5 Ways to Replace Harmful ‘Fragrance’ with Essential Oils

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks!
 
The chemicals in our laundry detergent, multi-surface cleaner, even DUST can cause irritation of our eyes, nose, and throat, fatigue and nausea, or even longer-term more serious effects like respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer.

Most of us are aware of outdoor pollutants, such as fuel exhaust and smoke. But

indoor air may be anywhere from two to five times as polluted as outdoor air!  And we are much less vigilant about it, so I thought I’d help you out by sharing 5 ways to swap out one of the BIG chemical emissions in your home…  FRAGRANCE (also listed as “parfum)!!
Have you seen this harmless word on the ingredients list of your favourite detergent or beauty products?
From Dr. Axe:
“A National Academy of Sciences points out some vital facts: About 95 percent of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (crude oil). They include benzene derivatives (carcinogenic), aldehydes, toluene and many other known toxic chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. (1) Unfortunately, 30 years later, toxic ingredients continue turn up in products we use and breathe in on a daily basis. Some of the worst toxic ingredients used in lotions, shampoos, laundry detergents, cleaning products and so much more include synthetic scents, often listed as on labels as the elusive “fragrance.” And many on the list are known or suspected endocrine disruptors, compounds that tinker with hormonal health that can trigger weight gain and even set you up for diseases decades down the line.”
If you are ready to start making a positive change TODAY, here is my top 5 ways to get started!
1.  Make your own deoderant
Just fill a glass spray bottle with 120ml magnesium oil and add 15 drops of doTERRA Lemon.  Or if you prefer not to make your own, or like a solid deoderant, one is available at my Online Apothecary
2. Make your own multi-purpose cleaner
Grab, preferably, a glass spray bottle (these ones are great!)  Add in a 1:3 ratio of white vinegar to water and 30 drops doTERRA On Guard Essential Oil.  On Guard contains a proven mix of certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils that when together work effectively to kill bacteria and viruses.  I have used On Guard to clear an antibiotic resistant staph infection and a clinical study found it effective against the H1N1 flu virus.  The science is emerging on this incredible blend, but I’d recommend it for everything!  Read more here.
To buy essential oils, click here
3.  Ditch the perfume!!!!!
Please, I know it is hard to give up your favourite scent, but the chemicals and the harm they can cause in perfume will surprise you.  And our littlies breathe these chemicals too!  With essential oils you can get a nice smell and a therapeutic effect.  There will be lots of recipes to try on pinterest if you do a search, or visit my board for inspiration!
Pick Me Up and Calm Me Down also have a beautiful perfume as well as HUGE emotional benefits.  Take a look here!

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4. Go no poo!

To be honest, the synthetic fragrance in your shampoo is probably the least of your worries!  The harsh chemical mix in shampoos and conditioners strips your hair of its natural oils, ultimately making it more greasy and less healthy, and the myriad of chemicals are absorbed into our bodies and do significant damage (some are reportedly linked to cancer).

Instead you can easily make your own shampoo that leaves your hair feeling gorgeous!  You can make using ingredients you have in your pantry, plus essential oils!

 

  • Honey (preferably raw and unfiltered) and/or coconut milk
  • Distilled water
  • An essential oil
  • A simple container or pump of some sort
  • A spoon. This is to mix all of the ingredients together.

 

I choose a mix of lavender and Rosemary from my shampoo because I find the lavender soothing and rosemary oil is wonderful for promoting hair growth, soothing dry scalps, and adding volume to your locks.

5. Replace your air freshener/wax melt/any synthetic frangrance with a diffuser

For all of the reasons above, synthetic scents to freshen the air in your home have to go.  Did you know indoor air may be anywhere from two to five times as polluted as outdoor air??  This is because of all of those chemicals emitted from the products we use every day and also the electrosmog emitted from our mobile devices.
I’m really passionate about helping people to move away from synthetic scents and other chemicals because they can cause a myriad of problems, including migraines, skin problems and asthma attacks, and our babies just deserve better.  They emerge from the safe, controlled environment of our wombs into a world that is fraught with risks.  Chemical scents are one we can protect them from, and according to the Breast Cancer Fund, when it comes to the prevention of cancer, avoiding synthetic fragrance is one of the main ways to help yourself and them!  (See article here.)
According to Dr. Axe, there at least 3,000 ingredients that could possibly be used to form a product’s scent and they don’t necessarily have to be listed on a product’s label. So with an essential oil you are just getting one, pure, natural oil that comes directly from the bark, stem, flower mother nature created for us.  I encourage you to take a look at the following list, derived from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, to see just how many fragrance chemicals you can start replacing today, and as always, I am here to help!
Much Love,
Clare

