blog

Cleaning with Essential Oils: DIY All-Purpose Spray

cleaning

One of my favorite ways to use essential oils in my home is by incorporating them into my cleaning routine. I know all of the info out there about green cleaning can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to it. Luckily I have some great tips for simple changes you can make today that will transform tidying your home into a safer and more natural process.
 
First up, let’s cover one of the most useful things I’ve found for our home: lemon all-purpose spray. It’s crazy simple to mix your own cleaning spray—just add some white vinegar and lemon essential oil in a glass spray bottle. That’s it! You’re good to go.
 

What you need:

8oz spray bottle, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 20 drops lemon essential oil

I really love using this in place of traditional counter cleaners because it’s safe. I know I can give a bottle and rag to my kids and have them spray away without worrying about what chemicals they’re being exposed to. Lemon is great for disinfecting and leaves a crisp, uplifting scent. And not only is this a more natural way to clean, but it’s cost effective too!
 
Here are the specifics:  You can play around with what amounts work best for you, but my basic rule of thumb is to add around 10-20 drops of essential oil to my vinegar or water. Be sure to shake well before each use so that the oils are well distributed throughout the mixture. 

 

One simple SECRET to Decompress & De-stress

relax bath

After a stressful day one of my favorite ways to unwind is by hopping in the tub and letting my favorite essential oils go to work. My go-to combination for decompressing and clearing my mind is a few drops of any citrus, peppermint, lavender and frankincense.

With any citrus oil, you get the purifying benefits of citrus plus a powerful boost to your mood. Oils such as bergamot and mandarin helps to improve mental clarity and relieve nervous tension. Goodbye anxiety!

Lavender promotes tranquility and relaxation. Frankincense has been used for centuries for everything from helping to improve circulation to promoting restful sleep.

P.S. If you’re looking to take your soak to the next level, try adding 1 cup of Epsom salt and a generous shake of baking soda (about ½ cup) to the water along with your oils to help your body detox. Soak for 20-30 minutes and follow with a quick rinse off in cold water. Be sure to stay hydrated and enjoy your post-bath glow!

Flu Bomb

Flu Bomb1

Something about the holidays and spending time with family and friends (near and far) can breed some big time bugs! We are in the midst of a flu bug take-over right about now…just in time for the new year.

To help protect yourself from getting the flu, support the immune system, or aid in speeding up recovery, use the “flu bomb” regimen: in veggie capsule, combine:

2 drops lemon

2 drops melaleuca

2 drops oregano

Take orally, three times a day. Stay healthy, my friends.

Peaceful Child Blend

Peaceful Child Blend

Peaceful Child Blend1

Essential oils work by oxygenating and enlivening cells, including those in the brain. They can help to clear the cell membranes of toxic chemicals that may be interfering with proper neurotransmitter and hormone balance. They can help to literally heal emotional traumas and clear emotional baggage that may be keeping children from thriving.

The Peaceful Child essential oil blend has helped many parents and their children. There are so many children and adults in the world today suffering from all kinds of mental disorders including ADD, ADHD, Aspergers and Autism and most of the medications prescribed have side effects without much, if any efficacy. It’s very difficult for parents to raise these children and Peaceful Child helps both parent and child cope a little better.

To make your own “Peaceful Child” blend, combine the following:

10 drops Vetiver

4 drops Lavender

4 drops Ylang Ylang

2 drops Frankincense

2 drops Clary Sage

1 drop Marjoram

The oils in this blend are known for helping with focus and staying on task, emotional trauma, fear, stress, anxiety, behavioral issues. Calming, soothing and stabilizing the central nervous system. Creates a deep, quiet calm, sedative properties, frees the nerves from excessive tension allowing a person to spiritually center themselves. Nourishes and protects the brain and nervous system. Restores feelings of hope and mental strength and promotes a positive outlook on life. Eases the pain behind anger and quiets mind chatter.

It’s suggested that the Peaceful Child Blend be applied morning and night to the bottoms of each foot, down the spine and over the heart. A roller bottle is a convenient method of application.

Frankincense and Cross Fit

 

I don’t know about the rest of you, but it seems “crossfit” is becoming a household word. Many people in my life are regular cross-fitters and I have even partaken on occasion. My number one complaint (besides not being able to move my body most days due to extreme pain and soreness) is the calloused hands and blisters from lifting the weights and doing bar work. It’s not uncommon for “cross-fitters” to come home after each work out having broken open the blisters they had made the day before…sometimes with bleeding and oozing involved. As a nurse, this just makes me squirm. Imagining everyone else’s wound drainage on the barbells is about enough to make me throw in the towel.

