Clean naturally... without the vocs.
Some of the most toxic things I used to do was clean my house. I know it sounds crazy but dipping my hand in bleach water and scrubbing the tub with conventional cleaning products wasn't the best thing for my health. You see everything I touched, was absorbed by my body. So technically I was doing more harm than good. These cleaners contain ammonia, artificial fragrances, and various other chemicals you don't want in your body.
That doesn't mean never clean again.. It means clean differently. Be careful what you buy... or make your own. It's easy to make your own cleaning spray both for disinfectant, glass cleaning and even scrubs for the bathroom! All you need are some good glass containers like the amber glass bottles and mason jars in which store the supples!
All Purpose Cleaner
I've got a new favorite essential oil! (I say that with each one I buy) But ya'll turmeric is awesome! It's helps with skin, hair and overall health. I originally got it for my young mildly achy bones. My knees and shoulders tend to hurt (yay high school sports) and I read that turmeric oil, beyond just being amazing in curried chicken, could possible help my joints. AND IT DID. Yes, I start off smelling like I'm seasoning chicken to cook for later but that's okay because I don't hurt. (priorities right?)
SO I began looking into turmeric to see what else it could do. Did I want to diffuse it? Was it kid friendly? Or was it just for my bones? The answer my friend, is for so much more: hair, skin, digestive, depression, and so much more. The warm, spicy, earthy, orange oil is very useful.
Chemical Makeup of Turmeric
So we know that essential oils don't just smell good, they have good chemicals in them that do awesome stuff. It's that chemical make up that allows the essential oil to do certain biological properties that they contain.
Turmeric has a lot of chemical components (over 300) including: turmerone, curcumin, alpha-turmerone, beta-turmerone, ar-tumerone, zingiberene and 6-gingerol. Its major compounds are sesquiterpenes meaning they are able to pass through the blood brain barrier delivering nutrients and oxygen to the brain. So let's begin there.
Turmeric, the Brain & Cells
Turmeric is able to work on a cellular level and its molecules are small enough to pass through the blood brain barrier bringing nutrients and oxygen to the brain. Turmeric is able to help with cognitive functions and even may help with many issues that affect the brain. But why? Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) declining is a key issue when it comes to many disabling brain diseases like Alzheimer's. Turmeric can help BDNF to increase.
In it's conclusion, a 2010, study stated that curcumin (a component of turmeric) shows a strong chance of being able to prevent or event treat age-related brain diseases like stroke, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's.
Ar-turmerone (an aromatic part of turmeric) hinders microglia which is a type of brain nd spinal cell that proves the presence of disease.
There have also been many studies that show turmeric may help against cancer this is because of the curcumin and one study suggests its pairing with turmerone. Thisstudy points out curcumin can selectively kill cancer cells and not normal cells. While many of the studies were looking for items to help create drugs to fight cancer, why not use the components where they are naturally found? In Turmeric.
Other health benefits on the cellular level:
Turmeric, Skin & Hair
Pimples, where? Not with turmeric. You can use it as a spot treatment or an all over face moisturizing mask. Turmeric also can help lighten scars and heal wounds, bruises and other skin issues. Of course to apply the essential oil topically you'll want to dilute in a carrier oil depending on the strength desired (usually 2%).
Here are a few recipes, mix with:
Turmeric & The Body
Turmeric, when ingested, helps with bloating, excessive gas, and cramping. The zingiberene and 6-ginerol help stimulate the digestive system and increase gastric juices. It also acts as an anti worm and parasitic compound.
When applied topically turmeric can help with arthritis and other muscle or joint pain. It inhibits actions of inflammatory compounds and prevents swelling.
Other health benefits for the body:
Remember, I am not a doctor. I am only sharing information I have researched and use for my own and my family's health. If you have any health concerns and want to use turmeric to help talk to your natural practitioner or family doctor.
Essential oils can be used to help calm the mind and relieve a the stress and anxiety of everyday life.
Instead of banging your head on the wall, try these essential oils. Remember everyone's body chemistry is made differently. Just because one oil doesn't work for you, try another before giving up. Also don't force it. If you hate the way one oil smells don't use it!
You can use these in an inhaler (15-20 drops), with a carrier oil on your body (12 drops per ounce for a typical 2% dilution) or in a diffuser(5 drops per 150ml).
