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Jun 28, 2019
Ten Reasons The Sea Makes You Feel Amazing
Unless you’ve spent the day gorging on ice creams, everyone feels good after a day at the beach. And who hasn’t been prescribed some ‘sea air’ by an old aunt at some point in their lives? Well, here are ten scientific (ish) reasons why Great Aunty Edna was right all along.
I’ve always loved how the ocean makes me feel, and so I spent some time looking at the science behind why this might be.
I’ve shared the highlights of what I found in the blog post below. Thanks for reading!
1. Infection-Fighting Minerals
Seawater is overflowing with minerals such as potassium, magnesium, chloride and sodium. Not only do these sneaky substances make our hair and skin look amazing; they also help fight infection and reduce inflammation. That’s why people with skin conditions such as eczema are often advised to swim in the sea as part of their treatment.
2. More Inclined To Exercise
Always putting off that run? Move to the seaside! Living around the ocean or seeing views of natural beauty increases your desire to be outside and take part in activities such as running, cycling or team sports. Of course, swimming is also much more common around beaches. Aerobic activities like these keep your respiratory system working well and are known to increase life expectancy.
3. A Bit Of UV Is Good For Us
When the sun’s UVB light rays shine on us, it stimulates the production of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is very important because it helps our bodies to produce calcium, which in turn prevents diabetes, MS, heart disease and reduces the chance of cancer. However, AS EVERYONE KNOWS, it can be dangerous to stay in the sun for too long without protection – so be sensible out there.
4. Thick Sea Air For Clearer Breathing
Get this. Because sea air has high salt content, it is quite thick. This means that as you breathe it in, it’s clearing your throat and respiratory system, allowing clearer breathing and better-quality sleep. Sea air is also known to keep you awake and energetic during the day because it is much cooler.
5. Seawater’s Salty Remedy
Due to the saltiness of seawater, it has many properties that are beneficial to us. Small cuts or grazes are healed by salt and minerals. The sea has also been proven to help muscle problems or joint pains by relaxing them and soothing the surrounding area.
6. Sand Maintains Skin Quality
Walking on fine sand at the beach is just like going for a pedicure. Except it’s free. The sediment will help exfoliate the dead skin off your feet and body, keeping your skin smooth and healthy.
7. The Ocean Is The “Right Place”
Brain imaging research has shown that proximity to water is strongly linked to your brain releasing feel-good hormones, including dopamine and oxytocin. This is likely why Hawaii has been ranked the happiest of all states for the last six years. Marine biologist and conservationist Wallace Nichols describes the sea as “a trigger telling your brain you’re in the right place” and says that “our response to water and the oceans are deep”.
8. Stress-Relieving Waves
The sound of waves has also been proven to relax the mind. As waves come in, crash, and then recede again, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, which slows down the brain and helps promote relaxation. Shuster describes this as “de-stimulating our brains”. This process makes the part of the brain responsible for stress emotions shrink, while areas such as empathy and memory grow.
9. Cold Water Wakes Up Mind And Body
There are also benefits to swimming in colder water. The Wim Hof Theory states that swimming in colder temperatures turns you into a high-functioning zen ninja (not his words). When you are cold, adrenaline is released to keep your muscles active and your senses alert. Regular swims in cold water strengthens your muscles, sharpens your mind and is strongly linked to longer life expectancy.
10. Blue Seascapes Are Calming
Being near the ocean has mental health benefits as well as physical ones. Scientific research from Richard Shuster shows that just being near the colour blue has led to “an overwhelming amount of people to be associated with feelings of calm and peace”. Staring out at the ocean can also result in a relaxing, meditative state, and can even change the frequency of brain waves to match that of the sea, putting you really in touch with nature.
Foraging with kids is a great way to spend time with your little ones outdoors.
Kids are naturally curious and want to put just about everything into their mouths anyway, why not direct that towards tasty wild food? Foraging helps tap all that curious energy into nature exploration while teaching them valuable skills at the same time.
GETTING STARTED FORAGING WITH KIDS
If you’re a beginning forager yourself, start simple.
