Musings On Motherhood and (Hopefully Helpful) Aromatherapy Tips

Posts tagged ‘healing’

Essential Oil Safety

I’m a firm believer in researching everything to death. I make no important decisions, especially about my family’s health, without reading everything I can find on the subject. I encourage everyone else to do so as well, but many people just take the information they are given from a single (sometimes biased, sometimes simply ill-informed) source, and believe it as 100% truth. This leads to misinformation spreading, and when it comes to your health, the results could be disastrous.

I love essential oils–the way they smell, the way they can sooth my stress. I’m going to tell you a little story about how I’m an idiot. DON’T BE ME.

Pictured: an accident waiting to happen.

For me, there are few things more relaxing than a hot, hot, SUPER HOT bath. And some Peace and Calming oil, which is both peaceful AND calming, so whoo hoo, win, win and triple win.

So I gleefully spiked my bath with a liberal amount of the oil and hopped in. All was blissful until I noticed my skin was…burning…just a bit. Then a bit more…I got out of the tub to find that I was covered in red splotches. Yup, I had overdone it with the oil, which contains both orange and tangerine oils (which are a bit acid-y, hmm?). The proper response to this situation is to rub yourself down with a carrier oil (V-6, in my case) and hope for the best. I did, and all was well.

If you believe something has the power to help you, you must also believe it has the power to hurt you (I read that somewhere, it’s a quote from someone smarter than me, although I can’t remember who), so for the love of your baby-soft skin, be careful and know what you’re doing.

A few points:

  • Dilute every oil in a carrier oil–I use V-6 oil, but olive oil or sweet almond oil work well. Only a few gentle oils such as chamomile and lavender should be used directly on skin, although obviously if you’ve been using oils for a long time and are used to them, you may find several that you can just slather on without a problem.
  • Check for allergic reactions by mixing a single drop of the oil with a carrier oil and rubbing it into your skin. Let it sit for about 24 hours and check for any kind of reaction–red, itchy bumps, hives, etc. Better to find out with a tiny bit of oil and a mild reaction than to go around pouring it over yourself with abandon and having your entire head swell up until it’s the size of a prize-winning pumpkin (that’s how allergies work, right?).
  • You only need a drop or two, mixed with a carrier oil, to see results. Essential oils are highly concentrated, and using only a tiny bit blended with a carrier is the safest way to use them and saves you money. I like to use Young Living’s V-6 carrier oil and put several drops of each oil I want to use right in the V-6 bottle to make custom massage oils.
  • Keep them out of your eyes. Seriously.
  • Use common sense when deciding if you should ingest an oil. A couple drops of orange or lemon oil in your tea? Sure. A little cinnamon bark in your coffee? Absolutely. Eucalyptus? No way–it can be toxic if taken internally. There are people who swallow oils all willy-nilly and never have a problem, but I prefer caution, because when you’re taking something for your health, it really sucks if it kills you. When in doubt, take a second to look it up online, or call  your doctor.
  • I use lavender oil on my whole family, as I’ve mentioned, but don’t just start using your kids as Mommy’s Little Oil Tester. Every good mother wants what’s best for her children, but many people make the mistake of thinking that natural equals safe. Please remember: If you are going to use essential oils for their medicinal properties, or for any reason, you MUST TREAT THEM AS MEDICINE, and remember that they have risks.
  • If you have certain conditions, such as asthma, epilepsy, or heart problems, consult your health care provider before using the oils.
  • Keep your oils away from open flames, and never burn pure essential oils.

I believe in the power of essential oils 100%, and I also believe that when used properly they can enhance your life greatly. I hope you all have wonderful experiences with them, and I hope that perhaps I’ve helped to clear up some of the questions you might have.

Have a beautiful day all,

Loretta

Spring, Sunshine & Citrus

I’ve always been a night person. I love the moon and the stars, the sound of the frogs and the crickets, the feeling of having everything to myself while the rest of the world (well, the rest of my personal world anyway) sleeps. But sunshine…there’s nothing quite like the warmth and energy of a sunny day–flopping down in the cool green grass with a glass of lemonade while the sun’s rays warm your body and spirit. Also, citrus fruits, which can make me feel sunny even on a cloudy day. The scent is uplifting and energizing, and it can help chase away the (metaphorical) clouds and make you feel bright and shiny again.

Delicious.

 Young Living makes an oil blend called Citrus Fresh, which contains lemon, tangerine, orange, grapefruit and spearmint, and smells like a bottle full of awesome. The recipe to make a yummy smelling household cleaner is very similar to the lavender/ peppermint spray:

Mix everything together in your spray bottle by capping tightly and shaking well. Now you have a wonderful, scented cleaner that is chemical-free and completely safe to use around your pets and children.

It's citrusy...and fresh. The name says it all.

You can also make a great wood polish, if your kids have not yet completely trashed your expensive oak furniture:

  • 15-20 drops of lemon oil
  • 1 pint of mineral oil
  • A clean container to put it all in

Use a clean, soft cloth to apply to the wood, let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe off with another clean, soft cloth. Yay!

Since my older two are in school, they suck up germs like grubby little sponges and bring them home to me, because as a good mother, I taught them how to share. I somehow manage to get sick more often than anyone else (although my husband, Captain Hypochondriac, would tell you otherwise–if the man gets the sniffles he thinks he’s on his deathbed), and for some reason it’s almost always a sore throat and a case of the vicious snufflies. Something that ALWAYS soothes my throat is a nice hot blend of green tea (steeped as strong as you like it) a couple drops of lemon oil, and as much honey as you like. Remember that babies under 1 year should never be given honey, but for toddlers on up, honey is a wonderful natural remedy for colds.

You can use these oils in small amounts to flavor foods and drinks–a few drops in a glass of ice water is incredibly refreshing (and calorie-free) on a hot day. One of the great things about oils is that they are always available and the oil doesn’t go bad when you don’t use it right away. If you’re making a vanilla milkshake, put in a few drops of orange oil–it tastes so amazing my kids dance around freaking out while I make it, and whine loudly enough to make your ears bleed when I try to taste it before them. Spoiled? Not MY precious monsters, and yes, they can be both precious and monsters simultaneously. You should hear my littlest guy growl. If you heard that coming from your closet at night you’d run away screaming in your jammies.

Well, I guess I didn’t realize what time it is because my 6-year-old just threw open the door and announced he was home from school (“MOMMY I’M HERE!!!” every day, it’s adorable), and I need to feed him before he starts eating everything that’s not nailed down–I’m amazed at how much that 55 pound boy can ingest in one sitting. Too late, he’s shoveling daddy’s pretzels in his mouth….

SMELL THE CITRUS INTERNET! Have a beautiful day 🙂

Loretta