Let’s talk oils…

yellowflower

There really is so much to say about essential oils and so much information out there, along with a large number of suppliers.  It can be easy to become overwhelmed, which is why I started doing my own research and joined several groups that helped navigate the waters.  One of the most confusing things for me was getting around the information that the MLMs were handing out. Have they actually even trained in aromatherapy?  If so, they wouldn’t encourage their customers and sellers to use their expensive oils neat (undiluted) and to ingest them on a daily basis. If used properly, oils can last the average person quite a while.  I won’t go into safety now, but oils are not meant to be casually ingested and they are just as effective when diffused or diluted in carrier oil when used on the skin.  Plus, there is a risk of sensitization if oils are regularly used undiluted.  Anyway, I digress…

It was all of this information floating around that really made me decide to become a certified aromatherapist.  I feel like the information will be useful not only for our family, but hopefully for friends as well.  Obviously it would be great if I could make a living creating products for other people, but I’m going to just wait and see what happens with that. In the meantime, the knowledge is good to have and I hope I can help educate other people in the use of essential oils.

While I’m not a fan of MLMs and probably will never purchase oils from them just because I don’t like their business practices, there are many places to shop for oils that are reasonably priced and offer high quality products.  One thing to keep in mind is that there are MANY sellers of oils, but really only so many distillers, so it’s highly likely that many stores are selling oils from the same places. There is not just one company selling 100% therapeutic grade oil because all essential oils are technically therapeutic.  Granted, there are some companies that sell oils with additives and synthetic ingredients, and that is something you want to watch out for. The more open a company is about sharing where the oil is from, different testing reports, safety information, the more comfortable I feel with that company.

One of my favorite essential oil companies right now is Plant Therapy.  They not only have amazing customer service, but they have an informative blog, a helpful Facebook group, and a great Kid Safe line that we love.  I don’t remember how I stumbled across them, but I’m so happy I did.  Some other favorites include Aromatics International, Stillpoint Aromatics, and Mountain Rose Herbs to name a few. I’m still testing out other brands and companies as I go along since I also plan on making lotions, bath salts, massage oils, lip balms, and whatever else comes to mind as I get more into it and will need lots of supplies.

I’m so looking forward to sharing my knowledge with my friends and family, though, and more importantly the oils themselves.  Part of my certification includes case studies and a paper, so I’ll be needing guinea pigs in the near future who will be willing to let me mix up some special blends for them and officially be my first clients on this very fun journey.  I’m going to hopefully have a separate blog page soon strictly for oils as I hope for this to become a way of life, and think it will be useful to have the information in one place.

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Summer Ick

Amazing how a stupid little virus can completely wipe you out and leave you feeling drained for days on end.  Last Tuesday night I started feeling headachy and under the weather, and by Wednesday morning I had full on body aches, fever, fatigue, headache, and chills.  I finally got rid of the fever Friday morning during a good nap (after not sleeping for 2 nights because of the fever), but still do not feel like myself.  I’ve been slowly able to eat more and more, but the brain fog is tricky and I’m exhausted.  Plus, I’m on my own as of yesterday afternoon because Josh is traveling for work.  The kids had to deal with a very tired, sick, and cranky mommy yesterday. I think they’ll survive.

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I’m just hoping for an easy pick up and counting on Enzo’s love of cereal to make for an easy dinner so I can try and crash as early as possible.  I’m sure he’s more than capable of changing a diaper by now, right?  Ugh. I’m never getting sick again, it’s just not doable.  I just have to somehow find the energy to get through the next few hours and hope that tomorrow I’ll wake up feeling better. Granted, that didn’t happen today, but one never knows.  However, the kids both have a nasty cough, so I could be up tonight either way.  Ah, parenting. Being sick is definitely one of those times when I miss being single and responible only for myself.

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Despite pushing my buttons more than usual (out of boredom), Enzo has been a pretty good little helper when it comes to his sister.  They’re both watching more TV than usual (not my favorite), but one does what one must during desparate times.  I’m just glad that the worst of this flu didn’t hit this week while Josh is away – now that would have been bad. So, it could always be worse.  And on that note… that is my reason for being away. Hopefully life will get back on track soon.

Essential Oils – Brief Intro

Lavender

Over the past few months I’ve been found a new and deep love of essential oils, and while I don’t know what prompted this interest, it’s been fascinating and my long-term goal is to become a certified aromatherapist. I’m sure many of you have seen a lot of links in which essential oils are mentioned whether it be for cleaning recipes or otherwise. Basically, essential oils (for those who don’t know) are highly concentrated essences of a plant. The essence of a plant is its smell, which comes from special little cells and glands within a plant and then is extracted to create the oil. Different plants have different healing properties and while some smell quite pleasant, others may be a tad stinky, depending on your preferences.

Because of this interest, I thought I’d share it, and a few of the common misconceptions out there at the same time.

