Most of us look forward to Spring and Summer as a time to relax, recharge, and renew our mind, body, and soul. The weather warms up, we begin planning vacations, and our kiddos look forward to summer break from their rigorous academic schedule.
Without a doubt, we spend more time outside getting in our dose of vitamin D and just having fun. But we often don’t think about the seasonal threats lurking in the wayside until they hit us head-on with annoying symptoms that often stop us from enjoying our time. We also don’t think about how important it is to nourish and care for our skin during this part of the year. And with travel taking priority, we always look for a way to have quick healthcare solutions at our fingertips while we are away from home. Smart Moms, there is no better time to harness the power of high-quality essential oils than right now!
TICKLY NOSE ROLLERBALL BLEND
Seasonal Respiratory Discomfort. When the buds begin to blossom, the bees buzz from flower to flower, and the brisk spring wind…blows pollen and other allergens everywhere making us miserable. It doesn’t hit all of us, but for many kiddos and adults alike, we are plagued with the symptoms associated with these environmental threats. Luckily, there is a simple solution in one of the most popular combinations of essential oils. Affectionately referred to as “LLP,” the Lavender-Lemon-Peppermint creates a potent trio of natural power that alleviates many of the symptoms from which we suffer. And even better than that – it can be applied as often as needed until you see results, even when used in combination with prescription medications or over-the-counter solutions. Note that I recommend using Spearmint for kids under the age of 11 since the menthol content in Peppermint sometimes affects breathing. (As always, I recommend discussing the use of essential oils with your trusted healthcare provider before adding something new to your routine.) If your littles or bigs are suffering from the horrid tickly nose of the season, all you need to do is whip up this rollerball blend and you have an instant solution for seasonal distress.
TICKLY NOSE ROLLERBALL BLEND (SEASONAL RESPIRATORY DISCOMFORT BLEND)
For 1-5 years old – 2% Dilution
2 drops Lavender essential oil
1 drop Lemon essential oil
1 drop Spearmint essential oil (or Peppermint if your kiddos are older than 11)
For 6-11 years old – 5% Dilution
5 drops Lavender essential oil
3 drops Lemon essential oil
2 drops Spearmint essential oil
For 12-17 years old – 10% Dilution
7 drops Lavender essential oil
7 drops Lemon essential oil
6 drops Peppermint essential oil
Carrier oil of choice (Fractionated coconut oil or Sweet Almond Oil are my favorites!)
In a 10 mL glass rollerball bottle, add the appropriate amount of essential oils. Fill the remainder of the bottle with a carrier oil. Shake and dab behind the ears, roll on the back of the neck or apply to the bottoms of the feet before putting on shoes. Can be used every 15-20 minutes until you notice relief from symptoms.
You’re outside with a picnic basket full of food, the grill is fired up, and your biggest concern is whether or not to eat first or go swimming. And then you see the gnats begin to swarm in, the flies circling like buzzards over the table, and then you feel a crawling on your arm, a pinch of pain, and the mosquitoes feast on your body. You begin to pray that the ticks haven’t found their way onto your body as well. We have all had these moments and wish that there was a better solution than chemical-laden bug sprays to repel these pesky critters. Essential oils to the rescue! Studies have shown essential oils to be far more effective than chemicals to protect your family from being eaten alive. You can mix up a bottle of this natural bug spray and use it on everything from your clothes and hair to around the picnic area and garden, and even in your house. I like to spray it on the screens of my windows and doors to create a scent stop sign.
BUG OFF SPRAY
10 drops Peppermint or Cedarwood essential oil (avoid Peppermint if apply on little)
5 drops Lemongrass essential oil
¾ cup Distilled Water
2 oz. Glass Spray Bottle
Add the essential oils to the spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with distilled water. Shake to mix the blend completely, and every time before spraying. Apply to clothes, shoes, ankles, and hair to avoid pesky bugs. (Avoid the eyes and flush with vegetable or carrier oil to dilute if contact is made.)
Prepping your skin for the onslaught of summer products is a necessary evil for every mama. For those of us who prefer to wax or shave, exfoliating requires time and effort to prep our skin for the new routine of frequent hair removal. Essential oils can not only provide you with an aromatherapeutic spa experience, but they can also provide added healing benefits that will continue to protect your body even after the scrub has washed down the drain. Smart Moms also know that personal care routines are essential to their well-being, and the following recipe will provide you with a moisturizing, revitalizing experience that will leave your skin with a new glow and prepped for any further action. Find other amazing recipes for self-care and hormonal balance in The Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils.
