How I Use Essential Oils

I want to thank my friend Ali for suggesting the topic for today’s post. Thanks Ali!

I also wanted to say, by way of a disclaimer, that I don’t sell essential oils, I’m not an expert by any means, and I’m new to using them within the past year. With that being said, I know oil brands are hotly contested and people tend to defend them like family. So please, if you have a brand that you love like a brother, just remember that I don’t, and I’m not trying to step on any toes. Ok, now…on to essential oils!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in healing the body naturally. I believe our bodies are incredible and there are quite a few things we can do naturally to keep them healthy and heal them when they are sick. I’ve talked about my natural methods of keeping sinus infections at bay in the past, feeling better when the cold and flu strikes, and how I was able to get a negative Group B result during my last pregnancy. I believe medicine has it’s time and place, but I generally feel that modern medicine doesn’t always do a good job of valuing preventative measures, of which there are plenty of natural methods. I always want to understand the why behind my sickness, and then heal that. Too often, I feel that my symptoms are just masked and the root caused never discovered, which to me, isn’t true healing. But I digress…

Wow, how did I get on this topic? Oh yes. Essential oils.

So I started with essential oils like everyone else: I bought a diffuser. I bought the one that Amazon told me to buy, and ordered a pack of oils from a company that offered the perfect blend of affordability and reliable (as far as I can tell) information on their product’s quality.

And this brings me to my main point about oils.

Even if I could afford to make a one time purchase from the top two essential oil brands, I could never, ever afford to maintain future purchases. As it currently stands, all my essential oil purchases come out of my grocery budget, so no, I can’t spend $30 a bottle because that is equal to like an entire aisle at Aldi. You could tell me every possible benefit of purchasing from the most popular companies, and it wouldn’t matter. The budget is, what it is.

But also…

I’m always leery of companies that claim you have to purchase from them because they are THE best and you simply can’t trust anyone else or you will basically be making the worst mistake of your life. I view essential oils the same way I do vitamins:

a) the FDA doesn’t approve of them so you already know that you are on to a good thing. (I TOLD you I’m contrary.)

b) Just because something isn’t top of the line doesn’t mean it can’t add value to your life. Could I be convinced that the top two companies are more pure than others? Absolutely. But I have also done quite a bit of reading on other companies that are trying to provide great products at great prices, with lots of information at consumer’s fingertips so they can verify claims. I’m not going to buy the Dollar Tree essential oils that are supposed to be for a reed diffuser and put them on my face. But I have found some great, moderately priced brands, that I do use and love.

(Also, side note, I read that it is INCREDIBLY expensive to get the little label on bottles that says the oils are safe for ingestion. Most brands don’t have the funds to pay for this kind of labeling, so they just leave it off and say that it’s not intended for ingestion. I’ve found in my research of vitamins and oils that often times, the big main gatekeepers of all these labeling laws keep natural players at bay by these pricey requirements. So, it’s not always that they “aren’t safe,” so much as the companies can’t afford the same kind of requirements as say, Kraft. I know Kraft isn’t in the essential oil game, I’m just trying to make a point that just because it’s certifiable in it’s field doesn’t mean it’s good for you, and vice versa.)

So, to summarize, I don’t buy the most expensive brands of oils just like I don’t buy the most expensive brands of vitamins. I can’t. But there are other solid brands out there and I think that anything you can do to take care of your health in a more natrual way is always a step in the right direction.

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So, what brand do I use? I love Rocky Mountain Oils. I love how much information about their products is on their site. I love that each bottle comes with little indicators that show you how they can be used (topically, diffuse, etc.). I love their price point. They aren’t the least expensive, but they are far from the most. I’ve ready a lot of other blog posts where the blogger will order one oil from 10 different brands, and time and time again Rocky Mountain came out on top.

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How do I use essential oils?

-It started when I began making my own deodorant. I bought all my ingredients for the deodorant, including my oils, from Mountain Rose Herbs. I read that palmarosa is antiviral, aids in skin regeneration, and can balance your oil production. I love making my own deodorant so much, and I’ve enjoyed blending in essential oils for both the great effects they have on my body and their fantastic smells.

– I do a lot of diffusing. I’ve always been a big fan of burning incense, but I love that diffusing oils is not only a great way to absorb the benefits, but it is also a safer because nothing needs to be lit.

-I use several oils in my neti pot. I use a neti pot, no joke, two times a day at least. You guys, my sinus issues are severe, and they make my life miserable some times. Oh well. But oils…I always use 1/4 tsp of sea salt and baking soda in every rinse, and sometimes I add a drop each of lavender and peppermint. If things are really stuffy, I’ll use Rocky Mountain’s Breath oil instead. This feels a little weird admitting, but I have put a TON of things up my sinuses in the hopes of kicking/preventing a sinus infection. So far, the only thing that both helps AND doesn’t burn like a mother is – you guessed it – essential oils.

-I bought myrtle oil recently from RM and I’ve LOVED this oil so much. I diffuse it for it’s soothing effects on your nerves (hellllllow myrtle, please be my best friend). I add a few drops of myrtle oil to my 1 C of epsom salts and 1/4 C baking soda to creating a soothing bath mix that is great for lady problems. I also plan to start adding it to my skincare routine because this oil is ALSO great for the skin? Is there nothing myrtle can’t do? I tell ya…(I plan to add it to my next batch of homemade deodorant, too.)

