Essential Oils & Kids. Toxins in the home. Post #2

WHAT’S LURKING IN YOUR HOME?

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Let’s chat about some mind-blowing facts about what is lurking in our homes. I had no idea there were harmful ingredients in the things I used on my skin daily, and so if you are in this place, or anywhere near it, please know that this is a judgment free zone! All of us in here are on a wellness journey and you are invited, exactly as you are, and at whatever stage you are in!

  1. Store bought soaps contain sodium laureth sulfate, a toxic chemical used to remove car grease off of garage floors. This can be damaging to the skin, as well as disruptive to immune health and hormonal health.
  2. Both adult and kid shampoos contain phthalates, a toxic chemical that has been banned in children’s toys, but is still found in body cleansing products. It is known to be an endocrine disruptor, and very hard for the body to break down when used consistently during bath time.
  3. The main ingredient in candles and home sprays is formaldehyde, which is the number one cancer causing chemical, and is what we get embalmed with at the morgue. They say inhaling scents from candles or sprays is the equivalent to inhaling second hand smoke, which is even more dangerous than actually smoking the cigarette itself.
  4. Store bought household cleaning products contain 2-butoxyethanol, which is a toxin known to cause sore throat, narcosis, and severe liver and kidney damage.
  5. Store bought laundry detergents and dryer sheets contain alpha-terpineol, benzyl alcohol, and camphor, which are all toxic ingredients that cause central nervous system disorders, loss of muscular coordination, central nervous system depression, headaches, nausea, and vomiting.
  6. Many baby products contain the listed ingredient “fragrance,” which is simply a broad category that hides hundreds of toxic chemicals behind that word itself. Companies are not required to reveal the actual chemicals that are within the “fragrance” category, hence keeping the public in the dark about the true toxicity of the products we use on our little ones. This can cause huge hormone disruption.
  7. Women apply over 300 chemicals to their face and skin per day, including talc, bismuth, parabens, lead, mercury, and mineral oil. These chemicals are all found in store bought skin care and makeup products, which can disrupt the endocrine system, are highly carcinogenic, and have even been found in tumors.

When we use these products on ourselves and our children on a daily basis, the toxins build up and accumulate within our bodies – a process called “bioaccumulation.” This means that the more we expose ourselves to these toxins, the harder it is for our bodies to break them down. Because of this build up, it causes both minor and major health issues, that otherwise could be prevented if we simply quit using those toxins. Even if these issues aren’t apparent right now, they will be apparent later on down the road.

What’s even scarier to know, is some of the most popular “organic” products can still contain some the ingredients above. Even if you think you’re making a better decision about going organic instead of conventional, there is still a probability that your organic product is still highly toxic for yourself or your little ones.

Don’t believe me? Visit the Environmental Working Group website at ewg.org, plug in the ingredients of your products, and see how high it is rated in toxicity. Or, download the “Think Dirty” app on your smartphone, and look at the toxicity levels. The results will shock you, and will make you want to throw those products in the trash.

 

WHAT TO USE INSTEAD:

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Young Living products have NONE of the chemicals listed above and only contains the purest of plant based ingredients. While they are an essential oil company, they are also a fully-equipped natural products company. They have supplements, beauty products, household cleaning products, stuff for kids and babies, home purifiers, bath and shower products, oral care, and yes – even makeup! This makes it easy to simply ditch the products you’re currently using, and replace it with something Young Living has instead. It is your one-stop-shop for all things you will need for yourself, for your home, for your children, and for your health!

Simply put, the only thing inside their essential oil bottles is the plant itself – no additives, fillers, synthetic fragrances, preservatives, or dyes (which is NOT the same for store bought essential oils, hence why other brands can be dangerous and highly toxic). The same goes for all of their products – the only ingredients within the products are the ones listed on the label, and they are all plant based. Not one single ingredient is synthetic, toxic, or chemically derived!!!

BUT IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE….

