Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Essential Oils for Everyday Use: Resources

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Tip #5: Invest in some quality resources to educate and familiarize yourself with the basics of essential oils.

I began my essential oil journey long before I ever heard about Young Living. When changing dirty diapers, wiping tiny noses, and reading a never ending pile of picture books marked my SAHM days, I was already into the natural living thing but hadn't really dabbled in the realm of essential oils. However, when I discovered that my second baby was allergy prone, I took my first steps onto the path of all things essential oil.

I started out by changing out most of my cleaning supplies and replacing them with essential oil or other natural based products. Devouring all kinds of information, I soon began using oils on myself and my family. They became a regular part of our lives and still are. A few years ago, I even started taking a few oils internally when needed.

Today, I am going to share 4 essential oil resources that are a part of my natural living library.

1. The Complete Medicinal Herbal: A practical guide to the healing properties of herbs, with more than 250 remedies for common ailments.

The first half of this book is filled with gorgeous color photos of herbs from A-Z. While this book isn't primarily devoted to the essential oil aspect of the plants, it sheds light on how all plant parts are used. Part of the information includes how to use a particular essential oil and for what ailments.

The second half of the book lists various ailments and natural remedies in chart form. I've owned this resource since the very beginning of my natural health journey, and I think it's a great book to have in your healthy living library!

Side note: My daughter found The Complete Medicinal Herbal particularly enjoyable as she researched many of the herbs mentioned in her favorite book series by Erin Hunter, Warriors. ;)

2. The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

Even though this book isn't filled with vibrant pictures like the first book I mentioned, it offers a wealth of information. It covers topics such as methods of use, basic care kit, oils for skin and hair, oils for men, women, and children, oils for pets, oils for the garden, oils for cooking, oils for your home, oils you should NEVER use, etc.

My favorite part of this book is the essential oil charts listed in the back. Charts include bacteria busters, beauty oils, toning/slimming oils, facial/skin oils, and essential oils which gives info on the type of plant, part from which the oil is obtained, countries of origin, aromatherapeutic home use, and other uses.

3. What To Do When Antibiotics Don't Work! How to stay healthy and alive when infections strike.

Chapters 1-5 discuss what plant medicines are, natural antibiotics, why you should use plant medicines, understanding infections, and how to use plant medicines. Chapter 6 is the longest and covers about 50 ailments accompanied by directions for external and/or internal use of oils. Appendix A and B contain helpful essential oil and herb lists with their medicinal uses and cautions.

4. Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils

I highly recommend this 275-page resource if you use any Young Living oils since the authors specifically reference YL single oils and YL blends. I got this book right after I started using Young Living oils, and I look up information in it often. In this book, you will learn basic information about oils and the importance of using therapeutic grade oils.

You will also learn about the constituents and application of oils. An extremely comprehensive list of ailments and remedies comprises this book. A wonderful body systems chart and single oil summary chart is located in the back of the book. A vita flex hand chart and a vita flex feet chart plus a list of additional resources and products can also be found in the book.

These are the essential oil resources that I own, but I've also checked out books from the library in the past. While scouring the Internet for information can be extremely beneficial, I think having a few books on hand is a good thing, too. :)

Do you have any amazing essential oil resources that you use? If so, please share in the comments!

Linked to WFMW, A Little Bird Told Me

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Essential Oils for Everyday Use: Thieves Pills

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Tip #4: When you start feeling sick, make your own Thieves® pills.
Before I share how I personally do this, I wanted to mention that I've seen countless posts on Pinterest recently that are warning people of the dangers/side effects of using essential oils. I can't stress enough that essential oil users should ALWAYS use caution when consuming or applying oils. Just because something is labeled natural doesn't mean it's safe under any and every circumstance. Plus, people can react differently to oils. For example: my husband doesn't like to use peppermint oil on his skin without diluting first because it makes his skin get all red. This has never happened to me, and I use peppermint neat (without diluting) all of the time. 
I am not a certified aromatherapist at this point in my life. My purpose for this essential oil series is to share how I have personally used essentials oils (therapeutic grade) in my day to day life. Next week, I plan to list some of the resources that have helped me in my essential oil/natural remedy journey. :)
Back to Thieves®:
Thieves® is one of my favorite Young Living oils. I don't exclusively use YL oils, but I keep up my membership for all of the wonderful Thieves® products for sure! I've been using Thieves® for about 5 years now. This oil contains a blend of clove, cinnamon bark, rosemary, lemon, and eucalyptus radiata.
How to make Thieves® pills:
First, you'll need some clear vegetable capsules. I ordered mine from Young Living, but Amazon sells them, too. (The link provided is to Amazon.)
Next, you'll need an ingestible carrier oil to dilute the essential oil. I chose cold-pressed olive oil that I bought from my local Fry's grocery store. I put about 2 drops of olive oil in each capsule. Sometimes I use a dropper to do this, but a few days ago, I used a plastic container with a pouring spout and estimated about 2 drops.
Finally, you'll need Thieves® essential oil. I know there are knock offs of this oil, but I've never used them. I put 1 drop of Thieves® in each capsule. I only make enough to last for one day - about 3 or 4. I take with a glass of water every few hours or so.
I also give these pills to my older kids when they are sick. My daughter who is 9 doesn't like to swallow pills, so I make a honey, lemon, Thieves® mixture for her. She takes it by the teaspoonful or spreads some on toast throughout the day until it's gone. Honestly, my boys sometimes prefer this method. To make the mixture, I use about 1-2 TBSP of raw honey, about 1-2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, a few drops of Thieves®.
(I'm not going to recommend an age for giving Thieves® internally. I will leave that entirely up to the discretion of the parent.)
And that's how my family takes Thieves® internally. I can honestly say, we've never experienced any negative side effects from using this oil, so hopefully you won't either!
Here are a couple of other links to Thieves® posts on my blog. I know one of them mentions a couple of other ways we've tried this oil internally. Sometimes I put it directly in my mouth, but be careful if you try this because it can burn a little at first due to the clove and cinnamon!
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Monday, February 02, 2015

