Friday, October 24, 2014

I’m Getting Crunchier

I admit:
I exclusively breastfeed.
I babywear every chance I get.
I cloth diaper my baby.
I co-sleep.
I exercise attachment-parenting practices.
I drink raw milk and use grass-fed butter
I practice acupressure for medicinal purposes.
I use apple cider vinegar whenever possible.
I put coconut oil on everything, including my baby’s bum & as a moisturizer for my face.
I use essential oils (EO).
and so on, and so on, and so on

I wish I could blame my hippy-dippy ways on my parents, but I can’t.  This is all me.  Yes, I am a neuroscientist and I believe in the use of pharmaceuticals, but I don’t think it is the only way.  We’re a pill-popping society that abuses medicine.  I believe there is a time and a place for medicine; I don’t like to abuse it.  With EOs, I was a skeptic.  Sometimes I’m still a skeptic.  I have wanted to prove the use of essential oils wrong, but so far I have not been able to, and instead my EO usage has steadily increased.  I use them topically, through ingestion, and by diffusing.  I’ve been researching and taking webinars on EO’s to make sure that I am using them properly and safely.  After the past 2.5 months I have nothing but good things to say about them.  Much like everything else in my life….I’m NOT an expert on this; however, I have gained A LOT of knowledge and here is what I have learned:

EO Brand
***Disclaimer- since writing this post I have exclusively switched to Young Living EO's. While, admittedly, they are more expensive, I feel so much safer using YLEO's, especially topically and for ingestion.  They are a thoroughly researched therapeutic grade of EO's***
I have been using Eden’s Garden EO’s because they are a therapeutic grade of EO's that are significantly more affordable then other brands.  They are not the cheapest brand but not the most expensive either.  I really like the company and how quickly & thoroughly they have responded to my questions on the chemical makeup of the oils and have provided me with the official MSDS sheets.  There are many other wonderful brands of EO’s that I have tried, but I like this brand the best so far.

I use the Mony Air Aroma Diffuser.  It has two settings for releasing oil and is easy to clean.Mony Diffuser

Carrier Oils
The two carrier oils I use to dilute or use for topical application with my EO’s are grape seed oil (great because there isn’t a fragrance & it doesn’t stain linens) and unrefined coconut oil.  This is my favorite coconut oil: best bang for your buck and awesome healthy quality.

It is really important to blend oils in glass containers. Putting oils in plastic, especially citrus oils/blends, can break down elements of the plastic (not good) and change the chemical properties of the EO, so you want to use glass for mixing & diluting.  I have purchased glass roller balls, small glass spray bottles for smaller blends, and large glass bottles for larger blends (e.g. for cleaners), and a glass water bottle for ingestion.  It's also nice to have smaller mason jars for creating creams & scrubs, as well as pipettes for mixing oils.Glass Containers

I have joined several EO groups for help and learning, but have gained the most information from the EO company itself, classes, and reading books.  This is my favorite quick reference guide.  I also like Gentle Babies for tips on how to use oils safely with pregnancy, labor, delivery, infants, & children.
***Since initially writing this post I have also found that this is also another great guide to EO's***
Essential Oil Books

Here are some of the ways I use EOs
If you follow me on Instagram you have probably seen how I’m using EO’s in our home, but here is a quick run-down:

Calming & Sleeping:  In addition to putting Lavendar in my diffuser for aromatherapy after tough days, I blend 10-15 drops of Lavender EO & purified water in a small glass spray bottle. This is great to spray on pillows & towels right before bed.  On the rare occasion that I get to take a bubble bath (this has only happened 3 times in the past 4 months) I add a few drops as I’m filling the tub and it is so relaxing.Lavendar Spray

Skin: I have mentioned before that I struggled with adult acne until I found the miracle cure, since starting this skin care system my skin has been awesome for the past year.  Occasionally I will have a blemish show up that I zap away within a day with a drop of Tea Tree Oil. 

Citrus: I love the smell of Bergamot and mix it with purified water to spray in our bedrooms to freshen them in the morning.  Since I’m drinking so much water right now because I’m nursing, I put a drop of Lemon in my glass water bottle to entertain my taste buds; it is so refreshing and I swear it’s better and tastier than lemonade!  I also use Lemon to remove the sticky adhesive when I purchase something new; it works SO fast!

