Who What When Where & Why to use Peppermint Essential Oil

Who What When Where & Why to use Peppermint Essential Oil

Ahhh Peppermint Essential Oil, it is one of my favorites.  It can do a plethora of things from helping cool your body to keeping ants and spiders out of your house.  Here’s the skinny on this fantastic oil and how I use it… what seems like daily.

Who came up with the bright idea to use this plant originally.   It came on the scene with the Romans and Greeks who would crown themselves with peppermint at their feasts.  It was also used by them to season both sauces and wines (I’m not entirely confident in their wine decisions, but I guess it’s too late to really tell them).  Although there is a little evidence that it was also used by the Egyptians, it was definitely used by the Roman and Greek Physicians in their medical practice.

In Greek Mythology, of course, it has a romantic somewhat tragic story.  Mint was once the nymph Menthe, whom Pluto had wondering eyes for because she was super hot.  Persephone, Pluto’s jealous wife, pursued Mentha gave her a smack down like no other, ferociously beating her into the ground.  Pluto then changed Menthe into a delightful herb, and she was no longer a problem for Persephone.

What is peppermint?  Peppermint (menthe piperita) is considered the “River of Creativity”, peppermint is a plant that grows from 1-3 feet in height.  The oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowers of the plant.

When do you use it?  Well if you’re me, every day.  I love the way that it smells, and it’s cooling affect on the body.  Historically it has been used in tons of medical treatments.  It is even the original chemical constituent that is synthetically reproduced in aspirin, “always use peppermint instead of aspirin“-Tisserand, 1977 p269.  Tisserand goes on to quote many essential oil scholars about the cooling affect it has on the body, the stimulation of the bowel, its ability to dispell nausea as well as its antiseptic qualities.  I never travel out of the country without it, as when traveling across Thailand in a train, or using public restrooms in Cuba, I need it to either help stave off motion sickness, or cover unbearable smells by rubbing it under my nose.

While Peppermint is also used to relive skin irritation or itching, for some, it can also be very irritating to the skin and should always be diluted to less than 1%, as over time the body can become sensitized to it and a sudden reaction could happen (Tisserand, 1977, p270).  It should also be avoided while pregnant or nursing. Tisserand also states that “when applied externally it relieves the breast of curdled or congested milk and prevents infection.  Internally it will discourage the flow of milk to the breast“. Which makes no sense to me after he says not to use it while breastfeeding or pregnant, but, hey I’m not one of the worlds leading experts in Essential Oils, so I’m not going to argue with him.

A great time to use Peppermint essential Oil is during meditation as it helps you to truly remain present.  It is also said that it can help you get in touch with your subconscious and deep inner feelings, with peppermint in the diffuser make sure you take some time to journal, as it will be a very effective journaling session.

Complimentary stones to use in combination with Peppermint for any spiritual practice would be Apache Tears, Orbicular Jasper, Orthoceras Fossil, Elestial Crystal, Time Link Crystal (Limbo 2016, p173-174)

Where is Peppermint grown?  Well if you know anything about gardening, you know that it grows just about everywhere and invades into flower beds often taking over where you don’t want it to. Many gardeners consider it a weed and fight like hell to keep it contained.  I have felt a lot like Persephone while trying to keep my peppermint in check, only to eventually rip it all out and limit its growth to containers.  Despite how lovely it looks and smells, I just don’t want all my flower beds to be peppermint beds.

Despite it’s current day affliction to growing everywhere you don’t want it to, it is cultivated in Italy, parts of the US including the Pacific Northwest (shout out to the #PNW ), Great Britain and Japan as well as in the Mediterranean where it originated.

The doterra peppermint is actually sourced from the Pacific Northwest in the most sustainable way possible.  Here is a video on the sourcing of Peppermint Oil that I love.  I really enjoy hearing from the second and third generation farmers that have learned this trade that has passed down through their family.  It is also of considerable note that Dr. Pappas, the worlds leading expert speaks to this brand of Peppermint Oil in the video.

 

Why do I use peppermint?  Well I use it because it takes me back to Christmas time as a child and those sugary candy canes.  It also calms my stomach and keeps me awake in the middle of the afternoon when I’m dying for a nap.  I love to use it with Lemon and Lavender when their are all sorts of pollens in the air.  It is truly just a delicious smelling oil.

Another reason I use it is because of it’s cooling qualities.  I will roll some on the bottom of my feet before going into a hot yoga class.  While I find it cooling there are some that find it warming, which is the body responding and heating up in response to the cooling qualities of peppermint. In this way it has been used both for treating disorders of heat or cold, such as influenza, fevers or chills (Tisserand, 1977 p269).

I have always loved peppermint tea, and I love it diffusing in my house.  I love the taste of peppermint and when I make brownies, which is not often, I put 4 drops in with the brownie mix before baking to have the best peppermint brownies on the planet.

Recently because it is spring I have been getting tons of questions about natural insect repellents.  Here is my recipe that I spray in the corners and wipe my baseboards down with to keep the spiders at bay:

Natural Spider Repellant

  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 7 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil (spiders hate it)
  • 15 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil (spiders Run from it)
  • 15 Drops Cinnamon Essential Oil (it causes irritation to their legs)

Mix it all together in a spray bottle and shake before using.

To learn more about the most high quality essential oils that are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, click here and give me a shout.

Follow this blog, for weekly updates on Essential Oils, Healthy Living, Recipes and other Hippy Dippy stuff.  You can also check out my youtube channel at Essential Oils Gangsta and if you found this helpful or interesting please feel free to share it.

If there are specific blog posts you would like to see, comment in the comments section, or feel free to comment on your favorite use for peppermint essential oil.

Have a Great Day

xo

s

 

**Please note, I am not a medical professional and this information is not meant to diagnose, treat or prevent illness.  Always consult with your physician. These statements have not been approved by the FDA.

 

Why I’m not Using Veráge Skin Care Line any Longer

Many of you know that I am a little bit of a freak about toxins.  I am not a fan of man made chemicals.  Call me crazy, but I don’t think that as a species humans have had the time needed to evolve to the chemical environment we call earth.  Mad made chemicals have been around for about 100 years or so and as the number and quantity of them have increased so has the rate of illness in our species.  While some chemicals have been proven in the last 30 years to be harmful, others haven’t so we keep slathering them on our bodies, putting them into the air, and eating them so they coat our digestive systems useless rendering our bodies starving for nutritious real food.

A few years ago (like 15) I began making my own body care products. I have a hard time slathering foreign substances all over the largest organ of my body, the ski.  Over the years I have developed some awesome recipes,,,, and a shortage of time.   In recent years I have become a bit lazy and have started purchasing stuff from brands I trust.  So I thought every Wednesday I would go through and evaluate one of the products I am currently using to decide if I need to find a more natural solution or go back to my homemade option.

This week on the potential chopping block; Doterra Verage Skin Care Line, which includes a face wash, toner, serum and moisturizer.  I love the way this stuff feels on my skin, but lets see if it stands up to my all natural standards.

After spending entirely too much time looking up what each of these ingredients are, my head was about to explode and looked like this inside.

I finally with only a few ingredients had to stop the insanity and began day dreaming about this, and I’m not talking about the curtains or that ridiculous shirt:

 

But then I changed my mind because I really do care about this topic, however, unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer.  Below you will find a list of all the ingredients in the Veráge Cleanser, what they are and what they do.  I found it interesting that all of the ingredients are naturally occurring, not containing any synthetic chemicals. The thing that struck me as odd is that these naturally occurring chemicals are almost all altered in a laboratory, so the chemical is extracted from the plant and then combined with other organic plant molecules, or stripped of something.  The further I went down the rabbit hole I noticed that the reasons that these naturally occurring substances are being altered in the cosmetic industry is so that they lather better, or have a more slippery texture or that with some of the molecules removed they can be used as a thickener, instead of for health reasons, like your body absorbs it easier or it without this molecule your body can use it to improve elasticity.  Almost the whole way the processing was driven by textural or appearance reasons instead of health ones .   I just wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about it.  On one hand just as doterra is promising, it is all plant based, organic material.  On the other, it has been altered in a laboratory in order to make it more appealing to the masses, which right away makes it less appealing to me.

During the time it was taking me to write this and come to grips with what I was finding out about my beloved facial regime two things happened, I watched a documentary and I met an esthetician.  The esthetician told me that it doesn’t matter what you buy, nothing is natural unless you make it yourself, and that the best thing you can do is to find the smartest Dr.s and rely on their knowledge,,,, ummm not in my world.  The documentary on the other hand talked about how when you alter things that are naturally occurring in nature you are essentially telling whoever or whatever you think created or organized the earth (god, jesus, mother earth, source energy, green martians.) that it didn’t do a good enough job creating the things that we need.  Interesting thought, but I question if that entity, whoever it was ever dreamed that we could fuck up the earth this bad.  And if evolution is the answer, then there’s no way this was predicted.  I believe we do need a little extra help, especially in the wrinkle department.  I like to be healthy, but I’m also a little vain.

