Living "Cleaner"

One of my unwritten goals for 2015 is to live “cleaner.” In my mind, this means (among other things) using less chemicals and less unpronounceable ingredients. Two full months into the year, and I can say that I am still a work in progress. Steps so far towards this unwritten goal are baby ones, I will admit. I’ve chucked a few chemically-loaded cleaning products, I’ve vowed not to buy “non-food” items that claim to be food just because they are present on grocery store shelves, and I have tried to rid my house of unessentials. Becoming a Young Living Independent Distributor of essential oils, however, is definitely the biggest step I have taken towards a “cleaner” lifestyle.

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They have been used throughout history in many cultures for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Young Living Essential Oils are 100% pure – nothing added, nothing taken away. There is something very “feel good” about using plants instead of chemicals to care for our bodies, to address our little ailments, and to clean our homes. As a mother to two girls, now four and 20.75 months, caring for myself, my children, and my home is my life’s work.

Today, I plan to share with you how I’ve used some of the essential oils that come in the Premium Starter Kit thus far.

Joy – Joy is meant to enhance feelings of joy and help overcome sadness; it promotes balance, harmony, and well-being; it may help combat negativity and calm emotions. I have only diffused Joy once; I have rubbed Joy over my heart on a few occasions when I feel a bit overwhelmed or a bit stressed … a feeble attempt to try to be a better mother when I am not feeling too motherly. Used in this way, I have found Joy to be helpful.

Thieves – Thieves is definitely my “go to” oil; I can’t get enough of it. Frankly, every time I read a description of Thieves’ abilities, I am in awe. From relieving cold and flu symptoms to killing mold and other airborne germs, I never cease to be amazed with Thieves. It’s no surprise that I ran out of this oil just two weeks after receiving my kit (I was devastated, by the way). Beyond diffusing Thieves (just about daily) to keep germs at bay, I have also used Thieves on my gums to alleviate what seemed to be the onset of a toothache. One day of Thieves a few times along the gums seemed to stop what has been a three or four day battle with tooth pain in the past in it’s tracks. I have also put Thieves on the kids’ feet on occasion, but will admit I am not faithful with this one. My most notable Thieves testimonial would have to be this … shortly after I received my oils, Little M was congested and having difficulty sleeping because she was unable to use her soother. She and I camped out in the living room; I diffused thieves and peppermint and within a few minutes, her breathing cleared and she was sleeping soundly.

Thieves Cleaner – I am only in the beginning stages of experimenting with this cleaner, but so far can see it’s versatility. I have used it for washing countertops and floors so far; it also seemed to work well to help remove stickers off of some shelving I have in my closets. About a week ago, I also tackled a moldy window sill in our bedroom with thieves cleaner.

Peppermint – I love, love the refreshing and energizing aroma of peppermint essential oil. I especially love dabbing a bit of peppermint on my cheeks, temples, wrists, and neck when I need just a little burst of energy. Beyond this, I have put peppermint essential oil in my hot chocolate … delicious … and one day, when Little M seemed to be borderline feverish, I rubbed some peppermint (mixed with a carrier oil) along her spine and on her feet. Nothing further (fever-wise) developed …

Panaway – I probably use Panaway just about daily. In a jar, I have a few drops of Panaway mixed with coconut oil that I rub on my shoulders and neck as needed to relieve tension and soreness. It seems to help; plus, it smells amazing! My most noteable Panaway testimonial would have to be from a random Sunday morning when I woke up with a sore back. I decided to diffuse Panaway later that morning as my back continued to bother me throughout the morning. It must have been shortly after that it felt better because it wasn’t until later that night that I remembered that I had had a sore back earlier in the day.

Lavender – I am not nuts about lavender, but more recently, I have been trying it at night with Little M. She has a tendency to wake in the night; it’s nothing too serious generally, but someone has to get up, go to her room, cover her up, or give her her soother. The first night I put a drop of lavender on one of the stuffies she sleeps with … never heard from her until 5 a.m. The next night, I put a drop of lavender on her stuffy again … again, never heard from her until 5 a.m. The last few nights, I haven’t put “fresh” lavender on her stuffy, and she’s been waking up. Last night was midnight, 1:00, 1:30 … and so on. Now, I am not ignorant to the fact that there are a whole myriad of reasons she could be waking in the night … her reflux issue perhaps, teething, she’s cold, etc. But …

Lemon – I mostly diffuse for a fresh scent (it’s supposed to improve your mood), but I have also used lemon on my toothbrush in the morning for a “fresh” mouth. Combined with bit of baking soda, lemon serves as excellent teeth whitener too.

Purification – If I am not diffusing thieves, I am probably diffusing Purification. It has a fresh, clean smell. Like thieves, I am always amazed at descriptions of Purification’s powers … clean the air and neutralize odours … protect yourself from pathogens … ease sore throat pain … repel insects. I swear diffusing Purification and Thieves in our home has minimized my husband’s daily allergy symptoms greatly.

Beyond the Kit
RC – When Big M gets a cold, her cough becomes incessant. For her last cold, I diffused Thieves and peppermint in her room, and rubbed RC with a carrier oil on her neck and chest. It didn’t take long, and her incessant coughing slowed and she was able to go to sleep (and the rest of us too).

Digize – If you’ve been following my posts since the beginning of time, you may remember Little M having reflux as a baby. In December 2014, we discovered she is still experiencing reflux symptoms, especially at night as the acid in her stomach was splashing up into her esophagus causing her to cough. Thankfully, our doctor recognized these symptoms and prescribed medication (basically, Zantac) that has alleviated the nighttime coughing. Di-Gize is in my next essential reward order; it is supposed to help with digestive problems like indigestion and heartburn even when it is applied topically. When I get brave enough, I plan to take Little M off her medication for a week and try Di-Gize to see it has the potential to be an effective replacement. Somehow, tarragon, ginger, peppermint, lemongrass, and so on feels just a bit better than hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, titanium dioxide, triacetin, and yellow iron oxide (some of the ingredients found in Zantac).

Too many times, it feels almost coincidental when symptoms cease after using essential oils … Sometimes, I don’t even realize until later that they helped with something. Sometimes, I can see the difference right away. I am truly enjoying my journey so far, especially because it contributes to my bigger vision of living a “cleaner” life. These oils are “feel good” in so many ways. They help make my “life’s work” just a bit more natural 🙂 Baby steps …

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