Search This Blog

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Thieves Oil - A Must Have!!

Thieves Oil tends to be one of the better known oil blends available.  It is without question my favorite oil blend from Young Living.

Thieves Oil blend originated with a legend.  This oil is supposed to have protected thieves from the plague because of its immune system boosting properties.  I don't particularly care if the legend is true or not, I will be keeping this oil close by!

This is another one of those oils that we use for personal wellness and for household cleaning.  Young Living has a whole line of Thieves products that I haven't even begun to explore yet (including a Thieves Premium Starter Kit available when you enroll as a member).  I have just been making my own versions of the home cleaning products so far.

Thieves oil blend is a combination of cinnamon, clove, lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary.  It smells like the holidays to me. I started with Thieves in a diffuser - I absolutely love the smell - it is a warm and cozy, homey smell that lifts my mood immediately.  However, that is not why we were diffusing it.  Thieves acts to boost your immune system, so having had a rough winter with various ailments in our house, I was looking for something to help us out.  Unfortunately, I didn't start this till March, so I just caught the tail end of the worst stretch for us, but I look forward to using it next year to help us stay healthier.

That being said, however, a few weeks ago my older son appeared to have some kind of a stomach bug.  When he's sick, he likes to have my husband sleep in his room with him to help him during the night if he isn't doing well.  Before my husband turned in for the night, I had him put Thieves on his feet and I rubbed some (diluted in a carrier oil) up and down his spine.  We both wanted to know that he had a little extra protection so he wouldn't catch it, too.  The next day we diffused thieves in my son's room, to get whatever might be floating around out of the air and clean the room out a bit.

I put Thieves onto the soles of my feet about once a week or so to give my own immune system a boost.  Thieves is a "hot oil", meaning it burns on contact if it isn't diluted.  For many people, putting hot oils on their soles of their feet doesn't bother them, which I have found to be true for me, but if it is on my feet, I do still feel it tingling, so I know it's there!

In the deep dark months of winter, I found myself in the middle of one of my many colds.  This one included a very sore throat.  A co-worker, who is the one who introduced me to Young Living, carries Thieves spray in her purse.  One spritz to the back of my throat numbed it instantly and made the rest of the day of teaching bearable.  And another co-worker said she diffuses Thieves in her home all winter, and she swears her family had significantly fewer health issues this year as a result.

Like I said earlier, I have been using Thieves in a cleaner as well.  I made my own, although Young Living does sell Thieves Cleaner.  I combined 2 tsp. of witch hazel, 20 drops of Thieves Oil and 1/2 cup of distilled water in a glass spray bottle.  I keep it in the bathrooms upstairs so that I know they are getting disinfected and sanitized without leaving behind chemicals and fumes that might hurt my family.  I also use it in the kitchen and to spray down toys or non-wood surfaces my kids are coming in contact with.

I have read about using thieves in the dishwasher and in the laundry, but I haven't tried that yet.

Thieves can also be used as an analgesic, putting it "neat" onto sore gums or toothaches.  It can also be used to stave off cravings when trying to eliminate certain foods from your diet (I'm currently on a sugar-detox diet and using Thieves to help me through rough patches).

I'm looking forward to trying the rest of the thieves line - hand soaps, dental care, sanitizer. . .

If you are interested in trying Young Living products, or if you have any questions, please email me.  And if you're interested in a membership with Young Living, I can help you with that, too!

Please remember that I have no medical training or background.  I am speaking only of my experiences with essential oils.  Please do your research and consult your doctor before using essential oils for health reasons.

Essential Oil Pocket Reference Guide

When I joined Young Living, the first thing someone sent me was the Essential Oil Pocket Reference Guide. I am not exaggerating when I say that I consult this book about a dozen times a week!

This book goes into detail about the history of essential oil use, the distillation process, common methods of using oils, and more.  The first half of the book lists Young Living essential oils by oil, providing information about the oil itself, how to use it (topically, diffused, or ingested), and what to use it for.  The second half of the book, which is my go-to reference, lists common ailments or conditions and gives suggestions for what oils or blends to use for treatment or relief of symptoms.  I have learned SO MUCH from this book, and it has helped me prioritize which oils to add to my collection now, and which to add later.