Edible flowers are a great beginning, and they’re delicious for kids and adults alike. There’s a surprising variety of edible flowers, both wild and cultivated. In many cases, you don’t have to look past grandma’s flower garden to find delicious “wild” edibles to peak a little one’s interest.
In the summertime, foraging is just a natural part of our daily routine.
When my daughter was born that didn’t change, and she began harvesting wild plants with me before she could walk. Little hands are naturally drawn toward bright colorful objects at their level, and I set my baby down in a patch of red clover with a basket.
A bit of guidance and she spent an hour carefully harvesting red clover blossoms and filled her harvest basket.
The following summer, the little ones could participate more fully and things got a whole lot more fun.
Add a bit of walking and talking into the mix, and children can actually express how much they love the idea of harvesting their own lunch.
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Everywhere we go she’d see flowers and ask, “Is that an eating flower mama?” That’s led to some wonderful interactions with friends and neighbors, especially when they’re in an older generation.
In a neighbors garden, she politely asked if she could eat the bee balm. The neighbor didn’t know that one was edible, and my little one showed her how to enjoy the petals.
The neighbor then took her on a tour of all the wild weeds in her garden that she used to harvest as a child.
She told her stories about harvesting jewelweed seed pods, that pop in your mouth as you eat them and taste like black walnuts. She let us sample her hosta flowers and showed us the best technique for eating daylily blossoms.
Edible seed pods of jewelweed, which taste like walnuts!
While flowers are an excellent place to start when you’re teaching the youngest foragers, it’s easy to quickly expand to more advanced crops.
Chanterelles began to pop out of the forest soil just after my daughter’s second birthday, and we went into the woods to harvest them together.
Foraging mushrooms with kids takes a bit more discussion, and it’s important to communicate that all mushrooms need to be cooked before you can eat them. Whether or not that’s strictly true is up for debate among mushrooms, but that simple rule allows for every last morsel to be checked over before it goes into a little one’s mouth.
I brought my newborn son in a backpack, and my daughter carried her favorite stuffed animal in a backpack too. I’d pause to teach her something, and she’d settle in to pass the lessons on to her stuffie. Here she is teaching her furry friend the finer points of chanterelle identification.
My baby girl and her first chanterelle find, just a bit after her 2nd birthday.
Once you’re ready to start introducing your kids to foraging, here are a few tips to get you started.
START WITH FAMILIAR PLANTS
When I say start with familiar plants, I mean start with plants that are a part of their everyday life.
If there’s a maple tree in the yard, try tapping it for syrup. Look for edible weeds in the lawn, that same lawn they run barefoot over all summer long. Things they see and experience every day will have more meaning than even the most exciting find 10 miles and a car ride away.
If they’ll put the time into picking the blossoms, there will be treats.
See the subtle bribe there? It’s all in the name of getting them outside and excited about nature (and foraging).
If you don’t have a lot in the yard, maybe it’s time to remedy that. Toss a handful of yarrow seeds here and there, or encourage forageable crops by converting a portion of the yard to more “wild” space.
Even if you’re in an apartment, there’s plenty of urban wild edibles to be found in sidewalk cracks and neighborhood parks.
An urban patch of yellow dock growing around a light pole. The seeds can be ground into flour and a tiny bit flavors some tasty cookies.
CHOOSE SWEET AND TENDER EDIBLES
For the most part, everyone gets excited about foraging in the spring as the new growth bursts from the earth anew. The problem is, most spring greens are bitter and not exciting to young palates.
Don’t try to force it! Once a kid learns that foraging is just an excuse to shove bitter dandelion greens at them they’re not going to be excited about the adventure.
Just as you’re expanding their horizons, you need to expand yours as well so that you’re guiding them towards sweet, tender, and kid-friendly edibles.
Linden buds are some of the sweetest greens around, and they bring a smile to my little one’s face with ease. While dandelion greens might not be a good choice, the flowers themselves are tasty if you use them to flavor kid-friendly treats like dandelion ice cream.
FORAGE FOR KNOWN FOODS (LIKE BERRIES)
When kids learn that the woods can be their grocery store, providing foods they’re familiar with already, that’s almost more exciting than learning to identify strange wild weeds. Edible wild berries are some of the absolute best choices when foraging with kids. Many are incredibly easy to identify, like wild raspberries.
