Tag Archives: antiseptic

Peppermint

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Peppermint’s origin is a mystery but has been around a long time.  Dried leaves were even found in the Egyptian pyramids!

While it was highly valued by the ancient Romans and Greeks, it didn’t become popular in Western Europe until the 18th century.
 

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It’s key actions including the ability to increase sweating, relieve muscle spasms, stimulation of the secretion of bile and as an antiseptic.  As an oil it is strongly antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal, cooling and also has anesthetic affect on the skin in spite of it being an irritant.  The whole plant has an antispasmodic effect on the digestive system and in clinical trials during the 1990’s confirmed it’s value in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
 
Peppermint is excellent for the digestive system, increasing the flow of digestive juices and bile and relaxes the muscles of the gut.  it reduces cramps, gas and colic and helps in soothing an irritable bowel.  In the process of soothing the lining and muscles of the colon, it helps diarrhea and relieves a spastic colon, which is often the cause of constipation.
 
Applied to the skin, peppermint reduces sensitivity and relieves pain.  It also aids in the relief of headaches and migraines linked to digestive weakness.  It’s like an instant ice pack on the temples and the back of the neck.
 

Diluted oil is used as an inhalant and chest rub for respiratory infections.  The whole herb is important for digestive infections. Do not give peppermint to children under 5 and as an essential oil should not be taken internally except under professional supervision.
And of course everyone’s favorite use besides candy canes?  Spiders hate peppermint!
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Basic Ointment/Salve recipe

Ointment tin

All natural and completely adaptable, this is the base for any topical salve that you want to use. Add the essential oils according to the desired affects/remedy that you’re in need of.

Ointment collage

Before you do anything, get your containers. If you’re a frugalite like me you’ll keep your eyes out and bug your friends. Look at yard sales, thrift stores, friends who offer you a mint.. (you think I’m kidding). Yes you can buy them and that’s great too.

Ask friends to save them for you and offer them one in return or give it to them as a thank you gift. You want these clean and dry, preferably sterile. Throw them in boiling water for 5 minutes and let them dry. If you want to spray paint them to cover any designs (outside only) let them sit for about a day before you sterilize them.

Everything you need for these can be found at Mountain Rose Herbs or through the Simple Living General Store

Basic Ointment/Salve

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces beeswax, grated or shaved
  • 2 cup olive, almond, or coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil

Directions

Beeswax

1. Over very low heat, in a small pot or double boiler, melt oils and beeswax. You want that beeswax, grated, chopped, etc so that it will melt quickly and evenly. If you put a big chunk in, it will not only slow your overall melt time, but it can cause you to heat the other oils to a higher temperature that you want them to be at and they can smoke on you.

Beeswax3

2. Remove from heat and add vitamin E oil and any essential oils (see below) at this time. Stir with either a chopstick or wooden spoon dedicated to this project only since the oils will absorb into the wood, or with a metal spoon.

ointment in a canning jar

3. Pour mixture into small sterilized jars (or a mason jar). Allow to cool on counter before storing in a cool, dark place. Use as needed on wounds. Will keep for approximately 5 years.

The suggested recipe modifications below will allow you to make your ointment/salve have a specific healing purpose. The suggested amounts can be modified anyway you would like, however they are based on the amount of the total salve recipe, so if you decide that you want to make half the batch into first aid ointment and half the batch into a muscle pain relief salve, divide the suggested amounts accordingly.

First Aid Salve

  • 30 drops tea tree oil – antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial
  • 35 drops lavender essential oil – analgesic, antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial
  • 20 drops chamomile oil – analgesic, anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory/antiphlogistic, anti-bacterial, nerve sedative, stimulates production of leucocytes

Muscle Relief (cannot be used on open wounds/broken skin)

  • 20 drops arnica oil (cannot be used in open wounds/broken skin) – analgesic – muscle pain, sprains, prevents bruising
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil – analgesic – muscle pain, sprains, rheumatism
  • 20 drops wintergreen essential oil (cannot be used in open wounds/broken skin) – cooling relief – lumbago, sciatica, neuralgia pain