Ultimately I talked to my friend that is doing some research on the nutritional value of rice bran  when the bran is not removed, vs the nutritional value of rice with the bran removed.  To me this is a prime example of the same principle because ultimately, I am trying to nourish my skin.

So I have made the decision to eliminate the doterra skin care line and make my own using extra virgin cold pressed oils.  

This may be temporary, and is not because I think that the doterra line is bad.  Instead I believe that most of the time using/eating whole ingredients is always the best option.  The FDA has said that every ingredient in the doterra line is safe, but they really say a lot of things are safe, more than I believe in them, I believe in doterra as a company and I know that they do everything in their power to ensure they have great healthy products.    I know this to be true not only because it falls within their coorporate culture and they are a great, compassionate company that really cares about customers, but also because most of the founders of doterra are mormon and you know how much the mormans want huge families to get to a higher level of heaven, they can’t have their people dying from cancer and preventing them from getting to the penthouse in the sky… Just saying

Anyway, my point is that if you do not have time to make your own stuff, with ingredients you can whip up in your kitchen, I think doterra is probably the best product out there in terms of everything being organic and plant based without any synthetics.  However if you can order some stuff online and spend a little time each week making stuff using ingredients you may already have in your kitchen, I think that might be the way to go.

Soooo now I have the challenge of figuring out what products to use.  Thank god I have the complete book of essential oils and aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood, which is like a 600 page bible of essential oils and all things related.  So stay tuned while I dig through the mountain of information that is available in that book and online and i’ll post recipes when I get them resolved.

What a long way to come to that conclusion, but I couldn’t throw out all of this work, so here is a list of most of the ingredients and what they do:

 

Verage Cleanser Ingredient List: Aqua, Decyl glucoside, laurel glucoside, glycerin, sodium olivoyl/cocoyl aminoacids fructoside, xanthum gum, polyglyceryl-4 caprate, citrus sinensis (wild orange) peel oil expressed, Ocimum basilicum (Basil) herb oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Melaleuca)Leaf Oil, Coco-glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Absorbic Acid, Tacopherol Sodium Levulinate, Citric Acid, Sodium Anisate, Citrus Aurantium Amara Fruit Extract, Citrus Reticulata fruit Extract, Citrus Sinesis Peel Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Lactic Acit, Sodium Phytate.

 

That sounds like an awful lot of words that I can’t pronounce, and I love doterra products, so I really hope this is up to snuff.

Decyl glucoside is a mild non-ionic surfactant used in cosmetic formularies including baby shampoo and in products for individuals with a sensitive skin. Many natural personal care companies use this cleanser because it is plant-derived, biodegradable, and gentle for all hair types. Decyl glucoside is produced by the reaction of glucose from corn starch with the fatty alcohol decanol which is derived from coconut.

My concern with decanol is that it can be extracted from coconut or palm kernel oil, but it can also be created using the ziegler process a quick google of the ziegler process yields this information: 

The Ziegler alcohol synthesis involves oligomerization of ethylene using triethylaluminium followed by oxidation.1 The triethylaluminium, the Ziegler catalyst, is synthesized by action of aluminum, ethylene, and hydrogen gas. In the production process, two-thirds of the triethylaluminium produced is recycled back into the reactor, and only one-third is used to produce the fatty alcohols.1 The recycling step is used to produce triethylaluminium at a higher yield and with less time, making the overall process more efficient. Triethylaluminium reacts with ethylene to form higher molecular weight trialkylaluminium. The number of equivalents of ethylene n equals the total number of monomer units being grown on the initial ethylene chains, where (n = x + y + z), and x, y, and z are the number of ethylene units per chain. Trialkylaluminium is oxidized with air to form aluminum alkoxides, and finally hydrolyzed to aluminum hydroxide and the desired alcohols.[2]

  1. Al+3ethylene+1.4H2 → Al(C2H5)3
  2. Al(C2H5)3 n-ethylene → Al((CH2CH2)nCH2CH3)3
  3. Al((CH2CH2)nCH2CH3)3+ O2 → Al(O(CH2CH2)nCH2CH3)3
  4. Al(O(CH2CH2)nCH2CH3)3 → Al(OH)3 + CH3CH2(CH2C2)mOH

The temperature of the reaction influences the molecular weight of alcohol growth. Temperatures in the range of 60-120⁰C form higher molecular weight trialkylaluminium while higher temperatures (e.g., 120-150 °C) cause thermal displacement reactions that afford α-olefin chains. Above 150 °C, dimerization of the α-olefins occurs.

 

laurel glucoside:  Well, at pure levels it causes irritation to the skin, but then so can many plants.  It is derived from the coconut plant naturally and this study published on pub med shows that it reduces the harmfull effects of sodium laurel/laureth sulfates https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24617572

Xanthan Gum: This ingredient is a carbohydrate made through fermentation. Manufacturers use sugar from soy, wheat, dairy, or corn, and add a particular type of bacteria called Xanthomonas campetris. The result is a slimy substance that helps to thicken and emulsify skin care formulas. Yum!!!!!

Glycerin: is a byproduct of soap making.  When the fats (animal or vegetable) are mixed with lye, glyceerin chemically separates from the mixture.  Small soap makers will leave the glycerine in the mix and pour the soap because it is a great humectant (attracts moisture to it when it is on the skin) but commercial soap makers will add salt to they can extract the soap solids, and take the glycerine for their more profitable lotions and moisturizers.  Often times in an effort to make glycerine colorless and pure it is filtered and bleached to enhance appearance.

sodium olivoyl/cocoyl aminoacids fructoside:  A molecule that is pressed from olives then attached to a sugar molecule to be a very mild surfactant and moisturizer.

 

polyglyceryl-4 caprate is 4 compounds that are attached to a glycerine molecule.  So again plant extraction attached to a byproduct of soap making process to attain a separate compound where each individual part is naturally occurring, but they are combined in a way to create something new.  This chemical is very safe, mild and deemed safe by ECOCERT

citrus sinensis (wild orange) peel oil expressed, Ocimum basilicum (Basil) herb oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Melaleuca)Leaf Oil are all essential oils and naturally occurring.

Coco-glucoside: is an non-ionic surfactant that can be used as a foaming, cleansing, conditioning, and thickening agent to liquid cleansers and shampoos. It is derived from renewable raw materials such as coconut oil and corn and fruit sugars, and is completely biodegradable.

Glyceryl Oleate: is the ester of glycerin and oleic acid. It is produced from oils that contain high concentrations of oleic acid, such as olive oil, peanut oil, teaseed oil or pecan oil.

Absorbic Acid: is vitamin c, although it can be synthetically produced, it is from plants in the Verage Facial Cleanser.

Tocopherol: is a form of Vitamin E typically derived from vegetable oils.

Sodium Levulinate: is the sodium salt of levulinic acid,  and levulinic acid, or 4-oxopentanoic acid, is produced from by-products of the sugar industry. It is the precursor to a large number of products, including pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, flavours and fragrances, personal care products, food additives, resins and coatings, plasticisers, solvents, fuel additives and biofuels. So far, levulinic acid was available on the market, but in insufficient quantities and produced by a process that had trouble to meet environmental standards.

Citric Acid: Naturally occuring in citrus fruits, sourced from plants in this product.

 

OMG, I can’t keep doing this!!!

 

P.S.  I before I got my wholesale account with doterra I thought that the company being run by mormons would bother me because although mormons have always been nice to me, I have never really understood or taken the time to study the religion and to be honest, I’ve always thought they were a little weird and borderline cultish.  I almost didn’t sign up with doterra because of it.  Then I realized that it was really a positive thing. A lot of mormons use use doterra on their families which pretty much guarantees quality.  They don’t even drink caffeine, they are going to try everything they can to keep their products pure.  See there’s always a silver lining, and it turns out that it hasn’t been a factor at all.  I’ve had a really positive experience other than the fact that they all talk waaaayyy too much about having babies.

 

 

 

 

Do you love Studded Black leather and Essential Oils? #TheStruggleIsReal

Do you love Studded Black leather and Essential Oils?  #TheStruggleIsReal

I love being a rebel.  I think black leather and studs are so sexy and feminine with a bit of edge and opinion.  My dichotomy is that I also love essential oils, Yoga and other soft feminine things.  Finding the balance between the myriad of dichotomies that I used to define myself is where the struggle gets real.  I might have a polarized personality disorder. 

