Friday, December 6, 2013

What is safe?

For the Second Time.

     Last night was the first night of my second time through Advanced Aromatherapy. Why my second time? Well, because I missed some classes and therefore some valuable information the first time around, there is always something more to learn and one should take every chance that is presented to learn... and... well.... I just love working with and using essential oils! 
The first night of class was a review of the basic information covered in the Intro to Aromatherapy class. We also were given some handy resources for our research papers, along with a sheet of safety information and recommended precautions. Then we went over the profiles of each oil.

The Discussion

     For the record, I am not associated with any essential oil distributorship companies. I am often asked why I don't use this oil, or what do I think about a particular way the oils are used. I have always kind of talked around and about the reasons, not giving a solid and clear answer. Well, last night in class we had a discussion, sparked by that sheet of safety information, that finally set my thoughts in line. :)

My Goal

     My goal as an aromatherapist is to provide the highest quality, safe and effective aromatherapy treatments and applications I can to my clients. To that end, I have so far taken over 100 classroom hours of training including numerous case studies and research projects. This qualifies me as a Clinical Aromatherapist able to aromatic treatment plans to my clients. By the time I graduate early 2015 as a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), I will have completed over 200 classroom hours of hands on training. I will have studied, researched and memorized the chemical compositions of at least 30 oils, written numerous case studies and be able to rattle off formulations and treatment protocols in my sleep...

      I will then be considered a Certified Clinical Holistic Aromatherapist, able to work in any healthcare setting, and eligible for the exam given by The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy Once I successfully complete that, I will become a Registered Holistic Aromatherapist. The next step after that? The International Aromatherapy & Aromatic Medicine Association Whew!

Why Does This Matter?

     Well... It matters because these are the people in the know in aromatherapy and aromatic medicine. The best of the best. The experts in the field. They have spent their lives doing research and working with clients every day... I can only hope to be that cool one day.

   These experts have gotten together and compiled a list of guidelines, based on their daily clinical experiences and extensive knowledge. These guidelines provide a framework of professionalism and safety for all aromatherapists and their clients, all over the world.

     This is what guides and governs my use of essential oils and the recommendations I make to my clients.

As always, please be safe when you are using any form of natural therapies. Do you own research. Blessings!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Nutritional Cleansing

What is cleansing?
Single ingredient cleanses are not enough

        When most people think "cleanse", they think the kind that will leave you tied to the toilet all day.Or what I have heard affectionately referred to as a "poo poo" cleanse. Traditionally, they include various mixtures of ingredients that may include juices, olive oil, pepper, honey, or even just a laxative substance, which causes the body to empty the contents of the digestive tract. TaDa! You have been cleansed!
        I have actually done many of these of cleanses, the result was always the same. I couldn't leave my house and I was extremely irritable from the low blood sugar. While these types of cleanses my be necessary at times, they aren't the whole story of cleansing and can be detrimental, causing dehydration and other issues, depending on what substance is used to cause the cleansing. Who has time to be stuck in the house all day?

Now, how about fasting?
Are you drinking enough water?

        I have heard numerous times in the natural health world about fasting, with recommendations ranging anywhere from one meal a day up to a week long fast. Now, the claims abound as to the benefits of fasting. The obvious one is that you lose weight... Ta Da! Don't eat-lose weight... not a new concept.
       This simple thinking also can have many dangerous side effects when not handled with care. And long term fasts should NEVER be conducted without being under the care of a qualified medical professional. I am not an advocate of long term fasting. Feed your body!

But what about the benefits?

        The research is coming together that Intermittent Fasting(IF) has many health benefits. There is the weight loss, which I already stated. What is interesting about IF is the loss of visceral fat, which is the fat around the abdomen and among the organs. This is the most dangerous type of fat to have. This is the fat that signals metabolic conditions and increases to risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. You don't want this hanging around.
          There is also evidence that people who practice regular fasting and calorie restriction may actually live longer. By giving the body a chance to rest from the daily grind of digestion and sorting of nutrients you are basically giving it chance to recharge. Then the body can work more efficiently and effectively.Kind of like a nap for your digestive system. I know I usually function better after a nap!
            I recently read in this article about the effects of IF on brain function. The connection between fasting and brain health has been documented in animals. Now they are finding that this hold true in humans as well.

What do you do?

           If traditional cleansing is inconvenient and dangerous to the safety of those around you, and overzealous fasting can be dangerous... what do you do? This is where nutritional cleansing comes in. When you do a nutritional cleanse you are giving the;postID=4591067408505117691 body enough antioxidant, herbal and nutritional support to handle a cleanse safely; while allowing it to get that much needed rest so it can recharge itself.
           Now, you don't want to just wake up one day and decide "hey, I am not going to eat today so I can lose weight"... not going to happen. You won't be prepared and you will give in the first second you smell your coworkers lunch. I know, I've done it. They key is to prepare yourself and your body. Then have a plan in place.
            As I write this I am actually finishing my first cleanse that I have done in a long time... And I feel really good! It is a full day fast supported by these products. They work on the cellular level to scrub out any gunk and toxins that your body holds on to. Even if you eat an organic diet, we are surrounded by toxins every day. Your body will absorb them and then hold on to them.

The result?

           This is the first time in my life that I have made it through a full day of any type of cleanse or fast. While I am a little hungry,  I don't feel the desire to go eat a gigantic cheeseburger. Most importantly, the safety of my loved ones is not in jeopardy! I don't have any of the usually crankiness I have always associated with fasting. My body is fueled an getting the rest and cleaning it deserves. I am doing the cleanse as part of a complete nutritional program that has properly fueled my body. They day is scheduled so I don't have to think about what to do... and I feel amazing!

          There are many ways to cleanse. This is what is working for me. Do your research, find what works for you.

This blog is not meant to be a substitute for quality medical advice. Be smart, do your own research. This blog is an accumulation of my lifetime of personal research and trial and error. What you see here is what I have tried for me and my family. Please respect that every body is unique.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Are You Ready?