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Some people have a misconception of thinking that using Young Living products in their home and on their family is a new or added expense. WRONG! It’s not! Instead, it’s a shift in spending. Everyone spends money on products every day, every month, every year – whether the products are good for you or not. With this route, instead of going to the store for all of your products, you are getting them from Young Living. I personally LOVE online shopping and HATE going to the store! I have also found it to be true that I use a smaller amount of product than I’m used to with other brands. High quality simply goes further and lasts longer. Since you don’t need to use as much to get great results, it doesn’t cost as much! Let’s talk about 5 ways you can so totally afford Young Living.

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  1. Get a Wholesale Membership!

This is the route that 99% of people go when they want to start using Young Living products. With this route, you get wholesale pricing on everything they have instead of retail pricing, which saves you 24% on every single item they’ve got! If you’re here, chances are you already have one of these babies!!! Just log into your VO and get to shopping!!!!

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  1. Get on Essential Rewards Immediately!

Another cool thing about Young Living, is they give cash back to frequent buyers. There is a super incredible program called Essential Rewards, which acts as a “monthly box” that you can customize and get shipped to you every month, filled with products you are needing for your family or in your home. Over time, you can earn up to 25% back in points for your orders, and those points you can use towards getting products for FREE. With Essential Rewards, you can also take advantage of the FREE monthly promotions that Young Living has, cheaper shipping options, and the option to cancel at any time. So, basically, Young Living pays you to order their products through this program. Name another store that will do that for you?! NONE!

This program also gives you a means of affordably ditching and switching, which can be a process to do. So, this month, you can order everything for your kiddos, next month household cleaning products. And the next month, you can order beauty products, baby products, or supplements, or essential oils, or makeup, whatever you need – so on and so forth!

With all of these perks and benefits of the Essential Rewards program, it’s only a minimum of 50 PV in products for each monthly box, which can be the equivalent of $50. Now, before you think that’s a lot, it’s TOTALLY not! We all spend well over $50 a month on products every single month. All this is, is shifting that spending from the store to something natural instead. Even people with the most minimal budgets can do Essential Rewards!

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  1. Get FREE products with Young Living’s monthly promotions!

Young Living has this cool tradition, where they give away an assortment of products to members every month for FREE. For anyone who orders over a certain amount in a single order, Young Living will include some free products in the box for you. Normally, there are 4 different ordering tiers – 100, 190, 250, or 300. If you order over any of those amounts in one single order, they will automatically include the FREE monthly products, which could add up to hundreds of dollars in stuff you didn’t have to pay for. Cool, huh?!

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  1. Create DIY products yourself!

Some people find even more ways to pinch pennies and reduce toxins in their home by creating DIY products with Young Living’s essential oils and products. There are literally thousands upon thousands of recipes out there to create chemical-free options for yourself and your family. When you add Young Living’s essential oils to your DIY products, the powerful plant properties will add natural fragrance, be soothing to the skin, act as a natural purifying agent, and will support your overall health at the same time, all depending on what you’re making. Basically, adding oils to your DIY recipes will make them even better for you than if you didn’t add them at all!

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  1. Share Young Living with friends, get paid for their referral!

When we say Young Living literally pays you back, they not only do that when you order, they also do that whenever you refer friends. For every friend you refer, if that friend creates a wholesale account and orders a Premium Starter Kit like you did, you can get $50. So, if you refer 3 friends to Young Living, it could pay you back for the Premium Starter Kit you initially purchased for yourself! Also, if you keep referring friends, it could get your monthly Essential Rewards orders paid for, too, that way you will NEVER pay for your products! Talk about a money saver! What other stores (ahem… Target where you at!?) deposit cash in your bank account for referring friends? NONE!

THE BEST WAY TO GET STARTED

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There are hundreds of uses for each essential oil. And Young Living offers HUNDREDS of oils to choose from.