When I led my 18-month-old son over near the raspberry patch, I didn’t have to tell him twice. He knew his favorite food when he saw it, and after I picked one off and put it in his hand it was like his whole world expanded right before my eyes.
To see the look on his face, you’d have thought I showed him an ice cream bush, not a wild raspberry. I can only imagine his thinking, realizing that raspberries just grow right out there for the taking. Simple things we take for granted are really magical when the whole world is new.
Once they know you’re showing them good stuff, kids are more liable to trust you when you try to introduce them to new exciting wild edibles.
MAKE FUN FORAGED TREATS
Beyond just tasting wild edibles in the field, the adventure can continue into the kitchen with kid-friendly edibles. Last spring we baked a Japanese knotweed pie, and the little ones couldn’t taste the difference between it and the rhubarb pies from the week before. Similarly, wild hawthorn lollypops were a huge hit.
While sweets are an obvious choice, you don’t have to pack on the sugar to make things kid-friendly. Think warm, savory comfort foods. Dice up some wild ramps into homemade mac and cheese, or make a warm and creamy chanterelle risotto.
Still, when all else fails, make ice cream out of it.
Really, you can make ice cream out of almost anything. We made chanterelle ice cream this summer, and months later when you ask my daughter what her favorite ice cream flavor is she’ll sill enthusiastically answer “Mushroom Ice Cream!”
DON’T UNDER ESTIMATE THEIR TASTE BUDS
I know, all I’ve been talking about thus far is making sure foraged foods are sweet, tender and kid-friendly.
That’s true… to a point.
Don’t let your adult bias keep you from sharing some more exotic flavors with your little ones. I try to use a bit of Huck Finn psychology whenever I can. While I’m not convincing them that panting a fence is the best thing ever, I am leading by example trying new things.
I made a big show of how tasty dandelion coffee is, and my little one couldn’t wait to try it.
It tastes an awful lot like coffee, bitterness included, but she drank her whole cup. Maybe it was the fact that she could have her own caffeine-free cup and share coffee time with mama, or maybe it was the excitement that she harvested, cleaned, and processed the roots herself…but the bitterness was no obstacle.
FORAGE IN KID FRIENDLY LOCATIONS
The adventurer in me wants to stop the car every time I see a patch of something tasty and exciting, but that’s just not an option with little ones.
I passed up a patch of wild asparagus because a narrow strip between railroad tracks and the highway is just not a good foraging spot period, let alone with kids. Alone, I’ll admit I’d be all over crawling down a ravine or foraging in other semi-hazardous locations.
I really rein in that impulse now that I’m foraging with kids.
More often than not, if we’re going to go out somewhere to forage I choose somewhere that’s stroller friendly. That allows for snack storage and is a bonus carrier in case we find a big patch of something exciting.
An old rail trail near our home is the perfect spot, and last summer we found all manner of wild berries, cattails, wild ginger, tinder polyspore mushrooms, and several dozen species of wild weeds.
You don’t have to go too far off the beaten path if you keep your eyes open…
LOOK FOR YEAR-ROUND FORAGING OPTIONS
You don’t have to tell me that pickings are slim in the wintertime.
Up here in Vermont, proper winter lasts about 5 months, with a crisp fall beforehand and at least a month of mud and stick season after. That said, if we limited our foraging to just the bright summer days, it’d be a very small part of our lives simply because so much of the year the world is covered in snow.
If you’re creative and really learn to watch the landscape, there’s quite a bit to harvest even in the dead of winter. Here’s a list of more than 50 things we’ve found to forage in winter, in a climate where temps dip to -25 part of the year.
One of the easiest to find, and most accessible options are rose hips which generally hold on the bushes all through winter. Staghorn sumac is another good choice, and it can be made into a lemonade-like drink (even in January).
Winter foraged rosehips are easy to spot, even in deep snow.
Lastly, in the winter and early spring, don’t forget about syrup!
There are nearly 30 trees that can be tapped for syrup, including maple, birch, ironwood, linden, and many more. Even if you don’t have maples nearby, there’s likely a way to make syrup where you are.