It is not fun when you are sick. It is even less fun when your spouse is sick. But when your child is sick? It is tragic. The littlest among us can be the sickest... and yet smile at the world. We should learn from them :)

My 11 year old son is the first to come down with the dreaded flu this year. He was a little "off" but fine when he went to bed last night. This morning I went to wake him for school, instead of snuggling and giving me his sleepy smile, he rolls over and announces that his throat hurts. My first reaction is that he just has a dry throat from the night... it is that time of year.

Well, I looked into his mouth... and yep! Inflammation and spots.. and a low grade fever... Oh boy. 

I will just insert here that I am not a doctor. What I am is a mom who trusts her instincts and her past experiences.

From what I have noticed in my family is that things like a cold start with a runny nose and sneezing followed by congestion... but don't really develop a fever. Strep throat will sneak up on us with a lingering sore and scratchy throat for a few days before a fever even thinks to show itself. The flu will look like regular tiredness from a busy day(or weekend) then BAM! Fever, sore throat and achy muscles... not fun at all!

Now, knowing what we know, there is no point going to the doctor unless the flu develops into something more serious, like pneumonia. The goal is to not let that happen

Enter my flu fighting tool box!

This is the little bag that I keep stocked with my immune boosting basics. The essential oils will change depending on what I am treating and the age of the "patient".

What is always in here are my herbal go-to's:

1tsp. 4x during the day. This can be added to the tea if the flavor is to strong.
1tsp every 2 hours until the sore throat is gone.
1 cup of tea at 4x a day.
1tsp. in the tea. Mix 1 Tbs. of honey with 1tsp. of cinnamon and use on toast.  
 Both of these are for fever and inflammation. I give 2 tablets under the tong 4x a day, alternating between them.

If you have a really little one, under 1 year of age, do not give them honey. I would recommend seeing a qualified health care professional, preferably one that is familiar with natural remedies.

My son is almost 12  and weighs 70lbs. so this is what I use and how I dose him.

I also keep some non natural stuff in by little tool kit. If I don't catch the symptoms in time or the symptoms are really strong I may use one of the following:

Follow manufacturer and doctor instructions on the above medications. 

I do believe in a balance between natural and western medicine. While I will reach for the nutritional, herbal and aromatherapy remedies first, I have also learned during my son's fight with cancer, that western medicine has its place. It is all a balance... did I already say that? ;)

Now for the fun part... the oils!

The recommended oils for children with the flu are:
antiseptic, antiviral, antibiotic, anti-infectious, febrifuge 
Eucalyptus Radiata
antiseptic, anti-infectious, antibiotic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, febrifuge
Thyme ct. linalol
antibiotic, analgesic, antiseptic, anti-infectious, antiviral, tonic

See a pattern? In case you are wondering, febrifuge is a fancy way of saying it lowers fever.

When treating a child over the age of 4 you can put 1 drop of thyme and 1 drop of ravensara on your hands, rub them together and apply to your child's back followed by a coating of coconut oil(if they aren't allergic). If you have a younger child then put 1 drop of thyme and 2 drops ravensara in 1tsp of carrier oil before massaging into their back.

The last thing , besides tons of rest, fluids, and a simple nourishing diet that I like to add is a soak in a mixture of epsom salts and baking soda. Both are great for detoxifying the body as well as adding valuable minerals to the water that the skin then absorbs. I fill the bath with very warm water, to the tolerance of the one taking the bath. mix 1/2 cup epsom salt with 1/2 cup baking soda, add 4 drops lavender. Once the bath is full pour in the mixture stir it around a bit then have the child get in and soak for about 20 min. Due to the hot water, do not use this when fever is active or on young children.

I hope this post gives you some ideas for the upcoming season. 

As always be safe, stay healthy and do your research.
I am not a doctor,the above recommendations are based on my own experiences and years of research. When in doubt please consult with a qualified medical practitioner.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Seat of Power


That word is... well... powerful!
It can inspire, control, intimidate, destroy.
What does power mean to you?

I am sitting in the halls of what has become one of my favorite places... my school. My dinner is sitting next to me, waiting to be eaten. There is "magic" tea in my thermos that the herbalists donate every Thursday. 

It is quiet.

This little plot of ground, this re-purposed building, is devoted to nothing but healing. Mental, physical, emotional, spiritual. We are all here for the same thing. To learn how to serve others and find their healing in the most loving, caring and holistic way possible. It is a place of honoring and peace.

What does this have to do with power? A lot actually.

The theme of my class last night was power. The power we have in our personal lives. The power we have in ourselves. The power we have with others. The power we hold as practitioners. The power we give away to others. Stepping into our power, claiming it and living it out.

So it got me thinking about my own power... which is kind of the point of the class. There is a fear when you are called to step into your power as a practitioner. No longer can you hide behind the shield of being a student. At some point you have to step out and say, "I am a wellness practitioner" (or whatever your calling is) and claim ownership of it. 

This is a very scary moment!

To step into my power means I am responsible for how I use it, how others see it, and any outcome good or bad.

So here goes... Deep breath...

I am an aromatherapist. It is what I do, it is who I am. As much a part of me as being a wife, a mother and a dancer. 
Though my eventual degree will say massage therapist, and I will be licensed as such, it really is a vehicle for my aromatherapy practice. I am a wellness practitioner. I am not a doctor, I do not diagnose, But I can help guide you along your unique healing journey.
I am trained in the safe and effective use of essential oils; I also realize that it is not possible for me to know everything.
 I am drawn to the emotional and spiritual uses of aromatherapy, as well as the medicinal. I believe it is not possible to separate physical treatments from emotional ones. We are holistic beings and need to be treated as such.
 I am drawn to the need of the youngest of us... the children. Their sensitive little bodies are so responsive and need to be handled gently.
 I am constantly studying, researching, experimenting. I will never learn all there is to know, but I will try!

My prayer is that I live up to everything that my statement opens to.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What are the Roots of Your Life?

What do you picture when you see this word? 
Close your eyes and think on it for a moment...
Do you have a picture in your mind?

