DIY Liquid Hand Soap

 

liquid-hand-soapHave you heard the recent news from the FDA? They have banned the marketing of certain ingredients commonly used in antibacterial soap.

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”

This is not new information. In December 2013, the FDA announced they were studying antibacterial soaps to determine if the benefits outweighed the risks.

So what can we do to help stay well and avoid catching or spreading infectious diseases?

First, wash your hands following the procedure recommended by the Center for Disease Control .

Next, mix up your own liquid hand soap to use in my kitchen. I took two recipes (this and this) and created my own:

liquid-hand-soap-mixingIn a glass jar put:

1/4 cup distilled water
1/4 cup castille soap

In a spoon put:

1/2 Tablespoon sweet almond oil
20 drops Thieves essential oil blend* (or create your own blend with essential oils that you like)

Add to water and soap mixture in the jar and stir until thoroughly blended.

Pour the liquid soap mixture into a glass or porcelain container with a pump.

Note: This mixture is thinner than what I am used to.

*Thieves essential oil blend is made of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils. It was inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals they used while robbing the dead and dying. You can purchase Thieves blend through my link – just search for Thieves or any essential oils or blends you like.

 

Itch Relief Spray for Bug Bites

As much as we can try to avoid bug bites (see here for my attempts to find an outdoor blend for keeping mosquitoes away) they do happen. So, having a blend on hand to take the itch away can be very handy.

Outdoore Blend #1I originally made this Purification and Lavender Outdoor Blend to keep mosquitoes away on a camping trip. It wasn’t as effective as I had hoped, but I later realized it might work well as a spray for itchy bites. I took it along on the next camping trip, but I (thankfully) didn’t need to use it until after I got home. The evening I returned, I had very itchy bites along the inside of both feet. I assume that I walked through something in the yard while watering the plants. They were very itchy! So I sprayed the blend on both feet and rubbed it in.

And it helped quite a bit. Slight itching, but nothing I felt I needed to scratch. After about 3 hours, they were itching again, so I sprayed thoroughly before going to bed. Over the next two days, I found I needed to spray a couple of times a day to keep the itching under control. I am pleased I found something to ease itching, and a way to use the Essential Oil blend.

Another option would be to put a drop each of Lavender and Purification in a few drops of a carrier oil and rubbing it on. This would allow you to apply to a few itchy bites.

Have you found a good solution for bug bites? Please share in the comments!

Outdoor Blend for Mosquitoes Part 2

This is the second article in a series about my attempts to find an effective DIY Essential Oil blend to keep mosquitoes away. You can read about the first post here.

Camping trip #2 was in August 2016.  Interestingly, the mosquitoes were not nearly as bad as the previous month, so while there were mosquitoes and a few landed on me, there wasn’t the swarm flying around me as the month before. My boyfriend even noted that he hardly had any bites, although he noted that he did spray himself quite thoroughly with Off.

The first night I used this blend I had tried the previous trip. It did seem to keep the mosquitoes off of me, although there weren’t that many. Since Lemon EO is photosensitive and will interact with sunlight, you want to avoid the sun for 10-12 hours after applying. While this blend may work well for evenings, I wanted something I could use during the day.

So, the following morning when I was sitting outside and noticed some bugs flying around, I applied a blend I adapted from one I found on Dr. Axe’s website.

In a spray bottle add, in equal parts:

tea-tree-and-lemongrass

Witch Hazel
Apple Cider Vinegar

Then add:
7 drops Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Essential Oil
7 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil

Shake well to blend before each use.

 

I sprayed it on, and overall wasn’t bothered by bugs, although again, they weren’t as bad as last trip.

I am sitting outside at home as I write this. It is late evening, and a few bugs are flying around me (perhaps attracted by the light from my computer screen). So I got out this blend, took off the spray top, and let it sit to diffuse into the air around me. It does seem to be helping!

One thing I have noticed with all the blends I have tried is that if I miss any area with the spray, the bugs WILL find it. I began spraying the blend on, then rubbing it around on my skin to cover as much as possible. That seemed to help keep them off me, although not necessarily away from me.

Overall I am pleased with this newest blend, and am looking forward to trying it out again. I am also researching other blend to try to see what works best with my body chemistry. If you have a blend you like, please share in the comments.

Outdoor Blend for Mosquitoes Part 1

This is the first in a series of posts about my attempts to find an effective Essential Oil blend to keep mosquitoes off. You can read Part 2 here.

 

My boyfriend and I love to go camping, but trips during much of the year in Florida can be marred by mosquitoes. We usually have a campfire going, and have tried citronella candles and tiki lamps. These help some, but we want to find a more effective solution, and something we can use when we walk around the camp grounds and at home.

I’m on a mission to find Essential Oil blends that work for both of us. Since we have different body chemistries (we can be sitting beside each other, and he is bitten relentlessly while I’m not), it is likely that we’ll each have our own blend. He is also not completely on the EO bandwagon yet, so I’m looking for blends that work for me and will then see if they work for him.

There are many DIY blends on the internet; just search on Google or Pinterest. I’m starting with blends that use the EOs I already have, and as I purchase more, try new ones. Yes, this is going to be an on-going, long-term project!

