Epsom Salt!

EpsomSaltGraphic2

 

I am always amazed how many people DO NOT know about the benefits of Epsom Salt! If I would go to my mother with any ailment, she would say; “go soak in Epsom Salt!”. It always seemed rather boring to me and even like a cop out!! But as I have studied and applied health to my own life, Epsom Salt has become a necessary staple in my home.

Epsom salt, named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate.  As the chart shows above, it can reduce stress and all over inflammation! We used it every morning for a few years as a bath for our son who has Autism. It proved to relax him, and get that much needed Magnesium into his system.

Last night, our daughter who runs Cross Country at school, had significant inflammation in her ankle as well as a shin splint ;-( I made her a very warm, teetering on hot bath, of 2 Cups Epsom salt and 10 drops Helichrysum (which is the go-to oil for bruises) for her to soak in.  She came out about one half hour later saying that she felt “so good!” and she continued by icing the leg and ankle. This morning her ankle had completely returned to normal size, as it reduced inflammation with this protocol and resting through the night.

This week I also spoke at an Arthritis Support group and I, again, was amazed to find the participants who had never tried Epsom salt in their repertoire ! It is an inexpensive alternative many times providing more relief, with no side effects, than pain medication ( of course consult with your own Physician if you are on a specific protocol.)

So, I couldn’t let the week go by with out reminding you how great this supplement is and encourage or remind you to try it for what ever ails you! Epsom salt is also The Perfect Carrier for your favorite Essential Oils. Rule of thumb, 1 ounce of Epsom salt to 4-5 drops of Essential Oil. Make sure your Essential oil is not skin irritating if you are going to take a bath in it!! Lavender,Roman Chamomile Rose Absolute or heavier oils like Patchouli and Sandalwood are great oils to blend in Epsom Salt for a calming and relaxing bath.

Have you tried Epsom Salt? We want to hear from you today!

Arthritis

20170904_140314

I was asked to speak at our local Arthritis support group! The facilitator was telling me that the group has embraced finding alternative methods of treatment for their arthritis, I think that is fantastic!

Did you know that there are over 100 forms of arthritis? And aside from the pain of it, there are a host of other issues most people who have arthritis deal with. Depression and insomnia and grief are just a few.

Medicinenet.com  wrote a helpful article on the subject and here is a bit of what they say about arthritis symptoms;

Arthritis Symptoms

Joint pain can be caused by injury affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. Injury can also affect the ligaments, cartilage, and bones within the joint. Pain is also a feature of joint inflammation (arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis) and infection, and extremely rarely it can be a cause of cancer of the joint.

Symptoms and signs associated with joint pain can include

  • joint redness,
  • joint swelling,
  • joint tenderness,
  • joint warmth,
  • limping,
  • locking of the joint,
  • loss of range of motion of the joint,
  • stiffness,
  • weakness.

There is good news! Of course there is no silver bullet, but there are a lot of life style adjustments that can be made to help support the different facets of this debilitating disease and aromatherapy can definitely help.

There is the matter of the pain. Honest Aromas has created a blend that has been very helpful to people who deal with arthritis. We have picked some “heavy hitters” as far as essential oils go, such as; Clove (which is diluted well as it can be irritating to skin because of it’s high Phenol content)It is pain relieving and warming to sore joints and muscles. Birch, Helps support the uncomfortable parts of getting older such as tired limbs and joints. and Cinnamon leaf (Not Cinnamon Bark which irritates the skin);Cinnamon Leaf is numbing, warming, and anti-infectious. . They are extremely potent and have long lasting analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. We have blended those into an Arnica infused oil for added muscle- pain relief and they all are blended in an easily absorbable unscented lotion. We have many customers who benefit from this particular blend and it is one of our most popular. (Essential Oil information taken from Pompeii Organics and Eden’s Gardens.)

Arthritis sufferers, like we said, deal with a myriad of other symptoms such as, insomnia. Essential oils like Lavender and Roman Chamomile can be very supportive in the relaxation of the nervous system and we make blends for this issue as well.

Stress, anger, and grief are all very real manifestations of arthritis. Bergamot can be a very helpful essential oil for it’s mood lifting and calming properties.

