How to Get Your Soak On-Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths

My back hurt so bad when I got up this morning, instead of reaching for a pain reliever, I made myself a nice, hot bath with Epsom salts and Helichrysum essential oil blend. Let’s talk about the benefits of and how to use Epsom salts.

Epsom salts have many uses

How Epsom Salts Work

Rumor has it that when you soak in a tub with some Epsom salts that the magnesium and sulfate enter your body through your skin and help with lots of ailments including:

  • arthritis
  • bruises & sprains
  • fibromyalgia
  • ingrown toenails
  • insomnia
  • psoriasis
  • sore muscles from working out
  • soreness from diarrhea during chemotherapy
  • sunburn pain & redness
  • tired, swollen feet

This may be the God’s honest truth or it may be an old wives tale, I know from experience, it works! My back is no longer hurting and that’s all I care about!

There are many brands out there today that have essential oils like peppermint or lavender already added to them, which is nice! Depending on your ailment or need, you can pick and choose.

I added Helichrysum blend because it smells good and has benefits of its own. The blend I use is a substitute blend from Hopewell that contains Clary Sage, Elemi, Roman Chamomile, Idaho Tansy, Birch, and Ylang Ylang.

There claims to be an alphabet of therapeutic uses for this blend, yet caution is to be taken for folks on blood thinners, pregnant women, or those with skin sensitivities. (although it’s never bothered me)

Click on the link above to find out more about this blend or make a purchase. (I get no compensation from Hopewell-just passing on the information)

How To Use Epsom Salts For Bath Soaks

As you are running a nice, warm-not hot-bath, pour in 1-2 cups of Epsom salts so they will dissolve. (Unless otherwise given permission by the manufacturer, do not add these salts to your hot tub, whirlpool, or other jet tubs).

Soak in the tub for at least 12 minutes, relax and let the salts do their work. Then bathe as usual and carefully get out. They will soften your skin and may make the tub a little slick, so be careful.

They will also remove excess oil from your hair, so as far as I know, it’s fine to wash your hair as you normally do. (if you do it in the tub like me) There are many other personal uses for these salts as well.

You can make a skin mask or a facial cleanser, they remove blackheads and exfoliate the skin. Soaking in Epsom salts will even remove a splinter! It reduces swelling, and volumizes hair as well.

Some people swear by these salts to cure gout, I recently got my brother a bag of Epsom salts that had activated charcoal infused in them, evidently this is a gout game changer! He was better that night!!

A Brief Word on Internal Use

Epsom salts have been used for hundreds of years as a safe laxative. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS when doing so. The package says to mix 1-2 tsp. in 1 cup of warm water to detox, then drink lots of extra water.

Do NOT do this more than once a day. That is all.

Other Uses

Soak a cloth in a cold water solution of 2T of Epsom salts and 1 Cup of water to treat mosquito bites, bee stings, and poison ivy.

Treat conjunctivitis and sties with a solution of warm water and Epsom salts by rinsing your face.

Remove burnt food from pots and pans, clean bathroom tiles, regenerate a car battery, or frost your windows for Christmas.

Check out this website for more recipes and uses for Epsom salts.

 

Have You Tried Nutritional Yeast Flakes?

Good morning everyone and how are you doing this blustery, chilly day? I am normally so against the cold but even I have to admit, 80 degrees is just not normal for December! Maybe cooler weather will put me more in the spirit of things, lately,  I have just not been feeling it. Then again, I wasn’t feeling well so maybe that’s the problem. Anyway, today is better since I have been feeling almost back to normal! One of the first things I did this morning was cook egg cups for David’s breakfast.

Egg cups make a great portable breakfast!

I couldn’t reach the turmeric and didn’t want to bother with a ladder, so I decided to sneak in different beneficial ingredients…nutritional yeast flakes! Have you heard of these? They give food a cheesy protein-filled boost, and they are also a great source of fiber, amino acids, and vitamins. They can be sprinkled on popcorn, mixed into smoothies or casseroles, or as a seasoning for salads, soups, and gravies. One and a half tablespoons provide 4g of fiber and 8g of protein, and also 320mg of potassium.

Choose flakes that are GMO free and have Vit B12

Nutritional yeast has several benefits too:

  • It’s an inactive form of yeast, so no problem for people with yeast overgrowth
  • Antiviral and antibacterial properties
  • Promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails
  • Improves digestion
  • Might aid in weight loss due to protein and thiamine
  • great for vegans and vegetarians as a non-animal source of protein

Don’t confuse Nutritional yeast with Brewer’s yeast, it is meant for flavoring-not brewing beer. They are grown from the same type of fungus which is usually grown on sugar beets, sugar beet molasses or sugar cane molasses, therefore making it gluten-free. Look for yeast flakes that are grown on sugarcane molasses for the best quality flakes.

