Video: My Top 5 Favorite Essential Oil Books (non-company specific)

I love essential oils and I love essential oil books even more!  I have close to 25 different books from a variety of authors and perspectives on aromatherapy.  Many of the books I have are specific to the brand of oils that I use, but the majority are not!  Today I’m sharing my 5 favorite non-company specific essential oil books with you!

Top 5 Essential Oil Books

I’m showing my non-company specific favorites because I really believe that there is good information out there that comes from a variety of sources.  I am a firm believer in both trusting and verifying my sources, so I try to pick high quality and qualified reference authors and compare their perspectives to find where I feel comfortable.

So here are my five favorite non-company specific essential oil and aromatherapy books:

So those are my favorite go-to guides!

Do you have any favorite essential oil or aromatherapy books?  Leave your non-company specific titles in the comments!

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Spotlight on Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense: The Oil of Kings

Long known as the “oil of kings”, Frankincense essential oil (or “Frank” as I affectionately call it) has been a coveted essential oil for thousands of years.

Frankincense is a holy oil in many religions and is often used in ceremonies and special rites, and is even used today to help focus during times of prayer and meditation.
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Types of Frankincense

Young Living sells three different species of Frankincense essential oil:  Boswellia carterii, Boswellia sacra, and Boswellia frereana.

The one I’m talking about with you here today is Boswellia carterii.  Generally when I talk about Frankincense on this site, this is the species that I am talking about.  This is my all around go-to Frankincense, even though I own both other species as well.


Frankincense has a woodsy and spicy scent, fairly exotic and warm.  I enjoy diffusing it with citrus oils like orange or tangerine to create a warm and inviting environment for having guests.  It also pairs very well with Lavender or Clary Sage for relaxation and rest.  I also diffuse it by itself for times of focus and spiritual thought.

Body Systems Frankincense Supports*:

Skin and Hair:  Frankincense is an exotic and helpful addition to natural skin care products.  I often will apply to my face for a glowing and even complexion.  I use an essential oil infused skin moisturizer already, but will often add a little extra Frankincense to help soothe my skin and support an even skin-tone*.

Immune System:  Whenever I want to support my immune system*, I will apply Frankincense topically or diffuse in the room where I am spending the most time.  I will often apply it on my foot VitaFlex points as well.

Respiratory System:  Frankincense also can help support the respiratory system.*  I enjoy applying it to my chest and neck for a soothing moment of relaxation.

Spiritual Health: Because of its long, rich religious history, Frankincense can promote spiritual focus during times of prayer or meditation.  I enjoy putting a few drops on my palms and then cupping my hands over my nose and mouth to breathe deeply before times of prayer.  It is also very focusing for times when I need to calm myself and soothe nervous energy*.

Where to get Frankincense Essential Oil?

The brand I recommend is Young Living Essential Oils.  Frankincense essential oil is available as part of the Premium Starter Kit with Everyday Essential Oils, a super deal that saves you a lot of money on all the oils you will want to get a great start (and it earns you a 24% on all your future purchases!).

*The FDA has not reviewed this information.  This product is not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.
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15 Chores that Take Under 5 Minutes

I am still a work in progress, my houses is getting cleaner and more organized as I go, but I am certainly not a perfect housekeeper yet!  I keep trying to incorporate more of the 1 minute chores into my daily routine, and as I do I’m finding that things are staying much nicer overall.  As I get more of these down I started to think beyond the shortest chores and see whether there were other things that I could do, but wouldn’t chain me to a mop all afternoon.

Enter 15 chores that will take you less than 5 minutes.

15 Chores that take under 5 Minutes

I think you’re going to love them, and that they don’t take you as long as you might think is really freeing.  Anyone’s got five minutes, right?

I actually find that one of the best times to knock out a few 5 minute chores is when I am on the phone with a friend.  After all, I can go grab the dishes that may have escaped my kitchen or wipe down my table without interrupting a good chat, right?

Good, I’m glad you see it my way!

So check out these 15 Chores that you can do in under 5 minutes each:

  • Put away folded laundry.
  • Empty and put away clean dishes from the dishwasher.
  • Hand wash the dishes from one breakfast or lunch.
  • Clear table of dishes and wipe the table clean.
  • Sweep kitchen and clean up crumbs.
  • Scrub down toilet bowl and wipe toilet surfaces.
  • Take out the trash and replace with a new trash bag.
  • Vacuum a room with an uncluttered floor.
  • Scrub a bathtub.
  • Clean a shelf in the fridge.
  • Quickly mop a bathroom floor.
  • Find dishes around the house and return them to the kitchen.
  • Remove appliances currently in use from counters and put away.
  • Clear off one surface, throwing away all trash and filing any papers that must be kept.
  • Do a quick put away in any room: return out of place items to their appropriate place.

