Essential Oils–a Safe Alternative to Scents

May 27th, 2011 by

We were visited by Pepe Le Pewe at our house today.  Unfortunately Mrs. Skunk decided our barn would be a wonderful place to birth her litter of stink bombs.  Our dutiful dog, however, had other plans for Madame Smelly, and his challenge of her agenda triggered a release of “scentsationalism”!  OiY!! 

Anyway, the fragrance that is now wafting over our ranch got me to thinking about the other times I have been “overcome” by my olfactory system.  Most of those times involve chemicals….the cleaning aisle at Walmart, paint fumes at the auto body shop, and who can forget Sister So-n-so’s perfume in church?!  I don’t like any of these smells, but other than a mild headache, I’ll eventually get over them.  Some of my clients, however, aren’t as blessed.  Individuals with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) can literally become bedridden for weeks just by making one trip to their local department store.  Church events become things of the past as one whiff of incense sets off an asthma attack.  Theatres, concerts, and parties cannot be tolerated due to chemical smells in shampoo, deodorant, and cologne residues.

I often wonder, has our incessive need for personal hygiene added to the growing problem of MCS?  Not that I’m advocating the degredation of cleanliness, but it seems to me that fragrance is added to everything from laundry soap to shampoo to garbage can liners!  The majority of these fragrances are petroleum based.  Petroleum is a common sensitivity in many individuals and can cause symptoms such as headaches, nausea, skin rashes, itching, hives, post nasal drip, asthma, and many others.  

So, other than offending those around you with an “all-natural” odor, what can be done to safely deal with fragrances?  Well, I propose first of all that people go with the CLEAN smell!  Instead of using scented fabric softener, how about hanging clothes on the line for that wonderful “sun-dried” smell?  Or, try rinsing out dishes as you use them instead of letting them sit in the sink for days to develop the nasty odor of sour milk!  Practicing pro-active habits could help cut down on the use of unnessecary fragrance.

That being said, it is nice to catch a hint of soft fragrance now and then.  It is especially nice in the form of an essential oil.  Peppermint, for example, makes an excellent breath freshener.  Citrus oils compliment the fresh smell of clean in kitchens and bathrooms.  Soft flower essences gently tickle the air in bedrooms.  Experimenting with essential oil scents that work in your home is not only fun, but can be done without the detrimental side effects of air fresheners! 

Currently I am using Wild Orange in our home.  It sure beats ala Skunk!!

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Essential Oil–Lavender

May 16th, 2011 by

Over the weekend I accomplished a Herculean task…I finished decorating my girls’ bedroom!  As a finishing touch, I vacuumed their room adding lavender oil to the water in the vacuum cleaner.  Why?  Well, first of all lavender is kind of a “girly” scent, but also, lavender induces a sense of relaxation and restfulness. 

I also use lavender for respiratory distress.  When one of my kids has a cold, I will rub a mixture of lavender and tea tree or eucalyptus oil in sesame oil on their feet and chest.  I also drop lavender oil on a Kleenex and hang it on their headboard.  Sometimes, I will let them take a hot bath and add 3-5 drops directly to their bath water.  Lavender helps to relax the bronchial and sinus passage ways to promote drainage and soothe coughs.

Lavender is most known for its calming properties and can therefore be used for other ailments such as anxiety, joint inflammation, diarrhea, athlete’s foot, and burns.

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Essential Oils–Mama Mia! That’s cooking!!

May 9th, 2011 by

Did you know you can use essential oils in cooking?  Oils like oregano, sage, basil, and garlic can make a delicious Italian spaghetti, pizza, or marinara.  Oils like peppermint, lemon, and even lavender can help you whip up decadent dessert.  The advantage of using essential oils in your spice cabinet is that essential oils are extremely concentrated making them stay fresh and potent for much longer than dried herbs, and they are so much more convenient than trying to grow your own fresh herbs (especially during the cold winter months).  Do remember, however, that because essential oils are so concentrated that a spaghetti sauce recipe calling for 1 tsp. of oregano probably only needs 1-2  drops of oregano oil.  You be the taste judge–you can always add more, but it’s impossible to take 1 drop back out!  We will be discussing how to cook with essential oils at our class on May 21st.  There are only 2 more days to sign up, so hurry!