“Essential Oils Aren’t Just For Mom’s”

I recently read an article entitled “essential oils aren’t just for moms”, but in reality, essential oils help moms tremendously, and that is where the essential oil community seems to be existing; right now, at least.  It is like a little cloud of sunshine that beams down on small golden haired children playing in parks with their glowing moms that are so proud of them. I’t reallly lovely actually, but sometimes I do think that  I need to start taking pictures of me putting essential oils on my mutts (and by mutts I mean darling rescues 1 labradoodle and 1 jack a poo.  Mac and Donkey respectively) and Donkey even has golden hair.  The truth is that those of us that want to do yoga, stay fit, wear studded leather leggings drink green smoothies by day, Negroni’s by night, and wear heels that no sane person is comfortable in, also love essential oils.  I was beyond excited when I found the recipe for “Rebel” essential oil blend of perfume…


Rebel Blend Essential Oil Blend Perfume

  • 3 drops Lime Essential Oil
  • 3 drops Fennel Essential Oil
  • 3 drops Patchouli Essential Oil

Put in a 10ml roller ball and top off with Fractionated Coconut oil, apply frequently


According to Organicfacts.net: Lime oil is an antidepressant and antiarthritic substance. It can reduce pain in the muscles and joints and is a very good antioxidant. So it is very good for emotional health as well as good for after yoga, a long dog walk, an afternoon in the park, or walking in those heels.

While I spent a summer in Italy I learned the beauty, that is, adding chopped fennel to salads, however the medicinal benefits of applying the oil are also of great use. Again according to Organicfacts.net: Health Benefits of Fennel  Oil. The health benefits of Fennel essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, aperitif, carminative, depurative, diuretic, emenagogue, expectorant, galactogogue, laxative, stimulant, stomachic, splenic, tonic and vermifuge substance.  I’m going to have to google some of those words, wtf is an carminative or an emmenagogue?  Either way a laxative is great for getting into your leather leggings.  Emotionally and spiritually, fennel is said to support a person’s responsibility (or confidence in their ability to respond). This means it might help a person struggling with self-doubt, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, accountability, or stubbornness, ( I could use the help with the stubbornness) and help them live in alignment with their values and integrity. Historically, it was even used to bestow strength and courage to warriors, and may support stamina and longevity by strengthening the solar plexus.  This is exactly what a rebel needs.

And good old Patchouli oil isn’t for hippies anymore. At least as far as I’m concerned it isn’t.  These days it is highly regarded for reducing depression, which was maybe why all the hippies in the 60s appeared to be so happy (it might have been the “free love”) but for the purposes of this post, I’m sticking with the patchouli being an anti depressant.

There you have it, let’s be oil loving, studded leather wearing, dog walking, child admiring, peacekeeping, REBEL WEARING, Gangstas

P.S. Here’s a Picture of Donkey

P.P.S. Please don’t think I love Donkey more than Mac, it’s just that Donkey is tan colored and mac is black, making mac a bitch to photograph well.  I’ll try.

What outfit or perfume brings out your inner Rebel?

Homemade Lotion that’s Sofa King Awesome!!!

Homemade Lotion that’s Sofa King Awesome!!!

It seems like through the years you collect things, right!  You collect a solid girlfriend every  year or so.  You collect favorite sweaters, memories, recipes, habits, ideas.  If you’re like me, you’re more selective in the things that you keep as the years pass, but you still collect things.  I have probably given more books back to half price books than I have kept as I have gotten more selective.  Looking back is one of the beautiful things that makes aging awesome.  I picked up a couple of solid friends in high school, a couple in my 20s,  few in my 30s, and now I in my 40s I have at least 10 besties that I can call and more importantly, count on, to be both honest and supportive.  As I have aged, my wardrobe has gotten amazing. I own clothes from 3 decades and have kept my favorite and coolest items, which always pair well with whatever is in season.  My house lounging clothes have gotten better too.  There’s nothing like a broken in sweat shirt and pair of leggings to rock around the house on a Sunday, it beats something new every time. I eat way better food in my 40s than I ever did in my 20s, and I drink better wine and gin these days too.  My relationship with Scott has become way less volatile, we fight less and laugh more.  Aging is awesome, but you know what isn’t awesome; the appearance of aging!!!  I told Scott in my early 20s to save his money because I was cool with getting older, but I was not ok with looking older, and the day would come when he would need to pay a plastic surgeon.  His response was making me watch a documentary called “plastic surgery gone wrong”, afterwords I started to develop a plan. I didn’t want to look old and I didn’t want plastic surgery either.

I still haven’t had any “work” done, and I don’t plan to, but shortly after watching that documentary, I began to think about my skin and my appearance with a slightly different perspective.  You know the perspective you have when you realize that you better take care of it while it’s still young, because it won’t be forever.  I began cutting chemicals out of my skin care regime and making a lot of my own products. Many product will make your skin feel soft and silky, but the key is to find products that are actually nourishing your skin.  Most products available in grocery and department stores are made using petroleum byproducts which actually seal off the surface of your skin not allowing it to breathe (think petroleum jelly here), they have phthalates which are known hormone disruptors and affect how your body produces hormones, or Sodium Laureate/Laurel sulfates which are another synthetic chemical that are used in engine degreasers and strip your skin of it’s natural oils. It is totally gross, and there is a solution.  Find/make good nourishing  skin care products, look to nature and realize that tons of people are already doing the research so you don’t have to. Buy Organic ingredients, and you can make organic products.

Here is my ultimate favorite lotion recipe.  I have had girlfriends steal this lotion, offer to buy this lotion from me,and beg for the lotion.  It really is a great moisturizer and a great gift doesn’t just feel luxurious and silky on your skin, it makes your skin feel luxurious and silky.  There is a big difference.


Sofa King Awesome Homemade Moisturizer

  • 7 TBSP Almond Oil
  • 2 TBSP Beeswax
  • 2 TBSP Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 TBSP Cocoa Butter
  • 1 tsp anhydrous lanolin
  • 9 TBSP Distilled Water
  • 2 TBSP Vegetable Glycerin
  • 1/2 tsp Borax
  • 15 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Myrhh Essential Oil
  • 15 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 15 Drops Geranium Essential oil

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat or in a double boiler, warm the base oils, beeswax, cocoa butter and lanolin until the cocoa butter and beeswax are just melted.  In another pan, warm the water and vegetable glycerin, add the board and stir until the borax is incorporated.
  2. Remove both pans from the heat and allow their contents to cool almost to body temperature, until the oils/wax/butter/lanolin mixture just being to thicken and becomes slightly opaque.  It will be like a loose salve, This should take 5-10 minutes depending on the temperature of your kitchen. This is the most important part and I learned the hard way by trying to rush that the mixture won’t combine if both parts aren’t about the same temp. I did it probably 10 times before I figured out that there isn’t a short cut here, you have to be patient and particular with this step, and the rest will come together so much easier.   Sometimes if one is cooling faster than the other I’ll just put the heat on the cooler one for a second to try and get them the same temp.
  3. Immediately pour the oils/was/butter/lanolin picture into a blender scraping the sides of the saucepan to get every last bit.  Place the lid on the blender and remove the lid’s plastic piece. Turn the blender on medium and slowly drizzle the water/glycerin/borax picture through the center of the lid into the vortex of swirling fats below.  Closely watch want happens, almost immediately, the lotion will begin to thicken.  Blend for 5-10 seconds more, turn off the blender and check the consistency.  It should have a smooth texture.  if  the mixtures are not combining properly, turn off the blender and give the lotion a few manual stirs with a spatula to free up the blender blades, then replace the lid and blend on medium for another 5-10 seconds, repeat this until the ingredients combine and stabilize.
  4. Once ingredients are combined turn off the blender and add the essential oils, stirring a few times to mix them in, then blend completely on medium for another 5-10 seconds until the lotion is smooth and pale yellow.
  5. Pour the finished lotion into storage containers and lightly cover each container with a paper towel and allow the lotion to cool for 30 minutes before capping to prevent condensation build up on the inside of the jar.
  6. You can store at room temperature for 30 days, or in the fridge for 3-6 months.

 

This will make a big batch for me or a few small gifts for friends.  I use the little 1/2 pint wide mouth jelly jars to put it in with a little sticker and give them out for Valentines Day, Mothers Day or any other Holiday.

