5 Ways Essential Oils will Brighten Your Holiday

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Essential oils have been used around the world for centuries. Their use varies from culture to culture and have been used for everything from food preparation and preservation to religious practices, beauty care, and healing the sick and wounded. Wow, what power they have!!!

The earliest use of essential oils occurred between 3000-2500 B.C. Pictures on the wall of Egyptian caves of the Dordogne region of France illustrated the use of the plants to heal their people. Aside from the Egyptians essential oil use was seen among ancient Rome, Greece, and India. Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician relied heavily on plants and aromatic scents like for medicine. Essential oils also have been seen used in the traditions of Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Romans took a cue from the Greeks and also practiced aromatic medicine using a myriad of essential oils to heal ailments like gum infections, diarrhea, and constipation. It is fascinating, isn’t it??

Today in the United States, the tradition still lives on. Many have turned to essential oils in and use them in their everyday life. If you haven’t incorporated this practice there is no time like the present to begin using oils. The holidays are great time to start benefiting from the myriad of great health benefits. They will help de-stress you from your holiday hang ups and put you in the spirit to enjoy your holiday without feeling overwhelmed!!

Here are 5 ways to use essential oils to make your holiday bright!

1. Use them to keep your house clean: Have a holiday party and you house is a wreck? Instead of using harsh toxic chemical cleaners that can be really expensive opt for natural remedies incorporating essential oils. A drop or two of these in a bucket of warm water will disinfect and clean your home without compromising your health. You can make a cleaner with even just as little as 2 oils.

  • Lemon and melaleuca are two popular ones to use and will work just as good as your other all-purpose household cleaners.
  • Use orange and lime to scrub your tub without the toxic powders. Mix these oils with some baking soda and castile soap and you are good to go.
  • Eucalyptus will make your toilet to shine without using bleach. Pop a few drops of eucalyptus oil with baking soda, and some dishwashing soap.
  • Lavender and lemongrass will make your laundry smell great. Add these oils to your homemade detergent for that fresh scent without all the hard dyes and additives found in regular laundry cleaner. Your house will be clean and ready for those guests in no time.

2. Use them as an air purifier: A 2009 study by South Carolina State university showed that candles with paraffins emits alkans, alkenes, and toluene-like chemicals into the air when burned. These compounds can be harmful for humans. Instead of taking a risk on what you may be burning in your home, use essential oils to spice up the air. Simply by adding a few drops of scents like nutmeg, clove, rosemary, fir, and orange to a diffuser you will soon have a sweet smelling air that is comes without the consequences of putting your health at risk this holiday.

3. Essential Oils Will Improve Your Immunity: The constant go, go, go this holiday season will put our bodies in a state of stress. Too much stress can lead to poor immunity and increase your risk of getting sick. One way to fight back is to use essential oils. Clove, oregano oil, grapefruit, eucalyptus, lemon, and cinnamon are six essential oils that will keep the colds at bay this season. So stock upon these oils and and them to your medicine cabinet this winter for the best health possible.

  • Cinnamon and clove are known for being anti-inflammatory and it is no wonder the oil would do the same. They can protect against bacteria and viruses so add them to your morning beverage or oatmeal.
  • Lemon has the powerful vitamin C and works to knock out bacteria and fungus. You can add it to water to clean your house or freshen the air.
  • Eucalyptus boosts immunity and makes you feel good.
  • Grapefruit and oregano are another immune booster that helps fight disease.

4. Keep Your Skin Soft This Winter: The winter weather puts a damper on your skin leaving you dried out. Use essential oils as a way to moisture keeping your skin supple and smooth. Not only are these good for your skin but they have also have health benefits of promoting weight loss, reducing anxiety, and making you feel better about your outward appearance which will give you confidence and happiness. The best oils for great looking skin are lavender, tea tree oil, geranium, ylang ylang, chamomile, clary sage, cypress, and neroli.

