Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!


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2016 – My Year for Crushin’ Health & Fitness Goals! (Part 3: Oily Tips & Tricks to Help You Reach Your Goals!)

weight loss

Welcome back to Part 3 of my Health & Fitness blog series: Oily Tips & Tricks to Help You Reach Your Goals! I’ve enjoyed sharing my journey with you and have really appreciated all the supportive feedback I have gotten from family and friends.  It’s such a wonderful feeling to know that my journey has helped inspire so many others and I can only hope to continue to motivate and inspire as I move into 2017 with bigger and better fitness goals in mind.  But today I want to share with you a little bit about how my oily obsession has helped me meet my goals this year!  So read on!

For the Athlete on the Go: Active & Fit Kit

Perfect to throw in your gym bag or for the student athlete, the Active & Fit Kit was created by Young Living ambassadors and athletes to help you rev up your workout by combining the power of Cool Azul Sports Gel, plus Deep Relief, Peppermint Vitality, Copaiba, R.C., and Thieves essential oil blends. This kit is designed with convenience in mind with a carabiner for easy attachment to any gym bag, an exterior pocket that perfectly fits a Slique Bar, and an interior pocket sized just right for a tube of NingXia NITRO. As an added bonus, this kit will include three roller fitments to complement each topical essential oil. The Active & Fit Kit supports every fitness regimen, from elite competition to daily workouts.

This was on my wishlist for several months after it was released in 2016 and I’m super excited to have it as part of my on-the-go gym bag! I use this kit several times a week. I’ve added and changed a few things so below I’ll tell you how and why I use each of the oils in my Active & Fit Kit!

Copaiba (with roller fitment)Copaiba is one of those oils that I tend to forget about because its less commonly used or talked about but it has so many awesome uses!  Copaiba is distilled from resin harvested from the tree that grows native in South America.  In addition to all it’s amazing oral and digestive health benefits, Copaiba also helps support the body’s natural response to injury and irritation. It is a key ingredient in Young Living’s best-selling roll-on blends Breathe Again and Deep Relief.  I mentioned in Part 2 of my blog series about my knees showing signs of wear and tear from my increased physical activity this year, hence why I take a Glucosamin Chondroitin supplement each morning.  But for added benefit, I like to roll on a little Copaiba essential oil on and around my knee joints to help give them a little support before I start my exercise routine.  I find this especially beneficial before I go for a run!

R.C. (with roller fitment) – R.C. is a powerhouse blend of 10 essential oils, including Cypress, Spruce, Myrtle, Marjoram, Pine, Lavender, Peppermint and three species of Eucalyptus designed to support healthy respiratory function.  I like to apply R.C. to my chest before physical activity, especially running, to help open the airways and ensure that my respiratory system operating at its best during exercise!  I’ve noticed a big difference when running with R.C. vs the days I forget to apply it.  Especially during transitional months when the sniffles are so common!

ThievesThieves is probably Young Living’s best known blend, so named after the Legend of the 4 Thieves who used to rob from plague victims during the 5th century but never got sick.  Thieves is a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils.  I apply Thieves to the bottoms of my feet before I exercise or go run. Not only does this help support my immune system it also keeps my sweaty feet from stinking up my gym shoes! lol I chose not to put my roller fitment attachment on my Thieves because I tend to diffuse this a lot at work to keep the germs away when I have clients in and out of my office all day.  I have to refill my Thieves for the diffuser so often that I have had to resort to pulling it out of my Active & Fit kit at times so it’s easier to keep it off so I can use it both ways.

Peppermint Vitality – Did you know there is actually a ton of research suggesting that Peppermint essential oil can enhance athletic performance by supporting your respiratory and circulatory systems so you can go faster and farther? Just cracking open and smelling that bottle of peppermint oil can reduce perceived effort, improve your mood and boost your brainpower!!! A recent study by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that adding Peppermint essential oil to athlete’s drinks improved their performance, blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory functioning. In addition, the test subjects were able to increase their performance by 51% as well as increased their time until exhaustion by 25%!!!  Young Living’s Active & Fit Kit comes with a bottle of Peppermint Vitality for just this reason!  Same high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils but labeled as a dietary supplement!  I love adding a drop or two of Peppermint Vitality to my water before exercise to give me a little extra pep in my step!