ONLY FORAGE PLANTS YOU’RE 100% SURE YOU CAN IDENTIFY
While this should go without saying, whether you’re foraging with kids or not, only eat plants you can positively identify.
If you’re not sure about something, say so. Kids need to know that even parents are cautious when it comes to identifying plants, and I’ll make a big show of collecting something that we can all go research when we get home.
We’ll sit down with the identification books together and go over the features of a particular plant piece by piece. It’s a good exercise for everyone, adults and kids alike.
DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN
I know this one maybe seems obvious when working with kids, but I’ll be honest that I struggle with it. I get focused on searching for a particular plant, or harvesting enough of something to make something really special…and I forget to make time for the simple joys.
A hat made out of moss from the forest floor or a game of tick tack toe on the back of a shirt using the sticky velcro from beechnut pods…really anything to bring play into the activity.
My little one at 2 1/2, very happy to be holding a big handful of beechnuts.
Kids are generally really good at finding the play in just about any activity, but that challenge as an adult is making that space for fun. Allowing for extra lingering when needed and remembering that making memories is just as important, if not more important, than harvesting dinner.
Foraging with kids can be a fun activity for everyone, and seeing the wonder in a child’s eyes when they learn a new plant renews my sense of wonder as an adult.
RESOURCES FOR FORAGING WITH KIDS
If you’re a beginning forager and excited to get into it with the whole family, I’d highly recommend any foraging books by Samuel Thayer. He began foraging very young, and many of the stories in his books are told through a child’s eyes, discovering a wild plant for the very first time.
We have a board game that’s targeted at the age group 4+ that’s also a fun way to stay engaged with plants and foraging in the winter. It’s called Wildcraft, and the illustrations and simple gameplay are just right for kids 4 to 12.
I’ve also found this online Botany and Wildcrafting Course by the Herbal Academy to be a great resource, and I’ve spent time working through it with my daughter on my lap.
The text is definitely written for adults, but the course material is vividly photographed to engage just about anyone. I’d read through it, while she was mesmerized by the pictures, and then go back and translate it to her level.
That said, when I was in junior high and high school I would have died for the chance to take this course, so it might be a good fit for older kids. For grade school kids, they also have a free course called introduction to herbs for kids that’s filled with games and worksheets targeted at early readers through middle school. It’s herbally focused, but there’s a good bit of foraging content in there too.
I just recently learned about a free online magazine called Wild Kids: Seasonal Nature Education for Kids and their Grown Ups. It’s full of all manner of outdoor education, with a heavy focus on foraging! I just subscribed, and I’m my little ones were really excited about not only the foraging pieces but the detailed wildlife tracking info too.
Anything to get them outside right in the thick of nature…
What have you foraged with your little ones? How was the experience? Leave me a note in the comments.
Hope just moved from Florida to Wyoming last fall. Her favorite place or spot has been on the beach for over 20 years. I was a little concerned about her finding a spot to just veg and cut loose.
I have read materials with all the medical and meta-physical reasons to find a sit spot and I can tell you that a spot that you just exhale and all your troubles become less troubling.
However, Hope is always unique in how she does things. She makes an exhale relaxing some of her tension.
Her second step is to exhaust the rest of her stress. She would spin, jump, swim, horseplay and just let go. She needs to cut loose, unwind, and rejuvenate - no rules or expectations- until she gets her joy back. Then she gets silly.
I told you this because everyone rejuvenates themselves differently. Being able to meditate doesn’t make you better than other people. If it rejuvenates YOU fine. But realize that it is not THE ONLY WAY to unwind and rejuvenate. So, when you read stuff like that comes across as condescending, realize and remember that you’re not the only one that doesn’t get it.
Hope had a doctor from Manahawkin NJ that showed her how to connect with the rhythm of the ocean by laying on the ground just above where the waves stopped. She could see the waves, hear the waves and then feel their rhythm in the sand. She could gather strength from them and feel connected to the earth’s rhythm on the beach. So be unique and proud that you know any routine that works for you and your children.
Kids that are truly hyper-active (in that, their mind races constantly and uncontrollably) may need to lay next to a loudspeaker or ride in the car to get them to relax and just veg. A lot of the time they might need a rhythmic noise and/or vibration to unwind. It is very mean spirited to expect someone to rejuvenate with the calmness it takes to meditate. Help them find their path to find a way that rejuvenates them.