-I went to a take-and-make party at my friend’s house and she had all kinds of wonderful skin and body care recipes available to us, along with all the ingredients we would need, including all her Young Living oils. I had SO much fun at her party, and came away with rollers full of fractioned coconut oil and YL oils for a variety of issues : a tummy roller for the kids, a wellness roller, and my favorite, a “happy momma” roller. We also used unrefined coconut oil to make other blends that could be massaged on skin. I made a “happy baby” blend for Bea and a “breath cream” for the kids. Those recipes are all over pinterest if you are interested!

-This winter, I took my friend Sara’s advice and started mixing oregano oil with coconut oil and rubbing it on my feet before bedtime when I feel like I’m coming down with something. I honestly believe it has helped me fight off illness and bounce back quicker!

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So, these are just a few of the ways I use essential oils. Like I said, I’m still relatively new to this whole world, but I’ve really enjoyed using them and I believe in their benefits. I’ll link to a few articles that I’ve read on my oil journey.

What about you? Do you use essential oils? How do you use them? Feel free to link up to recipes you use and enjoy to share with the rest of us! And again, I  hope this was a fun and informative post for you, regardless of where you are on the oil spectrum. I love that people have brands they love, and it’s fun when they share their love with others. I think there is room for everyone to share their tips and preferences with everyone without dogging on someone else’s opinion or favorite brand.

What’s that the kids are saying these days? Positive vibes only! (wink)

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a few (possibly) helpful link:

a great list of what carrier oils are and how to choose one: here

my favorite detox bath recipe: here

a great list of oils for sinus infections (at the bottom): here

a helpful graphic to explain how and where to use oils topically: here

recipe for a Whipped Sleepy Time Rub that is great for kids (and you too!): here

an important dilution guide to read before you use oils on your skin: here

A Little Bit About Me

I’ve picked up some new followers lately, so I thought I’d take the time today to share a little bit about myself.

-I have three kids. I’ve had a baby every other year for the past five years running. I need to start planning my next project before I get confused and have one more kid.

-I love live for coffee. The darker and stronger the better. I want my coffee to reach up and slap me. Incidentally, I’m not a morning person and would cease to function without said, strong coffee.

-My favorite dark roast at Starbucks is Gold Coast. My least favorite is Komodo Dragon. Let’s be real, Starbucks, and call a spade a spade, and a medium roast a medium roast.

-I don’t really have a favorite color. I’m an equal opportunity color appreciator.  Continue reading “A Little Bit About Me”

Krazy About Kombucha: How To Make Your Own

Kombucha. The fizzy, fermented, good-for-you drink that’s fun to make and even more fun to drink. It looks like a crazy science experiment or like an extra from that old sci-fi movie, The Blob. But kombucha is SO good for you, and so easy to make. I’m on my third round of bucha brewin, so I thought I’d share a little bit about the process and how you can brew your own kombucha. Continue reading “Krazy About Kombucha: How To Make Your Own”

My Top 5 Healthful Habits (That Make Me Feel Less Guilty About My 5 Unhealthy Habits)

This is a post I wrote two years ago, but I thought would be fun to share again (with updated photos :-).). Enjoy!

I know what you are thinking. “Healthful? Isn’t it healthy?” But no! No it is not. You can be healthy, but things (like vitamins, working out, etc) are healthful because they add to your overall health. Cool, huh?

As I write this, the temperature is 1°. If you are like me, being trapped indoors for days on end with the sky a static shade of gray doesn’t exactly inspire lofty fitness and healthful eating goals. However, I’ve found a few simple ways to stay healthy, despite the frigid temperatures and gloomy weather. Continue reading “My Top 5 Healthful Habits (That Make Me Feel Less Guilty About My 5 Unhealthy Habits)”

What It Felt Like To Get A Cupping Massage

Because of some health related issues, I’ve received deep tissue massages for years. But this week, I got the opportunity to try something new – a cupping massage!

Cupping is an ancient technique that has been around for thousands of years. There have been, and currently are, a number of methods. My therapist told me she has three types of “cups,” although she only used a silicone version for my massage.

Continue reading “What It Felt Like To Get A Cupping Massage”

My Favorite 30 Minute Free-Weight Workout

This post is coming a little later in the day, because last night our refrigerator decided to quit working for us. So today, in between an OB appointment and taking care of the boys, Mike and I had to find a refrigerator that fit both our budget and the space in our kitchen, both of which are tiny.

We were able to find something that worked for us, and it should be delivered tomorrow. In between all our running around, I put together a post to share my favorite 30 minute free-weight workout.  Continue reading “My Favorite 30 Minute Free-Weight Workout”

Easy Home Remedies To Help You Fight A Cold, The Flu, Or Sinus Infections

For the past six months, I’ve been taking a daily dose of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar to help ward off the slew of sinus infections I’ve been suffering from the past few years. I was getting a sinus infection, bad enough to be treated by antibiotics, every 3-4 months. I hate being on antibiotics almost as much as I hate being sick, so my quest to end the cycle led me to RACV. Continue reading “Easy Home Remedies To Help You Fight A Cold, The Flu, Or Sinus Infections”

Encouraging The Win

I read a great blog post recently by Mama Lion Strong about our culture’s obsession with perfect abs, skinny bodies and the unfortunate shaming that we as women succumb to, both through feeling shame towards our own bodies, and shaming other women for where they are at in their personal fitness journey.

In her post, Jen was responding to a woman’s photo of her incredible abs with a caption that read “I have a kid, a six pack, and no excuse.” Continue reading “Encouraging The Win”