Not to mention the risk of infection for the person whose blisters have turned into open wounds. Enter solution: FRANKINCENSE. We applied frankincense to a dedicated cross-fitters busted up and bleeding wounds for 5 days and the sores healed up beautifully. Frankincense oil has been used for its medicinal benefits for centuries. Proof of its use is found not the walls of the pyramids and scrolls in Pharaohs’ tombs. It was also used as a valuable trade item. It is equally valuable today with its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It is also the source of much study on cancer and cell regeneration. This oil is powerful. But it can also be used on a daily basis by families like mine and cross-fitters across the nation 🙂

Frankincense and Cross Fit1 Frankincense and Cross Fit2

Here’s a list of 15 common uses for Frankincense:

15. Beautiful Skin (use neat or mix with lavender and apply to face morning and night)

14. Caring for Cuts (apply a few drops on cuts and scars)

13. Immune Support (take a few drops in a gelatin capsule)

12. Jaw Comfort (mix with Deep Blue Soothing Blend to provide relief)

11. Bedtime Lullabies (mix with Fractionated Coconut Oil and apply to children’s feet at night)

10. Back Relief (apply neat on lower back for soothing comfort)

9. Pick-Me-Up (mix with Peppermint and apply to bottom of feet)

8. Stress Relief (apply to temples for soothing comfort)

7. Cough Comfort (apply on neck and throat to soothe irritations in throat or with coughs)

6. Forget Frustrations (apply behind the ears and on wrists to erase frustrations)

5. Home Sweet Home (diffuse in the home for a pleasant aroma)

4. Bug Bites Beware (apply on itchy, scratchy skin to soothe irritations)

3. Walk With Me (apply and follow with heat on knees to ease discomfort)

2. Anxiety Anyone? (apply a few drops to cupped hands and breathe deeply)

1. Mood Balancer (diffuse or apply to neck to find harmony and clarity)

Intro to Essential Oils

My name is Sarah. I’m married and we have four young children. I have been a nurse for 11 years, so I am medically minded and thankful for the power of technology in medicine. I am also a firm believer that we were given this earth for our benefit and that there are powerful agents found in it, as well. One of those being essential oils.

{a brief} History

Essential oils are the aromatic, volatile liquids extracted from plants (all parts of plants: flowers, seeds, stems, leaves, bark, roots, trees, etc.) through a process called distillation. History has shown their medicinal use in ancient times through Egyptian hieroglyphics, Chinese manuscripts and the words of the Holy Bible. They were also used as a source of trade, considered more valuable than gold.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are the “life blood” or immune system of a plant. This concentrated liquid is complex (containing up to 800 compounds in each oil) and loaded with oxygen. Essential oils have therapeutic effects on our bodies because of this concentration of oxygen, which enhances our cells’ ability to metabolize toxins, supporting the health of all of our body systems.

in other words…

essential oils support the cells in our body (OUR immune system) and aid them in doing their job!

And here’s a bonus: they are natural, they are safe and they are cost-effective.*

How are essential oils used

Essential oils can be used in 3 ways:

Aromatically: Use a diffuser to spread the essential oil particles into the air or rub a few drops in your hand and inhale {self diffuse}.

affect mood

cleanse air (kills bacteria and stops replication of viruses)

open airways

Topically*: Apply a few drops of essential oil directly on area of concern. The bottoms of the feet are also a quick and safe way to apply because the pores are largest and the skin is less sensitive. A carrier oil {I prefer fractionated coconut oil} can be used to massage and apply the oils and also dilute the more “hot” oils (especially important when applying on children and sensitive skin.) A little goes a LONG way…a few drops are all you need.

quickly absorbed into the body through the skin

full body benefit on a cellular level

immune support

immediate comfort

Internally*: Place a few drops directly under the tongue, mix with water and drink, or drop in an empty capsule and take in pill form.

benefits mouth and throat

supports digestive system

supports immune system

cleanses organs

{disclaimer}

*Please be aware that not all essential oils are created equal. Not all are safe and natural. Many contain alcohol, chemicals or other carrier oils and thus, are not safe for children nor should they be taken internally. Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils are 100% safe and natural and can be taken internally as a dietary supplement.

Ok! Now let’s get down to the real stuff and talk about what essential oils can do for you.

First of all, there is no “one pill for one ill” with essential oils. Many different oils can be used for different ailments. There are many resources available to guide us in our use of essential oils, however. I highly recommend a book called Modern Essentials (1). It has suggested uses and also provides information on each oil and research to back it up (which is important to me).

Essential oils are anti-inflammatory.

All of our bodies are in some state of inflammation somewhere at all times. And where there is inflammation, there is commonly pain and sometimes infection. Help manage that inflammation, help control pain and infection.