My sister used to say that if Hope (as a toddler) was in a playful mood she would be spinning, humming, or skipping. Once she learned to swim, it was obviously something to add to her list. Rhythm and motion are what soothes her.
Know what soothes you in your happy place- and your heart will be lighter. How to find your sitting-spot
Enjoying nature, even in our own backyards, has proven to be healthy for anyone. One easy, straightforward routine you can do on a daily basis to gather some of these benefits is adopting a sit-spot or a happy place. As I mentioned, a sit-spot routine is a practice that naturalists use to learn more about the world around them. You might have other reasons for adopting the practice but following the advice of these experienced sit-spotters for selecting your location will help you create a routine you can stick to. Universally, naturalists agree there are three basic requirements for a good spot:
1. It should be close to your home — no more than a five-minute walk from your front door. Yes, it can even be in your backyard.
This close proximity is what will help make visiting your spot a routine. The longer it takes you to get to your spot, the less likely you will be to visit multiple times a week. And if you aren't visiting it regularly, then you can't tap into all those healthful benefits.
Birdwatching helps you to get to know the animals you're sharing space with.
2. It needs to have some animal activity or rhythm to watch
Most any location you choose will have at least a handful of robins or sparrows hanging around, if not more wildlife to watch. Notice the evidence of how they're using the landscape. This helps you tune in to more than just the scenery around you but also to the fact that you're part of a larger ecosystem. It inspires the connection — the awe — that triggers so many other wonderful benefits of nature. I find the sounds of a bee buzzing very alerting, but the basic sounds of nature are great.
3. It needs to be safe.
Ideally, your sit-spot will be secluded so that you can have some solitary time to sit in peace and get comfortable without distraction or influence from other people. But in this solitude, you must feel safe. Pay attention to the area around you and the area leading into and away from your sit-spot. If any red flags go up that make you feel unsafe, select a different location.
There are ideal sit-spot locations that wrap you entirely in nature for hundreds of yards, and there are practical sit-spot locations like a bench in the corner of a city park. It's more important to have a practical location than an ideal one. Maximize what you have around you to make any amount of outdoor time part of your daily or weekly routine.
Some suggestions for what to do at your sit-spot
Journaling is a great way to keep your mind absorbed by nature, rather than wandering back to your to-do list.
Turn off your phone. No really. Turn it off. There are infinite ways it distracts you even if it's tucked away in a bag. The urge to check the time, look up something online, respond to that text you just remembered, take a quick photo, or, groan of groans, livestream your sit-spot experience on social media. However, as much as it pains you, turn off your phone. You'll be happier for it.
Write notes, take a photo, or sketch things that spark your curiosity. It's wonderful to just sit and absorb what's around you, but it's not against any rules to keep your hands busy. This is especially helpful if you're feeling fidgety as you start this routine.
Bring a notebook and jot down observations, such as bird behaviors, the shape of a plant leaf, new buds emerging on the trees, the angle of light at that time of day or the direction of the wind in that moment. Anything that comes to mind about the nature around you is fodder for a notebook entry, and you can use those details to look up more information when you get home.
Notice your senses. Make a point of tuning in to your field of vision and what you see in your periphery. Actively listen to sounds around you. Take a few deep breaths and notice what you smell. Check in with your body and notice the temperatures and textures of where you're sitting. This helps pull your brain even further into the moment and awareness of the wild around you.
Get comfortable in your sit-spot. You can bring a cushion to sit on, a thermos of tea or other things that will help you settle in to sitting. (Photo: Crazy Squirrel/Shutterstock)
Stay for as long as it takes for the desired result. Build your ability to stay just a little bit longer each time. Remember: it’s not a duty, it’s all about pleasure. In the beautiful Disney movie of Pocahontas when she is talking to Grandma Willow, she is welcomed by the forest and becomes one with nature. She is comfortable. Pocahontas talks to the tree as if it is her grandmother. She bears her soul and leaves the forest feeling like she sees what path to take more clearly. It’s all symbolism and is metaphoric of meditation. And it is not much different than putting flowers on a gravestone or visiting a grave and talking to our loved ones that have passed on.
