Introducing Doterra Copaiba Essential Oil 

Introducing Doterra Copaiba Essential Oil 

Today Doterra announced the introduction of Copaiba Essential Oil to their already robust line of Essential Oils.

While different species of Copaiba typically yield slightly differing therapeutic outcomes, Doterra is offering their Copaiba Essential Oil which is a blend of 4 different species of copaiba plants to achieve optimal health benefits.

The cannaboid debate continues, it is important to know that there are three main cannaboids this one has no cin effect (won’t get you high) but comes in direct contact with your cb2 receptors in the brain directly helping your immune and endocrine systems, and it’s completely legal (Doterra would never do anything illegal)

This oil is a liver detoxifier, is great for your cardiovascular system and improves metabolic function,,,, who doesn’t want that right!!!  Another great reason to have this little gem in your arsenal is because it helps support a healthy digestive system Woot Woot!!!!

Therapeutic Qualities of Cupaiba:

  • Analegisic
  • Antifungal
  • Anti inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiseptic
  • Astringent
  • Cicatrizing
  • Circulatory
  • Diuretic
  • Expectorant
  • Stimulant

If you’re wondering what this delightful oil blends well with, try one of these:

  • Black Pepper
  • Cardamom
  • German Chamomile
  • Roman Chanomile
  • Coriander Seed
  • Eucalyptus Radiata
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Greenland Moss
  • Hyssop
  • Juniper Berry
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Manuka
  • Majestic
  • May Chang
  • Thyme
  • Niaouli
  • Ravensara

Top Uses for Copaiba

If you’re wondering what you’re going to do with this little oil, look no further:

  1. Add to epsom salt bath and soak to ease joint and muscle pain
  2. Diffuse to support respiratory wellness
  3. Apply topically for metabolic support
  4. Diffuse to for a calming environment

Contraindications: None known at this time.

 

See you in the next post, don’t forget to subscribe.

Ciao,

S

Melaleuca Essential Oil. Who, What, When, Where, Why and How to use it.

Melaleuca Essential Oil.  Who, What, When, Where, Why and How to use it.

A few years ago when selling a friend an intro essential oils kit when his husband referred to them as “snake oils”.  I was a little offended as  I believe in the efficacy of essential oils, but it turns out there was a bit of truth in his statement.

Who thought to use this Plant for the Oil:  The indigenous Bundjalung people of Australia have been using Melaleuca Alternifolia  for years medicinally.  They use a poultice on wounds, inhale the oils from the crushed leaves for respiratory support and infusions were made to treat skin irritations.  These people really paved the way for us today to understand how the difference between a common name and a latin name is quite important.  In the case of this particular plant where there are several plants that fall under the “teatree” label, many of which can be poisonous when taken internally.  The specific variety Melaleuca Alternifolia seems to be much less controversial.  As always, consult with your health care professional and when we are using essential oils When in doubt, Take the Safest Route Be smart, know your body and follow all the safety protocols and dilution rates.

What is Melaleuca: Melaleuca Alternifolia is a variety of TeaTree oil which has been used across the world for centuries, and guess what, according to this website, it is the original “Snake Oil”… who knew? It has over 92 different compounds and what some believe are limitless uses, although, If I was challenged, I’m pretty sure I could find a limit, like probably not a great ice cream topping.  Back in the day Pre 1920, Captain James Cook (is anyone else thinking about star trek right now?) used the plant leaves as an infusion tea which is probably where the common name “teatree” came from.

What type of plant is it?: Melaleuca grows all over the world, but is Native to Queensland and New South Whales.  The oil is distilled from the leaves of the plant, which is grown to the appropriate height then chopped off for harvest, and then just starts growing again making it a farmers delight.  It sure doesn’t seem as finicky as other plants, but in as much it is sure a powerhouse.

When and Where: Teatree in general “is commonly acceptable as an antimicrobial agent to  calm and fungal issues of the scalp and feet.” (Schnaubelt, Kurt, The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, 2011, p 18) Although wikipedia says this is absolutely not true.  Go Figure, there’s a dispute about how to use essential oils.   Schnaubelt goes on to say that 1-3 drops of Teatree in a glass of water when drunk multiple times a day can affect cystitis or an inflamed unrinary bladder. (p134) Although wikipedia says it is poisonous when taken internally.   I personally base my decision about where to use this oil on the purity of the oils I use and knowing my body well enough to feel when something doesn’t agree with it.  But I also believe that the safest option is the best option.   Don’t forget to dilute it in a carrier oil.  Even if your skin is fine with it today, it might not be fine with it a year from now as skin sensitivities can build up over extended amounts of time increasing from not noticeable initially to extremely painful after multiple exposures.  Dilute Dilute Dilute.