Deep Relief – The ONLY way you can get a 5 ml bottle of Deep Relief is with the Active & Fit Kit.  It’s the same amazing blend of Peppermint, Lemon, Balsam Canada, Clove, Copaiba, Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Vetiver and Dorado Azul in a coconut oil carrier that you get in the 10 ml Deep Relief roll-on but in a dropper bottle.  I actually find it easier to use the roll-on for my purposes, which is for targeted relief on sore muscles or aching joints after workouts so I replaced my 5 ml bottle with the 10 ml roll-on for daily use.  However, I’m hoarding my 5 ml bottle for other purposes like making my own DIY Bath Salts or Massage Lotion!

Cool Azul Sports GelCool Azul Sports Gel is an aloe based gel with a cooling blend of Peppermint, Wintergreen, Sage, Copaiba, Oregano, Niaouli, Lavender, Blue Cypress, Elemi, Willow, Caraway, Dorado Azul and Vetiver essential oils with Menthol and Camphor as well as Arnica and Chamomile flower extracts making it the perfect choice to use before or after physical activity. Rub and massage generously onto skin targeting sore or overworked muscles.  I’ve actually pulled muscles in my back a couple times over the last several months (picking up my toddler and washing the dogs, not exercising, believe it or not) and I applied Cool Azul to my lower back before bed!  By morning it always feels so much better! But make sure to wash hands after use, especially my gentleman readers, if you catch my drift!

 

Fitness, Inspired by Oola

Another of my favorite oils that I’ve actually added to my Active & Fit Kit so I have it on-the-go with me at all times is the Fitness, Inspired by Oola blend.  Young Living teamed up with the Oola Guys, creators of Oola to develop 7 essential oil blends inspired by the 7 F’s of Oola (fitness, finance, family, field, faith, friends, and fun). I could do a whole class on Oola and essential oils but today I want to share with you the Fitness essential oil blend. Fitness, Inspired by Oola is a blend of Cypress, Copaiba, Basil, Cistus, Marjoram, Peppermint, Clary Sage, Idaho Blue Spruce, Balsam Canada, Nutmeg and Black Pepper in a Coconut oil carrier designed to help uplift, energize and give you the inspiration to take your workout to the next level! I like to apply a couple drops to my Solar Plexus and repeat the Oola Fitness Affirmation “I am fit, healthy, disciplined and strong” before my workout. It’s also lovely to diffuse in your home gym or living room while you work up a sweat!

Learn more about the 7 F’s and Oola Balance here from the Oola Guys http://www.oolalife.com

 

Runner’s Magic Recipe

This little gem has been a life saver!!! It’s a recipe I’ll be sharing during my 2017 New Year New You: Essential Oils for New Years Fitness Resolutions class but I’ll give you a little sneak peak!  Shin Splints, often thought of as a runner’s injury plague more than just the marathon racer.  Nearly every athlete will get shin splints at some point in their career and also quite common among dancers. But even just running to catch the bus or increasing your activity level as you try to get in shape can lead to shin splints.  But what are they?  Shin Splints can actually be caused by several things from flat feet to inflammation and irritation in the mucles surrounding the shin bones from being overworked to stress fractures in the tibia or fibula!  I added this roller bottle to my Active & Fit Kit and use it after running or plyometric (think jump training) workouts when my shins and calves tend to ache the most!

 

Runner’s Magic Roller
In a 10 ml roller bottle, combine
• 12 drops of PanAway
• 12 drops of Valor or Valor II
• Fill with Ortho Sport or Ortho Ease massage oil

Roll directly onto affected area for relief from shin splints or other discomfort from overactive workouts.

 

 

 

Post-Workout Relief

Sore muscles?  There’s an oil (well several actually!) for that!  The Active & Fit Kit comes with both Cool Azul Sports Gel as well as Deep Relief (see above) both of which are awesome at targeted relief.  But one of my all time favorite ways to soothe my muscles after a strenuous workout is to take a relaxing bath!  PanAway is one of my favorite oils to add to my post-workout bath.  It is a cooling blend of Peppermint, Wintergreen, Clove, and Helichrysum designed to provide relief from normal aches and pains.  You can also add to Young Living’s Ortho Sport or Ortho Ease massage oils to soothe sore muscles after a workout! Here is one of my favorite, simple DIY post-workout bath salts recipes!

Simple DIY Post-Workout Bath Salts Recipe

Ingredients

Directions
Mix ingredients and store in 8 oz glass jar. Throw handful in tub before sinking in and relaxing!  Trust me, your muscles will thank you!

Make sure to check out my 2017 New Year New You online essential oils for fitness class for a DIY Massage Lotion recipe and even more ideas for post-workout relief!

