acidophilus (1) activated charcoal (1) ACV (2) Aga (2) allergy testing (1) aloe (1) anaesthesia (1) anti-acne (3) arnica (1) arrowroot (1) art (1) autumn (5) baby (2) baby wearing (1) bags (3) bath (2) beans (2) beet (1) bentonite (1) berries (1) blackberry (1) body (12) bread (6) breakfast (5) bruise (1) cake (8) calendula (1) calories (3) canning (6) carb-free (1) carbs (21) cargo pants (1) catnip (1) cedar (1) chamomile (3) child play (9) chocolate box (10) Christmas (6) cinnamon (2) clay (1) cleaning (6) cloth pads (1) clothing (1) clove (1) coconut oil (13) coffee (1) comfrey (2) cookies and bars (6) cradle cap (1) dairy (11) dairy-free (20) date sugar (2) decadence (19) decorations (3) dehydrating (2) denim (2) dessert (12) dinner (7) dressings (1) drinks (13) emergency first aid (5) EPS (1) essential oils (32) ethnic food (7) eucalyptus (1) face (9) feet (4) fever recovery (1) fish (1) frosting (1) frugality (61) garden (4) geranium (2) gifts (1) ginger (1) graham cracker pie crust (1) hair (4) hair mask (1) Harcombe (7) hawthorne (1) herbal (48) herbal hair mask (1) home remedies (57) homeschool (4) hot chocolate (1) hot cross buns (1) infused oil (2) jam (1) jewelry (1) juicing (1) kitchen (20) knitting (2) lactation (3) laundry (1) lavender (4) lemon (2) lemon balm (2) man food (31) marshmallow root (1) meat (2) mud (1) NeilMed (1) nettle (2) oatstraw (2) oil diffuser (1) orange (2) paint (3) parenting (4) pasta (1) pastry (3) peppermint (1) pimple (1) pine (1) post-op (1) postpartum (1) potato (1) powders (1) precautions (1) pregnant (1) preschool (23) pressure cooker (1) pus (1) quotes (1) rapha (2) recycling (3) red rose hips (1) roller ball (1) rose (1) rose hip (1) rosemary (1) salve (10) sauces (4) savory baked goods (10) seaweed (1) serotonin (1) sewing (10) shavegrass (1) snacks (18) soups and stews (7) spices (5) spring (2) St John's wort (1) stamping (1) star anise (1) stevia (1) stock (4) storage (1) sugar-free (1) summer (5) sunburn (1) sunshine salve (1) surgery (1) sweets (27) tea (13) tincture (3) travel (5) turmeric (1) tutorials (14) Valentine's Day (7) vegetarian (10) veggies (6) vitamins (1) walks (1) wardrobe (1) wedding (2) wildcrafting (4) winter (1) wormwood (1) yarn (1)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"flu shot" antiviral essential oil blend

Flu Shot in a Bottle

The top brands of essential oils all sell some blend of essential oils, either pure or diluted in a carrier oil, for use as an antiviral agent. "Immune Strength", which you see above, is by Native American Nutritionals (Rocky Mountain Oils -- for some reason, the company seems to have two names but sells the same products -- anyone who knows why, please share below), and is a reliable pure antiviral blend. However, if you wish to make your own blend, perhaps because you might be intolerant to one of the oils in a premix, or because you wish to try your own, here is a reliable recipe I got from a friend that will get you started. You can adjust this as you need. Please also do your own research on the use and properties of essential oils.

10 lemon
10 melaleuca (tea tree)
15 oregano
15 combined orange, cinnamon or cinnamon cassia, clove, eucalyptus, and rosemary

Lemon and oregano essential oils alone will give you a good strong punch of antiviral, antibacterial cleansing power. All these oils combined together produce a very powerful, very effective antiviral pop of neat oils which you can use in various ways.

One. Add 50 drops of the combined neat blend to a 10 ml roller ball, top up with fractionated coconut oil, and apply to soles of feet daily as an antiviral immune boost during cold and flu season. (This is a 10% dilution, for your information.)

Two. Add 5 drops of the combined neat blend to 1 oz bottle of water, or water and white vinegar, for a sanitizing spray. We use this spray on hands, car seats, grocery carts, in the air, on plane trays and restaurant high chairs and tables. I will even spray this on the outside of my son's sippy cups, wiping it off with a baby wipe or clean paper tissue before giving it to him to drink.

I don't personally recommend the use of essential oils internally, and bear in mind that eucalyptus and tea tree are both considered unsafe for consumption by most sources, but I do use this blend with confidence on little hands that I know end up going in mouths. Educate yourself and decide whether you want to simply leave out those two oils in favor of safer edibles for your family's security.

Three. Add 3 to 5 drops to an essential oil burner or diffuser, or even a humidifier, as an antiviral aid in the air.