 I chose the picture above because I think it is a good representation of security. Take a look at the size of the tree... then take a look at the depth and complexity of its root system. Where dou you think the security is for the tree? In it's roots... Keep this in mind as you read on.

 My current ethics class at school is a bit different from the others I have taken so far. The goal of this class is to bring awareness to the "potentially shadow" areas of all healing relationships. The course description ends like this:

"This class provides navigational tools for dealing with the deep and often confusing interactions between client and holistic care practitioner. The goal of this class is to come from a strong centered place of service and not from that of a wounded healer."

What does this mean for me?
A lot of soul searching and digging into areas of life that may be fine
 But, if I am going to be an effective healer, fine isn't good enough.

I have unconsciously been resistant to doing my homework for this class. So I sat down with myself this morning and asked myself why... I don't like to rock the boat... If life is going smoothly let it continue as such.
Or... If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
The problem with that is you never grow. What happens if that tree quits growing?

It dies. 

So, since I don't want to die, in any sense of the word! I got to "work" this morning.

What does all this have to do with security? I will get to that...

This class looks at ethics from the major areas of life: 


Or you can look at it this way:


So, security, the first center of life. The "root" of your life.
Where do you find your security? Is it money? Family values? Traditions? Relationships? There is no wrong answer, it is personal to everyone and something only you can decide for yourself.

Other words and ideas that are associated with this center include:

Cultural Bias
Religious Practices
Traditional Family Values

Interestingly, the seven areas that I will cover in this class correspond to what some call the seven chakras, or energy centers in the body. 

Before I loose you here, let me explain my take on this:

I was raised in a traditional Christian home with traditional Christian values.
I profess a personal relationship with Christ.
I realize that I make mistakes, and am not perfect but try to model my life after the way Jesus did in the Bible.

I also realize that I do not have all the answers to all the histories of all the people in the entire world! How could I? So, when I encounter a new (to me) way of relating to the world, I explore it from all angles and not automatically dismiss it because it doesn't "fit". If I can take a piece of something for my tool box then I will.

If you still don't agree or don't care to explore then that is fine. I am not offended by your decision and I hope you are not offended by my curiosity :)

So, for this class I have a chart that outlines the seven chakras, their "tools'' and what areas of life and health they may correspond to.

Does this have an aromatherapy connection? You bet it does!! Doesn't everything? 

For each center there are corresponding aromatherapy, fragrance and incense categories. This particular center calls for cinnamon, cedar and myrrh. These three oils are very grounding, warming and soothing oils. All three of these oils come from trees... Which have long, deep extensive root systems that allows them to stand strong against the passage of time. Makes sense to me, this first life center has to do with our basic issues and needs in life... our roots.

Unfortunately, I don't have any myrrh oil, it is on my wish list, but I do have cedar and cinnamon! I decided to conduct a little experiment:

Before starting on my journal I lit a little tea light candle. While waiting for some of the wax to melt I looked over the questions that I was going to work on today. After there was a nice little ring of melted wax around the wick I blew out the candle and added 2 drops of Atlantic Cedar and 1 drop of Cinnamon Leaf oils to the candle, being careful not to get any on the wick. Then I re-lit the candle and spent a few minutes breathing in the fragrance of the oils and contemplating my questions.

I found that I was able to honestly answer the questions and not feel like I had to give a "perfect" thought out answer... which is what has kept me from doing my homework until now.

I will be exploring other ways to use these particular oils during the next week and providing the necessary information so you can decide if they are ones you care to have in you aromabox.

I hope you also take the time to explore how deep your roots run and find the security to stand through the pressures of this life.

Until next time,

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Getting Back on Track

It has been over 2 months since I last wrote. In that time I have taken some classes that have made me take a long look at what I want my practice to eventually look like when I graduate. Some things I have learned about myself are:
~That I am an aromatherapist and cannot separate that from my daily life or my future massage practice. Essential oils and all they are play a huge roll in my life and who I am.
~I have a wide variety of interests and do not want to fit myself into whatever box I feel I "should" be in. Life flows from one day to the next and I enjoy the adventure!
~I want to live a holistic life in all areas. Family, profession, personal, spiritual, mental emotional... they are all connected.
~This blog will be a reflection of life, not the "perfect" accounting that I had set out to make it. That format doesn't fit for me.

I hope you hang around and enjoy what I have to share. There will be aromatherapy... I can't get through a day without it! There will also be info on other areas that relate to a holistic and healthy lifestyle. Use the info you want, ignore the info you don't. Comment and share your suggestions and insights, as long as it is honoring to this site and those who read it.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Lemon: The Bright One

Hammocks in the shade.
A tall glass of cold tangy lemonade.
These are the images that come to my mind when I open a bottle of lemon oil.
To me lemon has a very bright and refreshing fragrance that can boost my energy and lift me out of any emotional low I may be in. 
Lemon is a straight forward, easy to obtain oil that has many powerful uses.
The Latin name for the oil you want to look for is Citrus limon.
On another note, I am preparing to offer small bottles of the oils I have covered so far. Each bottle will hold  40-60 drops of oil and will be a great way to start experimenting with the oils without having to spend a small fortune to get started.
I will be filling them with the same oils that I use in my practice and that have been recommended by the clinical aroma therapists that I am studying under. These will all be high quality, therapeutic grade oils that are purchased from direct suppliers.
I am not a part of any distributorship for essential oils.  
All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 7, 2013

Green From The Beginning

Warning, this is a long post... Grab a glass of iced tea and settle in for a bit. I think you will be happy you did.


When I was looking for something that I could do from home to support my family I had some very specific criteria.
1. No get rich quick scams.
2. No MLM that required a huge start-up and large monthly commitments.
3. A safe and effective marketing plan that didn't rely on hype and hours bugging my family and friends. 
4. A proven track record of success not only in their compensation plan, but also with customer satisfaction.
5. A product I could stand behind knowing that I wasn't stretching the truth or using sensationalism to sell a "snowball to an Eskimo" . (more on that in a minute)
6. I didn't have to compete with their outside marketing to share the product and opportunity.
7. Something that truly enhances the lives of EVERYONE I meet.

