I’m a little too tense to be stressed….

stressedLittle tense, are ya?

What the heck is stressStress is your body’s reaction to anything your brain finds upsetting.  Period.

Stress is a part of life, whether it be, gasp! bathing suit season, whiney kids, or how about a blow out with your spouse?  In fact, 75 – 90% of all visits to a primary care physician’s office are related to stress disorders, according to Dr. Don Colbert.

Doesn’t matter where it came from, stress can do a number on your emotional and your physical well-being.  Some common stress symptoms can include sleeplessness, fuzzy thinking, body aches, acne, abdominal pain…and much, much more.

So what’s a gal to do?  Well, first I would suggest you read, Stress Less by Dr. Don Colbert, MD.  He can tell you how it starts, how it affects you and how you can overcome it.

I, on the other hand, say, “Hey…..calm down….take a bath.”

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In fact, throw in some lavender, sandalwood, some Epsom salts and a little ylang ylang essential oils to make bath time a soothing time.  Relax for about 20 minutes and feel the tension go down the drain.

The adrenal glands are an integral part of the endocrine system of hormones.  Those little bad boys play a key roll in regulating the body’s response to stress, so your diet is also very important.  Avoid foods that are taxing on your system like caffeine, sugar and alcohol.   Include some avocados, eggs, chicken, mushrooms and salmon for some excellent sources of pantothenic acid.

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Include some supplements to fortify the body against emotional stress.  Vitamin B complex (50mg twice/day), which supports the adrenal glands; and magnesium (500 mg once/day) and calcium (1000 mg once/day) have natural tranquilizing effects, so you might take those two in the evenings.

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There are many different ways to deal with stress, but the important thing is to maintain the right attitude when the going gets rough.  No matter what happens to you, make up your mind that you are going to go through it with the right attitude.  If you meditate on this principle when things are going good, then when a stressful situation arises you will be prepared to maintain a good attitude.  Discipline yourself to stand strong with your positive attitude in every circumstance!

Philippians 4:19, “And my God will liberally supply your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

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excellent ways to use your essential oils…

There are different ways to use essential oils.  Inhalation, application and oral use are three common uses.  Whichever method you use, make sure to use the freshest essential oils you can find, which is within 12 months of opening the bottle.  (Note:  To make your own dilutions for skin care, be sure to add two to five drops of essential oil to a good quality vegetable oil, such as sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, borage seed, evening primrose or olive oil)

Here are some lovely ways to use your essential oils (via)

Body Mist:  Add 5-10 drops of an essential oil to 4 ounces of water and shake well.  Take care when applying citrus oils to your face; these oils are photosensitive, meaning they can make your skin more prone to sunburn from ultraviolet light exposure.

Shampoo:  Add a few drops of lavender, basil, cedarwood, or patchouli oil to your shampoo to treat dandruff or an itchy scalp.  Rosemary oil can promote hair growth.

Skin cream:  Mix a couple drops of rosemary or rose oil into your face cream to boost it’s anti-aging capabilities.

Hankies:  Place one drop of essential oil on a handerkerchief or tissue to be used during an emotional emergency.

HumidifiersAdd one to nine drops of oil to the water in the reservoir.  Tea tree oil is a good all purpose antiseptic and antimicrobial. 

Fire logs:  Put one drop of cypress, pine, sandalwood or cedarwood oil on a fire log at least a half hour before burning.  One perfumed log per fire is sufficient.

Room sprays:  Add about four drops of oil per cup of warm water to a plant sprayer.

essential oils are just that….essential!

Essential oils go waaay back.  In fact, they are referenced over 180 times in the Bible!

Frankincence, myrrh, and rosemary are just a few that were used for annointing and healing the sick.  The ancient Eygptians used these oils for everything from fighting perspiration to embalming the dead.

If you don’t have the luxury of finding a lovely rose garden to breathe in it’s beautiful scent, you can have the same effect as smelling a vial of rose essential oil.  However, you will get more of an essential oil’s properties if you actually apply it, rather than just inhaling it.  But be careful!  Essential oils are very concentrated and there is a possibility of an adverse reaction.

More good info:

Not every essential oil is good for you!  Some are just irritants and others are actually poisonous!  Valerie Ann Worwood, author of The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, says the following oils should NOT be used under ANY circumstances:

  • Bitter almond
  • Calamus
  • Horseradish
  • Mugwort
  • Mustard
  • Pennyroyal
  • Rue
  • Sassafras
  • Savin
  • Southernwood
  • Tansy
  • Thuja
  • Wintergreen
  • Wormwood
  • Yellow camphor

Essential oils should never be used with animals, as they possess extreme hepatotoxicity (liver damage) and dermal toxicity (skin damage)  for animals, especially for cats.

Even certain therapeutic grade oils can pose potential threats to individuals with epilepsy, or pregnant women.  So, do your homework and sniff your way to  a better mood and a sweet smelling day!

Sooo….what’s in YOUR bath?

It’s the end of a long day…you have been pulled in every direction and you need to unwind….

From bubble baths to fizzy bath balls to Dead Sea salts, prepared bath products are designed to enhance a bathing experience, but they can be very expensive.

