Category Archives: Essential Oils

OW! Safe, natural, and effective pain relief while pregnant.

Pregnancy is an amazing, wonderful, life changing journey that has its wonderful ups and not so wonderful downs. For some there are more downs than up. For those of us with chronic pain issues, pregnancy can pose a serious problem to our pain management routines.

I have two bulged disks in my back from working in a hospital. I have gone to physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractors, acupuncturists, yoga, you name it. About three years after the injury I was finally able to manage the pain without drugs most of the time, only taking Ibuprofen occasionally for inflammation or pain.

Unfortunately for my back I got pregnant which made things flare up again. During my first pregnancy I mostly suffered through the pain, popping Tylenol like it was no ones business, and got massages at least once a week. As the pregnancy progressed and I got bigger (much much bigger), my back pain actually eased up. According to my wonderful massage therapist I had in Spokane, I have a deep curve in my lower back (she used the real term for this which escapes me at the moment), and as I got bigger the curve straightened out. Woo hoo!

This pregnancy is so much different! I had been doing hatha yoga for about 2 months prior to getting pregnant which helped manage the aches/pains/sore muscles early in the pregnancy. My body was much stronger going into things this time so the pain issues did not start until about 20 weeks. I stopped doing hatha around 12 weeks pregnant because the forward bends and twists were just too much for me and baby.

When my pain issues surfaced this time I really had no idea what to do. There is no tea I have found to help with pain that is safe to drink during pregnancy. Tylenol was not cutting it, and all the nice anti-inflammatory drugs are a no go. To top it off Colorado insurance laws suck, so although my insurance will pay for massage, no massage clinics around accept our insurance! This means I have to pay out of pocket and hope to be reimbursed. That sucks.

On my search for something to help the pain I went to my Apothecary and bought a brilliant oil called “Sore Muscle Oil” which is amazing and works well during massages to really loosen up the muscles that are bugging you. The oil is a bit pricey so I modified it a bit and started making my own back pain oil, this time with a little more kick. Recipe to follow in another post. The other problem with the oil is you really need a back rub to get it to sink in. It is not an instant topical relief.

Since I started using doTERRA oils to help supplement my natural health care journey, I did some research to see what oils were good to use for pain and inflammation. doTERRA has oil blends that are specifically designed for pain and inflammation but they have peppermint in them, which is not recommended for use when you are still breast feeding, which I am, and will be again shortly. So on the search I went and I found Frankincense.

Frankincense is known best as a holy oil from the middle east, but did you ever consider why it was such a cherished commodity? If you don’t have time to watch that big long video let me just say that this oil has a variety of uses, from anti-inflammatory, anticatarrhal, anticancer, antidepressant, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antitomor, immune stimulant, and sedative. It is pretty awesome stuff with many many uses.

We have been using Frankincense to help with the pain in my  husbands foot from gout so I figured what the heck, and rubbed it on my back on a particularly angry spot. I probably used about 3 drops. The pain I was having was gone in about 30 seconds and stayed away for about 6 hours. It was amazing. I now apply it every night before I go to bed topically to relieve pain, and prevent night time pain I might have, and have recently been taking it internally*, 3 drops, twice a day to help reduce inflammation and swelling, and to help fight this terrible cold we have been having.

It helps reduce my pain and inflammation drastically, and has helped me sleep better because my hip pain from side sleeping every night has been terrible.

The prenatal yoga and chiropractor were really helping me manage the pain, but the frankincense is what is reducing the inflammation and keeping the pain away. I would recommend all three if you are combating pain, especially while pregnant as there are no scary side effects to the oil. I have also heard great things about acupuncture for pain management while pregnant but have not had the chance to use it during pregnancy.

What do you do to naturally manage your pain during pregnancy?

* do not take any essential oils internally that are not approved for oral use as a dietary supplement. doTERRA Frankincense is Approved by the FDA for use as a Food Additive and Flavoring Agent. Always use caution when using essential oils and be sure anything you use is 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils and is labeled for therapeutic use (not aromatic)

For more information on doTERRA oils feel free to contact me or check them out here. There are more affordable ways to get the oils than the retail price so be sure to ask for more information.

Shared on The Morris Tribe’s Blog Carnival.

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How to topically relieve gout pain with Essential Oils

Just a quick post about my husband’s gout. He is currently having a gout attack in his knee. He gets gout often due to an old kidney problem he had when he was younger. If you have suffered gout you know it is extremely painful, especially when it attacks a new joint, which it is in his case.

We are doing our best to avoid unnecessary medications (like hydrocodone) and were looking for a good way to treat the gout pain while his body fights the gout.

So, to treat gout pain we used essential oils of Frankincense, Basil, Geranium, and Peppermint. 2 drops each on the effected area about every 4 hours. After applying we put a hot pack (rice pack) on his knee. He says it helps his pain a lot and is helping him avoid needing the heavy duty pain killers.