 

So there you have it.  The 3rd and final installment of my 2016 Health & Fitness blog series: Oily Tips & Tricks to Help You Reach Your Goals! Be on the look out for an invite to my 2017: New Year New You online class about using essential oils to help meet your health and fitness goals!  In the class I will be covering a holistic approach to meeting weight management and fitness goals using Young Living essential oils and supplements.  This post was just a precursor to all the information I will be sharing in that class!  So if you have health and fitness resolutions for the New Year you don’t want to miss it!!! If you’re not my friend on Facebook, or aren’t one of my usual suspects, and want an invite, comment below with your email and/or Facebook name or PM me on Facebook and I’ll be sure to add you to the guest list!

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my journey! In case you missed it, make sure to check out the other installments of my 2016 Health & Fitness blog series Part 1: Intro to my Diet and Exercise Routine and Part 2: My Supplement and Protein Shake Reviews.

Disclaimer:  I am not a health professional, certified trainer or nutritionist.  I am merely an average girl just like you who got sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I have been asked about what I’ve been doing to have the results I have been blessed with so wanted to share the love!  Please consult with your medical professional to ensure that you are healthy enough for increased activity levels and/or a nutritionist to ensure that any dietary needs you may have are being met by whatever nutritional program you choose. 

2016 – My Year for Crushin’ Health & Fitness Goals! (Part 3: Oily Tips & Tricks to Help You Reach Your Goals!) was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures

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When You Vacation With an OIL Addict!

Essential oils are cool but ever wonder how often people actually use essential oils in their daily lives? It really became apparent to me the degree of oily addict I’ve become when I started packing for our recent vacation to Gulf Shores, AL. It was serious work trying to decide which oils I thought I couldn’t live without rather than just bringing my entire (growing) collection.  And I thought what better way to highlight how I actually use my essential oils in my daily life for my followers!?!  So read on to find out which oils made the vacation cut and to learn some of my favorite oily recipes that I use in my daily life!

My Bathroom Sink

Above is the picture of my bathroom sink in our beach house.  I brought many more oils and products with me but I always find it telling to see what people keep within easy reach.  You really know how much someone uses a product if it’s right there on their bathroom sink.  She here’s my list of oils on my bathroom sink:

DIY Lavender & Rosemary Detoxing Deodorant (for sensitive skin) – Seriously, I love this stuff! It really is my Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant (<– click on the link to learn more) I’m almost out of it and will have to make a new batch soon.  My only complaint is that it does leave a bit of a powdery residue on my shirts from either the Bentonite clay or the arrowroot powder, especially on black tank tops.  Read on to find out my solution for when I want a powder free deo alternative!

Deep Relief roll-on – This was the first (and so far only) thing I spent my Essential Rewards points on (I’m saving the rest for high $$ oils) and who doesn’t love FREE oils!?!  Deep Relief is Young Living’s proprietary blend of Peppermint, Lemon, Balsam Canada, Clove, Copaiba, Wintergreen, Vetiver, and Dorado Azul in a coconut oil carrier.  It comes in a 10 ml roll-on bottle for ease of application and helps provide support for head and muscle tension and helps ease minor aches and pains.  I love this stuff for when I get a crick in my neck from either long drives or sleeping funny.  Gulf Shores was an almost 7 hour drive from our home and its never the same sleeping in a bed that isn’t your own so this one I knew I couldn’t leave home without! Deep Relief is highly coveted because of Young Living’s commitment to quality and sustainable farming practices which means that the sometimes the ingredients have to wait to be harvested and distilled.  As a result, Deep Relief is often out of stock and members rush to order it as soon as it comes back!  Message me for a DIY “Ache Away” recipe which I use as an alternative to Deep Relief when I can’t get my hands on the real stuff!

DIY Thieves Toothpaste – Seriously one of my favorite recipes! I’ve been making my own toothpaste for almost 2 years now (I haven’t had any cavities and my oral hygienist approves!).  I modified my recipe when I joined Young Living back in April to include Thieves essential oil because of all the awesome properties that support oral health and help fight bad breath! I’ve already shared my recipe, but in case you missed it you can find it in my blog post Are you brushing your teeth with toxic toothpaste?

DIY Natural Sunscreen – protecting your skin from the sun is important every day, but especially at the beach! But I don’t like using sunscreen on my face because I find that the ingredients in store bought sunscreen tends to clog my pores and cause breakouts, so I made my own, with essential oils of course! I use this as an alternative to moisturizer every day to help nourish and moisturize my skin every morning as well as providing 40+ SPF protection from the sun! In case you missed it, find my recipe here: DIY Natural Sunscreen.