Essential oils are wonderful and natural, so they are a nice alternative to modern medicine, but not all oils are safe for everyone.  Precaution is most important around young children and even pets. It is not even recommended to use oils on children under 2, and if so, they should be extremely diluted. Oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus are not even recommended under the ages of 5 and 10 because they can cause breathing problems (see link below). Many MLM companies do not give these precautions and even encourage using essential oils neat (undiluted) or by ingesting them. Please do not ingest essential oils unless you have been advised by a certified aromatherapist or physician to do so. Some oils can cause liver damage and other problems over time if ingested regularly. In fact, essential oils are most beneficial when inhaled or diffused – you don’t even need to apply them to the skin for them to work!

The best oils must be the most expensive. Definitely not true, although many MLM companies might have you think so.  Claims that their oils are pure and therapeutic/food-grade are unsubstantiated and there are some wonderful companies out there that sell quality oils at a fraction of the price.

I think everyone should do their own research when it comes to anything regarding your health and wellness, and that goes for remedies of any kind, whether it be holistic or over-the-counter.  While essential oils are natural and can be used in a very safe manner, there is a lot of misinformation out there, and I felt like I should make a PSA for anyone who happens upon my blog.  I plan on always using Essential Oils in a safe manner and plan to get properly educated so I can feel confident that I’m creating safe blends for others to use.  I’ve had a lot of enjoyment creating blends for my own family over the past few months such as a sleep-aid for Josh (which must work because not even the babies fussing have woken him up lately), a tummy lotion for Enzo (over the age of 2, there are a lot of kid friendly essential oils), and even an eczema blend for Phoebe using hydrosols.

Kids and Essential Oil Safety

Another link about Kids and Essential Oil Safety

Therapeutic Grade Oils

Hydrosols 

Splitting Time

I think our little lady might finally be getting into a new nighttime schedule.  The past two nights she hasn’t woken up until around 5:00am, which has been a very pleasant change considering she usually wakes up at 1:00am.  Granted, she’s a lot more hungry and vocal when she sleeps longer, so the trick is trying to keep her quiet so she doesn’t wake up her brother.

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Overall Phoebe seems to be a quiet observer, taking in everything around her.  I’d love to know what she’s thinking, but half the time the look on her face tells me she thinks we’re all insane.  She may be right.  Thankfully she finds our insanity amusing for the most part.

Giggles

All too soon these baby days will be over, and I try not to dwell on that too often.  It’s so different the second time around, though. Not only does it fly be even faster, but it’s both easier and more difficult at the same time.  Mostly I feel torn between how much time I spend with both of my munchkins on a daily basis. I feel bad if I don’t spend a lot of one-on-one time with Phoebe because Enzo got so much since he was born first, but then I feel bad if I don’t spend enough time with Enzo because I’ve been snuggling Toots. I never had guilt going back to work when it was just Enzo, but now I definitely feel it simply because I feel like I’m never giving them enough of my time and when I do I’m often tired in the evening and short on patience when it comes to toddler tantrums.

PrettyLady

This really just tells me I need to reprioritize and maybe come up with a schedule that allows me to make time for each kiddo, myself, my husband, and to make sure I’m taking care of myself mentally and physically so that way I’m not as tired or cranky when I’m at home.  Thankfully with the weather getting better and better I’m more motivated to exercise again, and while we often make dinners, I think I need to start making a lunch the night before I’m less likely to just grab something frozen or fast on my way out the door.  I’m so focused on making sure Enzo eats well that I sometimes forget about Josh and I.  😉

Yearly Yuck

Without fail I come down with something that knocks me out of commission for several days or more every year.  I can’t complain too much, but I do hate using the majority of my “Sick” Time at the beginning of the year since there’s that much more pressure not to get sick the rest of the year and to keep the kids as healthy as possible.  This year it all started with a cold that didn’t want to leave and then an ear infection that is mostly gone, but I still have fluid and pressure in my ear(s) that is sticking around.  I could deal with that just fine, but then apparently since my immune system was already working overtime taking care of a viral infection; it decided I needed something like a bacterial skin infection as well.  So, I have what the doctors think is Impetigo on my face (they are questioning it because it doesn’t look like typical Impetigo).  Josh is pretty sure it showed up after I was cleaning up some mold we found in a couple of windowsills – Ewww!  I thought I had kept it contained, but it makes sense because I don’t know how else I could have gotten it.  So… I have an awesome sore on my face and little blistery spots and I’m on my second round of antibiotics because for some reason the first round stopped working and it began to spread again.  I’m going to see about finding a dermatologist, but the tricky part seems to be finding one that I can get into quickly because I really hope I won’t still have whatever this infection is a month or two from now… thanks, House. :p

Anyhoo… at least the kids are pretty healthy.  If anyone has to get sick, I’d rather it be me than them.  I did find out something interesting, though… apparently it takes your body 2 years after pregnancy for it to return to normal (as far as immunity goes, at least).  So it makes sense that my body’s immunity is much lower than usual considering Enzo wasn’t even 1 when I got pregnant with Phoebe.  The more you know!

That’s all I’ve got for now… so how about a cute baby?  Right?

Toots