Early on in my health issues journey, I started researching (online) natural health (aka functional health or functional nutrition). I investigated essential oils, herbs, and eating properly. Why this route, instead of pharmaceuticals? Because God gave us what we need, and I needed to learn from people who understood that. After all, steroid use was primarily what got me into my health issues in the first place (well, that and the fact that I had been such a poor steward of the original health God gave me). I no longer wanted chemicals and medicines: these are the widely-used tools that, to me, represent what people have been messing up, mostly to make money.
I learned a lot in that first year. One of the most beneficial tools I found was the Herbs and Essential Oils Bundle that I purchased. Mind you, this was the only purchase I made in my pursuit of health knowledge: all the other information I gathered was free.
But the Bundle that I purchased was such a great deal; and I have to say it was one of the most helpful, useful, and valuable purchases I’ve ever made.
Lisa at Ultimate Bundles is offering this great deal again, and I highly recommend it. For a very low price, you can get amazing information, courses, and links to even more great stuff.
Thieves Blend, or Four Thieves Blend, has been around since the Middle Ages, give or take a few centuries. There are many stories surrounding the name and the mixture, but most herbalists, scientists, and doctors agree on its effectiveness.
Thieves Blend of essential oils is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal & anti-viral. Granted, many microbes are beneficial to the human body, but God provides amazing protection against the harmful ones through His plants.
Benefits of Thieves Blend:
Cleans the air of germs and molds as you diffuse
Prevents against food spoilage
Stops unwanted microbes and superbugs
Alleviates discomfort due to arthritis, muscle pains, joint pains, nausea, vomiting, gum issues, and ulcers
Powerful emotional and physiological effects from diffusing
The use of Thieves oil dates all the way back to the year 1413. The time of the infamous Bubonic Plague (aka The Black Death) ran rampant through Europe and Asia. The plague spread like wild-fire amongst the citizens, and the physicians alike. It seemed impossible to be in the vicinity without contracting it, and at the time, the sickness really did mean ultimate death.
However, four thieves, who were notoriously robbing the infected dead bodies of all their possessions, miraculously never contracted the highly infectious plague, were captured and charged for stealing from the sick and dying.
The crime these four men committed was punishable by being burnt alive. The judge was so intrigued by how these men had stayed immune to this terrible disease, that he told them if they shared their secret he would spare them this punishment. Taking the deal, they told stories of their herbal knowledge and their powerful medicinal properties when combined in certain ways.
The Thieves told the judge their secret: they were perfume and spice merchants who were unemployed due to the closure of the sea ports and the devastation of the plague. In this age, physicians were seen wearing long black robes, wide brimmed hats, and masks that appeared to have a beak. The reason being that the masks were said to have contained a combination of herbs, spices, and essential oils that the physicians would breathe in order to keep themselves safe from those afflicted with the illness.
Their long black robes were also said to be doused in a similar fragrant concoction and current research continues to build upon this theory. They had prepared an essential oil recipe that when applied to their hands, ears, temples, feet and masks over their mouths, kept them safe from infection.
The judge stayed true to his word. The men were not burned alive, but instead they were hanged for their crimes.
From then on, the doctors who treated the Black Death victims appropriately used this special blend. The beak is how doctors got the long-lasting nickname “quack”.
Yet another version of the story relates that a man named Richard Forthave developed and sold the preparation, and that the blend was originally referred to as Forthave’s. Over time, his name became corrupted to Four Thieves.
There are many versions of how Thieves Blend is made, but the basic ingredients are essential oils of lemon, clove, cinnamon, and rosemary. Those are included in the Young Living brand, as well as eucalyptus. Other mixtures contain also oils of white camphor, sweet orange, thyme, and sage.
A sample recipe for Thieves Blend:
8 drops of Clove Essential Oil 7 drops of Lemon Essential Oil 4 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil 3 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil 2 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
How to use Thieves Blend
Using the blend straight:
Combine 1 drop Thieves Blend to 4 drops of carrier oil to massage on soles of feet, lower back, neck, hands, temples, and behind the ears. This can be used on everyone, but you may wish to spot-test for sensitivity first.
Add to dish water
Add 5-6 drops to a load of laundry
Wash pet dishes in a solution of soapy water and 1-2 drops of oil
Add 10-15 drops to a bucket of soapy water to clean floors
Sprinkle on your face mask to kill microbes coming and going
All-Purpose Spray: 2 drops of Thieves Blend per ounce of water. Add the oil to the bottle first, then the water. Shake well each time you use it. Use the spray for cleaning around the home.