DIY Facial Serum – I have a lot of scarring from my crazy hormonal acne that I had when I went off birth control back in 2013.  So when I started my essential oil journey it was important to me to find something to help minimize the appearance of these scars.  Frankincense oil was the answer! This stuff is amazing! So after doing a bit more research I found a great combo and created my own facial serum to use to help heal and nourish my skin at night. You can find my recipe on my blog post My All Natural Skin Care Routine: Plus My Favorite DIY Facial Serum Recipe (using essential oils)!  I will add that since I wrote that blog my skin started breaking out somewhat so I modified my original recipe by using jojoba oil instead of fractionated coconut oil and that seems to have fixed the problem.

DIY Astringent – Historically I have just used Thayer’s alcohol free witch hazel toner as my astringent.  I have always loved the Rose scented one.  But recently I’ve been using the unscented with aloe and just adding my own healing oils.  Young Living’s Melrose essential oil blend, which includes Tea Tree, Rosemary, and Clove is the perfect addition to my DIY Astringent because it helps cleanse and nourish the skin while providing natural protection against occasional breakouts.   I fill a 2 oz travel container with witch hazel and add about 8-10 drops of Melrose. Shake well before use and squirt a little on a cotton round to apply all over your (clean) face morning and night.

Stress Away – one of my FAVORITE essential oil blends, Stress Away combines Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, and Lavender for a unique combination to help reduce every day stress and provide mental clarity.  I added the roller fitment that came in my Premium Starter Kit to my bottle of Stress Away and use it almost daily as a perfume alternative.  It’s lovely and was the perfect, almost tropical fragrance to wear on my beach vacation and help keep my mind relaxed and carefree!

Rosemary – So Rosemary essential oil is technically a dietary supplement that can be added to cooking but a quick google search (check out NIH, Mercola, and Dr. Axe for some interesting facts about Rosemary and other essential oils) will turn up dozens of other uses (that may not technically be FDA approved but who doesn’t love to experiment!?!).  A friend of mine had shared with me that she was using Rosemary as a deodorant alternative so I excitedly ordered my first bottle to give it a try before I found the recipe I linked above for my Detoxing Deodorant. Since I was wearing a lot of tank tops at the beach and didn’t want to walk around with powdery residue on my shirts I brought my trusted bottle of Rosemary with me as a deodorant alternative. And I must say, it didn’t let me down!  Just a couple drops on my fingers rubbed into the pits kept me odor free!

 

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NingXia Red – I started my 30 Day NingXia Red challenge on September 21 as part of my morning routine and Oily Support for Healthy Weight Management: A Supplement to My 10 Day Detox. My detox may be over (and Lord knows I wasn’t “dieting” on my vacation!) but I’ve enjoyed continuing to take my shot of NingXia Red in the mornings.  NingXia Red is Young Living’s propriety blend of Wolfberry with pure Orange, Yuzu, Lemon, and Tangerine essential oils, along with blueberry, aronia, cherry, pomegranate, and plum juices and it does help provide a bit more energy and get up and go in the mornings (although admittedly I started drinking coffee again every morning on vacation because I just missed the taste and having my warm cup of yummy coffee while swinging in a porch swing and watching the sunrise over the lagoon was priceless!) and helps keep you healthy!

DiGize – In addition to my morning shot of NingXia Red I’ve been adding 2 drops of DiGize to help promote healthy digestion and keep me regular.  DiGize is Young Living’s blend of Ginger, Anise, Fennel, Peppermint, Tarragon, Lemongrass, Patchouli, and Juniper essential oils.  It contains naturally occurring constituents like menthol, citrol, and zingiberen which can help soothe stomach discomfort, calm burning sensations after meals, and promote regular movements and healthy GI function.  I’ve been taking it daily since starting the NingXia Red challenge and honestly I do believe that it helps keep my tummy comfortable throughout the day.  It was especially important on vacation because for the last month or so I’d been eating really healthy but I was bound and determined to eat my weight in fresh seafood on this trip and didn’t care if it was greasy and fried!

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Our beach house rental had an amazing Jacuzzi tub! I’m a big fan of hot baths for relaxation, always have been, and have long since swore that whenever I can afford to renovate my house I am SO adding a Jacuzzi tub to my bathroom! So I planned ahead and made myself some relaxing aromatherapy bath salts to bring with me so that I could really reap the benefits of the tub at our rental.  I’m blessed to have a hubby who gladly accepted baby duty to give mama some personal tub time to rest and relax on our vacation!

Aromatherapy Muscle Soak:

  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 10-12 drops Aroma Siez essential oil blend – Aroma Siez is Young Living’s blend of Basil, Marjoram, Lavender, Peppermint, and Cypress specifically formulated to help reduce tension and ease aching muscles.