Frankincense is one of the most powerful oils due to its amazing support of the immune system. It is also the subject of a lot of study on cancer treatment. I use frankincense for first aid. It helps to ease pain and aids in quick and effective healing. It is also marvelous for a headache! It’s also been known to enhance healthy skin cell growth and decrease wrinkles. bonus 🙂

Citrus oils also help with inflammation and can cleanse our body systems of the toxins and petrochemicals our fat cells store. This can help with a weight loss plan, too!

Lavender is a commonly used oil for a multitude of reasons. It helps me sleep more soundly. It can be used on any skin disorder, topically. It is a lifesaver for burns! Apply neat (no dilution) to the burn repeatedly.

Peppermint is another common oil that we use on the daily. It helps with a headache, fever, upset stomach. It helps with focus and staying on task. I love to send it in a little glass roller bottle to school with my 9 year old. He will rub a bit on his wrist and smell it throughout the day and it helps him focus on his schoolwork.

White fir, birch, and wintergreen are commonly used in our family. My husband loves to exercise (he is dragging me along with him, ha ha…) and my kids are all involved in sports and gymnastics. These oils help with sore muscles, tendons, joints, etc. There is a LOT of massaging and sports therapy going on at our house!

Essential oils are anti-bacterial and anti-viral.

Not only can they kill bacteria on the outside of our cells, they can actually enter our cell walls (antibiotics cannot) and eliminate viruses, as well.

Research has proven in published study that certain blends of essential oils can actually STOP the replication of the flu virus.(2)

I use a protective blend called OnGuard (which was the actual blend used in research study cited here) every day. I diffuse it in the morning, use it as a mouth wash for cankers or tooth pain, I take it internally if I feel a scratchy throat coming on. I put it on my children’s feet after a day at the mall play place or church nursery. I use it to clean my counters, door knobs, in my laundry…on and on! It is an amazing blend of orange, cinnamon, eucalyptus, clove and rosemary that really does help catch a cold before it starts. I love it.

Oregano is also a very powerful antibacterial and antiviral oil. I will use it in combination with lemon to support the immune system and help my body wipe out a sore throat or even strep.

Essential oils are mood elevating.

Everyone knows the power of aroma. Whenever I smell freshly baked cookies or bread, it transports my mind back to my grandma’s house. Christmas always smells of pine and cinnamon. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this in some degree. Mind and body are interconnected and smell is one of the most powerful connectors through the amygdala in our brain. So it only makes sense that the powerful aromatic properties could help with anxiety, depression and stress.

Lavender is calming. Orange and lemon are mood elevating. Bergamot can decrease agitation. Grapefruit and lime help with mental stress (and they all taste great in your drinking water, too!)

As a medical professional who works in a hospital, a recent study done at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, has been very intriguing and inspired me to implement a similar study in the healthcare system where I work. You can see a news clip about the power of essential oils and stress in the workplace here.

I also use oils for less therapeutic things like cleaning, laundry, perfume, hair and spa products. They also just make the house smell GREAT! Recently, my sisters and I hosted a bridal shower for my sister-in-law-to-be and we made sugar scrubs for the favor. You can see our bridal shower highlighted on the “Hostess with the Mostess” blog (and even get some free downloads!!!) here.

Since I am a nurse, I have always been very accustomed to frequent calls and even pictures sent regarding ailments, rashes (is this chicken pox?”), cuts (“does he need stitches?”) and about everything else you can imagine from friends and family alike. Now, I am known as the “oilRN” and I receive even more calls about ailments, cuts, rashes, etc. And although, I often did my best, from a distance, it was often very difficult for me to be certain I was giving accurate advice. Now, however, I am empowered that I can give accurate suggestions that I am confident will help in a variety of situations. I SO enjoy educating others and helping them feel the same empowerment of actually being able to DO something to help in the middle of the night or on a weekend without running to the urgent care. Power to be a mom that can offer a child relief of a tummy or earache. Power to help relieve congestion, cough and fever. Power to manage my moods and emotions. Power to be proactive in prevention of colds, flus and other common diseases.

{disclaimer, again}

The information in this blog post is designed to provide information and educate the reader on the powerful therapeutic effects of essential oils. It is written with my personal expertise and experience in mind and is not provided in order to diagnose, proscribe or treat any disease, illness or injured condition of the body.

If you would like to know more about Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils and how they might help you achieve a more balanced, healthful life, please feel free to contact me via email [email protected]

Best wishes and wellness,

Sarah, oilRN

1. Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils (Third Edition, October 2011)

2. Booth, L., Lin, Hsueh-Kung, Metcalf, Jordan P., Patel, Krupa B., Wu, Shuhua, Wu Wenxin. Protective essential oil attenuates influenza virus infection: An in vitro study in MDCK cells. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/10/69

Why.

