5/24/2022 0 Comments
Insight for Mom's and Babies
It's crazy how much there is to learn about essential oils. I would say about seventy five percent of people I speak with have said at one time or another "I have essential oils but they just sit there because I don't know what to do with them", or "I bought a kit a while back but it just sits there because I don't know which ones to use, how, and when."
I was there once too! During my first pregnancy I boxed up all my essential oils and tucked them away. I was only experienced with using a few of them. The ones I had been using prior, I only used them because I was told how to and what to use them for. Once I was handed my first "What to Expect When Expecting Book", I just knew that spare time when I wasn't working full time was going to be used for resting, reading, and preparing for birth and what was to come after.
I boxed those essential oils because I knew there were precautions with pregnancy and babies and I wasn't confident in using them safely and I definitely didn't want to bring upon any harm to my sweet baby in utero or out.
A few months after our daughter was born I ended up grabbing for those essential oils when her Dad got into some poison ivy. I remembered right away how helpful lavender and tea tree were to dry out, heal, and calm the itch of the rash. I then became so excited to start going through them again and reading the book I was given to learn more about safe use.
I made a lavender spray to spray around the crib at nap time and bed time. It's crazy to look back and think that I only used that one spray because I didn't have time to learn safe use during pregnancy and with babies. My next two pregnancies were so much different as I used natural wellness products and remedies SO much more often.
I am so glad that I took the plunge to learn more because I needed the support of aromatherapy and other natural products to balance my mood, promote better sleep, nourish my skin and all my little's skin, and so much more!
While there are an incredible amount of essential oils and herbs that are NOT to be used during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and with babies, the ones that are safe to use when used in the proper dilutions, amount, and used correctly, are beyond beneficial!
I had a learning curve with though! When I ran out of lavender and had to go to a local store for some, let me make this short and sweet.... two trips, two different brands of lavender, and the result was ZERO, nothing. There was a sweet baby who wasn't sleeping better, no relaxing aroma, no feeling of calm, and if anything, both aroma's gave a feeling of nausea because they weren't like the true, earthy lavender I knew. One was very strong, not earthy, just a strong, almost cologne like, lavender aroma, and the other smelt like a terrible perfume. I was certain if I felt that way about the aroma, that my baby felt that way times ten!
This is when I learned how extremely important it is to know what makes a good brand. How to distinguish true essential oils from fragranced essential oils. It would be really helpful if there wasn't so much confusion with the wording on the labels and bottles.
A medicinal essential oil is a "true" essential oil. It is only the very concentrated oil that comes directly from the plant. There are no other ingredients on the label. The word fragrance is certainly not in the list of ingredients. The label provides the botanical name so you can identify which plant the essential oil came from and search for the correct precautions based on the botanical name.
A good company will let you know exactly where the plant comes from and if they are a smaller company, you may even get a better list of key information that makes up the essential oil, like the quality of the air and soil, and the altitude the plant is grown, with a more specific intention that that essential oil will be recommended for.
Long story short, there is much more to learn about choosing a brand that carries "true" essential oils and how to identify this yourself at home when you are trying that essential oil.
There is so much benefit that can come from using natural wellness, aromatherapy, and other natural remedies for Mom's, babies, and children of all ages, however, safety must be learned in order to prevent harm, adverse reactions, and so forth.
I am sure some of you are saying "But Jamie, what CAN I safely use then with my babies or little's?"
I teach this in my programs! The fantastic part... my program outline is set but the age for safe use, precautions, blending, dilutions, and products is set to the age your kiddos are at. Even if you are an expecting Momma or have children who are three, six, twelve, and eighteen!
Let me end with a bit more insight for the soon to be Mom's or Mom's new to natural wellness...
~ Nutrition is HUGE. Heal from the inside and you will notice healing on the outside. Nutrition also provides us with immunity and energy to function optimally.
~ Keeping it simple with natural products is best during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and with babies. Babies actually do NOT need essential oil use at all. Essential oils are very concentrated and most are way too concentrated for babies! Babies are also very sensitive which includes their sense of smell, airway and breathing, and their gentle skin. Safety is so important to prevent adverse reactions.
~ If you experience nausea, headache, or a skin reaction after using essential oils, that is an adverse reaction and your body telling you that essential oil or amount used is not for you.
~ Never heard of a hydrosol? Lavender hydrosol is safer, more gentle, and has (in my opinion) a more lovely, softer, lavender aroma. It can be sprayed as needed in any room to promote a sense of calm or used topically on the skin to promote healing and skin nourishment. I LOVE teaching about hydrosols, especially for little's.
~ Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) has been noted in many sources to be a great option to diffuse with babies and children. Always check precautions from the botanical name prior to use and in reference with your child's age and health status, and consult with your health care provider prior to use, especially during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and with babies.
P.S. I also teach this and emphasize on safety as if your sweet littles were my own.
Remember to take time out for yourself, time out for your littles without twenty other things on your mind, and take in all those sweet moments.
~ Healthy Wishes, Jamie
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5/17/2022 0 Comments
Citrus, Sunshine, & Phototoxicity
Spring is finally here and the sun is shining bright as we wait for summer to approach with even warmer temperatures. Yard work is a must every weekend this month to prepare for flowering and gardening, and doing absolutely anything in the warm sun will make for the perfect day.