Essential Mum | Non-Toxic Mama

Life after laundry detergent and fabric softener

Nobody can deny how utterly scrumptious a laundry smells when you walk past and your favourite fragrance wafts up your nose. I actually connect laundry smells to different memories – of friends I had in the past, of university rooms, of loved ones who I have held close. It came as a shock to read that the laundry is one of the most carcinogenic places in a house!

In 2008, scientists reported on the toxic chemicals in laundry detergents and other laundry products and it wasn’t good news. A single fragrance can contain multiple toxic chemicals that have been linked to asthma, dermatitis and even cancer.

Researchers from the University of Washington studied top-selling laundry and air-freshening products and found that they emitted dozens of different chemicals. All of them gave off at least one identified as toxic or hazardous under federal laws in America. What’s worse is that because of current labelling laws, none of these chemicals were listed on the label.

Among the products tested were a dryer sheet, a fabric softener, and a laundry detergent, as well as spray and plug-in air fresheners. Results showed nearly 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from the six products, and none were on the label. “Five of the six products emitted one or more carcinogenic ‘hazardous air pollutants,’ which are considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to have no safe exposure level,” said study author Anne Steinemann.

A later 2011 study by the same researchers found that air vented from machines using top-selling scented liquid laundry detergent and scented dryer sheets contained hazardous chemicals, including two classified as carcinogens.

For the study, researchers ran a load of laundry once with no products, once with a leading brand of scented liquid laundry detergent, and once with both the detergent and a dryer sheet. They captured the exhaust from the dryer vent with a canister.

An analysis of the captured air showed more than 25 VOCs, including seven hazardous air pollutants. The two carcinogens were acetaldehyde and benzene.

“These products can affect not only personal health,” said Steinemann, “but also public and environmental health. The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into water bodies.”

You can Google for more information on the toxic chemicals in laundry products. Look for Fragrance (this is where multiple chemicals are used to make the desired smell), surfactants, stabilizers, bleach, 1,4-dioxane, brighteners, phosphates & EDTA. It’s scary stuff. Check to see if these are included in the laundry products you use too.

Thankfully, there are alternatives!

  • You can make your own laundry detergent. Wellness Mama has a great recipe, and you can find others online as well. You can add your favourite doTERRA essential oil for Fragrance
  • You can buy doTERRA’s On Guard laundry detergent, which I absolutely love! Read about it here.
  • Then you can skip the fabric softener completely and use woollen dryer balls or, if you’re going to dry outside, half-cup of vinegar added in the rinse cycle will produce the same results without the toxic chemicals.
  • Please do dump the dryer sheets! They a toxic shitstorm, if you’ll excuse my French! Dryer alls will also reduce static cling. I love my dryer balls, hence the title of this blog! (I literally did curse when I realised my favourite scents were so harmful and BALLS literally were my solution!)  Again, I got mine from doTERRA and I add geranium essential oil every few times I use my dryer. Geranium is such a beautiful scent for laundry.  It’s sweet, but not sickly, and it’s really calming.  Great for your bed sheets!  You can make your own using ( see DIYnatural) or if you don’t use a dryer you can even make a spray with 1 cup white vinegar to 3 cups of water and 30 drops of essential oils to spray on the washing when it is on the line ready to dry in the sun.

If you’d like to go chemical free in your laundry TODAY, and would like to have a look at the doTERRA products available and different essential oils you can use for scent, click here to be redirected to my webstore. Any questions, give me a shout!

Much Love x x x

Sources:

University of Washington, “Toxic Chemicals Found in Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners,” Science Daily, July 24, 2008, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723134438.htm.

Anne C. Steinemann, Lisa G. Gallagher, Amy L. Davis, Ian C. MacGregor, “Chemical emissions from residential dryer vents during use of fragranced laundry products,” Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 2011; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11869-011-0156-1.