Why1

I’ve been thinking a lot about my “why” lately. We all have a why, whether we know and embrace it or not. Without a why, I probably wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I probably wouldn’t dream. But I do get out of bed. And I do have dreams. I have five big reasons to be engaged in this world and they make up the majority of my heart, wishes and dreams. They are my husband and four children. Of course, I have many other loves in my life: home, family, education, career and above all, faith. I have had a mantra of sorts over the last year to “let go and let God”, if you will. I believe He wants and intends to guide our lives to grant us the happiness and eternal life that is His work and glory to provide, if we will let Him do so. I have seen His work in action. I have also had a phrase written on my heart over the last few weeks: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”…truly “see” Him in every walk and waking moment if we take the time to notice and acknowledge His hand. So another part of my why is to become the most pure in heart that I possibly can. How this relates to my purpose here on this blog, I’ll try to explain.

This is not a path I have chosen. I can say whole-heartedly that it has chosen me. I have been working as a Registered Nurse for the last 11 years of my life in a hospital setting and I have truly enjoyed it and found part of my identity through my work. In fact, this work is the reason I was intrigued by the therapeutic properties found in essential oils. I am an advocate for self and process improvement. I think it is a shame to do things the way we do them just because they’ve been done that way for a hundred years. I found myself at a research festival listening to nurses speak out about research and testing the system to make improvement. I concurred and I wanted to provide a change. I have been acquainted with an anesthesiologist who is also an aromatherapist here in Arizona who has been an inspiration and mentor. He is passionate about implementing aromatherapy in hospital healthcare as he has done in his own practice. I also saw a news clip about nurses in a busy emergency room at Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville, Tennessee that did test the system and found positive results. They used essential oils to decrease workload stress and anxiety in their medical staff. So my journey began and continues as I have committed myself to sharing what I know about nature’s medicine in the healthcare system and in the healthcare of families like mine. I am passionate. I believe and live what I teach. My goal here is to share that with as many people as would like to hear. I have found a tool that gives me power in my home. Power and ability to help and soothe, balance and heal. Essential oils are truly a gift of the earth. They are a tool that when used properly, can help our bodies function at a more optimal level. I am a medically minded individual. I am grateful each day for modern medicine and my knowledge of the magnificent and complex miracle that the human body is. I believe that we are given plants and natural products from the earth for our benefit and good. I hope to share the good with you through education, experience, and testimonials. Please visit me here and on our Facebook page if you have questions. Please share your experiences and pictures with me via email at [email protected]

Spring Cleaning…Naturally!

Spring Cleaning…Naturally! Spring will soon be upon us. And in Arizona, if you blink, you’ll miss it! Here are a few tips to get your house looking, feeling and smelling wonderfully – and you can even let the kids help without worrying that they are being exposed to harmful chemicals! Definitely a win-win, if you ask me!

Spring Cleaning…Naturally!

For those hard toilet rings or hard water spots: Spray with mixture of 4 tbsp vinegar & 3 cups water and then sprinkle baking soda, let it sit for a minute or two and then scrub with toilet brush or scouring pad.

Furniture polish: ¼ cup olive oil and 30 drops Lemon essential oil. Store in a glass container and mix well before each use. Pour out a tiny amount onto an old rag and wipe down the furniture. A very small amount will go a very long way! Then you’ll want to wipe the furniture down with a part of the rag that you didn’t pour the mixture onto to try and pick up excess oil. This works great and keeps my furniture looking beautiful for quite a while. Also, it smells wonderfully clean!

Lavender Fresh Laundry: Apply 6 to 10 drops of Lavender essential oil to a clean cotton sock, roll into a ball, fit the balled sock into the toe of the 2nd sock, twist end and pull the tube of section of the sock back down over balled end. Create a tight ball and throw this in the dryer with wet clothes. Lovely lavender scent for 20+ loads!

Mold/Mildew Cleaner: 2 cups white vinegar in a spray bottle ~ add 2 drops Lemon essential oil and 2 drops Melaleuca. Shake and spray. Let stand for 30 minutes before wiping away.

Fresh smelling carpets: Add 10 drops of your favorite oil to a box of baking soda or cornstarch, mix well and let sit for a day. Sprinkle on carpet, let sit for an hour and vacuum the stink away!

Grungy Dish Scrubber: Drip 3 to 4 drops of Lemon or Wild Orange essential oil on scrubber and run through the dishwasher for clean, lemony fresh dishes and scrubber.

Sanitize Hands: Keep a bottle of Lemon essential oil in your purse or backpack to sanitize hands after using public facilities. So much better for your beneficial flora than commercial hand sanitizers.

oilRN’s tips