One of the things that I absolutely loooovvvveeee to do is put 2 drops of melaleuca in my facial cleanser along with 2 drops of peppermint and give my face, neck and decollate a little massage in the shower.  After I rinse it off my face, it is left tingly and great.

Because I am a geek about how things work, but am not a science geek I have read how essential oils can affect a virus, but I just couldn’t picture it in my head. Until, I found this gem of a video, Voila… I now get it.  It shows how Oregano and Melaleuca can work together to get inside a virus and kill it.

 

Which  I Found interesting because I recently also came across a study done by Johns Hopkins that was published in the Journal of Infectious Disease and preventative Medicine that outlines how essential oils both in combination with existing antibiotics and without could be the answer to defense against the rise in “super bugs” or antibiotic resistant bacteria.  It is proving effective because of essential oils ability to penetrate the walls of a cell and get to the virus.    BAM… Take that all you “snake oil” naysayers!!!

 

Why:  I love my melaleuca, here are the top 5 reasons I will reach for it.

  1. To put in my facial wash
  2. to zap a blemish on my skin Just roll a little on
  3. I mix it in a little water and spray the inside of my husbands shoes to get rid of the smell.
  4. I roll it on the front of my throat the minute it starts to tickle (you know not a good tickle, but the kind when your about to go down and your voice is gone so you can’t even shout about it.)
  5. I add Melaleuca and lemon to my household surface cleaner.  They’re both antibacterial.

How:  do I use this lovely oil you ask.  Well my favorite thing when I am looking to apply it topically is to use the melaleuca touch which is pre-diluted with a carrier oil in a roller bottle so that it comes safely ready for everyone in your house to use.   But because I’m a freak I also have the 15ml bottle of oil that I can use to put drops in my cleaning solutions.  Here’s 2 of my favorites.

 

 

Throw out Your Comet and use this instead: Super Scrub

  • Put 1 cup of baking soda in a mason jar with a flip lid
  • Add 10 drops Lemon
  • Add 10 drops Melaleuca
  • Shake it up and sprinkle wherever you need a little gentle scrubbing action.

 

Here is the link to the mason jar tops that turn your mason jars into a shaker bottle, They’re freaking awesome.  I love that ball and other jar companies are finding ways to make re-useable things for us so that we aren’t creating so much trash.  Here’s what it looks like.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 4.32.46 PM
Pretty Rad huh!  I can’t wait until they make different colors, but Green work great for now.  You just replace this with the metal disk that goes on top of your jar, then add the existing band that you already used with it over the top of this.  Depending on how much scrubby stuff you go through you can select different size jars.

 

Multi Surface Cleaner

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 15 drops Melaleuca
  • 15 drops Lemon

Shake and spray on any surface to clean and disinfect.

And here is a link to the glass jars I use for my multi surface spray cleaner they come with chalk labels on them. Otherwise you can get the bottles and labels separately on amazon.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 4.37.12 PM

 

For more power first sprinkle on the baking soda then put the vinegar mixture over the top and it will foam up a bit.  Love doing this for the super hard places to get clean. (like dog crates…uggghhh)

 

Let me know in the comments what your favorite use for Melaleuca Oil is, or what future blog posts you would like to see.

Contraindications of Melaleuca: Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

 

That’s it for now, I hope you enjoy

xo

s

Cedarwood Essential Oil, Uses and Benefits

Cedarwood Essential Oil, Uses and Benefits

 

One of my favorite trees, and consequentially, one of my favorite oils. Their variety of cedarwood comes from the Junipers Virginiana.  Many people, mistakingly think, that cedarwood is a part of the cedar family or cedruss family. That is not the case, in fact this particular variety of cedarwood; Juniperus Virginiana is part of the Cupressaceae family, and the Juniperus species.  It is native to the rocky mountains in north america and it’s oil, bark, berries and wood have a great history of healing among many Native American tribes. However many people mis use cedarwood when looking it up by the common name instead of the latin name.  

 

This history on the general cedarwood oil is long.  Some say that the original Cedarwood oil,  (cedrus libani) which originates in Lebanon was possibly the first essential oil to be extracted from and plant.  It was used by the Egyptians in the mummification process and was used in cosmetics as well as inserted into papyrus leaves to protect the paper from insects. It was so useful in fact that the Egyptians incorporated Lebanon into their empire to ensure continued supply

 

Getting back to our beloved Juniperus Virginiana that dōTERRA distributes.   It is the wood that was used to make pencils, and is hard to smell without reminiscing about middle school math class and using the excuse of sharpening your pencil to get up, move around the classroom and drop a note off to your best friend in a different section of the room.  At least for me, that is what I think about when I open the bottle and inhale the delightful scent.  It is funny how aromatherapy has the ability to transport us back in time based on the association of smell.  This time travel is a blessing, there are many scents I would love to be able to bottle.  Thank goodness dōTERRA is doing it for us in many instances.