Lavender- This is the oil you're most likely to have in your cabinet already. It has been used to beat stress, depression and anxiety. There is a full review in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice (2013).
Vetiver - It has a smokey spicy woody type scent. My husband isn't really a fan of this oil but I love it. According to a 2015 study on rats, vetiver oil is used in aromatherapy for relaxation. The study showed vetiver has anti-anxiety abilities similar to the drug diazepam. It is a grounding oil. I read in The Healing Power of Essential Oils that is has also been used to help with ADHD.
Ylang Ylang - It has a floral scent but I love it. Besides being and awesome "get it on" essential oil. Ylang Ylang is great for anxiety.
Orange oil - It smells orangey (haha) There are studies that show orange oil used to help with presurgical anxiety in dental patients and it did in fact help!
You can use these oils alone or try a mix to see what you think .
Of course if you are under a doctor's care or taking prescriptions talk to a doctor before taking any oils.
DIY Essential Oil Spray.
There are many ways to do the same thing. Essential oils sprays are an example of that. I share my recipe and a video of another recipe! The bottle to the right is a 2ml bottle. I like to use dark glass bottles to ensure the mixture holds for as long as possible.
The way I make it is using witch hazel, grain alcohol (like Everclear) essential oils and distilled water. The grain alcohol will mix with essential oil and allow it to mix with the water and witch hazel. Essential oils on their own do not mix with water. Witch hazel and grain alcohol will also help to ensure bacterial won't overgrow. (but if you notice a change in the smell or color then it may be rancid)
If you're using a 2ml bottle then 20 drops each of the Everclear, witch hazel and essential oils. Mix these all together then add the distilled water and shake shake shake!
Ideas on how to use essential oils
So you have your essential oils... Now what? Don't get lost in the many many uses of essential oils. Pick on use and try that first!
Personal Uses: You can use these in an inhaler (15-20 drops), with a carrier oil on your body (12 drops per ounce for a typical 2% dilution) or in a diffuser(5 drops per 150ml).
Household uses: Room spray, disinfectant, toothpaste, oral swish, and more!
All of these uses require dilution as essential oils are potent and should not be used on skin alone as they could create irritation.
*This list will continuously be updated
I love Lavender and you should too. No pressure. But here are 20 different uses for lavender that I've compiled from other sites so you don't have to just take my word for it!
1. Helps treat acne:
Lavender oil is one of those few natural ingredients you can look up to for getting rid of acne troubles. The oil has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that can fight the bacteria that cause acne and inflammation (1).
Simply dab some lavender oil on your acne blemishes using a cotton swab, and see the desired results.
According to University of Maryland Medical Center, aromatherapists use lavender extensively for treating acne.
2. AIDS WITH ECZEMA: Eczema can be a very embarrassing skin condition, but only if one doesn’t have lavender oil handy. This is because the oil has the ability to relieve itching and reduce the symptoms of eczema . It also decongests the irritated areas on the skin by adding moisture, thereby accelerating the healing process.
3. Can Detoxify The Skin:Given the obnoxious variety of environmental toxins and other pollutants our skin is exposed to most of the time, it is not surprising to know that our skin’s health is deteriorating with each passing day.
But we have lavender to the rescue – it contains powerful antioxidants that can fight against the harmful effects of pollutants on the skin.
In one study conducted by the Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC, it was found that lavender oil was one of the few potent essential oils that can inhibit the growth of skin bacteria (4).
4. Heals Burns:The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of lavender oil again play a role here. The oil is beneficial in healing the burns, and also helps treat the scars caused by them (or scars caused by injuries (5)). In addition, lavender oil also acts as a pain reliever.
Just add a few drops of lavender oil to the burnt area after keeping it under running water for about 10 minutes. Doing so can accelerate the healing process. However, keep in mind that you must consult a doctor immediately in the case of serious burns.
5. Can Help Heal Insect Bites:Though not a serious problem, insect bites can indeed mess up with your daily activities. But that wouldn’t be the case when you have lavender oil handy.
Simply add a few drops of lavender oil on the insect bite or gnaw, and see the itching and swelling decrease considerably.
Lavender oil can act as a good insect repellant (6), and it has been traditionally used for treating insect bites (7).
An Australian study had revealed the presence of scientific and clinical data that support the traditional uses of lavender (8).
However, do exercise caution while using the oil on children for treating insect bites. According to The University of Arizona, lavender oil must not be used on children below the age of 2 years (9).