During the spring we find ourselves reaching for the citrus oils to uplift our mood for indoor spring cleaning. We open the windows to smell the fresh breeze and waft the energies of the lemon and lime essential oil drops diffusing in the air. Clarity, energy, and an uplifted mood are just a few of the amazing benefits of diffusing citrus oils. However, some of you may like to add citrus drops to your favorite lotions or carrier oils for dull or oily skin, slow digestion, or even just for the love of the smell or uplifted mood the citrus scent can bring. The topical application of certain citrus essential oils can actually turn into a painful skin reaction as in a sunburn with redness and blisters if the skin is exposed to UV light after application, leaving you indoors, uncomfortable, with hopes of healing skin to get back out doors. Although citrus oils can have wonderful benefits for our skin, they can also have a very damaging effect in the sunshine.
For example, Lemon (Citrus limon) is a very commonly used essential oil in the spring. Those opening up their cabins from winter may be reaching for lemon essential oil to really boost a better scent of fresher air, while also applying lemon essential oil to the the skin to uplift spirits, benefit skin ailments, spring colds… whatever the reason for topical application, one must know that cold pressed lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil is phototoxic.
Natural chemicals called furanocoumarins (FC’s), found in certain essential oils can react when exposed to ultraviolet light. This causes a delayed phototoxic skin reaction peaking around 36-72 hours after UVA exposure. Extensive sun burn-like redness and blistering of the exposed skin can occur. Not all FC’s are phototoxic and others that are phototoxic have different degrees of phototoxicity. For one who is extremely interested in the chemical make up of essential oils and the percentage one can safely topically apply without risking a damaging phototoxic effect, it is highly recommended to research the essential oils you are going to use prior in the Essential Oil Safety Book by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
Another good bit of information to note is that citrus oils that are “cold pressed” are phototoxic while “steam distilled” citrus oils are not phototoxic. There are also essential oils besides citrus oils that are phototoxic. Photoxicity should also not be confused with sensitization, another reaction that can happen with overuse of the same essential oils and chemical constituents or with repeated undiluted use of essential oils.
Here is a list of a few common phototoxic essential oils: (Please note this is only a very small list of phototoxic essential oils, there are additional essential oils that cause phototoxicity as well as essential oils listed with a “potential” to be phototoxic)
* Lemon (Citrus limon)
* Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium)
* Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
* Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
* Bergamont (Citrus bergamia)
* Angelica root (Angelica archangelic L.)
If a phototoxic essential oil has been applied to the skin, it is best to keep that area of the skin out of the sun or covered to prevent a phototoxic reaction for 12-18 hours after application, especially with children.
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Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Second Edition; Copyright 2014 Pages 85 & 194
The Aromatherapy Beauty Guide by Danielle Sade; Copyright 2017 Pages 27 & 28
Is there anyone who doesn't get excited to wander through the garden in spring to see if any plants are welcoming you?
The more I plant my own food, the more I learn about resources, nourishment, saving money, and having an endless supply of certain produce and herbs.
I have definitely had a shift in mind set when it comes to gardening and planting pots and baskets around the house. I invite you to read on and see if I can help create inspiration within yourself to think the same.
First, instead of buying that flower basket that vibrantly speaks to me, I ask myself if it has any use besides its beauty. If not, I prefer to search for a beautiful flower that holds medicinal or nutritional value and spend my money wiser. A flower that is just as vibrant, such as organic Calendula, that can be harvested and infused into oils, bone broth, or tea for internal and external healing.
Second, I now feel the need to question what goes in my garden and if it will return again. I have become quite fond of the idea of having perennials versus annuals to save money and have a free return of a nourishing foods and herbs. Chives, strawberries, lemon balm, lavender, lovage, and mints are a few of those I have planted and anxiously wait to see them return. I divide them when they are fully grown and place them in multiple places to increase growth and production... and to ensure I have plenty more if the critters sneak in.
I have also started to save the seeds of the annual flowers and vegetables to have a free seed supply for the following year.
At the end of fall, I repot plants to bring indoors to continue to have a food or herb supply for as long as the plant will survive. Some will last right through spring and get replanted. Food is medicine, herbs are medicinal. To have them indoors during the cold winter months is a wonderful feeling.
Lastly, I look at what I can grow indoors during the winter months to continue to nourish my family or hold onto in case its medicinal use is needed. Lemon Balm has always been wonderful to survive right through the winter. Chives can be split up outdoors and a batch can be potted to bring in. Other herbs and edible flowers can be brought inside. New greens planted late summer can be brought in too. Other herbs that cannot be brought indoors, can be harvested and dried or froze for later use.
Micro-greens are an amazing nutrient source, small... but pack a punch with nourishment, and do not take up much space. Micro-greens are said to have up forty times the nutrients than the mature leaves! Up to forty times!!!
When you allow your children to take part in the gardening and growing, they are also more apt to want to indulge in their healthy veggies. For the child who isn't a fan of greens and lettuce, letting them know they can add a few of the tiniest micro-greens to their sandwich for a super charge of nutrients can really get them fired up to add them. Or, just tell them when they see a leaf of green, it means you love them! It works!
I have also find that every tree or shrub I look at, I am asking if it has a healthful purpose and looking for alternatives that bear fruit or have parts with medicinal value.
Mother nature has a lot to provide to nourish our bodies and minds if we are open to thinking about it and learning more.
Teach your children as you learn so they too, can learn, do, and grow.
** Always check precautions of all herbs prior to use. Never harvest any herbs or flowers unless you are 120 percent sure of your harvest. Always teach your children about precautions and plant look a likes, some which can be fatal. **
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Jamie Michaels, Natural Wellness Educator & Founder of Children's Wellness Tree
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