Why use Peppermint Essential Oil

Why 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.

 

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.

Red Mandarine Essential Oil Uses and Benefits

Red Mandarine Essential Oil Uses and Benefits

I am so freaking excited.  I just ordered my mothers day trio of spanking new, never been released before oils from doTERRA.  Included in them is Red Mandarine, Kumquat, and Sunny Citrus Blend.  In my world, this rocks.  So while I am trying to get ready for their arrival with the anticipation of someone waiting for the stork, I thought I would share all my preparatory research.

WTF is Red Mandarine is my first question, and other than I citrus fruit being my first inclination I have no idea.  Thank god for the inventor of the internet.   Red Mandarin Essential Oil is sweet, and  floraly, it smells a little like orange blossoms. Red Mandarine and Tangerine have the same scientific species name, but tangerine is an american term for the red mandarine, they are the same thing but as the variety of the tree was spread across the world, the nutrients in the soil have yielded surprisingly different tasting fruits, with different chemical constituencies.  So one must look at both the latin name of the plant, and the sourcing location.  I have emailed doTerra to find out exactly where theres is sourced and will update ya’ll when I hear back.

 

What I do know is that like other citrus, Red Mandarine is high in d-limonene, and let me tell you d-limonene is our friend.  Sounds silly but that d-limonene has been shown to reduce cholesterol, among other things like fighting off cancer cells as explained in this Alternative Medicine Review.  Ummmm Yes Please!!!!!

 

Benefits of Red Mandarine Essential Oil

  • It has a soothing and balancing energy.  that makes it great for yoga or to add to any of these meditation blends.
  • It has superior anti-spasmodic properties and can be used in massage blends to soothe the muscles and relieve tightness.
  • It is great for your skin.  Historically it has been used to clear acne, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and scars
  • It reduces pain and anxiety when used aromatically
  • antiseptic
  • antispasmodic
  • circulatory
  • cytophylactic (stimulates generation of new cells)
  • depurative (a.k.a detoxifying and purifying)
  • digestive
  • hepatic (good for your liver)
  • nervous relaxant
  • sedative

Uses for Red Mandarine Essential Oil

  • Put a drop  in your nighttime facial moisturizer to reduce acne, and improve cell regeneration while your body is resting.
  • Instead of drinking orange soda try putting a drop of this in your soda water for a delightful tasting bubbly water.  Make sure you use glass as oils deteriorate plastics and you don’t want to drink that.
  • blend with lemongrass and coconut oil to massage on sore muscles
  • Add 4 drops to a diffuser during your meditation or yoga practice
  • Make a room spritz and deodorize rooms that have stagnant air

 

Red Mandarine Diffuser Blend That is Spicy Grounding and sweet

  • 3 Drops Red Mandarine
  • 1 Drops Basil
  • 1 Drops Black Pepper

 

And just in case you think I’m a freak,,,, check out this guy… I love this song, and even more, this parody.

 

If you haven’t started on Your Essential Oil Journey yet, I’d love to get you started  Visit this page to get started

 

That’s it for now

xo

s

Essential Oils for Meditation or Prayer

I have always loved the quote that worrying is praying for what you don’t want to have happen, and have found that worrying is not a productive use of time.  However prayer, connection, positive thinking and meditation all go hand in hand.  Although I am not religious, I admire the act of praying, of reaching out and trying to connect with something bigger than yourself, I think detaching from the outcome and at times surrendering is beautiful.  And as my meditation practice has developed, I recognize that there are many similarities between my daily meditation practice and other peoples daily prayers.  So for the purpose of this post, I will use the term meditation, but I think as you read through you will see that many of the qualities that are attained by these oils are excellent for any type of mental or spiritual work.  I do however use the term meditation here, because that is the term that I use with my practice.

So If you’re reading this post, you more than likely fall into 1 of 2 categories.

  1. You are meditating but are looking for ways to enhance your meditation practice, or
  2. You are new to meditation and want to try it.