“Every time I start exercising I get a cold”

I see this so much, and experience it myself when I crank up my exercise intensity. It’s important to understand why this happens, so we can prevent it and enjoy our journey towards our #Fitmama goals!
Increasing exercise stresses our body and thus weakens our immune system. So, as we increase our exercise levels we need to increase the vitamins and minerals that are going to keep our immune system strong; like vitamin c and zinc.
The preferable way to do this is through your diet, but unfortunately nowadays our soils are very depleted of the vitamins and minerals we need and so we can end up deficient and needing to supplement them.
I am a very good example of this. I eat really well. Really clean with lots of fruit and colourful veg, but when I got a blood test I found I was lacking in a few things, especially zinc, so I started on the doTERRA long-life vitality supplements and have never looked back since!  If you want to read more about this supplement system, click here.  They are only available to doTERRA Wellness Advocates, but you can read about becoming one of those here.  If you choose to buy a multivitamin over the counter, just take a look at the label carefully to check whether it contains synthetic vitamins that won’t be helpful.
We also need to get enough rest to properly recuperate between exercise sessions.  Regular moderate exercise actually boosts the immune system. So it’s a fine balance, but maybe increasing frequency rather than intensity might help.
Gyms are also germ-laden and you’re exposed to a large variety of bacteria in spite of the gym’s good cleaning and hygiene efforts. I found this out when I got a staph infection in my thumb!  I make a Cleansing Spray now for any  mats & equipment I am using. It’s really easy! Just grab a 2–4 ounce spray bottle, 5 drops of doTERRA On Guard blend, Witch hazel (¼ of spray bottle) and some Filtered water.  Combine all the ingredients together in the glass bottle. Mix well, spray, and wipe!
Finally, don’t rule out the effects of stress that is external to your new exercise regime that could be making you more susceptible to getting ill!

What’s in your Natural Toolbox?

As a mum it is great to feel empowered to know what to reach for when your kids get sick, so that you can soothe their discomfort and suffering immediately and naturally and feel confident that you are making the right choices.

I know as mums we question every day whether those choices we make are the right ones and we always have questions!  Rest assured this is a good thing.  As we ask questions we learn and grow.  We will make mistakes along the way, but instead of feeling guilty about these we must acknowledge the good we do every day also!

jade-2 Post probiotics “whoopsie” with my youngest!  She sneezed….!

For today’s blog I thought it would be helpful to share what is in my Natural Toolbox and my ‘go-to’ uses.  This information forms part of the ‘My Family Remedies Course’ I offer to mums.  I know they find the course really useful.  It is quite an in depth discovery of the primary uses for essential oils in common childhood illnesses.

The oils I take you through are doTERRA’s Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Melaleuca, Oregano, Frankincense, Deep Blue®, Breathe, DigestZen®, and On Guard™.  Alongside these in my Natural Toolbox I keep Vitamin C, Fermented Apple Cider Vinegar, Arnica, Colloidal silver and Chamomilla.

However, the oils I find I reach for most, and those I will introduce in this blog are Melaleuca, Lavender and On Guard™.  At the hint of a cold or the flu I start with Vitamin C straight away and get On Guard™ in the diffuser.  I then apply 1 drop each of Lavender and Melaleuca mixed with 2 tablespoons of Fractionated Coconut oil to the bottoms of the feet every couple of hours. To really open up the airways I use lemon in babies and Breathe in children,  but the Melaleuca and On Guard will suffice on the feet to help kill viruses and bacteria.  Rollerballs are really handy for this.  It’s also important to know how to dilute essential oils appropriately for babies and children though.  I will be going through this in detail at my Essential Oils Basics Workshop on October 12th.  This is an entry by koha workshop that I really recommend to mums as a starting point with Essential Oils.

Another thing we go through with babies and young children often is ear aches and infections.  You can use Melaleuca and Lavender in this instance too.  Just dilute 1-2 drops of Melaleuca and/or Lavender and apply around the ear (NOT inside the ear) and along the back of the cheek bone down & around behind the ear. You can also add Basil to help with the pain.  Did you know that about 70 percent of children get better on their own within two or three days of an ear infection, and about 80 percent are better within a week to 10 days, without antibiotics?

Melaleuca and Lavender can also be used in cases of stings, burns, cuts, scrapes, chickenpox, measles and Hand Foot and Mouth.

However, prevention is better than a cure in the case of these latter illnesses and this is where On Guard® comes in really handy.  Our littlies encounter germs every day, however hard we try to protect them from them.  They bring these germs home on their shoes, hands, clothes!  We can’t protect them all the while they are out, and encountering these germs and bacteria is necessary for building strong immune systems, but it is nice to think we can keep our homes relatively germ free without heavy chemicals.  This is why I use doTERRA’s OnGuard® range around my home to kill germs and as an immunity booster.

