Sep 13

Of all the vanity plates I have seen in my life, my favorite one by far is ‘Wake Up”. I fantasize that the owner of the car is an enlightened, health-conscious, recycling, gentle being doing his best to get us to, well, wake up. I, on the other hand, am oftentimes not so subtle. Recently I got the urge to shout my favorite vanity plate phrase from the cleaning aisles of my local natural food market and then again from my home office as I saw advertisements for “green cleaners” priced at (are you sitting down?) $12.00 per 32 oz bottle! You’ve got to be kidding! What is in these bottles that makes them so pricey? Gold dust? No. In reading the ingredient list I found purified water, organic surfactants, and essential oils. Who buys this stuff? This equates to $48 per gallon! And we thought the price of gas was high.

By now we all know that the commercial cleaners we buy in the supermarket contain ingredients that have no place in the home. I am going to suggest an alternative that’s green for your home as well as green for your wallet. An honest to goodness green cleaner that you can make in the comfort of your own home by simply pouring together a few ingredients. It will perform as well as if not better than the store bought one. It will contain therapeutic grade lavender aromatherapy essential oil that will serve as a disinfectant and provide a pleasing, fresh scent. And, when the solution is gone, you can make more and keep refilling the bottle so you don’t keep adding more plastic to the landfills. Talk about a win-win situation! Let’s walk through this together…..

 

Lavender Aromatherapy All Purpose Cleaner

1/4 cup (2 oz) distilled white vinegar
1 TBS cornstarch
1 qt warm water
5-10 drops of therapeutic grade lavender essential oil*

Mix all ingredients in a large pan until the cornstarch is dissolved. Pour into a spray bottle and use.

 

That’s it. Really.

Want to get wild and make it crazy-over-the-top? Use distilled or purified water.

Total cost: less than 50¢. You read that right. 50¢. One half of a dollar. Now, granted, your initial investment will be more than that because a bottle of therapeutic grade lavender aromatherapy essential oil will be around $30. But keep in mind that you are only using 5-10 drops from a bottle that contains 250 drops. And if you keep reading this blog, you will discover a myriad of ways to substitute that lavender for other toxic chemicals and pharmaceuticals you use in your home.

I wonder what the owner of the “Wake Up” car would do?

Caveats:

If you have been using commercial cleaners to clean your windows, the lavender aromatherapy cleaner could cause streaks due to the residue left behind by those cleaners. To prevent this, wash windows with a mixture of 1/4 cup of castile soap, 1 cup of vinegar, and one gallon of water. After this initial cleaning, the lavender cleaner should do a nice job of keeping the windows clean and streak free.

For added eco-effectiveness, use old, crumpled newspaper instead of paper towels to wipe the windows.

Also, if you use a lavender essential oil that is not therapeutic grade, chances are it will contain chemicals and additives that are toxic. These chemicals might also cause the cleaner to streak the windows, dually defeating the initial purpose.

*If you dislike lavender, lemon or peppermint make a great substitute.

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Sep 11

In one word…DON’T!

Recently while in a local hobby and craft mega-store, I overheard two women exclaiming how delightful they found the smell of the various scented candles. My son and I just looked at each other with pursed lips and continued walking. I was feeling proud with the fact that even at 12, he knew they were poison. I had taught him well.

Most commercial candles are made from paraffin, the final byproduct in the petroleum refining chain, and lead core wicks. The result is like burning lead-releasing diesel fuel in your living room. Would you really do that?

The healthy alternative is to burn natural soy or beeswax candles and diffuse therapeutic grade lavender aromatherapy essential oil. You get the satisfaction of knowing you are more than likely supporting cottage industry with the purchase of the soy or beeswax candles and you receive the fresh scented, anti-microbial, calming effect of the therapeutic grade lavender essential oil. Much better than having a semi-truck engine idling in your house.

 

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Aug 16

Great! You just received your first bottle of therapeutic-grade lavender aromatherapy essential oil. You have broken the seal and inhaled the soothing, intoxicating fragrance. Now what? The first question most people ask is “How do I use this?” Five general methods are listed below:

• Apply topically–Most therapeutic grade essential oils, including lavender, can be applied “neat” or directly on the skin. (For sensitive skin test on a small area using just a small drop. If irritation occurs, apply a small amount of vegetable carrier oil over the area.)

• Inhale–The most effective way to inhale essential oils is by cold air diffusing. Alternately, rub a few drops of essential oil between palms and cup over nose and breathe deeply.

• Internally–Add to food or rice milk as a dietary supplement. (ONLY using therapeutic grade lavender essential oil.)

• Bath Salts–Add a few drops of lavender aromatherapy essential oil to a handful of Epsom salts and dissolve in running bath water.

As you read on, you will find each of these methods explored in greater depth. Or if you are ready to become your own lavender aromatherapy aficionado, grab a copy of one of the featured books that you will find on my own personal bookshelf.

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Aug 16

It seems that lavender, or the scent of it, is everywhere - hand lotion, shampoo, bath gel, air freshener, laundry detergent and even baby products. It’s the most widely used and best-selling essential oil. What exactly are essential oils and why is lavender aromatherapy so popular?

Essential oils are the “spirit” or essence of a plant. They are the aromatic, volatile liquids distilled from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes and seeds. Chemically complex, each essential oil may consist of hundreds of different and unique chemical compounds. It is this complexity that endows essential oils with their unique and varied effect on the human body. In addition, they are highly concentrated and far more potent than dried herbs.

Lavender is known as the most versatile of essential oils. It is steam distilled from Lavandula angustifolia, a perennial, bushy shrub with a flowery top. The many properties of lavender aromatherapy essential oil contribute to a vast range of usage. It is highly regarded as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, for skin care, or as a lovely fragrance.

Along with its fresh, clean scent, lavender aromatherapy essential oil offers benefits for the body, mind and spirit. Pure therapeutic grade lavender essential oil has been shown to provide the following benefits:

• Balances and normalizes body functions*
• Promotes tissue regeneration*
• Speeds up wound healing*
• Cleanses cuts, bruises and skin irritations*
• Soothes and relaxes the mind and body
• Eases bodily aches and pains

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. If you have been considering moving toward natural in your medicine cabinet or greening your household cleaning supplies, lavender aromatherapy essential oil is a simple, inexpensive beginning.

A word of caution: Trust your source. Make sure that the label states that it is therapeutic-grade lavender essential oil. True lavender is often adulterated with hybrid lavender or other synthetic compounds. This would nullify any benefit of the oil and might even prove to be harmful.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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