Diet changes have also shown significant help to cut down in inflammation that occurs with arthritis and the Keto Diet has been helping a lot of people, including 2 friends of mine, by reducing inflammation and pain and getting them back into the daily routines they nearly lost.

Arthritis can be a life-altering issue and I have seen the effects of it first hand after taking care of my mother-in-law, who had RA, for four years. The loss of mobility was hopeless for her. She pushed herself to get into the shower to get some warm water on her joints and she did some arthritis pool classes that would help her mobility and depression- but it wasn’t easy. I noticed it was very easy for her to become isolated and that of course is the worse thing for any of us to do. I also noticed that there were some medications that seemed to help her and some that seemed to make matters worse. I encourage you to be aware of your body and how you are feeling, and make the best choices you can to make your life it’s fullest. There is a lot of support out there, like this local group I am going to speak at. There are others who understand what you are dealing with and who have been helped by alternative methods that your physician is unaware of. Gather information, seek help from more than one source, you have a lot of life to live and give! We want to encourage you on your journey<3

 

Green And Healthy!

20170810_080337

Good Morning, Thursday! I am starting this day off with my favorite shake; Coconut milk (from the can), water, cilantro, organic spring mix, cinnamon, vanilla and stevia….yum!!!

It feels good to drink all of those healthy fat calories and know it will sustain my blood sugar and digest easily! Cilantro is packed with vitamins and helps your body detox. Vanilla is calming to the nervous system and I use pure extract.

Re adjust yourself today as you go into the weekend. Don’t over eat, don’t weigh yourself down, think, “Green and Healthy”! Cheers:-)

What ever is true….

20170612_081503

I had been reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, so I have been keeping an on going list of 1,000 things that I am thankful for. But recently, while I was on a trip with my son and daughter, I purchased a handy, little book on Mindfulness and Relaxation exercises written by Dr. Arlene Unger. It had a very helpful and stretching recommendation to write a list from a-z just for that day with the first word corresponding with the letter of the alphabet.

Although this was an important and bonding trip for all of us, it also had it’s usual familial tensions!! The particular day that I wrote this list out, I was really dealing with a wide array of emotions. It was not at all difficult for me to list my son and daughter on the list or anything having to do with being together, but other aspects of the list took me more effort. It was a challenge and it forced me to give thanks to God for everything in my day and take the time to really ponder it all.

What a simple but profound routine to pull back and re focus on the positives of the day, and I see how it helped, particularly when my emotions could have run wild! The Bible says to think about what ever is; true, noble, just, pure, lovely, a good report, virtuous or praiseworthy- meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8) ❤

 

Summertime!

20170527_112436.jpg

Summertime and the livin’ is easy

Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high

Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good lookin’

So hush little baby don’t you cry….

That is the song I was singing while I started the post! I take voice lessons and  I just finished working on this piece but it happened to coincide with our children having their last day of school yesterday.

Summertime actually can make me a bit anxious with the change in schedule. I will not have the quiet mornings I have had through the school year, many of those mornings in which I take the time to blog. But I did get to take a quick vacation at this very beach in Destin, Florida! It is to date one of the most beautiful and fun beaches I have ever been to. Our son is in the Navy and our daughter, Hannah and I met up with him and spent a few days of Liberty with him.

It was a relationally worthwhile trip and I am very thankful that my two oldest children would want to spend that time with me. We laid on the beach and we played in the waves- it was great! It is easy for me to push myself continually and not rest or make time for recreation- but it is so important for us to do that for ourselves. In this instance, an unforgettable memory was built, which is even more important.

I created an After Sun Spray and took it on the trip, and it was good that I did! It was a mixture of Aloe Vera Juice and Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia). It felt fantastic on hot skin and smelled amazing as well as being very calming! Try it and let us know what you think!

So, Happy Summer and take time to enjoy the season, re creating and singing!!

What “Weeds” Do You Have In Your Back Yard?

20170503_083333.jpg

The other day, in Do The Next Thing, I touched on using local “weeds” for medicinal purposes. I found a great article about  Creeping Charlie written by Connie Korstens that goes into detail on that very subject!

Many people hate the sight of Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) will do anything to try to eradicate it. It is often considered an invasive weed that runs amok. But when I see this low growing plant with kidney-shaped leaves and beautiful, funnel-shaped, bluish-violet flowers in the spring, it makes me think of all the amazing medicinal uses it has.

