Sandalwood
santalum album

Used in Ancient Chinese and Indian Ayurveda medicine, Sandalwood was known for it’s earthy, exotic, woody aroma. It has been used to treat infections, anxiety, depression and digestive issues.  It also promotes mental clarity and memory.  It can be used to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma, along with bladder and urinary tract infections.   Likely due to it’s calming and sedative properties, sandalwood has been found to support healthy blood pressure.

Blends well with bergamot, geranium, lavender, myrrh, black pepper, vetiver and ylang-ylang.

Uses:

Anxiety/Depression:  Diffuse or use apply 2-3 drops to your wrists.  Place 2 drops on a cotton ball and inhale the aroma.  Apply 3-4 drops to the soles of your feet.

Coughs:  Add 3-4 drops to a cotton ball or washcloth and inhale the aroma.

Mental clarity/Memory:  Diffuse or use apply 2-3 drops to your wrists.  Place 2 drops on a cotton ball and inhale the aroma.

Toner:  Apply 3-4 drops to a carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) and apply topically.

Therapeutic properties:

Antiseptic
Antispasmodic
Astringent
Carminative
Diuretic
Expectorant
Sedative
Tonic

Safety:

If you are pregnant, nursing, being treated for other health issues or taking medications, be sure to consult your healthcare provider. If you have sensitive skin, be sure to dilute with a carrier oil.

MYRRH
commiphora myrrha

Little used in this day and age but very powerful, myrrh has been used for more than 4,000 years because of its health benefits and properties.  It has an earthy, smoky, slightly sweet but musky aroma. Myrrh was given by the three wise man, along with Frankincense, to the baby Jesus at the time of His birth.  It held the same value as gold in ancient times and is mentioned 152 times in the Bible.  Myrrh is a remarkable essential oil that really should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet.

It was used by the ancient Greek soldiers during battle to help stop bleeding in the wounded.  It has been used in times of worship because, emotionally, it is calming, grounding, aids focus and meditation, and encourage inner peace.  It can help treat infections, inflammation and alleviate oral health issues such as gingivitis.  Myrrh is a natural parasite fighter and can also help fight fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. It inhibits microbial growth that can cause fevers, measles, coughs and colds.  It can help normalize menstruation and relieve symptoms of PMS and menopause as it helps with hormone imbalance and mood.  It stimulates the nervous system, digestive system and brain.  Myrrh also boosts the immune system and, basically, tones and helps to protect your body systems and organs.

Blends well with frankincense, lavender, sandalwood.

Uses:

Bronchitis/Cold/Coughs:  Diffuse or mix 5-6 drops with 1/2 teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) and massage on to the chest.

Emotional well-being:  Diffuse, inhale directly from the bottle, place 2-3 drops on the back of neck, wrists or soles of feet.   Add to body lotions.

Gum disease: Add a drop or 2 to toothpaste or mouthwash.

Infections:  Apply 2-3 drops with 1/4 teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) to the area of concern. For internal infection could take 1 drop in water or diffuse.

Inflammation:  Apply 2-3 drops with 1/4 teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) and apply to the area of concern.

Menopause/PMS:  Diffuse, inhale directly from the bottle, place 2-3 drops on the back of neck, wrists or soles of feet.

Skin health:  Add to body lotions.  Add to face moisturizer or cream to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Wounds:  Apply a drop to the cut as needed to help speed healing.

Yeast/Candida:  Take 1 drop internally. If skin infection, apply equal parts myrrh with coconut oil and apply to infected area.

Yeast/Oral (thrush):  Mix 1-2 drops with a natural mouthwash and rinse several times throughout the day.  Do not swallow.

Therapeutic properties:

Analgesic
Antibacterial
Antifungal
Anti-inflammatory
Antimicrobial
Antispasmodic
Astringent
Expectorant
Immune booster
Sedative

Safety:

Do not use if you are pregnant as myrrh is poisonous to the fetus.  Not recommended for people with blood sugar conditions.   Consult your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, nursing, are on medications or being treated for other medical.