I did want to mention we use doTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils. They are intensely tested for purity in each batch of oils to be sure they are clean, pesticide free, chemical free, and additive free. Be sure any oils you are using are Pure Therapeutic Grade oils for Therapeutic Use! You will not see good results with oils that are not pure, and not approved for topical therapeutic use. There is a HUGE difference between the quality and effectiveness of Aromatherapy oils and Therapeutic oils. Please be safe when buying and using oils.

He is also taking an epsom salt bath with baking soda to help leech some of the uric acid out of his leg. Lets hope he is mobile by tomorrow!

UPDATE:

After 24 hours of the gout attack start up, with the use of essential oils and the baking soda/Epsom salt bath, the attack has stopped. His knee is still sore from the damage from the gout crystals but the attack, which usually lasts about three days, has let up! He is amazed that it worked and I am glad to have had my husband back to help clean the house today. YAY!

What is your natural remedy for a gout attack?

What is in my “medicine” cabinet

It is cold and flu season. If you have children, are around children, work outside the home, or have any contact with society whatsoever I am sure you are aware of this. I am in a wonderful group of natural living mamma’s who all have kiddos the same age as my little one. We are all different levels of “Green and Crunchy” and have discussions almost daily about the green stuff we are doing in our lives. I love that we all have special things in our life that we focus on, I am big on herbs and healing.

Almost every day someone’s little one is sick and I (or one of the other more herbally inclined mamma’s) have recommendations about herbs that might help the kiddo/husband/mamma feel better, and the moms who do not use herbs on a regular basis never have the herbs I suggest on hand! I decided to make a list of my “natural” medicine cabinet. It seems like a lot but using just these herbs and oils we have drastically reduced our use of Tylenol/Ibuprofen and we don’t even keep stomach medicine, cold and flu medicine, teething gel, sleeping pills, store-bought lotions, diaper creams, shampoo, conditioner, you get the idea.

These are specific to my family. As you get used to using more herbs in your every day life, and find a good herbalist, you will find the perfect combination to have on hand in your home.

Here is my list of things I try not to go without in my home. This includes Herbs, Essential oils, and the extra stuff you need to turn these into medicine. I know the list seems daunting BUT with these few herbs you can take control of your family’s health and be your own family physician.

I will go more into detail with one herb or oil every week for “Wellness Wednesday” so keep an eye out every Wednesday for an update on the benefits of each of these herbs and oils for your family in detail!

Herbs:

Chamomile, CalendulaCatnipDandelion rootElder Berry, FennelLavender, Licorice, Marshmallow root, NettleOat straw, Peppermint, Red Clover, Red Raspberry Leaf, Rose Hips, St. John’s Wort, Valerian, Yarrow

Essential oils:

Basil, Breathe oil, Digestzen, Frankincense, GeraniumGinger, Lavender,  Lemon, Melaleuca,  OnGuard oil, Peppermint.

Things that help make medicine:

Honey, Vegetable Glycerin, Vodka, Bees Wax, Olive oil, Almond oil, Baking Soda (aluminum free), Epsom Salt, Sea Salt, Vinegar (white and apple cider vinegar), Tea pot, Tea strainer/ball/french press

What is on your families “Must Have” natural wellness list? I would love to hear what is in your natural medicine cabinet and why! 

This blog is featured on A Delightful Home‘s Your Green Resource, and Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, and Wildcrafting Wednesday.

Geranium Essential Oil

I ordered some essential oils to help ease labor and delivery when the time comes and one of the recomended oils was Geranium. I have never worked with geranium before and was not sure of its effects on me so I figured I would give it a go.

I decided to make an anti dandruff hair oil tonight and used the geranium as one of the ingredients and I LOVE the smell! Floral, but not too strong, it is relaxing and calming but less strongly scented/potent smelling than lavender.

I think I will add this to my scented set of wool dryer balls once the current oil wears off. I would love to smell this all day.

From the doTERRA website:
Geranium Essential Oil
Pelargonium graveolens

Geranium offers outstanding benefits for soothing skin and is a common ingredient in many skin care products. Also useful for joint support and tempering minor aches and pains, geranium’s calming effects make it a popular choice for many essential oil users*. For aromatic or topical use.

Properties: Antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, insect repellent, refreshing, relaxing, sedative, tonic

There are numerous uses for geranium but I will just list a few here relating to pregnancy and labor, seeing as that is why I got it, although I want you to know it is good for so much more! If you have any questions ask me I have some very good books that might have the answers.