 Download the PDF Printable of the 15 Chores under 5 Minutes

I hope that this list will help you to be able to add a few more chores back into your routine without feeling overwhelmed.  We will just keep taking 1 and 5 minute chunks out of the whole and our homes will get easier to manage bit by bit!

What other chores would you add to this list?  Any other chores that take you less than 5 minutes to do?

15 Chores that take under 5 minutes pinterest

A Guilt Free Tip to Tame the Dirty Dish Monster

I recently asked the Essential Family Facebook community what chore you would give up if you could pick one to never do again.  My pick AND the overwhelming answer I got was DISHES!

Over the years with our family on food allergy friendly, whole foods, mostly homemade diet I have grown to hate washing dishes.  Since almost everything our family eats is completely made at home, the dishes pile up in the sink, and on the counters, and any other flat kitchen surface FAST!

Dirty Dish Monster for FB

The dishes have been a struggle for me my entire adult life.  It got so bad after the birth of my youngest child that I felt ashamed to have house guests because the kitchen was always so perpetually behind.  I wondered if my mother or sister-in-law was silently judging me for being a poor housekeeper or thought that I should be less lazy or try a bit harder. The truth was, I was exhausted by the amount of dishes that I had to manage and almost always left at least an entire sink full to deal with the next day.

I am in a season of massive de-cluttering right now, and have really been re-assessing my priorities and what I really want out of my home.  As I have moved more and more things out of the house I have started to experience an increasing sense of peace as I let go of things that I had thought I needed.  When I really made myself answer “When was the last time I used this?” I realized that I had a LOT of things that I hadn’t used in a very long time, or that was a uni-tasker that I rarely needed.

Then I came across the idea to drastically reduce my dish load.  My biggest problem it seemed was that I kept piling dishes into my sink and my counter because I always had more to use without washing everything else.  So my dirty dishes sat there longer and longer, crusting up and becoming hard to clean.  Not good.

My experiment started by reducing the amount of dishes in my cabinet to only one plate or bowl of each size per person in my family.  Since we have four people, that meant only four plates, four bowls, and four mugs.  I decided to pick the dishes I liked the most so that any time I was using them it was my absolute favorites and so I’d get the most enjoyment out of them.  I want to wash my pretty dishes so that I can use them again!

It has made a DRAMATIC difference in how I do dishes.  I have only four plates, so they have to get washed right away.  Thankfully washing four plates, four forks, four spoons and four cups is really very fast.  That means that my sink is much easier clean between meals, and even if I slack off and don’t wash them after the meal, it is only a few dishes to wash before the next meal.  No more massive piles, no more dread and guilt when I walk into my kitchen.  Having only just enough handy helps to cultivate habits that make life more peaceful and easy to keep up with.

Honestly, I think a lot of messiness comes from having too many things to arrange, organize or keep up with so paring down the “options” has made it easier to keep the dishes done.

I’m even considering downsizing the amount of pots and pans I have as well.  That way I won’t have as hard of a time digging through cabinets for cookware and I’ll have less to let pile up along with the dishes.

I can hear you thinking though, “What about having people over?” I am so glad you asked!  We didn’t toss the extra dishes, we just put them in an out of the way cabinet.  They are just enough out of the way to be inconvenient to get when I need a clean dish, but still handy enough to have available for when we entertain.

It has really provided a lot of peace of mind.  Even though I know that I am still technically doing the same amount of dishes overall, being forced to break up the washing into smaller, more bite-sized chunks makes it not as overwhelming and makes it easy enough to knock out in five minutes.  Being able to see quick results is so much better than having to slog through 45 minutes of dishes to be able to see the counter!

And all by putting away some dishes.

How about you?  Have you found a way to make managing your dishes easier?  Please share with me in the comments!

Dirty Dish Monster for Pinterest

20 Chores that Only Take ONE Minute!

I am a recovering messy housekeeper!  And by recovering I mean I have to work at it every day to make sure that I don’t fall behind.   I used to tell myself I’d do better when I was a stay at home mom, then I told myself I’d do better when my kids were a bit older, but I never actually got better at keeping my house pulled together.  I never could find a way to break out of the cycle of guilt and binge cleaning.

I was reading a book for business development called The Compound Effect and that is when I had my “a ha” moment.  For all those years I felt completely beat down because no matter how hard I tried to keep up I always ended up burning out after a couple of days.  I would go on these huge cleaning binges, and at the end of them I was so tired out that I just knew that I could never keep up with it long-term.