6. For Treating Tired Muscles:We know how tired our muscles can get after a long day at work; and we also know how heavenly a good massage can feel at that point of time. This is where lavender oil comes around as something you shouldn’t ignore.
Ideally you can prepare a lavender bath by adding 4 to 6 drops of the oil to a large bowl of warm water. Soak your hands or feet in this bath for about ten minutes, and feel refreshed and relaxed.
Lavender oil has been found to be excellent for treating tired muscles, especially that of the feet and head (10). You can also rub a little amount of lavender oil to your feet before going to bed – this, apart from soothing your tired feet, can also soften and hydrate any rough spots or patches on your feet (11).
7. As A Toner:Lavender tones and makes your skin firm as it boosts circulation, thus resulting in an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrition to the skin cells. This helps in keeping the cells healthy and boosting their renewal process.
You can make a toner at home with lavender and water. Boil 100 ml of water in a bowl and then put in the lavender buds, so that they are completely submerged. Cover the bowl, leaving the brew to steep for a few hours. Drain the mixture into a clean glass bottle and refrigerate it. Spray some of this lavender water on a cotton pad and gently wipe your face with it (after washing your face in the morning). This will refresh your skin like a toner.
Benefits Of Lavender Oil For Hair:Essential oils are becoming increasingly popular due to their added benefits to your skin and hair. Lavender oil is one of these oils that can promote hair growth and treat various hair problems like hair loss, alopecia, dandruff, etc. It can be diluted with a carrier oil to promote healthy hair and scalp.
Following are the ways lavender oil can be beneficial to your hair.
8. Controls Hair Loss:Lavender oil is extremely effective in treating hair loss. This is because it cures insomnia, stress, anxiety and depression, which are the common causes of hair loss (12). Regular massage with this oil helps in controlling hair loss and improving hair growth by increasing blood circulation.
According to certain preliminary studies, lavender oil, when combined with other herbs, can help fight hair loss (13).
[ Read: Benefits Of Ravintsara Essential Oil ]
9. Treats Alopecia Areata:Alopecia areata is an auto immune disease characterized by hair loss in patches. Dry scalp massage with lavender essential oil helps in treating this condition as well as ensuring significant hair growth within a few months.
A Scotland study had proven the efficacy of essential oils (including lavender oil) in treating alopecia areata (14).
A therapeutic massage increases blood circulation to the scalp, thereby treating hair loss.
10. Treats Dandruff:Lavender essential oil can help you get rid of dry itchy scalp and dandruff. You can mix 15 drops of lavender essential oil with 2 tablespoons of olive or almond oil and heat the mixture for about 10 seconds. Massage your scalp with this warm oil mixture and put on a shower cap. Wash off with a mild shampoo after an hour.
You can also mix five drops of rosemary and lavender oils with three tablespoons of some unscented oil. Massage the oil into your scalp and leave it undisturbed for 10 minutes. After that, wash your hair with shampoo – this is another effective way of treating dandruff (15).
According to Francesca Fusco, MD, a noted dermatologist from New York, lavender oil can help treat various scalp conditions (16).
11. Helps In The Treatment Of Head Lice:Being a powerful antiseptic, lavender oil can relieve your scalp of lice, lice eggs or nits. Massaging your scalp with this oil can kill both the lice and nits. To get rid of head lice, massage your scalp with lavender oil 20 minutes before shampooing.
12. As A Good Conditioner:Lavender can be used as a conditioner as well. You can prepare a hair rinse by boiling ¼ cup of dried lavender in 2 cups of water and adding a few drops of lavender oil. Rinse your hair with it and leave for 15 minutes. This will make your hair shiny and fragrant, and treat dandruff as well.
Benefits Of Lavender Oil For Health:As stated earlier, lavender has an important role to play in aromatherapy. The usage of both lavender flowers and lavender oil offers various health benefits as follows.
13. Helps Treat Insomnia:Lavender essential oil is considered a traditional medication for promoting sound sleep (17). In folklore, people often filled their pillows with lavender flowers to sleep peacefully. This herb is beneficial for those suffering from insomnia, restless leg syndrome and exhaustion, as it soothes the nervous system and induces sleep and relaxation. This is because its scent induces alpha waves in the area of the brain that is responsible for relaxation, thus making you fall asleep faster.
