Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Aromatherapy at Home With The Premium Starter Kit

Aromatherapy is probably essential oils' mainstream claim to fame, with their mood-enhancing scents. Nowadays, it is easy to have the benefits of aromatherapy right in your own home--no spa or massage therapist needed!

Good quality essential oils are a healthy way to scent and freshen the air in your home. But there is so much more to it than that! The molecules of essential oils are so tiny, they travel through your nose, into your blood stream and to the limbic system of your brain (that's the part that regulates your basic emotions and drives). Essential oils are powerful and simply smelling them can affect your body not only mentally, but physically. You can use them aromatically to support your mood, your mind, and your body. Did you ever even notice that the second half of "aromatherapy" is "therapy?!"

To diffuse essential oils, all you have to do is add a few drops of your preferred oil to some water in the well of a diffuser. You can get a diffuser from lots of places now, including Amazon and health food stores. Mine came as a part of my Young Living Premium Starter Kits (yeah, I have more than 1...) Young Living oils are top quality, therapeutic grade, for maximum therapeutic value. The kit includes 11 of their most versatile and/or popular essential oils and the diffuser to use them with!  (Get your hands on it HERE!) But, once you have them, what should you put in your diffuser? You can, of course, start with any one on its own. That's a fantastic way to get familiar with each one, how it makes you feel, and how you like it.  Go slow and don't get overwhelmed! They aren't going anywhere! Once you've experienced them on their own, or if you are just more ambitious to start with, then you can take the next step and combine them to fine tune addressing your needs.

Here are each of the PSK oils with their primary aromatic uses, so you can see how mixing and matching can enhance their effects:

Lavender: calming, soothing, balancing (mentally and physically!)
Lemon: cleansing for the air, clarifying, and invigorating
Peppermint: stimulating mentally, invigorating, and purifying
Copaiba: soothing, promotes body's natural response to irritant
Frankincense: uplifiting, grounding
Stress Away: promotes peace, balance, and relaxation
Thieves: super cleansing, supports immune health
Purification: cleansing, supports respiratory health
RC: cleansing, supports sinus and respiratory health
PanAway: stimulating

Here's a comprehensive collection of wonderful combinations of PSK oils that make for great diffuser blends!


*Note that each combo appears only once!

I think you can see a trend here. The single oils are more versatile than the blends. And you can see, 2 or 3 oils are plenty! No need to get carried away.

In my bedroom, a medium space with 2 adult bodies, I tend to stick with 6 drops total: 2-3 drops of each. For my children I do even less. My 4-year-old gets 3-4 drops total in her room, and my 2-year-old usually only 2 drops. I may go up to 8 total drops in my open-concept living/dining/kitchen space. But IMHO, why waste? Now if we are under the weather, or there is something going around and I feel we need the extra support, I MAY flex those totals a bit, but I don't usually feel it is necessary.

Remember too, when combining oils, that some are stronger than others. I find peppermint, Thieves, and RC particularly dominant, while copaiba and frankincense are a bit lighter. I adjust accordingly, for example, 2 drops peppermint + 4 drops Stress Away or 2 drops RC + 3 drops lemon.

If you are just starting out, keep it on the light side and keep the exposure brief, especially for kids! Also be sure to keep an exit available for pets.

So bust out that diffuser and try something new!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Achy Body Spray

My family went on vacation last week!  Woohoo! (one reason I recruited some blogging help!) Well, it was more of a staycation, really, but involved a hotel room, nonetheless. And a hotel bed. And a hotel pillow. After riding in the car... Do you see where I'm going with this??? Stiff neck, achy back... Those pesky vacation ruiners weren't going to put a damper on my relaxation! I made sure to bring my Magnesium Spray. It is just the trick for those kind of everyday, ain't-as-young-as-I-used-to-be, tight and angry muscles. And the best part is it is easy to make and it works fast! With one of the peak travelling seasons nearly upon us, I felt obligated to share!

I got inspired by my old friend and DIY guru, Sherri, at Overthrow Martha. She has a wonderfully simple and economical recipe there to make your own magnesium oil, which is the base for this recipe. She also tells you all about why you need it and how you probably aren't getting enough of it in your life. Magnesium is great stuff! It's the active ingredient in epsom salts that make your bath so relaxing. It's so soothing on tired muscles! It does all kinds of amazing things for your body. I used a magnesium supplement when I was pregnant a lot! My doctor recommended it to help manage some normal pregnancy symptoms and it worked very nicely. It was a powder that dissolves in water. You drink it like a tea. But it can have some of those relaxing effects on your digestive system, which is actually helpful when you're pregnant! But a lot of people don't like to use it orally on a regular basis for that reason. A topical spray is a good alternative to get the benefits to your body while bypassing your tummy.