Anyone using Young Living essential oils should own this book.  I can't imagine trying to navigate all the different oils out there without it.

As always, If you're interested in trying out Young Living oils, or if you have any questions, please email me.  I'm happy to help you get started!  And if you're ready for a membership with Young Living, you can sign up at this link.

**Just a reminder that I have no medical training or background.  I am speaking only to my experience.  It is important to do your own research, and consult with your doctor before starting essential oil use.

Lemon Oil - I Can't Say Enough About It!

    Lemon oil. . . . where to begin!!

I have found many daily uses for my lemon oil.  I started using it as an additive to my water - partly to encourage me to drink more water throughout the day, partly thanks to an article (that I hope to relocate and link here!) that talked about how good it is for a natural liver and kidney detox when you drink it every day.  Then I stumbled aross this article that talked about things to do with lemon essential oil that I hadn't even thought of.

It is another oil that plays many different roles throughout my day:
When I get up in the morning, I drink a glass of water with lemon oil in it, as a way to hydrate and a little energy burst right away.  Throughout the day I have a water bottle with lemon oil in it next to me at work to help me in my goal to drink more water at work!  I have learned that you should only put essential oils in glass water bottles, as the oils can leach toxins out of plastics unless they are "hospital grade plastic" - and no one wants to be adding toxins to their water!!

Right now I start my day with my allergy bomb (2-3 drops each of peppermint, lavender, and lemon oil in a capsule with a carrier oil).  I have found it to be more effective and easier on my body than any OTC allergy medication or anti-histamine I have tried **

A few weeks ago I made an all purpose home cleaner with my lemon oil.  I combined equal parts distilled water and white vinegar (I used 1/2 cup of each for my 16 oz. spray bottle) and 20 drops of lemon oil in a glass spray bottle (found on Amazon).  You could easily adjust the amount of lemon oil to suit your preferences.  I love the lemony smell without the oily residue that this proportion gave me.  We now use this spray cleaner daily in the kitchen (appliances, counters, sinks), on the dining table (won't harm wood!!), in the bathroom (the vinegar and lemon oil combination cuts through the mineral build-up that we get from our city water), everywhere!  The best part is that my two little helpers love to help me clean, and since I know the ingredients are safe for them, I don't worry about letting them spray for me!

Those same little helpers had put a whole bunch of stickers on the wood coffee table a while back.  We had scraped, wiped, wet, picked, and rubbed, but those stickers didn't want to come up.  Two years later, I tried lemon oil to remove them.  I put it on them directly (about a drop on each sticker), rubbed it in with my fingertip, waited about 2 minutes, and then wiped.  EVERY sticker came up, as did the sticky residue underneath!!

At school I work in a beautiful room with custom made wood tables.  When students got permanent marker all over the gorgeous tables, I was heartbroken.  We tried several chemical solvents to remove it and it dulled the ink a bit, but the damage remained.  I figured it couldn't hurt to try some lemon oil, since I knew it wouldn't hurt the wood, and the worst that would happen is the dulled ink would still be there. After applying the oil and letting it sit for a few minutes, when I scrubbed, the marker came up.  So I kept going, and used it to remove glue, ink, and all sorts of other junk from the table tops, too.  And the added bonus, of course, is how good the room smelled afterward.

I love cooking spicy foods!  But I don't think to wear gloves when cutting up peppers, and I inevitably remember too late, when I go to take my contacts out later and get the oil in my eyes!  Now I've started rubbing a couple drops of lemon oil on my hands after I work with the peppers, and it takes the hot oil right off of my hands!

Lemon oil is also used in conjunction with other citrus oils and peppermint oil as a weight loss combination, it can be used as a sanitizer when rubbed on the hands, it is great for a bad mood, as it brings a bright and happy smell when diffused, and of course it is a great addition to a cup of hot water or green tea!

I could keep going, but I think you get the picture!