European settlers intentionally brought Creeping Charlie to America for its culinary and medicinal uses. A member of the mint family, the herb forms long trailing stems that create a dense mat over the ground. Another common name for this plant is Ground Ivy.

Historically, it has a rich background and was even used in beer making as a clarifying agent to improve flavor before hops were used. It was also used by painters as a remedy for lead colic. Mostly, it was used as a tonic. Since Creeping Charlie is extremely rich in vitamin C, it was often made into a tea and used to prevent scurvy.

Parts used: Flowers, stems, leaves.

Medicinal Uses: Both Internal and external.

*Soothes inflamed mucous membranes

*Sinusitis

*used for inner and middle ear remedy

*tinnitus (ringing in the ears

*kidney and lung disorder

*head colds, especially with congestion in ear tubes

*bronchitis and viral pneumonia

*cough remedy

*bladder infections

*indigestion

*may be useful for heavy metal detoxification (lead, mercury, aluminum)

*traditional cancer remedy

*Externally used as a wash or poultice for sores, cuts, bruises and ear or nasal infections

*Systems Supported: Kidney, bladder, respiratory, lymphatic, and digestive.

*Plant Preparations: Infusion (tea), tincture, poultice.

*Minerals/Vitamins: Iron, copper, iodine, phosphorus, potassium. Rich in Vitamin C.

*Herbal Actions: Anti-catarrhal – Anti-inflammatory – Antiviral – Astringent – Diaphoretic – Diuretic – Expectorant

RECIPE: Creeping Charlie Tea.

Because this plant runs so rampant, one way to embrace and use Creeping Charlie is to make an herbal infusion. It has a pleasantly subtle mint-like flavor.

Infusions are a great way to build health. Just think of them as a gentle tonic for the body. Tonic herbs are beneficial to the body and they can either increase or decrease the activity of a system, as needed. Some tonic herbs have an overall affect on several bodily systems, while others address a narrow range of processes. Herbal teas are easy to prepare and nurturing to sip.

How To Make It…

Pick enough plant material to loosely fill a quart jar. Thoroughly wash the Creeping Charlie. Place the plant material in a quart jar. Fill to top with boiling water. Cover jar and steep for one hour. Remove plant material and drink either hot or cold. Optional: Add lemon or lime slices with a sprig of fresh mint

Reading this article re energizes me to gain some more knowledge on my back yard “weeds”! When our older children were younger, I often dug up dandy lion roots or clipped other leaves and flowers for medicinal teas. It is all right there, free for the taking! I went out side this morning and collected some of this lovely plant, and I am making this tea as I type!!

20170503_084941

What “weeds” do you have in your back yard? Identify them on the internet, or buy a book on the subject. I am right here, learning along, and becoming holistically healthier with you:-)

Do The Next Thing

20170430_183507.jpg

 

This pic was taken on the bike trail in our area. I have been purposely appreciating “the weeds” in my yard or along the side of the road. They are “weeds” because someone has called them “weeds” and told us that they are to be pulled out, not picked, and not looked at as a thing of beauty. But they are lovely- faithfully growing there at the edge of the trail, under the sun light as I ride my bike and move forward.

Yesterday at church, our pastor reminded us to continue to be faithful in everyday things. When you feel you have failed,  don’t know what to do next or you feel you are not where you are supposed to be, simply do the next thing and be faithful in it. If you have a job, show up, be faithful when no one is watching. If you are married, be love to your spouse. If you are a parent, be present and involved in your child’s life. If you are none of the above, get up and move and “bloom where you are planted”! Be beauty to yourself and to others.

In The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp says, “When nothing feels simple, simply do the next thing.” Sometimes life can be overwhelming. Reduce it, do the next thing, take the next step-be faithful in the small things. And look for the beauty and growth in the “weeds”.

Speaking of “weeds”, many of the wonderful properties we glean from our Infused Oils come from garden variety “weeds”!! Red Clover, Creeping Charlie, Yarrow, for example, all have amazing health properties.  I blend many of my Essential Oils into infused oils for added health benefits. I have taken local classes to identify helpful “weeds” that grow in our region. Does this interest you? Buy a book on the subject, or check out classes at your local parks! Learn, grow, flourish….simply do the next thing 🙂