But remember how I talked about how a wholesale membership is the way to GO when it comes to kicking toxins out affordably? Well thankfully Young Living has curated the PERFECT kit of essential oils to get you that wholesale membership. The kit is valued at over $330.00 if you were to purchase everything separately without your wholesale membership, but they’ve priced it at only $160.00. A savings of almost 50%!! The kit they’ve curated is PERFECT because it includes 11 oils and a diffuser giving you hundreds of uses for the most common things you’d need to use oils for! We’ll let the kids break down the uses in the next post 😉

Essential Oils & Kids Safety Post #1

WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?02

If you aren’t familiar with essential oils, you might be wondering what in the world ARE THEY!? You’ve probably heard your friends talk about them, so let’s break it down!

Essential oils are the aromatic, volatile liquids distilled from plants. The oil can be obtained from the roots, seeds, shrub, flowers, leaves and trees and bring health and healing to the body. The chemistry is extremely complex and may consist of hundreds of different and unique chemical compounds. EO’s were mankind’s first medicine and are in fact mentioned throughout Scripture. The oils are very complex and very powerful which is why they are able to reach every part of our bodies on a cellular level.

The fragrance of the oils work on the limbic system in the brain where emotions are stored and can help relax and clear the mind as well as release emotional trauma. They can have profound physiological and psychological effects which you heard a bit about in our intros. The EO’s from Young Living are all therapeutic grade oils that can be diffused, applied topically or ingested. An all-natural way to help your body stay healthy, the way was intended to be.

ESSENTIAL OIL SAFETY

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Safety is important when it comes to using essential oils. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the information available, but using common sense and starting gradually will help ease any sort of intimidation you might feel as you begin using essential oils in your everyday life, on yourself and your family. Due to the fact that Young Living’s purity and grade of oils is so high, they should be used with knowledge and respect. It is important — so important! — that we protect our kiddos and use oils properly.

I personally have chosen to use oils during my pregnancy, postpartum recovery and for Gavin since the beginning, even with his tiny body and all his considerations. I have had zero problems and lots of benefits but I also educated myself first and then made that call as his mom. You’ll need to decide what works for you and your kiddo’s! If you are diffusing around children or applying oils topically you need to understand and research what oils are safe to be used around kids and what dilution ratios you need to use. This is quite simple as most oils are fine to be used on and around kids and there are a lot of great references out there that can help you too!

Generally, once a child hits 10 years old they are able to process any oil an adult can. Prior to 10 there are oils that need to be used with caution, and dilution will be your best friend!

Here’s a few of their suggestions…

  1. When storing essential oils (EOs), it’s important to keep them in a cool, dark place with lids tightly closed (and always out of reach of children). You’ll also want to keep carrier oils (like coconut, olive, vitamin e, sweet almond oil, etc.) on hand for dilution. Always use and store EOs in glass containers, especially when drinking them in water, since most plastic products contain chemicals that can be broken down by the oil. Ingesting oils properly does not harm your body because we are made of organic cells, not toxic material.
  2. Most EOs are generally safe for use during pregnancy, but need to be used with common sense. As with any health program, you may want to consult with a health care professional beforehand. A great resource is the book Gentle Babies. I love this book!
  3.  Citrus oils are photosensitive and when applied to skin, they may cause a rash or dark pigmentation on skin exposed to UV rays or direct sunlight within 1-2 days after application.
  4.  Keep EOs away from eyes and never put them directly into the ears. Should irritation or accidental contact with eyes occur, never use water to clear the EO (they are not water-soluble). Instead use a V6 vegetable oil complex or other carrier oil (such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil) to cleanse the area and reduce discomfort.
  5. Epileptics and people with high blood pressure should use extra caution when using EOs with high ketones like basil, rosemary, sage, or tansy.
  6.  For people with allergies or sensitive skin, it’s best to test a small area (like the inside of the upper arm) then wait 30 minutes before applying to other areas. In general, the bottoms of the feet are safe for topical application.
  7. Direct inhalation (not the same as diffusing) can be a deep and intensive application method, particularly for respiratory congestion and illness. This method should not be used more than 10-15 times throughout the day without first consulting a health care professional.
  8. When adding EOs to bath water, start with 5 drops first mixed with Epsom salt to help disperse the oil. Never use more than 15 drops in one bath. If a dispersing agent is not used, serious discomfort can be caused because the oil tends to float undiluted on top of the water.
  9. Young Living states right on the bottles if an oil is able to be consumed as a food additive or not. They have a separate line called the Vitality line which is all safe for consumption. The Vitality line oils all have a white label and it is also OK to ingest an oil that is part of the vitality line but does not have a white label. (For example, Lemon oil with a yellow label is the same oil as lemon oil with a white label). DO NOT use any Essential Oil internally that is not specifically indicated for that purpose.