If you're interested in trying out Young Living oils, or if you have any questions, please email me.  I'm happy to help you get started!  And if you're ready for a membership with Young Living, you can sign up at this link.

**Just a reminder that I have no medical training or background.  I am speaking only to my experience.  It is important to do your own research, and consult with your doctor before starting essential oil use.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Peppermint Oil - So many uses!

Image result for young living peppermint oil
**Please note that I have no medical training or background, and the information in this post is in no way to be used as medical advice.  I am merely sharing my experiences with the oils.

I literally use my peppermint oil throughout the day for so many purposes.  It was the first oil I tried, and I had no idea then that I would find so many more uses for it.  These are just some of the ways I've used peppermint over the last few months:

Right now, I wake up in the morning without being congested and puffy, as I usually am this time of year due to my seasonal allergies.  Why?  Because throughout the night we run a diffuser in our bedroom, with 3 drops each of lemon, lavender and peppermint (or as it is affectionately known among many essential oil users as the "allergy bomb").  The first night we used it, my husband and I both immediately noticed a difference.

However, when I was struggling with a cold earlier in the year and was horribly congested, I found that the ONLY thing that helped me find relief (including the OTC decongestants that did nothing more than make me jittery and nauseous) was if I took a mug or bowl of boiling water, added a drop or two of peppermint oil, and inhaled directly over the steam.  It IMMEDIATELY helped me breathe again. **I have since tried adding a drop of tea tree oil as well, which I've learned helps clear up the source of the problem while the peppermint helps ease the discomfort.

I have tried ingesting what is known as the "weight loss trio" - 2 or 3 drops each of lemon, grapefruit, and peppermint.  I didn't notice weight immediately melting off (because when does that ever happen?!) but I did notice a decreased urge to snack, which is always a good thing!  I will be exploring oils and weight loss more in the next few months.

When I have a headache, backache or sore muscles, I apply peppermint "neat" (or undiluted) to my temples, my neck, or whatever muscles feel tight.  I learned the hard way not to apply it to the sinus area, even if I have a sinus headache - my eyes watered like crazy for at least a half hour!  My husband suffers from shoulder stiffness frequently, stemming back from an injury years ago.  When he first tried peppermint oil on it, he was blown away by how much better it felt.  Now he asks for it daily.  He also wants to try to put it on before he starts exercising, to see if it helps with tightness.

I also like to add a drop of the oil to my water that I sip on throughout the day.  I find that it helps with digestion and bloating, it is cooling and refreshing, and it is a natural, sugar-free, sweetener-free alternative to gum or breath mints.

**There is a concern with using peppermint oil if you are pregnant or nursing, or with children.  Please be sure to do your research before using any oil.

Interested in trying Young Living Essential Oils?  Send me a message or sign up here.

So Much for Baby Steps!

I may have a slightly obsessive personality. . . . .

When I learn about something new, I want to know everything there is to know about it.  I spend hours researching and reading, I make notebooks and docs full of notes, ideas, thoughts, plans, and pictures.  This is what I've done with oils in the last few months.  I have downloaded e-books, I have read the Pocket Reference book cover to cover, I have read and started following every blog I can find on oils and their uses, and I have searched for every piece of information I can find on each oil as I start using it.  And I have to say, I have learned so much! I now know about the three different schools of thought on using oils, I know about the history of many of the oils, and I am starting to learn the science of how they differ from synthetic products.  It all makes so much sense to me, that I don't question now why they work

How I'm using oils:

Diffusing - I knew many oils smelled good, but I really didn't understand the idea of diffusing them.  After hearing a friend talk about diffusing Thieves at her house, and reading about why diffusers work, I have to say I now have a diffuser running in our house all the time.  I am learning about different combinations of oils to put into the diffuser.  My current favorites are a combination of Purification and Citrus Fresh to get rid of odors and make the whole room feel cleaner, Thieves to give everyone's immune system a bump, and the "allergy trio" of lavender/lemon/peppermint that decongests us and helps with our seasonal allergies.  This time of year, the basement smells musty and damp, but a couple of hours with a diffuser running down there make it feel like the windows have been open all day.

