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DIY Cleaning Products: Why & How to Make Them

DIY Cleaning Products: Why & How to Make Them

My friend Amy Rojas Kantorczyk has used DIY or do-it-yourself cleaning products for her home for many years.  I buy eco-friendly cleaning products, which is what Amy uses, but I buy them and Amy makes her own.

I was curious about this and talked to her about it.  It was an eye-opening conversation.  She shared with me some of what she does and how easy and cost effective it is.

Amy worked for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts for many years and was most recently the Director of Operations at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn in Sonoma, California.  She interacted closely with the Housekeeping team and one particular housekeeper inspired her to make her own cleaning products.  All it took was white vinegar, baking soda, isopropyl alcohol, and essential oils.

I asked Amy about this and much more.  Here is how our conversation went.

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Placebos Have the Power to Heal

Placebos Have the Power to Heal

One of the most common arguments we see against the use of alternative, herbal, aromatherapy, or other forms of traditional medicine is that the benefit we have from using these forms of treatment are due to the placebo effect (Null & Gale, 2018).

The placebo is commonly known as the sugar pill.  Scientists argue that traditional treatments are not effective in it of themselves, but that the cure comes from the patient’s belief in their effectiveness.  This they call the placebo effect.

I believe in the effectiveness of alternative remedies.  I have published several posts that share personal stories and studies that show evidence of the effect traditional cures have.  In fact, 80% of the world population uses herbal medicine, and often the traditional remedy is more effective than the scientific or allopathic ones (Ji, 2018; Null & Gale, 2018).

Yet, I also think that our beliefs play a large role in our healing process.  As such, so what if the placebo has a healing effect?  What is wrong with someone believing that something will work, and then that something actually working?  Isn’t that part of the healing process?  I believe it is.  Let me explain why.

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Essential Oils for PMS Relief

Essential Oils for PMS Relief

PMS or premenstrual syndrome encompasses a group of symptoms that affect women in the days prior to and up to the beginning of their menstrual flow.  It can affect women starting on their menarche or first menstrual flow in adolescence, and symptoms can continue until menopause.  Although, typically PMS affects women between their 20s and 40s more significantly.

PMS affects women differently, and some have more distinct or severe symptoms than others. Symptoms include emotional distress, mood changes, depression, aggression, anxiety, stress, and mental state alteration, among others.  Physical symptoms of PMS include fatigue, bloating, cramps, breast tenderness, fluid retention, and headaches.

I have successfully used essential oils (EOs) to treat PMS, including some of the EOs listed here, such as lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, and clary sage, Salvia sclarea, although many other EOs can also provide relief of PMS symptoms.

Patience is key to any alternative form of healing.  Alternative healing, including aromatherapy, works to support the body by allowing the body to correct itself, and this requires time and patience.  But, if you’re willing to try, some of these EOs can significantly relieve PMS.

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Practical Uses for Turmeric

Practical Uses for Turmeric

The benefits of turmeric are commonly touted, which is why we find them in lattes, teas, soups, spice blends, and supplements.

I use it readily in cooking- I add it to broths, stews, soups, lentils, curries, and on grilled or roasted vegetables.

Turmeric is a root that looks much like ginger but has thinner branches.  In fact, it comes from the same family as ginger and cardamom- the Zingiberaceae family.

Turmeric can be used fresh or as a dried spice.  It reduces inflammation, provides anti-oxidants effects, boosts the immune system, and can provide great support for those undergoing cancer treatments. I wrote an article about turmeric a few years ago, where I described some of the clinical evidence supporting the benefits of turmeric.

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3 Essential Oils That Aid High Blood Pressure

3 Essential Oils That Aid High Blood Pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure (HBP) is a chronic condition in which blood pressure is elevated above its normal range of 120 mm Hg of systolic pressure or above 80 mm Hg of diastolic pressure.