Diaper Rash

  • 15 drops chamomile oil – analgesic, anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory/antiphlogistic, anti-bacterial, nerve sedative, stimulates production of leucocytes
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil – analgesic, antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial
  • 5 drops tea tree oil – antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial

Respiratory Care (for use on chest & feet)

  • 30 drops eucalyptus essential oil – antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, expectorant, catarrh, cough – asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, COPD
  • 20 drops wintergreen essential oil – analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, anti-tussive

Getting Started with Essential Oils

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I love essential oils.  You can cook, clean and improve your health both physically and mentally.  The cost can seem a little daunting at first, but remember you literally use it by the drop which takes a little getting used to.  You will be amazed at the literally hundreds of things that you can do with the 5 oils listed here.  You’ll also find that you can use one mixture for several different things.  For example, I keep a spray bottle with 1 part apple cider vinegar, 4 parts water and about 10 drops of lavender oil.  After I shampoo, I towel off the excess water and spray my hair with that mixture as a conditioner, and the results are amazing (especially if you shampoo with baking soda).  I also use that same spray bottle to replace products like Febreeze and Oust. Both chemical laden making them not so great to touch or breathe and are expensive too.  My mixture costs pennies, it’s safe around children, pets & Grandma and I don’t have to spot test fabrics either.  That very same mixture works great in my carpet cleaner too, although I use white vinegar for the carpets.  I choose lavender because I like the smell but you can choose whatever essential oil appeals most to you.  Even just few drops of essential oils on your furnace filter will have you in a better mood in a matter of minutes!  Try sweet orange & clove, cinnamon & nutmeg or fir around the holidays, lemon for the first of spring, sweet basil for summer… it’s all up to  you.

 

Just a few basic principles to remember when dealing with essential oils: 

  • First, NEVER put them directly on the skin.  (Including lavender, peppermint or tea tree.)  They should always be diluted using a “carrier” oil such as coconut, olive or jojoba oil, etc. I use extra virgin organic coconut oil for anything on my skin.  It’s lighter than olive oil, it absorbs well like jojoba but I find it to be less expensive and it will solidify. 
  • Second, essential oils NEVER go in plastic, always glass for mixtures and storage.  They will leach or break down the plastics and you don’t want that in your mixtures, especially if it’s something that you’re planning on ingesting or applying to your skin.
  • Third, always look for 100% pure (or even organic if you choose) essential oils and purchase from a reliable source.  Remember, you’re using them by the drop so the price is worth it.  You can find some great prices if you do your home work, so don’t be fooled into thinking that more expensive is better.  Also remember that there is no standardized grading system for essential oils – it’s either 100% pure or it’s not, it’s either organic or it’s not.  That’s it.

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Most purists will tell you that Lavender and Peppermint are the top 2 that you should have on hand.  My #1 go to for many, many years starts here…

 

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree essential oil is antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral as well as an immune stimulant.  Think about that one for a minute.  Think of all the chemicals you buy right now to accomplish all those things in your home.

It can be added to homemade cleaning spray (or as I like to call it, vinegar, baking soda or castile soap and water) to kill germs around the house without the harmful side effects of commercial cleaners.

Diffused during cold and flu season to replace products like Lysol to keep your home and family healthy and germ free. 

A few drops mixed with coconut oil makes a perfect homemade antibiotic ointment.

Traditional uses include skin issues such as athlete’s foot, chicken pox, corns, warts, acne and boils, infected burns, scrapes, wounds, insect bites and stings.  Internally it can be used for things such as cystitis, mononucleosis and post viral fatigue, ring worm, sinusitis, oral infections, gum disease and sore throats, as well as topical and vaginal yeast infections, warts, whooping cough….

 Natural Health

Lavender

Lavender essential oil is great for soothing – both the nerves and your skin.   

I keep a glass spray bottle with witch hazel and lavender oil as hand sanitizer, it also doubles as first aid spray. 

Use lavender oil on burns, behind the ears to soothe earaches or on the temples or back of the neck for headache.

