Friday, September 4, 2015

What You Need To Know About Commercial Cleaning Products & How You Can Replace Them With Essential Oils

Have you ever noticed that many commercial cleaning products come with a fine print that reads something like, “hazardous to humans and domestic animals”? Though what we want is a product that will kill germs and make our windows, dishes, sinks, toilets, and floors sparkle, what we don’t want is to harm ourselves, our loved ones, or the environment. And it’s scary to think we’re spraying and scrubbing the space we call home with toxins that could be doing more harm than good.

With chemicals currently being used daily in our society and making up an astonishing 96 percent of productsand materials in America, it’s hard to believe that little regard is being given to their effects. But the Toxic Substances Control Act, which was passed in 1976, hasn’t been updated since day one. So as for those cleaning products? They’re basically untested and unregulated.

And to put the result of this into perspective, traces of about 300 pollutants, including chemicals used for household cleaning, have been found present in newborns’ umbilical cords, while the most common chemicals we use in our everyday lives have been found to cause a variety of illnesses, cancers, and developmental disorders.

As for our environment? While many commercial cleaning products are working to sanitize and sparkle our homes, our clothes and our bedding, they’re also harming our water and air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency even has a term for it, “Volatile Organic Compounds,” which phosphorus, nitrogen, and ammonia — some of the biggest names in these products — are filed under.

But before you throw your hands up and let your dishes and laundry go dirty, know that there are several alternatives you can try without harming your home, your health, or the world you live in, and they all include essentials oils, which (bonus!) are known to boost your mind and body wellness.

Clean Your Floors With Lemon Essential Oil

Fill a large container with 1 gallon of hot water. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of Castile soap along with 10 drops of lemon essential oil and stir the mixture for your new floor cleaner.

Clean Your Toilets With Tea Tree Essential Oil

Grab a spray bottle and add 2 teaspoons of tea tree essential oil and 2 cups of water to it. Give it a good shake to concoct the mixture, and then spray inside the toilet’s rim, letting it sit for about 30 minutes before scrubbing.

Clean Your Windows With Lavender Essential Oil

Want to get rid of grime and even ward off flies? Mix together 2 ounces of water and 10 drops of lavender essential oil in a spray bottle, spritz on your windows and wipe them clean.

Clean Your Dishes With Tangerine and Lemon Essential Oils

This is a great alternative to commercial dishwashing detergents. In a bowl, mix 2 teaspoons tangerine and lemon essential oils with ½ cup kosher salt and ½ cup white vinegar, along with 2 cups Borax (sodium borate) and 2 cups washing soda (sodium carbonate). Use an ice cube tray to portion out the mixture. Let the pods dry for 24 to 48 hours, and then remove from the tray and store in an airtight container. Make sure to use one pod per cycle.

Polish Your Furniture With Lemon, Lemongrass and Sandalwood Essential Oils

Combine 4 ounces of jojoba oil with 12 drops of lemon essential oil, 8 drops of sandalwood essential oil, and 4 drops of lemongrass essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake up the mixture and apply onto a cloth to wipe wood surfaces.

Make a Multi-Purpose Spray Cleaner With Cedarwood and Clary Sage Essential Oils

In a spray bottle, mix ½ cup of witch hazel with 1 cup of water and 4 tablespoons of Castile soap. Put 15 drops of clary sage essential oil and 10 drops of cedarwood essential oil into the mixture and shake all of the ingredients together.

Clean Your Clothes With Lavender, Tea Tree and Lemon Essential Oils

Use a box grater to grate one bar of unscented Castile soap. In a bowl, mix the soap with 2 cups Borax, 2 cups washing soda, 3 teaspoons lavender tea tree essential oil and 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil, until a damp powder is formed. Store in an airtight container and use up to ¼ cup for each regular load of laundry.

Source -

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Using Essential Oils For Cold & Flu Relief

We're not too far away from the cold and flu season. I have been asked if there are essential oils with antiviral properties? Which are the most beneficial?

When you feel like your coming down with an illness, many people will probably reach for the vitamin C, and maybe some other health supplements. But it may be worthwhile using some antiviral essential oils as well. Some essential oils can help reduce the ability of viruses to reproduce, as well as lifting you emotionally in order to help the healing process.

There are a few essential oils that are much better at staving off viruses than others. Start as soon as your symptoms begin...though using essential oils as a preventative is probably the best course to take.

Any self-treatment should work together with your doctor's care. If symptoms persist, it's important to seek medical advice.


I'm particularly fond of these essential oils for the prevention of a common cold:

Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lavender, Neroil, Cinnamon Bark, Clary Sage, Anise, Rosemary, Tea Tree and Thyme.