HBP is often asymptomatic and requires blood pressure readings in order to be identified.  However, it can cause nose bleeding, headaches, a red or flushed face, dizziness, fatigue, nervousness, insomnia, blurred vision, fluid retention, and shortness of breath (Marieb & Hoehn, 2013).

 

Treatment for HBP involves lifestyle changes, although other types of support, such as the use of aromatherapy, can be beneficial.  Here are 3 essential oils that can aid with HBP.

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Essential Oils That Aid in Constipation Relief

Essential Oils That Aid in Constipation Relief

Constipation can affect us in different ways.  It can mean having difficulty  passing stools, having infrequent bowel movements, or not sufficiently cleaning of or emptying of stools. This can be accompanied by discomfort, pain, nausea, and feelings of malaise.

Typical remedies for constipation include laxatives, fibrous or bulk-forming foods and supplements, or muscle relaxants, which allow the bowels to relax and consequently to empty.

Essential oils (EOs) do not add fiber to the body, but support constipation relief in other ways, including incorporating into abdominal massage, supporting gastrointestinal function, and alleviating stress and other emotional blocks (Battaglia, 2003).

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How We Can Tell Which Chakra Needs Attention

How We Can Tell Which Chakra Needs Attention

Last week I explained why balanced chakras are the key to vitality, and what it means when our chakras are in harmony.  I also gave you a description of each chakra.

The lower chakras, namely the root, sacral, and solar plexus, affect our wellbeing and our ability to relate to our self, our sense of self, and the tangible world.  The upper chakras, namely the throat, third eye, and crown, affect how we connect with the outside world.  The heart chakra brings both together, as it foments our ability to lovingly connect with ourselves and others.

When one or more chakra is out of balance, we can bring them back to center by engaging in activities, behaviors, practices, thoughts, and intentions that allow energy to flow freely.

To know what to do, it is first important for us to recognize which chakra needs attention.  I will share how we are likely to feel physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually when our chakras our out of balance.  These are generalizations but hopefully can help to bring awareness to what we may be experiencing.  Symptoms can stem from over expressing the energy of a chakra, and other times from under expressing it.  I share a bit of what happens in both cases.

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Why Balanced Chakras Are the Key to Vitality

Why Balanced Chakras Are the Key to Vitality

I have explained chakras in the past, and provided basics on how to balance them.

Chakras are energetic forces in and around our bodies. Different schools of thought claim a different number of chakras, some located within and some just outside our bodies. There is no dispute, however, that there are at least seven chakra points within our bodies.  These seven chakras are the ones I focus on.

Chakras work on us on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level.  The epicenter of each chakra sits in the midline or center of our body, and they rotate forming vortexes or wheels around our being.  The word chakra is Sanskrit for wheel.  I will tell you the vitality we experience when our chakras are balanced.

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Common Ailments and Simple Remedies

Common Ailments and Simple Remedies

Most of us have experience with inflammation, lymphedema, and vertigo.  These are common ailments that can come up on their own, as a consequence of an illness, or as a symptom of an illness.  In addition, most babies experience seborrhea or cradle cap.

It is easy to find medications to treat these conditions, but there are also ways to treat them naturally.  I will start by describing each of these conditions, and then give some simple and even nature-based remedies to incorporate.

 

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How Pine Essential Oils Could be the Key to Arthritis Support

How Pine Essential Oils Could be the Key to Arthritis Support

Arthritis means inflammation of the joints.  It is a debilitating disease that results in swelling, stiffness, and pain due to the destruction of cartilage, bone, and/or synovial fluid around the joints.  Causes of arthritis are varied, and can be due to wear and tear, infections, autoimmune conditions, or other conditions.  There are different types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

We often think that arthritis is a symptom of us getting older, but arthritis can strike at any time. I have known people in their 20s who suffer from arthritis, although it is more typical to see arthritis in older adults.

Arthritis is not believed to be curable, and treatment is typically focused on alleviating symptoms.

Essential oils from the pine family or the Pineaceae family, can provide great support for arthritis.  I will tell you about these oils, but first start by sharing some information about joint development and health.

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