were all in my head. I mean, I constantly Googled my symptoms, always trying to find a diagnosis. I’m sure the word “hypochondriac” came up in conversation when I wasn’t around! I didn’t care. I knew there was something wrong with me, and I was determined to figure it out.

Finally, in October 2017, after the frequent urination was just ridiculous (I’d go 20-30x in a 24 hour period), I decided to get a ton of blood tests to see if I had diabetes. Frequent urination is a symptom of diabetes, and we have a lot of diabetes in our family. I figured I was bound to get it at some point. It had also been 2 years since I’d had a complete blood workup, so…

My blood tests came back “prediabetes,” but that didn’t concern my doctor. He was concerned with my consistent abnormal calcium level. It had been high in 2014, 2015 and again in 2017. He wasn’t my Endocrinologist before 2014. (I skipped seeing one for many years, so I am sure my levels have been high for at least 10 years). Since my doc was concerned about the frequent urination and high calcium, he sent me back for a parathyroid hormone (“PTH”) test. This would test if I also had high levels of pth in my blood.

Being an avid, self-professed, online medical researcher (“Googler”), I found out that high calcium and high PTH hormones and discovered that if you have high levels of both, and also have low Vitamin D, you have a disease called Hyperparathyroidism and that means that you have a tumor on one…or two…or theee…or four of your 4 parathyroids. When you have 4 diseased parathyroid glands it’s called Hyperplasia.

This disease is slow progressing, but in time it can cause major problems if you don’t get it taken care of. Problems such as osteoporosis, osteopenia, cardiac issues, kidney failure and more. If you have tumors on all 4 parathyroids, you have hyperplasia. Having 1 tumor is most common, but is less common the more parathyroids that have grown a tumor.

From my limited understanding of biology, and pfoficient Googling abilities, these parathyroid tumors cause the overproduction of parathyroid hormone. This will cause calcium and phosphorus to be pulled from your bones – not good. You can’t absorb the calcium, and so it floats around in your blood, wreaking havoc and causing annoying symptoms. This is called hypercalcemia. This leads to bone loss and that is where the osteoporosis can come into play. I have never had a bone density scan done, so I don’t know how my bones are, except for the fact that my dentist keeps telling me how much bone loss I have at every one of my dental visits.

This extra calcium can even attach to various tissues in your body and cause calcification of that tissue. Basically, it’s like growing a tooth over your organ! (I’m sorry if you have nightmares tonight…). These tumors need to be removed. Surgery is the only treatment for parathyroid tumors.

I am eternally grateful for my doctor noticing the high calcium levels in my bloodwork, and catching this before I spent any more precious years feeling miserable. Please, if you have any of these symptoms, and no one can figure out what’s wrong with you, please advocate for yourself and ask your doctor to order blood tests for Calcium, Vitamin D and PTH. If your doctor won’t do it, find a new doctor. Seriously.

Always read your bloodwork (if you can access it online like many medical groups are doing these days), and if any levels aren’t in the normal range – ask your doctor why. If your doctor shrugs it off, find a new doctor!! See as many as you can until you get answers.

As a member of a parathyroid disease support group on Facebook, I’ve learned a lot from many poor souls who have experienced my same symptoms, but worse. Many of them have developed painful kidney stones due to the damage done to their kidneys by the excess calcium. And almost all of them can attest to the fact that this disease isn’t easily found by primary care physicians, or sometimes even your endocrinologist! Sad, right? Most will discover they have these tumors by accident – through CT scans or blood tests. And that is only if they have a well educated doctor who catches it.

So, once my doctor referred me to an Endocrinologist, it all started coming to light and fast. My blood tests confirmed that I had hyperparathyroidism. That was the first step. The second step was to send me for a 4D-CT scan. This scan showed that I had not only 1, but two parathyroid tumors. The third step was to refer me to a surgeon to remove the buggers. Being the proactive researcher that I am, I already did my homework and had already chosen the surgeon I wanted to use. If anyone was cutting my neck open, it would be one of the best in the Chicagoland area. Dr. Steven DeJong at Loyola.

I met Dr. De Jong for a consultation and he spent a lot of time with me, showing me my CT and Ultrasound photos on the computer. He basically told me that my thyroid/goiter was the size of his fist, and that it had started growing down into my sternum. Oh my wow. This mean that I didn’t just need to have the 2 parathyroid tumors removed (which would have been a quick non-invasive surgery), but I needed my entire thyroid removed, and also 2 of the parathyroid glands that contained the tumors. This was more involved than I imagined, but I trust him and agreed to schedule surgery for January 11, 2018.

Removal of the entire thyroid will mean that I need to supplement my body with a synthetic thyroid hormone for the rest of my life. Strangely, I know a lot of people who have had this surgery, and who are on this drug. I’m not worried about that. What gives me the creeps is that there is always a possibility of malignancy, AND there is always the possibility of complications during surgery. One complication would be permanently damaging the vocal cords. Thankfully my doctor is very experienced in this type of surgery, so I have full confidence in him.