Bugs, Headaches, & Vacuuming:  I don’t like putting chemicals on my body or on Dutch if I don’t have to, so I made a homemade bug spray by blending coconut oil, Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon.   The Mr was attacked by a pack of nasty Texas red ants and I applied this blend and it immediately provided relief.  So this mixture was great at prevention of mosquito bites as well as relief for ant bites.  For a headache remedy, I dilute Peppermint in grape seed oil and rub it on The Mr.’s temples.  Because Peppermint can decrease supply in nursing mothers, I use Lavendar mixed with grape seed oil for my headaches.  To clean my vacuum and freshen the room, I put a few drops of Lime on a cotton ball and put it in my vacuum cleaner.Homemade bug spray, headache remedy, & 30 second cleaner for my vacuum.

Nursing: When I went back to work my supply drastically dropped with the stress of the transition.  I topically applied Fennel EO to my breast as well as ingested it with a spoonful of honey to boost lactation once day.  After 3 days I was back in action and better than I was before going to work.  You should not ingest Fennel EO more than 10 days in a row.

Germs: I love the smell of Thieves, but I also like how powerful its healing properties are as well as illness prevention. I blend Thieves in a spray bottle to use as a cleaner for the trashcan, around the kitchen, in the bathroom, etc.  I have also mixed this with grape seed oil and put into a glass roller ball bottle to rub on the bottoms of my feet before bed to prevent illness.  With as many germs as I am exposed to at school I am usually sick by this point in the semester.  So far this year I’ve been perfectly healthy.  I should note that Thieves is not recommended for use around children under 6 months old, so I don’t diffuse while Dutch is awake; I wait until he has already gone to bed in another room before diffusing Thieves,  and I obviously don’t use this topically on him.

Theives CleanerTheives in a Roller Ball
Again I’m no expert, but this is what I have learned and what I use EO’s for so far.  I’ve got a list of things I’m looking to try next (i.e. frankincense on stretch marks and geranium to tighten my post-baby belly).  If you’re interested in more info I’d be happy to tell you what I know or what I have experienced.  Bottom-line though, I’m getting more and more crunchy & a new believer and promoter of EO’s.

Have you tried EO’s? What do you think about them? How do you use them?

Happy Friday friends!
xoxo Darby


Joy said...

LOVE this list! Got my kit on Wednesday and so far, I'm loving Joy (of course I would) OH.. and here's a tip for you. We use free and clear laundry detergent. ALL brand, but it doesn't matter the brand. And I've been putting a few drops (maybe 5-6) in the detergent when I wash clothes. I've used Lavender which I love, and yesterday I used Joy with our towels!! Smells SOOO good. We have a front loader, so I put my detergent in the holder and drop 5-6 on the top!

Anne said...

Love your list!!
Im a crunchy mama too, which I never thought I would be prior to Sterling! :)
I've fallen in love with EO's within the last year. And our house is constantly smelling of something yummy. I even have tea tree oil on my vacuum filter as a deodorizer of sorts...I'm allergic to my doggies and their dander/odor really bothers me in fall and spring. The tea tree oil really helps. :)
Little man, Sterling, also loves his nightly feet rub with lavender/Eucalyptus (he has my awesome allergies)
I thought it was all hype too..but once I got started, I couldnt stop.
Personally Im really happy with Native American Nutrition EO's :)

Anita at Cedar Hill said...

I too have a scientific background, and my family uses supplements and we try to eat healthy. We try to avoid medications as much as possible, since they all have side effects. Removing dairy and gluten from our diet, has meant we almost never get sick. Although we had to allergies to dairy or gluten, I was very allergic to dust, and many pollens. After adjusting my diet, my allergies went away, whereas before I had to have 2 allergy shots a week. I haven't delved into EO yet, but I'll read your post more later to see which you recommend. Great to meet you today!!

Jessica K said...

I like the idea. I just get so overwhelmed with everything. What needs a carrier oil, what can be used topically, what can't...ect. ect. I need like a Dummie's Guide to EOs! Hahaha. Thanks for the info about Thieves. My friend who is battling cancer is trying anything and everything. Someone just bought her a diffuser, so I will make sure to get her some Thieves to try! Thanks for all the info. If you ever have a cheat sheet, let me know!

Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire said...

I love this post! I've been really interested in EOs and how I may be able to use them once the little one is born.

Lindsey said...

So I know this post is old ...but I find it so interesting that you ended up being a crunchy mom! I know we kind of fell out of contact before either of us had kids ... but I am super crunchy too. I actually run the group north Houston crunchy moms on Facebook :) we do all those things... exclusively breastfeed, cosleep, cloth diaper (although with my second I stopped because my laundry room isn’t on the same floor as the changing table), use essential oils, drink raw milk, my eldest was born at a birth center and my second at home! Just crazy how things end up :) I hope you are doing well - Lindsey Portugal

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