An Introduction to Young Living Essential Oils

Several things converged today to inspire tonight’s creative activity. I was out of my Do It Yourself skin serum. The connection between great health and clear, vibrant skin popped up from multiple sources. Repetition is always a sign to pay attention. And I was recently introduced to Young Living Essential Oils by my long time friend, Marijo. 

My starter kit arrived shortly before I went to Italy and I did not have the opportunity to do much more than open the box. With an empty serum container to fill, it was time to get to know  the oils. 

An Introduction to Young Living Essential Oil

I’ve been using oils in skin care products for years. However, I realized this afternoon, after spending time learning about the Young Living Essential Oils company and their rigorous Seed to Seal policies, that the products I have been using are most likely not pure oils. 

When D. Gary Young brought back 13 essential oils  from Europe in 1985, there was no written information available about usage and application. The oils sold then were perfume grade. Gary began extensive research in the ancient knowledge of using essential oils for healing. 

He has spent many years conducting clinical research on the ability of essential oils to fight disease and improve health and vitality. He has also developed new methods of application. By definition, an essential oil is the aromatic liquid that is extracted from flowers, shrubs, trees, herbs, roots, plants and seeds, primarily  through steam distillation. 

An Introduction to Young Living Essential Oil
I was excited to try out a couple of the oils. I selected Lavender and Frankincense oils from my kit, replacing the lavender and calendula oils I have used previously from another source, and assembled the rest of the simple ingredients. 

Using a small, clean jar, I started with pure coconut oil. The oil was in a semi liquid state already. It liquifies easily and completely when placed in the jar, capped, and held under hot running water from the faucet. I added vitamin E, piercing the ends of two capsules with a toothpick. 

An Introduction to Young Living Essential Oil
An Introduction to Young Living Essential Oil
Next I added 6-8 drops each of Young Living Lavender and Frankincense essential oils. 

According to my Essential Oils Desk Reference book, lavender promotes tissue regeneration and speeds healing. It is antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and combats excess sebum, the oily or waxy matter secreted onto the skin. Lavender has other medicinal properties as well. 

Frankincense, which I have never used before, is an ancient oil that has been in use for thousands of years. It is an immuno-stimulant, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxing, promoting a beautiful complexion. Frankincense also has other medicinal properties. 

An Introduction to Young Living Essential Oil
An Introduction to Young Living Essential Oil
Finally, I added 1/4 teaspoon of raw organic honey. I included honey for the first time when I made my last batch of skin serum and I have loved the results. 

Honey is moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial. It soothes red, irritated skin. 

My DIY skin serum is chilling in the fridge, to return it to a semi solid state. I use my fingernail to scrape off small amounts to apply to my skin. It melts onto my skin on contact and is readily absorbed. I’m excited to experience an upgraded version of my healthy, chemical and preservative free serum. 

As I thought about making new skin serum this morning, an article by Anthony William, about caring for skin, hair and nails, appeared on my Facebook newsfeed. He stressed the importance of good health in creating clear, radiant skin. Healthy skin starts from the inside. Eliminating toxins and chemicals and additives from my diet, and drinking plenty of water, not only nourishes my body, it promotes glowing skin as well. 

I have been caring deeply for my body for almost a year, creating greater health, and more radiant skin. It is a natural progression to eliminate chemicals and additives from my skin products, even the ones I make myself. And it feels like a natural progression in my healing journey as well to join the Young Living family. 

I’m excited to continue learning about these essential oils and their many health benefits. I’ll be sharing my discoveries as I journey. Join me and we will learn together! 

An Introduction to Young Living Essential OilI’m looking forward to trying Lavender oil in my diffuser tonight. 

Make Your Own Deodorant

The first question one might ask is why would anyone want to make their own deodorant? In the US, after all , 95% of the adult population use deodorants and antiperspirants. Why bother to make something that can be so easily purchased?

My answer, my reason for trying this Do It Yourself project tonight, is simple. While I am in the process of increasing my health and well being by changing my diet, fighting viruses with plant based foods, eliminating chemicals and additives, and detoxing from heavy metals, it seems counterproductive to keep using a product that contains unhealthy chemicals and additives. 

My research shows that most deodorants and antiperspirants contain these ingredients that are not good for us:

* aluminum-a primary ingredient, this metal has been linked to breast cancer and increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Aluminum clogs the pores to prevent sweat from reaching the skin’s surface. 

* parabens-a synthetic preservative that can disrupt hormonal balance. This chemical has been linked to birth defects and organ toxicity. 