To make your own magnesium oil that you can spray topically, all you need is magnesium chloride flakes and water (equal parts). Once saw this, and knowing how to make a basic essential oil spray, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to inject some essential oils for some extra power! My top choices are PanAway and Copaiba. 

PanAway is an exclusive blend from Young Living of wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, and peppermint. It is specifically designed to support your musculoskeletal system with naturally occurring compounds like methyl salicylate and menthol. Copaiba is a single oil that comes from resin of trees native to the Amazon. It's known for supporting the body's natural response to an irritant and is very soothing! It is also a magnifier for other oils, supporting their natural effects. 
Put all those things together, and you've got a winning combination! Like throwing the kitchen sink at your shoulders!

So, here's how you do it!
Cover the bottom of a 1 oz spray bottle with magnesium flakes (1-2 pinches) 
Add 15-25 drops of PanAway + 8-15 drops Copaiba (I use this spray more as-needed than everyday, so I go on the stronger side)
Swirl to combine
Fill about half way with warm water, cover with your finger, and shake to combine
Top off with Sherri's Magnesium Oil, put the top on, and again, give it a little shake to combine everything

Then, all you have to do is spray it on what ails ya! My neck and shoulders get a lot of this spray! As does my lower back area. I do about 50/50 water to Mg oil here for 2 reasons: one is that I use more magnesium flakes to start with. I don't want to overdo it with the magnesium. But also, when the spray dries, it leaves some of the salt (as in chemical salt, not table salt), residue on your skin and it can feel sticky or even cause some mild skin irritation. I don't love that, especially using it around my hair. So, I dilute it more. You could certainly flex that ratio in either direction. 

Now, if you don't have PanAway and Copaiba (which I highly recommend, and happen to both come in Young Living's Premium Starter Kit), there are many choices to use in this recipe! Anything you like to use on sore or tired muscles would fit the bill: lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, wintergreen, pine... there are lots and lots 'o choices! 
Stay loose and feelin fine! 
(forgive me, I'm still recovering from vacation ;) )

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tastes of the Season: Fall 2016

I think you're getting the idea by now that I love to use Young Living Vitality Essential Oils in my food and drinks all the time! Well, I've been sharing the love an I've recruited my brother, Jeff, our family's resident food and drink connoisseur, to share some Tastes of the Season recipes featuring essential oils. He's been in the restaurant and hospitality biz for years, and has literally eaten his way around the world! Here's what he shared:

The 2016 Essential Oil Culinary Collection has several oils great for seasonal dishes this Fall, for all times of the day. Try adding 2-3 drops drops each of Lemon Vitality and Ginger Vitality with a tablespoon or 2 of ricotta cheese to pancake or crêpe batter for a spiced up Autumn breakfast or brunch treat! Reserve a little of the ricotta mixture to top your pancakes along with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Or use a little bit of seasonal jam (apricot, perhaps???) instead of syrup. Pair with seasonal fruit, like apples, figs, cranberries, or plums, to complete the meal. This will look and taste so sophisticated. It's perfect for everyday, or a social brunch.

Or how about mixing Rosemary Vitality with some olive oil to coat your roast, chicken, turkey or rack of Lamb for a rich, pine, & earthy flavor? 1-2 drops per tablespoon of olive oil should be plenty! Rosemary is a strong flavor! Any single, or combination of herb Vitality oils would do nicely here. Add salt, pepper, oven roast as usual, and voilà, a holiday feast!

If you like to entertain during the holidays (and who doesn’t?) you can prepare a holiday cocktail for you and your guests by adding Peppermint Vitality to chocolate liquor, vodka, and half & half to make delicious peppermint patty martinis or cocktails! Peppermint essential oil is really strong, so if you are making only 1 serving at a time (I know, but you never know!), try drawing a clean toothpick along the inside of the top of the bottle, then stirring it in to the cocktail mix. 1 drop would better serve 4 or so. For a twist on this, go hot toddy style, with spiked peppermint hot chocolate! 

Not sure if your essential oils are safe with food and drinks??? I can help you with that! If your essential oils do not specifically say they are safe for internal use, or have supplement information on the label, don't use them! Not all essential oils are the same quality and purity. Young Living's exclusive line of Vitality oils are all safe and labeled with directions for internal use. Learn more about them HERE!
Ready to get your hands on some and try some great recipes? Start HERE!