Category: Remedies

Beware Bugs and Burns

Enjoying summer nights can be hard to do if you are fighting with pesky bugs who want to nibble on your ankles.  A few years ago we began searching for an alternative to the icky chemical bug repellents you can buy.  We discovered that using Young Living essential oils is as effective and smells so much nicer too! Here’s a recipe we have used and love.

summer nights

Bug Repellent Spray or Cream

In the bottom of a 2 oz spray bottle, put a pinch of sea salt or a few drops of alcohol and then add 8-10 drops of purification oil*.  Allow the oil and salt/alcohol to combine and then fill with distilled water.  The salt/alcohol help disperse the oil in the water.  Spray on your skin when you go out to avoid bug bites.  If you are looking to add some moisture to your skin as well you can combine 8-10 drops purification with coconut oil and shea butter (⅛ c each).

In our quest to get rid of chemicals we try to use sunscreen that is effective while not being toxic to us.  One down side to natural sunscreen is it needs to be applied more often.  If you forget, and you are fair skinned like several in my family, you will pay the price with painful sunburns.  We have found some Young Living products that work amazingly to relieve the pain when that happens:

Sunburn Relief

Lavender essential oil neat (no carrier oil) applied directly on a sunburn can be very healing. If you have burned a large area like your back, this could take a lot of oil.  A great alternative that you can purchase is a cooling mist from Young Living called LavaDerm (product #3249) which combines lavender essential oil and aloe vera in a cooling spray.  We have used this already this summer and found it to be very soothing on a sunburn.

To purchase your own Young Living* essential oils click on this link.

*I am an Independent distributor with Young Living Essential Oils. While I do make a commission on products that are purchased using my number, I will only ever promote things my family uses and loves.

Homemade All-Natural Deodorant

homemade deodorant

I’ve become more and more crunchy over the years and I may have finally gone over the crunchy edge…I’ve started making my own deodorant. I know some of my non-crunchy friends just gasped and are vowing never to stand near me on a hot day again. But before you write me off as one of those hippies who doesn’t wear deodorant, let me give you the back story. 🙂

As I learn more about our bodies and the way they work, I learned that whatever we put onto our skin goes into our body. That means make-up, lotion, soaps, shampoos, sunscreen, and yes, deodorant. So while I have scrutinized the labels of the food I feed my family for some time now, I have only recently started to examine the labels of our body care products. We switched to shampoos and body soaps that are made from natural, organic ingredients and free of parabens and other harmful ingredients. We like this brand shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.

In December I decided to take the plunge to a “homemade” deodorant (not made by me, but from an Etsy shop). The deodorant was a little pricey, but I decided it was worth the money if it worked. I started the first day and within a couple hours I could smell that it was NOT working. I reapplied every few hours for the first few days waiting for it to “kick in.” After a few days of not lifting my arms to hug people (I apologize if I forgot and hugged you) I sent a message to the owner of the shop and discussed my smelly problem. I told her I smelled like lavender/vanilla BO. She assured me that it was a detox from my traditional deodorant and her product would kick in soon, but if not I should try a different scent. So I gave it a few more weeks and then decided I needed to try something different.

Instead of going out and buying a different brand or scent I decided to put to use the amazing essential oils that I already have and see if I could find a combination that worked for me. Now I can’t speak to the efficacy of other oils, but Young Living Essential Oils are the ones I use and love. I had on hand two blends called purification and joy.

Purification has a very clean smell and contains a blend of oils including rosemary and melaleuca (tea tree). Joy has more of a floral smell and contains a blend of citrus and floral oils such as lemon, jasmine, and rose.

So here’s the recipe I came up with:

  • 1 Tablespoon raw coconut oil
  • 4 drops purification oil*
  • 4 drops joy oil*

Mix these ingredients together in a small container with a lid. Apply a small amount to arm pits and enjoy a clean smell all day long.

I was really excited that this combination worked so well! I plan to work on a formula that will stay a bit more solid for those hot Texas days. I am thinking about incorporating baking soda (aluminum free of course), shea butter, and bee’s wax. I’ll keep you posted! Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!