 

WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE YOUNG LIVING?

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We care about what we’re putting IN our bodies so shouldn’t we care just as much about what we’re putting ON our bodies? Young Living owns their own farms to grow their own plants all over the world. Most of the other oil companies buy from farmers. Young Living distills 100% of their own oils. That means YL can stand by their quality from beginning to end. They call it the “seed to seal” guarantee, which means a lot if I am going to be putting them on my body and my kids’ bodies. They can say with a 100% guarantee that they know what is in those precious little bottles and that they are 100% pure. From the time the seed is sourced until the oil is sealed in the bottle, they apply the most rigorous quality controls possible to ensure that you are receiving essential oils exactly the way nature intended. YL has been around for over 20 years and they are clearly the leader in the industry. So they have had the opportunity to learn from mistakes or change what isn’t working.

YL is more expensive compared to other brands and oils you can purchase at Whole Foods or on Amazon. Aromatherapy has become quite a fad, and an ever-growing number of marketers, seeing its money-making potential, have jumped on the essential oil bandwagon, looking for an easy way to make a lot of money. They’re finding innovative ways to sell anything they can call aromatherapy. Mostly, what you find are cheap imitations: some sort of oil base to which they’ve added synthetic chemicals to create a fragrance.

If you buy cheaper oil, chances are you’re not even getting what you pay for. You must remember that aromatherapy is about more than just the smell. The $5.00 to $10.00 bottle of Frankincense you get at the health food stores might smell fine to you, but there’s no way it will provide you with the therapeutic benefits of YL’s Frankincense oil. And I guarantee you there will be an expiration date on that bottle but not on any of Young Living’s bottles. Pure oil does not expire.

While some of these so-called aromatherapy products present a pleasing fragrance, can cover unpleasant odors, and may have some limited value in relaxation, they have no real value for true aromatherapy. In some cases, these products can create serious health problems, from allergic reactions to irritations to chemical burns and they should definitely not be ingested.

There are at least 200 different companies marketing essential oils in North America. However, there are many grades of essential oils, and most essential oils available in the United States are of the lowest grade and quality. Only when using Young Living 100% pure-therapeutic-grade oil will you see significant benefits.

 

Cloth diapers? Really?

My “natural, whenever possible.” focused mind has been toying with the idea of cloth diapers all along but I simply haven’t wanted to deal with the mess and extra work. I’ve got enough on my plate and I deserve for something to be easy!

I knew disposables are said to have “bad” chemicals and after my husband and I did the math, we were aware of how much money we would be saving long term but I still had time to procrastinate on the decision since Gavin was too small for cloth for a long time. At his 3 lbs. birth weight, his first diaper was a size “micro preemie” which is about half the size of a post card and that was actually too big for him. They do sell cloth sets in size newborn but he was far from even fitting newborn and I didn’t want to invest in a whole set for the relatively short period of time that they would fit him.

If you’ve ever dabbled in the world of cloth diapers, you’ll understand why I felt overwhelmed and unprepared by the idea of committing to investing in a brand/style.

