Showing posts with label essential oil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label essential oil. Show all posts

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Reviewing 3 Natural Ways to Relieve a Headache

3 natural ways to ease a headache
Headaches are no fun, but did you know that you don't have to reach for your bottle of asprin or paracetamol/tylenol when you feel one coming on. 

There are a number of natural remedies that you can try first.

I'm going to review 3 different ways to help relieve a headache that I have tried myself and have found successful. 

I have studied aromatherapy and herbology in the past, but I am not a doctor so if you have persistent headaches please consult your medical practitioner.

Using Aromatherapy to Ease a Headache


A very effective way to ease a headache is with lavender oil.   Now if you headache is caused by stress then relieving your stress levels is a great idea so check out this article -

Aromatherapy for StressReviewing How Aromatherapy Can Help Relieve Stress
If stress is getting you down then you need to use a little aromatherapy magic. Let me show you what essential oils you need to use and exactly how to use them to effectively ease stress.


Now back to lavender oil.  This is one of the few pure, essential oils that you can use undiluted.  Simply tip the bottle upside down onto your index finger on one hand and then do the same on the other.  You should end up with a drop on each finger.

You massage your fingers into your temple like the photo below -

relieve headaches by using these massage points
Photo courtesy of Lou's Designs


I used to try this for migraines (which I used to get every month before I had my daughter), it used to reduce the severity of the headache, although it didn't help with the lack of balance and light sensitivity (but you can't have everything!).

When it comes to just a standard headache, if I'm at home with lavender on hand this works really well.

Eating Almonds, Not Asprin for a Headache!


Now when I was told last year that merely eating almonds could help a headache I was a little skeptical, but then I tried it with success.  Initially I wondered if it was just a coincidence, but I have tried it a few times now and it has worked.

I have also looked into why this works and when I saw that almonds are a good source of magnesium I realized that's why they're effective.  Magnesium actually helps to relax your blood vessels and it's often when your blood vessels are tight that you get headaches.

How many almonds to take?  The recommendation is 10-12 almonds, but when I've tried them I've only taken 6-8 each time, then again when I have resorted to taking paracetamol/tylenol I only take 1 not 2.

Hydration is Vital for Keeping Headaches at Bay!


I read somewhere that dehydration is one of the leading causes of headaches, now I don't know exactly how factual that statement is, but it wouldn't surprise me.  Most people I know just do not drink enough water and by consuming more processed foods we are also digesting less water through our meals as well.

When my daughter complains of a headache the first thing I ask her is 'have you drunk much today?' the reply is usually no!  Now when you're dehydrated just drinking water sometimes isn't enough to ease the headache quickly as you need to get electrolytes into your system too.

If you have any watermelon on hand this is an excellent source of natural electrolytes and it has the added bonus that most kids who don't want to drink water will happily consume a slice or two of watermelon!

Another option is to have an electrolyte drink (often marketed as sports drinks).  This will work, but the side effect with most of the ones on the market is that they tend to be really high in sugar.  This is one of the reasons (I believe) that after drinking them you are sometimes left feeling even thirstier.

One drink that I use and also give my teenager is Arbonne's Complete Hydration as it's much lower in sugar and is formulated to hydrate on a cellular level.   This means that it doesn't leave you feeling thirsty.

Have You Tried Natural Ways to Ease A Headache?

I'd love to know if you've tried any of these three ways to ease a headache or if you have a different natural method to help your headaches.



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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Reviewing How Aromatherapy Can Help Relieve Stress

Lavender oil for stress
Buy Your Lavender Oil Here!
I love using aromatherapy and it's awesome for many different things, but one thing that aromatherapy is often used to help with is stress.

I thought it would be handy to showcase which aromatherapy oils are the best to help relieve stress and how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle to make stress a thing of the past.

The best stress-busting essential oils that aromatherapy has to offer are:
  • Bergamot
  • Lemon
  • Lavender
  • Gerarnium
  • Chamomile
The best thing about these five oils is that they also smell absolutely divine too (a win/win).

Bergamot Oil


Bergamot oil is a very uplifting oil and is great for keeping you feeling positive and avoiding stress.  I love the smell of Bergamot - it always puts me in a 'happy' mood.

Bergamot can help with -
  • depression
  • nervous tension
  • relaxation
  • general well being

Lemon Oil

Lemon oil also has uplifting properties (most of the citrus oils do) and gives you a feeling of positivity.  Lemon oil has the advantage of being anti-bacterial and anti-viral so if your immune system is feeling the effects of too much stress, lemon oil can help.