Cedarwood (juniperus virginiana), anti mucous oil, it is great for respiratory complaints and inhaling it can help support healthy respiratory function.  A bonus since it also smells delightful.  Additionally, it is of value for use on all skin types as an astringent, antiseptic and to relieve itching.  It helps with reducing oily skin and helping with oily hair and dandruff as well as eczema and psoriasis.

One of the more common uses we think of when we think of cedarwood is it’s use in furniture and in closest.  It is a very good insect repellent, which is why it has been used to line closets to keep moths out since as far back as I can remember.  I also have a hope chest that is lined with cedar, to keep extra linens free from pests, and we spray it in our cabin in the woods to keep the pests at bay while we are not there.

Cedarwood Benefits

  • Antiseptic
  • Astringent
  • Balsamic, or Heals wounds and relieves pains
  • decongestant
  • depurative, or purifying and detoxifying
  • diuretic
  • expectorant, or removes phlegm from the respiratory tracts and lungs
  • pectoral, or a remedy for chest and lungs
  • insect deterrent

 

While research is still being done on many essential oils A 2012 study investigated the wound-healing and anti-inflammatory activities of Cedarwood oil. In this study Juniperus virginiana Cedarwood oil was tested along with Western Juniper oil. Both oils exhibited wound-healing and anti-inflammatory activities.

As you can see by the list above, cedarwood has a lot of useful physical benefits, it doesn’t stop there.  It can also have tremendous emotional benefits beyond teleporting your mind back to middle school.  It is a very grounding oil that helps to relax your mind making it a good oil for meditation. It also helps promote self confidence, so when using this oil, it is common to feel confident about yourself, while calm, making it easy to connect with others.  It is both grounding and heart opening.  Yes Please.  I want that in my life, and medicine cabinet.

 

10 ways to incorporate cedarwood oil into your your home

  1. Mist your freshly laid mulch to keep bugs at bay.
  2. Diffusing Cedar oil in your home, office, or workspace can help promote feelings of confidence and self-esteem.
  3. Add 1-2 drops to facial toner for added clarifying qualities.
  4. Add a couple of drops to your personal oil perfume blend to add a warm undertone that will be calming and help you to connect with others.
  5. Mix in a spray bottle and spray chicken bedding to keep bugs out of your chicken coop.
  6. Mix with coconut oil and apply to Psoriasis or eczema.
  7. Boost your dreams by putting a drop of this in your nighttime diffuser blend, or rolling on the bottom of your feet before bed.
  8. Mix a drop with coconut oil and apply as a natural mosquito repellent before a hike.
  9. Cedarwood essential oil has antiseptic properties which can help to treat minor wounds or skin damage.  Make your own balm for minor cuts or scrapes by adding a few drops of cedarwood oil to coconut oil and simply rub it gently into the affected area.
  10. Massage Cedarwood oil into sore muscles using the 1 tsp to 2-5 drops ratio

 

 

Oils that Mix Well with Cedarwood

As a warm, woody essential oil, Cedarwood produces an aroma that is reminiscent of the outdoors. Because of its warm properties, Cedarwood oil blends well with herbal oils like Clary Sage, woody oils like Cypress, and even other spicy essential oils like Frankincense.  I also love to add it to the diffuser with Bergamot for a grounding and focused yet happy and uplifting environment in my office.

Sweet Dreams Diffuser Blend

  • 2 Drops Lavender
  • 2 Drops Cedarwood
  • 2 Drops Serenity

 

Precautions when using Cedarwood

  • Although a test patch should always be done on sensitive skin and proper dilution of 5% (3% for children) should be followed with a carrier oil of your choice.
  • Use with Caution while pregnant, especially during the first trimester and if you are under the care of a physician consult with them prior to use.
  • Please note that not all essential oils are equal and I can only recommend using Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils.

 

One of the things that I love most about dōTERRA Essential Oils is that every month there is an option of placing a 100v order and getting a free oil.  This month, May 2017, the free oil for placing an order is Cedarwood.  If you would like more information about getting the deepest discounts on essential oils contact me, I’d love to get you started.