You can also combine with vodka and/or witch hazel instead of water, and spray on surfaces as an anti-microbial; wipe off or leave on, as indicated. Suggested surfaces:
Stuffed animals / toys
Mattresses / bedding
Take on trips and use in guest rooms or hotels
Spray on your face mask, both sides
Thieves Blend is good for diffusing throughout the air.
There is also a Thieves Vinegar. Fill a jar with herbs and slices of lemon, garlic, sage, lavender, thyme, rosemary, mint, and wormwood. Pour vinegar to cover all, and cap tightly. Allow to steep for several days. As with Fire Cider, this is shelf-stable. To use, rub over hands, sip lightly, or consume with rice or vegetables (do not cook it, though).
According to Wikipedia, “an original copy of the recipe posted on the walls of Marseilles during an episode of the plague: Take three pints of strong white wine vinegar, add a handful of each of wormwood, meadowsweet, wild marjoram and sage, fifty cloves, two ounces of campanula roots, two ounces of angelic, rosemary and horehound and three large measures of camphor. Place the mixture in a container for fifteen days, strain and express then bottle. Use by rubbing it on the hands, ears and temples from time to time when approaching a plague victim.”
I suffer from allergy reactions in the fall: sneezing, drippy nose, stuffy nose, bit of a sore throat / cough from all that stuff siphoning down… etc.
One of my best remedies for this is my allergy inhaler. I get these tube-shaped inhalers through amazon, but they likely sell elsewhere, as well.
The tubes come apart: The lid slides off, then pull off the inhaling tip, and there is a glass bottle to unscrew. Cotton rolls come with the inhalers. Simply drop some essential oils onto the cotton roll, insert into the glass bottle, and put the tube back together. Easy peasy.
Boy howdy, you’ll know when you’ve inhaled this! If you inhale deeply, you’ll be able to feel it ‘way into your sinuses.
Eucalyptus essential oil benefits: good for respiratory issues like bronchitis, sinusitis and allergies; insect repellent (helps block malaria), expectorant, mucolytic, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-aging; respiratory/sinus infections, decongestant, rheumatism/arthritis; a spray of 2% eucalyptus oil will kill 70% of airborne staph bacteria
Peppermint essential oil benefits: digestion, aids in absorption, cools heat in the digestive lining, focus, energy booster, fever reducer, relieves headaches and body/muscle aches. Anti-inflammatory, antitumoral, antiparasitic (worms), antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, gallbladder/digestive stimulant, pain-relieving, curbs appetite, helps with irritable bowel system; improves focus, improves breathing (bronchitis, pneumonia, allergies); relieves headaches (2 drops peppermint + 2 drops lavender, rub on forehead); Can rub right on the stomach to relieve symptoms; also rub on bug bites for a few days to relieve itch
My allergy recipe is merely peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils.
Equipment and ingredients:
7 drops peppermint essential oil
7 drops eucalyptus essential oil
Drop the essential oils onto the cotton roll; insert the cotton roll into the inhaler and put the inhaler back together.
To apply: Blow your nose thoroughly. If you’re still dripping like a sieve, tip your head back so you don’t drip into the inhaler. Once the top of the inhaler is removed, lift the tip of the inhaler to one nostril. You can inhale that way, or semi-cover the other nostril with your fingertip. Inhale deeply. Repeat with the other nostril. Repeat again with each nostril as needed.
Thanks to my good buddy, Amy, for the recommendation to do a bug repellent recipe. Head over to Amy’s blog for poems to inspire, praise, and be edified in the Lord.
As bug season starts up, we’re looking around for ways to protect ourselves from bites. Bugs are irritating visitors, but they are definitely God’s creation, so they have a purpose and we have to live with them.
To live more comfortably, here are some ideas to make your own bug spray, using healthy and natural ingredients.
One of the main reasons to make your own bug spray is that you can control the ingredients that go into the spray. DEET may be popular as an effective repellent, but there are some harmful side effects, and natural remedies are just as effective, if not more so. Read about problems with using DEET here: https://naturallivingfamily.com/essential-oils-for-bug-bites/
A good bug repellent can be as simple as a carrier oil and some essential oils.