20 Chores that take 1 minute fb image

Thankfully, what I learned from the book was so much more than a business idea, it was a whole life principle.  The general gist of it is that the way that we make progress towards any goal is more about cumulative effect of repeated, consistent small efforts, and less about sporadic large bursts of activity.

That got me thinking, “What if I could break up household chores into smaller pieces that wouldn’t be so overwhelming.”  Something about thinking “I need to clean up my house” sounds so much more overwhelming than remembering a few small tasks and committing to do them regularly.

That was my missing link.  So I started to map out the tasks that I needed to do around the house and the amount of time it took me to do them.  What I found SHOCKED me!

Most of the household chores that I dreaded the most took less time to do than it took me to worry about them.  I was amazed by how many formerly intimidating tasks took less than a minute.

So here is a list of 20 household chores that should take a minute or less.

Will you join the challenge and try incorporating some of these into your routine?  Over time, the small effort could yield a larger cumulative effect!

  1. Load dirty clothes into the clothes washer and switch a load to the dryer.
  2. Wipe down the shower walls after a shower (helps keep water spots, soap scum, and mildew to a minimum).
  3. Wipe down the bathroom sink.
  4. Wipe down the kitchen or bathroom counters.
  5. Sort mail, throw away junk, and file mail to follow up with later.
  6. Clean off one surface that collects clutter.
  7. Straighten a shelf or two on a bookshelf.
  8. Take meat out of the freezer to that for dinner.
  9. Decide what’s for dinner and post it on your fridge so you have a plan for the evening.
  10. Make the bed.
  11. Water houseplants.
  12. Change hand towels in the bathroom and kitchen.
  13. Wipe out and clean the kitchen sink.
  14. Clean the stove top and front.
  15. Lay out clothes for the morning.
  16. Re-fill ice cube trays.
  17. Re-fill soap dispensers.
  18. Re-stock toilet paper in bathrooms.
  19. Clean a mirror.
  20. Clear dishes from the table and quickly wipe down.

Download The PDF of these 20 Chores HERE

Being able to visualize some of the daily tasks as such small time takers was a huge mental shift for me.  Instead of being overwhelmed by all the things that I had to do, I could see that I could easily knock out a few 1 minute tasks and start to see a big difference.  As I got used to performing those tasks I added a few more.  Now it is much easier to keep up.

I still have times when I get behind, but when I do, I know that it will take these small steps to get back on track, and it is not too hard to do.

What 1 minute tasks would you add to this list?  Please share in the comments!

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When Mother’s Day is Hard

It’s the day before Mother’s Day and it is snowing. There is just something wrong with that, with the idea that snow should disrupt one of the beautiful days of spring. The cold, damp weight of winter shouldn’t be allowed to interrupt the warm hope and promise of spring, but life doesn’t always consider these things. Sometimes snow comes on Mother’s Day. Sometimes snow comes on Mother’s Day two years in a row.

Sometimes the snow isn’t literal, but a snow of the heart and of the soul.

When Mother's Day is Hard

I remember celebrating Mother’s Day as a child. I brought home decorated Styrofoam cup dolls, colored macaroni picture artwork, and hand drawn cards. They were horribly unartistic, but offered with all the love of a child who adores her mother. I saw my mother’s gentle smile and appreciative glance when my brother and I brought home a white plastic bowl filled with grocery store fruit as a gift from her teenagers who couldn’t quite figure out what to buy for their mother. Mother’s Day was magical.

As a young woman I looked forward to the day when I could celebrate the day as the mother and not only the child. It was my deepest wish to be a mother, and as soon as possible.

My husband and I didn’t start our family until we were married for several years. Like many young couples we thought that the smartest thing to do would to be to spend some time “getting to know each other” before we complicated matters by adding a small, very time-consuming person to the mix. We never considered that there would be anything other than simplicity in bringing a child into the world, and thought that we could add to our family when we were ready. The promise of Mother’s Days to come were just something that would happen for us, and on our schedule.

I remember being 16 weeks pregnant with my first child, dreaming of the future and the person our child would become. I was entertaining myself with imagined gifts of dandelions and sloppy PB&J kisses. I thought about the moments we would share, the quiet moments we would have, and yes, even the times when I’d cool a fevered brow, or hold back hair for my sick child.

One evening, on a date for our wedding anniversary, my hope of a Mother’s Day to remember were dashed. I lost that little baby at 16 weeks of pregnancy, but I didn’t lose the love, the desire, or the hope for future memories.  Those are never lost, even when the child they rested on is.

A few months later, baby #2 followed baby #1 to heaven and I was left, again, with empty arms.

I remember the morning like it was yesterday.

Mother’s Day morning, 2008.