  • Lavender will heal any cuts or scrapes you have on your skin.
  • Tea Tree Oil helps to manage oily or acne ridden skin. Use tea tree oil as a makeup remover to help balance your complexion.
  • Ylang ylang is an essential oil used to treat acne while improving improve cell growth to prevent the looks of wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Geranium has been shown to balance oil production so it is good for those who are stuck with acne.
  • Lemongrass can be used to improve your skin by minimizing pores and drying up oil skin. So use it as an astringent and makeup remover after you wash your face.
  • Frankincense is great for your skin. It has been known to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, reverse signs of aging and treat dry skin
  • Chamomile will soothe eczema, inflammation, rosacea or sensitive skin.
  • Clary Sage will combat inflammation as well as reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Neroli is good to put on sensitive skin that is aging. Look younger with this essential oil by reducing puffiness.
  • Cypress soothes red blotchy skin with cypress to shrink swollen blood vessels around your nose and cheeks.

. They Make a Great Gift! Not sure what to get that person on your list? Give them the gift of essential oils. These products are sure to help them live a healthier life. For someone just starting out with oils the best five to get are frankincense, lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree, and peppermint. Have an essential connoisseur on your gift list? My very favorite brand is Young Living Oils.

The nice thing about essential oils is you do not need to use a lot. A few drops go a long way. So how do you pick an essential oil? Be sure that it is of a good quality. All oils are not created equal. It should be 100% pure oil. If you are putting it on your skin be sure to add a carrier oil that will cut down the strength of the oil. This will prevent your skin from burning. Take these tips and create your own holiday bliss!

Start Your New Year Right Now!

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A lot of us use the holidays as an excuse to overindulge in activities that can be detrimental to our health and well being. Maybe you feel bloated from having too many sweets or you had too many drinks at that holiday party just to blow off some steam from stress of the last quarter.

Then with every New Year comes the notion of a reset. We tell ourselves that once January 1st rolls we will change our ways with the intentions of starting over and having the best year yet.

The holidays should not give you a license to throw your health out the window. Instead of waiting until January 2nd (since on the 1st you were too hungover to get out of bed) start your New Year’s resolutions now.

Follow these 9 tips to have your best year now and in 2018!

  • Add lemon to your water: lemon is a great detoxifier and it makes your water taste great. Start your day with lemon water to get your digestion flowing. Be sure it is warm. This will help hydrate your body and flush the toxins from your liver.

    • The vitamin C found in lemons will improve collagen function for firmer skin that will shine. Researchers in Germany found that having water first thing in the morning will help increase metabolism.

    • Be sure your lemons are organic so to avoid any pesticides that may put strain on your liver.

  • Get a head start on eating healthy. In the years past I would kick off the baking season in October and wind up with a ton of cookies around the house. Eating those treats and sweets for three months straight left me feeling bloated and overweight by the time December came. It is important to incorporate plants foods in your diet daily.

    • You should have at least 9 to 10 one half to one full cup servings of vegetables a day.

    • Eating an abundance whole plant foods will help alleviate sugar in your system faster than if you are just consuming a diet of cookies and other treats all month long.

    • Staying away from foods with preservatives is also important. These chemicals are not recognized by the body and will build up on the liver and other organs leading you to feel not your best. If you cannot pronounce the ingredient then you shouldn’t put it in your body.

  • Make Your Diet More Green: Want a way to avoid overkill from holiday foods? Add more detoxifying foods to your daily diet. The best superfoods to add to your diet include those that are colorful and nutrient dense. They will fill your body with vitamins and minerals and also work to combat inflammation by reducing free radicals.

    • Foods to incorporate everyday include: swiss chard, dandelion greens, arugula, kale, blueberries, broccoli, fresh water salmon, oats, chia seeds, green tea, oatmeal, watermelon, pistachios, eggs, almonds, ginger, beets, pumpkin, garlic, cauliflower, leeks, and lentils.

  • Detoxify Your Water: Regular tap water contains a lot of heavy metals and other toxins that can throw off your system. One way to lessen your contamination is to get your filtered water. Y

    • You can get a water pitcher filter, mount a filter on your facet or just place a separate unit on your countertop. These can run anywhere from $20 to $1,000 fitting any budget.

    • The better the filter the more chloroform and lead removed. This will also indicate how well other contaminants like benzene and atrazine will be eliminated. Check out consumer reports for the best filters for your budget.

  • Swap out your sugar for other sweeteners: If you do want to bake some cookies there are so many ways now to make healthy food taste good. You don’t even need to use sugar.