FRANKINCENSE

boswellia frereana
boswellia carterii
boswellia sacra

Frankincense is likely best known as one of the three gifts the Magi bestowed on the baby Jesus.  A very prized oil, it was often called the “king of oils,” frankincense is mentioned specifically 17 times in the Bible.  Also, it is assumed to imply frankincense, along with myrrh and other spices, when incense is written of 113 times.  It was used in many religious ceremonies and it has been found in the remains of the ancient Egyptian and Anglo-Saxon tombs dating thousands of year before Christ.  In 1922, when King Tut’s tomb was opened, it is said they could still smell the aroma of Frankincense in it!  With its earthy, woody, spicy yet slightly sweet and fruity scent, frankincense held the same value as gold.  Because of the sesquiterpenes in frankincense, it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier which may help people with Alzheimer’s and brain injury.

Frankincense is known for its many therapeutic properties, from preventing oral issues and reducing respiratory issues to boosting the immune system.  It helps encourages healthy hormone levels, regulates menstruation, eases anxiety and stress, and can relieve inflammation and pain in muscles and joints.   It can also reduce the signs of aging and can be used as a natural sleep aid.

Most intriguing to me is the fact that frankincense is being studied for cancer-fighting properties.

Blends well with citrus oils, bergamot, cedarwood, lavender, myrrh, sandalwood and ylang-ylang.

Uses:

Anxiety/Stress:  Diffuse. Inhale directly from the bottle.  Apply 2-3 drops with 1/4 teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) and apply to the back of neck, wrists or soles of feet.   Add to body lotions.

Colds/Flu:  Diffuse.  Apply 2-3 drops with 1/4 teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) to the chest.

Digestive issues:  Apply 3-4 drops with 1/4 teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) to the abdomen.

Immune system boost:  Diffuse.  Apply 3-4 drops to the soles of your feet.  Apply 6 drops with 1/2 teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) and apply to your torso.  Add to body lotions.

Muscle aches:  Mix 5-6 drops of each frankincense and black pepper oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil and massage into the area.

Relaxation:  Diffuse during prayer and meditation.  Apply 2-3 drops to back of neck and/or wrists.

Therapeutic properties:

Anti-aging
Anti-inflammatory
Antiseptic
Astringent
Carminative
Expectorant
Immune booster
Sedative
Tonic

Safety:

If you have any issues related to blood clotting, do not use.   Consult your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, nursing, are on medications or being treated for other medical.

CASSIA

cinnamomum cassia

Cassia was often used in anointing oils and was used in the holy anointing of Moses in the Bible (Exodus 30:23).  Cassia is from the same botanical family as cinnamon and has a similar aroma, warm, spicy and but a bit sweeter.   It has been used to boost the nervous system, brain, metabolism, and support the immune system.  It has been known to act as a natural anti-depressant and helps ease symptoms of stress and anxiety.  It discourages microbial growth protecting and treating microbial infections that can occur in the urinary tract, kidneys, colon and other areas of the body.  Cassia has been used to protect the body from colds, flu and other viral diseases. It helps ease menstrual systems such as a headache and cramps.   It can be used to ease digestive issues and improve circulation, helps with muscle aches.  There are studies showing cassia possibly can naturally improve diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels.

Blends well with black pepper, chamomile, coriander, frankincense, geranium, ginger,  lavender, lemon, orange and rosemary.

Uses:

Colds/Flu:  Diffuse.  Apply 2-3 drops with 1/4 teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) to the chest.

Digestive issues:  Apply 3-4 drops with 1/4 teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) to the abdomen.  Mix 1 drops cassia with 1 drop of lemon oil in a glass of water.

Emotional well-being:  Diffuse. Inhale directly from the bottle.  Apply 2-3 drops with 1/4 teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) and apply to the back of neck, wrists or soles of feet.   Add to body lotions.

Food cravings:  Mix 1 drop cassia with 1 drop of lemon oil in a glass of water.

Metabolism boost:  Apply 3-4 drops to the soles of your feet.  Apply 2-3 drops with 1/4 teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.) and apply to your abdomen.

Muscle aches:  Mix 3 drops of each, Cassia and Black Pepper oils, with a teaspoon of carrier oil and massage into the area.