As long as you feel relieved by your own routine then stick to it. You're good. However, the forest produces an oxygen rich environment and there are many health benefits. So, it’s a great place to spin off your energy, cut loose or relax and let the oxygen rich air lull you to a more peaceful place emotionally. As long as you feel relieved, you're golden!
Some set a goal for how long to sit. It might only take a few minutes to arrive at and return from your sit-spot, so maybe you can try for at least 15 minutes in the spot itself. Even if you think you're immensely busy that day, and there's no way you have time for a sit-spot, in actuality you probably do have the time. You'll be surprised at how quickly that time goes by and how much you can observe — and how much you can relax — in just 15 minutes of sitting in nature. If you enjoy nature, you can stay longer if you want.
It may take some time to select just the right sit-spot and build the habit of visiting. But once that initial effort is invested, you'll begin to notice how much you crave a few peaceful moments in your sit-spot and how much you learn about nature right there next to you. You'll start to reap the healthy rewards of bringing nature back into your life.
Favorite Spot Ideas for Busy Kids
by Anneke Treep
If you are like me or even Hopey, sitting still can be a real challenge.
In the springtime everything in nature is bursting with energy, changing, and moving about. So much so, that many creatures aren’t even paying much attention to others as they go about their mating rituals, territorial fights, or nesting duties. There are so many opportunities to watch nature in action. And the forest is different everyday even if you go to the same spot. In many places the ground cover and leaves are not big enough to hide all this from view, so I want to find a spot to just watch!
So how do you get yourself to sit still? Maybe you can go for a run, chop wood or burn energy some other way first, so you feel like resting for a bit.
Bring whatever you need to sit comfortably (especially if you’re new to the Sit Spot routine). If you’re not comfortable, consider what you might want to bring or change in order to feel better next time. Remember: the challenge is not intended to be an exercise in suffering or mastering body control in all kinds of weather (although you can make it that if you so wish).
Make your own “nest” fort, or secret hideout there, perhaps with a fireplace, a backrest, or a windscreen. Rekindle your bow-drill skills for a fire at your Sit Spot, use those trimmed branches to make yourself more comfortable. Gather some early edibles to nibble on while you sit. Bring materials for making cordage—with your hands busy you’ll appear less threatening to many creatures around.
Another thing that might help you sit still is to choose a place (and time) where lots of activity is going on. A rippling brook might be just what you need. A pond may be bursting with life, like mating frogs croaking, dragonflies or a pair of birds may be flying back and forth with nesting material. If you can’t get up early every day, make sure that you arrange for at least some days to enjoy the explosion of song in the morning chorus, and see if you can get a friend or family member who has never experienced that before to sit at the same time, so you can later share your experiences.
Start with bigger bouts of movement as you unwind in a twirling dance to the rhythm of the woods, start tuning in to smaller patterns around you, like foraging ants, bumblebee queens making nests, or the different ways in which plants and trees move with the wind. Watch the clouds, feel the wind, and smell blossoms. When you have a pair of birds around, and you cannot tell them apart by sight, try to identify the individuals by their calls? If you find yourself thinking about this and that, slowly drift back to your senses.
Over the course of a couple of days, see how the buds develop, notice where the sun rises and sets, where the moon is at a certain time, and how you feel inside. Look at your own patterns: what kinds of things catch your attention, what senses do you prefer to engage? Do you find yourself focusing on birds rather than trees? Then see in what kinds of trees and shrubs the birds like to inhabit. Do they feel more comfortable in thickets or more open crowns? Listen with a blindfold on or taste edible plants you’ve never tried before.
When you’re looking at the moon, can you imagine where your fellow student across the ocean sees it at that very same time? When migrating birds are passing through, where have they come from? Might they have seen any of your friends? And where are they traveling to? If you have a friend there, might they be able to carry your greetings along with them?
So here I am. And now I want to talk about plants. And how we can use their magic every day.
You know I love essential oils, but lately I have expanded my understanding so much.