*To purchase Young Living Essential oils click here and use my number #1405009 for the sponsor and enroller id. You can sign up as a wholesale member and purchase a starter kit. The premium kit includes both oils used in this recipe. This also allows you to purchase future oils at wholesale. You can also become a retail customer and simply order oils as needed at retail. pricing. Either way I will make a small commission.

The Healing Power of Garlic [re-post]

cloves of garlic

Recently a friend said something to me that really made a lot of sense…God created us and didn’t leave us with no way to treat our ailments.  He created food for medicinal purpose as well as nourishment.  He created natural cures for aches and pains.

I remember as a child, a friend’s mom who had an aloe plant…natural relief for sunburn. So many natural cures, yet we have been trained to run to the doctor whenever we are sick. Yet so many things can be treated naturally, without medical intervention.

A few weeks after the birth of our newest blessing, I woke up feeling achy all over and running a fever of 102F.  I felt like I had the flu.  I realized that it must be mastitis.  I contacted my midwife and she said I could take an antibiotic or try some natural remedies.

I began to research natural antibiotics and cures for mastitis.

One thing I came across was the fact that raw garlic is a natural antibiotic.  I always have cloves of garlic on hand for cooking…but for medicine?  Well I decided it couldn’t hurt to try, so I chopped up a clove of garlic that morning and swallowed all the pieces like little pills and went back to bed.  I took a total of 3 cloves that day and the following day.  Within 12 hours of starting the garlic, my fever went away and so did my body aches. (Warning: I did sweat garlic when my fever broke and my breath smelled horrible!)   Within 48 hours all of my symptoms had disappeared completely!  I have to admit I was pretty much in shock.  No doctor visit, no medication (better yet no side effects from medication), back to normal.  I was sold.  I told everyone who would listen about garlic as an antibiotic.

Fast forward a few months and my newborn baby begins coughing.  It started off as a runny nose and a tiny cough from time to time.  I decided she must have her first cold.  Well the cough was not going away and in fact it seemed to be getting worse.

I started rubbing a homemade “vapor rub” on her feet and chest, mostly at night so she could sleep.  Then I began doing it during the day.  This did help her cough, but it was lingering and beginning to sound like more than a cold. Since I was breastfeeding, I began taking garlic and I upped my dose of fish oil on the recommendation of my chiropractor.  I started searching online for a more potent way to give her garlic, rather than me taking mega doses.  I came across several sites that said to crush it up and rub it on the bottoms of her feet.

I crushed a clove of garlic mixed with coconut oil (about a tablespoon) and rubbed it on the bottoms of her feet and covered them with socks.  I reapplied the mixture throughout the day until it was gone.  I began to notice a difference in the cough by that night.  I did the same the next day with another clove and coconut oil.  Within 48 hours her cough, that had been lingering and getting worse for several weeks, was GONE!  I will never be without garlic in my home!  I have told everyone I know about this awesome natural remedy.

Modern Alternative Mama has a post on alternatives to antibiotics that was super helpful to me.

Keeper of the Home has a great post on the history and uses of garlic, as well as a recipe for garlic oil for treating ear infections.

Have you ever tried garlic as a remedy?  What have you used garlic to treat?

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5 Things I Keep Stocked for Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season

I hate being sick! Of course who likes it (besides kids who get a low grade fever with no other symptoms and get to stay home and watch movies instead of going to school…they like it).  I also hate going to the doctor and taking medicine. Over the past few years our family has tried hard to do things that naturally boost our immune systems so we can stay healthy. We try to stay active and get sunshine (Vitamin D) as well as watch what we put into our bodies (less processed and more real foods). But we still get sick from time to time. It doesn’t seem to be nearly as bad as it used to be when one of us gets sick, but I keep a “medicine cabinet” full of remedies to help us get through.

Here are my top 5 things I will not be without during cold and flu season:

  1.  Essential Oils – Thieves, Lemon, and Raven are great for combatting colds, flu, and a multitude of other ailments.  At the first sign of a cold I begin to diffuse these oils and apply them to the bottom of feet.  (I only use Young Living essential oils.  Comment below if you want more information on purchasing them.)
  2. Garlic- This is one of the cheapest and easiest remedies to keep on hand.  In it’s raw state, garlic can act as a natural antibiotic. You can read more here about how I have used garlic (even with my 3 month old baby).  Recently I lacto fermented some garlic and carrots. I was amazed by the mild flavor of the garlic.  Even my babies would eat it.
  3. Probiotics- The more I learn about our gut health, the more I am convinced that we should get more probiotics into our bodies on a daily basis.  We regularly drink kefir and eat fermented Bubbies pickles.  One of my kiddos hates pickles, but loves the juice so she just drinks the fermented goodness.  When one of us gets sick we add a powdered probiotic as well.  When looking for a good probiotic at the store I look for one that has multiple strands and billions of units.  This is one we use.
  4. Cod Liver Oil- I was first introduced to this wonderful food (okay…the taste is not all that wonderful) from a friend who’s holistic doctor recommended it to help her son’s asthma.  Our oldest daughter was 4 yrs old at the time and had used her asthma medications almost daily during the fall, winter, and spring since she was a baby.  So I did a little research and found that fish oil has been shown to help prevent asthma symptoms.  We began using it daily and in the past 5 years she has only had one asthma attach!  This fabulous little food is also great for boosting your immune system, so we increase our dose when someone is sick.  Be sure to choose a high quality fish oil.
  5. Elderberry syrup– My kids love this because of the super sweet taste, but I love it because it wards of a cold quickly.  Elderberries are known to boost immune function and when made into a syrup with honey the results are fabulous.  You can buy this at your local health food store or buy the berries and make it yourself.

What are your favorite home remedies to boost your immune system and fight off illness? Comment below.

The Healing Power of Garlic

Recently a friend said something to me that really made a lot of sense…God created us and didn’t leave us with no way to treat our ailments.  He created food for medicinal purpose as well as nourishment.  He created natural cures for aches and pains.  I remember as a child, a friend’s mom who had an aloe plant…natural relief for sunburn. So many natural cures, yet we have been trained to run to the doctor whenever we are sick.  Yet so many things can be treated naturally, without medical intervention.

Raw garlic on the counterA few weeks after the birth of our newest blessing, Libby (4 months old now), I woke up feeling achy all over and running a fever of 102F.  I felt like I had the flu.  I realized this must be mastitis.  I contacted my midwife and she said I could take an antibiotic or try some natural remedies.  I began to research natural antibiotics and cures for mastitis.  One thing I came across was the fact that raw garlic is a natural antibiotic.  I always have cloves of garlic on hand for cooking…but for medicine?  Well I decided it couldn’t hurt to try, so I chopped up a clove of garlic that morning and swallowed all the pieces like little pills and went back to bed.  I took a total of 3 cloves that day and the following day.  Within 12 hours of starting the garlic, my fever went away and so did my body aches. (Warning: I did sweat garlic when my fever broke and my breath smelled horrible!)   Within 48 hours all of my symptoms had disappeared completely!  I have to admit I was pretty much in shock.  No doctor visit, no medication (better yet no side effects from medication), back to normal.  I was sold.  I told everyone who would listen about garlic as an antibiotic.

Fast forward a few months and my newborn baby begins coughing.  It started off as a runny nose and a tiny cough from time to time.  I decided she must have her first cold.  Well the cough was not going away and in fact by a few weeks later seemed to be getting worse.  I started rubbing a homemade “vapor rub” on her feet and chest, mostly at night so she could sleep.  Then I began doing it during the day.  This did help her cough, but it was lingering and beginning to sound like more than a cold. Since I was breastfeeding, I began taking garlic and I upped my dose of fish oil on the recommendation of my chiropractor.  I started searching online for a more potent way to give her garlic, rather than me taking mega doses.  I came across several sites that said to crush it up and rub it on the bottoms of her feet.  I crushed a clove of garlic mixed with coconut oil (about a tablespoon) and rubbed it on the bottoms of her feet and covered them with socks.  I reapplied the mixture throughout the day until it was gone.  I began to notice a difference in the cough by that night.  I did the same the next day with another clove and coconut oil.  Within 48 hours her cough, that had been lingering and getting worse for several weeks, was GONE!  I will never be without garlic in my home!  I have told everyone I know about this awesome natural remedy.

Modern Alternative Mama has a post on alternatives to antibiotics that was super helpful to me.

Keeper of the Home has a great post on the history and uses of garlic, as well as a recipe for garlic oil for treating ear infections.

Have you ever tried garlic as a remedy?  What have you used garlic to treat?

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