Therapeutic properties:

Analgesic
Antibacterial
Antifungal
Anti-inflammatory
Antimicrobial
Antispasmodic
Antiviral
Astringent
Carminative
Immune booster
Sedative

Safety:

Test for skin sensitivity. Internally only use small doses (1-2 drops).  Consult your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, nursing, are on medications or being treated for other medical.

A colonoscopy?? It’s just not natural. I have to do what?  Yikes, you have been told you need to have a colonoscopy. Well, been there!  When I heard that my thoughts were:  it is creepy and scary, and you have to drink that horrible stuff and then, chance having diarrhea on the drive in to […]

Here, there and everywhere!

Toxins are everywhere.  Don’t we hear that all the time?  They hide in plain sight.  If we aren’t paying attention, we’ll get more than we bargained for, and not in a good way.   So what are toxins, what do they do and how do we minimize their effect on ourselves and our families?

Just what are toxins?

The word toxic means poisonous.  Well, we know pesticides, cigarette smoke and exhausts from our cars have harmful chemicals in them.  When we breathe these in we are poisoning our bodies. How about our household cleaners, air fresheners and even many of our laundry detergents contain carcinogens and other toxic chemicals

We voluntarily put toxins on our bodies each day in the form of deodorants, beautifully scented lotions, body washes and shampoos.  Heck, for women it’s in our cosmetics, our lipsticks, foundations and believe it or not, the facial moisturizers that we use to help our skin can contain many harmful chemicals.  We need to always remember that anything that goes on our skin goes into our body, then our bloodstream where they are carried to our liver, kidneys and other organs.

How about what we put in our bodies?  Studies are showing there are pharmaceuticals like antibiotics, antidepressants, painkillers and even birth control pills in our water supply.   Our processed foods are loaded with chemicals, additives and preservatives.  Some meat has hormones and antibiotics added. What we eat and drink go directly into our body where they are not broken down properly because we ordinarily do not have the enzymes needed for the process.  Instead, the chemicals go through the digestive system and head over to our organs also.

What do toxins do?

Since they are poisonous chemicals, they are harmful to us.  They reside in our cells, muscles and soft tissues.  They can overwhelm our immune system.  Over time we can start developing symptoms of chronic toxicity. Following is a short list of issues that can be caused by this toxicity.

  • Bloating
  • Constipation/Diarrhea/Gas
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive sinus problems
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain/Muscle aches
  • Sinus congestion
  • Skin problems

Remember since toxins are hanging out in our bodies and not being eliminated, they build up until we get sick.  Many diseases we see now days are associated with toxicity.   Some of the diseases follow.

  • Alzheimer’s disease/Dementia
  • Arthritis
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • Digestive diseases like Crohn’s disease, ulcers, and colitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Food allergies
  • Heart disease
  • Insomnia
  • Menstrual problems like heavy bleeding, cramps, PMS, menopausal symptoms, mood changes and hot flashes
  • Parkinson’s disease

What can we do?

We can’t control the air pollution but we can find ways to minimize our exposure to toxins and help our bodies detoxify.

How do we minimize our exposure?

In our home: 

  • Use natural cleaners and laundry soap.
  • Use a diffuser with your favorite essential oils for your air freshener.

 On our body:

  • Use coconut oil or a carrier oil as your moisturizer.
  • Use more natural makeup. Be sure to check the ingredients.

In our Body:

  • How about we start with cutting out some of the processed foods.  I know we live in the real world and I love chips as much as the next person but do we need to have them every day?  Not really.
  • Instead of a candy bar, how about a bowl of fruit (and aim for organic when you can).
  • Make a goal to cut out one processed food item a week.
  • Invest in a water filtration system or a distiller.
  • Take a detox bath.  Simple recipe:  One cup Epsom Salt, 10-12 drops of your favorite essential oil(s).  I use lavender and roman chamomile for relaxation.  Take a detox bath 3-4 times the first 3 weeks then at least once every week or so.

The most wonderful thing about toxins!

