Recipe Friday: Allergy Inhaler

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:

Inhaler tube

7 drops peppermint essential oil

7 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Directions:

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.

Recipe Friday: Bug Repellent

RecipeFridayBugSpray

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.

In my research, I relied on one of my favorite sites, Natural Living Family, hosted by Dr Eric Zelinski and his wife, Sabrina: https://naturallivingfamily.com/

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:

  • Cedar wood
  • Clove (reported as being the most effective)
  • Citronella
  • Lemon eucalyptus
  • Patchouli
  • Peppermint
  • Thyme
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree
  • Cypress
  • Lemon myrtle

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
        • carrier oil

Directions:

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:

  • Angelica
  • Bergamot
  • Bitter Orange (cold pressed)
  • Lemon (cold pressed)
  • Lime (cold pressed)
  • Fig Leaf Absolute
  • Mandarin Leaf
  • Tagetes
  • Cumin
  • Rue

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.

Best of Essential Oils Revolution

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.

https://theessentialoilrevolution.com/.

Immune Boosters: Three Great Sources

ImmuneBoostersThreeGreatSources

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.

https://traditionalcookingschool.com/health-and-nutrition/6-natural-strategies-to-fight-off-flu-season/

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.

Wardee’s recommendations:

  1. Strengthen your immune system with a clean, whole-foods diet.
    1. Nutrient-dense, organic, real food with healthy fats and fermented foods
    2. Avoid processed foods
    3. Drink and bathe in clean, filtered water
  2. Detoxify your environment
    1. Take a close look at your personal care and cleaning supplies
  3. Ditch the sugar
    1. Sugar turns off your immune system for the duration of the time it takes to be digested.
  4. Balance your gut flora
    1. 80% of your immune system resides in your gut
    2. Fermented / cultured foods play a key role
    3. Get some good pre- and pro-biotics
  5. Use herb and food-based natural home remedies for cold and flu
    1. Elderberry
    2. Raw garlic
    3. Fresh ginger
    4. Raw honey
    5. Vitamin C
  6. Try essential oils to relieve cold and flu symptoms
    1. All of these are useful against viruses:
      1. Lavender
      2. Oregano
      3. Cinnamon
      4. Chamomile
      5. Hyssop
      6. Helichrysum
      7. Ravintsara
      8. Coriander
      9. Clove
      10. Tea tree can prevent the flu virus from entering healthy cells

Avenues for use include:

        1. Diffusing
        2. DIY cleaning / air sprays
        3. DIY soaps and personal care
        4. Essential oil home remedies (i.e., adding oils to honey and vinegar)
        5. Adding to a bath
  1. Don’t forget homeopathy to treat cold and flu. Wardee’s recommendations:
    1. Arsenicum album for fevers, influenza, anxiety, exhaustion, and restlessness.
    2. Bryonia for splitting headaches, influenza, dryness of mouth, excessive thirst, nausea, dizziness, and faintness on rising up.
    3. Cinchona officinalis for dehydration, influenza, traumatic fever, and pain in limbs and joints.
    4. Eupatorium perfoliatum for influenza with great soreness of muscles and bones, fever, and thirst.
    5. Gelsemium sempervirens for colds, aching, tiredness, heaviness, weakness in muscles, sneezing, drowsiness, and pain from throat to ear.
    6. 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.

 

https://greensmoothiegirl.com/7-natural-immune-boosters/

Next up: Robyn Openshaw from Green Smoothie Girl. Her site includes a 2-minute video, a list, and the story of how she helped her college-age daughter avoid antibiotics.

Her list (Take the first 6 in this list at the first sign of illness as directed, for 2 weeks only, but take #7 always):

  1. Vitamin C
  2. Zinc
  3. Oregano oil (in caps)
  4. Goldenseal (herb in capsules)
  5. Kyolic garlic (in caps)
  6. Colloidal silver (preferably a nano formulation, which has much higher efficacy)
  7. Beta Glucan

 

https://draxe.com/nutrition/antiviral-herbs/

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:

  1. Elderberry
    1. Elderberry can be used as a safe treatment for influenza A and B.
  2. Echinacea
    1. Echinacea has the capacity to reduce virus infections and tumors.
  3. Calendula
    1. Calendula protects cells from damage and fights viruses, inflammation, and bacteria.
  4. Garlic
    1. 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.
  5. Astragalus root
    1. Astragalus root inhibits viruses and boosts the body’s immune system.
  6. Cat’s claw
    1. This powerful herb is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal
  7. Licorice root
    1. Besides being antiviral,  licorice root benefitsinclude:
      1. Sore throat remedy for fast relief
      2. Cough natural remedy
      3. Protection against leaky gut signs and symptoms
      4. Heals adrenal fatigue
      5. Pain relief
  1. Olive leaf
    1. 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.
  2. Oregano essential oil
    1. 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.

Essential Oils Anti-Ick

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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:

  • Diffuse
  • Serums
  • Roll-ons
  • Creams
  • Air freshener
  • Anti-bacterial spray
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning

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

Clean:

  • 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!

Another way to diffuse is to add a few drops to an inhaler (like these: https://www.amazon.com/Aromatherapy-Essential-Portable-Reusable-Aluminum/dp/B07PP1WB4N/); or a few drops to a handkerchief or tissue.

My go-to websites for dependable information on essential oils are

Following is a list of essential oils that are antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory:

Antivirals:

Basil, bergamot, cassia, cinnamon bark, clove, cumin, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, helichrysum, myrrh, oregano, peppermint, rose, rosewood, sage, sandalwood, tea tree, thyme

Antibacterials:

Basil, bergamot, cassia, cedarwood, cinnamon bark, citronella, clove, dill, eucalyptus, geranium, lemon, lemongrass, marjoram, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, rosemary, spikenard, tea tree

Antifungal:

Cassia, cinnamon bark, citronella, clary sage, eucalyptus, fir, geranium, lavender, lemongrass, marjoram, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, rosewood, sage, spikenard, thyme

Anti-inflammatory:

Caraway, clove, eucalyptus, ginger, lavender, marjoram, oregano, peppermint, roman chamomile, tea tree, thyme, and turmeric.

DIY Anti-Bacterial Spray

DIYAntiBacterialSpray

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.