Monday, July 20, 2009

Essential Oils guest post with Kara Bagley

I am excited to start another series here called Thinking Mama Monday. I have "met" a few of you online and a few more in person. I feel each of you have something to contribute to this community. Mondays I will be spotlighting women who have inspired me to learn more and incorporate natural parenting philosophies into my life.

Many of you know my good friend Kara (author of cooking blog, Taste is Trump) has helped me in my healthy cooking endeavors. Something you may not know is that she is also well versed in another topic I have been quite interested in. I've asked Kara to start off her two part guest post by sharing a bit about what got her interested in essential oils and teaching us about them. Without further ado, I give you Kara Bagley.

Photo credit HERE

"Enjoying optimal health has always been important for me. I learned to control how I am feeling largely through my diet. A healthy diet puts your body in a position that is always gravitating to health and healing and away from sickness and infection. The diet consumed by the majority of our society has put them in a position teetering from one side to the other, never able to fully heal from ailments.
I disagree with the way many traditional doctors counsel their patients with little good information about consuming whole foods and natural remedies while overusing aggressive treatments and harmful drugs. I have heard of doctors prescribing antibiotics for babies who look like they might be getting and ear infection and mothers willingly administering the drugs because the doctor thinks it is harmless. The fact is that many children (especially healthy ones) can get over ear infections with out any treatment and there are many natural remedies that can give a helpful boost if needed. In my search for homeopathic treatment, I was lead to essential oils (EO’s).
I started out with tea tree oil because of its limitless uses, but my first real experience was alleviating a coughing household using lavender and eucalyptus on my family’s feet. The nerve endings in your feet carry impulses through your entire body and the pores on your feet are big and absorbent, so it is one of the best ways to administer EO’s. After committing myself to learn more, I have picked up on ways to clean my home, treat sunburn, bug bites, cuts, stop profuse bleeding, dispel an ear infection, keep squirrels out of my garden…I have been able to avoid colds and the flu by using EO’s to boost my immune system and rid myself of the carsickness that plagues me every time I drive in the mountains.
Another wonderful use for EO’s is liver cleansing. Our world is so toxic, cleaners, pollution, chemicals on clothing, hair products, in our water and especially food. The liver is on overload. A little boost with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 drop of lemon oil and 1 drop of peppermint oil every morning and allergies clear up, reoccurring headaches go away, you have more energy and less sugar cravings, the list goes on. It is quick, painless and works!Essential oils are extracted from plants and contain a concentrated essence of the plant they are from. These oils have many medicinal applications ranging from emotional, spiritual and physical. God gave us these oils to treat ourselves and I believe this is the perfect time to learn how to use them as modern medicine becomes more and more corrupted by business, government and money.
I wanted to get some tangible, starter information out on using EO’s because I have had such great experiences with them. Feel free to ask questions for there is far too much to cover in one blog post. I am constantly learning more uses, please share your experience so we all can be more effective as we care for our families.
The first thing to know is that not all oils are as potent, even if the bottle says 100 %, up to 49 % could be extender (stinking FDA). This creates a big question mark when deciding how much to use and also drastically reduces the shelf life. Next, not all EO companies use the best process for extracting the oils from the plants. Some companies use a quicker, easier process which will diminish the quality of the oil, so you will want to find a good source to buy your EO’s. One last thing to note when using a full strength therapeutic grade EO’s on a baby; dilute 75% with a coconut or olive oil. Children under 3 dilute 50%. This applies for all these EO's except for lavender and tea tree, which are gentle enough to apply neat (undiluted.)
Here is an introduction of 5 staple EO’s with some of the most common uses:

  • Apply lavender oil neat to skin for all burns, skin irritations, acne, rashes, insect bites and abrasions for relief, healing and to minimize scarring.
  • Apply a drop to your fingers and rub on temples for relief from a tension headache.
  • Combine 10 drops of lavender and 4 ounces of water in a spray bottle and spritz skin and clothing for insect repellent.
  • Mix 3 drops of lavender and ¼ cup milk with warm water for a calming bath.
  • Place one drop on a tissue and inhale to relax and calm, slide tissue in pillowcase for better sleep.
  • Inhalation can also reduce mood swings, PMS, depression, anxiety.
  • Drop peppermint oil neat on a bee sting or bug bite for pain and itch relief.
  • Rub a drop of peppermint oil neat on temples, hairline on back of neck and on sinuses for headache relief.
  • Rub a drop mixed with 5 drops of coconut or olive oil on stomach for nausea, indigestion, bloating or cramps.
  • Open bottle and inhale for relief from fatigue, jet lag, motion sickness, nausea, vertigo, curb appetite, improve concentration, and to calm nerves. For children, put a drop on a cotton pad and let them sniff away for a long car ride or if they are nervous about something.
  • Drop 5 drops on a cotton ball and place by plants to keep animals away. Or to deter rats, mice, ants or cockroaches, place along path or point of entry.
  • 2 drops peppermint oil to 1 cup water in a spray bottle, spritz for sunburn relief.
    Tea Tree
  • Drop tea tree oil directly on an open wound to keep clear from infection and aid healing.
  • Combine 10 drops tea tree and 1 oz water in a small spray bottle and spritz face after washing to heal and discourage acne.
  • Apply 1 drop undiluted to individual blemishes with a q-tip.
  • To clear a wart or skin/nail fungus, apply one drop morning and night up to 2 weeks.
  • Works best if you keep it covered so the oil stays in contact with the infected skin as long as possible.
  • Drop 3 drops in with you laundry soap to kill germs and deodorize (great for cloth diapers and other really smelly laundry.)
  • Mix 1 drop per ounce of water to make a bacteria killing mouthwash.
  • Add 3 drops to your humidifier to inhibit the growth of mold and clean the air.
  • Add a drop of tea tree oil to 2 cup homemade baby wipe solution to extend shelf life.
  • Rub a drop on your hands to sanitize when washing is not possible. (In place of hand sanitizer.)
  • Drop lemon oil neat on athlete’s foot, a cold sore, wart, corn, bunion or callous day and night.
  • Apply one drop neat on location to stop bleeding (gums, shaving nicks, bloody noses).
  • 5 drops in 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray on surfaces (great for bathroom and kitchen counters) and in air to disinfect.
  • Soak fruit in a mixture of 2 drops lemon oil and a quart of water to clean and increase shelf life. Dry fruit before storing. Can also use this mixture for soaking dirty dish rags or cloth diapers.
  • Use 1-2 drops neat to remove gum, grease/oil spots or crayon from surfaces.
  • 5 drops of Eucalyptus in 1 cup of baking powder can be used in place of Comet cleaner for sinks, toilets and bath tubs.
  • Rub a drop on each foot after showering each day to ward off colds.
  • 2 drops eucalyptus to 1 tablespoon coconut oil rub into scalp for dandruff treatment.
  • 8 drops in a cup of water in a spray bottle to disinfect, floors, counters, air, kids (great regimen for de-germing after school.)
  • F0r sinus problems, congestion and coughs; place a drop on a tissue, cover nose with tissue and breath.
  • Eucalyptus oil may be dabbed directly onto the skin to relieve pain and itching of insect bites and stings.
  • Mix 3 drops of eucalyptus with ¼ cup milk and add to a warm bath for relief from the fever and flu.
  • 2 drops with 1 tablespoon coconut oil to rub on achy joints (arthritis), achy muscles, or sprains.
    Once you are converted and committed to treating your family with EO's, the best way to get started is to buy what you can and have them accessible at all times. You’ll find there is a bit of a learning curve, but it does not take long to catch on. Basically the only thing you can do wrong with EO’s is to get them in your eye (ouch!) This is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more that EO’s can be used for; skin care, hair care, household cleaning, pain, emotional therapy, stress, even cancer. A blogger that I know and trust has a site with great info.
    After you have aquired some experience with EO’s, you will never want to leave home without them, I don’t. If you are looking for an easy way to keep your EO’s handy, “Addicted to Oils” makes perfect-for-your-purse EO cases. The cases hold small vials and dropper bottles, it also has a pocket for gel capsules and band aids. They are truly invaluable when it comes to anything away from home; playing at the park, going to the pool and especially traveling.
  • Email me at karabagley(at)gmail(dot)com and I will take your questions for a Q&A post to follow."

    Thank you Kara. We look forward to reading the Q&A next Monday!


    Sarah said...

    I had never really thought much of the uses of essential oils beyond basic aromatherapy. This was all so interesting, thank you for sharing!

    Kara said...

    Many haven't, that is why it is important to know that most health food stores do not carry therapeutic grade oils. The commonly found EO's are sold for the basic purpose of aromatherapy.

    Jessica said...

    I almost picked up some EO's at Sunflower Market the other day and now I'm so glad I waited. Thank you for this new series, and Kara for this useful information! I will email with questions, as you know I am full of them!

    Jessica said...

    P.S. Emily- are you still taking birth stories?

    Anonymous said...

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Kiersten said...

    I am a little behind in my "reading" but I wanted to say thank you! I was always interested in essential oils but was overwhelmed. Thanks for giving me a place to start.

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    Ashley said...

    Hi! Stumbled across this today and wanted to clarify if it is baking powder or baking SODA that should be mixed with Eucalyptus as a cleaner?