Here are five types of essential oils that can be used in a healing bath to cleanse and soften anyone’s mood.

LAVENDER OIL

Lavender relaxes the muscles and calms and soothes the nervous system.  Any time you are under stress or on the edge of anger or fear, take a levender bath to bring you back into balance.  It cools hot skin conditions, such as inflamed capillaries and rashes and relaxes and moistens dry skin.  Perfect for an evening bath.

LEMON OIL

Lemon oil refreshes and restores us when we are physically exhausted.  Used as a healing tonic in virtually every culture, freshly squeezed lemon or it’s essential oil, refreshes and tones the skin and giving it a youthful glow.  Ideal for spring and summer.

ROSEMARY OIL

Rosemary promotes circulation.  It warms, rejuvenates and relaxes the body.  Great if you have chronically cold hands or feet that you just can’t get warm.  Rosemary strengthens and warms the spirit.  This is an excellent bath for fall and winter.

SAGE OIL

Sage has a very high content of antioxidants. As a result it builds the body strong enough to fight against cancer and also prevents the body from getting damaged by oxidation. Sage oil is used to cure all different kinds of skin infections and diseases.  Calming and great for an evening bath.

SPRUCE OIL

Spruce Essential Oil has been used traditionally for infections and for supporting the immune system. It also very good for arthritis, rheumatic, sciatica and lower back pain.  It soothes and opens the lungs and will restore us back to health when we feel emotionally exhausted or burned out.  And ideal bath for late winter and early spring or whenever your lungs or sinuses are congested.

using ‘green’ bug repellents on the fly….er, mosquito..

When your backyard is 3 million acres of a Natural Forest, you need a little something with ‘ooompf’ to keep the pesky insects at bay.  However, we’re not about to let some pesky flying bugs ruin an entire summer of backyard barbecues, hikes in the woods or just a walk around the property to keep us indoors!

I grew up in Texas where mosquitoes ruled.  We were the kids that would play in the cul-de-sac during the late evenings when the mosquito truck would pull through the neighborhood, spewing a nasty chemical (DDT) into the air.  We were the kids that chased….yes!  chased the truck, playing hide and go seek and riding our bikes in the toxic fog!  We were practically bathing in it!!  (insert twitch and asthmatic cough here)

Thankfully, times have changed!   There are some natural, ‘green’ solutions to be rid of those blood suckers: (via)

  • Blend of essential oils:
    1. Mix the following essential oils in a 4 oz. container: 20 drops Eucalyptus oil, 20 drops Cedarwood oil, 10 drops Tea Tree oil, and 10 drops Geranium oil.
    2. Add 2 oz. of a carrier oil (such as Jojoba). Mix well.
  • Mint-based bug spray:
    1. Place 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of either catnip, spearmint, or pennyroyal (all in the mint family) in a spray bottle.
    2. Add 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol and 1 cup of water.
    3. Shake well.
  • Herbal insect repellent safe for use on the face:
    1. Blend 4 drops each of sandalwood, cajeput, and lavender essential oils with 2 teaspoons of carrier oil (such as extra virgin olive oil).
    2. Mix well and apply as needed.
  • Vodka Mist Insect Repellent:
    1. Mix the following in a spray bottle: 50 drops Jojoba, 50 drops Lavender, 25 drops Eucalyptus lemon, 25 drops Lemongrass, 25 drops Patchouli, and 25 drops Cajeput.
    2. Add 1 fluid ounce of vodka (to the spray bottle..not your mouth, people!)
    3. Mix well.
    4. Apply jojoba oil before spraying the repellent on the skin.
  • Natural insect repellent lotion:
    1. Place 2 ounces distilled water in a large mixing bowl.
    2. Slowly drizzle in 2 ounces of olive oil while beating quickly with a wire whisk.
    3. After the oil is mixed into the distilled water, stir in 120 drops of citronella essential oil.

Making homemade bug spray helps you go green because…

  • You do not need to purchase chemical bug sprays. Using products containing the insect repellent DEET may be harmful to fish and other aquatic wildlife, as well as human health.

One of the most widely used ingredients in store-bought conventional bug sprays for personal use is N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, or DEET, as it’s commonly known. DEET, which is designed to repel, rather than kill, insects. DEET is used by an estimated one-third of the US population each year. Although DEET is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is a known eye irritant and can cause rashes, soreness, or blistering when applied to the skin. Additionally, DEET has been linked to neurological problems; according to the EPA, at least 18 different cases of children suffering adverse nuerological effects, as well as the deaths of two adults, have been associated with DEET. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that DEET causes diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats.[1]

DEET has been shown to have a negative impact on wildlife and water sources in production and during use. DEET is toxic to birds and aquatic life. DEET has been found in approximately 75 percent of U.S. water sources, including the Mississippi River.[2]

SO STAY INFORMED NOT INDOORS…

(1) Cornell – DEET Mosquito Repellent: New pharmacology study of impacts

(2) About.com – The Downside of DEET Insect Repellents: Health and Environmental Risks Associated with the Use of DEET