So, being this is an essential oils-themed blog, I figured my surgery would be the perfect way to show off my favorite skin, wound and scar-mending essential oils, that I’ll be using on the incision. I’ll be posting pictures of the progression of healing of my incision further on down this blog, once I get to that point. So if you are squeamish, you might not want to read my post-surgery update.

Before the steri-tape is removed, I’ll be using a blend of essential oils, such as frankincense, lavender, helichrysum, rose, sandalwood and melaleuca around the area.

When the tape is removed, I’ll be using the same blend on the already-healing incision. I’m going to add some Vitamin E oil to the mix and also be using an “everything ointment,” which my company sells, that includes many of those same oils. They are all fabulous for skin repair/soothing.

I will also document this at my YouTube channel: Karen K. – Aromatherapy

TO BE CONTINUED…Look out for my surgery recovery blog next!

UPDATE: Here’s a video I made for my YouTube channel 4 days post-op.

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Guacamole & Homemade Chips With Lime & Cilantro Oils

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For a healthy,  quick snack, try some homemade guacamole and homemade tortilla chips!  They are fresher and taste a whole lot better than store bought chips!

First, gather your ingredients.  You will need the following:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced
  • 1/8 cup diced red onion
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 drops Lime essential oil (See note in red below)
  • Less than 1/2 drop Cilantro essential oil, (use a toothpick, serioulsy)¬†(See note in red below)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 2 pressed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 drop Black Pepper essential oil (See note in red below) or 1/4 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 4 soft yellow or white corn tortillas (I prefer El Milagro – they don’t use preservatives)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (or a healthier cooking spray oil than PAM!)

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Thoroughly wash and chop your tomatoes, onion and avocado.

Put your avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until your desired consistency.  I like mine a little chunky. Once mashed, toss in your onion and tomato and stir.

Then, you can add the spices and/or essential oils. ¬†Where it says to use 1/2 drop of essential oil, here’s the trick on how to do that.¬† Since you can’t really measure a half drop, I usually put one drop on a spoon and then lightly shake some off into the sink. ¬† Then I can stir the remainder of the oil that is on the spoon into the guacamole. ¬†It seems to be just enough. ¬†These oils are super potent, and a little goes a very long way!

If you aren’t going to eat the guacamole right away, put the avocado pits into the storage container along with the guacamole and refrigerate. ¬†The pits will keep the avocado from turning brown!

For the homemade tortilla chips:

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Put 4 tortillas (or more) on a cookie sheet (you’ll need a couple of cookie sheets).¬†¬†Very lightly rub both sides of each tortilla with a very small amount of olive oil (If you use too much oil, the chips will be chewy, not crisp – and ruin the whole experience).¬† If you have a cooking spray (which I don’t like using due to the propellant in the can),¬†it would work best in this instance.¬† Lightly spray both sides of each tortilla instead of using olive oil.¬† Stack the tortillas on top of each other, and with a large knife, cut through all of them so that each tortilla makes 8 chips.¬†¬†Using 4 tortillas will make 32 chips.

Spread each chip out evenly out over 2 cookie sheets.¬† Sprinkle salt over all of the tortillas.¬† And if you’re feeling¬†crazy, put some salt in a bowl, add a drop of lime essential oil to the salt and mix it up.¬†¬†Then sprinkle the salt all over your chips. ¬†Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until crispy.

Once the chips are cooled, you are ready to eat!

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.]

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‚Äôs a miracle drink ‚Äď I can say that since I‚Äôm not trying to sell it to you. ūüėČ

I‚Äôve 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‚Äôll be paying off those bills for quite a while!¬† What a waste ‚Äď the results didn‚Äôt 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‚Äôt 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‚Äôt bloating as often.¬† I wasn‚Äôt burping as much throughout the day (I would literally burp every couple of minutes).¬† I also noticed that I didn‚Äôt have explosive bouts of diarrhea (sorry, TMI?) after eating ice cream or pizza.¬† My skin is clearer (but I also use Arbonne‚Äôs anti-aging skin care, which has something to do with that!), and I haven‚Äôt 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‚Äôt have stomach issues, there are so many other health benefits (listed below) that it doesn‚Äôt 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 ‚Äúlemon honey water‚ÄĚ and read on!¬† There are so many great articles by doctors and health and wellness¬†practitioners praising lemon water.

So, you‚Äôre 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 ‚Äď 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 Рwhere 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‚Äôs organic ACV, which says ‚ÄúWith the Mother‚ÄĚ 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!¬†¬†ūüôā¬† 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

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea

clean, cleanliving, cooking with essential oils, essential oils, health, holistic, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, immunity, natural living, non-gmo, nutrition, pure, recipe, tonic, turmeric, wellness
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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!