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Essential Oil–Frankincense

May 6th, 2011 by

Did you know that the essential oil of Frankincense is mentioned in the Bible?  The wise men  brought gifts to the Christ Child of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Mark 2:11); or, as my 4 yr. old son informed his sister the other day, gifts of gold, frankincense, and manure!

Frankincense has anti-tumor,  anti-infectious, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant properties making it an effective essential oil to use for issues such as:  allergies,  bronchitis, insect and snake bites,   colds,  diarrhea, coughs, gonorrhea, diphtheria,  headaches, high blood pressure levels, herpes, jaundice, inflammation, meningitis, laryngitis, prostate problems, nervous conditions, respiratory problems, pneumonia, sciatica,  sores, staph, stress, strep, syphilis, tonsillitis, tension, wounds, typhoid and warts.   Frankincense  may exceed the blood-brain barrier, thereby helping to oxygenate the pituitary and pineal glands and increase the production of white blood cells which help fight infection. 

Frankincense is one of the oils we will be discussing at the class in May.  Deadline for registration is MAY 10, so be sure to contact us if you want more information on this class!


Natural Emergency Remedies–Essential Oils

May 1st, 2011 by

     People say the only thing that is certain in this life is death and taxes.  After the week we’ve had in America, I’d also add “unpredictable weather” to the list of certainties.  Watching people walk away from the indescribable destruction in the tornado strewn mess of the south, and being without electricity due to a blizzard in North Dakota (in May, mind you!), I am reminded that during disasters many of the amenities we have come to depend on cease to exist.  Not only is power and clean water scarce, but with the disasters often comes great medical demand and very little supply.  Do you know how to care for your family if disaster strikes?  Not many of us do.  Just one day without electricity can remind you very quickly how inadequately prepared most families are for disaster.

     One of the ways that my family stays preparedis with a “natural” first aid kit.  Some of the items in that kit are essential oils.  I used to think that essential oils were just a pretty smelling aphrodisiac, or worse a patchouli-soaked hippy soap-box (I can’t stand the smell of patchouli!).  But then, after a particularly nasty case of croup, I changed my mind and truly put them in the ESSENTIAL category.  I have successfully used essential oils in my home to enhance my family’s immune system, fought ear infections, restored breathing in a sick child, and conquered morning sickness all with essential oils. 

     Natural Alternatives is offering an introductory class on essential oils May 21st from 10 to 3.  This class will cover several “key” oils such as lavender, lemon, peppermint, melaleuca, oregano, and frankincense, plus a few others.  We will learn about specific health and wellness solutions, and how to cook and clean with essential oils.  Deadline to sign up for this class is May 10, so contact us soon for more information if you are interested in added this knowledge to your emergency arsenal!  Over the next few weeks I’ll write more about essential oils.

For Health,

Summer Joy

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Taking Charge of Your Family’s Health

April 25th, 2011 by

My family, like all others, has had numerous issues requiring opinions from medical doctors, nurses, naturopaths, and nutritionists.  What I’ve learned from all these interactions with professionals is this….I need to be diligent about taking responsibility for my family’s health!  No doctor, nurse, naturopath, or nutritionist knows my family’s health signs, symptoms, and habits as well as I do, because they aren’t with them all the time.  I know what’s normal for my body and my family’s bodies.  I have the most invested in these people, and I care more about them than anyone else.  I am also noticing that if I double check everything I’m told, research drug interactions, diseases, and remedies, then we are less likely to suffer with side effects, and more likely to recover quickly.

Since I am spending far less time at the office these days, I am committed to blogging about issues that are important to my clients’ familys; issues that can help them take charge of their family’s health.  If you have topics you’d like to see addressed, please contact me, and I’d be happy to blog about it.  Until next time…

Summer Joy

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Natural Alternatives Blog

March 29th, 2009 by

Natural Alternatives now has a blog!  Feel free to post comments and ask questions about the natural solutions you have found helpful. 

We are interested in posting articles that are of interest to you or that you may have questions about.  If there is something particular that you would like to learn more about please send us the topic using the form at and we will try to include it in one of our future posts.

Stay tuned……

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