Self care season is here

For those, like me, who are empaths or highly sensitive, these last few weeks have probably been extremely challenging. And, now the holiday season is upon us. While lots of fun, the holidays can also cause us stress, anxiety and even sadness.

Let’s all just stop right now and take a big, deep, cleansing breath. 


Close your eyes, no, wait, open them and look at this picture, then close your eyes and imagine yourself somewhere that you can be completely at ease and relaxed.

As we head into winter, with darkness coming earlier each night, and the busy holiday season, let’s all make a commitment to ourselves. Let’s commit to taking exquisite care of ourselves. We do this for our loved ones, but sometimes we forget how important it is to do the same for ourselves. Let’s promise to take time each day, even if just for a moment, to think of our happy place, breathe deeply, and honor ourselves.

Yoga, meditation, reading a good book, taking a nice long relaxing bath and enjoying a cup of herbal tea are some of my favorite self-care rituals. I just recently rediscovered my old hobby of crocheting, and that, too, is something I find calming and relaxing.

I’d love to hear about your favorite self-care practices and how you plan to honor the commitment to yourself as we head into the holidays. Leave a comment below!

If you want more ideas on self-care, check out the following links:

Self Care Tips for When Politics Comes up at Thanksgiving

Seven Rituals for Highly Sensitive People

Simple Self Care Practices

Ted Talks on the Importance of Self Care

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Quickie essential oil tips

Make magic | The Lush's Blush blogI’m really new to the world of essential oils so I’m always on the lookout for easy and uncomplicated ways to use them. I recently ordered some oils from Edens Garden and they smell fantastic! Along with my order they sent a brochure with 150 ways to use essential oils.

Check out at a guest post from Lady Danni all about essential oil safety!

I admit reading through it at first I felt overwhelmed. There are so many uses for essential oils, it’s hard to know where to start.

I’m normally a pretty laid-back, easy going person, but I have been experiencing some stress these last few weeks which has been causing me some neck and shoulder pain. The first thing I was looking at for my essential oil use, was a way to combat stress.

One of the oils I ordered was a blend called Stress Relief. This citrus-forward scent is very uplifting and calming. It is a combination of bergamont, blood orange, grapefruit, patchouli and ylang ylang. In a 5 ml. bottle, I mixed four drops of this oil with a sweet almond carrier oil. I’ve been keeping the bottle in my pocket or purse and I dab a little on my hands and the back of my neck when I feel tension starting to creep in. My hands have been so dry lately, so this helps with that also. I’ve still been having pain occasionally, but not as intense and less often. I’m actually going to my first yoga class today, so I’m hoping that will help with my stress level as well.

The other oil creation I made over the weekend was a carpet refresher. My husband and I finally had to break down and a buy a new vacuum cleaner. Ours had been on its last leg for a while. I was in the mood to do some really good cleaning since we finally had a properly working vacuum. After vacuuming the entire house, I used the tips from the Edens Garden booklet to make a carpet freshener from essential oils and baking soda. Here’s how:

Carpet Refresher

Combine two tablespoons baking soda with 20 drops of an essential oil like lavender or Edens Garden’s Uplift blend. I used a fork to stir the oil and baking soda together. It ends up being a tad chunky if you don’t stir it up good. I let mine sit for a few minutes after mixing it up. Next, sprinkle the mixture over the carpet and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. The smell can be quite intense (it gave my husband a headache) so go into another room if you can during this time. After 15 or 20 minutes, vacuum it all up! The house smelled so good after I did this.

In the living room I used 20 drops of Uplift. In our music/meditation room  I used 20 drops of lavender. In the bedroom I used 15 drops lavender, 3 drops clary sage and 2 drops palo santo oil.

Do you have a favorite essential oil tip or recipe? I’d love to try it. Leave me a note in the comments!

breathe | The Lush's Blush blog

 

 

Guest Post: Essential oil safety tips

The Lush's Blush blogI have an increasing interest in essential oils, so I am thrilled to have a guest post this week from Lady Danni Morinich of Glencoe. Be sure to check out her website which features her handmade soaps, an Essential Oil School and more! You can also find her live on Periscope @LadyDanni1.

Lady Danni Morinich is Proprietress of Landed Gentress Essential Oil Soaps and uses essential oils in her bath and body creations. She is a member of the American Herbalist Guild and has just completed her first Aromatherapy Course with Laura Moorhead, CA, LMT.


Top ten tips for using essential oils safely

With the ever increasing costs of health care and insurance copays, and people shunning chemicals and additives for a more natural lifestyle, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the use of essential oils is becoming more popular. From using oils to improve health, create chemical free cleaners for the home or natural beauty products, more medicine shelves worldwide are beginning to house at least one or two essential oils. 

When I was studying for my first level aromatherapy certification, I found loads of articles recommending which oils to use for what, but there wasn’t as much safety information for novice users. So I wanted to fill that gap with some best practice information for those who have wanted to use essential oils but haven’t taken the plunge, as well as a reminder to those who run to quell the first symptoms of a cold or flu with a bottle of Thieves Oil, a few tips to keep you your family stay safe.