My babies were dead, my arms and my womb and my heart were empty, and I desperately wanted to know if I was a mother. I wanted to know more than anything if I could celebrate my motherhood even if my children lived somewhere beyond my reach.

I silently dressed, moving through the rituals of getting ready for church, my mind consumed with the thought.

Am I a mother?

I AM a mother!

People won’t think it counts.

How do I manage this?

I went back and forth through my thoughts, alternately justifying and berating myself for something that was 100% out of my control. I felt consumed with what others would think of me if I appeared sad.

Every Mother’s Day our church presented a token gift to mothers. The children of the church picked up flowers from the front of the auditorium, and the pastor asked all mothers to stand. The children walked through the auditorium and gave the flowers to the standing ladies. It was meant to be nice, to be affirming, but I felt ashamed, confused, and deflated by where I fit in.

Should I stand?

What would people think if I stood with no pregnant belly, no baby carrier, or no diaper bag by my side?

Honestly, I don’t even remember if I stood that day 7 years ago. I am fairly sure that I went and used the bathroom and silently cried instead.

What I do know is, it was horrible.

Since then I’ve had the blessing of speaking with many precious women:  women who struggle with infertility, women who have babies in heaven, women with empty arms. Mother’s Day is hard for many of us. For some there are no macaroni masterpieces, no sticky kisses, no precious moments.

For others children have come after time and the pain eases but never fades completely.

Every Mother’s Day I remember ALL my children, the ones who I hold, who climb into my bed in the middle of the night, who give me tremendous joy, and the ones who I never held.

For me, I have six children. Two who I love and cherish every day that they’re here in my arms, and four who I love and cherish in the hope of a time when I’ll meet them in the hereafter.

For you mommies without biological children, Happy Mother’s Day!

Whether your womb has held a child for a day or full term, whether your arms are empty or full, you are a mother! If you are struggling with infertility or miscarriage today, I want to tell you something very intently. I desperately need you to hear me.

You are a mother!

Motherhood is more than the physical act of conception and birth. It’s more than the physical care of a child. Motherhood is a calling in your heart. Even if you aren’t able to mother your own children, you are a mother to someone; to those who you gather to your heart, who you nurture and protect, you are their mother.

For those who may have never experienced infertility or pregnancy loss, please be kind to those who have. Look out for these hurting mommies. Recognize their motherhood this Mother’s Day. Give them a hug, a reassuring squeeze, a “Happy Mother’s Day”.

Let them know you care.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Have you experienced the loss of a child?  Please let us remember and recognize your children, please tell us about your family in the comments!

P.S. Please share this with a hurting mommy this Mother’s Day!

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DIY All Natural Spa Basket for Mom!

Looking for some fun DIY make at home gifts for mom this Mother’s Day?

Or are you a mom like me with kids too small to make these for you?

I give you permission to make them for yourself! You deserve it! (I’ll be making some for myself too! After all, us moms work hard, we deserve a little pampering!)

Mother's Day FB Graphic

There are a bunch of fun projects to make: scented foaming hand soap, linen spray, a skin sloughing sugar scrub, creamy body butter, soothing bath salts, and a cleansing and pampering body wash!

I’d love to hear which ones you try!


Download the PDF to print the recipes!

Where can you find the different supplies you will need?

Most of the glassware can be found at a local health food store, or you can check for an online source. (I pretty much buy most of my harder to find items online, basically because our shopping options are very limited where we live!)

You can also get some of the other items like Epsom salts, vitamin E oil, and the shea butter at a health food store if you have one nearby!

So go ahead and enjoy these all natural bath and body products for mom!  They smell great, and they’ll make mom feel as great is she is!
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When Life Feels Too Hard to Keep Going

I met Diane when I was in elementary school.  She was a fairly unremarkable figure in my life, then she was just the mother of one of my classmates.  Even though I would see her often through the 12 years of my schooling, she was always just one of the other kids’ moms.  That was until she became the compassionate angel who helped me see how to move forward.

When Life feels too hard

Adulthood has been a rude awakening for me.  I don’t know if it has been for you.  I grew up in a home that was blessedly stable.  My parents worked very hard to make sure that we were well taken care of and were fairly insulated from the challenges that were going on behind the scenes.

Despite that it wasn’t easy for them, I developed a very childish idea of how my life would turn out that left me with a truckload of misconceptions about what was normal.

The only people who died in our family were very old (seemed understandable).  Everyone in our close family owned their own home (I didn’t see how many times those homes were almost lost).  Both of my parents were faithfully employed in jobs that they felt had meaning for them, and provided financially for our family (I didn’t notice the sacrifices).

