Monday, April 25, 2011

Pure and Simple: Clean Naturally with Plant Essential Oils

Ok, I admit, I am obsessed with using any essential oil for any purpose. I love reading about them and letting my readers know what I found. I am so sensitive to many chemicals that it was a necessity for me to find alternatives for cleaning and for personal uses. I got started with making my own lip balm and it took off from there discovering the wonders of essential oils. Tea Tree Oil is my favorite and you can find a whole post on this great oil elsewhere in my blog.

We put a lot of work into creating clean, healthy homes for ourselves and our families. And for most of us, our idea of a healthy home doesn’t include toxic chemicals. Yet many of us spray on and breathe in potentially toxic ingredients every time we use common household cleaning products.
Fortunately, nature has provided us with a bevy of alternatives to synthetic chemicals: Plant essential oils clean, disinfect and smell great. Studies have found many to have antimicrobial properties. Use the blends below for a house that’s clean and nontoxic. (As with any new product you introduce into your home, be sure to read the instructions for each ingredient to ensure safe and effective use.)
Surface cleaner: Add 7 drops lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, cinnamon, clove, thyme, pine, grapefruit or oregano oil to 2 cups of water. Spray on surfaces.
Kitchen cleaner: Mix the following essential oils: 8 drops lavender, 10 drops lemon, 5 drops eucalyptus, 8 drops rosewood and 3 drops palma rosa. Combine 2 cups of water with 8 drops of the mixture and spray on surfaces.
Dishwashing boost: To add fragrance or to improve the antiseptic action of your liquid soap, add 10 drops of essential oils such as lavender, orange, bergamot or lime to 3 ounces of natural liquid dishwashing soap and shake well.
Floor cleaner: Combine 1/4 cup of white vinegar with 10 drops lemon oil and 4 drops oregano oil. Add to a bucket of water. For extra cleaning power, add several drops of dish soap, but follow with a clean-water mop so floors aren’t slippery.
Window cleaner: In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup white vinegar, 10 to 15 drops lemon oil and 1 cup water. Shake well before each use. In summer, repel flies by wiping windows with a cloth dampened with 2 ounces water and 10 drops lavender or lemongrass essential oils.
Air freshener: To keep indoor air smelling fresh, mix 8 drops of essential oil with 21/2 cups warm water. (Use a single scent or 8 drops of this combination: 5 drops bergamot, 10 drops lavender, 5 drops cinnamon, 10 drops lemon, 10 drops citronella.) Store in a spray bottle and shake well before use.
Flea killer: Mix 2 cups borax with 10 to 15 drops of essential oils. Try pine or balsam fir in fall and winter; and lemongrass, lavender or any citrus oils in spring and summer. Sprinkle on carpets, then wait a few minutes before vacuuming.
Hot tub cleaner: To disinfect and fragrance the water in a hot tub, add 3 drops of lavender, cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, thyme or grapefruit essential oil per person that uses the tub.
Buying Tips
Choosing high-quality oils is essential.
Know your terms: “Fragrance oil,” “nature-identical oil” or “perfume oil” aren’t the same as 100 percent pure essential oil. They may be combinations of essential oils and chemicals, or just plain chemicals.
Check the container: Avoid oils in plastic bottles or with rubber eyedropper bulbs in the top. These can degrade and contaminate the oil. Look for small (4-ounce or less) dark or opaque glass bottles.
Read the label: Look for the correct botanical (Latin) name to ensure you’re buying the right oil.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Benefits of Raw Honey

"Honey is cheap, making it potentially useful for treating wounds in earthquake-stricken and war-torn areas where running water is scarce and aften contanimated. It is being used in Iraq to treat burn wounds in children."

Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate.

It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine, and zinc exist in it in small quantities. Several kinds of hormones are also present in it. Approximately one half of the human diet is derived directly or indirectly from crops pollinated by bees. Today honeybees are an essential part of a healthy agriculture economy.

If you have allergies, honey can be beneficial. If you eat honey that is local to your area, it may help prevent your seasonal allergies. Bees use the pollen from local plants and eventually it ends up in your honey.

Honey may also be good for your skin. It has the ability to attract water. It is also safe for sensitive skin. You can use it as a moisturizing mask for your skin as well as your hair. To use it as a conditioner, mix the honey with olive oil. Be sure to wash your hair thoroughly before you go outside.
If you have a sore throat, take some honey.[ Honey has powerful antimicrobial properties, which can soothe your raw tissues. Pour a teaspoon of honey into a large serving spoon and then top off the spoon with lemon juice. Swallow the concoction (without water) every few hours until symptoms clear up. Some people add a pinch of black or red pepper to increase blood circulation to the throat.] Due to its natural anti-inflammatory effect, it will help to heal the wounds more quickly.It also has different phytochemicals--chemicals found in plants and different foods--that kill viruses, bacteria, and fungus making it a good substitute for wound dressings. The taste may also take your mind off the pain. There is evidence that honey diluted in water will help with your stomach aches and dehydration.

Do you have a cut? Honey is a natural antiseptic. Medical journals cite more than 600 cases in which honey was employed to treat wounds.By applying honey to your wounds, you prevent infections. Honey contains antimicrobial agents, which prevents infections by killing the bacteria in and around your wounds. When using honey it may help to heat it up before putting it on your wound (caution test the heat before you place it on the wound).Many types of bacteria can’t survive in honey, so wounds heal, swelling eases, and tissue can grow back.