Silky Whipped Body Butter

body butter, calming, Christmas, clean, cleanliving, cream, crunchy, diy, diy lotion, do-it-yourself, essential oils, health, Holiday, home project, homemade, homeopath, homeopathic, natural living, non-gmo, pure, recipe, salve, soothing, wellness

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 Winter in Chicago is pretty darn cold!  Between the below-zero windchill days, and the strong winds off of Lake Michigan, it is almost impossible to stay moisturized throughout the winter months.

I have tried numerous body creams and lotions, and while some commercial creams work pretty well, none are as luxurious as this do-it-yourself whipped body butter Рor as pure.  Frankincense essential oil provides extra skin-soothing support, and I highly recommend you add it to this recipe.  (See my blog on Frankincense HERE.)

Rather than purchasing creams from the drug store, which contain parabens, mineral oils, formaldehyde, sulfates, preservatives, animal fillers, petrolatum, GMOs, etc., you can make your own all-natural body cream and actually nourish your body, rather than fill it with toxins.

My husband’s job causes him to wash his hands with a very harsh scrubbing soap, which leaves the tops of his hands¬†dried out, red, rough and cracked from the lack of moisture.¬† I applied this body butter to his hands before bed, and by morning they were much softer and less irritated.

**Quick Tip!  If you have a mason jar or glass container that still has a price sticker on the bottom, any citrus essential oil will remove it, including all sticky residue, within a couple of minutes!  No need to purchase Goo Gone anymore once you have these oils.

I am always amazed at how having essential oils in your home can eliminate almost every store-bought cleaner.  (See my Essential Oils Cabinet project HERE.)

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Voila! No sticky residue left on the glass!

So, let’s get started!

First you will want to gather your ingredients (see recipe below):

In a double broiler or glass bowl, combine all ingredients except sweet almond, shea or jojoba oil and essential oil/oils.

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Bring to a low-medium heat. Stir constantly until all ingredients are melted.  Remove from heat, add your shea/almond/jojoba oil and stir to combine.  Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

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Place your bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes, or in the fridge for a few hours, until the oil is opaque and somewhat solidified.  It should no longer be a clear liquid.  (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture at this point!)

Once your oils have solidified, remove it from the fridge and add your essential oils. Using a hand mixer, whip for 10 minutes.  Body butter will become fluffy and look like whipped cream.

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Scoop into a glass jar, or if it is a gift, use a piping bag to give it more of a design.

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My piping design didn’t look so pretty….¬†¬†So, I just filled the jar completely, tapping it on the counter each time to make sure it filled every¬†space of the jar.

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If you are giving it as a gift, find some cute labels and ribbon and beautify it!  I think I will be giving one of these to all of my bosses this Christmas. It makes a thoughtful and budget-friendly gift for anyone.

SILKY WHIPPED BODY BUTTER

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw shea butter
1/2 cup raw mango butter
1/2 cup cold-pressed coconut oil
1/2 cup sweet almond oil, jojoba oil OR shea oil
20-30 drops essential oils of choice
10 drops of frankincense oil (optional Рfyi, frankincense in creases the potency of other oils)

(*Essential Oil Variations, depending on your health needs:¬† Copaiba, cedarwood, heluchrysum, geranium, melaleuca, peppermint, lavender, chamomile, cassia wild orange, rosemary, eucalyptus, grapefruit.¬† NOTE:¬† If using any citrus essential oils, DO NOT go in the sun for up to 12 hours.¬† It could cause severe burns.¬† They are “photosensitive oils”.)¬† (See Note in red below)

Directions:

In a double broiler or glass bowl, combine all ingredients except almond/shea/jojoba oil and essential oil/oils.  Bring to a low-medium heat. Stir constantly until all ingredients are melted.  Remove from heat, add your almond oil and stir to combine.  Allow to cool.  

Move bowl to the fridge and allow to cool for 1 hour. ¬†This is important because you do not want to¬†add essential oils to hot oil, or it will decrease it’s wellness benefits. ¬†It should look slightly opaque and soft at this point.¬† Remove from the fridge and add your essential oils. Using a hand mixer, whip for 10 minutes. Body butter will to become fluffy and form stiff peaks.¬† Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.

I HIGHLY recommend this body butter to anyone with dry or problem skin.  It has become my favorite body cream!  For extra added skin soothing, add frankincense and/or helichrysum oils to your butter.

Also, the types of base oils or butters that you add to this body butter makes a huge difference if you have eczema or sensitive/irritated skin.  I would recommend: raw shea butter, raw mango butter, almond oil, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, hemp seed oil, borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, calendula oil, kukui nut oil, carrot seed oil, safflower oil, peach kernel oil, sea buckthorn oil, rosehip oil, tamanu oil, sesame oil, walnut oil.  They are all very soothing for eczema.

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 – stay moisturized!

 

Sleepy-Time Bath Salts

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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 РI 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

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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.]