Dishwasher Soap

Switching from toxic dishwasher pods has been one of the hardest transitions to the natural side as far as household products go. I’ve tried a few recipes that didn’t work. After spending time and money on ingredients that ended up wasted, I still had dirty dishes. I gave up and returned to toxin filled pods (fragrance, triclosan and sodium hypochlorite which can cause hormone disruption, asthma, reproducitve toxicity, infertility, thyroid imbalance, antibiotic resistance and organ system toxicity). I know they are bad for our bodies but I have stuff to do and at least they work, right?!

The other day, after roasting some veggies on a silicone baking tray that had been washed in the dishwasher, the veggies actually tasted like dishwasher pods! Just ewe.

There has got to be a better solution. After searching my Essential Oil FB groups, I came up with this recipe. It was easy to follow, it smells good and after washing a few loads, it seems to work well!

I’m so excited! It’s toxin free, cheaper and works!! I promise to update you here if I change my vote. I also have a couple friends trying it out to see if it works for them but so far, I think I could be in love!

What you’ll need!

  • 3 Cups of Hot Water
  • 3 Tbsp Castile soap (I use Dr. Bronners Unscented)
  • 1 Cup Washing Soda
  • 15 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • 2 Capfuls Thieves Household Cleaner
  • 3 – 4 tsp Guar Gum

Heat water in stainless steel pot on stove top until it’s almost boiling, remove from heat and stir in washing soda until completely dissolved.

Once the mixture has cooled, mix castile soap, thieves cleaner, lemon essential oil, and guar gum in a separate bowl until an even consistency is achieved (you can add some extra water here if you need to) then add to the water and washing soda mixture!

Let sit for about an hour mixing every so often until mixture has a uniform gel-like consistency. Store in a glass sealed container.

I use 2-3 tbsp per dish washing cycle on heavy wash. Sometimes, I also add 1 Tbsp baking soda to the pre wash (I did this with the pods too. It helps cut even more junk)

Are you gonna try it? Let me know what you think!

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.

 

What are Essential Oils & how do I use them?

Essential oil is the “lifeblood” of a plant because the oil protects the plant from disease, provides nutrients and helps to repel insects. They can be found in the plant’s flower, stem, leaves, bark or fruit.

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Essential Oils were mankind’s first medicine! Today, they are still used to bring health and healing to the body (physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally).

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Essential oils are very complex containing hundreds or thousands of different chemical compounds; this is what gives each plant its unique healing attributes and characteristics.

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Essential oils should smell exactly like the plant they come from – nothing more, nothing less. Often, companies will add things like vanillin to make them smell sweeter. Do your oils smell like a plant or a dessert? If it says 100% pure but it smells sweet, chances are something else has been added. This means that the therapeutic properties are either decreased or nonexistent. 

Another thing to look for on essential oil is expiration dates. 100% therapeutic grade oils do not expire because they do not have anything added to them, like preservatives. 

Essential oils are NOT the same as vegetable and/or olive oils. Vegetable oils are obtained from the fatty parts of a plant like the nuts, seeds, or kernels and are greasy. They can also go rancid over time. Young Living’s essential oils do not go rancid or expire – sweet! In the essential oils world, we refer to the kitchen oils (olive, coconut, avocado, grape seed, etc…) as carrier oils since they are often used to dilute the potency of therapeutic grade essential oils when applying to your skin.

If you’re wondering what on earth a “carrier oil” is…look no further! A carrier oil is a vegetable/nut/plant oil such as grapeseed oil/coconut oil/sweet almond oil etc. that can be used to dilute an essential oil. You have A LOT of options but here is a fractionated coconut oil that I like. Carrier oils ensure that essential oils applied topically are comfortable and prevent waste due to excessive application. Dilution with a carrier oil does not inhibit the effectiveness of the essential oil in any way.

Great times to use carrier oils would be when you are using oils on young children, when you are ingesting an oil for the first time, when the back of the oil bottle tells you that you need to dilute, and when you are using a “hot oil”. A hot oil is an oil that, when applied to the skin, can cause a “hot” or “burning” sensation. Diluting these types of oils can eliminate the sensation or make it more comfortable 

Three ways to explore the benefits of essential oils:
-Topically
-Aromatically
-Internally – Young Living has a specific line called the Vitality line. Oils from this line are OK to ingest. 

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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.

Store essential oils in a cool, dark place with lids tightly closed (and always out of reach of children). 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. Oils break down plastic because it is a toxin, they do not harm your body because your body is non toxic and organic!

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.

Two holes EO’s should never be applied.. EYES AND 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 vitamin e oil) to cleanse the area and reduce discomfort.

You’ll also want to keep carrier oils (like coconut, olive, vitamin e, sweet almond oil, etc.) on hand for dilution when necessary.

Again, these are just general high notes on safety and usage information. EOs are an amazing, natural way to approach health and wellness for your family, but because of Young Living’s purity and grade of oils, they should be used with knowledge and respect. This is said not to scare you, but for you to realize that they DO work and can successfully be implemented into your family’s daily life with common sense. It is my hope that you’ll start this journey and discover the ability to use natural resources to treat yourself and your family. You won’t regret it!!

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Now, friends, why choose Young Living when there are so many other companies out there to choose from? I’m going to be honest here; some of those companies are cheaper. A lot cheaper. This is hands-down one of those cases where you get what you pay for. Yes, you *can* buy a $5 bottle of oil but *buyer beware* you’re receiving an inferior product.

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Young Living is the only company out there that has what is called the “Seed to Seal” promise. This has such a huge impact!  It means that Young Living controls every single aspect of their production line. They own their own farms. They plant their own seeds. They cultivate their own crops. They use essential oils on their plants. They oversee everything, literally, from planting the seed to sealing the bottle. They can say with a 100% guarantee that they know what is inside each and every bottle, and that they are pure beyond a shadow of a doubt. They don’t compromise quality just to get the product out there. If it’s not perfect and up to par, they don’t bottle it. It can’t get more comforting than that!

In our house, we have been working on living as toxin and additive free as possible. This is why I chose Young Living. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and if I’m going to be consistently using these products on the skin of myself and my loved ones, I want to know exactly what I’m getting!

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Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.