Lemon oil can help with -
  • relaxation
  • nervous tension
  • general well being

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil has so many properties that it really is the super oil of all oils, often referred to as a first aid kit in a bottle.  Combine that with the fact that the fragrance is just as beautiful you're onto a winner!

Lavender oil can help with -
  • depression
  • headaches
  • high blood pressure
  • migrane
  • insomnia
  • nervous tension

Geranium Oil

Geranium oil is one of the few that can be blended with nearly any other oil.  It goes extremely well with rose, however and all of the citrus oils.

Geranium oil can help with -
  • depression
  • nervous tension
  • nervous pain
  • anxiety

Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil has a very low toxicity which is why it is often used with children.

Chamomile oil can help with -
  • depression
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • migrane
  • hysteria

Essential oils really are a fantastic way to keep stress levels down.   I managed a shop for a number of years and we had an aromatherapy burner going all day.  My stress levels (especially considering how busy we were) were always kept under control.  My first experience of work stress didn't happen until after leaving this environment.

aromatherapy and stress relief

Common Stress Problems

Common stress problems include headaches, low libido insomnia, high blood pressure, depression, irritability, anxiety and exhaustion.

Headaches - the classic essential oil for stress headaches and migraines is lavender.  Simply put a drop on each middle finger and massage into your temples (lavender is one of the few essential oils you can use neat, usually you should dilute pure essential oils before putting onto the skin)

Insomnia - chamomile is a fantastic essential oil for helping with insomnia, especially when combined with lavender oil.   Leave a diffuser going in the bedroom or have a chamomile and lavender bath before going to bed.   When my daughter was teething she had problems sleeping so (as I didn't have a diffuser at that time) I put a couple of drops of chamomile on a hankerchief and placed this under the mattress in her cot.  It really seemed to help settle her.

Low Libido - when stress starts to affect your sex life then you want to grab some Jasmine oil (this oils has athrodisiac properties) as this works really well in combination with lavender, chamomile, bergamot or geranium.  Add a couple of drops of jasmine along with a couple of drops of one of your stress oils into a carrier oil and try a massage.

High Blood Pressure - this needs to be approached in a holistic manner, but both lavender and lemon oils are fantastic in helping to support other methods of reducing blood pressure.

How Do I Use Essential Oils?


Now that you've worked out what oils you need - what do you do with them?  Essential oils can be used in diffusers, burners, baths, massages, lotions and creams.

Diffusers


Diffusers are wonderful, if you're able to have them going at work it is fantastic.  When you're trying to convince your employer to let you have a diffuser at work point them in the direction of Takasago.  Takasago is a Japanese company who released essential oils into the office air of computer and word processing operators to see if it affected productivity.

The results showed an increase in productivity, reduction in error rates and a reduction in stress levels.  The productivity rates were all increased by between 21% and 54% depending on the oils used.  Take this to your boss and he won't just let you use a diffuser in the office he may even buy one for you!

De-Stress On Your Drive Home

Car Diffusers


Driving home you can use aromatherapy as well and reduce the chance of road rage!  Simply get a car diffuser, they usually plug into the cigarette lighter.  If you If you don't want to use one of these you can put a couple of drops of essential oil on a tissue and leave it over the airvent so that it can diffuse throughout the car. This is also a great tip for long car trips to stay alert when driving - we used a combination of lemon and rosemary on a road trip a few years ago - I'm digressing now. Back to stress!

Massages


Regular Aromatherapy massages are fantastic, if you're under a lot of stress then booking in to have a weekly massage is a great idea. A friend of mine finds that once a month is enough for her as her work stress levels aren't really high, but are fairly consistent.

Massage by itself is great for stress, but seeing an Aromatherapist means that you'll have the added benefits of the power of essential oils as well.

Baths


Baths are a fantastic way of 'washing away' the stresses of the day. The Romans and Egyptians have long known the benefits of bathing. In our quest for speed and efficiency we have switched to quick showers and have lost the relaxation of a bath along the way. Combine the relaxing properties of a bath with the power of aromatherapy and you will be much happier.

Other ways to incorporate aromatherapy are using burners, candles, body lotions and creams.

Some Helpful Aromatherapy Blends


General Formula for the Workplace


This formula will enable everyone to cope before they get stressed out and it also has the added benefit of keeping their immune systems healthy (always good in an office environment).

Bergamot 7 drops
Lavender 3 drops
Lemon 2 drops

Mix these ratios of oils together and put in a diffuser to keep your workplace happy and healthy.