My childhood perception of life was never hard, or painful, or grindingly sad.  When I envisioned my adult life, I saw something like what my parents had, a life where hard work had consistent benefits, one filled with love and as much family as I could want.

I also had certain life expectations: minimal pain (maybe an annoyance here and there but nothing too dramatic), a stable financial progression to the “good life”, and an unshakable faith in God and His plan for me (but of course it wouldn’t stretch me).

I didn’t expect a car accident to leave me with a lifetime reminder of physical pain.

I didn’t see how hard it would be to come within a breath of losing a home to foreclosure, only to short sell it just in time.

I never imagined the life changing impact of an auto-immune disease that started to change my health in my early twenties.

I never realized the sacrifice of the long hours my husband would have to work away from my family for years on end to just keep the lights on and me at home with our children.

No one in our family had lost a child, so the concept that I would have anything other than multiple uncomplicated pregnancies was completely out of my understanding.  Things like that didn’t happen to people like me.

From the outside it all looked so…simple.

Simple, and neat.  All wrapped up in a perfect little package.

It was just a few months ago, and I had just experienced my fourth miscarriage.  That’s when Diane became more than a classmate’s mom to me.

You see, to the outside I was being brave, and to anyone who read the blog or saw my Facebook posts, I looked like I was handling it amazingly well.

I was handling it fairly well, but inside I just felt empty.  I didn’t know what to do.  Everything seemed too hard to understand.  There were no easy answers and every thought seemed like a dead-end.

I remember I was still in bed that morning, posting from my phone when Diane reached out to me.  I posted asking for encouragement (something I don’t often do) and she shared some advice with me that a friend had given her when she was going through a hard time.

She said: “Just do the right thing.”

That phrase was profound and almost too simple all at the same time.

She told me the right thing is to get out of bed.

The right thing is to eat.

The right thing is being kind to yourself.

That advice has changed me.

I still have bad days.  I think anyone who has gone through loss does.

Now I tell myself to get up and do the next right thing.  Get up.  Get dressed.  Hug my kids.  Eat some breakfast.  Do some laundry.  Take a walk.  Just do the next right thing.

Some days I just go from one “next right thing” to another just to survive it, but at the end of the day I have overcome the day instead of letting it overcome me.  Thank you for this, Diane.

I had the blessing of being able to take a couple of weeks to spend with my family in my hometown shortly afterwards.  During that trip we made a brief road trip to visit my new nephew (he’s pretty amazing, by the way).

I got to ride for a few hours with my younger brother who has a deep love for God and for people.  He always knows how to cut through a conversation to the heart of the matter.  He listened patiently and compassionately to me as I shared what had happened and the deep hurts that still were raw in my soul.

He is a man of few words, and instead of trying to fix it, he shared some music he had on his phone.

This was one of the songs, and as I sat in his front seat silently crying, Diane’s words came back to me.

So today I want to urge you, no matter how bad your situation is, no matter how strong you feel you have to be, just do the next right thing.

I’ll be doing it right along with you. 

Getting out of bed.

Getting dressed.

Eating food.

Taking baby steps towards healing.

So when you just don’t know what to do or how to move forward, just take the next right step my friend.

Just one more step.

P.S.  Thank you for sharing your hearts with me in the comments.  I would love to hear what your next right steps have been, and pray for you as you walk through your challenges.  Would you please share them with me?  I greatly value you!

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Using Essential Oils with Kids? Don’t Make These Mistakes!

Using essential oils with kids? Don’t make these mistakes!

There seem to be  two sides to the equation of using essential oils with children.  On one hand, you have some parents who are so afraid of essential oils that they won’t even consider using them on or around their children.  At the opposite extreme, you have parents who will use anything on their child, without considering whether the method or oil they are using are right or safe for their child. using essential oils with kids I believe that there is a balance between those two extremes, a place where well-informed parents can be confident that their essential oil choices are safe and effective.  There is no reason for someone who is well-informed to be afraid. On the other hand, I strongly implore parents, do not make health choices of any type for your children based entirely on the experiences of a friend, word of mouth, or internet searches.  That is just not safe! So let’s talk about some of the mistakes that parents on both sides of the spectrum make and how we can find balance in the middle.  It’s certainly not an exhaustive list, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments at the end.

Mistake #1:  Reading essential oil horror stories online and not understanding the context.