As many can attest... That really makes it hard to find a work-from-home opportunity. Most of them lose, if not at the first point... then definitely by the second.

Then I found Melaleuca. And not to sound cheesy but I really believe this is the best company out there!

1. No get rich scams.
Melaleuca has been around for almost 30 years. The leaders in this business will tell you up-front that if you want to be successful then you will have to work... and work hard. Make those contacts, share your stories, meet with people, attend training meetings. The effort and time you put into it will directly translate into the success you will achieve. They don't promise that you will make $3000 dollars a day doing this one thing! But they will support you through what YOUR goals are and guide you to achieve a lasting and thriving business.

2. No MLM that requires a huge start-up and large monthly commitments.
With Melaleuca there is no huge "buy-in". In fact until the 20th of June it is only $1 for a one year membership! Normally the membership is only $29 for a year. I have been in programs that cost $200 just to get started; I have seen many that end up costing well over $500 -$1,000 dollars total by the time you purchase everything. The other thing that makes Melaleuca different is that there is no inventory to move. Ever. None. That was the hardest part for me in the last company I worked. I felt all this pressure to "make the sale" because I had several hundred dollars worth of product on my shelves, with expiration dates, and if the company decided to change formulas or discontinue a product line I would take a loss because I had to then try and sell my product at cost or give it away. I also know that I don't have to purchase hundreds of dollars of personal product points every month. A bottle of laundry detergent, a bottle of body lotion, multivitamin and mineral supplement, and a bar of soap... things I would purchase every month any way... And there are over 350 products to choose from!
3. A safe and effective marketing plan that didn't rely on hype and hours bugging my family and friends.
Melaleuca speaks for itself. If Melaleuca isn't for you then that is ok. It is not about brow beating those I love with info. I use the cleaning products every day in my own home. I take the vitamins, my husband and children take the vitamins. We eat the food, use the shampoo, toothpaste body wash. I have the dish washing liquid and hand soap sitting on the sink, the lip balm and lotion in my purse. When someone asks how I have so much energy, I tell them. If they ask about my weight loss, I tell them. If they ar in my home and ask about a product I tell them. If I share my hand lotion that is an opportunity to share. Yes I have regular product demonstrations and Wellness presentations in my home, and I invite people. I encourage everyone to at least take a look. If they are not impressed with the quality of the product or the business plan isn't something that they think will fit for them.. that is fine. It in no way affects how I feel for that person or our relationship. But if you don't at least look then how will you know?

4.   A proven track record of success not only in their compensation plan but also with customer satisfaction.
This is huge for me. This cancels out the hype that a lot of other companies rely on. Just last year Melaleuca reached $1.1 Billion in annual sales... $1.1 Billion! If that doesn't speak to customer satisfaction... then I don't know what does... 95% of people that shopped with Melaleuca last month will shop again this month! As far as compensation goes; if I share Melaleuca with 10 people and all they do is shop every month... just shop, I receive a check, every month, for $328... even if that is all I do. If I help just one of my 10 customers share and bring in 10 customers, then that number jumps to $640. If I keep sharing Melaleuca, and the people I share Melaleuca with share... Then that number keeps goes up... and it is residual income. Remember that 95%? They keep shopping... my check keeps coming in!

5. A product I could stand behind knowing that I wasn't stretching the truth or using sensationalism to sell a "snowball to an Eskimo" .
Frank VanderSloot, the CEO of Melaleuca once wrote that that he was not in the business of selling snowballs to Eskimos. What he was referring to is the requirement in some businesses to purchase bulk quantities of items... for your personal use. If you have to buy 75 rolls of toilet paper, 8-12 boxes of cereal, etc... Then soon you have a garage full of "snowballs" that you will never use, and you have to purchase them again next month! So, no snowballs. All of Melaleuca's products are backed by scientific research and a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. They know that if you are going to succeed in business then you have to have the best products. And they have proven them time and time again. Just research Oligo and Sol-U-Guard and see the results.

This video is a couple years old... but it is so cute! And it highlights one of my favorite products:

6. I didn't have to compete with their outside marketing to share the product and opportunity. 
Melaleuca is the original Consumer Direct Marketing Company. They are debt-free and have been from the beginning. You never see commercials, print ads or bulletin boards for Melaleuca. The products are not available in the mall or grocery store. Why? Because they only advertise through the sharing of their products by independent marketing executives. What does this mean? The only competition I have is myself. And none of my revenues goes to expensive advertising and print materials.

6. Something that truly enhances the lives of EVERYONE I meet. 
I so completely believe that the products that Melaleuca has are the best that I will share something at least one person a day. If I see something in the catalog that I know could help my mom handle her health better I am going to call her. There are so many health concerns and people that are concerned about what they put into their bodies or use in their homes that there is something here for everyone. Even if you aren't looking for a business opportunity.

Don't you think you deserve to at least take a look? 


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Peppermint: Recipes

This is probably going to be one of the favorite essential oil post I ever write.


Because the three oils I have shared so far play so well with each other! Add in the oil we will talk about next and you almost don't need anything else... almost.

Here are some of my favorite ways to add peppermint essential oil to my day:

No More Headaches
(I offer this ready to purchase under the aromatherapy tab)

10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops peppermint essential oil
Enough Jojoba oil to fill a 5ml glass bottle

Add the essential oils to an empty and clean 5ml glass bottle then top off with the Jojoba oil. The Jojoba is actually a liquid wax and has an extremely long shelf life so it will not go rancid like other more delicate oils. I use this oil any time I even hint at a headache, no matter the reason. I have suffered with migraines since I was a child, if I apply this blend to the back of my neck, my temples and behind my ears at the first sign of trouble I can normally avoid the worst of the pain. Be sure to use a reducer cap so you only get 1 drop at a time. 

Hot Summer Pick-me-up

5 drops lavender
3 drops peppermint 
2 drops tea tree

Combine the above oils in a 6 oz spray bottle of water and spritz yourself whenever you feel the affects of your summer activities. This blend will also help repel insects and sooth over heated summer skin.