To start with, use a carrier oil that suits your body. My personal favorite is jojoba, as it absorbs quickly and is a clean oil (not heavy or greasy). Other suggestions are avocado oil, fractionated coconut, grapeseed, and sweet almond. Oils that are a bit heavier (to prevent premature evaporation) are coconut oil, neem, and soybean oil. Olive oil is a heavier oil.
Other ingredients you may want to add are witch hazel and aloe gel.
If you are making a one-ounce container of bug spray, you’ll need 10 – 15 drops of essential oils to the combination of carrier oil/s and other ingredients.
Good essential oils for repelling bugs:
Clove (reported as being the most effective)
A sample recipe for filling a 1-ounce spray bottle is:
1 tablespoon witch hazel
1 teaspoon aloe gel
3 drops lemongrass essential oil
2 drops peppermint essential oil
1 drops lavender essential oil
1 drop thyme essential oil
Add all ingredients to a 1-ounce glass spray bottle. Add enough carrier oil of choice to fill the bottle. Shake well to mix.
Or you may want to use only the carrier oil and essential oils.
These repellent remedies do not last all day. Re-apply every 90 min – 2 hours.
Please also be aware that some essential oils are NOT good to use in the sun, as they may cause photosensitivity (you might burn more easily). Such is not usually the case if diluted well with a carrier oil (i.e., if you have a drop or two in your 1-ounce bottle, along with other, non-photosensitive essential oils).
Essential oils not good for use in the sun:
Bitter Orange (cold pressed)
Lemon (cold pressed)
Lime (cold pressed)
Fig Leaf Absolute
As with using any product on your skin, if you have not used it before, do a small test patch first to make sure it is safe for you.
If you got bit anyway, try out a Bite and Sting remedy:
In a 10 ml roller bottle, add 5 drops of lavender essential oil, 5 drops of tea tree essential oil, and enough carrier oil to fill the bottle. Shake. Apply directly to stings, bites, and scrapes to relieve itch and sting.
Here is another health webinar, this one May 18 – 24. Eric Zelinski (the host) is kind of the “king” of essential oils, and there are many guest speakers whose names I recognize as experts in their fields.
It looks like there is a whole segment on Women’s Health issues; but the webinar is geared for anyone.
This is cold and flu season. Armed with the information in this post, I have been drinking my tea blend with immune-boosting herbs. I have elderberry syrup in the ‘fridge for dosing. I include antiviral herbs/remedies in my smoothie. I diffuse my antiviral and antibacterial essential oils day and night. I use my DIY antiviral/antibacterial spray on surfaces and bedding. We’re sticking to whole, unprocessed foods and cutting out sugar. A couple of times we have felt as though we might be coming down with something, but we get extra rest and drink plenty of clean water, along with these care steps; and we are healthy.
I get a lot of really good reading material in my e-mail box, all of it free. Following are three sources I trust, and all three have great information. I recommend subscribing to each of them. The information in this post is taken from each of the three sites referenced.
This first one is from Wardee Harmon, of Traditional Cooking School. At this link, she provides a helpful 20-minute video to describe each of her immune boosters and remedies; then she offers an extensive article with lots of extra links for even more information.
Strengthen your immune system with a clean, whole-foods diet.
Nutrient-dense, organic, real food with healthy fats and fermented foods
Avoid processed foods
Drink and bathe in clean, filtered water
Detoxify your environment
Take a close look at your personal care and cleaning supplies
Ditch the sugar
Sugar turns off your immune system for the duration of the time it takes to be digested.
Balance your gut flora
80% of your immune system resides in your gut
Fermented / cultured foods play a key role
Get some good pre- and pro-biotics
Use herb and food-based natural home remedies for cold and flu
Try essential oils to relieve cold and flu symptoms
All of these are useful against viruses:
Tea tree can prevent the flu virus from entering healthy cells
Avenues for use include:
DIY cleaning / air sprays
DIY soaps and personal care
Essential oil home remedies (i.e., adding oils to honey and vinegar)
Adding to a bath
Don’t forget homeopathy to treat cold and flu. Wardee’s recommendations:
Arsenicum album for fevers, influenza, anxiety, exhaustion, and restlessness.
Bryonia for splitting headaches, influenza, dryness of mouth, excessive thirst, nausea, dizziness, and faintness on rising up.