* propylene glycol-a petroleum based material that can cause damage to the central nervous system, heart and liver. 

* phthalates-another chemical that has been linked to health issues, including birth defects. 

* triclsoan-a substance classified as a pesticide that is a known carcinogen. 

As I am seeking improved health, I have made the decision to stop using products that can compromise my well being. Today, I ran out of the antiperspirant I have used for years. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to switch to a healthier version. I felt inspired to make my own!

I used this simple recipe, from Thank Your Body:

1/3 cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons baking soda

1/3 cup coconut oil

10-15 drops of essential oil (optional)

Combine cornstarch and baking soda in a small bowl. (I was out of cornstarch, and substituted baking powder. Ill be making a second batch!) Add coconut oil (I softened the oil for 20 seconds in the microwave) and blend, using a spoon. Add essential oil, if desired. I added 10 drops of orange oil and 5 drops of rosemary, creating a light, clean scent. Combine, pressing mixture with back of spoon, until well mixed and smooth. Use by smoothing small amount on underarms with fingertips. 

Making my own deodorant only took a few minutes. I tried a dab on my inner wrist and tested it under my right arm. I will be using my DIY deodorant this week, and I will give an update with the honest results. 

I feel good about this unique creative endeavor, and good about further eliminating my body’s contact with chemicals and toxins. Healthy living, for me, involves more than diet and exercise, although those are crucial. What I don’t allow to interact with my body is important too, even if it puts me in a category considered outside the norm. 

The second question one might ask, and I get this one frequently, is…are you a hippie? That’s a simple answer as well. 

Yes…yes I am!

Day 348: Fix the Christmas Tree Lights

fix the lights lightkeeper

I love the twinkling white lights on my fresh Christmas tree. Once I decorate the tree, early in December, I plug the lights in and they stay on until I undecorate the tree in early January. One of my quiet pleasures during this time of year is sitting reflectively at night in the soft glow of the tree lights and the tiny flames of 6o plus candles lit throughout my house.

One thing I don’t like, is how quickly a string of twinkling white lights can become untwinkling. As a rule, I simply buy new lights every year so I don’t have the frustration and hassle of a string, or worse yet, half a string of lights going out. I am a recovering perfectionist, but I still can’t abide having lights on the tree that don’t shine.

This year, I tested the strings of lights that I had left over from last year, and going against my inclination to buy new ones, I used the lights anyway. Ironically, last Thursday, I was in the midst of a Facebook conversation with daughter Elissa, who was experiencing a light failure on her tree, when I cast a glance at my own tree. I couldn’t believe it! Mid conversation with her, about the frailty of Christmas tree lights, and I lose half a string.

fix the lights out

It’s been a busy weekend, with Adriel’s graduation and family in. I left the situation alone. Every time I looked at my tree, I hoped that the lights would all be lit. But no. I normally remove a faulty string of lights and just buy a new set. Today, for the first time, I used a handy gadget to test the string of lights, find the burned out bulb, and replace it.

My year of first experiences has boosted my confidence in tackling projects I never would have bothered with before. If I couldn’t do it, I’d ask Greg or someone else to take care of the situation. And if there wasn’t a readily available solution, I’d replace the item. Not only have I fixed more things this year, and learned to use power tools, I have enjoyed recycling and repurposing what I have, rather than purchasing something new. Doing so has brought a great sense of accomplishment and it feels like I’m being kind to the earth and to myself.

fix the lights pkg

Today, with Greg’s supervision, I used the Lightkeeper Pro, a gun that detects current in the line and beeps when an interruption is found. It was a little difficult to test the strand while it was wound around the tree. I carefully unwound the defective string without disturbing the rest of the tree’s decorations and with the line stretched out, ran the beeping gun along its length. Greg said I didn’t need to mention him in my post, however, he was a great encouragement and offered suggestions as I needed them. After a bit of searching, the burned out bulb was located, by the lack of beeping, and I replaced it. Success! The whole string lit up again. I restrung the lights and felt that wonderful sense of doing something good. I didn’t have to toss the light string and buy another one. And the whole process only took a few minutes.

I am sitting this evening, as I type my blog, near the Christmas tree, which is lit up entirely, the glass beads and glass and silver ornaments sparkling in the glow. Throughout the house, candle flames flicker, adding to the magic. Outside, a rare December thunderstorm adds flickering lights of its own, accompanied by the rolling rumble of thunder. I am cozy and snug in the house, and extremely grateful and content. I love the Light. I am basking in the Light. I am being Light.

fix the lights

fix the lights candlelight