Geranium is safe for use int he second and third trimesters of pregnancy and is used to treat exhaustion, varicose veins, and edema. It is a known hormonal stimulant so listen to your body and how it reacts to this oil, especially when pregnant. (Essential Oils For Maternity published by Abundant Health, LLC)
It can be used in a massage oil for back pain/sciatica/leg cramps/perineal preparation (I am making an oil for sciatica soon); a foot rub for edema mixed with lemon, wild orange, or lavender; Hemorrhoids (you know the ones you get after pushing a melon out your lady bits); sore breasts, and stretch marks.

It is calming, reduces agitation, bleeding, dysmenorrhea, environmental stress, gall stones, insomnia, pelvic pain syndrome, physical stress, PMS, post labor, varicose veins, vertigo, and has numerous skin benefits. (Modern Essentials, A Contemporary Guide to the Theraputic Use of Essential Oils)

As you can see it is a great feminine ally, and one all woman should have on hand.

One of the things I love about doTERRA oils is their purity, being Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils are tested bottle by bottle for purity, to be sure they are 100% pure essential oils without pesticides or chemical residue. It insures the plants used on the oils were harvested at the right time, and very high quality. This makes it the only brand I trust to use while pregnant, breast feeding, and on my child. For more information on doTERRAs quality control compared to other manufacturers you can read here.

How do you use Geranium Essential Oil? I would love some recipes/protocols on how you have used it and how it has benefited you.

Give away! Fuzzy Woolly Balls!

In Caitlin’s post about DIY Laundry Detergent  she mentioned that she uses Wool Dryer Balls as a fabric softener/static reducer with her laundry. We also use wool dryer balls, in fact we have two sets of four! One, unscented, for the diapers, and one that I have scented with lavender essential oil for our every day laundry.

I love wool dryer balls as a natural alternative for our laundry drying needs and LOVE Woolly Balls made by Mindy Hughes, who has been so generous as to send us a set of her very own Woolly Balls to give away!

Introducing the Amazing, Versatile, Hand-made Woolly Ball

Woolly Balls are made from wool yarn and roving, that have been felted in layers to maximize durability. They are super eco-friendly (not just regular eco-friendly), and come from a totally renewable resource (ba aa aa).

In Your dryer they absorb moisture from your washed clothes, cut drying time, and they bounce around with your clothes and beat them into softness. They DO NOT emit chemicals when heated, (like the plastic balls), last for years, and you can use them in every load of laundry. They allow you to stop buying that expensive fabric softener (which actually makes your towels and other cloth LESS absorbent), are naturally antibacterial, resist mildew, and help reduce static cling (separating the synthetic fibers from your cottons helps even more to avoid static).

Why wool? Wool is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. It can absorb up to ONE THIRD of its weight in water before feeling wet. It has natural anti-static properties. Gently bouncing dryer balls will soften your laundry without dryer sheets or chemical fabric softeners. Wool is mostly non-allergenic. For those with chemical sensitive skin, wool is a great choice. Wool is an easily renewable natural resource and is biodegradable. Woolly Balls should last several years, saving you money with each load!  We recommend three to five balls in your dryer, depending on the size of the load.

Woolly Balls are also wonderful natural alternatives to children’s plastic balls for indoor play, are easy to juggle (if you are into that) and perfect for fetch with your favorite pet!

www.mintheweaver.etsy.com

Bio

Mindy Hughes is an intentionally unemployed former corporate flunky who decided she was not happy completing other people’s to do lists.  She officially opened her home-based business, Anachronology, in 2011 and sells quality hand-dyed, hand-knit and hand sculpted items made primarily of wool at craft fairs, Renaissance Festivals and through her web-store at www.mintheweaver.etsy.com. She takes pride in the things she creates, and does nothing on a mass-produced level, preferring to create something unique of which she can be proud.  Along with playing with wool and yarn, Mindy is enjoying raising two gifted tweenagers and making a home for her family in Arizona.

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So how do you get this AMAZING matching set of Woolly Balls?

You will get an entry for each of these:

Leave a comment telling me how you would use these beautiful Woolly Balls. 
“Like” Anachronology by Mintheweaver on Facebook and let us know about it!
“Like” Natural Living Mamma on Facebook and tell us about it! 
Share this give away on Facebook and Twitter! 
 

We will be accepting entries until Sunday February 19th at 9pm, so enter to win! Tell your friends! Let us know how you would use these amazing fuzzy balls to their full advantage.

Essential oils 101: What are Essential Oils?

As you can tell from reading my different recipes, I love essential oils. They allow me to be able to gain the medicinal benefits of a plant without having to use a large amount of material. People always ask me questions about the oils, like where do I get them? How do you use them? Can you use too much? Because EO use is not common among the general population I decided to start an Essential Oil 101 series. Every week I will focus on a specific aspect of the use of EO’s to hopefully help  you in your wellness journey and increase your confidence in using oils. I just started selling EO’s through a wonderful company called doTERRA and will discuss them intermittently through all of this, but know that my focus here is to help you feel confident in your use, not to sell you oils. IF you do need them though, please take a look at my site. Thanks.