Directions: Combine ingredients in glass container.  Mix well.

To Use: Fill tub or jacuzzi with hot water and add 1/2 container bath salts for a relaxing aromatherapy bath to ease aching muscles!

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Do you sleep well when you aren’t in your own bed? I know I don’t.  Plus, we had our 9 1/2 month old daughter with us who was sleeping in her pack ‘n play rather than her crib so it was especially important to me to bring ALL the sleepytime oils in my collection to help!  We haven’t found the perfect sleep inducing combination to help our daughter sleep through the night but we do diffuse oils in her nursery nightly and I feel like she sleeps “better” on the nights we do compared to the nights we don’t.  So I wasn’t about to leave the diffuser at home!

Cedarwood – Cedarwood helps promote a calm, grounding, relaxing state of being when applied topically or diffused.  Plus, I just love the earthy, woodsy smell! There is a lot of research on how Cedarwood can help promote restful sleep so do yourself a favor and google it – them PM me to order some Cedarwood essential oil! 😉

Lavender – Lavender is another soothing oil that can help promote rest and relaxation.  Often called the “Swiss Army Knife” of essential oils because of all the amazing properties that Lavender oil has, helping with sleep is perhaps the most cited use of the oil.  It is great to add to your bath or lotion to help your mind and body wind down  before bedtime or diffused to promote relaxation and make it easier to fall asleep.  Lavender and Cedarwood are probably my favorite sleepytime diffuser combo!

Stress Away – I love Stress Away so much I brought not one, but TWO bottles with me! lol! My first bottle (pictured in the Bathroom Sink graphic) I added the roller fitment attachment to so that I could wear as a perfume.  But I keep a second bottle of Stress Away to use in recipes and diffuse.  I love the way it smells and it also couples well with Lavender or even a little extra Cedarwood to help you relax at bedtime!

(not pictured) SleepyIze – SleepyIze is part of Young Living’s KidScents oil collection.  It is a proprietary blend of Lavender, Geranium, Roman Chamomile, Tangerine, Bergamot, Sacred Frankincense, Valerian and Rue pre-diluted and safe to use topically as is on children ages 2-12.  I occasionally diffuse this at bedtime but do prefer to use it topically in conjunction with diffusing other oils.  Since my little one is under 2 I do dilute with just a touch of coconut oil (I keep a baby food jar with CO on the changing table to use for diaper rash and diluting oils so I just grab a small little dab and put one drop of any of the KidScents oils and rub my fingers together to mix before applying to feet, chest and/or belly and/or behind the ears, depending on the oil and purpose).

(not pictured) Gentle Baby – Gentle Baby is Young Living’s blend of Geranium, Rosewood, Coriander, Palmarosa, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, Lemon, Jasmine, and Rose designed for babies and mother.  It is specifically formulated to calm emotions and is particularly soothing for the skin, making it not only a good oil to add to sleepytime blends but also for DIY Diaper Rash Ointments (one day I’ll get around to writing a blog post about that too!).  It’s not only safe for use with babies but also pregnant (and nursing) mothers to use to help alleviate anxiety and promote a feeling of calmness and can be a great addition to your homemade Belly Butters to help prevent stretch marks!

 

Other Oils That Made the Cut (but aren’t pictured):

Abundance – Abundance is one of my recent favorites and perfect for Fall! It is a blend of Orange, Frankincense, Patchouli, Clove, Ginger, Myrrh, Cinnamon, and Spruce.  It smells a little like Constant Comment’s orange spice tea and I love, love, love to wear it like a perfume.  Abundance was specifically formulated to enhance the magnetic energy field around us.  This higher frequency creates a “Law of Attraction.”  Therefor, Abundance essential oil blend is supposed to help us open ourselves up to what we attract to ourselves.   Who knows, we could all use a little more abundance in our lives, right?  May sound like hocus pocus but I do love the way this oil smells and wear it often since I purchased it in August.  I admit, I didn’t wear it as much on our beach vacation as I’ve been wearing it at home.  It seems much more fitting to wear as my daily perfume while home watching the changing of the seasons in my little mountain community rather than lounging at the beach.  Stress Away’s somewhat tropical vibe just spoke to me more on vacation but now that I’m back at home Abundance has re-emerged as my daily fave!

Lemon – I love to add Lemon essential oil to my water because it ensures that I drink enough water throughout the day so I always have it with me! I just add 1-2 drops of Lemon essential oil to my 20 oz glass water bottle and fill with ice and water.  Once I’ve drank all 20 oz I can refill my water bottle with ice and water and don’t even have to add more essential oils, although you could if you wanted to, because I can still taste a little bit of the lemon! A little goes a long way and it tastes really yummy!  Plus, Lemon is one of three oils in the “Seasonal Relief Trio”: Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon.  I had my Seasonal Relief roller bottle with me (see below for recipe) but also like to have them on hand to diffuse together if something triggers a sneezing attack or gives me that itchy throat feeling.