Either way it is a great thing, studies show that regular meditation helps us to reduce our stress, and improve our health.  Some studies suggest that meditation can improve a number of things including

  • Blood Pressure
  • Irritable Bowel syndrome
  • Depression
  • anxiety
  • Insomnia

While there are many types of meditation most of them have 4 common elements including:

  1. Few Distractions
  2. Comfortable Posture
  3. A focus of Attention
  4. An Open Attitude

While I agree with all of these I have found that a 5th component is extremely beneficial to my meditation practice— Essential oils.

Just as meditation allows you access to the part of your brain that controls memory and emotions along with all your automatic systems like breathing and heart beat, Oils allow you access to the emotional part of your brain, so using oils for meditation is like the double whammy!

There are a few oils that I use over and over again, and I even came up with a wonderful smelling diffuser blend, and anointing blend that I use during my meditative practice, but you have to read to the end to get it.

  1. The first oil that I use is…. yep… you probably already guessed it… Frankincense.  It is the father of all essential oils and you know what they say, “When in doubt, bust the Frankincense out”… In fact did you know that there are stories of every major religion using  frankincense in religious ceremonies including christian, muslim, buddhist and hindu.  It really is the bomb.  So besides using it in meditation because every major religion has, I use Frankincense because it is considered the oil of truth, and the one thing that you really want in your meditation practice is honesty.  Honesty with the deepest parts of yourself, honesty between you and your maker or you and source energy, or you and whoever it is that guides you.   It is also a very grounding oil, and helps to calm your energy.
  2. The second oils that I use is Arborvitae.  Arborvitae oil is from a giant variety of cedar tree who’s name literally translates into tree of life.  Arborvitae trees can live for over a thousand years and when they do die, they don’t rot because the wood is so full of oil that insects don’t eat it and water doesn’t penetrate it.  So this oil is what gives this tree life.  There’s a lot of wisdom to be had in 1000 years of life, and that is what I want in my meditation.  Because Arborvitae is a tree it is also a very grounding oil, and I always imagine as I am smelling it that I can really let my mind be free because I have roots that are grounding me to the earth.   The second reason that I use Arborvitae is because I read a book called The Hidden Life of Trees and in a scientific way the author Peter Wohlleben illustrates that trees do in fact communicate and feel.  So Arborvitae oil is sourced in the Pacific Northwest near the only temperate rain forest in north america and they don’t cut down the trees to get the oil, they actually get the saw dust from local lumber yards that are making roof shingles and other wood products from the arborvitae, they distill the oil from the sawdust.  It gets even better because then they send the pulp that is left over to a paper mill so that absolutely every part to the tree is used.  I’m all about that.  You can watch this video for more information about how it ties to Native American culture in the PNW.
  3. The Third oil that I use is Sandalwood.  One because it smells delightful!  I actually had fans made of sandalwood at my outdoor wedding in august so that if people were hot they could fan themselves and the whole place smelled heavenly.  But I use it in my meditation practice because it is known as the oil of sacred devotion it is known to heal emotional and spiritual wounds and because it is a very mild sedative it prepares you to allow your mind to connect with your source, creator or god.  It has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine for attaining enlightenment and awakening your love for your self.  I also love that indian sandalwood, which is what I use is 100percent controlled by the Indian government who ensure that they are harvested in a sustainable way.
  4. The fourth oil I use is Patchouli.  It’s not just for hippies anymore, although I think I am a weird gangsta/hippie hybrid.  Long before hippies in the 60s used the scent of patchouli as a signal for free love,  it had a history as a signal of authentic goods on the trade routes.  Patchouli is also from India and became popular in the west because the leaves were packed between the beautiful pashmina scarves that became very fashionable.  The scarves were so popular that much like today people started making fakes, but the Brits could always tell the real thing because they had the delightful aroma of patchouli.   I have always sort of not liked patchouli because of it’s association with stinky hippies, but after incorporating it into my skin care products, and now into my meditation I love it.  It is a very grounding and centering oil that promotes peaceful feelings, which makes sense since it is known as the oil of peace.  But the most important reason that I use it in meditation is because it is great for bringing together your thoughts and helping to clarify problems.
  5. The fifth oil that I use is Spikenard.  Spikenard has been used for thousands of years, both Cleopatra and King Tut’s tomb were anointed with spikenard.  There is also a story in the bible where Mary Magdalene anointed baby jesus with spikenard then washed his feet with her hair as a symbol of her devotion.  Now I’m not looking to wash anyones feet with anything, I do want a certain level of  commitment to my meditation practice.  Meditation keeps me sane, makes me healthier and for that reason I am happy to use a sacred oil of devotion that makes me feel thankful for my life, my circumstances and every thing else.
  6. The 6th oil that I use is clary sage.  Indian sages said it gave illumination while the romans credited it to attaining good health.  I choose it for a few reasons.  The first is because it has a warming and slightly assuring effect.  It is a sedative for the nervous system but gives you a euphoric feeling which I find really helps my mind feel light and allows my it to be present yet float off, it is a nice balance to the grounding oils I use. This one should be avoided while pregnant though.