As I was writing the recipe out, I was thinking about all the qualities each of the ingredients have and how I was initially skeptical of the borax.  I got this as an organic healthy ingredient, but couldn’t help but wonder how putting laundry detergent on my face was going to be helpful.  I thought it might be helpful for others to go through each of the ingredients in this recipe and talk about exactly how they nourish your skin which ultimately doesn’t just make your skin look or feel good from a superficial standpoint, but actually nourishes your skin so that it looks and feels good because, it is in fact, healthier, after you apply it.

Almond Oil: Rich in Vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids, proteins, potassium and zinc, and a number of other minerals and vitamins. Almond Oils is a light weight to medium weight base oil that can be used in a variety of different body care recipes.

Beeswax: It provides a protective barrier over your skin, but is a humectant, which means it attracts moisture to your skin.  it is also anti bacterial and anti viral, so is great to help blemishes and chapped or reddened skin.  It is also a thickener in most recipes and will add a bit of body to the lotion or creme.  It is often times why chopstick stays solid.

Coconut oil: soothes eczema, sunburn and psoriasis, and its antiviral and antifungal. Coconut oil contains 3 fatty acids: capric acid, lauric acid and caprylic acid. Each of these acids kill candida, a common cause of fungal infection on your skin. Coconut Oil in its unrefined virgin form stays solid below 76degrees, this allows it to keep your lotion more firm at room temperature, but to liquify and be absorbed by the skin when your skin warms it

Cocoa Butter: derived from the cocoa bean this sweet chocolate-fragranced emollient butter, like coconut oil is solid at room temperature and melts when it touches your skin.  It has a high concentration of antioxidant compounds, including oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. all three fatty acids help neutralize free radicals throughout the body, particularly in the skin. By reducing the occurrence of oxidative stress, cocoa butter can help reduce signs of aging, including wrinkles and age marks. Research has also shown cocoa butter to reduce the appearance of scars on the skin and help to boost overall skin health.

Anhydrous Lanolin:  is a natural byproduct of processing animal wool,  Since lanolin is chemically similar to wax, it has a number of applications in various industries and has been used to prevent rust on metal. Lanolin is also structurally similar to lipids found in human skin cells, which makes lanolin readily absorbed through the skin.  As such, it acts as a carrier base to facilitate the absorption of other compounds mixed with lanolin into the skin.  It is important to know that, while Anhydrous Lanolin is naturally occurring, there is a synthetic chemical modeled after the naturally occurring one called “cholecalciferol” or “Vitamin D3” that aren’t the same thing.

Vegetable Glycerine: is an humectant and draws moisture to the skin, but also sends signals to skin cells to complete skin maturation. Psoriasis is known to happen when skin cells die to rapidly and slough off prematurely.

Borax: is a naturally occurring compound mined in the United States, China, Ukraine, Turkey and India with the largest mine being in California. Borax is known to help smooth rough skin as well as fight off Candida and Fungus. In this recipe it serves as an emulsifier, allowing the water based products to combine with the oil based products.

Frankincense Essential Oil: is a powerful astringent, meaning it helps protect skin cells. It works on the matrix structure, or underneath layers of the skin that helps give skin elasticity and shape.   It can be used to help reduce acne blemishes, the appearance of large pores, prevent wrinkles, and it even helps lift and tighten skin to naturally slow signs of aging. Its sweet heavy fragrance reduces anxiety and tension by slowing and deepening the breath.

Myrrh Essential Oil: is in its powerful antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, expectorant, and antispasmodic properties. Yes, that is a mouth full.  It is known that Cleopatra used Myrrh as part of her skin regime, so well, it’s good enough for me.  Please not you should avoid using Myrrh if you are pregnant or epileptic, instead use double the Frankincense.

Lavender Essential Oil:  According to dermatologists and aromatherapists, lavender essential oil because of its anti -bacterial qualities is one of the most beneficial oils in the treatment of acne.  Acne develops due to a bacterial infection near the sebum gland. When sebum cannot be properly secreted from the sebum glands, it begins to build up, and bacteria feeds off of it, creating a vicious cycle of irritation, infection, and visible sores that can result in scaring of the skin.  Lavender essential oil inhibits the bacteria that cause the initial infection, helps to regulate some of the over-excretion of sebum by hormonal manipulation, and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal. Adding a small amount of lavender essential oil to other skin creams or ointments can greatly increase the potential for relief and healing.

Geranium Essential Oil: is a lot of things, but a Cicatrisant is one that is particularly useful for the skin.   Everyone wants their skin to be free from scars and after marks of fat-cracks, surgeries, and acne. Unfortunately, many people end up spending a fortune and trying all the available cosmetic solutions on the market and still don’t get the desired results. They could have avoided a waste of time and money had they tried Geranium Oil first. It is a powerful cicatrisant, so it helps the scars and other spots on the skin to fade and vanish. It facilitates blood circulation just below the surface of skin and also helps promote a uniform distribution of melanin.  Additionally it helps to alleviate water retention in the legs resulting from poor circulation.  It helps to break up cellulite in the legs, and like Lavender helps to regulate sebum production resulting in less acne.

 

What Other Essential Oils do You think would be good in this Recipe?

 

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Essential Oils, Your Antioxidant Ninja?

Essential Oils, Your Antioxidant Ninja?

One of my must have blends of Essential Oils is the Protective blend, it is my antioxidant Ninja, it kicks ass and takes names.  It has oils from cloves, orange peels, Cinnamon Bark/Leafs, Eucalyptus Leaf and Rosemary Leaf and Flower.

You can completely ignore this paragraph, it is the legal disclaimers I have to throw out there.  Skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to be bored out of your mind.  The FDA is very strict about what claims can be made or not about all substances and although the FDA has given Essential Oils the GRAS or generally regarded as safe designation, I do have to insert the following disclaimer: Essential Oils do not cure, prevent or treat any diseases. However, although I am a total rule follower, I am also a gangsta.  I don’t think it is entirely fair to exclude the discussion of essential oils as they pertain (or could pertain) to peoples health.  So, my work around, is to discuss the chemical compounds in each of the oils in this protective blend.  Because there is plenty of scientific research on them, so one by one, we can go through the main ingredients in the oils to find out exactly what the active chemical compounds are, and then look at studies that find results about how those chemical compounds effect the body.

Essential oils are very complex, just like ninjas, with some essential oils having hundreds of chemicals that are naturally occurring in every drop and ninjas have billions of cells and lots of tricks. I don’t have the time, patience or brain capacity to cover all of the oils, chemical and ninja skills, so I’ll go over the main ones (the chemicals in the oils that is, not the ninja tricks).  It is important to distinguish that there are naturally occurring chemicals like the ones derived from plans oils that are found in quality essential oils, and synthetic or man made chemicals that mimic the naturally occurring ones.  For the sake of my sanity, I am only talking about naturally occurring chemicals here unless otherwise mentioned, mostly because I don’t want to type the words “naturally occurring” 4,000 times, although this blog post would pop up higher on google searches if I did.

Clove Oil; There have been studies done on the effectiveness and free radicals in clove oil, which happens to be the second listed ingredient in my preferred protective blend.  All food substances are rated on what is called an ORAC scale or (oxygen radical absorption capacity) or a foods ability to fight free radicals.  WTF is a Free Radical, we hear it all the time, but lets take a second to digest a little free radical info.

Imagine a regular, standard cell that has a neutron with 4 protons orbiting it.  Right standard 4th grade science.  Now imagine a cell that is pretty radical, it’s missing a proton aaaand, it’s pissed about it… right, it only has 3 of its 4protons.  (these are things like cigarette smoke, off-gassing plastics and many other things) This radical cell goes into your body and takes one of the protons from a cell in your body,, right, it needs a proton.  This causes the cell that it just stole the proton from to become  a free radical (short a proton) that cell then steals a proton from a different neighboring, close by cell which steals a proton, and you can see where this is going.  There’s a chain reaction that never ends!!!. The moral of the story is the more free radicles that are taken into your body through toxic air, off-gassing plastics, smoking or a whole slew of other things, the more your cells are unsound and trying to get the protons by stealing from each other or morphing in other ways.  The best weapon to stabilize a free radical is an antioxidant.  Antioxidants are cells that have an extra proton and they lend it to the cells that have been stolen from to stabilize them (really freely like a hippie gives out food) so that every cell has the proper ratio of protons to neutrons.  This is where the ORAC score and Clove oil come in. When we think about foods rich in antioxidants (antioxidant foods), the blueberry usually comes to mind.  Blueberries score 6,000 (six thousand, just so we are clear) on the orac scale.  Cloves on the other hand, depending on which study you are looking at score over 10 million.[1] Yes, you read that right, 10 million So you can see how giving your body a boost of clove oil, gives it a boat load of of antioxidants to use in the battle against free radicals.  This is so much better than leaving those sneaky little free radicals un-attended which can lead to (depending on if the fda approves you saying so or not) leads to disease, inflammation, lower immune response and a whole slew of other uncomfortable things.  Incidentally, the next closest food to the clove on the ORAC chart is the Chinese wolfberry which comes in a 100,000 so only 1 /100th of the antioxidants, but I’m sure tastes lovely.  I’m planning on 1st finding out if they are poisonous and 2nd procuring some so that I can try them if it is safe.