Respiratory Relief

1 drop peppermint

Place your one drop on your collar, your pillow, or a tissue in your shirt pocket. This is a quick and easy way to ease the tightness associated with asthma, allergies and other respiratory issues. Just be sure not ot get the oil directly on your skin as it can cause irritation and actually burn sensitive skin. I used to place a drop on the side of my children's crib mattresses when they were babies. That way they get some of the oils and not enough to over stimulate their systems. They also can't touch it there.

Use these recipes as a starting point in your own journey with peppermint. The only place I would not recommend using peppermint is in the bath. I know I have said that before but it is worth repeating!

The next oil we will add to our tool box is lemon... Perfect for summer time!

As always, be safe and know your oil.
 And please, don't eat them! There is an herb for that ;)

I am not a doctor. Nor am I qualified to diagnose or treat any illness. I am simply a student of the world around me. Use the oils at your own risk and please consult your medical professional. This blog is a compilation of my own experiences and study.

All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Vitamins I Use and Why

I started this blog thinking I was only going to write about essential oils and their uses. But life takes many interesting twists and turns as we journey through. I have many interests in holistic health besides essential oils. If I had a blog for each one... well, that is more than I care to try and fathom! 
I will continue to post about essential oils... don't worry! But I also want to share with you different things that I come across that I truly believe will help improve the health and live of my readers.
One of the things I believe everyone should use are vitamin and mineral supplements.
This video was posted on Melaleuca's YouTube Page almost 4 years ago. It is a news clip about the launch of the patented Oligo delivery system that Melaleuca uses in their vitamins.
I have an issue absorbing the necessary nutrients I need from the foods I eat. In order to supplement with vitamins from the drug store or even the health food store I typically have to take 2-3x what the bottle says I need! The only supplement brand I have ever used successfully was during my teen years and was supplied through the holistic doctor I was seeing at the time, and it was super expensive!
Since then I have "made do" with whatever I could afford, knowing that they really weren't doing me any good but hoping anyway.
Then I discovered Melaleuca's Vitality Pack with the patented Oligo delivery system! These vitamins have made all the difference for me.
Why are vitamins and minerals called "essential"? 
Because they:
! Build the skeleton and all soft tissue!
!Regulate the body including heartbeats, blood clotting, nerve response and more!
!Are critical links for thousands of functions in your body!
!They are the components of antioxidant enzymes that neutralize the damage of free redicals!
 Some my ask...
 "Can't I just get my vitamins from my food? I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables."
Here's the truth:
Most produce you buy in the store has been picked while still green, before it can finish developing all the vitamins it should contain.
It has been stored and transported... sometimes thousands of miles to get to the store.
If it is processed, most of the nutrients have been destroyed before it even gets to you!  
But I take vitamins already...
  The minerals in traditional multivitamins are isolated, which makes them difficult for your body to absorb. Not only that, but isolated minerals cause an increase in free radicals. Those free radicals use up the vitamins in your supplement before you even have a chance to absorb it!!
The Oligo delivery system that Melaleuca uses keeps the mineral bound in a protective coating of proteins and fiber, just like it in nature. This system keeps the minerals soluble so your body can absorb them, which in turn makes it easier to absorb the vitamins because they aren't getting destroyed by free radicals from the minerals.
Oligo Technology Protects Antioxidant Vitamins up to 5 times better than Store Brands!
Vitamins and minerals are essential for a vibrant life, better health and more energy.
I know for me, when I take just the basic Vitality Pack, which is the multivitamin and calcium supplements, I have the energy and focus to get done all that is demanded of me in a day. When I miss a day... I can feel it!
I am a mom to three high energy children, I am a wife, I have a home to run. That alone is a full time job... but I am also a student in school 3 nights a week and most weekends working on a degree in holistic healthcare. And I am a budding business owner.
My days are full! My nights are even fuller!! 
Taking the vitamins and other supplements that Melaleuca offers makes all the difference for me.
If you are curious click here and explore. If you have any questions you can either click on the contact tab at the top of the site or e-mail me directly at
I hope I have sparked your  interest and gotten you thinking about your health.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Product Story

I had a customer contact me today with a question about one of my favorite Melaleuca products...

What she asked was if she could dilute the laundry detergent and make it last longer...

Here is my answer... Why would you want to? It only takes 1/2 ounce of MelaPower to wash a whole load of laundry, no matter the size of the load or how dirty it is! I use the same amount of soap if I am washing the blankets from my dog's kennels or the blankets in the nursery at church.

The beauty of Melaleuca products is they don't charge you for the water in the laundry soap.

This is from the link above:

What makes MelaPower so economical?
One 48 fl. oz. bottle of MelaPower washes 96 loads. To wash 96 load with the leading brand, you’d have to buy three 50 fl. oz. bottles. Why? Because MelaPower has taken out unnecessary fillers (mostly water)—so there’s nothing in MelaPower that doesn’t absolutely need to be there for brighter, cleaner clothes. The end result? MelaPower saves you money. By switching to MelaPower, it can save you up to 35% over other liquid laundry detergents.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Peppermint: A Personality

Sorry this did not get out yesterday. My computer is having issues and I am finding I need to write on it's time... not necessarily when I am ready to...

Here is the profile for the peppermint personality! 

 Peppermint is an falls under the herbie/leafie fragrance profile in The Fragrant Mind.

Peppermint can be clarifying, awakening, Stimulating and Penetrating.

 It regenerates, refreshes us emotionally, and fuels our self-acceptance.

It improves concentration during studying and exams. My son's teacher even likes to give her students mint gum to chew during the AIMS test to help the stay focused.

I have used peppermint to combat mental fatigue and the lethargy of a long day. It is useful to lift the feelings of shock, helplessness, apathy and being overworked.

If you meet a peppermint person you will know; you will love them or loath them.  They can be overpowering to some. Peppermint is fearless in all aspects of their lives. Unusual things seem to be drawn to this quality. Peppermints live loudly in their clothing, friends and personality. They are quick thinkers and seem to be able to talk themselves out of.. or into any situation. 