We take off at the end of this month to spend Christmas and the New Year with my family in England. The "flu shot" roller ball dilution will be coming with me on the plane, as will a hand san spray. The neat blend will be coming with me in my checked baggage, for use at my parents' house. Even just getting a mild tummy bug or the sniffles is worse than no fun while traveling, and our bodies can sometimes be more susceptible to foreign viruses that we have not developed some natural immunity to while living in our regular communities. This provides a very easy, inexpensive, low-liquid and travel-friendly option for helping to keep us well and happy without becoming obsessively anti-germ while we enjoy the company of family overseas. It also smells fabulous and even masks the strong scent of white vinegar, which is worth considering! Since using this blend in hand san sprays, I have been complimented at restaurants, parks, grocery stores, churches, and some people even ask to try a spray on their own hands. I'm always happy to oblige.

homemade deodorant roller balls

If you are a regular reader here, or a good friend of mine, you probably already know I make my own deodorant these days. It's been pretty reliable for me. I also quite like the scent of raw coconut oil, the scent-untouched kind, and I feel it wears well on the skin. It lends a little sweetness without making me smell of coconut all day. However, not everyone likes that. And sometimes, a little extra punch of fragrance can be lovely. So, make your own deodorant scent.

You can mix in essential oils to your deodorant base when you make the stuff. That works. But sometimes I like no fragrance, and sometimes I want to mix it up. I don't like to be chained to one thing all the time. Depending on the essential oils you use, too, you can achieve a yummy body odor with their antibacterial and antifungal properties, not just masking but helping to further neutralize the inevitable sweat that happens. It's like adding a jet pack to your original deodorant.

Basically, I just mix up roller ball bottles with essential oils. To a 10 ml glass roller, add 40-50 drops of pure essential oils and then top up the bottle with fractionated coconut oil. This makes about a 20-25% dilution. You can use another oil as a carrier, too, but f.c.o. absorbs quickly into the skin with minimal residue, which I prefer. Let the oils sit and synergize for at least a couple of hours, preferably a day. To apply, sweep the roller in your armpits before rubbing in a little homemade deodorant. Slip a roller ball in your purse before going out in case you need any freshening up.

There are many essential oils that are great. As you can see, I am not a strict loyalist. The three brands below -- Wyndmere, Native American Nutritionals, and Now -- I have found all to be reliable, with NAN being of a very high quality. To learn more on blending essential oils into your own fragrance, if you don't want to mix up just a single essence in a roller ball, this should get you started.
Also, this article at Essential Health Magazine provides some helpful deodorant blend recipes.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

eat your medicine

My husband has a varicose vein running down one leg that concerns me. So, he now has a couple of pairs of men's compression leggings to wear under his work trousers, and I am also trying a couple of new herbs on him, hoping they help at least prevent the problem from growing worse.

I bought powdered herbs from The Bulk Herb Store, eleuthero root and butcher's broom and ginkgo. I also already had flax seed, chia seed and powdered psyllium seed from BHS, which I like to buzz up in my Magic Bullet into a fiber mix. Chia is left whole in this one, to scrape the gut and colon for a good cleanse as it passes through, and flax and psyllium are best ground or powdered for use as fiber.

 The plan is to make nut butter bites with the powdered herbs mixed in, so that my husband can easily grab one each morning from the fridge and eat his medicine. This is far from an original or new idea. Several sources and books on herbalism I know detail some variation of making herbal medicine balls, pills or candy, which are basically all some form of doughy base with ground herbs mixed in for ready consumption. Rosemary Gladstar has published several variations of this recipe, all a nut or seed butter base with herbs mixed in, in her book, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. These bites are a really great way to eat your medicine, along with a good dose of healthy gut fiber and fatty acids, and the recipe is so easy and so adjustable. Maybe all you want is a yummy nut butter snack that you can hand to a toddler without mess instantly going everywhere. I like to make non-medicinal peanut butter fiber bites with my two year old son, and he usually eats one or two a day.

Here is what I do.

2 Tbs fiber mix in the bottom of Kitchen Aid mixer bowl
approximately 1/2 c peanut butter on top
approximately 2 Tbs raw honey on top of that
2 Tbs mixed powdered herbs

Turn on the mixer with the flat wand (not the whisk) and mix on low until it forms a dough. Adjust texture as needed, by adding more nut butter or honey if it is too dry, or adding more ground matter. If you don't want to add more herbs or fiber, you can use milk powder or coconut flour.

Once you have a dough that sticks together well enough to form a ball without sticking to your hands, much like kids' playdough, divide up into balls of your desired size. I went with bite size balls. More particularly, I want my husband to consume 1/2 tsp of herbs each day, so I know I needed 12 balls: 2 Tbs = 6 tsp = 12 half tsp. Do your math as needed for your medicine quantity and frequency of dose.


Nut butters:
  • peanut 
  • almond 
  • cashew
  • tahini (sesame seed paste) with another nut butter
  • chickpea 
  • sunbutter (sunflower seeds) 
 Sweeteners, or nut alternatives:
  • honey
  • maple syrup (will need more powder to absorb)
  • date sugar (dried whole dates ground into a paste in the blender)
  • apricot sugar 
  • sticky banana sugar 
  • cinnamon
  • allspice
  • nutmeg
  • powdered citrus peel
  • raisins or chopped dried fruits
  • chocolate chips
  • cocoa powder 
  • carob powder
  • coconut manna 
  • ground dried coconut flesh
  • cocoa powder
  • carob powder
  • dried milk powder
  • melted chocolate
  • finely chopped dates or apricots
  • ground dried coconut flesh