1st on the list of ingredients here is Orange oil.  (if you’re wondering why I did that out of order, it’s because Ninja’s are always full of surprises, and apparently I want to be too).  Orange oil(Citrus sinensis)  is a time-tested remedy (although probably not FDA approved, I’m not sure) going back thousands of years. It is documented that people of China, India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean have used orange to ease symptoms of colds and for cleansing as well as during purification rituals. Many different cultures have also used it for improved digestion, skin problems, cleaning and lifting depression. I mean really, who doesn’t feel better when it smells yummy in the house.  It is also said that Christopher Columbus carried orange seeds with him on his long journey to the Americas. So it’s quite the oil historically speaking that is.

The most prominent photochemical in orange oil is d-limonene. D-limonene is a  powerhouse!  The amount of research being done on D-limonene is steadily increasing but is not by any means of the imagination, exhaustive; there is still so much that can be done, and were on our way. Orange Essential Oil or, citrus sinuses is 80-96% d-limonene so when talking about d-limonene although we can’t substitute the words Wild Orange, orange oil is 80-96% d-limonene… just sayin.

 One PubMed article identifies d-limonene as “Being a solvent of cholesterol, d-limonenehas been used clinically to dissolve cholesterol-containing gallstones. Because of its gastric acid neutralizing effect and its support of normal peristalsis, it has also been used for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). D-limonenehas well-established chemopreventive activity against many types of cancer. Evidence from a phase I clinical trial demonstrated a partial response in a patient with breast cancer and stable disease for more than six months in patients with colorectal cancer.”   blah blah blah.. if you read that quickly you are way better than me.  It took me a few reads, and a couple of google search terms to figure out what it meant.   It is showing to be effective in breast cancer trials.  Big surprise there, alternative medicine has always been “rumored” to be helpful against disease.

Another preliminary study published shows that Limonene D dLimonene, a non-nutrient dietary component, has been found to inhibit various cancer cell growths without toxicity;  Journal of Carcinogenesis. 2009, Vol. 8 Issue 1, Special section p1-9. 9p.  In this Study conducted at the university of Italy, orange essential oils was investigated against three micro-organisms; Staph, Listeria and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the third of which is lesser known but causes pneumonia and UTI’s. ‘Two of the three oils tested were significantly active against the listeria, while the Valencia was active against all three  (If it can fight these three germs, I’ll use it to clean my counter).   So really, the main chemical in orange essential oils is d-limonene which has shown to reduce cancer cells, inhibit cancer cell growth as well as fight staph, listeria and other germs.  I’ll take some, Yes Please!

Tired of getting “Hangry” or more importantly are your co-workers and family tired of you getting “angry”?  Next up on our list of ingredients for the Protective Blend is Cinnamon Bark/Leaf, although you can read tons of articles about the health benefits of cinnamon an placebo controlled double blind trial published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine showed that when taken twice a day, participants taking cinnamon twice a day had lowered fasting blood sugar levels, as well as lower blood sugar levels after ingesting 75G of carbs over the placebo group that showed no difference.2

Eucalyptus Oil, is another powerhouse… are you seeing a trend?  The protective blend is filled with them.  Eucalyptus has wide ranging properties that include anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial.   Boy is that a mouth full.  In a recent Study published here it confirmed the anti bacterial properties, but went on to show synergistic qualities of eucalyptus oil when used in combination with conventional antibiotics against Acinetobacter baumannii (which we also know as a “super Bug” ).  The study goes on to say that eucalyptus oil has radical scavenging properties and shows capacity to inhibit the lipid peroxidation (that is the whole stealing of electrons by free radicals we talked about earlier) Can I get a “Hell Yeahhhh!

The last ingredient in the protective blend is the Rosemary Oil. It has an ORAC score of 3,300, so again it is a free radical fighting agent, but its major chemical compound is carnosol, which has been shown to be anti inflammatory among other things. Carnosol, has been evaluated for anti-cancer property in prostate, breast, skin, leukemia, and colon cancer with promising results.(4)  Pretty impressive!

 

So you can see how a combination of these oils is great for killing germs in your home, as well as fighting free radicals in your body.  Hospitals around the country have began using essential oils for a combination of things including, reducing stress of staff and patients in emergency rooms, fighting germs, and purifying.  One hospital in Washington state just had a 2 day training on essential oils and potential uses in fighting “super bugs”, but I simply can’t remember where I heard it.  It is super exciting from my perspective because over the years I have tried to do everything I can to have my home be as non toxic and natural as possible.  What I have known for years based on my own experiential knowledge is now being supported by science.  Yippie for the Hippy!!!  Here is a list of 15 uses for the Protective blend and a super easy recipe for an antibacterial hand sanitizer.


Alcohol Free, Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer

  •  5 TBSP Aloe Vera Gel
  • 4 TBSP Water
  • ¼ tsp Vitamin E Oil
  • 8-10 drops On Guard

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and fill a small squeeze container for moisturizing hand sanitizer on the go.  That is really awesome, and doesn’t dry out your hands like those alcohol based ones, but this does take a little bit longer to dry. And you should use caution with this sanitizer and numb chucks, as they might slip out of your hands.


15 Uses for Protective Blend

  1. Sniffle Season? Fight it by diffusing  Protective Blend anytime you are concerned about seasonal threats or those “things that get passed around” at schools, gyms, work or other crowded venues.
  2. Get Charged. Mix a few drops of protective blend with 2 drops lemon Essential oil and honey in a teaspoon to soothe your throat during winter or any dry season.
  3. Pimp Your Carpets. Add 15 drops of protective blend to a cup of baking soda, Mix, sprinkle, allow it to sit for up to an hour, then vacuum it clean!
  4. Clean the Grub out of the Tub… in a Pleasing Way. Mix 5-6 drops with half a cup of baking soda to clean your bath tub and skip all the harsh chemicals.
  5. Be Naturally On Guard, All Day. Let protective blend with wild orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary support your immune system.  One of the most popular ways to use protective blend is to add a few drops to a Veggie Capsule and Swallow.  Bam!  Immune System Boost!
  6. Augment Your Air Filters. Put a few drops of protective blend on your Car’s cabin air filter or home air filters to obliterate Dank, stale filtered air.. right from the duct.
  7. “An Ounce of Prevention…” Some people amp up their Zink or Vitamin C intake (Via orange juice) every autumn. If this is you, add a few drops of protective blend to your juice for added protection or take it in water to eliminate the sugar from the juice.
  8. Help for your Speaking Docket. If you’re a “close Talker” or public speaker, create a protective mouth rinse by adding a drop of protective blend to 4-6oz of water, gargle and pep up your Delivery.  Your breath will be fresh and your mouth will be tingly.
  9. Your Mouth Will Thank You. Try swishing protective blend with a bit of water after dental work.  You can also apply protective blend directly to your teeth and gums, or add a drop to your toothpaste to soothe irritated gums.
  10. Got a Pull Out Kitchen Cabinet Garbage Bin? Garbage inside a dark cabinet is an ideal breeding ground for horrific odors. When you take out the garbage, spray down your cabinet with protective blend and water.
  11. Eradicate That Oven Cleaner Smell. Caked on black oven gunk does not easily come off. After your oven’s self-clean cycle, spray a mix of purified water, protective blend and Lemon Essential oil onto the oven interior.  This will clear up all of the greasy smells as well as the smell of the oven cleaner.
  12. Gym Machines Will Thank You. Before climbing on to that sweaty vinyl at the gym, spray it with a mixture of protective blend and water. To protect yourself from the last users sweat.
  13. Be Protected On-The-Go. Traveling to the wide open corners of the world often leaves you without hand-sanitizer handy.
  14. Sharing is Caring… But Not Always! A few drops of protective blend in spray Bottle with Water works wonders on grimy doorknobs, hand railings and countertops. Share germs no more!
  15. Smelly Pipes Got You Down? Add 5 drops protective blend to your wash during the rinse cycle for all of the benefits of protective blend in your laundry. It will leave your laundry extra clean and smelling Great.

 

What Other Uses can you think of For Protective Blend?