What are Essential Oils?

An Essential Oil is a concentrated liquid containing volatile organic compounds from different parts of the main plant including, but not limited to: seeds, bark, stems, roots and flowers. This plant liquid is not specifically oil of the plant, but the essence of the plant, with its specific scent, and chemical properties which is where we get the specific benefits from each individual kind of oil. Essential oils are very clean to the touch, not at all oily, and immediately absorbs into the skin.

Essential oils are not the same as perfume or fragrance oils. Essential oils are made from pure plants, while most perfume and fragrance oils are petroleum based fake scents and do not have the same beneficial effects of EO’s. Extraction of pure essential oils usually requires laboratory equipment and large amounts of plant materials for a small yield of oil. Seeing the extraction methods available it is easy to understand why good, pure, therapeutic grade essential oils cost so much.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years across many different cultures not only because they are beautifully fragrant but also because essential oils contain unique benefits to health and well being depending on the specific plant they are derived from. For example Lavender is a commonly used oil with anti-fungal, antiseptic, antidepressant, calming, normalizing, harmonizing, deodorizing, rejuvenation, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial properties and is believed to enhance the immune system. It is well known to calm and relax the nervous system. Sweet Orange is used for its uplifting properties, it is great for skin care, regenerative, antispasmodic, and balancing. These are benefits you will not get from a fake fragrance oil.

Essential oils many holistic and wellness benefits, which we will focus on more with specific plants later in the series, but should be used with caution. Due to their highly potent nature a little bit really does go a long way.  Use caution with the oils if you have a specific health condition, are pregnant, breast feeding, or using oils with children. There are a lot of good sources for information on essential oil uses and safety which I will try to provide for you as I use them. There are also a lot of bad and inaccurate sources out there, mostly on the internet so be ware and be sure your information is from a trusted source. I will link my sources as I can. If I forget please remind me and I will put them up for you!

When you buy Essential Oils, be sure not to trade cost for quality. I may have been cheap when buying oils to clean my house with, but never skimp on the oils I will be applying to my body, or in the products I make for others. “The quality of even pure essential oils can vary greatly depending on the country where the plant was grown, climactic conditions, how the raw material was collected and stored, and the process used to obtain the oil. Always opt for the best quality of oil available.” – The Essential Oils Book by Colleen Dodt. When you buy oils be sure to buy from a reputable supplier who is focused on providing the finest, high quality, pure essential oils. Always look for oils packaged in full dark glass bottles. Read the label carefully. Look for the term “pure essential oil” and for cautions such as “keep out of reach of children” and where the oil is intended for use.

dōTERRA (CPTG) Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils represent some of the safest, purest, and most beneficial essential oils available today. They are gently and skillfully distilled from plants that have been patiently harvested at the perfect moment by experienced growers from around the world for ideal extract composition and efficacy. Experienced essential oil users will immediately recognize dōTERRA’s superior quality standard for naturally safe, purely effective therapeutic-grade essential oils.

Cautions: everyone is different and will react to different oils in varying manners. Keep oils away from eyes. Always wash your hands before and after using essential oils. There is nothing worse than working with an oil, (like peppermint), then rubbing your eyes or mucous membranes directly afterward. I promise you, it feels like burning.  If you do get oil in your eyes do not rinse with water, but apply sweet almond oil (or another base oil) to a cotton ball and apply that to your eye. Water will disperse the oil and make it worse.

Keep out of reach of children. Pure essential oils can be toxic if ingested in large amounts and can be harmful to skin and eyes if improperly diluted.

Practice caution while pregnant. Essential oils are very strong and many have an effect on hormones and muscle contractions. Of everything I have read I would avoid most eo use in the first trimester, and use great caution and education while working with an educated midwife, doctor, or aroma therapist through the rest of your pregnancy.

A little bit goes a long way, using 1-2 drops has beneficial effects, but many people who use more than instructed find the benefit to be mitigated. Remember it takes pounds of plant material to make that very small amount of oil in your bottle. Use sparingly for best results. Also use proper dilution for oils. Most recipes will tell you how many drops of EO to use per oz of carrier oil, or water, or whatever you are using to dilute your material.

The uplifting, healing, and beneficial properties of EO usage in my daily practice has been a pleasure and I truly enjoy finding new uses for the oils. I am now working on putting together an essential oil kit to aid mothers in the stages of labor through the use of calming and uplifting scents, mixed with oils that are known to be beneficial during and after labor for the mother and baby. It is very exciting and becoming an addicting thing. I hope to share the journey with you.

What is your favorite use for Essential Oils? Include your favorite recipe or link here!