The salesman, the stand-up comedian. They have to be challenged not only mentally but physically in their work. They are the pilots and ship captains.

Even though Peppermints like to be the center of attention they are very concerned about the fates of those around them. They are fiercely loyal no matter how rocky the relationship. But their tendency to grandstand  may leave their partner feeling confused or left.

In their negative Peppermints suffer from severe mood swings; on the top of the mountain one minute and at the bottom the next.  If the moods aren't balanced the Peppermint person will begin to feel sluggish and depressed. Emotional eating is a trouble for them. If no balance is found they may become mentally incapacitated.

Peppermints can make fantastic healers! When working in their positives they are full of empathy and sympathy. Their charming personality put the client at ease.

Up next... The Recipes!

As with any oil, please use with care and ALWAYS dilute in a carrier of some sort.
 And please DO NOT use internally.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Getting Back on Track

I apologize for the delay in postings about essential oils. My family experienced a devastating blow with the death of my husbands grandfather a couple weeks ago. It was necessary to take some time with the family and mourn for a while.

We are getting back to an even level again and I am going to resume my postings starting tomorrow! 
I have added a couple tabs at the top of this page that will function as a store of sorts. I have some products that I have been working on developing and am excited to offer them to my readers. 
All payments will be handles through PayPal so you can rest assured that your money is safe. I can usually ship within one business day of receiving payment confirmation.
There will be more products as I produce them so keep watch!

Come back tomorrow to see the next post in the Peppermint series... "A Personality".

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New Item In The Store

I am working through a migraine today. What better time to introduce a new oil blend than now?

This is the No More Headaches essential oil blend. 
It is a mixture of lavender and peppermint oils in a base of jojoba oil. 
I feel that all oils should be diluted before use to avoid skin irritation, especially around the face.
This oils is designed to be used on pressure points located on the head and neck to help relieve headaches and migraines. I use this oil regularly and love it! 
I do not promise it will completely remove your headache but it will at the very least lessen the severity so you can function. 
I suffer from regular migraines, at least one a month, and have since I was a child. However, the more I learn about OTC and prescription meds and their interactions with the body the less I am inclined to use them. 
So I started to research... first nutritional relief, then acupressure, and finally essential oils. I use all three methods together to help support my body through the process.
I am working on a new booklet for my store that will outline the steps I follow when treating a migraine or headache. I hope to have it finished and available by the weekend.
I have used this blend on my children and carry it with me just about every where I go!

Please check it out and let me know if you have any questions. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

New Etsy Item

I have listed a new item on Etsy. It is not aromatherapy related but it is something that I am making :)

My Etsy Store

If you have any question feel free to contact me!

Business Opportunity

Let me start by saying this: I am not a "get rich quick" kind of gal. Nothing can or should can be achieved without hard work. I do not promote a product or a business unless I 100% believe in the company.

That being said, I was told yesterday of a wonderful opportunity with a company that I have had previous experience with...

For the month of May, Melaleuca is offering a special promotion:

Sign up 8 customers and receive a bonus of $1000... yep!

This is a company that I was introduced to more than 2 years ago and was a faithful customer for about 18 months. I LOVE the products and how the company is run and their focus on helping families achieve their goals.

I am going to be honest here... As much as I love the products, I did not promote the business side for one simple reason... because I didn't believe I could.

Since then I have renewed a friendship with someone who proves that what you set your mind to you can achieve... and don't take no for an answer!

This person is crazy, faces life head on, and acknowledges no obstacles... only ways to overcome them.

She is good at pulling me out of the comfort zone of my mind and helping me to realize that life doesn't have to stay where it is at. If you don't like where you are at or something isn't working for you, change it!

So, with this renewed sense of direction I am going to jump out on a limb here... Come this Saturday, May 25, I would like to rejoin Melaleuca with at least 8 people who want to change their way of looking at life.

The beauty of this company is that it is internet based. You don't have to have an inventory, you don't have to do parties(unless you want to), you don't even have to talk to anyone face to face(unless you want)!

I have heard of at least one mom who makes a living from her family, has customers and team members all over the country, and has never left her home! She markets on-line and on the phone.

Check out this page Melaleuca On A Mission

Watch the videos, do some research. This is a solid company with a solid financial history and a mission to help families.

I have tried many different products for cleaning my house and taking care of my families health needs. I can honestly say that Melaleuca, hands down, gets my seal of approval.

Their cleaning products are concentrated so you use less. The spray cleaners are refillable with each refill making anywhere from 2-6 bottles of spray so you are not being charged for the water in your product! Their vitamins are the most effective ones I have taken besides the line a doctor prescribed to me when I was a teen. All of their products are nontoxic, safe for your home and the environment. They have a line of sports nutrition that is the best I have ever used. Weight-loss aids, first-aid supplies, makeup, snacks... you name it they have it!

This coming Sunday celebrates 13 years of marriage to my wonderful husband. I would love to celebrate that milestone by securing the financial future for us and our children.

Do you know 8 people who are concerned about the health of their families, the safety of their cleaning supplies, and the quality of their nutrition and vitamins? Would they like to make extra money knowing that the products they are sharing are safe, effective and checking account friendly?

If you are interested you can e-mail me at
I will answer your questions to the best of my ability.

We have until May 31 to get everyone in on this promotion. Will you join me?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


The Ashland Manor is now on Etsy!!

You can find my store right here

I am excited for what is to come for "the Apothecary". The selection is small but will be growing as I source and produce quality products and information to pass on to you... so please check back often.

As for new posts in the aromatherapy series... My family is facing crises on a couple fronts right now that is requiring a lot of my time and focus.
Your thoughts and prayers will be greatly appreciated.

I apologize that I have not posted the next in the Peppermint series. I hope to have everything back up and running smoothly again soon.

The Etsy store is something I have been working on for a while and did not want to miss my launch date of May 1st.

Take care and I will write again soon.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Peppermnt: The Details

I just have to say, if you couldn't tell from my last post,
I love peppermint oil!

