The Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils

The Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils

Essential oils are the liquids extracted from plants. Think of them as plant concentrates. Essential oils help the plant stay healthy, and they can do the same for us. Use them for aromatherapy, home cleaning, personal care, and support for every system of your body. The thing is though… not all oils are created equal. How do you know which one to choose? 

 Well, for me, it all came down to something called Seed to Seal and Young Living is the ONLY company that provides this. Seed to Seal is a quality commitment unlike anything else; they have control of the ENTIRE process, from the seed to the sealed bottle. You can rest assured that you’re getting a quality product made with the highest quality essentials oils and other naturally-derived ingredients.

Check out some of the strict guidelines they abide by to fulfill their promise in sending only the best products to your home. 

  • plant material that is grown on corporately-owned farms or carefully vetted partner farms (that you CAN visit!)
  • sustainable farming and sourcing practices, providing the purest oil
  • great care taken to preserve and protect natural resources
  • hand-weeded fields and ZERO use of pesticides
  • oils that retain all their natural constituents and therapeutic properties
  • use of food-grade distillers with state-of-the-art design and distillation methods
  • low pressure and low temperature distillation, without the use of solvents or synthetic chemicals
  • rigorous testing on each batch by internal labs and third-party facilities
  • oils that are carefully reviewed through every step of production in order to meet or exceed industry safety and purity standards (beyond organic!)

And the best part… if the oils do not meet these high standards they are rejected and will not be bottled as a Young Living product. Check out more info on their Seed to Seal promise at www.seedtoseal.com.


Before we dive into the most popular oils I want to explain how to use them. Well, it’s rather simple! Just pick a way and go for it! Anyone can use essential oils - no aromatherapy training needed.

 Topically

You can apply them to your wrists, neck, back, feet, etc. Just keep them out of your ears and eyes, directly. If you get oil in your eyes, don’t rinse it with water. Instead, apply a fatty carrier oil around the area.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some oils are gentle enough to put directly on your skin without diluting. If you notice it getting hot or making your skin a little red, just throw some carrier oil on (coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, etc.). For kids and elderly people, dilute it more heavily. Don’t overcomplicate it; keep it simple! 

 Aromatically

Another way to use them is aromatically. Crack open a bottle, and breathe it in. It can be that simple! Add your oils to a diffuser and enjoy the therapeutic benefits from diffusing. Put a drop in your palm, rub your hands together, and cup your hands over your nose. Breathe deeply and enjoy! No matter how you do it you still reap the benefits.

 Internally

Add a drop (or more) of a Vitality oil into an empty vegetable capsule, a cup of tea, or a glass of water. You can even cook and bake with them! Try some Lemon Vitality in your yogurt or a toothpick tip of Oregano Vitality in your next batch of spaghetti sauce… so delicious! One of my favorite things to do is add 4 drops of Peppermint Vitality to a box mix of brownies - talk about yummy! One thing to note: citrus oils can break down the petrochemicals in plastic so it’s safer to use stainless steel, glass, or ceramic when adding oils to your dishes and drinks.

 Now, before we go any further… I want to make sure you know the difference between a Vitality oil (white label) and the “regular” oils (solid color label). The Vitality oils are labeled for internal/dietary use so they can be ingested. The solid color bottles are labeled for aromatic/topical use. However, they are the SAME oil. The ONLY difference is the color of the label. It just makes it easier for us to know which oils can be safely ingested. The Essential Oils Premium Starter Kit comes with 5 Vitality oils - Peppermint Vitality, Lemon Vitality, Thieves Vitality, Citrus Fresh Vitality, and DiGize Vitality. But guess what? Those oils also come in solid color bottles, which means they can be used aromatically and topically! Does that make sense?

 It is all so interesting right? Now if you have read this far I am guessing you are truly interested in making a change for you and/or your entire family. Instead of writing anymore I will do one better. I have a great FREE 20 minute audio class that goes into depths of all the oils that come in the Premium Starter Kit, which happens to be 12 of the most commonly used oils in the world. If this is something interests you- "YES I WANT THE FREE AUDIO"



 

Through Sickness and in Health

When I got married years ago we stated the words “through sickness and in health” to one another. I think when you say those words or think about those words you are not envisioning chronic illness. I know for me I thought about things like Cancer or recovery from a major accident- You know those sudden changes in health that can lead to a devastating diagnosis. I never, myself considered what would happen if one of us were diagnosed with a condition that would affect our lives together-forever.


 I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease when our youngest child was still an infant. I started experiencing severe symptoms during my last two pregnancies but thought what I was going through was just normal preggo stuff. So when the doctor told me I had Rheumatoid arthritis- my first thought was “ Isn’t that an old person’s disease” I couldn’t believe it. That day in that office changed my life forever. 


I have since been diagnosed with additional conditions and experienced side effects from medications to treat those conditions. Its been a rollercoaster of a journey for sure but the one thought that lingers sometimes is would my husband still say yes- if he had known we would be dealing with all of this.