Essential oil scare stories sweep through social media like wildfire through a drought ravaged forest.  We live in a world where click-bait is king, and the more sensational a story is, the more traffic a person will get.  In the world of the net, traffic=money. Most of the time there are a few simple reasons for the essential oil horror stories and scare posts: 1.  Flat out misunderstanding.  A great example of this is the Facebook post about citrus oils on a Styrofoam plate being equal to what happens I your stomach when you ingest them.  That one is really scary sounding, but just because a person sounds intelligent and has internet access, it doesn’t necessarily mean they know what they are talking about.  (By the way, that particular scare post has been debunked several times.  My favorite is here.) 2.  Differences in essential oil school of thought.  There are several prominent presences on the web with very wide reach and that present their arguments in a fairly dogmatic and confrontational way.  Much of this is borne out of a wish to help instill safe practices with people who choose not to do their own research (but want to use essential oils anyway). This difference in methods and when it matters (and when it doesn’t) is explained thoroughly in this article. This extremely conservative view of essential oil use does have its uses, though.  The more popular essential oils become, the more companies pop up to try to capitalize on the market.  But it is important that parents know that many oils are adulterated with synthetic or undisclosed substances,  and since there is no regulation of the essential oil industry, assurances of “certification” or claims of purity are not backed up by a third-party standard.  When using oils that you haven’t thoroughly researched for quality, you really should, for your safety, take extra precautions. Of course, I highly recommend doing your research into quality, who does what, and why it matters, BEFORE you buy any essential oils.  I decided to be cheap and jump on the bandwagon without doing my homework, and when it was all said and done, I was left with over $200 of low quality, therapeutically questionable oils Major face-palm moment. 3.  Improper use or carelessness.  Unfortunately there are always some people who will ignore instructions, or make ill-informed assumptions, even when it is with something as important as their health and well-being.  Good example:  The warning label on your hair dryer warns you against using it in the tub.  Seriously, how many people actually had to do that before they started putting that warning label on it?  Apparently more than a few.  I bet you still use your hair dryer though. When you see these sad stories, just ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Do we know which brand of oil is implicated and whether the person purchased it directly from the company or a trusted retailer?
  2. Did this person have an underlying medical condition that made them more vulnerable to adverse health events?
  3. Was this an accident caused by inappropriate use of the essential oil (ignoring package directions, failing to consult a reference guide, or the culmination of many instances of using a product improperly over time)?
  4. Was this caused by carelessness (leaving oils out where children or animals could access them, not carefully confirming which oil you have before applying or consuming)?

You can read more about some of these issues around safety in general in the article The True Dangers of Essential Oils.

Mistake #2:  Assuming that since essential oils are natural, that you can’t make any mistakes.

Genuine essential oils are natural, that is true, but there is a vast difference between the strength of, let’s say a peppermint leaf, and the peppermint essential oil that comes from it.  Essential oils are more concentrated than the herbs and plants that they come from, and the botanical compounds are sometimes very strong. Essential oils should be treated with respect, not fear.  Information and knowledge are the keys to using oils with safety and confidence.  Parents need to investigate proper usage of oils with the different members of their families, and consult those references regularly.  Less is always more when you use essential oils, particularly topically and internally.  You are trying to stimulate healthy support, not overwhelm your body. When you are using oils with a child, you need to make sure that you are treating them with methods and oils that are right for their age. A few examples of mistakes that can be made, even with a high quality oil:

  • Essential oils in the eyes and ears can cause intense pain, irritation of mucous membranes and tearing up.
  • Cooling/warming essential oils on delicate skin can cause significant discomfort.
  • Citrus oils can cause photosensitivity if you expose your skin to direct sunlight.
  • Using too much oil, or failing to dilute when indicated can result in skin irritation.

The key to avoiding circumstances like this is to: 1.  Follow all label directions when using essential oils.  Better yet, make sure that you follow the guidance of an age appropriate reference book (when working with children, consult a book specifically geared towards that age group). 2.  Use common sense.  Don’t put essential oils in your child’s eyes or ears, and don’t put them on sensitive private areas unless they are part of a tried and true recipe for diaper ointment.  Dilute as indicated, and even more with a fatty vegetable oil more if their skin feels uncomfortable or reddens. 3.  Start low, and go slow, especially if you are new to oils, or your child is new to oils.  Less is always more. 4.  Pay attention to your child.  Every person has a unique body chemistry, which means that your child’s response to an essential oil will show you what you need to do next.  Not getting results you want?  Switch to another option.  Seeing discomfort?  Dilute more, change the application site, or stop using that oil.  Uncomfortable with the options that you have?  Don’t go against your better judgment. Ultimately, parents need to be as dedicated to knowledge with essential oils as they are with any other remedy they use in their family.  Please pick up a reference book or two if essential oils are your choice for your family.

Mistake #3:  Having a disappointing experience with a brand of oils and assuming that all brands of oil behave the same way.