Topical - I can now tell you what a carrier oil is, what vita-flex points are, and what oils I should or shouldn't be putting onto my skin "neat".  I am still just learning about all of the different oils and blends, and how I might use them topically, but everything I have tried so far has been effective.  There is so much information available, and every time I search, I find more and more.  I am excited to continue this learning.

Ingestion - This is the area where I definitely feel the most timid - I feel like putting the oils in my body takes it to a new level.  I see conflicting information from different sources about what oils should or should not be ingested, or what quantities are safe or not.  I find this website to be a great source of information.  This summer I hope to find some online classes and trainings from reliable sources to learn more about this.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Stepping Back a Minute - Why Did I See a Need For Something New?

I'm embarking on this exploration of oils for a lot of reasons, and it occurred to me that it might help for you to know those reasons in order to understand some of the choices I make along the way, and some of the oils I'm putting at the top of my list.  And maybe my experience might help someone else. . . which is ultimately my goal in sharing my experience anyway!  So I wanted to write a post to share my background and my present situation with you.

I was a very healthy kid - no major ailments, no major injuries, and a relatively typical upbringing.  I know now that I have suffered from allergies for a large part of my life, but at the time, we just called it my "summer cold" that I always seemed to catch in the spring, and never connected the dots.

As an adult, I was still relatively healthy.  Of course, I had colds here and there, but I didn't have anything major that I struggled with until I hit my 30s.  At that point I was diagnosed and treated for "situational depression and anxiety" with counseling and anti-depressants.  This was a completely new realm for me, having a diagnosis and prescription, and one that made me very uncomfortable.  Needless to say, as soon as I felt like I had gotten ahead of things, I dropped the counseling and the drugs.

Several years passed and I found myself in another new realm - I was having regular panic attacks at work, so severe that I felt like I was becoming ineffective at my job.  I resumed counseling and it was determined that my anxiety was a result of several major life changes (I had just gotten married, we were getting ready to move cross-country and both start new jobs - which we hadn't actually found yet, my husband was having health issues, and my parents were having health issues).  I figured the counselor was probably right, and moved on with my life.

Two years later, my husband and I were ready to start a family.  I got pregnant with very little effort and was blindsided by a miscarriage at the end of my first trimester.  I thought it was just a fluke and we worked with my OB to "get back on the horse".  Three months later I was pregnant again.  I had some issues during the third trimester with pre-eclampsia, but other than that, the pregnancy and birth were uneventful.  We went on to have two years of exhausted, parental bliss.  When we got pregnant again, two years later (right on schedule!) I never entertained the thought that I would miscarry again, but at 6 weeks, that was exactly what happened.  This time, I sunk into a period of depression and on the advice of my OB, we waited a while to begin trying again.  I was convinced that there was something I did that was causing the miscarriages, so I asked a lot of questions about things I'd noticed, to see if I should get them checked out before we tried again.  The questions I asked led her to wonder if I had a thyroid issue, and she referred me for further tests and a consultation with an endocrinologist.

A couple appointments, an ultrasound and a radioactive iodine test later, I was handed a diagnosis.  I had Graves' Disease.  I knew nothing about it and immediately researched every source I could find, bought a dozen books, and consulted every friend I knew with a thyroid problem. The idea of having an auto-immune disorder rattled me, and once again I found myself struggling with depression. But the good news is that all of the health issues I had been noticing in my adult life - from the miscarriages to the depression and anxiety, could all be connected to the Graves' Disease, as could things I'd just assumed were normal, like my very thin hair, my nails that didn't grow, my tendency to be over-emotional and always tired, and my "excellent metabolism".  Suddenly everything about my physical and emotional self tied back to one condition.  So we medicated.