Nutritional yeast flakes can be found in most health food stores, store it in a dark, cool cabinet where it will keep up to two years. It can also be stored in the refrigerator. I like to use it in places I would normally use cheese sprinkles for a bit of salty, savory flavor. Try it on just-popped popcorn for a real treat!

Personally, I can’t imagine it in smoothies, since the flavor is kind of nutty and cheesy, so I think I’ll stick to chia and flax seeds for that. Do try them though and let me know what you think. Now that I’m in a cooking mood, I may have to give some Paleo Christmas cookies a try! I found some on Pinterest last night that were so adorable! If I do, I’ll take pics if they don’t become a Pinterest fail!

Yall enjoy my snowflakes (if they are showing up) I get to keep them until Jan 4th! See ya later, on the patio!

Day 326-Wellness Wednesday-How Do You Use Cedarwood Essential Oil?

Did you know that cedar trees were mentioned in the Bible as a source of wisdom and protection? Neither did I, or I had forgotten. Anyway, I used some of my own this morning and its powerful aroma is still with me. I decided to explore more of the uses and benefits of this amazing essential oil. Let’s discover them together,  shall we?

Photo credit: Pixabay

The health benefits of cedarwood oil come from these major components, alpha-cedrene, beta-cedrene, cedrol, widdrol, thujopsene, and a bunch of sesquiterpenes…have you ever even heard of these before? Well, essential oils are made up of many chemical constituents that can be subdivided into two groups: hydrocarbons, which are made up of mostly terpenes (monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and diterpenes) and oxygenated compounds, which are mainly esters (aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, phenols,  and oxides). Whew! That is just some of the science that describes what make essential oils so darn beneficial to the body, yet we would be here all day if I described what each and every one of these things does. The best thing for you to do if you are interested in learning more about the science is to check out this website Abundant Health who break down each constituent and explain how they help clean toxins from the body and more. I can tell you that terpenes are responsible for removing toxins from the kidneys and liver and esters are antifungal, calming, and relaxing.

I noticed that after inhaling the pungent, woodsy scent this morning, my focus became sharper and I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about today. That just happens to be one of the many benefits of this EO which makes it great for people with ADD and other problems one might have with focus. Let me tell you some more benefits that Dr. Axe let me in on, and he would be happy to give you all a free book and grocery shopping list if you check his website out. Just click on his name and it will take you to his very informative website. Anyhoo, here goes:

  • cures fungal infections
  • promotes hair growth
  • repels bugs
  • cures acne
  • improves focus
  • is anti-inflammatory
  • relieves spasms
  • reduces coughs
  • cleans out toxins

…and so much more!

Now let me tell you some of the many uses for cedarwood essential oil:

By adding it to soap, lotion or your bath, cedarwood oil can cure the inflammation of the common skin disorder, eczema. It reduces the peeling of the skin and treats the infection with its anti-fungal properties.

Studies also show that by combining cedarwood with other essential oils like rosemary, lavender, and thyme and applying them to the scalp, they contribute to hair growth and slow the loss of hair. Well! I have three of those oils, so maybe I ought to give this a try. All you have to do is add a few drops of each to your shampoo or just massage it into your scalp and let it sit 30 minutes before rinsing it out. Shoot, it’s worth a shot and better than buying a wig, which I was just on the verge of doing!

Do you suffer from dry scalp? Then mix a couple of drops of cedarwood into a little coconut oil and massage into your scalp. Let it sit on your scalp for 30 minutes and shampoo out.

The same mixture can be applied to wounds as an antiseptic. 

Taking a bath with 10 drops will help relieve arthritis and stiff joints by reducing inflammation. Inhaling the oil will work as well.

Cedarwood is also a natural deodorizer and it provides a comforting, reassuring wood-like scent. Believe it or not, it has the power to change your perspective and by diffusing it, you will have long lasting therapeutic effects. It is commonly used in perfumes to add a warm tone and it has been known to bring people together.

Using cedarwood in your massage oil will help tighten loose muscles and create a feeling of firmness and youth. It can also tighten the muscles of the digestive system and aid with issues like diarrhea. Just rub a few drops in your hands and massage your abs, arms, chest, and legs for a soothing and fresh sensation. What a versatile oil this is, right?There are so many other uses for this oil which is sometimes derived from waste wood chips which help people benefit from repurposed wood.