Once I removed the processed foods and did the detox baths, I noticed a difference within a week or so.  Toxins can wreak havoc on our bodies but if you pay attention, you will start to notice a change.  Even now, when I eat sugary foods (candy, ice cream, etc.), my hip ache.  Yep, strange, just the left one does.  Now I don’t mean I eat 5 gallons of ice cream and a bunch of candy bars.  It seems that if I eat one candy bar or a bowl of ice cream, maybe, 2 days in a row, I ache.  It’s crazy!!  After 2 or 3 days of no sugars, my hip is fine.  That showed me toxins can really affect our bodies.  Small changes equal big results.

Do you have a similar experience?

Have you notices aches and pains that disappear when you stop eating certain foods?

Feel free to comment.  I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

What could a GPS possibly teach anyone?

I bet you are thinking, what could she possibly be talking about.  Well, we set our GPS for directions to a specific location.  The location is the goal of the trip.

Yikes, Miss GPS told us to turn right, but we went straight. So what happens when we miss a turn?  Miss GPS redirects us.  Now she tells us to turn right, but we get confused and turn left.  What does Miss GPS do now? She redirects us. She wants us and helps us reach our goal whether we miss a turn, make the wrong turn or even change direction.

What is Miss GPS’s reaction?

Does she get annoyed with us or get mad and yell at us? Nope, she stays calm and keeps heading us toward our location (goal), even when the location (goal) changes.   It doesn’t matter how often we miss the turn or change the goal, she stays calm and gives us a new course to follow.

I have to wonder how we handle it when a friend or our kids miss the planned turn?  How do we handle it when the friend, who is perfect for the big promotion, doesn’t apply for some reason? How about when our child, who we want to go to college, decides they don’t want to go? Do we stay calm? Do we help them reach their goals and dreams?

How do I react?

Personally, I know I don’t stay calm. I get worked up.  I may get frustrated with my friend wondering how could she have missed the opportunity of a lifetime, or get upset with my child wondering why he or she decided not to go to college.

If I could handle things like Miss GPS what would I do? I know I would want to help them reach their goals. I would stay calm and redirect or help them redirect towards their own goal.

In the case of my friend, maybe talking with him/her to see why they didn’t apply for that great promotion. That is where I can truly be a friend.  I need to remember it is not my life; I am a bystander (like Miss GPS). My job is to help those I care for continue to their goals, but I need to be understanding and stay calm so I can be helpful.

What can I do?

Maybe my friend, who knows the promotion would be great, really is thinking about making a career change.  I, as Miss GPS, can help them by being there for them.  Maybe help look into classes or offer to provide dinner once a week so she can take those classes. Something to help make it easier for her and her family. It isn’t redirecting my friend but helping find solutions for her to help her get to her goal.

Children are a tough one because we are so close to them. We have seen every misstep throughout their lives, and we want so badly to protect them from any others.  If they veer off course, man, I can get upset and wonder if they lost their brain.   I need to be Miss GPS and stay calm, and help them figure out their next steps (or turns) to help them get where they want to go, not where I want them to go.

How can I help them reach their goals?  I definitely would need to be patient and loving while they figure out what they really enjoy and want to do for the next 30 or 40 years.  Maybe I could help them get information on certain careers or introduce them to people in a career they are interested in so they can talk to them and ask questions.  Perhaps they know what they want to do and I could help them find a great training program.  It is not about my goal but their goal.

Lessons learned

Miss GPS never has her own location (goal) in mind.  It is always about what the driver wants.  The driver may be our friend or our child, but we need to be like Miss GPS, always helping them towards their goal, not ours.

So the lessons we can learn from my GPS are:

  • Stay calm.
  • Be ready to help no matter how many wrong or missed turns there are.
  • Have solid solutions of ways to help others get to their goal.
  • Remember the goal is the driver’s, not ours.

Remember, many times the wrong turns are where the best lessons are learned.

Sometimes they make the best adventures!

What are some other ways we can support our friends and family members, even when we don’t agree with their decisions?

What wrong or missed turns (or opportunities) have you had that ended up being a great experience?

Leave a comment!!!

 

Whether it is marriage, friendship, family or work. Every area of our life requires communication.  What exactly is communication? I know we all think it is talking but is that all?