For strengthening and boosting the immune system in order to help resist most common viruses, I suggest:

Lavender, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Thyme and Eucalyptus. Other immune system builders that I has seen recommended include Lemon, Melissa, Rose.

All of these essential oils are best applied as an aromatherapy massage, in a bath, diffused in a room or steam inhaled.


During a cold or the flu, these essential oils should provide some comfort of symptoms:

Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Marjoram, Ginger, Peppermint, Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Lavender and Frankincense.

These essential oils are best applied as a rub, in a bath, as hot or cold compresses, diffused in a room or steam inhaled.


You may treat a mild fever with essential oils, though medical advice should be sought:

Bergamot, Black Pepper, Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Tea Tree, Sandalwood, Chamomile and Rosemary.

These essential oils are best applied as a cold compress, a rub, diffused in a room or steam inhaled. NOTE: it is NOT recommended to use body massage when there is a fever involved.


Cold sores are usually a part of respiratory illness. These essential oils have been known to be effective at reducing or helping to stop an outbreak of cold sores, as well as herpes virus:

Melissa (very beneficial for herpes virus...may be found under the name 'Lemon Balm'), Peppermint, Spearmint, Tea Tree and Bergamot


Here are a few recipes:

For the bath, blend the following essential oils in a small cup of whole milk and then pour in a warm bath:

10 drops Bergamot, 5 drops Lavender, 3 drops of Juniper

Soak for at least 15 minutes. If there's a particular essential oil that you're fond of, by all means use it as well.


For aromatherapy massage, blend up to 10 drops of antiviral oils in 25 ml of carrier oil (I prefer Sweet Almond Oil):

Lavender, Thyme and Eucalyptus mixed in the carrier oil should be quite comforting.


I mix about 5 drops of antiviral essential oil (usually Peppermint and Lavender) in a cup of water. I pour the mix into a fine spray bottle and go through all the rooms, spraying as needed.

You can do the same in a diffuser...just add a few drops of water with the essential oil.

For steam inhalation, simply pour hot water into a bowl and add 3 drops of your chosen essential oil (or combination of oils). Place your head about 15 in. above the bowl and cover your head with a towel, forming a 'tent'. Keep your eyes shut and breathe deeply through your nose for about 5 minutes. NOTE: if you suffer from asthma, DO NOT use this method.

Get a 'head start' on the cold and flu season. Lon

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Aromatic Healing: Sachets

When you say the word 'sachet' the first thing that comes to mind is a small bag of perfumed herbs little old ladies hang in their wardrobes in order to make their clothes smell good.

In Anabaptist (Amish, Hutterites, and Mennonites) culture, sachets have been used to help ease one through a less than pleasant moment.

When I was a boy, I would occasionally attend my Grandparents' Church of the Brethren services. This sect was an offshoot of the German Baptist Brethren and many of the older members, at the time, were raised as Mennonites and Dunkers. The services were notorious for lasting several hours...and were quite uncomfortable in the Summer heat.

I would notice that some of the women would carry sachets with them...and frequently take deep breaths of the herb filled bags. I was curious as to what was in these sachets, so I started to ask questions. I eventually found the answer from a family friend who was known to dabble in folk medicine.

She told me that certain combinations of herbs and oils could be used as an aromatic 'pick me up' as well as providing a 'calming' effect. This was my introduction to Anabaptist folk remedies. I learned a number of recipes for these 'church sachets'...though I formulated an herbal and oil combination that I believe anyone can find beneficial on a daily basis. My wife keeps one with her and night. It also relieves the effects of nausea, dizziness and motion sickness. Here's the recipe...

Mix the following herbs and essential oils:

*1/2 oz dried Lavender Buds
*1/2 oz dried Patchouli
*One rounded tablespoon dried Juniper Berries
*10 drops Lavender essential oil
*10 drops Moroccan Rosemary essential oil

Mix well and place inside a netted sachet bag or cushion.

This mixture should provide relief for several months. Either recharge with oil or a new complete mix.

German speaking immigrants who came to America in the 18th and 19th centuries brought with them an endless number of age-old remedies to treat a variety of medical conditions. Mennonite and Amish immigrants from Germany and Switzerland were responsible for many of the health treatments practiced in the United States, with their teas, tonics and salves. As always, consult your doctor before you replace a modern medical treatment with a home remedy.

Powwowing Among the Pennsylvania Dutch: A Traditional Medical Practice in the Modern World (Pennsylvania German History and Culture)

The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines

Folk Remedies That Work: By Joan and Lydia Wilen, Authors of Chicken Soup & Other Folk Remedies

Mennofolk: Mennonite And Amish Folk Traditions (Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History)