I use peppermint all the time, for just about everything.

Now to the details...

Latin Name: Mentha piperita
Family: Lamiaceae

When buying peppermint oil you want to be careful of your source. If it has not been carefully harvested weeds may have been gathered along with the peppermint and distilled into the oil.
Peppermint oil should be clear to pale yellow in color with a fresh, camphorous, and minty aroma.

Inhaling a good peppermint oil will give me a cool, open feeling in the throat that usually carries into the lungs as well.

France, England and the USA all produce wonderful peppermint oils. The bottle I currently have is of organic peppermint from India.

Peppermint is a popular and perennial garden herb. It grows to between two and three feet tall and likes to spread. The leaves are oval shaped, dark green with deep teeth along the sides. Peppermint flowers in the summer producing small lilac or pin flowers. If you look at a peppermint from the top the leaves look like a star.

The whole above ground part of the plant is used to produce the oil. It is harvested before flowering and is steam distilled.

The chemical components of peppermint oil are variations on a theme:

Menthol(monoterpene alcohol):Strong antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, immune system support
Menthone(ketone): Strong mucolytic, promote skin/tissue regeneration, wound healing agents, calming to the nervous system
Menthol Ester: Relaxing to the central nervous system, balancing, antispasmodic, nervous system tonic

In Greek myth there is a story of a nymph named Menthe. Pluto fell in love with her, and when his wife discovered the relationship she was so angry that she trampled Menthe into the ground. Out of love for Menthe, Pluto turned her into an herb that would be appreciated by all people.
According to Pliny this is where the name Mentha comes from.   

Besides being widely used as a flavoring agent, peppermint oil has many applications in aromatherapy.
It is used to treat headache, a variety of digestive disorders, fatigue and apathy. It has a wonderful affect on the respiratory system relieving coughs, sinus congestion and asthma. Peppermint oil is also wonderful for muscle pain and to increase circulation.
Because of its healing properties peppermint oil is fantastic as part of a muscle rub after strenuous exercise.

Peppermint is our first oil that comes with some caution:
It cam be irritating to the skin and cause burning so always dilute it in an oil, lotion or gel.
Do not apply near the face of small children because of a risk of spasm in the respiratory system.
Because it is a stimulating oil it chould not be use on children under thirty months, with some suggesting not under seven years of age.
Please do not use peppermint oil in your bath!
Not to be used during pregnancy.

That may seem like a lot of don'ts. But as you will see when we get to the recipes, there is a lot to be done with this magnificent oil.

Peppermint is another oil that is friends with lavender... at least in my practice.

 As with any oil, please use with care and ALWAYS dilute in a carrier of some sort.
 And please DO NOT use internally.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Peppermint: The Popular One

Ah... Peppermint...

Candy canes at Christmas with their red and white stripes.
 Hot chocolate laced with mint on a cold day.
Those soft, pastel butter mints my grandmother always kept in her room.
 Sitting on mom's lap reading a book in the bathroom while the soothing smell of peppermint swirled with the steam when I was sick...

For me, peppermint has always been associated with comfort, happiness and family. It is a flavor of celebration and chewing gum. Those round red and white mints you get at a restaurant after spending time with loved ones.

I almost always have a bag of the soft, old fashioned peppermint sticks stashed somewhere...

I think peppermint fits so well with Christmas because it is a bright, uplifting and refreshing fragrance.

I call peppermint oil the popular one because we come in contact with it in one form or another just about every day.

It is in our toothpaste, floss and mouthwash. It may be in our shampoo. It is in our breath mints and chewing gum.

For our purposes, we are using oil from Mentha x Piperita.

Spearmint and wintergreen are completely different oils with different applications. Be sure you are buying the right kind of mint. They are not interchangeable!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tea Tree: Recipes

I hope you, my readers, will forgive me for not writing this post sooner. I took a class this weekend that ended-up capturing my imagination and opened my mind to another vast aspect of the plant world.

I will be writing a post on it as soon as I finish processing the information in myself.

I had told you before that tea tree oil plays wonderfully with lavender, and it is so true. Very rarely do I use tea tree on its own, often I will mix it with lavender in one form or another to enhance the benefits of both.

Dental Abcess
(If you have one, by all means go see your dentist! This does not replace his care.) 
3 drops lavender
2 drops tea tree
1 tsp. jojoba oil
Massage over the entire jaw and cheek area on the affected side.

2 drops tea tree
2 drops lavender
Place in a small bowl of warm water and bathe the area twice a day. Use a fresh mix each time.

Cuts and Abrasions
(this is most often how I use these oils)
3 drops lavender
2 drops tea tree
Use these proportions to make a small bottle of the blend(5/8 dram size with a reducer cap will hold 40-60 drops). Add 3-5 drops to a bowl of water and bathe the area. Place one drop of the blend on the bandage before covering the wound.

You can also keep a 5ml bottle with 10 drops of the blend topped off with jojoba oil to rub around the area if a bandage is not needed. Both blends are perfect in a first aid kit along with a small bottle of water and gauze. I use them in place of antiseptic wash and antibacterial ointments.

Itchy Feet Remedy
10 drops lavender
10 drops tea tree
1 c. Epsom salt
1/2 c. baking soda
Mix the oils in a small bottle with a reducer cap. Combine the salt and baking soda in a bowl and add 5 drops of the oil blend. Add the mixture to a bathtub with enough warm water to cover your feet to the ankles, or you can use a lage basin like you would wash dishes in. Relax and soak you feet for at least 10 minutes or until the water cools.

As you may notice, the last two recipes ask that you combine the oils in a separate storage bottle and only use a few drops at a time. This brings up an important tool of the aromatherapist, a synergistic blend.When you blend two oils together and give them a chance to mingle  you end up with a substance that is greater then each oil working individually. I personally prefer to always mix the essential oils together first and then add my carrier substance(oil, salt, baking soda, water...). 

