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Tag Archives: Essential Oils

Choosing Health with Young Living

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Back in 2014, I had no idea what awaited me.  I was leaving teaching after 30 years and was looking forward to sleeping past 4:30 a.m., relaxing, traveling, enjoying grandchildren, and writing.  I had actually already written a book that needed some further editing, and I was hoping to find a way to get it published.  And then, OILS!

A good friend of mine introduced me to Young Living Essential Oils, linked her arm in mine, and escorted me into a new business!  I was interested but tentative.  My reservations about starting a new business didn’t last long.  First of all, I love the essential oils. I had always been sensitive to smells—cleaning products, hair sprays, candles, and so many things.  Now I had a diffuser which dispersed beautiful aromas into my home without causing sensitivity issues.  And the bonus is aromatic benefits.  Second, the business aspect grew very quickly. My family fell in love with the oils and the health benefits.  Soon friends and extended family were involved, and I haven’t looked back.

Additionally, this business has expanded my horizons, given me an outlet for writing, taught me many new things, and blessed me with many new friends. Though the financial benefits are there, I believe the health benefits are even more rewarding.  I have purged my home of many chemicals by replacing cleaning products, skin products, food products, and daily supplements.  I live a much more conscious healthy lifestyle because I have been educated.

Essential oil use needs to accompany other healthy lifestyle choices.  My goal when I started was to focus on my health, and I have found essential oils helpful as I increase my exercise routine, improve my eating habits, get an adequate amount of sleep, and reduce the stressors in my life.  For me, this business is about partnering with those who are on a journey to better health and looking for a cheerleader to come along side to provide education and support.

This week, Young Living upgraded their popular Premium Starter Kit.  I’m excited about it because they have re-introduced two popular essential oil blends to the kit. It now includes 12 essential oils, a diffuser, samples of their popular antioxidant boosting drink, Thieves Household cleaner, and more.  With one collection, you can begin your own journey to transforming your home and your health and decrease your exposure to harmful products.

I believe people have an increased awareness of the benefits of choosing a healthy lifestyle. Not only do healthy choices increase your longevity, but also your quality of life, your energy, and your outlook. Health products abound in today’s market, but I believe I have chosen the best ones.  If you have never explored Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise or essential oils, I’d love to share with you what I have discovered on my journey.  Whatever your choices, make them for your health.

EASY DIY ESSENTIAL OIL GIFT IDEAS

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It seems I have no sooner put out my fall decorations than my mind turns to Christmas and gift-giving.  When I was growing up, my family was not very crafty.  We were not a family who made gifts for one another.  We were a shopping family, and I have very fond memories of holiday shopping with both my mom and my dad.

Then I met my husband.  His extended family tended to give more hand-made gifts.  Of course, when we first got married, we had a limited income as most young couples do so making gifts seemed like a great idea to my husband.  Even while we were dating, we started a tradition of making hard candy every year.  During our early marriage we continued to make things for extended family members.  One year I crocheted “holiday candles” that fit over a cardboard tube.  Another year, I made yarn wreaths on a coat hanger.  And for a while, my husband made bread to give to family members every year.

I found gift-making somewhat intimidating. Making things was, and still is, a challenge for me. I will only attempt the simplest of projects.  However, over the past few years, as I have begun using essential oils and been exposed to all kinds of DIY recipes, I have found a lot more easy, creative ideas for gift-giving.  I thought I would share a few I have found simple enough to tackle.

I realize that everyone has favorite essential oils, so I will give you a list of suggestions and let you experiment. You may want to make minor adjustments so that each gift you give is as unique as the person receiving it.  For containers, I use decorative Mason jars. Do not use plastic containers if you are using any citrus oils.

SUGAR SCRUB

Directions: You can use white sugar, brown sugar, or a combination of the two.

  • 2 ½ cups of sugar
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. Honey, optional
  • 1 t. baking soda, optional, add more to achieve desired consistency
  • 10 drops of essential oil of your choice. Choose one or more of the following.
    • Fall scents – Thieves, Clove, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Christmas Spirit, Orange, Northern Lights Black Spruce
    • Citrus scents – Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, Bergamot, Grapefruit
    • Christmas scents – Peppermint, Orange, Juniper, Cinnamon, Clove, Thieves
    • Relaxing scents – Lavender, Stress Away, Valor
    • Muscle soothing scents – Peppermint, Wintergreen, PanAway, Valor, Frankincense
    • Man scents – Shutran, Northern Lights Black Spruce, Frankincense, Cedarwood, Sacred Sandalwood

BODY BUTTER

Directions: You can use any base – cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, kokum butter, or a blend.  You can melt it first or just soften it.  Use a stand mixer to whip butter base to desired consistency.  Add liquid oil slowly. You may not use the whole amount.  Remove from stand and fold in essential oils.  Add to a Mason jar and seal.

  • ½ cup shea butter
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup almond (or grapeseed, safflower, jojoba, olive)
  • 20 drops of essential oil

RICE SOCKS

Directions:  Pour 1 cup of rice into a large bowl.  Stir in essential oils.  Add rice to tube sock.  Fill any remainder of sock with more rice. Close sock with a rubber band.  Shake the sock so the oil-infused rice blends with the plain rice.  Add a bow around the rubber band, if desired.  I personally find the bow is just a pain. Make sure you are using a rubber band or a band that does NOT contain any metal pieces because you are going to warm this up in the microwave.  You can always add more essential oils in the future if needed. These socks are, as far as I am concerned, genius!  I use my rice sock every day.  This would be a great craft for a Scout troop or a Sunday School class.

  • One cotton tube sock
  • 1-2 cups of white rice
  • One heavy duty rubber band
  • 5 – 10 drops essential oil
    • Muscle soothing – Peppermint, Wintergreen, or PanAway
    • Calming – Lavender or Stress Away
  • To heat: Put in microwave 30 seconds at a time to desired temperature, not more than 90 seconds total.
  • Do not apply directly to skin; use a cloth barrier.

SOAP

This is the easiest thing in the world!

Directions:  Melt the soap base.  Stir in essential oils.  Pour in mold.  Cool.  Remove from mold.  I have wrapped these in saran wrap and tied with a bow. I have also put them in small organza bags to give away.

  • Soap base – I have used a shea butter base and a goat’s milk base
  • Silicone Mold
  • Essential oils
  • Option – Dried petals – I tried adding dried rose petals to my soap. Though it worked beautifully, I found they did not hold up well. If I added them in the future, I would store the soap in the refrigerator; or, I would use dried petals in one batch and essential oils in another.

Whatever gifts you choose to give—whether store bought or handmade—may you embrace the spirit of the season, enjoy the preparations, and create lasting memories for the whole family.

HOW DO YOU USE LAVENDER VITALITY?

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Many people like lavender flavor in sweet or savory dishes, and you can peruse the internet and find many recipes. If you don’t have a lavender garden in your back yard, you can use food-grade lavender oil in your recipes. However, there are a few things you should know before doing substitutions.

  1. Choose safe products from reliable resources. One choice is Lavender Vitality.
  2. Lavender oil, or any oil for that matter, is going to add a much stronger flavor to food than flowers or herbs, so adjust your recipe. It might take experimentation. One drop goes a long way. I learned this the hard way. Start low and slow.
  3. If one drop is too much, try the toothpick method. Dip a toothpick in the oil, and then stir the batter with the toothpick.  I know it doesn’t seem like much, but you will be surprised at the flavor.
  4. Essential oils should be added near the end of the recipe by folding them in. When mixing a cake or cookie recipe, the oils may lose a bit of their therapeutic value during the heating process, but you will still get the flavor.
  5. In a stove top recipe, remove the pan from the stove and let the hot ingredients cool a bit before stirring in oils.
  6. If liquid ingredients are part of the recipe, you may want to combine the oil with another liquid before adding to ensure more even distribution.
  7. If using more than one essential oil flavor, definitely start with the toothpick method.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.  Add Lavender Vitality (or another favorite Vitality Oil) to:

  • A simple syrup recipe to blend with ice tea
  • A milkshake or smoothie
  • Homemade Ningxia popsicles or Ningxia shots
  • Whip cream topping your dessert or smoothie
  • Yogurt
  • Cookie or cake recipes, especially mixed with lemon
  • Vinegar and oil-based salad dressings
  • Hot cocoa
  • Candy recipes
  • Marinades
  • Syrup for waffles and pancakes
  • Potato and pasta salads

RECIPES

Honey Lavender Lemonade

  • 6 lemons, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 drops Lavender Vitality oil
  • 10 cups ice water
  • Lavender sprigs, optional

Combine lemon juice, lime juice, honey, and Lavender Vitality in a large glass pitcher. Add water to taste. Stir until well mixed. Chill. Garnish with sprigs of lavender.

Lavender Rosemary Salad Dressing

  • 2/3 cup Safflower Oil
  • 1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ t sugar (optional)
  • 1 drop (or to taste) Lavender Vitality
  • 1 drop (or to taste) Rosemary Vitality

Combine ingredients in a mason jar.  Shake before use.  Store at room temperature.

ESSENTIAL OILS IN THE WORKPLACE

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Using essential oils in your business will aid in a healthy environment and encourage wellness among your staff.  One customer shares about her work environment: “I work for a real estate brokerage; and throughout the building, there are a minimum of 4-5 diffusers going at any given time. From everything to enhancing energy to promoting a calm environment, our essential oils play a big role in our day to day operations and mood!”

Here are easy ways to incorporate essential oils in your office.

DIFFUSERS – Placing diffusers at strategic locations in your business can support the immune system of your employees and create a refreshing atmosphere in which to work.  Staff will inhale the fresh scents and boost immunity at the same time.  Thieves essential is a good blend for helping support the immune system. Additionally, depending on which essential oils you chose, you can promote focus, encourage positive moods, and avoid the mid-afternoon slump.  For mood boosting and focus, try diffusing Lemon essential oil.  Instead of that afternoon energy drink or cup of coffee, try some Peppermint aromatherapy. It is an invigorating and refreshing scent.  Working on a deadline?  Is everyone uptight?  Diffuse Stress Away to help promote a calm environment.

THIEVES WATERLESS HAND PURIFIER – We all want to keep our hands clean, especially after a meeting where we have had to shake hands many times. Or maybe after using office tools and machines that are shared by a whole staff.  A quick way to do this is with hand sanitizer; however, normal hand sanitizers aren’t the best option. Synthetic fragrances have been show to disrupt the endocrine system and provoke allergies.  They are drying to the skin, especially in winter months when we are already dry. Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier contains aloe vera to help nourish the skin. Finally, antibiotic resistance is an issue. If you overuse regular hand sanitizers, you can actually lower your resistance because every time you use them, you are killing off the good bacteria along with the bad.  Use Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier instead. It contains essential oils.  And while essential oils are consistent enough to maintain their fragrance and therapeutic properties, each growing year offers mild differences.  These differences are due to soil and weather conditions.  Therefore, Thieves Hand Purifier does not present the same risk of antibiotic resistance from overuse as traditional hand sanitizers.

THIEVES HOUSEHOLD CLEANER, WIPES, AND SPRAY – Common cleaners, sprays, and wipes also contain chemicals and fragrances that are not friendly to our health. Keeping Thieves Wipes and Spray on hand can help promote a healthy workplace. Wipe down desks, office phones, doorknobs, and faucets.  Do you have an office kitchen?  Thieves Household Cleaner is a concentrate. Dilute it in spray bottles and keep several on hand for quick cleanups.  How about the office refrigerator?  Ew!  Thieves can help you there, too.  And while you’re cleaning out the refrigerator, add a cotton ball with drops of Purification essential oil blend to help keep those areas odor free.

Keep Thieves Cleaner in the bathrooms.  A quick spray down will help keep things fresh and clean all day.  Try the Thieves Foaming Hand Soap, too!

DRINK OIL-INFUSED WATER- We all need to drink more water to stay healthy and hydrated.  Adding a citrus essential oil to your water can give you flavor without added calories.  Many like to add Lemon or Lime Vitality to their water.  But there are other Vitality oils—Orange, Tangerine, or Grapefruit Vitality.  Maybe you’d prefer Peppermint or Lavender.  Please use glass or metal beverage containers (not plastic.) Citrus essential oils, especially, should not be used in a plastic beverage container.  The oils break down the toxins in the container, and they bleed into your water.  Also, please make sure the essential oils you add to water are pure and meet GRAS standards.  Young Living markets a separate line of oils called Vitality to help you identify those which are safe for ingestion.  Drinking water with essential oils will actually help cleanse your system, as well as add a pick me up to your day. Be sure to drink plain water, too.

These are just a few ways to create a pleasant office environment and promote wellness at the same time.  Happy Oiling!

 

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Hacks for Seasonal Suffering

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Woman With Hay Fever Allergy From Flowers

I have had allergies since I was a kid, and they are not fun.  A runny nose, itchy eyes and ears, a scratchy throat, bloody noses, sneezing, and wheezing—I had it all.  As an adult, I have improved to the point where I no longer suffer from them regularly, but I can’t really explain why.  My husband still has frequent flare ups.  We have both run the gamut of remedies from antihistamines and decongestants to allergy shots.  Even after I had shots, I had lots of issues as a young woman. (Living on a dirt road didn’t help.) Though I had suffered since I was a child, I had no idea that one of the symptoms of hay fever is fatigue.  Between that and antihistamines, it’s no wonder I was a sleepyhead.

Over the years, I have had all kinds of recommendations from friends and medical professionals.  Some are preventative. Others are remedy oriented. I am not a medical professional, and I am not here to prevent, treat, or cure allergies.  These are things that I have tried, as a long time sufferer from seasonal discomfort. I pass them on to you merely from my personal experience and encourage you to do your research.  All things do not work for all people.  But here are some ideas that may make a difference in supporting management of symptoms.

  1. Keep the windows closed all the time, especially at night. The widespread installation of air conditioning in homes and cars has made this suggestion much more realistic than it was in past years.  I know we are tempted to open our windows in the spring when we have been cooped up all winter and want to smell the fresh breezes, but this may play havoc with your allergies. If you live on a dirt road or if it is windy, it is even more important. If you must open your windows on occasion, at least keep them closed at night.  The damp, night air has proven detrimental to both my husband and me, as became really apparent in our camping years. We resist the temptation to turn off the air conditioning and open the windows at night, and we breathe easier.
  2. Don’t spend a lot of time outside when the pollen count is high. Now unless you’re a hermit, you can’t avoid going outside, but hanging out for hours in the great out of doors when the pollen count is high is asking for trouble. Weather forecasters usually let you know when things are especially bad, so stay tuned to your favorite weather resource.  If you are responsible for the yard work, and you don’t want to hire a service, wear a mask when doing things like mowing, weed whipping, or leaf/grass blowing. My husband always wears a mask when he is working outside.
  3. Don’t hang your sheets on the line to dry. Despite the convenience of home dryers, many are tempted to save money by hanging their sheets outside to dry.  We love that fresh air smell.  But that fresh air smell isn’t good for your allergies.  This recommendation was given to me by my GP years ago.  Wet sheets attract pollen.  That is not what you need when you lie down to sleep.  Use the dryer.
  4. Fighting the dust is an ongoing battle, but vacuuming and dusting can help, especially in the bedroom.  Keep things as clean as you can by vacuuming and dusting regularly, as well as changing furnace filters. Assign allergy producing tasks to a family member who does not suffer from allergies or hire someone to clean. If you have to do it, wear a mask while cleaning dusty areas. If you are doing a big project like cleaning a basement or sorting through old books, take breaks and get away from the area for some deep breaths.
  5. No pets. – This is hard, and I would venture to say most of us don’t follow it. I didn’t have a pet growing up, but both my siblings had dogs so they were in the house.  When my kids were growing up we had a cat—the worst!  Cat hair everywhere.  If you are going to have pets, you just have to keep up with the vacuuming and dusting even more.  If you do have a pet, avoid having your pet sleep with you.
  6. Change to plant-based cleaning products. – Many people with allergies are allergic and/or sensitive to smells of all types—perfumes, chemicals, soaps, etc. Numerous cleaning products contain fragrances that are not good for anyone’s health, let alone an allergy sufferer. Countless products contain skin and respiratory irritants. (See ewg.org.) We want to use natural products, but “natural” does NOT always mean natural.  Choose plant-based, essential oil-infused products or make your own.  There are several companies on the market that sell fragrance-free, safe cleaning products, and there are lots of recipes on Pinterest for making your own. Do your homework and find safe products.
  7. Shower and shampoo. Some doctors recommend showering in the evening so you are not carrying the pollens attracted to your skin during the day into your bed at night. If you don’t want to shampoo your hair every day, consider wearing a hat when you are outside.  This is not only good for lessening pollen attracted to your hair; it’s also good for keeping your skin safe from sun damage.
  8. Change your clothes and shoes. After working or sitting outside, change your clothes so the pollen you have carried in doesn’t deposit on your furniture. Wear different shoes in the house than you wear outside.
  9. Personal care products. Personal care products, like cleaning products, contain fragrances and toxins that are often linked to allergies. Products like gel and hair spray attract pollen to your head. [droz.com]
  10. Be proactive and preventative with doctor prescribed or recommended meds. My GP recommended that if you take any kind of OTC allergy remedy, you need to take it BEFORE you start having symptoms. So if you don’t take it all year round, you probably need to think about it again when the season comes around and take it until the season is over, which is generally considered to be at the first hard frost.
  11. Try essential oils. I like to run my diffuser using Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint oil. It provides a refreshing aroma.  I also like to inhale scents like peppermint or a eucalyptus blend, which may support the respiratory system. Diluted essential oils may be rubbed on topically to provide an invigorating lift to your day.
  12. Get adequate sleep. We know allergies can make you tired so it is important that you don’t skimp on sleep even when daylight makes it hard to get to bed on time. Stick to a regular sleep schedule, and you’ll feel a lot better.

Most of these are common sense remedies, but it always helps to review.  I hope something on this list will help you find relief when your symptoms have got you down. My prayer is that all of you will be able to find relief and enjoy the summer.

Essential Oils – A Band-Aid or a Lifestyle?

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This blog is not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. Please see your health care professional for treatment.

[This post contains affiliate links.]

Have you tried essential oils? Did you write them off as a fad? Perhaps you found them pleasant but couldn’t really evaluate their effectiveness. Maybe it is because you took the band-aid approach. Rarely do we see positive effects from a one or two time use of anything. Eating one piece of fruit is not a new eating plan; going to the gym or taking a walk one day, does not improve our overall cardio and physical stamina. Essential oils are similar in that they are most effective when incorporated into an overall wellness plan.

Never tried essential oils?  Why not?  Every day our bodies are exposed to a variety of toxins that we can’t see. Though we can eliminate the level of our exposure by choosing wisely in our eating habits, skin products, and cleaning products, we can never eliminate everything to which we are exposed. Essential oils and essential oil products help support our body’s major systems.

Essential oils are natural oils distilled from plants that can be used as part of your daily routine. Finding the right oils for you and finding ongoing educational support for using those oils are keys to a positive experience. So, how do essential oils work to help you stay above the wellness line? They support an overall wellness plan. They are not a panacea.

We all know the basics to a healthy lifestyle: Good nutrition, adequate exercise, adequate sleep, healthy relationships, and quiet time. Essential oils can be a tool to help you with the basics. Let’s talk about some specific examples.

Lemon – Lemon can enhance the flavoring of water or foods and help support your nutrition goals. Additionally, it contains limonene. Add lemon to salads dressings, marinades, chicken, fish, vegetables, noodles, fruit, smoothies, and yogurt. My favorite use is to add lemon to brown rice or broccoli. Using lemon instead of butter saves some calories. Lemon offers support to the digestive system.

Peppermint – Peppermint supports physical wellness with its cool and refreshing taste and aroma. Inhaling peppermint perks me up in the middle of the day or before or after exercise. It is also supportive of the digestive tract and the musculoskeletal system. Add a drop to your water. I love Peppermint, and I carry it with me wherever I go. It also tastes great in brownies or hot chocolate for those days when you need little treat.

Lavender – Lavender brings calming and relaxation. Diffuse it before bedtime to support healthy sleep. Add it to your bath salts for a restorative bath. Lavender helps support the nervous system.

Frankincense – Frankincense is one of my very favorite oils. I find it so calming and I love the fragrance. Diffuse it during quiet times of prayer and meditation to help bring grounding and purpose to your busy life. Frankincense is also helpful in supporting healthy skin. It is an ingredient in many skin care products. Frankincense helps support many systems, including the respiratory and nervous systems.

Clove – Perhaps you didn’t know that Clove is an essential oil. It is! Clove supports a healthy immune system. It can be taken as a daily dietary supplement. It can also be added to recipes like gingerbread, molasses cookies, and spice cake. Just stir one drop into the batter. Clove is one of the key ingredients in the essential oil blend Thieves.

These are just a few of the many essential oils and blends that can become a part of a healthy lifestyle when you educate yourself on their benefits. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the choices. When you add new routines little by little, they become habit. You will be supporting the various systems of your body to stay above the Wellness Line. Before you know it, you will be wondering how you ever got along without these little bottles of goodness.

What’s Your Skin Routine?

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[This post contains affiliate links]

Do you have a skin care routine, especially for your face?  Are you consistent about it?  I confess, until about a year ago, I didn’t consistently do anything for my face but wash it in the shower and moisturize before putting on makeup.  I was one of those people who often went to bed with make up on.  People said that was bad, but when I was working full time, sometimes at night I was just too tired to care.

Then I met a new friend whose job was in skin care.  She constantly reminded me how important it is to remove makeup before bedtime.  I have to admit, in this area I was a slow learner.  Maybe it is because my face is about the only part of my skin where I’ve never really had issues.  I didn’t suffer from adolescent acne, and I inherited some pretty awesome genes.  I am often mistaken for much younger than I am.  I don’t say that to gain your compliments; it just is.  And I had nothing to do with it.

I had found, during my search for all things clean, an anti-bacterial wash cloth which allows you to cleanse without soap.  It is quick and easy.  I decided it was time to be more consistent about skin care.  I started a nightly routine of washing, toning, and moisturizing my face, and I am proud to say I have rarely missed a night.

However, as I began to pay more attention to skin care, I also began reading labels on products I was putting on my face.  Having already rid my home many toxins, the next logical place to detox was my makeup cabinet.  So, I searched. And I searched some more.  And I really could not find a skin-loving, chemical-free makeup.  Until now!

The company I rely on for essential oils decided to get into the makeup market because their customers were demanding pure products.  Yes, I am talking about Young Living.  Young Living already has great skin care products, and now they are offering a makeup line called Savvy Minerals.  Check out the clean options you have with this makeup, and check out the not-so-good ingredients that may be in the makeup you are using.  See more information at www.savvyminerals.com. If you would like to place an order, you can go to my website: https://www.myyl.com/widmayerwellnessllc.

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