Sugar Scrub…me Down

Here is another of my favorite Essential Oil Recipes for a Sugar Scrub.  It is so silky and sofa king easy to make! I cant live a day without it in my shower and my husband is now asking for it too.

 

Sugar Scrub…Me Down:

Directions:

  1. Mix all the oils in a mixer until totally combined
  2. Add in the sugar and Mix until thoroughly combined scraping down the sides of the bowl

Store in these cute glass containers, you can put them in jelly jars with a label and give as wonderful gifts.  but beware, they can make the bottom of your shower a little slippery, not like super slippery but a little.  So don’t give this to grandma as you don’t want her to fall, but definitely give it to your mother in law.

 

Meanwhile if youre looking for a super cool t-shirt, look no further, check out this one in my store

http://tee.pub/lic/N46uMdlkP5c

 

Feel Good Friday Diffuser Blend

Feel Good Friday Diffuser Blend

It’s Friday night and the Weekend’s here…… I need to Unwind,,,, Where’s the Partaaay? ….Mr. DeeeheehJaaaay.

When Friday comes, after doing a little house cleaning and picking up, I like to unwind a little bit, okay, a lot.  If we’re staying home,  here’s the recipe that I use to keep the party going even when, we are the party (and we honestly, are the best party)

Friday Night Party Blend

  • 3 drops Citrus Bliss
  • 3 drops Grapefruit
  • 3 drops White Fir

While it sounds like a lot of fun, there are/could be serious ramifications to this blend and the party you will have.

Citrus bliss will uplift your mood like no other…

Grapefruit is a metabolism booster and gets your energy going

White Fir, will keep your giddy, bubbly self, grounded.  This sounds contradictory, so I’ll explain.  You’re so happy because of the citrus, White Fir just tethers you a bit and prevents you from floating off.  You’re excited, you’re ready to have a great evening, white fir will keep one toe on the floor even when you’re ready to have all 10 in the air.  Rational decisions are more able to be made when this oil is in the mix.  You’ll need it (or at least I do) after cleaning with citrus, diffusing all day and waiting for your lovely to come home.

 

Oregano Essential Oil, as Necessary as your Little Black Dress

Oregano Essential Oil, as Necessary as your Little Black Dress

Oregano Essential Oil should be a main staple just like a little black dress, or flour in your pantry.  Oregano Essential Oil has as many different uses, as well as health benefits.  Oregano Oil has potent anti-aging, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-fungal, anti-mutagenic, anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory properties according to the latest research… Holy Shit, Oregano Oil fights almost all the bad guys!

Oregano Essential Oil is one of the most potent and powerful essential oils out there.  It has been used for centuries in traditional health practices for its cleansing and immune-boosting properties, imagine that, we’re learning from the past.  Who would have thought.

Part of the potency of oregano oil make it extremely “hot”, not “drop it like it’s hot“, but “Ouch, that shit is burning me hot” which means more than any other essential oil people have adverse skin reactions to Oregano oil when applied “neat” or undiluted.  Make sure to always dilute oregano oil with Fractionated Coconut Oil or any other natural oil, such as almond oil, olive oil or jojoba oil when applying topically or taking internally in gel caps.

If you toss a drop of this in your mouth you will probably experiencing burning for longer than your last STD burned, it is not a good idea!  Having said that I do cook with oregano oil, as it isn’t so hot when it is diluted in a cup of salad dressing or a pot of red sauce.  …Aaaand, I think it is so gross that I just fit STD talk and cooking into the same paragraph.  Sorry about that, but now it is like the train wreck that you can’t look away from, so not I totally can’t fix it.

The Chemistry and benefits of Oregano Essential Oil

The primary chemical components of Oregano oil are carvacol and thymol, both in the phenols group, which possess cleansing and antioxidant properties.  One drop taken daily in a gel cap or rolled on bottom of feet can help maintain healthy immune function; Oregano Oil can be taken more frequently when seasonal threats are high or as needed to further support the immune system. In addition to being a popular cooking spice, Oregano Essential Oil also supports healthy digestion. Oregano Oil also acts as an enhancer and equalizer in essential oil blends and can help support healthy respiratory function when taken internally.