So let’s begin. In July 2016 we went camping for two nights. I took along two DIY sprays to try. Here’s what I tried and what I experienced:

 

Spray Blend #1

Outdoore Blend #1In a spray bottle I combined:

Lavender – 5 drops
Purification – 10 drops
Distilled water to fill the bottle.

I used this one the first evening. Seemed to be fine (and smelled good!) until the mosquitoes really came out about sunset. Man, they were EVERYWHERE! They were flying around me so much I finally went inside.

I will note that some did land on me and I got a few bites but nothing bad. I noticed that they were finding areas where I had not sprayed. But the buzzing around my face and head finally got to be too much to handle.

I also got up about 1:00 am and went outside to watch the fire. (We also got to see the black bear that came to check out our campfire, but that is another story!) I took the spray out with me, and anytime I felt a mosquito biting me, I sprayed the area, and sprayed in the air around me.

I did notice that where I was bitten did not itch or otherwise bother me the next day. Lavender and Purification are both good for bites, and that may be what I use this spray for in future. 

 

The next evening, I tried a different blend.

 

Spray Blend #2

Outdoor Blend #2Combine in a spray bottle:

Purification – 8 drops
Peppermint – 5 drops
Lemon – not sure how many drop. (I had an empty bottle of Lemon that I put the Purification drops in, swirled around, then put in the spray bottle.)
Distilled water to fill the bottle

*PLEASE NOTE – Lemon essential oil that is cold pressed is PHOTOSENSITIVE. This means if you put it on your skin and go in the sun, you may develop a reaction. Please allow at least 12 hours between applying it to skin and being in the sun.

I used this blend the second evening, making sure to use it after I was going to be out of the sun, and to allow plenty of time before being in the sun the next morning. There seemed to be far fewer mosquitoes around me, however, I may have gone inside before they had a chance to get bad.

 

Conclusions – 

I need to use the Spray Blend #2 again to further test it. While I won’t use it during the day, because of the photosensitivity of Lemon essential oil, it is worth trying again at night.

 

Additional Notes – 

I mixed both blends in small, plastic spray bottles I bought for this purpose. I know many people don’t like to use plastic, and once I find blends that work well for us, I’ll switch over to glass spray bottles.

 

There are pros and cons to using plastic, and you need to research what you feel is best for you. Reasons why plastic may be an option for you:  First, they are inexpensive and easily found. Second, because there is only a small amount of oil stored in them, they oils are less likely to break down the plastic. You don’t want to keep these for long term use, but for short-term they should be fine.

 

Know your personal comfort level and preferences and choose the type of spray bottle accordingly!

 

Now, it’s your turn. What have you found effective for keeping mosquitoes away? Please leave a comment and share, I’ll add it to my list to try!

Reuse Essential Oil Bottle – Rollerball

Rollerball bottlePeppermint was the first Essential Oil (EO) I discovered, and I used it often during my migraines. I would inhale it and put it on my forehead.

And because I use Peppermint EO often, I have a lot of empty bottles that I cannot bring myself to throw out. Yes, even though I teach people to declutter, it just seemed there should be a way to reuse them. Also, but bottle wasn’t truly empty. Since I had not washed it, there was still residual oil in there, and I would often let the open bottle diffuse .

At last, I had an a-ha moment: put a few drops of Peppermint Essential Oil and carrier oil in the bottle, add in a rollerball insert, and roll it on my head! I even added a label to indicate the carrier oil and EO in there.

Oh, how I wish I had thought of this earlier!

To insert the rollerball, you need to remove the insert that comes in the bottle, place the rollerball in the opening of the bottle, put the rollerball cap on, and press down while tightening the cap. That pushes the rollerball insert into place. Check to be sure it is securely in place before using.

The same idea can be used for other empty essential oil bottles. Add a few drops of the original essential oil or blend, carrier oil, and a rollerball insert. I think I’m going to do this with Panaway next for my finger joints.

What essential oil or blend will you try? Leave a comment and add a photo!

Beat the Heat – Cooling Neckerchief

Cooling NeckerchiefIt was the summer of 1980, and it was hot. Not just in south Arkansas, where I was a rising high school senior, but throughout most of the US. Record highs for a record length of time meant everyone was looking for ways to stay cool.

And one method that I remember was from the US Women’s Open golf tournament. Amy Alcott, the eventual winner, wrapped a wet bandana around her neck to help stay cool. Though she was teased by some, the fact she won in the hot conditions made me think she was on to something.

So I’ve done the same to help me cope with hot summer days. Once tied on, it is hands-free. It is also easy to simply re-wet to keep the cooling effect going. You can also put the wet bandana in the refrigerator for a few minutes to cool it even more. Watch the video of how I do it.

Why the neck? Because it is one of your body’s pulse points, where the blood passes near the surface making it easy to begin cooling. Other pulse points include your wrists and ankles, and these are other options for wrapping a wet cloth around.

You can also add a drop of essential oil to your water to enhance the cooling effect. Peppermint is an especially good one. PLEASE NOTE: Peppermint essential oil may increase blood pressure. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE USING. Other essential oils that help cool your body include spearmint and eucalyptus. Test and see what works best for YOUR body whether individually or combined.

Want to order your own Peppermint (or other) Essential Oil? You can through my Young Living World site.