Fast forward a few years, I have had given birth to another healthy baby boy with no complications, and I am keeping my Graves' in control through regular bloodwork and medication.  In fact, I am deemed to be "in remission" and we are able to gradually decrease my dosage until I am eventually off of my medication all together.  During a routine biometrics check for our annual benefits review, I am given a new diagnosis - hyperlipidemia.  Yes, high cholesterol.  The statins that have been a part of my husband's life for so many years will now be a part of mine.   And shortly after, the anxiety issues appear again.  So now I am back in counseling, back on anti-depressants, still on statins, and wondering if I should be back on my thyroid meds, since something is just not right!!  Nobody knows me like me, and even though my tests show me still in remission, my body is showing signs of issues!  Meanwhile, I struggle with seasonal allergies, I have frequent muscle and back pain (from regular exercise and poor posture), I deal every month with PMS symptoms and cramps, I am tired and crabby most days, and I have trouble sleeping at night.  AND THAT'S JUST ME!!!!

I also have a husband and two sons who have allergy issues, dietary challenges, seem to constantly have colds or stomach bugs, and are always dealing with the everyday cuts, scrapes, aches and pains.  So even though I started into oils with no specific ailments in mind, every time I open a book, an email, or a webpage about the benefits and uses of oils, I see yet another way that I could use them in our lives.  In future posts I will share more about what specific oils I'm using, and how, but I wanted you to know some of my history to understand why I started looking for an alternative treatment in the first place.

If you're interested in becoming a Young Living member, click here!

Getting Started - Do your research!

The world of essential oils can be very overwhelming.  There are so many companies out there, so many oils, so many blends, and so many opinions!  In some ways, the internet is wonderful, since the information is right there at our fingertips, but at the same time, how do you know who to trust?  I have done hours and hours of reading and research in the last few months in order to learn about oils and formulate a plan for myself (more to come on that in future posts!)  One of the things that I liked about Young Living oils was their starter kit.  I felt like it gave me the oils and the information that I needed in order to "dip my toes in".  Looking back now, I see that the oils they thought I would use the most are indeed the ones that I am constantly reordering!

There are many bloggers out there who are ready to take you under their wings and welcome you to the world of oils by providing the resources and accessories you need to get started, and the support you need to move forward.  I've also started seeing posts and articles in some of my favorite magazines, fitness and health blogs singing the praises of essential oils.  Listed below are some of my favorite blogs and sites for information about oils and other health issues.  If you're not familiar with them, check them out!

Dr. Mercola
The Total Wellness Doc
Dr. Axe
Mind, Body, Green
Health Magazine
Women's Health

Every person is different, every body is different.  In the end, you need to do what is right for you. For me, that was supplementing my efforts toward healthier diet and exercise habits with essential oils.  I wouldn't be sharing it if I didn't feel strongly about it, but make your decisions based on you, not on what anyone else says!

If you're interested in becoming a Young Living member, click here!

Choosing a Supplier

If you read my first post, you know that I am relatively new to the world of oils.  When I decided to really do some research into what they might do for me, I saw one message over and over.  It's the same message I give to you right now - DO YOUR RESEARCH!  There are many oil providers out there, and anyone who is committing to a lifestyle that includes essential oils needs to go with something they trust.  If you're doing it right,  your initial switch to oils will require some time and some money up front, so it's worth it to do the initial legwork.  I started out looking at what other bloggers said about their research.  Admittedly, I did not purchase from every company I researched, but I did try a few different types of oils.  No matter where I looked, a few names popped up repeatedly:

Native American Nutritionals
Rocky Mountain Oils
Young Living

I also tried some oils from
Now Foods
Healing Solutions

I initially headed into my research completely opposed to any company that had a MLM structure, and determined to find the cheapest way to integrate oils into my life.  What I learned was completely consistent with what I read on other sites:
-you get what you pay for
-some companies have a very transparent "trail" from where the products are grown to where they are distributed (including all phases of the manufacturing process)
-not all oils are the same
-there are lots of deceptive terms out there regarding purity and oil grades
-there is no right answer to which oils are the best.  Everyone needs to make that decision individually based on their needs and their preferences.
-things like customer service, ease of ordering, clarity of descriptions, and testimonials from people like me are valid considerations.