Just what is communication?

It is sharing with others our ideas, thoughts, feelings and, of course, news and events.  It’s the back and forth conversation when we talk with our friends. The crying when we grieve and the smiling when we are happy.  It’s the way we explain the goals of a new project to our team.  We are all communicating all the time.  Sometimes, we don’t even realize it.

Can you relate to this?  You see your friend with her 2-year-old and, as you are chatting, another mom comes up and says something like, “Oh my, she doesn’t have any hair, my daughter, who is 2, has a head full.”  You don’t SAY anything, or do you? Does rolling your eyes count? It sure does. You shared your thoughts, didn’t you? Yep, just non-verbally.

Yes, there are different types of communicating?  

There are many ways to communicate.  Obviously, verbal and non-verbal, but then you throw in the volume of your voice, the tone of your voice and how about body language.  Now it gets complicated.  I’m just going to talk about a few basics, so you have something to think about.

Verbal:  

Talking to each other.  Think about how we speak.   The tone and volume of your voice can change the message.

Say out loud in your regular voice, “Would you be able to finish this report by tomorrow?”  That sounds fine, not mean at all, just a regular question but..now say it LOUD.  This time the question sounds like you are annoyed (or even mad) that the report isn’t finished yet and you are asking if it can be (as in, are you capable of finishing it) by tomorrow.   Same question, different message.

We must be careful to be sure we are speaking in a way that conveys what we really want to say.  I can give you the perfect example of something I do all the time.  My husband will ask me a question, “Do you have a second to come and look at this?”.   I answer, “Why, what is it?”  Sounds innocent enough but since I am reading or getting ready to go out and don’t want to do it now because I’m busy, I use my snarky voice.  I didn’t intend to, but it pops out.  How does my husband, who is a very nice man, by the way, react?  He says something like, “why can’t you talk to me nicely.”  I didn’t intend to sound mean, but that is how it came across. I know that about myself and really have to work on it.  No joke, every day!  When I get frustrated, my tone is not very pleasant.

When we are mad at one person, many times, we will continue to sound mad at others.  We need to take a few deep breaths and relax before we talk to others.

Non-Verbal:

Here’s a non-verbal that is very common.  We all need to be careful of looking all around when we are speaking to someone.  If you are listening to someone, do it wholeheartedly. Don’t have your eyes looking past them to see what is happening down the hall.  How many times have you had a conversation with someone and their phone pings then they start scrolling through their phone?  “Hello, I’m right in front of you, and we are having a chat, but I guess you don’t care.”   Now I understand if someone is waiting to hear test results or something important, but that is not usually the case.  It is frustrating and not professional or kind.

How do we want to be seen?

How do you feel when someone you are speaking with is leaning towards you and making eye contact? You can tell they are paying attention and the conversation matters to them.

We do this with children.  Think about it.  When they are small, we stop, kneel or lean down and look them in the eye when they talk to us. We want them to know they are important, what they say is and that they are valuable (and precious) to us.

I don’t know about you, but I want others to know I value my time with them and what they say is important to me.  I know I need to pay attention to my tone of voice (my poor husband really gets the most of that).  I need to watch that I am truly paying attention and not distracted by other things going on around me when I am in a conversation with someone.

When someone values us enough to talk with us, that is an honor, and we need to understand that.  Time is in short supply these days.  Your friend could go to many others, but she chose you to spend her time with.  You should be thrilled to pay attention to HER.   At that moment, she needs to be the most important person.  

 

We may be grown up now, but there is still the child in us that wants to feel important and valued.

 

What other things have you seen people do or have been done while you are talking that either made you feel good or of little value?

Leave a comment, so we can all learn.  Each of us may do something that we don’t even realize until it is mentioned in a post or comment.

 

 

 

 

What is the benefit of using mouthwash?

Smile, laugh and be more confident talking to your friends.  Bad breath is the worst, but along with brushing your teeth, mouthwash is like the icing on the cake.  Ok, maybe that isn’t that best analogy, teeth and sugar, but that’s the way it is.

I know we all brush our teeth. Hopefully, at least twice a day.  So then, what is the benefit of using mouthwash?