5 drops in a hot bath with a half cup of Epsom salts and your muscle aches are a thing of the past.

Diffusing lavender aromatically before bed works to induce peaceful sleep, or put a few drops of oil on your pillow under the pillow case.

Lavender essential oil is also safe for use on babies – as long as it’s pure and diluted, of course. I like to use it and tea tree essential oil in homemade diaper rash ointment.

Additional uses include: acne, allergies, anxiety, asthma, athlete’s foot, bruises, burns, chicken pox, colic, cuts, cystitis, depression, dermatitis, flatulence, insect bites, insect repellent, itching, labor pains, migraine, scabies, scars, sprains, stretch marks, vertigo, whooping cough… the list goes on.

 

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Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil is antibacterial, analgesic/anesthetic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

It’s also refreshing and cooling and great to use in the summer time when you’re too hot.  To help cool off, dilute 3 drops of peppermint essential oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil (or other carrier oil) and apply to the back of your neck and chest and the undersides of your forearms. 

On that same note, the very same mixture can also be as a sore muscle rub or used on your forehead and temples for headaches. It’s an instant ice pack.  (Caution: don’t get it in your eyes! Trust me when I tell you, it’s not a great feeling and will completely derail your day.)

As an inhalant or diffused it will help open breathing and congestion due to a cold as well as if it’s mixed with a carrier oil and rubbed on the feet then put socks on.

Peppermint is also used for asthma, colic, exhaustion, fever, flatulence, headache, nausea, scabies, sinusitis and vertigo as well.

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Lemon

Lemon essential oil is very handy for cleaning and as a degreaser.

Hands sticky from the wood pile? Need to remove one of those super sticky labels?  Kids like to play with clay on the table? Just a drop or two will get the funky residue off in no time.

Add a few drops to dish water to help cut grease on dishes.  

Mix a few drops with 3 parts olive or vegetable oil and 1 part white vinegar and I promise you’ll never buy Pledge for your wood furniture again.

For a stinky fridge, add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a cup of baking soda and let it hang out in there to absorb odor.

Combine one part water to one part vinegar in a glass spray bottle with 10 drops of lemon essential oils as a deodorizing spray for my wooden cutting board.

A drop or two in a glass of hot water with a pinch of sea salt makes a great sore throat gargle, to treat canker sores or gingivitis. 

A few drops in a half cup of local honey works wonders to soothe your throat during a cold too.

Other uses include: athlete’s foot, chilblains, colds, corns, dull skin, flu, oily skin, spots, varicose veins, warts, just to name a few. 

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Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is most recognized for breathing issues but as an essential oil its antiseptic properties make it a great addition to DIY cleaning recipes. A couple squirts of liquid castile soap and 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to mop water and you’ll be amazed!

A spray of water and eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle will clean both yoga mats and hardwood floors.

A few drops on the dog’s bed will help keep away fleas. 

Mix some eucalyptus oil with a little castile soap and give your pets a flea bath.  Follow up by mixing eucalyptus oil with carrier oil and give your pets a massage.  They’ll enjoy the attention, the oil will be great for their skin and coat and it’ll keep your home flea free.  Make sure to work it down to the skin where pests hide. 

Eucalyptus is also a great expectorant and can be diffused in the air when you have respiratory issues. You can also add a drop or two to a tablespoon of coconut oil to massage on your chest and back to help you breathe better during a cold or again on the feet and covered with socks.

Massaging joints can help to relieve rheumatic joints, pain and stiffness as well as to aid in circulations


Lessen and Eliminate Old Scars

Scars

by Tony Isaacs

Few of us go through life without accumulating a few scars. Sometimes those scars can be unsightly and in other instances old scars and scar tissue can cause physical discomfort and other problems. If a person is persistent however, scars can often be greatly diminished and even eliminated naturally. Before opting for cosmetic surgery, chemical peels or botox, consider the following safer options:

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The first item to consider is digestive enzymes, which are particularly effective in removing and reducing scar tissue. Scars are formed from fibrin as part of the body’s natural repair mechanism. Digestive enzymes dissolve and remove fibrin. Serrapeptase and nattokinase are among the best enzymes for scar tissue removal. Taking the enzymes in quantity 2-3 times daily on an empty stomach gradually dissolves scar tissue. In time even old scar tissue, including keloids, can be dissolved and “eaten away”.