I hear this all the time, and it was my first objection to getting involved with essential oils again.  You see, I assumed that essential oils are a standard product (they’re not), assumed that they were all purchased out of the same pool of available oils (they mostly are, but some companies have exclusive rights to certain sources of oils), and that all were as pure and effective as any other brand (personal experience showed me vast differences between brands). Three things to know when you are comparing essential oil companies.  

  1. There is no such thing as certification. Claims of certification are internal standards which may or may not be based on extensive company experience.
  2. The essential oil industry is unregulated and there is no purity or labeling standard that companies have to abide by.  I could label my essential oils “Triple Certified Origen Certified Therapeutically Clinical Essential Oils” if I wanted to.  Sounds really official, but I don’t have to prove ANYTHING to use it.
  3.  If you want quality, you have to look past the marketing nonsense and do your research.  If you don’t know who actually produces your essential oil and how they do it then it doesn’t matter whose label is on the bottle or what that label says.  It’s how the oil gets from the seed to inside of your bottle and the steps that it took to get there that matters.

When I first tried essential oils it was a disappointing experience in pretty much every way, and frankly I wrote them off as “voodoo medicine” after that.  It was pretty much only by accident that I even tried another brand of oils, and much to my surprise saw immediate results.  The following three years have only reinforced to me that quality absolutely makes a difference in effectiveness.  Talking with my teammates who have used other brands has only confirmed this even more fully to me. In fact there is a series of really great quotes from essential oil researcher and expert, Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD. in his book The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy:

  • “Considering that deception has become an integral part of economic reality in some areas of commerce, it is no surprise that it is rampant in the field of essential oils as well.  An ocean of processed oils lies between the seeker and a comparatively minute quantity of truly authentic oils.” (p. 58) emphasis mine
  • Most essential oils used for aromatherapy in the U.S. are fabrications and not genuinely and exclusively from a single plant source.” (p. 58) emphasis mine

From his book Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy:

  • “The composition of essential oils depends on many factors, such as growing conditions, climate, methods of harvesting, and distillation…Due to their complexity, genuine essential oils have achieved results that their mass-produced, standardized, watered-down namesakes can never hope to equal.” (p.7) emphasis mine
  • “Such factors as cultivation and harvesting, methods of preparing materials for distillation, special characteristics of the equipment used, the duration of the distillation process, and many others all influence the final product.  An essential oil is not simply the calculated product of a precisely quantifiable physic-chemical process, but the product of the person making it.” (p. 12) emphasis mine

It is important to keep this in mind when you are deciding whether to use essential oils on your children.  You want to make sure that they are genuine and that they work.

Mistake #4:  Believing that any essential oil is appropriate to use on a child.

While a great many oils are very useful to use on children, it is not necessary to go for the biggest guns in your arsenal when you are looking for an essential oil to use.  Just like you would carefully consider which oil to use on yourself, consider the appropriateness of an oil before you use it on your child.  This requires that you understand what the primary use of an oil is, and whether there is a gentler option that may be more appropriate. For example, there really is no reason to use an oil or blend designed for male hormone balance on a child.   Likewise, you wouldn’t grab an oil blend designed for enhancing sexual intimacy and use it on a child either.  Just be mindful, and be informed.  Consult your references, ideally a child specific reference like Gentle Babies .There are a great many gentle and effective essential oils that you can use, so please do your reading first.

Mistake #5: Relying on a person/website/chat room/Pinterest to diagnose or prescribe treatment for your child.

I see this all the time.  This one is very near and dear to my heart. It really needs to stop. Parents, if you have time to get on Facebook or Instagram and post a picture of your child with an ailment (or describe it) and ask for a diagnosis, please think of a few things:

  1. When you post a picture of your child on Facebook and ask your friends to tell you what to do, you are asking them to diagnose your child’s condition and prescribe a treatment.  Both of those things are considered out-of-bounds by the FDA.  Your friend could get in trouble for answering you.   Only a licensed medical doctor can diagnose and prescribe, and very few would do so without an office visit.  Please use your family doctor in circumstances where you need a professional opinion.
  2. In the time that you spend posting that information, you can consult your reference book to get advice on how to help support your child’s body on your own.  There are treasure troves of information in reference books, and they will be much more reliable than a non-medical friend.  Please have references and use them.
  3. Please do not rely on Pinterest as your source of information on how to use essential oils. Yes, you can find lots of recipes and tons of diagnostic information there, but unless you are trying out a blend of oils for cleaning, I personally believe that you are taking a great risk.  Just because something is on the internet doesn’t mean that it is safe.  I’ve said it a ton of times already, but please get a reference book specific to children like Gentle Babies or the Essential Oils Pocket Reference, they are much more reliable evidence based resources than anything you will find on the internet.