Peppermint – Peppermint is by far my favorite instant headache remedy! I have my Headache Remedy roller bottle blend (see recipe below) that travels with me but a drop of Peppermint on a q-tip applied neat to my temples often will help get rid of more severe headaches.  You can also layer it with the Headache Remedy blend for an extra strength formula! Some people love to put a drop or two of peppermint in a spray bottle with water to help cool them off in hot climates or a drop or two in their water for a cooling sensation, both of which would be excellent for use at the beach! (Note: Peppermint is a “hot” oil which means it can tingle or burn the skin where applied.  Always do a patch test before using any oil neat but especially hot oils! More about essential oil safety here –> What are Essential Oils? (And why you will want them as part of your natural lifestyle!))

R.C. – R.C. is Young Living’s blend of Cypress, Spruce, and three types of Eucalyptus (E. Globulus, E. Radiata, and E. Citriodora) oils which includes the naturally occurring constituent Limonene (do yourself a favor and google uses of Limonene! You won’t regret it!!!).  RC was specifically designed to support healthy respiratory function.  I love to diffuse it when I am stuffy or having difficulty breathing for any reason.  It’s also the main ingredient in my Breathe Easy roller bottle blend (see recipe below).  My daughter seems to come home frequently with colds from day care so we often diffuse a little bit of R.C. with some Lavender and sometimes even Cedarwood to help her breathe easier and have a more restful night’s sleep!

SniffleEase – SniffleEase is part of Young Living’s KidScents collection and is pretty much the children’s version of R.C.   It is a blend of Eucalyptus Blue, Palo Santo, Lavender, Dorado Azul, Ravintsara, Myrtle, Eucalyptus Globulus, Marjoram, Pine, Eucalyptus Citriodora, Cypress, Eucalyptus Radiata, Black Spruce and Peppermint essential oils prediluted for use topically, as is, on children ages 2-12.  I occasionally diffuse SniffleEase but prefer to diffuse R.C. and apply SniffleEase topically to the Vita Flex points on her feet and a little on her chest to help her breathe easier.  Just like with SleepyIze I dilute more with a little coconut oil since my little one is under 2.

Thieves – Thieves is one of those oils you should seriously never leave home without! I use it in so many ways! I brought it with me on this trip specifically because the hubby had been a bit under the weather before we left home and I wanted to have the option of diffusing to help keep me and the little one healthy.  Plus, gargled with some water or added to hot tea, Thieves is excellent to help relieve a minor sore throat! Learn more about Thieves in my blog post All About Thieves!

 

Celia’s Personal Collection of DIY Roller Bottle Blends (that travel with me daily, even when not on vacation):

All of these recipes are intended for a 10 ml glass roller bottles (stainless steel roller balls are preferred because essential oils can break down plastics).  Add your drops of essential oils first then fill with the carrier oil of your choice (I find having a small funnel and a pipette helps).  I prefer fractionated Coconut Oil as my carrier but if you are allergic or want an alternative, Sweet Almond Oil is a good choice.  But any carrier oil will do. I usually fill halfway with carrier oil and test my blend before filling the rest of the way.  This way I can add more essential oils for a stronger blend or more carrier for a more diluted blend, especially for children or those with sensitive skin.

Ouchie – 30 drops Tea Tree, 20 drops Lavender, and 15 drops Frankincense essential oils.  Apply to any minor cut, scrape, blister or sore to help cleanse, promote healing, and reduce that stinging sensation! It’s also great to apply to scaly, itchy patches of skin to help provide relief! See my previous blog post about this blend here –> Ouchie! For Life’s Scrapes & Bruises: An Essential Oil Roller Ball Recipe

Itch Relief – 20 drops Purification essential oil blend and 10 drops each of Lavender and Frankincense essential oils.  Apply to any bug bite, minor rash, or itchy spot to help provide relief.

Seasonal Relief Blend – 15 drops each of Peppermint, Lavender, and Lemon.  Bonus: Add 5-10 drops of Copaiba to enhance the effectiveness of this blend!  I apply this to my throat to help calm that itchy throat sensation or to the bridge of my nose to help with a runny nose.  Be careful to avoid the eyes as peppermint can irritate and sting a bit if it gets too close! 