If you are making a single dose of oil for a rub and are intending to use the entire mix in one session, like a massage then something like a shot glass is a good option. Place your oils in the glass first then add your oil. I have a small glass cup that I purchased at a beauty supply store. It is intended for use with acrylic nail solution but it is the perfect size to blend a  few drops of oil before I add them to a bath or some other application.

The next oil we will add to our tool box is peppermint... one of my personal favorites!

As always, be safe and know your oil.
 And please, don't eat them! There is an herb for that ;)

I am not a doctor. Nor am I qualified to diagnose or treat any illness. I am simply a student of the world around me. Use the oils at your own risk and please consult your medical professional. This blog is a compilation of my own experiences and study.

All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tea Tree: The Details

Before we dive into the varied uses of tea tree oil we need to get some basic information out of the way.

Latin name: Melaleuca alternifolia
Botanical family: Myrtaceae

When purchasing your tea tree oil look for a very pale, watery oil. The scent should be sharp, spicy, warm and camphorous.

From Essential Aromatherapy:
Because supply outstrips demand, tea tree oil is sometimes adulterated with other species of Melaleuca, of which there are many varieties. This is allowed by the authorities but no data exists to verify the efficacy of these blended oils.
Be sure of your source, especially for therapeutic applications!

Australia is the largest producer of tea tree, though you might also come across tea tree oil from New Zealand.

The tea tree is an evergreen growing up to 20 feet tall. The leaves are blue-green in color and very narrow. The tree produces small white to purplish flowers and thrives in natural swampy conditions.

It is the leaves and twigs that are steam distilled to extract the oil.

Tea tree's chemical profile will reveal why it has had such a lofty history:
Monoterpenes - antiseptic, antiviral, stimulating/energizing, mild expectorant/decongestant,
drying/dehydrating effect on skin
Monoterpene alcohol(terpin-4-ol) - Strong antimicrobial, gentle to the skin, antibacterial, antiviral, immune system support
Oxides(1,8 cineole) - antiviral, expectorant, respiratory stimulant

As you can see, tea tree  is the perfect oil when you want to ward off many types of infections! This is why it had such a strong use during war times.

The Aborigines of Australia used it as a medicine to treat skin disorders such as bites, bruises and infections. The British explorer, Captain Hook is credited with giving tea tree it's name after he made a tea from its leaves, hoping to prevent scurvy among his crew.
The antiseptic action of tea tree is thought to be 100 times stronger than carbolic acid, yet it is nontoxic!
the oil was so highly prized by the Australian Royal army nd navy as an antiseptic that each soldier was given a bottle of tea tree for treating infections, wounds and skin ailments.

Tea tree can be used to treat candida, ringworm, sunburn, acne, athlete's foot, toothache, head lice, and a wide variety of infections. It is useful as a respiratory support, decongestant and to counteract fatigue.

Tea tree is a great frind of lavender as we will see later.

There are no known contraindications for tea tree.

As with any oil, please use with care and ALWAYS dilute in a carrier of some sort.
 And please DO NOT use internally.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tea Tree: The "Miracle OIl"

This is a humble oil, with an impressive history.

Tea tree... the first thing that comes to mind is a dusty eucalyptus wreath hanging on a wall.
You get that refreshing eucalyptus scent, but it is veiled, dusty, earthy.
In the title I called tea tree the "miracle oil". When we explore its many uses over the next few days you will see why. This is a remarkably gentle oil yet powerful enough that the people who harvested it during WWII to be exempt from war service!
It is so versatile that entire companies have been built on it.
This is will be an exciting week as I share some of what the humble tea tree has to offer.
When purchasing your oil look for Melaleuca alternifolia, the best sources are form either Australia or New Zealand. As always, please be sure of the source of your oils. The companies I trust are listed on the side of my page.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lavender: Recipes

So far I have shared some basic information about lavender. Now you know what I know!
It is time for the fun part... How to use it. As we learn more oils you will see lavender again as it plays very well with other oils. But for now...

I will start with the youngest members of the family, our babies and children.

Lavender is wonderful for children! It is one of only three that are recommended for newborns. Dilution of essential oil is very important for young children, even one as gentle as lavender. I do not recommend using the oils without a carrier of some kind. That falls under an advanced use of oils that is outside the scope of this blog.
That being said, lavender is wonderful in a massage oil after you give baby a bath to help soothe them to sleep.

Massage Oil
2oz.carrier oil (almond or jojoba)
2 drops lavender
2-12 months: 4 drops
1-5 years: 6 drops
5-7 years: 8 drops
7-12 years: 10 drops
After 12: no more than 15 drops
All the above quantities are for 2 oz of carrier oil.

Soothing Bath
(for mom or dad)
1c. Epsom salt
1/2c. baking soda
6 drops lavender
Mix the above ingredients together(I like to use a mason jar) Run your bath water at a comfortably warm temperature. Just before you get in, add the contents of your jar and swish to dissolve. Settle in and relax for at least 20 min. 

Room Spray 
(for all ages)
8oz. filtered water
10 drops lavender
Place in a misting bottle and shake well before each use. Lightly spray the room before bed time.

(all ages)
Bowl of warm water
5 drops lavender
Drop the lavender into the water and use a soft cloth to clean the area. 

(Do not pop a blister!)
Apply 1 drop lavender to the blister then hold an ice cube on the area to cool it down. Keep the blister covered with a piece of gauze to which you have applied a drop of lavender. change the dressing several times a day.

To help you relax you may also inhale the lavender straight from the bottle. Sit in a quiet place, close your eyes and take a slow, even breath with the bottle of lavender held about 10 inches from your nose. Be careful though... you might fall asleep!

I hope you have enjoyed this first step into the wonderful world of aromatherapy. Maybe it has inspired you to start some research of your own! If you learn something new please feel free to share in the comments.

As always, be safe and know your oil.
 And please, don't eat them! There is an herb for that ;)

I am not a doctor. Nor am I qualified to diagnose or treat any illness. I am simply a student of the world around me. Use the oils at your own risk and please consult your medical professional. This blog is a compilation of my own experiences and study.

All Rights Reserved