Cinchona officinalis for dehydration, influenza, traumatic fever, and pain in limbs and joints.
Eupatorium perfoliatum for influenza with great soreness of muscles and bones, fever, and thirst.
Gelsemium sempervirens for colds, aching, tiredness, heaviness, weakness in muscles, sneezing, drowsiness, and pain from throat to ear.
Influenzinum for fever, headache, weakness and fatigue, general ill feeling with chill, headache, and dry cough.
Please visit Wardee’s site for the full article, with even more links to great information.
Dr. Josh Axe writes up an informative article explaining what a virus is, how they spread, and what anti-viral herbs are.
His top antiviral herbs:
Elderberry can be used as a safe treatment for influenza A and B.
Echinacea has the capacity to reduce virus infections and tumors.
Calendula protects cells from damage and fights viruses, inflammation, and bacteria.
Experiments have shown that garlic — or specific chemical compounds found in garlic — is highly effective at killing countless microorganisms responsible for some of the most common and rarest infections, including tuberculosis, pneumonia, thrush and herpes. Because of its antiviral properties, garlic can be used to treat eye infections and as a natural ear infection remedy. Some more raw garlic benefitsinclude its ability to reduce the risk of cancer, control hypertension, boost cardiovascular health and fight hair loss.
Astragalus root inhibits viruses and boosts the body’s immune system.
This powerful herb is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal
Besides being antiviral, licorice root benefitsinclude:
Sore throat remedy for fast relief
Cough natural remedy
Protection against leaky gut signs and symptoms
Heals adrenal fatigue
The olive leaf has antiviral properties, giving it the ability to treat the common cold and dangerous viruses, including candida symptoms, meningitis, pneumonia, chronic fatigue syndrome, hepatitis B, malaria, gonorrhea and tuberculosis; it also treats dental, ear and urinary tract infections and is a natural treatment for shingles.
Oregano essential oil
Oregano is proving to be superior to some antibiotics, without harmful side effects. It is antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. It reverses viral infections, allergies, tumors, parasites, and disease-causing inflammation.
Click on his article to read how to make herbal infusions, herbal-infused oils, and recipes using these herbs and essential oils.
It is no news to those who follow me that I am an enthusiastic user of essential oils. Essential oils are good for your health! [Disclaimer: As with any product, test with a small amount to make sure you are not sensitive or allergic to the substance.] Because essential oils are made from plants, they are part of God’s gift in His creation, intended for our benefit. They work with our bodies, and do not contain harmful chemicals.
Think nothing can kill a virus? Think again: essential oils are proven to kill viruses, bacteria, and funguses. They can also act as anti-inflammatories.
Be sure to use a reputable source for your essential oils. At home, I use NOW brand and Vitacost brand.
How I use essential oils:
Essential oils can be mixed with beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter, a carrier oil (such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, avocado oil, or almond oil), castile soap, vinegar, witch hazel, vodka, and / or honey to make an unlimited array of health-supporting remedies and treatments.
NOTE: Always use essential oils combined with a carrier oil if applying to skin or ingesting.
Ways to ingest:
cook with essential oils (no, cooking does not destroy most essential oils: most are processed with heat) add a few drops of, say, rosemary and thyme into your spaghetti sauce
add lemon oil into your smoothie
add to treats like frosting (lemon, orange, or peppermint add taste and zip)
bake into a dessert (lemon pie or bars, lavender bread, cardamom cookies, peppermint brownies)
Apply to skin:
combine with a carrier oil
rub on abdomen for quick uptake
smooth onto temples, shoulders, or neck for tension or headache relief
use as an antibacterial on scrapes and bug bites
combine with castile soap for shampoo and body wash
lemon and orange are great at cutting grease, and smell so refreshing
essential oils kill bacteria in toilets, around sinks, kitchen counters, and baby’s room
combine with vodka and witch hazel for air freshening and killing germs on surfaces
use to wipe down handles, counters, keyboards, and common surfaces during cold and flu season
And you can always diffuse. Get a good-quality diffuser that will last for hours and incorporate a large room. And, get smaller diffusers for smaller rooms. Heck, they even sell diffusers for your car, and to wear around your neck!
I’ve written previously about my concern over the amount of chemicals we are exposed to. Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we have the God-gifted ability to overcome a lot of different kinds of assaults on our systems. But, at some point, we wear down our immune system; we overload it (think Scotty, from Star Trek: “She canna take much more, Captain!”).