Ultimately, I surprised myself by choosing Young Living oils.  I had many reasons for this decision, which I'm happy to share if you would like to message me for more information.  There has not been a moment since making this decision where I've questioned or regretted it.  One reason I chose Young Living is because I could try it out without a commitment of any kind.  Members like myself can purchase oils at wholesale prices and share with those who just want to try it out.  So if you're tempted or curious, and you want a commitment free way to try the oils, message me and we can make that happen!  If you're interested in becoming a Young Living member, click here!

My Story! Chances are, you found this blog because you're interested in learning more about essential oils.  That's where I started, too.  I have known about oils for the last few years - a co-worker swore that putting peppermint oil in her water helped as a digestive and an appetite suppressant (sounds good to me!) and I gave it a try.  That was about as serious as I got.

Meanwhile, a couple years went by, and I went from being a person with very few health concerns and a fairly healthy lifestyle to being someone who was taking 3 prescription meds daily, fighting virus after virus, and watching helplessly as every bug out there knocked the whole family out from the first day of school throughout the winter and well into the spring!  I knew that the OTC meds we were using helped alleviate symptoms when they came up, but something more proactive needed to happen to help us get ahead of these health problems that seemed to be never ending. a year ago, I noticed posts all over the health blogs that I follow regularly about the benefits of various essential oils.  I marked them all to read later and moved on.  Then, about 6 months ago, another coworker mentioned the oils she is using, and I started asking questions.  I decided to just dip my toes in, having NO IDEA what the world of essential oils would teach me, and ordered my first two oils: peppermint (the old, familiar friend), and one called Stress-Away - I had been struggling with some anxiety issues and was feeling exceptionally stressed about work related issues, and was ready to try anything.

 I started putting the peppermint in my water during the day and noticed a change in how my body felt after lunch (less bloating, less feeling of sluggishness!).  I followed the guidelines for the Stress-Away oil and applied some to my wrists and neck and IMMEDIATELY fell in love with the smell! (I'll post more about Stress-away in a future post)  It was fragrant and calming, without being overpowering or offensive to others (you should know that I am extremely sensitive to smells, and am the first one to complain about other people's scents bothering me - everything from headaches to sneezing fits!)  I started using the Stress-Away more regularly and found that I started feeling like something was missing on days that I didn't use it.

Around that time, my coworker mentioned that she was ordering some more oils, and invited me to add to her order if I'd like.  I felt like I was ready to try some more, so I ordered lemon and valerian.  I had read about both - lemon as a detoxifier and valerian as a sleep aid.  The only thing I knew was either using oils topically or in water, so I used my lemon in my water, alternating with the peppermint (because I had NO IDEA you could or should mix them!) and valerian in my tea at night - NOT a good taste!  To quote my husband, "It smells like peaches and feet!".  I liked the lemon well enough, but wasn't fully sold on the valerian.  My coworker started asking about what I thought about the oils, and sharing thoughts about the oils she was using.  I asked her one day, in desperation, about what she used for menstrual cramps.  She listed a couple of oils and a blend that I was completely unfamiliar with, and I knew I needed to start doing some research.  And one afternoon, when I could barely swallow because of what I was certain was strep, she introduced me to Thieves oil and Thieves spray.  Intrigued by the effect it had when she sprayed it on my throat, I dove in to my research even further!

Not long after, I was in a friend's house and she had a diffuser running - she shared that she diffused Thieves oil 24 hours a day, and she swore that her family had been the healthiest they've ever been since she started.  For me, I still just loved the smell and didn't understand what was really happening when she diffused it.  These are both friends that I trust, and that I feel live their lives similarly to me, so I was ready to learn more.  One weekend I glued myself to the computer and read everything I could find about oils, and thus began my journey.  I have learned so much in such a short time about how to use the oils, what oils to combine in order to maximize effects, what uses the oils had beyond fragrance, and the science of why the oils worked.  I very quickly became hooked!

Look for future posts about how I decided what kinds of oils to use and what oils are now a part of my regular routine!  And if you're interesting in trying oils for yourself, email me at  If you're interested in becoming a Young Living member, click here.