Anxiety Formula


Lavender 10 drops
Geranium 10 drops
Bergamot 10 drops

This same combination works really well for Depression although in different ratios

Depression Formula (from Valerie Ann Worwood's The Fragrant Pharmacy)


Geranium 15 drops
Lavender 5 drops
Bergamot 10 drops

Geranium is a really good oil to use as an uplifting influence on your emotions and although I have already talked about using chamomile and lavender together for headaches, Geranium can also be used.

Headache Formula


Equal parts lavender , chamomile and geranium

aromatherapy to relieve stress
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Have You Used Aromatherapy to Reduce Stress?

I'd love to know which oils you used and what the results were ...


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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Reviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil

Reviewing uses for tea tree oil
Click here to buy some Tea Tree Oil
I was first introduced to Tea Tree oil over 20 years ago and absolutely love it.  At the time that I was introduced to it I was managing a health food store in New Zealand and the brand I used was Thursday Plantation.  Thursday Plantation was the first company to make tea tree oil commercially, but over the years many other companies have followed suit.

I was really excited when Arbonne released their new products for the year and tea tree oil was one of them.  As a company I love the ethics of Arbonne, the fact that all of their products are of high quality, PETA approved, vegan and so much more means that I will be using their tea tree oil.

How Do I Use Tea Tree OIl

Treating Things with Tea Tree Oil


Over the years I have used tea tree oil in many ways, from household uses to medicinal uses and there are lots of other uses that I haven't tried.

Tea Tree oil has antiseptic properties and is both a germicide and a fungicide, in fact according to Valerie Ann Worwood (The Fragrant Pharmacy) it's antiseptic properties are thought to be 100 x more powerful than carbolic acid.

I have used it in a diffuser or burner when I've been sick (although to be honest I prefer lemon oil as it doesn't make the house smell like a hospital!).

My husband used to get a recurring fungal infection on his toe nail and was constantly using a cream from the doctor which would help it, but it would never go away completely.  I decided that we should use tea tree oil (much to the dismay of my sceptical husband!)  I put one drop of tea tree oil onto a dampened cotton bud and wiped it over the nail twice a day.  Much to my husband's disbelief it actually worked and the fungal nail infection went away completely.

The owner of the health food store I managed used to get dandruff and he found that once he used a tea tree shampoo and conditioner it cleared up.  Well to be honest I didn't think my husband would like the smell of the shampoo and conditioner and I already had the oil so I told him to put the shampoo onto his hand and then add one drop of tea tree oil, mixed it together and then use it on his head.  Lo and behold his dandruff disappeared.

It's amazing how over the years my husband has been much less of a sceptic!

Beauty Uses for Tea Tree Oil


When I worked at the health food shop there were a few products for acne that were based on tea tree oil that were very successful for our customers, but I heard of a couple of cool ideas on a training I recently attended.

Tea Tree Skin Tonic

2 drops of tea tree oil
40 drops of witch hazel

Use this on your skin in place of a toner.  I think this is awesome as I know a couple of years ago I worked with a young lady and she used straight witch hazel to clear up her problem skin, coupled with my previous customer's experience with tea tree I think this is a winning combination.

If you have blemishes anywhere on your body you could add a couple of drops to coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply to your skin.

You can add 1-2 drops to your existing masks, scrubs or face creams.  The only thing you can NOT do is add it straight onto your skin.  This is a pure essential oil which means it's highly concentrated and should always be diluted before using.

Steam Bath for Acne

Of course you can always add hot water to a bowl with 2-3 drops of Tea Tree oil and then pop a towel over your head and the bowl and let the combination of steam and tea tree work it's magic.  As a disclaimer although I remember my friends steaming their face as an 'acne cure' as a teen I didn't suffer from acne so I'm not sure if it worked.  My daughter tried it a couple of times, but didn't like the smell as it reminded her that I used tea tree on her when she had nits!  (I can't remember the ratio I used for that).  As she wouldn't give it a chance it didn't work.

Arbonne Essential Oils
Purchase Arbonne Essential Oils here

Household Uses for Tea Tree Oil

My favorite way to use tea tree oil around the house was in the toilet!  I would lift the cistern up and pop a dozen drops of tea tree oil to the water in there.  Every time you flush you get a very faint odour of the tea tree oil, when I couldn't smell it anymore (or a week had passed) I would add more drops.

Now I wasn't doing it for that fragrance by the way, I did it because it really helped to keep the toilet bowl cleaner.  I haven't done this in a while because with our last toilet I couldn't easily access the cistern, but with our newer toilet and Arbonne releasing their tea tree oil I will start this again!