If you are interested in learning Essential Oil Basics and are local to Auckland, please come along to my next workshop on October 12th!  Just click here and complete the contact form to book your space.

Happy kids = Happy Mum!

jade kids-happy-and-healthy

Much Love x x

The Long Hard Road with Eden Continues

For the last 2 weeks my husband and I have had very little sleep. The days have almost been as hard as the nights. Eden has been constantly waking, screaming in her sleep, inexplicably distraught. This impacts her days and she has walked around a little shadow of herself with dark circles under her eyes, irritable, highly sensitive, with little appetite and so so tired. You question your qualities/abilities as a parent as you start to struggle to cope. With Eden’s background, you also start to question ‘what’s changed?’

Well, a few things have in truth. She’s a brand new owner of a little sister and still not over the moon about it (especially having to share her daddy).  We challenged eggs a couple of months ago and thought we’d had a positive result, in that they didn’t go straight through her. She is very constipated, which I think may be down to letting her eat too much fruit (this does block her up) and failing to get her to eat enough vegetables. She also had a terrible reaction to soy a few weeks ago, which she did take almost a week to recover from and it was awful.

As usual we have used the essential oils to manage her symptoms. I made up a rollerball with doTERRA’s blends digestzen and on guard, plus bergamot to help rebalance the gut flora. I have also used the doTERRA blend serenity at night and we are trying a homeopathic recipe for the constipation. Of course they help manage the symptoms, but they aren’t removing the root of the problem, which I hadn’t identified… Until this morning.

I had a lightbulb moment. When we had Eden’s hair tested last year she demonstrated an intolerance to sulphites, which kind of made sense because I had seen her react to naturally occurring sulphites, but we don’t eat the processed and refined foods that sulphites are generally added to, like sugar, dessicated coconut and canned foods.

However, the earth has sulfur in it naturally, and therefore, so do many food products that come from the earth. For example, grapes, oranges and eggs that come from chickens. Some otherwise healthy vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, garlic, onions, chives and leeks contain sulphites naturally. Rapeseed, which is used in canola oil, is another culprit. Strawberries, blackberries, plums, coconut and other fruits also contain varying amounts of natural sulfites. Eden has reacted to all of these things in the past.  Another thing she consistently eats is peanut butter; every day. I had cut these things out after the hair test and her sleep improved massively, but as her grandma was still giving her the odd bit of peanut butter and because it is so difficult to get her to eat anything I had gradually let the naturally occurring sulphites back in and peanut butter particularly she has been having daily. Is this at the root of all our troubles?

The worst thing about when Eden is reacting is that she is horrible. She shouts, she hits and she says hurtful things. Some people might say that this is a normal part of being 3 years old, but having seen the difference in Eden when she isn’t reacting I disagree.

I guess the other thing is that because reactions, especially intolerances aren’t talked about or understood as much as allergies or something like coeliacs disease, it sometimes isn’t taken seriously. If I hear the words, a little bit won’t hurt one more time…

Either way, I think I am onto something. From today I will cut the sulphites back out and see if we start to get some sleep. I will keep you posted.  If this story resonates with you, please stop by my facebook page, Mummy Munchies, for recipes and link shares for advice.

To any other mums (and dads!) that are struggling right now, in whatever way, Kia Kaha ❤

Much love x x

For information, Eden shows reaction to foods in her behaviour, sleep, tummy troubles and thrush, congestion and on her skin. Reactions can be very individual. Reactions to sulphites can be extremely varied, but can worsen asthma and adhd, cause night terrors, insomnia, sleep walking and other sleep disturbance as well as other symptoms. Fedup.com.au is a great resource for information if you suspect food intolerance/allergies. However, always seek assistance from a doctor if you are worried and before you consider an elimination diet.

 

10 Must Haves to Survive & Thrive this Winter!

1. Lavender Essential Oil

Great for the whole family and a multitude of uses Lavender essential oil has powerful antimicrobial properties, but it is gentle enough for use with children.  So this should be a go to for our littlies to fight illness and boost the immune system.  If your littlie is struggling to get to sleep at night because of feeling yucky, place 2 drops of lavender essential oil and 2 drops of roman chamomile essential oil in the diffuser and run at 18 minute intervals through the night.

2. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil is great for the respiratory system, but will also boost energy when that fatigue of fighting illness sets in.  Diffuse 3 drops of lemon with 3 drops of peppermint for relief with a boost.

3. Peppermint Essential Oil

As well as clearing your nasal passages like a gush of arctic air, peppermint essential oil is an immune stimulant.   Immune stimulants can strengthen the immune system by directly inhibiting the micro-organisms, or by stimulating the immune system. Lavender and lemon also work in the same way.   Peppermint can also lower a fever if you want/need to do this.  Dilute in a carrier oil and apply to the feet.  Or inhale from the bottle to clear your nose.  Avoid using with children under 6 years old.

4. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca) has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and antiviral properties. Used in a diffuser or within a carrier oil in the bath, tea tree oil is a great alternative for littlies under 6 to help fight the congestion and the resulting discomfort caused by the cold or the flu.

5. Oregano Essential Oil

Known as “nature’s antibiotic” this is a “hot” and powerful essential oil that must be diluted and used with care.  It will work to rid your body of the nasties making you feel unwell.  I use this as my last resort if other remedies haven’t worked because like an antibiotic it can affect your gut flora, although certainly not so badly as a pharmaceutical antibiotic and you only want to be using it for a few days.  Take 3-4 drops 2-3 times daily for up to 3 days.  I place in a capsule with Frankincense, Melaleuca, Lemon and On Guard (read more on this magical blend next!)

6.  On Guard Essential Oil

on guard meme

I love this blend of oils.  It is known as doTERRA’s Protective Blend because the mix of oils strengthen the immune system and work with each other to create a powerful blend gentle enough for your kids.

When I feel any illness coming on, when I notice symptoms in my girls or if there is lots of illness around I start applying On Guard to the soles of the feet in a carrier oil.  If this doesn’t work I go to the Frankincense, Melaleuca, Lemon and On Guard mix in a capsule 3 times a day (without the oregano) and then the oregano is my final step if this still doesn’t work.  Believe me, if you get onto using On Guard fast enough, 9 times out of 10 it will work!  doTERRA also do this blend as a handy (excuse the pun) foaming handwash to kill germs, a cleaner concentrate, a toothpaste and beadlets for on the go!

7. Frankincense Essential Oil

I’ve already mentioned use of Frankincense as part of my capsule mix when illness hits.  This is because Frankincense supports the respiratory tract and calms the mind while the immune system fights viruses.

Pure Frankincense is very gentle; even more so than Lavender. It has no known adverse effects yet it’s an essential oil that stands out above all others for it’s regenerative properties on a cellular level. Frankincense has antiseptic, antibacterial, stimulating, analgesic (weak), and expectorant properties, so is great to calm a cough.

For children under 6, Lavender & Frankincense  together, on bottoms of feet or along the spine is a also a great mix to keep a child calm and relaxed during illness and discomfort.

8. Deep Blue Essential Oil

You know those aches and pains you get with the flu?  Well, long and short is you won’t with this blend.  Unfortunately the Deep Blue blend should be avoided when pregnant or breastfeeding, which is a shame as there are many aches and pains associated with these conditions too!  Also avoid using with children under 6.

9. Breathe Essential Oil

Another amazing proprietary blend from doTERRA.  Breathe includes Lemon, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Melissa, and Cardamom and will help to maintains clear airways and support breathing when congestion hits and support overall respiratory health.

10. Digestzen Essential Oil

Flus don’t just hit your respiratory system.  When you or the children get the dreaded stomach flu it can really suck!  (And we don’t need any more detail than that …)

In partnership with On Guard to kill germs, rub the DigestZen blend (already diluted in coconut oil) on the abdomen.  It’s a blend of ginger, peppermint, tarragon, fennel, caraway, coriander and anise, each with properties specifically aimed at stomach/digestive upset.

Where to Buy Your Essential Oils to Stock up your Natural Medicine Cabinet for Winter!

This is one of the most vital things you must know about essential oils… Not all essential oils are created equally. Many are filled with chemical nasties and will not work therapeutically at all, so when buying, make sure you are buying therapeutic grade from a reputable supplier. If you want to order from the doTERRA range click here.  If you want to read about you can get hold of these oils at a huge discount by ordering them as part of a kit, click here.  As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me!

Have I missed anything?  Do you have an essential oil or other natural medicine recommendation for cold and flu?  If so, comment below!

Much love x x