So now you know the oils, but here’s how I use them.

  1. Like many of the people throughout history I will anoint myself with them putting a drop on my finger then rubbing it behind my ears, on my temples, in the center of my forehead and on my wrists.
  2. There is always diffusion.  Use a diffuser with 2 drops of each in it and it will get the scent into the room.  This is effective, but I only use this method when I meditate using gong cds. because I don’t love the sound of the diffuser when I’m meditating.  When the cd’s are playing though, this is a great way to continue to have the oils around you.
  3. The third method is another one of my favorites especially if you have a specific meditation place.  This is a room spritz.  Put the oils in a glass spray bottle with water and then you can shake it up and spritz your meditation space which can be a room if you live in a mansion, or it can just be your pillow or chair.  I love this method because I have a little yoga/meditation room (it’s like the size of a closet, and I don’t live in a mansion) but every time I spray the room I feel like I am clearing the space of negative energy and My brain has come to recognize the spritzing as a sign that I’m going to meditate and it actually prepares my brain and body for the meditation.

 

Meditation Anointing Roller Ball Blend

In a 10ml roller bottle, add

  • 1 Drop Arborvitae
  • 1 Drop Patchouli
  • 2 Drops Sandalwood
  • 1 Drops Bergamot

Top off with Fractionated coconut oil and use prior to and during meditation.  Because there is a small amount of bergamot in this, be careful when going out into the sun as bergamot and most citrus oils are photosensitizes and can cause irritation to people with extremely sensitive skin when exposed to the sun.

Meditation Room Spritz

In a small spritzer bottle add 5 drops each

  • Frankincense
  • Patchuli
  • Sandalwood
  • Clary Sage
  • Lavender

Top with water and shake well before using

 

Meditation Diffuser Blend

  • 2 Drops Frankincense
  • 2 Drops Sandalwood
  • 2 Drops Lavender

 

 

So there you have it.  I hope you enjoy your next meditation session, or prayer session with essential oils, let me know how it goes!

Also if you have oils you love to use for meditation or spiritual work, let me know what those are.  I love recipe swapping.

If you haven’t gotten into Essential Oils Yet, I would be happy to help you get going on your essential oils journey.

 

Happy Meditating

xo

s

 

 

 

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.

https://media.giphy.com/media/3o6Zt0C10xOvJqMryo/giphy.gif

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:

https://media.giphy.com/media/8IaMu64tSpKKI/giphy.gif

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Essential Oils & Cocktails..?

Essential Oils & Cocktails..?