For more information, see:

http://www.tbyil.com/Enzymes.htm

Natural Health

Other natural remedies for lessening and eliminating scars are:

*Applying and massaging lavender oil directly on scars helps them fade and in time can completely eliminate scars. Lavender oil also helps newer injuries heal faster with the application of lavender oil.

*Flaxseed oil is a great way to fade scars. You can buy it at almost any health food store. It is also great for new scars, helping them heal faster and keeping them from becoming as noticeable. Rub the flaxseed oil on old and new scars a few times each day, including after you shower and again before going to bed.

*Virgin, unrefined hempseed oil used twice daily often results in improvement and fading within a few weeks

*Grapeseed extract, jojoba and almond oil are all effective scar treatments, especially when combined together.

*Apply vitamin K cream topically to scars. Depending on the severity of your scars and skin type, you may see results in as little as a couple of weeks to a couple of months when used twice daily.

*Apply olive oil (100% extra virgin) to scars at least twice a day. Within a week you should start to see scars and stretch marks starting to fade.

*Organic raw honey (especially high UMF factor manuka honey) rubbed onto scars twice daily will break up scar tissue and help with healing.

*Take finely ground, powder-like, coffee and mix it with one of the oils mentioned here. Rub into scars for about 60 seconds and wipe off the coffee grounds with a warm moist towel. Do this about twice a day if possible. You should see noticeable results in a few weeks. This remedy is especially good for stretch mark scars.

*Use castor oil, plastic wrap and a heating pad. Note: Be sure to use only food grade plastic wrap that contains no bisphenol A, a dangerous substance found in many plastics. Rub plenty of castor oil on the scars and then wrap it with plastic wrap. Place a heating pad turned on as high a setting as you comfortably stand and leave on for 20 to 25 minutes. You may see noticeable results in as little as a week or so.

*Use vitamin E oil from punctured gel caps and rub it into scars.

* Colloidal Silver. Colloidal silver is especially good on healing wounds. It aids in tissue repair and can result in significantly lessened scarring.

*Massaging your scars often and consistently will help break up the fibrous tissue and can be especially effective when combined with one of the oils mentioned above.

Note: The key to natural lessening and elimination of scar tissue is persistence. Serious scars may take up to several months, but with persistent and consistent effort you should eventually see good results.

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It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s a Superfood!

coconuts

I can not find a single bad thing about coconut oil.  And there isn’t anything  you can’t do with it!  
I’ve never had a chemical based product exfoliate my skin the way coconut oil does.  My husband shaves with it and it has completely eliminated his razor bumps along in addition to using it as a hair conditioner.  
It heals cuts and infections, can sooth psoriasis or eczema.  
Can be used on nipples to soften for nursing mothers as well as preventing thrush in nursing infants.  Topically it will prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
Used topically to kill yeast infections, jock itch and nail fungus and as well as internally (soaked on a tampon) to treat Candida.
Just eating a spoonful of it a day does your body a world of wonder research is now showing that it can prevent, slow and even reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms!  As soon as it hits your mouth it feels lighter than water.  
Mixing coconut oil with baking soda and a couple of drops of peppermint oil makes the best whitening toothpaste you’ve ever used, it’s antibacterial to control bad breath and gingivitis and will even help to remineralize and strengthen teeth.  Mix with cornstarch for an all-natural deodorant.
You can use coconut oil as your primary carrier for any essential oil it, you’ll love how it absorbs into the skin without feeling greasy.   I have a container with coconut oil and tea tree oil in my home at all times.  It will knock out an ear infection quicker than anything I know (in fact, this mixture is my medical doctor’s preference over antibiotics).
Makes a perfect baby lotion as well as a diaper cream.  A perfect moisturizer for the face and eye makeup remover as well as a cuticle oil for the nails.
You can find it just about everywhere, look at your local grocery store by the olive oil.  Only use organic on the skin, the regular coconut oil is heavier, has a more pronounced flavor and an almost grainy texture before it melts.
Great for cooking too!  It has a high smoke point.  It can replace any oil in cooking and can even replace butter in recipes and can replace oil in homemade mayonnaise.  In fact, check out this great video on seasoning your stainless steel pans!  I’ve done this, it works!