There are some side effects to discuss: this is too strong of an oil to be ingested, Additionally, pregnant women should not use it. Do not use in high concentrations or it can cause skin irritations. Ingestion can cause nausea, vomiting and extensive damage to the digestive system.

Now, I am not getting any kind of kickback or incentive to direct you to Dr. Axe but he has a great website, and if you visit right now and look up cedarwood oil, there are some DIY cologne and vapor rub recipes, along with all the other info I talked about here today. He has always been my go-to for excellent instruction on essential oil use, recipes and more.

 

Day 274-WMM-Why I'm Trying CBD Products

For years I have struggled with several medical issues ranging from arthritis to depression, fibromyalgia to anxiety. I have tried many different methods to combat these issues, going Paleo, using essential oils,  and it has helped, but not completely alleviated my symptoms. I was able to get off my anti-depressant and that is a good thing.

Then I started hearing more and more about CBD oil and did some research. Between other blogs sharing information, like Roxy over at The Oily Guru, and product info from CBD websites, to reading about the legislation and how it’s changing and becoming more positive toward the use of hemp and cannabis products, I felt educated enough to make an informed decision to finally try a product for myself.

The product I was most interested in was the CBD oil for vaping, so I checked out three different sources and finally chose the one that was local to me. Turns out one of the shops I normally purchase my “juice” from carries CBD oil and once I learned that, it influenced my decision to buy local. I purchased an oil from Blue Moon brand, it is flan flavored and delicious! If you click on the link, it will take you to the website and you can check out products they sell, quality and testing info and frequently asked questions so you can make an informed decision of your own.

Getting ready to load my tank

The fellow that assisted me at the vapor shop told me I would feel the effect in fifteen minutes. Well, he was off a bit, I felt it immediately! Now, don’t freak out or think it makes you high…all it does is produce a relaxing feeling, no euphoria or psychoactive effect. Just a nice relaxation of my shoulders, like the tension just left me. I call it “taking the edge off” and was pleasantly surprised that I felt something so quickly. Wine may do something similar, but does not provide the same benefit as CBD oil may.

For anyone that has not been following myself or anyone else’s blog that explains what CBD oil is, there are many resources out there that do a great job of it-Leafly, for example, can tell you anything you want to know. Their website mostly concentrates on the CBD from different strains of medicinal marijuana, which is not what I purchased.

CBD stands for cannabinoid and in the case of the product I purchased, it comes from the seeds and stalks of industrial hemp plants specially bred to contain high concentrations of naturally occurring Cannabinoid-Cannabidiol. (CBDa) It contains over 400 phytonutrients and enhances our own endocannabinoid system.

I could have ordered straight from the website but wanted to save money by driving straight to the source. They also had tinctures with CBD oil, which I’m considering purchasing in the future…not only for myself but for my pets. It is totally safe and very beneficial to them, relieves certain skin problems like itching, and provides the same phytonutrients.

Another company I looked into also has a shop in my area, about thirty minutes away. They carry CBD oil products like soap, massage oil and infused coconut oil. I would love to go check out their store next time. For myself, I have decided to use the vapor 50% of the time and the CBD oil the other 50%. I think using it mainly at night will help me sleep by relaxing me from the stresses of the day. There is 100mg of CBD in the whole bottle, so I’m getting a very small amount with each puff, maybe 5mg.

CBD oil from hemp is legal because it contains no THC and will not cause you to fail a drug test. It does not require a permit or a prescription so you can feel safe and confident purchasing those products. (By the way, clicking on the links does not help me in any way, it just takes you to the sites so you can read more information.)

I will keep you informed on how this product helps me and if my pain is alleviated with consistent use. The word is, that using CBD helps with the pain and inflammation of arthritis, but that is not an endorsement from the FDA, nor has it been evaluated by them. Always check with your own doctor before trying a new supplement, I’m providing this information as a service and not telling you to diagnose or treat your symptoms with this product.

Would you be willing to check out something that has been used for centuries to help with your symptoms and/or conditions? Let’s start the conversation, I’d like to hear your thoughts and suggestions! Meanwhile, I will be relaxing on the patio and waiting to hear back from you. See you tomorrow!

Day 267-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Which Is Better, Lemon vs Lemongrass Essential Oil

Let’s talk about the glaring difference first-obviously, one is a fruit and the other is a plant.