I thought the best way to demonstrate what an impact these oils have had on our life would be to show you how we use them every single day. I found all the information out there overwhelming for a long time so I really want to make it simple and just talk about what I personally am doing and show you how it’s really not that hard to use natural products to support your health and well-being. I honestly think they are something everyone can benefit from.
We all know that lavender is calming and helps us sleep. Our grandmothers applied tea tree to our cuts and grazes. We’re told to drink lemon water in the morning to kickstart our metabolism. We sip peppermint tea to help digestion. Oh, but there’s so much more.
Did you know that frankincence isn’t just some ancient incense they gave to Jesus, but something you can use to balance your mood and reduce tension?
What about that clove is nature’s most powerful antioxidant and it’s super supportive to your immune system?
Did you know that orange makes your house smell divine but also purifies the air at the same time?
I could go on.
How do they do all these things? Because essential oils are like the immune system of a plant. They are aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants that help protect them from threats, and heal from injury. And we can use them too!
Here’s how we take advantage of mother nature’s power, every day…
(Note: the oils and blends I talk about are doTERRA brand. I am only comfortable using the highest quality oils. These are the ones I love and have chosen to align myself with as I have had such a positive experience with them and am super happy with the company. You can read more about that here.)
I’m not a coffee drinker so if I need a pick me up in the morning, the oils are what I reach for. If I’m finding it hard to get going it’s some peppermint and wild orange for me. Sometimes I just smell it straight out of the bottle. For tough cases I use it topically. You know the smell of peppermint right? Imagine the most pure and concentrated peppermint and how uplifting and energising that feels! That would wake anyone up. Paired with wild orange it’s just perfection.
I do the same if I feel my energy waning mid-afternoon too.
For my skin…
Removing toxins from my life is really super important to me. I think we ditched most things about 5 years ago, but I didn’t really have anything I loved to replace them with. I feel like adding essential oils to my homemade skincare products has super charged them and my skin has never felt this good.
Oil cleansing is amazing guys. If you have never tried it, now is the time. Here’s what you need to do…
Make up a mix of oils for your skin. I use organic olive oil, organic castor oil, and rosehip oil. You might have to play with the ratios to find what’s best for your skin type. I also add some lavender, frankincense, and ylang ylang to mine. These oils are really soothing, reduce the appearance of skin imperfections, fight signs of ageing, and encourage cell renewal. I keep my little mix in a jar in the bathroom and use it before a shower.
1. Massage into skin for at least a minute. 2. Put a cloth under hot water and then ring out a little and put over your face. The steam removes the oil and impurities. Leave it on for a minute or until it cools. Repeat if needed. 3. Some oil will be left but that’s ok, it’s just like a moisturizer.
If my skin needs some extra moisturising I use either jojoba or rosehip oil, and again add frankincense and lavender for extra goodness.
Yep, I still get them sometimes. I have a blend made up with some oils that are awesome for blemishes, diluted with fractionated coconut oil. My favourites are Tea Tree, Lavender, and Juniper Berry.
I’m so glad more and more people are becoming aware of how toxic perfume is and are ditching it! It’s full of chemicals that are linked to hormonal disruptions, skin irritation, respiratory problems, cancer, allergies, and other scary things. How bad is it not only for our health but that of our children breathing it in every day? Fragrance is the new second hand smoke.
Instead, I use oils. I love that I have so many options available. I tend to intuitively pick some for the day, and apply diluted with fractionated coconut oil. Often I then like to look up the emotional properties of the oils I’ve chosen and see how they relate to how I’m feeling, often with really interesting findings! My favourites right now are frankincense and bergamot together. Frankincense is the oil of truth and bergamot is the oil of self-acceptance.
Setting the mood
One of my favourite ways to use oils is to diffuse them to kind of ‘set the mood’ of the house. In the morning I like to put on something energising and uplifting like citrus oils. If people need a bit of calming during the day I’ll reach for a calming blend.
While I’m typing this I have some oils for focus and motivation diffusing so I don’t get too distracted checking facebook, ha!
Just like my skin care products, we’ve also removed all toxic cleaners from our home. I feel so much better knowing we’re reducing the amount of chemicals that we are coming into contact with. Making your own cleaners is super easy. You can replace surface sprays, bathroom cleaners, mold spray, glass cleaner, washing powder, dishwashing powder, air freshener, everything!
For example my surface spray is just 50/50 water and vinegar with 5-10 drops each of On Guard, Citrus Bliss, Lemon, and Tea Tree. A lot of these oils have antibacterial properties and they actually work! Plus, they’re more cost effective in the long run and you always have the supplies available to make more when needed.
Obviously oils don’t replace conventional medicine but what I love is that I now have natural alternatives readily available to reach for when I need them. When it’s not something serious, I’d much prefer to try something natural first. For the kids one of the favourites is our little ‘ouchie’ roller bottle. It’s a blend of lavender, tea tree, and frankincense, diluted with fractionated coconut oil and they just roll that on any cuts, scrapes, or bites.
We have natural and effective options for boosting immune systems when sick, respiratory support, upset tummies, balancing hormones, and more.
For me, a blend of lavender, lemon, tea tree, and peppermint, is really effective for my seasonal allergies. Hubby gets a lot of use from some blends for sore muscles and joints.
I find the oils very emotionally supportive and I often use them if I am feeling anxious or easily frustrated and impatient. My favourites are the Balance blend (for grounding and calming), frankincense, bergamot, ylang ylang, Peace, copaiba, and lavender. I choose whichever suits that day and use them topically on the back of my neck and chest and then take a few deep breaths with my hands cupped over my nose. I find it really calming for me.
When it comes to the evening I like to diffuse some oils that will help us all wind down and get ready for rest. Lavender and frankincense together is my go-to. If people are having trouble I’ll add vetiver to the mix. If someone has been having nightmares, I find juniper berry helpful as well. Sometimes the girls like to roll a blend of sleepy oils on before bed if they feel they need it.
Here’s the thing…
A little disclaimer. I only recommend doTERRA essential oils as I know they are so incredibly strict with their quality standards. I do not recommend using lesser quality oils that may contain other synthetics, chemicals, and fragrances. I certainly would never add them to food or put them on my skin. Ethical sourcing is also important to me. You can read more about doTERRA’s quality and sourcing here, as well as more information on getting started with the oils.
If you want to experience the oily goodness too, read on!
I’d love to be your supporter! I believe in them so much that I decided to share and help other people to convert to natural options to support their family’s health too. I only share things I believe in and spend my own money on.
Honestly, without the support I have received my oils would probably still be sitting gathering dust on a shelf and I wouldn’t be aware of all the potential. I’m so grateful I had a supportive community to guide me and I would love to be that for you too. If you have more questions or want to chat with me about your needs, just send me a message here.
My top recommendation is always to start with a Home Essentials kit. There’s a reason it’s called that. You get the top 10 oils that every home should have, regardless or wants or needs. Oils for physical support, emotional support, environmental support, and spiritual support. All of the oils also have multiple uses, and you get a free diffuser. It’s the perfect and most cost-effective way to start.
Peppermint: Cools body temperature, energising, settles upset tummies, clear breathing. Lemon: Detoxifying, toxin free cleaning, purifies air, improves focus. Lavender: Calming, soothes irritated skin, restful sleep. Oregano: Immune support, removes warts, antioxidant. Tea Tree: Cuts and bites, blemishes, seasonal threats. Frankincense: Fights inflammation, anti-ageing, promotes cellular health and regeneration. Easy Air: Respiratory blend, clears airways, energising. Ice Blue: Muscle and joint pain, use before and after exercise. OnGuard: Protective blend – wards off bacteria, protects the immune system and loads the body with antioxidants. DigestZen: Digestive blend – promotes healthy digestzen, settles heartburn, bloatedness, cramping and nausea.
-Online account to order what you want, when you want, with no further committments. -Wholesale prices (25% off everything) -Loads of information at your fingertips -Individual Wellness Consult -Members only website -Private support group -Online courses -Beginner email series
You can check out the prices for your country below.
If you’d like to open a wholesale account and get access to all that today, just follow the instructions HERE! I’m so excited to have you join what I’m calling Team Happiness! Here’s to proactive health, ditching toxins, smelling yummy, and feeling good. I’m so glad you’re going to be a part of that with me.