GREEN TEA SUGAR SCRUB
½ cup brown sugar or granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. Matcha Green Tea powder
1 Tbsp. green tea leaves (break open a tea bag and use!)
½ cup raw unrefined coconut oil (use refined if you don’t like a coconut smell)
3 drops Peppermint essential oil
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, matcha, and green tea leaves. Add the coconut oil and essential oil and mix well. This can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 1 month. To use, simply scrub onto your skin, let set for a few minutes, and wash away.
Even though we tend to bare it all in the summertime, many people avoid the necessary protection required to keep our skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays when overexposed. Though we often reach for our normal over-the-counter sunscreens or sunblocks, I just can’t shake the thought of the chemical components being baked into my skin. There are natural solutions available for sunscreens that use minimal ingredients and essential oils for natural SPF. Depending on how much you prefer to use, you can tweak the recipe below for optimum results. And another little trick I have discovered – pouring this into empty deodorant containers makes for easy application and storage! Plus, if you keep it in your cooler, you always have a nice way to cool down and protect your skin at the same time. Remember that this, like all sun products, requires a frequent application for optimum results.
NATURAL LAVENDER COCONUT SUNSCREEN
1 c. shea butter (or substitute with mango or cocoa butter)
1 c. beeswax pastilles
1 c. raw unrefined coconut oil (use refined if you don’t like a coconut scent)
3 Tbsp. non-nano Zinc oxide
1 tsp. Sweet Almond Oil or Vitamin E oil
2 tsp. Red Raspberry Seed oil (SPF 35+)
10 drops Lavender essential oil
12 Empty deodorant containers or container of choice
In a large-mouthed glass container (like a Ball jar or old pickle jar), add the shea butter, beeswax pastilles, and coconut oil. On the stovetop in a large saucepan, bring about 2 inches of water to boil. Gently set the glass container in the boiling water and stir to melt completely. When melted, remove the container from the water bath and let cool slightly. Working quickly to avoid too much solidification, add the essential oils, red raspberry seed oil, and sweet almond oil. Stir to combine. Very carefully, without inhaling (wear a mask if this is a concern), add the zinc oxide to the mixture. It will turn white as you stir it and begin to resemble sunscreen. Once blended, quickly pour into the empty containers and allow to set at room temperature to solidify or pop in the refrigerator for a quicker set. To apply, simply swipe on skin, rubbing in to hard-to-reach areas.
With kiddos in tow, you never know when they might topple headfirst over a suitcase and skidmark their forehead. Hotels may make it difficult for them to fall asleep. Traveling via plane, train, or automobile may incite amazing digestive gymnastics or stop up the drain completely. Or maybe new altitudes have made it difficult to breathe. And never underestimate the power of foreign germs that they have no antibodies built up from which to protect them. This is why Smart Moms bring their essential oils with them wherever they go, but especially on vacation. An essential oil keychain provides an easy way to protect and carry your collection with you at all times, even through customs checks at the airport (they are healthcare supplements!). Most keychains contain 8 sample vials that you can label and fill for on-the-go emergencies. dōTERRA offers a great neoprene version with a carabiner for easy attaching to your purse or travel bag, as do most online essential oil supply stores like OilLife.com or AromaTools.com.
Here are the essential oils that I recommend never leaving home without:
Lavender – promotes a restful night’s sleep; provides calm in stressful situations; soothes skin irritations
Lemon or Grapefruit – invigorates the senses; removes nasty gunk from anywhere; adds flavor to water; supports the metabolism
Peppermint or Spearmint (depending on the age of your kiddos) – provides relief from occasional tension in the muscles or head; enlivens the senses; promotes clear breathing; freshens breath; eases occasional digestive discomfort; natural bug repellant
Frankincense – promotes relaxation and overall wellness; supports healthy cellular function
Melaleuca – purifies the air and surfaces; cleanses and rejuvenates skin; great for spot treatments on blemishes; supports the immune system
Clary Sage – supports hormonal balance; great for during menstrual cycle
Cardamom – eases occasional digestive discomfort; promotes clear breathing
Fractionated Coconut Oil or another carrier oil – dilutes the oils for optimum use
PREPARATION = PEACE
Being ready for life’s little emergencies and taking care of your family’s health and wellness are all part of what being an empowered Smart Mom is. Keeping your family prepared and safe at all costs may keep you up at night, but implementing high-quality essential oils into your routine will help you sleep just a bit easier. They provide simple, natural, effective solutions for life’s curveballs, and you can prepare your world with the help of my new book – The Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils.