Category Archives: Essential Oils

Keep Those Bugs At Bay

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With school back in session and cooler weather around the corner, you can expect to see more cold and flu viruses showing up; maybe even coming to your home.  I found a fun way to keep those nasty bugs away and please my family (particularly my kids) as well.

A blend of wild orange clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils is a natural immune booster.  The combination of oils strengthens the body’s immune system and helps ward off viruses.

So here’s how I keep my home germ-free and my family free from colds and flu bugs.  We eat POPCORN!

onguard popcorn

Immune Support Popcorn

1 cup of un-popped popcorn kernels

1/8 to 1/4 cup of butter

1/8 to 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup

4-5 drops of immune booster blend

2 drops of cinnamon

While popcorn is popping (preferably in a air popper), melt the butter and then add the syrup and oils. Pour the butter mixture over the popcorn, then shake some salt and ground cinnamon powder over the mixture, adding nuts as an option. Serve.

This is a great way for your family to ingest some of the oil so they get even more illness prevention protection!

Here’s another option.

Chex Mix Immune Support Popcorn

4 cups Chex cereal
4 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup nuts ( I like almonds)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
10 drops Immune support oil blend
8 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil.

Mix together the cereal, popcorn and nuts.  Add the essential oil to the melted butter. Pour butter mixture over the popcorn mix. Mix the cinnamon and sugar. Pour over the popcorn mix. Stir together. Microwave for 1 minute and stir again.  

You need to serve it immediately as it gets a little soggy if it sits.

strawberrypopcorn

Strawberry Chocolate Popcorn

1 large bowl full of organic popcorn- popped

1/2-1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4-1/2 cup real maple syrup

8 drops wild orange essential oil/p>

4 drops immune support oil blend

1 cup of organic freeze dried strawberries, ground to a powder

1 cup unsweetened coconut

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 cup chia seeds

sea salt to taste

Pop the popcorn and pour into a large bowl. Heat the coconut oil and blend in the maple syrup until combined. Add the essential oils. Set aside. Mix dry ingredients together and pour coconut oil mixture over the top and stir. Season with salt to taste.

Enjoy!!

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Chinese Anyone?

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One of my favorite summer meals is lettuce wraps. Not only can you keep them healthy, but they are delicious and great cold or hot.

Here’s one of my family’s favorites.

 

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Five-Spice Turkey and Lettuce Wraps

Based on a popular Chinese dish, these fun wraps also make appealing appetizers for entertaining. Make it a meal: Serve with chile-garlic sauce and rice vinegar for extra zip; toss diced mango and strawberries with lime juice for a quick dessert.

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup(s) water
    • 1/2 cup(s) long cooking brown rice
    • 2 teaspoon(s) sesame oil
    • 1 pound(s) 93%-lean ground turkey
    • 1 tablespoon(s) minced fresh ginger
    • 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
    • 1 cup(s) water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
    • 1/2 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • 2 tablespoon(s) hoisin sauce
    • 1 drop ginger essential oil, clove essential oil, cinnamon essential oil, black pepper essential oil, and fennel essential oil OR 1 tsp five-spice powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) sea salt
    • 2 head(s) Boston lettuce, leaves separated
    • 1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh cilantro, basil, mint and chives

1 small red cabbage, shredded

Directions

1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and ginger; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, oils and salt; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

3. To serve, spoon portions of the turkey mixture into lettuce leaves, top with herbs and cabbage and roll into wraps.

Depression Hurts!

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I recently spent the weekend with my sister who suffers from occasional bouts of depression. While I have dealt with postpartum depression, I can’t imagine living with depression  long term. it seemed appropriate to address such an issue this week.

My sister has been on multiple medications for her depression and over a period of time the medications have gone from managing her symptoms to being useless. The reason of course is that the body builds up an immunity to most prescriptions and over time, the body ceases to respond to the drugs.

So what options are there for those who suffer from this illness when the medical prescriptions stop working?

Over the last 20 years, my sister has found that these solutions help her maintain a life that is worth living.

1. Diet. My sister is very much an advocate of eating green, organic, live, and uncultured foods.  Preservatives, sweeteners, hormones (found in meats), and dyes set off the triggers that spiral her down into her depressive moments and by monitoring what she eats and drinks, she can eliminate many of the triggers that exacerbate her depression.  She  works at eating only whole unprocessed, chemical free foods and while she may have to hunt around for her food stuffs, the cost isn’t that much more than purchasing processed foods.

2. Exercise. My sister isn’t a health nut and hates gyms but she does walk each morning, 3 miles a day. Even this limited amount of exercise is beneficial and releases endorphins. She also sets a timer when she knows she will be sitting for longer than 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, she gets up, moves around, stretches and then if she must, she returns to sitting and resets the timer.

3. Essential oils.  In my quest for health and a solution to my daughter’s mystery illness, I became an advocate for essential oils as nature’s medicine. I gave my sister a few sample oils to try and she is now an advocate for treating illnesses naturally. She even uses essential oils for her depression.  Her favorites are ylang ylang, frankincense, and a blend of essential oils put out by a highly respected company. She has also tried bergamot, lavender, and melissa but finds the others to be more effective with her body chemistry. She uses the oils daily (both topically and internally) and rarely has more than 3-4 short depressive episodes a year as compared to feeling majorly depressed all the time.

4. Journaling. Writing out her feelings and thoughts has been a great resource for my sister.  She can look back and see patterns and recognize them when they start again, giving her a chance to change the pattern and forestall the depression. She also finds it helpful to have several compassionate, understanding friends and family members who understand what she is dealing with. Turning to these individuals helps her manage her illness better.

Depression is an insidious disease but it is not a life sentence.  Management is the key.  These are just some suggestions that may help you or someone you know overcome the effects of this illness.

 

The Fight Against Cancer and Environmental Pollutants

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The risk of developing cancer during a lifetime is one out of two men, one out of three women, and approximately1,500 cancer deaths each day in the U.S. and of course, increasing.
Studies done in 1997 and again in 2004 on DNA repair documented that the source of cancer is the mutation of intercellular DNA or copying errors– meaning that the DNA are transmitting the signals to the telomeres and the telomeres to the RNA, and the replicating cells break down. Divisions in the errors are caused by extracellular malformations from radiation, chemicals, and our environment.
It is not new news that problems lie within our environment with the pollution in the water, the pollution in the air,and with the pollutants we willingly put in our bodies. We brush our teeth with some commercial form of toothpaste, use a commercial shampoo,  a commercial soap, deodorant, lipstick, makeup –whatever – and it is the same. Chemicals in that which we are putting on our body and which we are exposed to in our environment, and our food is extremely damaging. Cancer-damaged DNA is propagated to new cells.

The above mentioned studies started looking at various compounds that are mentioned  in essential oils in treating different cancer conditions. The focus was on oils with specific and varying combinations of plant chemicals, protective qualities, coping with environmental stress, destructive killing or inhibiting growth of invaders, and stimulatory traits, promoting cell growth. This research took 74 oils – 69 single oils and five blends or mixtures – and treated cervical cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, and prostate cancer cell lines. They also tested against non-cancerous 3-T-3 fibroblast cells so they could see a variation in actually what was going on in these studies. Oils showing 50% or more cancer cell inhibition and 25% or less inhibition of non-cancer cell growth were recommended for further study as potential anti-cancer drugs.

These studies have resulted in the introduction of a cell restructuring essential oil blend that heals and repairs damaged cells and has shown some success in eliminating the presence of certain cancer cell structures. It has also been shown to minimize and in some instances eliminate the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Mood Management

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Sometimes changing your current emotional state is not easy. You may be feeling depressed, anxious, fearful, stressed out, any number of negative emotions that adversely affect your mind and body. That’s when you might need some external assistance to get to your “happy” place. The quickest way to change a bad mood to a good one is through the olfactory system. Smell triggers emotions and memory. A smell associated with a happy event is the fastest and easiest way to elevate your mood. If you don’t have those scents on hand, or in my case where my HAPPY smell is gingerbread and I don’t want to eat mindlessly or have tempting gingerbread around, other basic scents will also work universally to elevate your mood.
The most common mood elevating oils / scents are Citrus oils.

I utilize a blend of essential oils. These oils diffused in a room or directly applied to the soles of my feet, help me combat depression, anxiety, anger, and help me change my frame of mind to one of happiness and contentment which are much more conducive to productivity and success.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Relationships: How Do I Get These?

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Stressors are anything that threaten or adversely affect your health. These may include issues at work, poor eating habits, anything that allows negative or potentially hazardous substances into your body. These stressors can be internal or external in nature and sadly, many of them can’t be avoided. We do have lives to live and jobs to work, after all.
However, do not be discouraged (another bad stressor that will adversely affect your overall health). While you can’t avoid stressors, there are ways to combat them. Below are some Rx for various stressors (this is by no means a complete list):

Body

Migraines, recurring illnesses, lowered immune systems, rashes, headaches, aches and pains, sluggishness, poor sleep patterns, etc.

1. Avoid foods with preservatives, dyes, and basically any type of unnatural sugar or processing.

2. Avoid carrying around excess weight. There are some great weight loss programs out there.  While I have found great success with Take Shape For Life (and coach for other TSFL clients), find a program that works best for you.

3. Avoid seemingly healthy foods that are modified (GMO). There’s been a lot of debate over GMO lately but the truth of the matter is natural and unaltered is always best (that includes dehydrated which is easily returned to it’s natural state with the addition of water).

4. Avoid over the counter and prescription remedies as often as possible.  Most ailments were treated effectively LONG before science stepped in and began creating drugs.  Look for natural remedies such as essential oils, vitamins, minerals, fresh foods and herbs, or techniques such as massage to combat most ailments. These natural remedies are non-invasive, non-addictive, and work with the body to help it heal itself.

5. Exercise properly and safely. Over exercising is just as harmful and not exercising at all.

Mind

Stress, anger, depression, anxiety, etc.

1. Learn to quiet your mind and refocus. Mediation is a great tool as is learning the art of relaxation and release. A healthy regime allows for a period of quiet or mediation each day.

2. Exercise is as good for the mind as it is for the body.  It releases those happy endorphins which aid in healing and have an uplifting and calming affect on our minds.

3. Learn to prioritize. People who work off of lists are naturally healthier than those who do not. Why? Because they are less stressed and changes do not throw them. They have learned to prioritize so they always have a plan of execution.

4. Learn to say NO. Those who take on too much often find that they can’t do anything effectively.

5. Find coping mechanisms. Take time out, use essential oils to help clear your mind or calm you down in stressful situations, step away from highly volatile or stressful events until you are relaxed and better able to address the concern.

Relationships

Marriage, lovers, work, children, parents, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.

1. Avoid relationships where you are giving 100% all the time and the other person is doing all the taking.

2. Cultivate relationships based on mutual respect and trust and avoid those that offer only distrust, selfishness, and criticism.

3. Make God or a Higher Power your first priority. Doing so will help you see the best in others.

4. Remove people who are toxic or only bring drama into your life.  It is less likely that you will be able to lift them up and more likely that they will bring you down to their level.

5. Communicate.  I can’t stress this enough.  The key to every great relationship, be it romantic, work or other, is the ability to communicate effectively and listen even better.

Throw Me A Lifeline

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Fear of failure can be just as debilitating as fear of heights, or any other fear. Not only does it stand alone as a fear, it is coupled with other fears people struggle with. For example, a person with a fear of flying also has a fear of failure… failure of being unable to get on a plane without being terrorized and having others notice.

Fear of failure, however, is the easiest fear to overcome.  Unlike other more insidious fears that require conditioning to defuse, fear of failure requires one or two successes to diminish it’s strength.  AND those successes can be assisted by outside means.

Let me explain.

Back to our flying/failure combo.  Fearful flyers can get through a flight by getting drunk (sometimes works), taking sedatives (also has a minimum success rate), or utilizing some other chemical inhibitor. They seek to change the way the brain responds to the fear.

The same can be done with a fear of failure but without harmful chemicals.  Fears of failure, after all, require just one of two successes to diminish their intensity.

Imagine facing any fear with a sense of calm. You’re more likely to get through the stressful event successfully and come out the other side knowing you are strong. How do you get that calm? By  diffusing the chemicals in the brain that heighten our sense of fear.

Essential oils counter the fight or flight chemicals in our brains and cause us to think more rationally during times of anxiety or fear.  Here are a few suggestions for essential oil application:

 

  • Wild orange, bergamot, lime — all give a calm sense of well being and are uplifting to the mood.
  • Lavender – calming
  • Frankincense – brain tonic, neurotonic, mind clearing, awareness, uplifts spirit, restores DNA and RNA