Today I decided to post my new favorite essential oil recipe…. Cocktail Recipe that is.  Why  haven’t I thought about using Essential Oils in booze before!!!  Yeah… lets combine 2 of my favorite things, and after all that’s what being an essentialoilsgangsta is all about; livin life my way.

 

We named it  “That’s Delightful” first because it was the first thing we said after tasting it.  The second name we thought of was the “New Gin and Juice” but then we remembered that the gin was in the french 75 not this one.  So were back to “That’s Delightful” Although I might change the name if I think of something that makes me laugh out loud. I may have to drink a lot more of them in order to get there though.

Peppermint Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 15 drops doterra peppermint essential oils

Heat the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves and let cool, then stir in the peppermint oil.  Keep stirring until the peppermint oil actually incorporates into the mixture, don’t just leave it with it floating on the top.  If you’re thinking that oil and water don’t mix, the sugar is an emulsifier, so it will blend, it just takes a little time.

 

To make the Drink

  • 1/8tsp Peppermint Simple Syrup or if you have a pipette, use 10 drops
  • 12oz of Cranberry Juice
  • 2 oz of Champagne

Mix all ingredients and sip the day away, this really is delightful!

 

What Would You Name it?

 

IMG_4152
We took it to an abandoned house to photograph it.  It looked so pretty and with a name like “thats delightful” I had to photograph it in a place that gave it some grit.  Your welcome.

If you’re wondering where to buy essential oils, I am a independent product distributer for Doterra Essential oils.  I’d love to sell them to you.  Click Here to get Started.

Thanks for visiting.  Please subscribe on the bottom of the page if you’d like an email when I post. Comments are like gold to a blogger and shares are like diamonds.   A growing blog makes a blogger happy.    New here?  Check out my About page to see what this blog is all about and to learn more about me. Click to follow me on FACEBOOK.  Click to follow me on TWITTER.  Watch funny videos on my youtube channel.  Are images more your thing? Follow me on Instagram @essentialoilsgangsta.

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

 

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?

 

https://www.zazzle.com/sofa_king_awesome_t_shirt-235658269051016007

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

 

 

 

Feel Good Friday Essential Oils Diffuser Blend

Feel Good Friday Essential Oils Diffuser Blend

On Friday afternoons, I like to put on some great Music, load the diffuser with something uplifting and spend a cool 30 minutes picking up my house so that the weekend starts off right with the house feeling great.  Try this mix in your diffuser this afternoon:

  • 3 Drops Bergamot
  • 2 Drops Geranium
  • 3 Drops Lavender

The lavender relaxes you while the bergamot and geranium both uplift your mood. Because who doesn’t want to start their weekend feeling great.

Then you can get this cup to drink your Saturday Morning Cup of Joe out of.

https://www.zazzle.com/z/3uomk

 

 

Why Essential Oils Gangsta?

Why Essential Oils Gangsta?

Scott: “what’s the name of your new blog?”

Me: “Essential Oils Gangsta”

Scott: Through a lot of laughter “Are you oilers secretly doing illegal shit?”

Me: “of course not, not all gangsters do illegal stuff, and Gangstas don’t either.  Especially not Essential oil Gangstas”

Scott: “Why would you name it that”

Me:”hmm, well because I belong to a group of people with a mindset that using oils to promote physical and emotional health is a good thing”

Scott: “why didn’t you call it a club then?

Me: “well because the word Gangsta brings to mind people going against the grain, and I think that going to natural alternatives first, challenging the way americans have been living and eating chemicals,  and focusing on mental health, is going agains the grain, but in a good way.

 

Soo then I decided to look up the word gangsta, which in most dictionaries is defined using the words criminal or criminal activity along with mobster.  In some cases I was right though, and it is a mindset or belief among a group of people.  So I was sort of right, and please don’t inform him that he was too.  However just for the record, i’m not doing anything illegal, it is too late to change it now, besides I like it and now you can too.  Here is where you can get your essential oil gangsta gear.

https://www.zazzle.com/mbr/238004464686060135/collections