Lemon-citrus fruit
Lemongrass the plant

Before I dive into the properties, uses, and benefits of each, let me just say that I believe that God gave us everything we need to heal ourselves, we just need to educate ourselves about them and use them properly. Maybe we could then reduce our dependency on pharmaceuticals and trips to the doctor. I  have to admit since I’ve been using essential oils, which is going on three years now, I’m almost never sick. When I started though, I did my own research and always use quality oils in the manner they were intended. Secondly, when I started, I bought my oils from one of the big companies so popular on the internet, yet over time, I discovered that there are local sources that cost less and worked the same. Again, I did my research, consulted my physician and I now know which are safe for ingestion and which I only use in the diffuser or topically.

Lemon essential oil is made from the peel, which most of us do not consume on a regular basis. I assume most of us use lemon frequently if not daily, whether in our diets or as a cleaner. Lemon has many fantastic benefits including the ability to rejuvenate dull, sluggish skin (when ingested, since it supports a healthy digestive system which then results in clear skin). Here are some other benefits:

Clears and supports the respiratory system-rub on the chest or soles of the feet to clear lungs and nasal passages

Bug repellant-fleas hate lemon

Food flavoring-add to the end of the cooking process due to the fact that heating sometimes destroys the beneficial properties

Has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it one of the most essential of all essential oils.

Freshens and cleans the air when diffused, freshens laundry, can be used in mop water to freshen and clean

Can be added to coconut oil for daily oil pulling routine-brightens teeth and freshens breath

Lemon mixed with vinegar and water (and a drop of dish soap to keep the oils from staying on top of the water) makes a great all-purpose kitchen/bathroom cleaner

Just breathing in the scent of lemon can improve the neurological activity responsible for promoting the breakdown of body fat! Hang on, why is my diffuser not running right now? 

Ok, now that I’m back, let’s see how lemongrass can improve our health as well.

First off, lemongrass is steam distilled from the plant. The plant itself is nice, ornamental, and helps repel mosquitos-good enough reason to have it around.

Its flavor is sweeter and milder than lemon and can be used as a substitute when lemons are scarce. (like that would ever happen in my house anyway) Besides its many culinary uses, it has many medicinal properties as well.

  • As an analgesic-relieves pain and inflammation in muscles and joints
  •  As an antidepressant- boosts self-esteem, uplifts spirits and inspires confidence
  • It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties- inhibits bacterial growth in and outside the body, cures wounds, supports the respiratory system, helps cure infections like typhoid and malaria
  • As an astringent- promotes contraction of gums, hair follicles, muscles, skin and blood vessels, thereby reducing blood loss and falling out of hair and teeth
  • Carminative- helps remove gas from forming in the abdomen and relaxes the muscles providing safe downward passage of excess gas
  • Deodorant- can be used to replace current commercial deodorant, which has an environmental impact. Safe for skin when diluted and no harmful side effects like synthetic deodorants
  • Diuretic- aids in fat loss by removing fats and excess urine from the body
  • Febrifuge- reduces fever by fighting infection and also aids in toxin removal through perspiration
  • Galactogogue- increases and enhances breast milk which indirectly keeps your baby infection free
  • Insecticide- popular insect repellant probably due to such constituents as citronellal, and limonene
  • Nervine- acts as a tonic for the nervous system in general and may help with nervous disorders such as shaking hands, vertigo, convulsions, and sluggishness
  • Sedative- soothing, calming for the mind and relieves tension and anxiety

As you can see, both oils have many unique and beneficial qualities and can be interchanged depending on the way you want to use it. I sometimes switch out which oils I use in my water daily just so I get different benefits. I can attest to the diuretic properties of lemongrass as well as the boost of energy I get from lemon. They can also be used to help reduce cellulite, ladies you can agree that is a great benefit, right?

Oh, and while I’m at it, let me tell you three different sources I used in my own research, e-books I consult frequently to remind myself how to use the different oils. Some, I have memorized-others I need some reminding. Remember, my memory is not the best. I used to keep a handy chart within site at all times, but got away from that practice…it’s time to make myself a new one. Please read The King’s Medicine Cabinet by Josh Axe- The Essential Homestead by Jill Winger and Using God’s Medicine by Eric Zielinski- all great sources for info and proper use of essential oils. (all free too!)

I also consulted Organic Facts for some of this article. I hope it has been a help to you and you will consider adding one or both to your medicine cabinet, kitchen or laundry room- they both help in so many ways!

While I could go on and on, I do have other things to get to before I go visit Dad today- I will surely be encouraging he start using lemongrass oil to aid with his tremors (none of the doctors we’ve taken him to know why he shakes) maybe it will finally be the answer to his prayers. I will admit, that was news to me in my limited knowledge of lemongrass’s many benefits. (I am not an expert, just an avid user and lover of essential oils.) Join me back here tomorrow…ssshhh, it’s a surprise-even I don’t know yet. 😉