I asked my natural loving mom friend so many questions that I’m surprised she hasn’t blocked me (yet) and I also did A LOT of research on my own to learn about what I would use IF I were to eventually go that route. As I started to understand the lingo (which is basically like instantaneously being thrown into an advanced foreign language class!) and even tried a few options. I still felt overwhelmed and honestly, I was relieved when my top choice, Grovia All in Two’s with the hook and loop velcro closure, was still too big for him. He looked like he got eaten by a teletubby and massive leaks were inevitable. We would simply have to wait on cloth diapering. Darn 😉

Fast forward a few months. Gavin is 5 months old, 11 lbs. and has just grown into size one diapers. We got back the blood test results about Gavin’s hormone levels (he was born with hypospadias and needs a repair). They look good but he will still need testosterone he will need testosterone therapy before his repair. The only other thing we can do in the meantime is support normal hormone function by avoiding hormone disruptors. It seems like it’s time to face the music and look more closely at what we can realistically do to help him have the best chance for happy hormones, long term.

Are disposable diapers really that bad? Are the cloth diaper moms just dooms day preppers who are blowing this whole thing out of proportion? Before I make my life harder, I’m going to need to find out the truth for myself.

In my research, I have not targeted any specific disposable brand. If you’re looking for brand specific info, just look up the ingredients of the brand you’re interested in. I know the natural ones are supposed to be better but it really doesn’t matter enough for me to hard core look into each brand because even if you can find a diaper company that passes all the ingredients tests, the best brands are very expensive for everyday use.
So far, my research concludes that most disposable diapers contain chemicals that could cause adverse skin reactions, cancer, asthma, and hormone disruption.
It might seem like it’s not a big deal or the exposure isn’t enough to make a difference but I think that we all have noticed an increase in these sorts of illnesses in our society and that we have enough research to show that chemical exposure is definitely part of the problem. Some of the main offending chemicals are Dioxins, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tributyl-tin (TBT) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). That’s a good list to reference if you’re just trying to learn what to avoid. If you want to know more about WHY then read on.
Dioxins- are a broad name used to umbrella hundreds of chemicals; there are about 30 that are the most harmful to people. They are rated as more dangerous because they reside in the body and are not able to be broken down for a very long time. The worst one is called Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD). TCDD was the deadly contaminant found in the infamous Agent Orange. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals known to science and are listed by the EPA as highly carcinogenic chemicals. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to dioxins may cause skin reactions and altered liver function, as well as impairments to the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive functions.

Sodium Polyacrylate -Sodium polycarbonate is chemical compound that is great for absorption and prevents leakage. That is why they use it in the filler of disposable diapers. It’s also been linked to skin irritations and respiratory problems and was removed from tampons due to toxic shock syndrome concerns.

Tributyl-tin (TBT) – The EPA says, this toxic pollutant is extremely harmful to aquatic (water) life and causes endocrine (hormonal) disruptions. TBT also rates highly in its contribution to pollution to the environment and does not have the capability to degrade so its toxic effects stick around wrecking not only our bodies but our planet forever.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – VOC’s include chemicals like ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and dipentene that can cause damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system as well as ear, nose, throat irritation and headaches.

Sigh, I was hoping that I’d find out that it really doesn’t matter but I guess I have to at least try now. I joined a cloth diapering support group to help with the learning curve of washing and I ordered the Hybrid live package of Grovia Ai2. Seeing how Gavin is living on a breastmilk fortified with avocado diet (for weight gain) and has several messy diapers per day, I’m going to need more shells than the average recommended but for now I will have 13 shells, 26 organic soaker pads and 6 organic boosters. At least they are cute and the investment will pay off in the long run!

Oh, P.S. Wipes? You guessed it. Same story. If you want to avoid chemicals then it matters what ingredients they have in them. They are after all being absorbed in the most sensitive of areas! I’m going to try making my own wipes with flannel and a homemade wipe solution once the diapers get here since I’ll already be washing them anyways. I’ll keep you posted on that but if you are looking for disposable, I recommend Young Livings seedling wipes. They work well, smell wonderful and can also be used as effective make-up removers and dryer sheets!

How about you? Have you cloth diapered? I’d love to hear any veteran tips you have for me!

Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.

References: https://www.epa.gov
http://www.livestrong.com/article/111348-chemicals-disposable-diapers/
http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/toxic-diapers-your-childs-disposable-diapers-contain-endocrine-disruptors