Should You Buy Jewelry from Amazon?

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In light of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share my unfortunate wedding ring story that ended happily ever after due to Amazon! (If you're not into stories, feel free to scroll down to the end of this post and find out my answer to the title's question. Also be sure to click on the links and buy jewelry!)

A few years ago I began experiencing some swelling in my fingers during the night while I slept. I'd never had to take off my rings before going to bed, but a couple of desperate middle-of-the-night attempts to "unstuck" my wedding ring served as a compelling reminder to take my rings off as part of my bedtime routine.

However, one night I forgot.

To make matters worse, my husband happened to be out of town the night I had to choose between keeping my ring or my finger. I awoke in the middle of the night that night with the realization that not only were my fingers super swollen but that my wedding ring was still on one of them.

Pulling with all my might didn't work one bit, so I got up, and through much prayer and tears tried everything I knew to do. Butter. Oil. Lotion. Cold water. Sticking my hand in the freezer. You name it.

After some time had gone by and my finger started turning purple, I became a bit frantic. I debated whether or not I should call 911. I know. Before I completely humiliated myself by dialing for emergency help, I decided to try and cut my ring off. I felt horrible, but I figured it was better than losing my finger.

I found a wire cutter in the garage, and with racing heart and trembling hands, I pressed on those wire cutter handles with all the strength I could muster. It took several agonizing tries, but finally the blades broke through the gold. Pure relief! I praised the Lord that I'd chosen a dainty, thin band all those years ago and that I was only wearing the engagement ring that night.

I felt awful about destroying my husband's symbol of undying love and devotion that he gave to me in the parking lot of Howard's Donuts on a chilly November night in 1996, but it had to be done to save my finger.

Well, we didn't have extra money at the time to just go out and buy a brand new diamond ring, so I went without. I tried to wear a cheap, fake wedding-looking ring from Charming Charlie, but as expected, my acidic skin turned the band a funky color within a week. So that didn't work.

In late 2013, my hubby started looking into ordering quality yet inexpensive rings off of Amazon. He sent me several designs from which to choose, and my favorite was the Zoe R 925 Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia pictured on my finger below. I've worn this ring everyday since January 2014.

First picture: my real gold and diamond engagement ring that I had to cut off of my finger.
Second picture: my new, beautiful sterling silver cubic zirconia ring from Amazon.

It's funny because even though my current ring is considered "fake," I get so many compliments on it. When I tell people what it is, they sometimes don't believe me at first. I love it and couldn't be happier with it. I really don't care that it isn't "real." I love that I don't have to worry about losing or cutting off a super expensive ring. Plus, maybe in the future, I'll even get to order more rings so I can change them out according to my mood or outfit.

(images from Amazon)

Answer: So, my answer to the question, "Should you buy jewelry from Amazon?" is YES! I am a 100% happy and satisfied customer. (The affiliate link to my ring is for a size 8.5, but I ordered my normal size of 4.5, and it fits perfectly. Pay attention to the size you need.)

If you'd rather go all out and get the real thing, by all means do so! I won't complain one bit. ;)

Here are some other sterling silver rings that I think are pretty. And they're inexpensive. :)

Okay, I think I could look at rings all day long, but those above are just a few that I saw that I liked.

While I can't specifically vouch for other jewelry on Amazon, here are some categories you may wish to peruse. Right now, Amazon has a Valentine special going on: take 30% off of eligible jewelry from now until February 7.


Women's rings



Happy shopping! I'd love to know what your favorite rings are, and have you ever bought jewelry from Amazon?

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*Affiliate links included in this post.


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