Most people use mouthwash as a breath freshener, but it can also help you avoid oral health problems such as tooth decay and gingivitis (inflamed gums), prevent plaque buildup and remove particles from between your teeth. Rinsing before you brush is a great idea.  In fact, if you don’t have time to brush after lunch, use some mouthwash and at least rinse your mouth to get any loose particles from between your teeth, and you’ll be freshening your breath at the same time.

Mouthwash (for 1 Cup)

1  Cup distilled water

3  drops peppermint oil

3  drops orange oil

  1. Be sure to use a BPA free plastic bottle. Mix together ingredients. Shake before use.
  2. Swish a sip around your mouth and gargle for approximately 30 seconds. Spit out. Do not swallow.

Essential oil blends that work well for oral health:

Grapefruit, lemon, orange

Cinnamon, clove, peppermint, spearmint

Frankincense, myrrh, lime

NOTE:  Use a total of 6 drops of essential oil per cup of distilled water.

 

 

 

 

 

For Kitchen and Bathroom: 

4 ounces white vinegar (if you have granite countertops replace with 70% isopropyl alcohol as vinegar can damage the granite)

10 drops lemon oil

10 drops tea tree oil

5 drops eucalyptus oil (optional)

1-1/4 cup of distilled water

Mix in a 16-ounce brown glass spray bottle.  Shake before use.

 

 

Good nutrition is having the nutrients we need for our body to be healthy.

The nutrients come from the foods we eat. 

For example, from an orange, our body receives folate (vitamin B9), potassium, thiamin (vitamin B1), and as most of us know, vitamin C.

So, why should we care about good nutrition?

Don’t we all want our body to be healthy and act like it is supposed to?

In an orange alone, the folate helps in the production of red blood cells, encourages cell and tissue growth, and aids in DNA synthesis and repair.  Potassium helps to improve kidney function by flushing out excess sodium in the body through the kidneys.  Too much sodium will increase your blood pressure as well as increase your risk of heart issues.  Thiamin helps your body maintain a healthy metabolism and makes sure cells throughout your body are able to grow and work like they are supposed to. Last, but definitely not least, is vitamin C.  We know it is good for colds but it also helps protect cells from free radical damage and is needed for the growth and repair of tissues throughout our body.

Wow, all this in an orange.  The key is that many things we eat give us only a small portion of what our daily need is. We have to have not only good nutrition, in the form of unprocessed foods, but also a variety of foods, so our nutrients are balanced.
What happens when we don’t have enough of a certain nutrient?
Let’s look at vitamin C.  Although rare in the United States, low vitamin C can cause gingivitis, make you prone to easy bruising and put your immune system at risk.  Just the immune system alone you don’t want to have in jeopardy. It is what protects us and helps us fight against diseases caused by pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
We are shortchanging our body when we do not get the nutrients we need to keep it healthy.  It’s important to eat fresh fruits and vegetables not just processed foods.  Our body needs the proper nutrients to feed our cells and keep us healthy.
Believe me, I know it is easier to stop and grab a hamburger and fries than to make dinner. It’s only recently that I have not been running through fast food joints.  For me, being diagnosed with Celiac Disease stopped that. No gluten means no bread so I stopped because of a specific health issue.
Could I be ill because of what I eat, or don’t eat?
What issues do you have that are possibly linked to lacking certain vitamins or minerals? Some health issues we have may have to do with our diets and the nutrients we are not taking in.  We also need to remember we are talking about not only our health but our family’s health.
I’ll be addressing nutrients in other articles but I wanted to just give you a taste, so to speak, of the importance of good nutrition.
What have you eaten that you immediately feel an unpleasant effect from?
Have you had a health issue that is directly related to foods you have been eating?
Leave a comment and let’s talk!!

 


Body butter, there is nothing like it!

In the winter we have dry skin from the cold, windy, dry weather.  In the summer we have dry skin from being in the sun or being stuck in the air conditioning which drys the air and us with it.  What’s a girl to do?