Mistake #6:  Not diluting essential oils before using them on children.

I’ve written before about dilution.  There is a false understanding of essential oils that really must be cleared up. You absolutely do need to dilute some essential oils.  Read the bottle label.  It is just not wise, and it is not recommended to use all essential oils neat and undiluted on your skin. Now, it is correct that there are some oils that say that they may be used undiluted directly on the skin as long is it is not sensitive skin.  However, that is the EXCEPTION, not the rule.  Many popular oils like Thieves blend recommend using 1 drop of the essential oil to 4 drops of a fatty carrier oil.  This is the recommended usage.  Even oils that most would consider mild, like Clary Sage, should be diluted 1 drop essential oil to 1 drop carrier oil.   You just don’t want to set yourself or your child up for a lifetime of skin irritation or potential sensitization to an oil.  You do not want that heartache. Now keep in mind, the usage instructions on the bottle are for a healthy adult, and you are looking to use them on a child. That means you cannot go by the instructions on the bottle for a small child.  You need to consult a reference book that refers specifically to children and their safety needs.  That is why I go to the book Gentle Babies to get guidance for my kids. So what do the references say about diluting oils for children?

    • From the Essential Oils Integrative Medical Guide by Gary Young (p.40): When applying most other essential oils on children, dilute them with a carrier oil.  For dilution, add 15-30 drops of essential oil to 1 oz. of a quality carrier oil.”
    • From Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern (p.14): “Dilute all essential oils for babies.  When in doubt mix a 1:30 blend.  This is one part or drop of the essential oil and 30 parts, or drops carrier oil…Using a carrier oil such as V-6 also will create a more sustained effect and reduce possible over-sensitivities especially in newborns.”
    • From the Essential Oils Pocket Reference by Life Science Publishers: “Lavender is safe to use on children without dilution…When applying most other essential oils on children, dilute the oils with carrier oil.  For dilution, add 15-30 drops of essential oil to 1 oz. of quality carrier oil.”

Just keep in mind, children are so much smaller than adults, in the case of a baby, they could be 1/10 the size of a small adult.  Not only that, but their physiological way of responding to remedies is different as well.  Just remember, children are special, and we need to follow guidelines specific to them! That covers six of the most common mistakes I see with kids and essential oils.  No matter what side of the essential oil issue you may find yourself on, there are things we can all do better to make sure our kids are well taken care of. So there are my top mistakes, comment and let me know what you would add to the list! P.S.  If you liked this article, or know someone who would, would you please share it with a friend? Using EOs with Kids verticalGet Started Banner Ad EF This page may contain affiliate links. I only refer products I personally believe in and would use with my own family. You will not pay any more by using these links, and you will support this site. Thank you!

The Best DIY Anti-Stink Spray–Mom Tested!

The Best Homemade Anti-Stink Spray

I have had many reasons to need anti-stink spray in my house!  None of those silly sprays that just cover up odors, though.  I want something that busts those smells and gets rid of them. Oh, and without toxic chemicals.  Can we do that?  Oh, you know we can!

Anti-Stink Spray

Now, when I say that this stuff works, I mean it!

It works on the 4am “Mom, I threw up in my bed” smell.

It works on the “Fluffy had an accident in the living room” smell.

It works on the “Why do toddlers always miss the toilet” smell, too.

Oh, don’t forget the “Why did the previous renters smoke INSIDE?” smell. It works on that and the “The previous tenants should have given their cat a litter box” smell, too.

Pretty much any smell that you’ve got, this spray gets rid of.  Carpet, furnishings, hard surfaces, bedding, beds, you name it, the smell is gone.

Better than that, you make this with cleansing essential oils, so not only is the smell gone, but any germs that may have tagged along with the grossness get taken care of, too.  Two birds, one stone.

I like it, and I think you will too!

So here is what you need so you’ll be ready when “the stinks” arrive:

Anti-Stink Essential Oil Spray

Make it:

  1. Fill bottle mostly full with water, leaving about an inch of space at the top so you can shake to combine the oils and water before you spray.
  2. Add 20-30 drops of Purification essential oil blend to the water, replace the sprayer and label “Anti-Stink Spray”.
  3. Spray liberally on stinky surfaces after you’ve cleaned up any solids, allow to sit and dry or wipe dry as you desire.

Oh yeah,  in case you run out of bug repellent for around the house, you can use this mixture in a pinch, too!  The Purification is great for keeping bugs away!  You just may need to reapply more often than a conventional bug spray.  But the bonus is, no icky chemicals!

Like this article, please share with a friend!  Oh, and don’t forget to Pin!

Tell me, do you have other tricks for getting rid of tough stains?  Share them in the comments!

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