Breathe Easy – 15 drops each of R.C., Peppermint, Lemon, and Frankincense.  Bonus: Add 5-10 drops of Copaiba to enhance the effectiveness of this blend!  I apply this blend to my chest or bridge of my nose if I’m extra stuffy! Just like with the Seasonal Relief blend, be careful to avoid the eyes as peppermint can irritate and sting a bit if it gets too close! 

Headache Remedy – 10-15 drops each of M-Grain, PanAway, and Peppermint.  Bonus: Add 5-10 drops of Valor.  You can also add more Peppermint to the blend or layer with Peppermint for more severe headaches.  I apply directly to my temples, forehead, and/or back of my neck for relief from sinus or tension headaches.

 

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Totally forgot to pack my DIY Bug Spray (<– click link for recipe) which was a pretty Doh! moment.  I could’ve kicked myself when we were sitting outside on the porch enjoying our impromptu boiled (fresh caught) Blue Crabs for lunch one day.  I don’t know if it was sand fleas or biting flies or what but the hubby and I were getting eaten up! Thankfully, I had my trusty bottle of Eco Diva’s “Bug Me Not Bug Spray” in the diaper bag so I ran inside real quick to grab it and sprayed us both from the knees down.  The biting stopped and the best part was our lovely daughter who was also outside with us in her booster seat didn’t get one single bite! Winning! See my review of Eco Diva’s “Bug Me Not Bug Spray” and find out how to order yours here –> Want an eco-friendly, chemical-free, safe and effective bug spray but don’t want to DIY it? Check out Eco Diva’s Bug Me Not Bug Spray!

 

Also in the diaper bag (not pictured) is my DIY Alcohol Free Thieves Hand Sanitizer (<– click link for recipe) which I love having with me at all times because you never know when you will need to clean gunk off your hands or get rid of germs but aren’t near a bathroom or sink! Plus they put all sorts of nasty chemicals in store bought hand sanitizers and the alcohol dries my hands out.  So this recipe is perfect!

 

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So there you have it! The oils I can’t live without and use in my daily routine, both at home and while on vacation! Can’t get away to your own beach vacation? No problem! Grab a bottle of Stress Away to help the stress melt away and promote a relaxing sense of calming!

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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How Essential Oils Can Enhance Your Breastfeeding Experience! #WBW2015

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week 2015 I thought I would share a little bit about how essential oils can be used in various ways to help enhance your breastfeeding experience. You will see tons of info about how essential oils should be avoided while pregnant or nursing.  But 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils when used appropriately can actually help boost lactation, decrease lactation when ready to wean, and even help relieve pressure and aches associated with engorgement or clogged ducts.

Safety:

Essential oil use should always be practiced safely.  Only 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils should be used, especially while pregnant, nursing, or with children.  Some brands of essential oils contain fillers or synthetic chemicals that you don’t want to expose yourself, or your baby, to. Do your research and make sure you trust your brand implicitly before using.

Please review the general safety guidelines listed in my previous blog post What Are Essential Oils?

Additional Safety Considerations for Nursing Mothers: There is a lot of contradictory information out there about essential oil safety and which oils to avoid while breastfeeding.  More often than not literature seems to lump pregnancy and breastfeeding together which makes it much more difficult for consumers to know what they can and can’t use (for instance Clary Sage should be avoided while pregnant as it can cause contractions but it a great oil to use during labor and delivery as it can help speed up labor once contractions have started.  But I’ve read conflicting reviews of Clary Sage during breastfeeding – some say that it can help bring on milk after baby is born and will boost lactation other sources say that it will decrease lactation. As a result, I generally avoid Clary Sage just to be safe).  I would recommend erring on the side of caution and doing your research before using any essential oil while nursing.  Much of the information listed below comes from two of my essential oil bibles Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern (you can buy it here) and Essential Oil Pocket Reference published by Life Science Publishing (you can buy it here).

Essential Oils and Uses: 

To Boost Lactation: 