Now don’t get me wrong- my husband is the most supportive person out there. He is loving and understanding-but even I know this has been a lot. My diagnosis has affected every aspect of our marriage. I am often tired, or dealing with a migraine, or something- something is always coming up despite my best efforts some days. Because of his position he is often my sounding board. When I am frustrated or angry or tired , I often vent to him about it.


Does this sound familiar to any of you?????


I want to share some things that we have done to survive this crazy life!!!


Communication-this may sound cliche and basic but I promise you it has been the most important thing for us during this journey!  


When I am not feeling well I let him know- 

When I am feeling great I let him know (he usually can tell before I tell him)

When I am frustrated I let him know

When I am feeling hopeful I let him know


Then point is- it is really easy to isolate when you are going through this journey. I try to be as open and honest as possible. 


He does the same-or if he is not coming to me outright-I try to make sure and check in with him often about how he is feeling. How his day went at work, what frustrations he is dealing with.


It is also easy to be so focused on what we are feeling that we don’t do these important check ins with our loved one. I know- its hard when its a constant battle to feel good.


Date Nights- I think it is even more important for us to have date nights that typically married couples. It is hard enough sometimes being married and dealing with the normal stressors that come along but when chronic illness is involved I think its imperative. Now date night doesn’t have to be an all out event.

 It can be having a special dinner delivered, or a ride in the car, or a movie-Just having that alone time is the important part.


Hobby- Having a mutual hobby can be fun and a good distraction. We have a few in our home. We are big fans of natural living and making things so between the two- we stay busy.


I would love to hear what is working for you and your spouse or partner?


If you are interested more in Natural Living- I have a great little class on how to use essential oils for self care-lots of tips and tricks are included Yes! Send me the Info

Dealing with Deep Seeded Trauma

Dealing with Deep Seeded Trauma

Many people know that today, September 27th, is the anniversary of my firstborn daughter’s death. 


What many people don’t know is-it is not her death itself that haunts me- 


We knew from the moment we found out about her fatal congenital heart defect when I was five months pregnant that the chances of a happily ever after were slim to none. We chose life at the time anyways- whatever that was going to look like for however long it was going to be. 


So when we chose an experimental surgery to try when she was born we were given some unexpected hope. It was this hope we were not prepared for- 


We went from grieving to hoping she was going to make it- and she actually did for two whole months- we were gifted 60 additional days with her- but when left us- it was sudden and I wasn’t there with her. That is what haunts me.


You see the day she died played out like a scene from a sad sad lifetime movie- 


We had finally believed she would be okay- I was preparing to return to work so my husband and I decided to go out for a date. The first one in ages. We left Azaria with a babysitter.  We were only planning to be gone long enough to see a movie-


Before the movie I excitedly ran into a shop and bought her birth announcements- I tucked them happily away in my purse and we went to the theater. 


The movie was just about over when a worker came in and announced he was looking for me- he said there was an emergency. I looked at my husband and just knew.


The ER doctor’s words haunt me. “She’s gone” I remember thinking “but I have the announcements”.


When I was pregnant I thought about her dying and how I would hold her until her last breath- 


That day has been a day hard to think about over the years- the deep hurt is one I am not sure will ever fully heal but I have found two essential oils to be very healing. There is a whole science as to why essential oils would help- I have another post on my blog that goes into more depth.


There was a study out of New York University that proved the amygdala gland ( the gland in the limbic system of the brain that stores and releases trauma in the body) does not respond to sound or sight or touch, but ONLY releases emotional trauma through the sense of smell."


I am so thankful for  these two therapeutic oils of choice and use them weekly at minimum. If you are interested in more information please reach out.

How to Survive Fall with Histamine Intolerance and MCAS

Ahhh I love fall- the changing of the leaves and crisp breeze ( well in my dreams anyways-here in the Carolinas the heat can linger a bit longer). I love all of the fall sports (even though I , myself am not a sports fan- my husband lights up the house with his hooting and hollering when his team wins or loses every year-its tradition. I love all of the holidays that come with fall- As I write this I have already pulled out my decorations.
I used to love so many other things too- like the coffee with the thick pumpkin spice creamer and all the fall scented candles or plug ins. Fall didn’t seem the same without going to my favorite coffee shop and grabbing that first cup of the season even if it was still warm outside. I loved going to the mall and going into that store and grabbing a bunch of those scented candles to put in my kitchen and bath


Often times those like me with HIIT and MCAS cannot tolerate the ingredients in the coffee creamers- or even the coffee itself, and as far as the candles  and plug ins go= there is a whole lot of reasons why none of us should be using most of the ones sold. SO with that all being said what is a girl (or guy) to do that loves fall.