 

1- http://www.ijrap.net/admin/php/uploads/360_pdf.pdf accessed 2/11/2017
2-“Cinnamon extract lowers glucose, insulin and cholesterol in people with elevated serum glucose”;  Richard A. AndersonaZhiwei ZhanbRencai LuocXiuhua GuodQingqing GuodJin ZhoueJiang KongfPaul A. DavisgBarbara J. Stoeckerh  Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine  Volume 6, Issue 4, October 2016, Pages 332–336
3-“Chemical composition, antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-quorum sensing activities of Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus radiata essential oils”Ângelo LuísaAndreia DuarteaJorge GominhobFernanda DominguesaAna Paula Duarteaa CICS-UBI, Health Sciences Research Centre, University of Beira Interior, Av. Infante D. Henrique, 6200-506 Covilhã, Portugalb CEF-ISA, Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal Industrial Crops and Products ,Volume 79, January 2016, Pages 274–282
4-“Carnosol: A promising anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agent”, Jeremy J. JohnsonUniversity of Illinois at Chicago, College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, USA, University of Illinois at Chicago Cancer Center, Carcinogenesis & Chemoprevention Research Program, USA. Received 29 November 2010, Revised 3 February 2011, Accepted 4 February 2011, Available online 5 March 2011. Received 25 June 2015, Revised 26 October 2015, Accepted 30 October 2015, Available online 21 November 2015 Cancer Letters Volume 305, Issue 1, 1 June 2011, Pages 1–7

Endocrine Disruptors, This Shit is Serious!!!

Endocrine Disruptors, This Shit is Serious!!!

According to a recent Census while showing affection from one person to another is a way of celebrating Valentine’s day, it is also a way to drain the old pocket book.  The tradition of exchanging gifts among soon to be secretly married couples began in A.D.496.  Esther Howland of Massachusetts was the first one to begin the profit making trajectory that it has become today by selling the first mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards in the 1840.  So it took a while to catch on, but boy, it has caught on.  February 14, 2017 is expected to garner over 30 Billion Dollars according to one article written in Business Insider. I find this absolutely fascinating (and disgusting), what was even more fascinating was the linked article to the census bureau’s findings about the day, that breaks down where the money is actually spent.

I actually love Valentine’s day, but it is because 17 years ago when my now husband, then boyfriend, spent our first Valentine’s Day together he explained that he believed it was a corporate holiday and that he would never get me flowers or chocolates on Valentine’s Day, that he would express his love all year long.  Over the years he has kept his promise to love me, bringing home random bouquets of flowers throughout the year, and I have convinced him that buying power tools on Valentine’s Day isn’t condoning the corporate sanctioned holiday that we all have grown to know and love.  So on Valentine’s Day, I get great useful gifts that help my house run better.  (BTW, I think I might get a Roomba this year and I am sooo excited about it…. Yippee, no more sweeping!)  Anyway, although his skepticism throughout the years wasn’t stemmed in health, over the years I have found health concerns deeply seated in some of the most common practices and gifts that people give to their loved ones.

 

The first item, and reason that I began writing this article on this blog is perfume.  Now over the years I have done some crazy shit to smell good. I’ve given up deodorant,,, a couple of times… I commissioned one lady to create a custom scent out of “natural” ingredients… it smelled sooo awful, (which was probably more my fault than hers.  I am sure of it.  Who mixes conifer scents with vanilla?  which is what I insisted she do).

I do however, have a favorite perfume that I have loved since I was in high school, it is not natural, and I keep finding bottles of it because they don’t make it anymore, or maybe they now make it again, but they stopped for a while.  I have made homemade soap using essential oils, I still make homemade lotions using essential oils… the bottom line is that I am not even a girly kind of girl, and I have tried it all!  Bitches go crazy over how they smell, and I get it; I do it!   I work in a hot yoga studio where pretty much everyone stinks.  The last thing I want to smell when I leave there is anything “natural” (aka B.O.)  The bad thing about being in a situation where your house, job, car and everything is natural is that synthetics begin to smell like synthetics and just as repulsive as B.O.

So as my nose started to change and I began to notice the difference between synthetics and naturally occurring things. I started learning about Essential Oils and other natural recipes.  I came across information about phthalates. You’ll find phthalates in perfume, hair spray, deodorant, almost anything fragranced (from hair products to air fresheners to laundry detergent), nail polish, and a whole slew of other things.  In fact they are so common that 95% of humans have phthalates detectable in their urine.[1]  I feel like phthalates are the reek of chemical based products that just smells wrong.  It is the smell coming out of those stores at the mall that sell thousands of bath products that have shelf lives that will last beyond the apocalypse and make your stomach turn.  My problem was initially that in my brain when I smell chemicals, they do not smell good, but then I smell my favorite perfume from back in the day, and it goes to a very happy place where somehow it the chemicals in that perfume smell good despite that I know it is chemical based and not healthy.   I have debated myself whether or not exposure to these little particles is worth it to smell dreamy, and be reminded of what if was like to be a 25 year old (even though I would actually never want to go back to my 20s, it’s nice to remember them.) could I give up my old faithful perfume, especially because at least initially, Essential Oils didn’t seem to last as long.

 

Did I really care about phthalate exposure?

 It turns out that good old faithful perfume isn’t the only place I am being exposed to phthalates.  They are in dairy products, shower curtains and almost every plastic product.   Additionally, they’re in meats, cheeses, iv drip bags and catheters. I wanted to know why they’re in everything?  What purpose do they serve and exactly what are they?  Phthalates are a small chemical partial used to make plastics more flexible, and used as lubricants in cosmetics.  Which doesn’t exactly sound all bad right…?  wrong (imo)!

Well, if you ask the American Chemistry Council, a known lobby group for phthalate manufacturers, who produce between 14-27 million pounds of phthalates per year, phthalates are a okay; two thumbs up. Phthalates are, by their accounts, “among the most thoroughly studied family of compounds in the world.” But what do some of these studies show actual show and leave up for interpretation?

Since the 1940s, Phthalates have been shown to have a negative effect on male reproductive development. Phthalates are now widely known to be “endocrine disruptors” WTF is an endocrine disruptor?  Here you go:

Hormones are chemical messengers that travel throughout the body coordinating complex processes like growth, metabolism, and fertility. They can influence the function of the immune system, and even alter behavior…In response to a signal from the brain, hormones are secreted directly into the blood by the glands that produce and store them. These glands make up what is known as the endocrine system. Chemicals that interfere with the function of hormones are therefore known as endocrine disruptors.

 Phthalates are thought to mimic and displace hormones and interrupt their production. This can have a range of unpleasant effects.

Here is a summary of the current studies:

  • In 2009, a small Taiwanese study on humans showed that phthalates passed from mother to fetus through the placenta affect female babies, sometimes resulting in abnormal sexual development.[2]
  • Boys who are exposed to higher levels of certain types of phthalates in the womb may show less masculine behavior (measured by playing with trucks and play fighting) than boys who are exposed to lower levels.[3]
  • Pregnant women exposed to phthalates in the workplace were found to be two to three times more likely to deliver boys with the reproductive birth defect known as hypospadias.[4]
  • A 2009 study determined that phthalate exposure correlated with premature breast development in young Taiwanese girls.[5]
  • A 2007 study found that higher levels of phthalates detected in the urine of adult males was associated with increased waist circumference and insulin resistance.[6]

 

WTF… Do I Do?

  1. Stay away from fragrance. Unfortunately, you will very rarely see phthalates listed on a product label — Luckily, there are clues. When it comes to cosmetics, the word “fragrance” or “parfum” on a label almost always means phthalates. What you want to see are claims like: “no synthetic fragrance” or “scented with only essential oils” or “phthalate-free.” And always use only Essential oil air diffuser fresheners.  Please if you don’t know how to get your hands on the best quality Essential Oils, contact me on the contact page, I’ll get you going.
  2. Crack the code. Plastic products with recycling codes 3 and 7 may contain phthalates or BPA. Look for plastic with recycling codes 1, 2, or 5.[7]
  3. Avoid plastic whenever possible, and never heat your food in plastic. Foods that are higher in fat — meats and cheeses, for instance — are particularly prone to chemical leaching. Even BPA or phthalate-free plastic may contain harmful chemicals. Opt for glass food storage containers, and choose bottles and sippy and snack cups that are mostly stainless steel, silicone, or glass.[8]
  4. Use your dollars to make sense, not scents. Several manufacturers have sworn off the use of phthalates due to consumer pressure. Others have never used these chemicals. Spend wisely!