    • Good substitutes include stevia, coconut sugar, dates, maple syrup or raw honey. These foods have nutrients that are better for your than sugar.

    • Using these substitutes will leave you feeling less heavy and bloated.

  • Nourish your skin with natural beauty products: a lot of products out there can be very toxic to the body. You want to be careful of everything you put on your skin, hair, and nails.

    • Healthy beauty products are free of dyes, fragrances, and parabens. These things can affect your health by messing with your hormones which can lead to insulin resistance and a host of other problems.

    • Things to look out for in your beauty products are heavy metals like arsenic, cobalt, lead, nickel, and chromium.

    • Check for formaldehyde preservatives which  potentially harmful and a human carcinogen.

    • Siloxanes can interfere with your endocrine system and cause reproductive or hormone issues.

    • TEA, Tetrasodium EDTA, and other preservatives are found in cosmetics which become hazardous when mixed with nitrosamines which are known carcinogens.

    • Some sources for non-toxic makeup and cosmetics include Ann Marie’s cosmetics and Aimee Raupp Beauty. Not sure if your product is good? Check out the Environmental Working Group’s website to see how your products stand up.

  • Know What You’re Getting When You Eat Out: Often a lot of restaurants will be cooking. You want to avoid any restaurants that cook with vegetable oils. These are highly inflammatory and can lead to disease. You want to be sure they are cooking with an organic unrefined coconut oil or a high quality high heat oil like walnut or avocado. If you have no control over what you are eating and cannot bring your own food be sure to pop a vitamin E supplement to combat the effects of the anti-inflammatory oils.

  • Improve Health with Supplements: With the cold weather moving in you are more susceptible to getting sick with all the germs around you. Be sure to up your intake of supplements and vitamins to strengthen your immunity and keep you healthy.

    • A good multivitamin is where you want to start. Be sure it is a whole food vitamin with little additives and fillers.

    • You may have heard of the health benefits of curcumin, and its potent antioxidant properties but have you heard of Theracurmin? This is a branded form of cur cumin that has been reduced in size to nanoparticles that are better absorbed leading to decreased inflammation. This is a great nutrient to add to your diet to help strengthen your system.

    • Most people do not get enough minerals in their diet leading to abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, depression, insomnia, and cough. The most important minerals to take are calcium, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, and magnesium. The best way to get these is through consuming more vegetables, sea veggies, and fermented food. If you are feeling not your best you may be deficient in these minerals and should supplement. You can take them in a powder or pill supplement.

    • Vitamin C is another supplement to take. Liposomal vitamin C is a better choice than regular vitamin C supplements due to its increase in intestinal absorption. The fatty membrane on this supplement improve how much your body is utilizing.

    • Inflammation leads to a host of diseases and the best way to prevent inflammation is to increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids. Often it is hard to get these from diet and you want to supplement them in a pill form. Your supplement should be sure to contain DHA and EPA. Often krill oil is a better version than fish oil.

    • Gut health is essential to combat disease and this can be improved by taking a probiotic. If your gut is functioning properly then your overall being will be in better health leading to better digestion and loss of that bloated, constipation feeling. Adding a probiotic to your diet will help cultivate healthy bacteria. Be sure your supplement is live and has colony forming units (CFUs) in the billions. Want a healthy gut look for one that has B. Bifidum, Streptococcus and Thermophilus.

  • Fill your home with plants for fresher air: With the cold weather keeping us inside you want to make sure you are getting enough oxygen to your cells. One way to ensure this is to add plants to your house.

    • The Areca Palm, Neem Tree, Aloe Vera, and Christmas Cactus give off oxygen at night as well as during the day so be sure to add one of these to your bedside table.

    • The best thing about adding plants to your environment is they also get rid of unwanted chemicals that can wreak havoc on your health. Want to remove xylene, formaldehyde, and ammonia? Add the Boston Fern, spider plant or ficus to your living space.

    • The Garden Mum and Dracaena remove benzene, while the Peace Lily removes trichloroethylene.

Don’t let the holidays get you down and off track. Make a point of trying to add one of these to your everyday routine so you can start your resolutions now!