I have also used tea tree oil for removing scuff marks off of lino floors (add a drop to a damp cloth and wipe).  Talking of floors you can also add 1 tsp of tea tree oil to 1 1/5 gallons of water and use that to wash your floors.  My husband's response was that it smelt like a hospital, so the next time I also added a couple of drops of lavender to try and mask the smell.  I no longer do this because my husband really didn't like the smell and sometimes you just accept defeat in some areas!

If you like the smell of tea tree oil you can also add it to your vacuum bag when vacuuming - I tended to only use lavender essential oil (see above re husband's complaint!), but I now have a bagless vacuum so I don't get the lovely smell as I'm cleaning the house!

Dogs & Tea Tree Oil

Now dog's have very sensitive skin so do NOT put tea tree oil directly onto a dog's skin, but it can help if they have sores or are itchy, it just must be diluted.  If your dog is itching a bit then simply pop 1 drop into the shampoo before washing him/her. 

My late dog got a nasty sore on his tummy so I diluted a drop of tea tree oil in a natural base cream (I can't remember the name of it) and rubbed that on it.  It worked really well.  For my current dog I've always used pawpaw ointment (no need to mix anything).

Have You Used Tea Tree Oil?


There are lots of uses for tea tree oil which I haven't even touched on, I'd love to know if you've used it and what your experiences of it have been.





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Monday, March 27, 2017

Essential Oil Room Humidifier and Diffuser

VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser and Room Humidifier
I typically write and review things I already own and use that make me happy. Occasionally I write about things that are owned and recommended by friends - things I covet. Today I am writing about my new excitement about room humidifiers and essential oil diffusers. I just learned about these dual purpose items yesterday and am shopping one for today. I believe it is exactly what I need to make my office more comfortable.


Making the Office More Pleasant with Essential Oils


I have already written about the need for pleasant scents and room deodorizers in the work place along with my concern about sprays and chemicals. I am increasingly aware of people and their chemical sensitivities.  

I currently use essential oils and baking soda to create a subtle fragrance in my office in an attempt to refrain from over-powering sprays. I try to be mindful of people who may have allergies or asthma and I am ever-conscious of possible migraine triggers for myself.

Yesterday, I walked into a co-worker's office and just stopped, stood, and sniffed. There was a fairly new and strong scent in her office. For a split second I wondered if this somewhat strong scent was going to trigger a migraine. But she also suffers from migraines. As I stood, taking in the peppermint scent, I found it soothing to the slight headache I had at that moment.

While I've been aware of the Reed Diffuser styles for some time, I didn't care much for most of the scents people chose to use with them.  They were often too strong for my personal preference.  So I was never very tempted. Although, in hindsight, I bet I could find some scents that suit me.

Essential Oil Reed Diffuser


But the diffuser in my co-workers office seemed different. The scent was strong, but not overpowering. The subtle glowing light was soothing. I instantly liked her diffuser and wanted to just sit and stay awhile. Perhaps I felt like that because I am partial to peppermint. But perhaps the way the diffuser works makes it more pleasing. I'm not sure.  Regardless, I liked it enough to start shopping for one as soon as I had a moment.


Essential Oil Diffuser and Room Humidifer


While shopping for this electric diffuser, I was still a bit skeptical and thinking that I would stick with my baking soda and essential oil method.  I really like the simple method. It is inexpensive and about as natural as you can get.

Then I realized that many of these electric diffusers are also room humidifiers. PERFECT!  Maybe that is why her office felt so welcoming.

My office is often extremely dry. As a result, my hair gets so full of static that it becomes bothersome.  Not to mention the dry nasal passages, itchy dry skin, the plants in my window that are struggling, and other signs of a dry environment. I am tired of the sparks that go flying every time I touch my metal file cabinet! 

Viva Naturals Aromatherapy Diffuser

I'm very excited about these diffusers and their ability to humidify a room. And there are so many styles to choose from. I'm not yet sure if I prefer the tall, vase-like version or the short, squat, round versions. I like both the lighted diffusers with the changing colors and the faux wood grain styles. So many of the version are visually pleasing and choosing the "right" isn't as easy as I had expected.

If you are sold on essential oils and need increased humidity in a room, this may be exactly the thing for you too.


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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Natural Air Freshener Review Update

Calming Essential Oil
I recently wrote a review about the best air freshener for people with chemical sensitivities. That natural air freshening recipe utilizes only two ingredients: baking soda and essential oil.  Since my discovery of that air freshening option, I have tried a new scent.  I am writing again to update that article with comments about how well it works and the new scent I have begun using.