Moisturize! It’s always time to moisturize.  It doesn’t matter what month it is, our bodies get dehydrated and our skin starts to look like we are molting like a snake.  Unlike a snake, we do not shed our skin.  Thankfully, we can use body butter.

So what is body butter? 

We hear about it but do we really know why we should probably use it and not body lotion with our dry skin.  The difference is body butter is thicker than body lotion which contains more water.  Body lotion is lighter and may not stay on as long or moisturize as well.  Body lotions work well for those who don’t need a lot of moisturizing.   Body butters are for those with drier skin.  You know the ugly, scaley stuff.   Oh, and our feet and those lovely cracked heels.  Yep, that’s what it’s for!

Body Butter is made with butters (solids) like shea butter or cocoa butter and combining those with oils (liquids) such as coconut oil, jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. Use oils that can really hydrate and nourish the skin.  The best time to apply your butter is after a bath or shower.  Don’t dry yourself off completely, just pat dry while leaving a little moisture then rub in a little body butter.  It helps hold the moisture in your skin.  Give it a few minutes to get absorbed and then you can apply some more to problem areas like elbows or feet.  It’s like a layer of protection for your skin.

How do I know what kind to make?

There are so many homemade body butter recipes it can be daunting to find the one best suited for you.  Personally, I have looked at LOTS of recipes, but I can’t say I have tried many.  You see, there are really just two things I looked for in a recipe.  First, I wanted coconut oil in it.  Second, I only wanted a few ingredients.  Three or four worked for me.  The original recipe I used, I did end up tweaking a bit and the following recipe is the final result.  I LOVE IT!!  It was easy to make and feels fabulous on my skin.

You can use your favorite essential oil scents or try one of my healthy blends.

Healthy Blends

Health Me!:  immune support – 15 drops Frankincense and 20 drops Orange

Joyful:   uplifting –  15 drops Jasmine and 20 drops Peppermint (or Rosemary)

Restful:   relaxing and calming – 20 drops Lavender and 15 Roman chamomile

Sunshine:  energizing –  20 drops Ylang-Ylang and 15 drops Peppermint (or Orange)

BODY BUTTER INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4  cups shea butter (unrefined works the best)
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil (extra virgin works the best)
  • 1/2 cup jojoba oil (can use sweet almond or any liquid oil that is organic and healthy.)
  • Essential oils
  • Glass or plastic jars   (2 oz or 4 oz size)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Measure your shea butter and coconut oil.  Note:  Coconut oil will be solid at room temperatures 75 degrees and below,
  2. Melt over medium-low heat in a double boiler, stirring constantly until there are no lumps left.  If you do not have a double boiler, place a glass bowl in a pan of water.  Put your shea butter and coconut oil in the glass bowl and heat the water on medium-low.
  3. Let cool about 20  minutes, then stir in the jojoba oil and essential oil(s) of your choosing.
  4. Cover the mixture and freeze for about 30 minutes. You want the mixture to start to solidify but not completely harden, a consistency similar to soft wax or softened butter.  I start checking at 20 minutes.  I have had it take as long as 50 minutes to get to the consistency.
  5. Whip until soft and fluffy. It will look kind of like frosting.
  6. Place into a glass or plastic jar.  I use small mason jars.

This recipe will make about 2-1/2 to 3 cups of body butter.

Give it time to settle. When I first made mine, I thought it was to thin and I added a little more shea butter. After a day, it was thicker than I wanted. My next batch I made no changes and it was the consistency I liked.  You can also adjust the number of essential oil drops you use.  I like more than a hint of the scent but don’t want to be overwhelmed.

OF NOTE: 

  • If you have trouble whipping it, just chill it a little longer.
  • The body butter will feel slightly oily and will take a couple of minutes to absorb into your skin.
  • Be sure to give it time to be absorbed before you put your clothes on.
  • You can add about 1.5 teaspoons of cornstarch or arrowroot to make it less oily on your skin.
  • You will want to be sure to store it in a room that does not get warmer than 75 degrees otherwise store in the refrigerator.
  • You can always whip it again it to make it softer if it gets too stiff.
Please leave a comment and share recipes you love.  If you tried this recipe, how did it work for you and what essential oils did you use?