What I do… Now… Phthalate Free

Today, I mix essential oils and carry them around with me.  I apply them often and always smell good.  The great thing about having essential oils that unlike chemicals don’t last forever, is that if I want something uplifting in the morning, I put on an uplifting blend.  After a meeting, if I need to calm down, I put on a calming blend.  So while the staying power of synthetic perfumes was a bonus for me early on, now I love the idea of being able to switch scent throughout the day, which affects my frame of mind. (Essential Oils, Actually, affect Your Brain).

For Instance, right now, my husband is talking about our upcoming trip to Cuba with more enthusiasm than I can handle, so I just rolled on a little “peace” blend, to calm myself down.  It is great even if it doesn’t last forever.

The last reason not to buy Perfume for Valentine’s Day is that  $600-700Billion dollars is spent every year from counterfeited stuff, and if phthalates have made their way into our mainstream products, who knows what’s in the counterfeited shit.

So, while I started this to focus on the prevalence of Phthalates in perfumes and air fresheners, here are the stats from the business insider article and the census.  Really, it’s first world problems just like Valentine’s Day is a first world Holiday!!!

Candy

1,364 Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced primarily chocolate and cocoa products in 2014, employing 42,043 people. California led the nation with 151 of these establishments, followed by New York with 119.[9]

While Candy is great, and I love it too, you have to ensure you are getting good ingredients and limiting your intake of them. Dark chocolate without a lot of the disguising red #5 goo in the middle is best.  It is hard to overlook the fact that nobody ever gave a square of dark chocolate as a gift.  There’s a reason we all know the big heart shaped box of chocolate, it’s because more is better…. Not really… Diabetes and obesity are huge problems, so if you decide to eat it, great,,,  Just don’t eat the whole box at one time.  Try to limit yourself to one piece a day, and keep in mind if you’ve never seen the color in nature, it was probably made using chemical colorants, try to avoid it.  When your body is exposed to chemicals, it stores them in fat cells and tucks them away in your fascia so that they aren’t just floating around in your body.  That makes them harder to access when you are ready to get rid of them.

Secondly, if you get a box of chocolates and decide to enjoy some,, enjoy them,  but for the love of god, before you “get busy” at the end of the night make sure you put the chocolate in a cabinet or up high where your furry four legged friends can’t get them. Chocolate is poisonous for dogs and every year there are multiple dogs in clinics all over the US because the dog got the box of chocolates.  According to the Pet Poison Hotline, 1/2oz of chocolate per lb of dog weight is poisonous.  But I do get it, we do want to support local manufacturing.  Just go easy on it so your pancreas doesn’t flip out (can you imagine what that would look like, like, if your pancreas just jumped out of your body,,,) and keep it away from your mutts!

 

$16.0 billion
 The estimated value of chocolate and confectionary product shipments for manufacturing establishments in 2015.[10] This is in fact how much we spend on chocolate every Valentine’s Day… Whoa!!!!!

$10.1 billion
 The estimated value of non-chocolate confectionery product shipments for manufacturing establishments in 2015.[11] What and then you add this to it… Shit’s getting Crazy.

3,217
  Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2014.[12] This one actually surprised me, because of the alarming number of people that are allergic to nuts these days.  But the confectionery portion of it seems accurate based on our health outlook in the us.

$3.4 billion
   The value of U.S. imports of chocolate and confectionery in 2015. Canada was the top source of U.S. chocolate imports that year with $1.3 billion.[13]  I really expected this to be Germany or Belgium, but Canada has turned into quite the foodie Country in the past Decade or so.  Kudos to them.

Flowers

13,765
   The number of florist establishments nationwide in 2014. These businesses employed 61,170 people.[14]  Again, super happy people are working, and how nice would it be to work at a flower shop where the room always smells delightful.

$131 millionThe value of imports of bouquet cut flowers and buds in February 2016. Of that, the value of imports of fresh cut roses was $72 million—the highest category of flowers.[15] This one trips me out a little more, I would almost always prefer to have a potted plant that I can put in my yard, fruit producing; even better.  I love how my almond trees bloom right around Valentine’s Day.  I guess all the flowers are going to die on the plant anyway but really 72 million in fresh cut roses that aren’t meant to bloom in February and are forced into blooming and then trucked from Greenhouse A to seller point B.  It does seem like a lot of waste so that people can have some crazy flower that has been marketed as “the” flower of Valentine’s day.  I will see this, it is better roses than Lillies, as your lilies are extremely toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure within a couple of hours of ingesting.  Even better than that is this Cherry Chocolate Mousse I got at my local bakery.  It is shaped like a rose, but the chef made it right there with her own hands and I stopped there while going to the grocery store so no wasted fuel.

Jewelry

22,655 The number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2014. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to couples of all ages. In February 2016, these stores sold an estimated $2.6 billion in merchandise.[16]  I do love weddings… I love being married, and I hope all these people that just spent 2.6 billion dollars love their stuff.

2,143The number of jewelry and silverware manufacturing establishments.[17]  Really, silverware seems like something I would get for Valentine’s Day.  So unromantic and surprising that it made it to this list.

$6.7 billionThe estimated value of jewelry and silverware products shipped for manufacturing establishments in the United States in 2015.[18] Not only did it make the list, but it is part of the 6.7 billion dollars in shipped products in the United States.

 

 

 

“Please Be Mine”

29.7 and 27.8 years Median age at first marriage in 2015 for men and women, respectively.[19]

47.5% The overall percentage of people 15 and older who reported being married, except those separated.[20]

31.9 The provisional rate of marriages per 1,000 people performed in Nevada during 2014. So many couples tie the knot in the Silver State that it ranked number one nationally in marriage rates. Hawaii ranked second with a marriage rate of 17.7. [21]

2.1 million The provisional number of marriages that took place in the United States (excluding Georgia) in 2014. That breaks down to about 5,800 a day.[22]


In Case You Want to buy Some Crazy shit at my store

https://www.zazzle.com/brunskillian_life*

 


 

 

[1] http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/phthalates-in-moms-and-babies accessed 2/13/17

[2] http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/phthalates-in-moms-and-babies

[3] http://www.webmd.com/children/news/20091116/phthalates-affect-way-young-boys-play#1

[4] http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/phthalates-increase-hypospadias-risk

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19344077

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17589594

[7] http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/10/practical-values-hard-break

[8] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/09/opinion/09browning.html?_r=0

[9] U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns: 2014, NAICS code (31135)

[10] U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 Annual Survey of Manufactures, Products and Service Codes (311351 and 311352)

[11] Ibid, Products and Service Code (311340)

[12] U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns: 2014, NAICS code (445292)

[13] U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Statistics, NAICS code (31135)

[14] U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns: 2014, NAICS code (4531)

[15] U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Statistics, (Commodity code-0603 and 060311)

[16] U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns: 2014, NAICS code (448310) http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/BP/2014/00A1//naics~448310 and Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services www.census.gov/retail

[17] ibid (339910)

[18] U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 Annual Survey of Manufactures, Products and Service Code (339910)

[19] U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

 

[20] U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey

[21] National Center for Health Statistics

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/state_marriage_rates_90_95_and_99-14.pdf

[22] National Center for Health Statistics

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/marriage_divorce_tables.htm

 

Well, it’s #Groundhogs Day… Or Not!

Well, it’s #Groundhogs Day… Or Not!

Throughout my 30 day diet detox, I do many things and because I’m not out having drinks with the girls, most of them are done at home.  I once read that everything in your house has an energy attached to it.  (I’m sorry I would cite the source, but I’ve donated as many books to half price books as I have left, except my husbands, because he gets pissed when I donate his, but anyway I don’t remember which book it was.) So this book went on to explain that when someone gives you a gift that you don’t really like, and you keep it in your house, every time you look at it you will feel a little bit of negative energy.  It also goes on to explain that objects can evoke feelings of guilt, can clutter your thoughts, and can block/promote positive energy.  It really does make sense right.  Like everything is made up of moving atoms so there is definite energy in things, but (not this is me talking not the book) what if our energy and emotions can mix with the energy that exists within the object and create a different experienced energy.  When I read this years ago, I immediately thought about the objects that make me smile, that bring up good memories, you know the little objects that you collect throughout your life that make you feel good.  Well, at the time I decided that I would make sure everything in my living space carried a good and positive energy.  Then life happens and of course I lost focus.  I think we are all familiar with the pile of papers, that you just really need to go through and file, but don’t ever seem to make time to do it.  Lately during the average day I come across many things that remind me of groundhogs day.  I look at it, think about it, and then leave it so that the next time I look at it I can have the same distain for my lack of motivation in actually doing something with it last time I saw it, but then usually leave it again, and so the cycle repeats. During my detox month, I thought how great it would be to actually do something with these things. So each day when I would see something, like my used to be favorite sweater that my husband shrunk which makes me sad that I can’t wear it anymore every time I see it, I put it in the donate box, or the trash bin.  I have no guilt about getting rid of gifts that I don’t like instead of clogging up a closet with them. I tackled piles of papers, added all the addresses from sent Christmas cards to my address book so I would have them for next year, then recycled the christmas cards.