I think what I enjoy most about my coffee in the fall is I love having a nice warm drink in my hands. 
So there are a couple of ideas for substitutes-MIND YOU- the tricky thing about HIIT and MCAS is that each of our bodies is so different and as result we can all react to different ingredients. So my substitutes may or may not work for you- I always suggest trying just a teeny bit if you are like me and react to foods.
Ideas to Survive Pumpkin Spice Season
Try a tea
Now I know-I know- if you love coffee like me-the thought of replacing with a tea is like "whaaa" but hear me out!
  Rooibos Tea- This is a tea great for us because it contains the antioxidant quercetin which is known to help combat histamine- read more about it here- http://bit.ly/2w6tTJ6

  Moringa Tea-

Moringa has been shown to inhibit 72% of all histamines released, making it almost as effective as the antihistamine eye medication, Ketotifen. Moringa is also high in the bioflavonoid Kaempferol, which has been shown in studies to prevent histamine release from mast cells. Moringa tea often comes in the form of a powder from the ground leaves. It pairs well with green tea, lemongrass, lemon zest, and coconut milk. You can even make a Moringa Latte: INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp Moringa tea powder
  • 8-10 ounces dairy-free milk
  • Sweetener to taste
Now if you are one of the lucky ones to tolerate coffee- I admit I am jealous haha!
Make your own creamer

It is often the added ingredients in that yummy pumpkin spice that causes a reaction. An option is to make your own creamer. Of course you want to tweak these ideas to ingredients you tolerate. Luckily I can tolerate coconut milk and oat milk but almond milk is a no for me personally.























 

Ditch the Candles and Plug ins altogether

 Trust me it will be a great decision for you and your entire family. Here is an article on the dangers hidden in these products.  Dangers of Candles

Getting rid of synthetic ingredients in the home is beneficial for all the reasons mentions in the article above but like with food allergies we are all so different- Some react highly to any and all scents no matter how natural and clean they are.  Instead of lighting a candle that emits a smoke- it is better to diffuse using an ultrasonic diffuser. I would only use pure essential oils where you know where the oil is sourced. I would also only use 1 or 2 drops if it is the first time using a particular oil. Often people think they are reacting to a particular oil because they are using one that is not truly pure. It is of vital importance to know the source. I have a great source I love and trust and if you want more information on that and an exclusive coupon code reply back and be sure to include the fact that you are a fellow HIIT'er or MAST'ER.

If you love learning about DIY's in action be sure to register for my free Cozy Virtual Fall Workshop where I will be going over a lot of these tips and more. Register Here

Living with Chronic Illness in the Midst of a Pandemic

Having chronic illness presents unique daily challenges. One day I can feel great and the next week it can be hard to want to do anything. The unpredictable nature makes it tough to truly make plans because I just never know exactly how I am going to feel. Like many others in my situation I usually just push through and do the best I can each and every day and rest on my days off.

When the pandemic began I have to admit I was afraid. Being an immunocompromised healthcare worker that worked in a walk in clinic was terrifying. The media was not helping things at all-every channel I turned too seemed to be announcing doomsday.

Not only was I afraid , many around me were either scared or angry. Emotions have definitely been on edge and being a provider people were sharing  those concerns with me daily.

I have always considered myself overly compassionate and empathetic. So experiencing my own concerns along with those I came in contact with was definitely tough. 

Stress is a trigger for my own illnesses and during this time I have had a worsening of symptoms. Self-care had to be a priority. 

I would like to share some things I have found helpful to my healing during this time in hopes it may help you as well.


Turn OFF the news- I do not think I have to explain why I recommend you just turn off the news at this time. I will just leave you with the thought if it doesn’t promote joy or peace or calm then change the channel.

Speaking of TV-lately I have chosen shows and movies that promote calm. I say this as a person that usually chooses crime shows or action films-but during this time I have watched shows you would find on the Hallmark Channel. You know shows that would give you the ‘warm and fuzzies”.

Rest- before the pandemic life was so rushed. The one thing this pandemic as allowed me to do is appreciate the ability to slow down and rest when I need to. Listening to your body is so important

Express your cares and concerns- I know for me it was very hurtful to hear from people I knew statements like “ Well the virus is really only deadly to those that are old or that have some underlying condition” totally forgetting that they are speaking about me when they are so nonchalantly stating that. 

Find your Joy-During this time I discovered just how much I love my puppy, Luna. She has been such a JOY to me and so therapeutic. I have also enjoyed gardening at a local community garden. Music has always been a love- I discovered a new artist during this time that I just love love love! 
Find your joy.

Grounding- I love to diffuse oils and listen to music to quiet my mind. Other times I love to kick of my shoes and walk around in my barefoot in my backyard while looking at the beautiful trees. Yet other times I like to listen to others using their singing bowls ( I have one and am still learning how to use it) It’s important to take time and quiet your mind from those racing thoughts.
These are just a few tips of things I have done to manage during this crazy and beautiful and chaotic time. Just know that this too shall pass!
 
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