Organic coconut oil: A superfood with amazing health benefits

by Christian David

Pound for pound, coconut oil is one of the single most nutritious superfoods you can put in your body. It has a vast array of incredible health benefits and is something recommended to almost everyone I talk to on a regular basis. People are always asking me, Chris “What can I eat to be healthier”? The answer is simple: organic coconut oil. This stuff is simply amazing and is something everyone should include in their diet.

Specifically, you should look for “Organic, unrefined, expeller-pressed coconut oil”. This is the unprocessed product derived directly from the organic coconuts with minimal processing or modification. This is as close to “unprocessed” you can get. The more foods are processed, the less the health value they offer. You can find this on the shelves of most all natural foods stores or purchase online.

There are a couple ways to eat coconut oil. Some people cook with it. I recommend eating it in an unheated, uncooked manner. Reason being is high heat levels can change the properties of the oil, (further processing it), and therefore affect the overall nutritional value.



Eating coconut oil on a regular basis has numerous health benefits. If you do some basic research on the health benefits on coconut oil you will discover just how amazing this food really is. These benefits include healthier skin and hair, lower cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased levels of immunity, proper digestion and metabolism. It has been show to provide relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and other viruses, cancer, and bone strength. The reason it is so effective and healthy is because of high levels of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. The presence of these acids contributes to coconuts antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial and general body nourishing properties.

There are a couple ways to use coconut oil. Some people cook with it. Coconut oil is rare in that it has a high melting point. This means it’s a solid form at room temperature. It doesn’t melt until about 77 degrees Fahrenheit. You will notice when you purchase a bottle, it will be in solid form. It doesn’t take much heat for this to melt.

If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes (hair or skin application) you can bring it to a liquid form simply by immersing a container with the solid oil into warm water. It will melt in a matter of a few moments. You can also take a small amount out, put it in a small bowl and heat over an open flame. Do not microwave as it will affect the healing properties of the oil. Next, take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair, face and skin. You will notice healthier skin and hair if you do this regularly. For cooking, try using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil or butter.

For maximum health value, I personally recommend consuming it in an unheated, uncooked manner. To do this, simply open the bottle and use a table spoon to eat the product. It will melt in your mouth. If you have a problem with taste or swallowing it, take it with some organic orange juice after it melts in your mouth.

Natural Health
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Peppermint

Peppermint’s origin is a mystery but has been around a long time.  Dried leaves were even found in the Egyptian pyramids!

While it was highly valued by the ancient Romans and Greeks, it didn’t become popular in Western Europe until the 18th century.
 

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin

It’s key actions including the ability to increase sweating, relieve muscle spasms, stimulation of the secretion of bile and as an antiseptic.  As an oil it is strongly antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal, cooling and also has anesthetic affect on the skin in spite of it being an irritant.  The whole plant has an antispasmodic effect on the digestive system and in clinical trials during the 1990’s confirmed it’s value in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
 
Peppermint is excellent for the digestive system, increasing the flow of digestive juices and bile and relaxes the muscles of the gut.  it reduces cramps, gas and colic and helps in soothing an irritable bowel.  In the process of soothing the lining and muscles of the colon, it helps diarrhea and relieves a spastic colon, which is often the cause of constipation.
 
Applied to the skin, peppermint reduces sensitivity and relieves pain.  It also aids in the relief of headaches and migraines linked to digestive weakness.  
 

Diluted oil is used as an inhalant and chest rub for respiratory infections.  The whole herb is important for digestive infections.
 
Do not give peppermint to children under 5 and as an essential oil should not be taken internally except under professional supervision.