You can make your own sleep spray by combining 5-6 drops of lavender essential oil with ½ cup distilled water and 1 teaspoon of witch hazel. Pour it into a spray bottle and drizzle onto clean skin or fresh linen before going to sleep. Lavender tea prepared from dried lavender flowers is also beneficial in this regard.
A study conducted by the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, had concluded that lavender might have considerable effects on treating insomniaand inducing sleep (18).
Another American study had supported the mild sedative effects of lavender, and had stated that the herb had practical applications for promoting deep sleep in young men and women (19).
A Korean study had proved the efficacy of lavender fragrance in treating insomnia (20).
14. Helps In The Treatment Of Anxiety And Depression:Lavender essential oil is effective in curing anxiety and depression through its calming, sedative, and anti-convulsive effects (21). It is often used in herbal remedies for promoting relaxation and treating restlessness (22).
You can place lavender plant in the corner of your room or place a few lavender stems in a small vase. Its soothing aroma will not only relieve stress, but also repel mosquitoes.
In one Korean study conducted on patients suffering from terminal cancer, hand massages with a lavender oil mixture were found to have a positive effect on the pain and depression of the patients (23).
Another study conducted on postpartum women had shown that lavender oil could bring down the levels of anxiety and depression without any adverse side effects (24).
15. Cures Headaches:Lavender has proven to be effective in providing relief from migraine headaches and preventing the onset of a new headache. Massaging your temples, neck and forehead with lavender oil relieves neck and head tension, and promotes relaxation (25), (26), (27). This cures a variety of headaches like migraines, general headaches, gastric headaches, nervous headaches, sinus headaches and tension headaches.
An Iranian study involved 47 individuals who suffered from migraine headaches. They were divided into two groups – case group and control group. The patients in the case group were made to inhale lavender oil for 15 minutes, while the ones in the control group inhaled liquid paraffin for the same time period. It was found that the individuals in the case group had reported a decreased severity of migraines (28).
16. Aids In Proper Digestion:Indigestion is a common problem these days, which is characterized by abdominal pain, vomiting, belching and burning sensation in your stomach leading to peptic ulcers. Lavender enables the body to digest fats by soothing the lining of the digestive tract and promoting the secretion of bile. It also relieves gas and constipation.
Drinking lavender tea is a great way to relieve nervous intestinal disorders and indigestion. For this purpose, cook one tablespoon of lavender buds with boiling water and use this water to make tea.
An Iranian study had proven the role of lavender in treating indigestion, and other stomach problems like flatulence and upset stomach (29).
17. Heals Wounds:Lavender oil has powerful antiseptic properties. Topical application of this oil to wounds, cuts, and scrapes increases cell growth, thereby facilitating quick healing of wounds (30). Its antimicrobial properties protect the wounds from infection.
You can dilute lavender oil with olive or jojoba oil by mixing one part of the former with 10 parts of the latter and applying it to the wound.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, lavender is used by herbalists for treating wounds (31). It has also been found that lavender was used to disinfect wounds during wartime (32).
18. Relieves Nausea:Lavender essential oil is effective in alleviating the symptoms of nausea or motion sickness (33). For this purpose, place a drop of lavender oil on one end of the tongue, behind the ears or under the navel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lavender oil is ideal for preventing motion sickness (34).
19. Can Reduce Bloating:Overgrowth of bad bacteria in the body can cause bloating. Lavender contains polyphenols that help in reducing the ‘bad’ bacteria in your blood, thereby helping you to get rid of bloating. If you suffer from bloating, you can sprinkle some dried culinary grade lavender on to your Greek yogurt. This will reduce bloating as well as facilitate proper digestion.
Lavender has been found to treat irritable bowel syndrome, of which bloating is a symptom (35).
20. Hair loss yay!:Lavender essential oil has also been shown to be quite effective for treating hair loss, particularly for those who suffer from alopecia, an autoimmune disease where the body rejects its own hair follicles. A Scottish study reported that more than 40% of alopecia patients noted an increase in hair growth when they regularly rubbed lavender essential oil into their scalp.
How To Incorporate Lavender Into Your Daily Life?Here are some quick pointers on incorporating lavender into your daily life, to best avail its benefits and to lead a relatively relaxed life.
I'm a mom of 3 girls and a husband who I converted to the crunchy life. I buy a lot and try a lot so you don't have to.