15 Uses for Oregano Essential Oil

  1. An Immune System Boost. Take several Drops in a veggie capsule for periodic immune support.
  2. Keep Calm and Oregano On. Concerned about the sanitary conditions of a public place you or the kids have just walked on with bare feet?  Your feet absorb more than you think.  Follow up by applying 1 drop each of Oregano essential Oil and Thyme Essential Oil, diluted with 6-7 drops of Fractionated Coconut Oil.
  3. Savor the Flavor. Put a drop of Oregano Oil in a tooth pick and stir into our spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, in a roast spice rub or any other entrée calling for dried or fresh oregano.
  4. The Best Defense is a Good Offense. To help keep your home clean, mix 3 drops of Oregano Oil with water in a glass spray bottle and spray it in the corners of shower sink or other damp and dark areas where mildew might be tempted to hang out.
  5. Little Italy at Home. Put a drop of Oregano and a drop of Basil in your veggie dip. Mix them both with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a bread dip.
  6. Bring on Sandal Season. Apply 1 drop of Oregano essential oil to 6 drops Fractionated Coconut Oil to soften cuticles and rough spots that may be encroaching on your toenails.  It is also great to use on toenail fungus.
  7. Digestive Dilemmas? Oregano is a key ingredient in dōterra’s GX Assist which helps clean your digestive system.  It kills harmful bacteria and parasites. Millions of Americans are walking around with parasites in their digestive system.
  8. For Times of Change. This season change put 3 drops Oregano oil, 5 drops protective blend oil, 5 Drops Melaleuca & 5 drops Lemon in a veggie capsule, the properties of the oils work together to seasonal threats asses (seasonal threats aka allergies).
  9. Warming Wonder. Dilute just 1 drop Oregano Essential Oil in several drops of fractionated coconut oil and massage quickly into hands and feet to help warm the body.
  10. Chase away Whatever is Blocking Your Lower Registers. When It Comes to effortless breathing having Oregano Oil in your system (taken in a Veggie Capsule) has the ability to clear respiratory gunk.
  11. Comfortable Exit Ramps. When your body’s liquid waste elimination system is unhappy, it’s uncomfortable. Cranberry juice is great, but Oregano Oil is a rockstar. It will help your system work to clear it out and clean it up.
  12. Target the source of unsightly skin woes. Anyone’s skin can have imperfections, bumps or feel irritated. The same properties that make Oregano Oil great for internal use are also effective as a topical ointment.  Use sparingly, and dilute 1 drop Oregano oil with 4 drops Fractionated Coconut Oil to prevent topical burning.
  13. Give some to your chickens instead of antibiotics. A recent article said that organic chicken farmers are using Oregano oil to keep bacteria away from their chickens. I put 10 drops Oregano essential oil in 2 oz of FCO and spray my chickens food every time I fill up the feeder. They absolutely love it and I have never given them antibiotics and they have never gotten sick.  (Yes, chickens can get sick).
  14. Food-borne Problems Beware. Oregano Oil has properties that can counteract the effects of improper food handling practices, preparation and food storage. Combined with regular hand washing, Oregano Essential Oil has been known to be effective in contributing to the healthiness of foods.
  15. Less is more. In nearly all applications, more Oregano Oil is not the answer. Oregano Essential Oil is one of the most potent essential oils-usually only 1 drop is needed.  When used improperly, be sure to have fractionated coconut oil on hand to dilute its potency.

Interesting Facts About Oregano Oil:

  • Oregano oil has been used as a medicine for 4,000 years by ancient Chinese, Greek, and Roman doctors and healers.
  • The word oregano means “joy of the mountain” in Greek and refers to the fact that oregano grows well at higher altitudes.
  • When oregano blooms it has pink or purple flowers that are edible (and quite tasty)!
  • In Greek mythology, oregano was created by Aphrodite as a symbol of happiness.
  • Prior to the 1940s, oregano was fairly scarce in America. American soldiers stationed in Italy during World War II developed a love for the herb and brought it home with them.

While many articles will talk about the benefits and uses of Oregano Oil, or any Essential Oil for that fact, it is important to know that not all oils are created equal.  Many many many oils out there are diluted, synthetic and ineffective.  Labeling requirements for essential oils are very loose, so a lot of substances can be labeled “essential oil”, even if they are not therapeutic quality.  I can only recommend the brand of essential oils that I use and distribute.  I came to these oils after doing research and trying many different brands of essential oils over the years.  If you would like more information about how to get the best quality, most therapeutic oils, use the contact page, I would be happy to steer you in the right direction.

 

Here is an interesting video on the antibacterial benefits of Essential Oils

In case your looking for a little Essential Oil Humor here’s a t-shirt that I find hilarious.

http://tee.pub/lic/L3eFOe4_ZZ0

 

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. None of the information on this blog is intended to cure, treat, or heal any disease. Please use essential oils at your own risk with lots of common sense.

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 Sh!t is Serious!!!

Endocrine Disruptors, This Sh!t 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