It Freshens!


The essential oil and baking soda combination works!  I began with peppermint oil and just used a few drops in a small amount of baking soda.  It created the lightest hint of scent in my office.  If you are looking for something that will mask or resolve sudden strong odors, I do not think this solution will be effective.  But for a constant, fresh, and mild scent this is a great choice. And the few drops of essential oil lasted for far longer than I thought it might. In fact, I dumped it out before it wore out, so that I could change scents.


The New Aromatherapy Scent: "Calming"


As I had written previously, I was aware that the peppermint essential oil would not trigger a migraine. That is why I used it for my trial run. Although, a room that smelled like peppermint was not my ultimate goal.

I tried a new scent, and it works great too. It is the "calming" oil by Nature's Truth.  I can't comment on whether or not it is "calming". But it is a great citrusy scent.  The Nature's Truth website refers to it as "floral, sweet, and citrusy, with notes of herbal spices..."

I did add WAY too many drops to the baking soda so the scent is much stronger than my peppermint oil concoction was.  In order to control the amount of scent in the office, I merely close the lid on my little glass container.

I have also purchased a bottle of Lavender essential oil because I love the lavender scent.  However, I enjoy this citrus scent so much that I have not yet felt the need to change.





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Monday, May 16, 2016

The Best Air Freshener for People with Sensitivities

Peppermint
I have had to think a lot about air fresheners.  At work I share a small office area with three other offices and a public bathroom.  The space is a confined area in an old building. The windows are painted closed and there is no bathroom vent.  So, you can imagine why I've been thinking a lot about air fresheners lately. I want to avoid as many chemicals as possible but remove as many odors as possible. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that two of us have chemical sensitivities. Even in light of all of this, I have found the perfect air freshening solution.

New-to-Me DIY Natural Air Freshener


I get severe migraines that are often triggered by chemicals and scents. My office mate has asthma that is easily triggered. We are finding that we are triggered by opposite things. For example, original Lysol, in small amounts, doesn't trigger my migraine but causes breathing problems for her.  She can tolerate one of the other scented sprays (I can't recall the brand) but it triggers a migraine for me. As I mentioned, due to the layout of our office area, we both are adamant that an air freshener is mandatory. We are just having trouble finding something that suits us both.

As I move toward more natural cleaning supplies in my home, it was automatic to do some research about natural air freshening solutions.  I am always one step behind the times, so you probably have already heard of using baking soda and essential oil as a natural room freshener, but this was new news to me.  And I'm thrilled.

I immediately got a small glass container at work and a glass jar at home.  I purchased peppermint essential oil and made my own room freshener in a matter of moments. So far, so good. No migraine and no asthma attack for my friend at work. 

This natural and effective solution is amazingly quick, easy, and inexpensive to make.

my simple baking soda and peppermint air freshener
The items needed:

  • baking soda
  • essential oil (scent of your choice)
  • a jar
  • decorating supplies (completely optional)

The how to:

Pour some baking soda into the jar.  I used a couple of tablespoons. Some folks fill the jar halfway.  

Sprinkle a few drops of essential oil onto the baking soda. Stir or shake.

If using a lid (mason jar, paper, or cloth lid) place the lid onto the jar.  I am using a lid only if I want to interrupt the air freshening. Otherwise, I do not place the lid on the jar.



Essential Oil Reviews


Years ago, I had a friend who taught me a very small bit about essential oils. She used peppermint oil on me when I had migraines (she is a masseuse). So I knew that I'd be okay with peppermint oil and that is what I purchased locally for my first attempt at making my baking soda and essential oil room freshener.  

In the meantime, I am studying about different brands of essential oils. Peppermint oil is not my first choice for a room freshener.  I will switch over to a floral or citrus oil.  

I have found a detailed review and essential oil comparison that has been very helpful in narrowing down the brands I'd like to purchase. Now, the only problem that remains for me is narrowing down which scents to purchase. There are so many wonderful scents to choose from. 

Essential Oils from Plant Guru


CAUTION: There are children who have been poisoned when they have ingested essential oils or have been over-exposed via direct contact with essential oils.  Please read about the dangers of essential oils and children and keep your essential oils out of the reach of children. 

Related Links:

Tidy Mom shows us how she uses spray paint and scrapbook paper to make pretty jars to hold her baking soda and essential oil air freshener.  Such an easy and good looking project - I wish I had thought of it. 

Homemade Gifts Made Easy explains a few ways to dry lavender.  If I am successful with growing lavender I will dry some in order to make a lavender, lavender essential oil, and baking soda air freshener. 





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