  • Fennel – Fennel seed is often recommended as an herbal supplement to help increase breastmilk production.  Fennel essential oil may be more effective given that the concentration of the oil is much more potent than the plant or seed.  Fennel can be used as a dietary supplement, 1-2 drops added to tea or a tsp of honey, or it can be taken in a vegetable capsule.  Debra Raybern recommends taking Fennel every 2 hours and follow with a glass of water (hydration is important to keeping your supply up so always make sure you are drinking plenty of water!).  Fennel can also be applied topically.  For topical use, dilute 1-2 drops of Fennel essential oil with 1 Tbsp of carrier oil (Coconut oil or Young Living’s V-6 Vegetable Complex) and apply directly on the breast and lymph area under the arm, avoiding the nipple area*.  (note: Fennel should not be taken internally for more than 10 days as it could cause an increased flow through the urinary tract)
  • Basil – Basil is similar to Fennel essential oil in its lactation boosting properties and can be taken internally or applied topically in the same way.  Basil does not carry the same warning as Fennel, however, and can be taken internally for longer than 10 days if necessary.
  • Joy or Stress Away blends – Stress can have a negative impact on your supply so using essential oil blends such as Joy or Stress away, either diffused, dabbed on your wrist and behind your ears, or combined with Epsom Salt and Baking Soda for a relaxing bath!  Other oils that help reduce stress and promote relaxation include: Lavender and Sandalwood.

To Help Decrease Lactation and Relieve Engorgement (For Oversupply or When Weaning):

  • Peppermint – Most herbalists recommend avoiding peppermint while nursing as it can have an adverse effect on your supply (However, some mothers, like myself, will report that peppermint does not affect their lactation). However, if you have an over-supply issue or you are weaning your baby, adding Peppermint oil to your routine may help alleviate some of the pressure associated with engorgement.  Peppermint is a dietary supplement and can be taken internally.  Debra Raybern recommends taking 5 drops of peppermint orally several times a day to decrease supply.  You can add a few drops of peppermint oil to water, dip a wash cloth in it and wring out the excess water and apply directly to the breast as a cold compress.  Avoid heat application when engorged as this can increase swelling and inflammation.

In addition to peppermint oil, another natural remedy to relieve engorgement and help decrease supply are cabbage leaf compresses.  Simply take a chilled or room temperature cabbage leaf and apply directly to the breast between feedings for up to 20 minutes 3 times daily.  For weaning, you can leave the cabbage leaf on the breast until it wilts.  For more information on cabbage leaf compresses visit Kelly Mom’s blog.

For Sore, Dry, Cracked Nipples*: (Note: painful nursing and dry or cracked nipples could be due to another condition, such as improper latch or tongue or lip tie.  Please see a lactation consultant and/or pediatrician for evaluation)

  • Myrrh, Helichrysum, Geranium, Vetiver, or Sandalwood – When diluted with a carrier oil and applied directly to the nipple these oils can help moisturize the skin and provide relief from dry, cracked nipples as well as help speed up the healing process.
  • Valor blend – a good alternative to the above oils to help provide relief from dry, cracked nipples.  Dilute with carrier oil and apply directly on nipple.
  • Lavender or Roman Chamomile – Sore nipples? Add a few drops of Lavender or Roman Chamomile to your nipple cream or apply directly on your nipples with some organic coconut oil to help minimize discomfort.

When applying any essential oil directly to nipples, always make sure they are diluted.  I would ensure that the oil was fully absorbed into the skin or wipe off any excess before my next nursing session.  While all these suggested oils can be taken used orally for adults it is not recommended that small infants ingest oils just to be safe. 

For Clogged Ducts:

  • Geranium, Lavender, and Melrose blend – Each of these oils individually or used together can help promote circulation, reduce pressure and alleviate aches associated with engorgement and clogged ducts.  Combine 1 drop Geranium, 1 drop Lavender, and 2 drops of Melrose with 1 1/2 pints of cold water.  Dip washcloth into the mix and squeeze out excess water.  Apply as a cold compress directly to the affected area of the breast.  Repeat as often as once per hour for relief.  (Recipe from Gentle Babies)

In addition, hot showers, soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath that completely covers the breast, breast massage, frequent pumping or nursing, pointing your baby’s chin towards the affected area of the breast while nursing, and “dangle nursing” (where you nurse from a position of hands and knees and dangle your breast towards your baby’s mouth) are all recommended to help alleviate discomfort associated with clogged ducts and to prevent development of mastitis.

For Mastitis: (Note: Mastitis is a serious infection and should always be diagnosed and treated by a health professional of your choice.  You may choose to use the following blend to help provide some relief as a supplement to your prescriber’s treatment protocol.)

  • Breast Blend Recipe – combine 3 drops Myrrh, 3 drops Vetiver, 2 drops Copaiba, and 1 drop Blue Spruce with 1/2 tsp carrier oil (Coconut Oil or Young Living’s V-6 Vegetable Complex are good choices). Massage blend onto breasts and under armpits two times daily to help provide relief from pain, swelling, redness or warmth of the breast.  (Recipe from Essential Oils Pocket Reference)

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

 

Have you used essential oils as part of your breastfeeding journey?  I’d love to hear your story! Share it in the comments below to keep the conversation going!

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.