Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My lemon went to Omaha!

My husband was out of town for work all last week in Omaha. The night before he left, he was packing his things and I was trying to be a good wife by not telling him which oils he could and couldn't take with him on his trip. He took the lemon! I had just run out of my lemon sugar scrub and didn't get to make more before he left :( this lemon scrub is the only face wash/scrub I have found that doesn't irritate my skin or cause me to break out. I love it because it is inexpensive to make and it WORKS. I use it at night and don't have to reuse it in the morning. The main reason I use it at night is because lemon is photosensitizing. This means you should avoid using on skin exposed to direct sunlight or UV rays. Using it the night before, gives the lemon time to basically soak into your skin and wear off. 

I also love to use the scrub on my legs. I rub it in to exfoliate, then rinse it off. There is enough moisture left to where I don't need shaving cream, I can just shave my legs! And afterwards you don't even need lotion :-)

I combine all ingredients in a glass jar and keep it in the bathroom. This recipe usually last me about a month. Here's my recipe:
  • Himalayan salt - 1/4c
  • Sugar - 1 3/4c
  • Coconut oil - 1c
  • Lemon essential oil - 10-15 drops (this oil is only 5¢ a drop!)

In case you are interested, here's some info about the ingredients!

Himalayan salt is a pink salt which comes from the heart of the Himalayan mountains. It contains the full spectrum of 84 elements and trace minerals. This salt is completely different than traditional table salt, which is so processed that it is void of any possible nutrients. Himalayan salts cleanse and detoxify the skin – which make it perfect to add to a facial or body scrub. Along with cleansing, Himalayan salt balances the pH in your skin. For me, this meant less redness and irritation on my face – which makes me less self-conscious if I don't wear make-up. 

You probably know that's not good for your body to consume refined sugar, however, it's great for your skin! Sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the skin. So using sugar as an ingredient in this scrub, it actually helps hydrate your skin. Sugar is also a natural source of glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is typically used to treat sun damaged or aging skin because it encourages cell turnover and generates fresher, younger-looking skin. Finally, and the most obvious, sugar is an excellent topical exfoliant. 

Unrefined coconut oil contains fatty acids and has many medicinal properties. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently than long-chain fatty acids. When consumed, they go straight to the liver from the digestive tract where they are converted into energy. (I'll write another blog post later about why I add coconut oil into my morning smoothie!)  One reason why coconut oil is great for the skin is because it contains lauric acid. Lauric acid can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. -Which is great for acne prone skin or just a clearer complexion in general! You may think that by washing your face with an oil, your face would be left "oily", but that's not the case. When rinsed well with warm water, coconut oil leaves your skin with just the right amount of moisture. 

Lastly, lemon essential oil! I prefer to use Young Living essential oils because I know their seed-to-seal promise. This promise means that from the very beginning - even when seeds are selected - to when they're planted, harvested and distilled, there are no chemicals, additives or alterations. This promise makes me feel safe to use their products on myself and especially my children. Did you know that lemons contain a supply of vitamins and minerals that is greater than any other food? Lemon also has the ability to clean toxins from any part of the body. There are many properties of lemons, some of which are: antifungal, astringent, anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant, diuretic, and expectorant. Lemon is also great for acne and many types of skin conditions. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Another shout out to my main man, Thieves! I am currently aware of three different cases of Hand-foot-and-mouth Disease that is going around. In case you're not aware what this disease is, it is a mild, yet highly contagious, viral infection that is common in young children. The symptoms include sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. There is no immunization or specific treatment for this disease. And the symptoms usually clear up in 7 to 10 days. Ten days of having painful, red, blister-like lesions on the tongue or gums can seem like an eternity for both the child and parents.

However, Thieves essential oil can shorten and heal it much faster. It is a blend of highly antiviral, anti-septic, antibacterial, anti-infectious essential oils. Thieves was created from research of a group of 15th century thieves who rubbed oils on themselves to avoid contracting the plague while they robbed the bodies of the dead and dying. When apprehended, these thieves disclosed the formula of herbs, spices, and oils they used to protect themselves and exchange for more lenient punishment. 

In 1997 Weather State University in Utah demonstrated it's killing power against airborne micro organisms. One analysis showed a 90% reduction in the number of the gram-positive Micrococcus luteus organisms after diffusing for 12 minutes. After 20 minutes of defusing, the kill-rate jumped to 99.3%. The ingredients in the Thieves essential oil blend are: clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary.
  • Cloves is the most anti-microbial and antiseptic of all essential oils. It is anti-fungal, antiviral, and anti-infectious. 
  • Lemon has antiseptic like properties and contains compounds that amplify immunity. 
  • Cinnamon bark is one of the most powerful antiseptics known it is strongly antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal. 
  • Eucalyptus is anti-infectious antibacterial antiviral and anti-inflammatory. 
  • Rosemary is antiseptic and antimicrobial. It is high and cineol – a key ingredient in antiseptic drugs. 

How do you use Thieves to treat hand-foot-and-mouth disease? In a glass bowl, dilute one part essential oil to four parts coconut or olive oil and rub into the affected area. (We use coconut or olive oil because these are "carrier oils". They aid in carrying essential oils through the skin for healing.) For sores in the mouth and throat, massage into neck and side of face. Because viruses like to cling to the spine, also massage into the spine. Repeat this application three times a day. To make this easier with children, you can prepare this mixture ahead of time and keep it in a glass jar on the counter so you can just rub your child with it when he/she is in their chair at meal times.