When we wear down our immune system, our adrenal system, our elimination system; and don’t take care to build it up, then we develop faults: little things start slipping through, we notice something’s a bit off, and we think, “Eh. Our bodies break down. I’ll get over it.”
But we’re not getting over things like we used to. It’s not necessarily because we get old. Younger people are becoming afflicted with ailments that used to be relegated only to the elderly. Autoimmune system disorders are rampant. Mental illness is rampant. Cancers, infections, and other life-taking or life-changing diseases are sucking the abundant life out of us.
We don’t have to expose ourselves to the amount of artificial and chemical substances that we often do. Shampoos, conditioners, lotions, deodorants, hair styling products, shower soaps and gels, toothpastes, eye drops, cleaning products, laundry cleaners and fresheners, bug sprays, sunscreens, make-up, air sprays, scented candles, and perfumes all contain an alarming number and alarming types of chemicals that our bodies have to fight against.
I’m tellin’ ya: THEY’RE NOT ALL GOOD FOR YOU! Don’t believe the advertising.
If you believe any of the following about artificial products, please consider getting over it:
“I love the smell of it on my hair / skin.”
“My skin feels so soft when I use it.”
“My hair looks so good when I use this.”
“This is the only product that gives me the look I want.”
“My clothes smell so fresh!”
“Everyone else uses stuff like this.”
“It says it’s good for me.”
“I can’t have my home smelling stale like this; I have to use it.”
“I want people around me to enjoy this scent as much as I do. I want them to know this is ME.”
Since developing conditions, myself, I have done a lot of reading. Much of it has been on the Internet. I know, I know: Who can believe what you read on the Internet?? But I have found several reputable people who spread the good word(s) about living cleaner, healthier lives:
Most of these knowledgeable, helpful people offer an abundance of free advice, remedies, and recipes. I subscribe to e-newsletters from them, and get all kinds of helpful information. (Most also offer their tips on Facebook pages.) Just to highlight one, here is a page-ful of DIY, healthy, cleaning products: https://naturallivingfamily.com/category/cleaning/
And here is a recipe I use (one I made from a conglomeration of other recipes I read) for an anti-bacterial spray. Well, that’s the name for it, anyway, but it has many other uses.
Use a glass spray bottle. This recipe has essential oils, and the oils eat through plastic.
Prepare a 50/50 mix of witch hazel and vodka, enough so that it almost fills your spray bottle.
Into the bottle, put clove, peppermint, and orange essential oils.
You will need to shake the bottle every time you use it.
2-ounce glass spray bottle
¾ ounce vodka
¾ 1 ounce witch hazel (or water)
20 drops clove essential oil
25 drops peppermint essential oil
25 drops orange essential oil
¼ teaspoon sunflower lecithin (optional: this is an emulsifier; if you add it, you don’t have to shake it so much every time)
Directions: Add all ingredients to the spray bottle. Shake well before and during use. This lasts around 6 months at room temperature.
This is an antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal spray.It’s great for when someone in the house is sick – spray it on everything* (but not on skin – too concentrated).
I use this for the normal ew-germs-kill-it spots, like door handles, toilet, etc. I also spray it on our pillow cases in the morning when I want to freshen them up, along with any bedding.
I use this, too, anywhere I don’t want spiders coming in (clove and peppermint, especially, are good spider repellants).
Good for kitchen counters, wonky-smelling dishcloths (or face cloths in the bathroom).
Good air freshener; it will neutralize odors. This smells great, but make another bottle if you don’t like it, and use other essential oils (like geranium, ylang ylang, Frankincense, or other scents you like). Whatever oils you use for an air freshener will have healing properties, and you can substitute them in the same recipe with the vodka and witch hazel.
Spray on a cloth to wipe computer keyboards, light switch plates.
Spray on clothing to freshen up.*
*CAUTION: Do not spray on wood surfaces. I sprayed this onto my clothing that I hadn’t worn for a while (just kinda musty), while they were in the drawer. The ingredients break down any lacquer or finish on the wood. My clothing smelled like old lacquer.
Also CAUTION: Do not spray onto skin. The essential oils are too concentrated in this mixture, and will irritate skin. That said, if you get some on you while using it, you don’t have to freak out. Don’t spray directly onto skin. If you get quite a bit on you, wipe or rinse it off.