Energy is such a strong thing and while were on the topic of clearing out and uplifting the energy in living spaces.  Plants have specific vibrational levels or energies, and are a great thing to have in your house, but that energy can quickly turn negative when they collect dust.  The essential oils extracted from plants also have a vibrational level, and lucky  for us there are experts that study them to determine which ones actually affect the brain in an uplifting way.  Lately it has been the blend Motivate for me.  I love this stuff, and whenever I put it on or start diffusing it, shit gets done.  I think my husband is starting to love it too.  If you don’t have motivate, try some citrus like lemon, or contact me and I can help you get some motivate.

The only Groundhogs day I want to experience this year is the one where  Puxatony Phil decides we’re done with winter which either means he sees his shadow, or doesn’t but I always get them mixed up.   Either way I’m ahead on my spring cleaning, and the Brunskill house is feeling really great.   BTW, WTF is a groundhog anyway  Is it a bear that drank too much coffee and stunted it’s growth?

Immune Boost Green Smoothie

Immune Boost Green Smoothie

About a decade ago while researching health, I found out about the wonderful health benefits of Green Smoothies and while I still love juicing, there are definite benefits to smoothies, including the insoluble fiber.  Each little particle of masticated (blended) greens  carries 10 times its volume in toxins out of your body.  Since my body can be pretty toxic at times, I drink them almost daily.  Here is one of the recipes I will use when I feel like I might be coming down with something.  There is a scoring level for antioxidants in food called the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score for all foods.  This score measures how many free radicals the food can eliminate. The Higher the score, the more free radicals it can get rid of.  When we think of antioxidant rich foods, we typically think of blueberries.  A handful of blueberries scores 6,000 on the ORAC chart.   The Cloves and Clove oil in the On Guard Essential Oil Blend score 314,446!!!  Try this recipe and get your health on!!!!  

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup Collard Greens
  • 1 orange Peeled
  • 10 almonds
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 drop On Guard Essential Oil
  • 1 cup water

 

DIRECTIONS:

I put the greens in the blender first so the other stuff weighs it down, then add the rest.  Blend very well, as the smaller the greens are chopped up, the more effectively they can cary toxins out of your body.  I use a Vitamix blender (no I don’t get paid to say that, yet, but maybe someday). Blend until everything is masticated and enjoy.

 

Top 10 Essential Oil Uses

There are many uses for Essential Oils, and more being invented every day.  I use them to clean my house, detox my body and deal with my rowdy Jack-Russel Poodle rescue, named Donkey.    Essential Oils can be a blessing, or a curse, depending on who you talk to.  A year ago my husband called them the “non-essential” oils. Now he wont go to bed without loading his diffuser and needless to say he has dropped the “non” from that particular phrase, but we still laugh about his initial resistance.  I thought I would list my Top 10 uses for Essential Oils.

10     It never fails that whenever I have a big event to attend, I will get a huge monstrous Zit that starts brewing under my skin.  I try to nip them in the bud and from the moment I notice it I will rub a drop of Melaleuca on it every time I walk into the bathroom which usually prevents them from turning into a giant volcanos on my face.

9     After a work out, I will put 3 drops of oil in a cup of epsom salts and take a nice long soak to ease my muscle tension.  Works like a charm, also helps me go to sleep.

8     When your dogs are going Crazy, running around jumping on the furniture like they are kids in a bounce house, give them a little Lavender to calm them down.  Essential oils can be great for pets.  There is a little nuance, to introducing them to the oils though.  You have to put a drop in your hand and let them smell it and see if they like it or cower away.  Remember your dogs have insanely strong sense of smell, so anything strong smelling can be offensive to them no matter how much you love it.  Put 1 drop of Lavender or Cedar wood (or whatever calming oil they like) in the palm of your hand with 5 drops or so of FCO, and then you can pet it onto their fur.  Their fur is like little straws and will suck the oils down to their skin where it can enter their blood stream and calm them the ef down!  If you don’t let them come to the oils with proper introduction, you will have an entirely different situation on your hands, trust me I learned this the hard way with little Donkey.  I’ll post on that soon.

7     I have always told Scott that I’m ok with getting older, in fact it’s sort of cool, I know way more now than I did a decade ago, but I have always also told him I am absolutely not down with looking older.  In my 20s I thought I would inevitably need to get plastic surgery some day and informed him that he should start saving for it.  While I have changed my mind about the surgery part, I haven’t changed my mind about not wanting wrinkles and saggy skin.  Using a combination of a wood oil like Frankincense and a floral oil like Lavender or Ylang Ylang, in your moisturizer helps the matrix under your skin maintain its shape, as well as keeps the surface of your skin looking fab!

6     Use Grapefruit Oil the morning after your “party goblin” got the best of you.  It really is a great hangover helper.

5     Many of you know that I am a hot Yoga Instructor, and that means also a hot Yoga Practitioner.  I began practicing not because I loved the torture, but because I felt how amazing it is for my body.  I am so glad that I found essential oils though because a 105 degree room with 50 of your not so closest friends does not smell good.  I will rub a drop of Peppermint on the bottoms of my feet because it is known to have a cooling effect on the body, and then put 1 drop of Balance blend at the top of my mat so that when I go to the floor I can pretend I’m anywhere that the temperature is a normal range, and it doesn’t smell like sweat.

4    We have his and hers diffusers on our nightstands, and even my skeptical husband won’t go to bed without loading his.  We diffuse Breathe at night on his side of the bed to clear his airways and Lavender on mine.  We both sleep like babies, so much so that we even have little travel diffusers we use while on the road.  (p.s if your husband is reluctant to the idea of oils, this is one way to get him on board)

3     When my breath is so kickin even I can smell it, I put a drop of Peppermint or On Guard on my tongue so that I don’t offend the people across the room that I am screaming at.

2      I have an awesome sugar scrub recipe that I use constantly, like I am addicted. I use it in the shower to exfoliate on a daily basis.  I will caution you that it makes the tub a little slippery.  Not slippery like a slip and slide, but slippery like there’s a substance between your feet and the shower floor.  Totally fine for able bodied people, but take caution with unstable loved ones, or use lots of it in the spare bathroom your Monster in Law will be using before she arrives.

1       Whenever I make a large purchase while Scott is at work, I make sure to diffuse Lemon in the house before he gets home.  Citrus oils are uplifting scents that affect the limbic or emotional response portion of the brain.  Whenever he walks in and smells citrus diffusing it immediately puts him in a good mood, which makes it easier to break the news to him.

 

img_1079

Meet Donkey, He might look like an angel, but he can be a holy terror!

Grapefruit Oil, Natures Hangover Helper

Grapefruit Oil, Natures Hangover Helper

So after my husbands birthday weekend, I was umm… dehydrated, my head wasn’t feeling that great and my muscles were achy.  Classic symptoms of a hangover.   Of course I turn to grapefruit oil to solve the problem, which works wonders for me, but I’m just geeky enough to wonder exactly how it works.  I also began to wonder if putting grapefruit oil in my vodka would stop the problem before it starts next time.  Maybe I’ll begin collecting data on this theory next weekend.  Today the question at hand is how exactly does grapefruit oil help the symptoms of a hangover.  Which of course if you live in my head, means you have to know exactly what is going on with a hangover.

The throbbing head, achy muscles and nausea associated with hangovers are mostly due to dehydration. (no shit, right), but because the body is dehydrated and doesn’t have enough water content your liver struggles to properly detoxify.   When you liver gets toxins from your bloodstream there is a 2 part process that happens.  In the second part of the process your liver binds toxins to other molecules creating a new non toxic molecule that can be excreted in your bile, urine or stool.  The visual for me is one of my trying to juice a raisin.

It turns out there is a chemical called limonene present in grapefruit oil, and that is where the magic happens.  Limonene comprises 95-88% of the oil.  limonene is a necessary nutrient to aiding the liver in the second phase of the detoxification process.

When I am experience symptoms of a hangover, I put 2-3 drops of a therapeutic grade essential oil in my water and drink this concoction all day long.  It is two phase, I am getting the limonene that helps my liver process toxins, and re-hydrating all in one, ultimately supporting my body in healing itself.   It is important to note that not all essential oils should be ingested, I only use therapeutic grade, also note that I am not a dr., just an artist and someone that geeks out on how things work, so check with your physician before you try to treat yourself or anyone you know for anything.