The Lush's Blush blog

1. Never take essential oils internally. There are those that will tell you, if an oil is pure enough, you can take it internally. While that may be the case on some oils, I’d advise against taking the advice of a MLM sales person as opposed to an aromatherapy practitioner or integrative medicine specialist. While there are some oils that have been used in culinary field for ages like lemon or oregano. If you feel you must take them internally, don’t use an essential oil, source an oil from a gourmet shop as ones approved for human consumption are FDA approved safe.

2. Currently, there is no governing body in the world that certifies the purity or quality of essential oils. While some companies may take it upon themselves to test for purity and provide a quality product, there is no grading system. If you see the term Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®, you’ll notice that phrase is always followed by a registered trademark symbol and that’s because it’s a marketing term used by doTerra. Any other company can use those terms, but not in that exact order. The terminology means nothing, so choose the best quality oil you can afford rather than a name that claims to be superior in a grading system that simply does not exist. If you want to make sure an oil is of a good quality, check to see if the company tests their oil for purity using gas chromatography or mass spectroscopy.

3. Essential Oils should be avoided during the first three months of pregnancy. Although fragrances can be off putting during the first few months of pregnancy and that’s nature’s version of self regulation, it is best that essential oils be avoided during the most formative time of the pregnancy. There are a number essential oils that should be avoided during the entirety of pregnancy, but things like lavender, rose, geranium and chamomile can be used in moderation after the first trimester.

4. Essential Oils should be diluted. There are a few oils that are safe to use straight and they are generally considered to be lavender, tea tree and helichrysum because of their healing and antiseptic properties, however to avoid skin sensitization all other oils should be mixed with a carrier oil.

5. Essential oils should not be used on infants. Essential oils can be used on children but it is usually recommended not to use them on children under the age of two. All oils that are used on children should be mixed to a dilution of 1% meaning 1 drop of oil in one teaspoon of essential oil. It is also recommended that you do a patch test on the leg and waiting 24 hours, assuring the child has no reactions. You should never use any essential oils near the face and mucous membranes.

6. Never use essential oils in the ears. If you are experiencing problems with inflammation or congestion in the ears, use a few drops of oil on the side of the neck behind the ear, but never in the ear canal where inflammation or damage might occur.

7. Never burn essential oils. When oils are heated their chemical composition change. For the safest use of essential oils, either use them in a cold mist diffuser or a plug in ball where the oil is placed on a cotton pad which is gently warmed by the ball, diffusing the oils safely though the home or office.

8. Not all oils can be used by all people. If you have an underlying condition like hemophilia, high blood pressure, epilepsy or are about to undergo surgery, then certain oils should be avoided. Oils that are stimulating and work on the circulatory system like rosemary, peppermint, hyssop, thyme, eucalyptus and sage should be avoided by those with high blood pressure. Those with epilepsy should avoid oils that may have an effect on the neurological system like rosemary, fennel, sage, eucalyptus, hyssop, camphor and spike lavender (not to be confused with lavender or lavendin). If you have hemophilia, are about to undergo surgery or are on prescribed blood thinners, then you should avoid the following: birch, garlic, oregano, tarragon and wintergreen.

9. Essential oils that work on people may be detrimental to animals. Although essential oils can improve your surroundings, they may not work for your pets, and should be avoided unless you have a great deal of education on the interaction and contraindications as size, weight and breed all influence how and if oils should be used. For example, cats lack the liver enzyme glucuronyl tranferase, so substances that are otherwise harmless can build up and cause toxicity in the liver. With birds, even essential oils diffused in the air should be avoided as it can interfere with their bronchial and metabolic systems. Essential oils should never be introduced into the aquatic systems of fish as the oils will not mix with water but may cling to the skin of a fish and cause major problems. Oils should also not be used in tanks with reptiles as in an enclosed space can prove toxic. I don’t suggest the novice employ the use of essential oils without instruction from a vet experienced in homeopathic or naturopathic treatments. The only exception I make is recommending the use of a 1% diffusion of lavender to calm dogs or cats, (1 drop lavender in 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil like grapeseed.) While that can generally be diffused safely, please make sure you provide either outside access for your pet or the ability to escape to a room that is not scented should they find the fragrance disagreeable.

10. Store safely to ensure freshness. Surprisingly the biggest problems with essential oils is people don’t store them correctly and using oils that have degraded can cause skin irritations. Citrus oils are fragile and should be used within about 6 months but most other oils will remain viable for about 18 months (oils like frankinscense, sandalwood and patchouli significantly longer.) Make sure all essential oils are in an amber or cobalt bottles. Store them in a cool dark place, not in an environment that experiences changes in temperatures and humidity, like a kitchen or bathroom medicine cabinet. To keep oils at their freshest, avoid purchasing large quantities as unless you are a practitioner, you’ll probably use only a small number of oils and purchasing those oils in 10 ml bottles will ensure your oils don’t languish in a box or case somewhere but are used regularly and at their freshest, to heal, calm and bestow emotional and spiritual balance to your environment and your life.

Lady Danni Morinich is Proprietress of Landed Gentress Essential Oil Soaps and uses essential oils in her bath and body creations. She is a member of the American Herbalist Guild and has just completed her first Aromatherapy Course with Laura Moorhead, CA, LMT. Learn more at www.landedgentress.com.