- Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)- Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, sedative, uplifting.
* Photosensitive- avoid UV or direct sunlight for 48-72 hours after topical use (areas applied)
- Carrot Seed* (Daucus carota)- Antifungal, carminative, hepatic
- Cedarwood* (Cedrus atlantica) – Antifungal, anti-infectious, antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, sedative, insect repellant
* Use with caution during pregnancy
- Chamomile, Roman (Anthemis nobilis) –
Anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antispasmodic
* Can cause irritation for VERY sensitive skin—very rare
- Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) – Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorizing, insecticidal
* Use caution during pregnancy, do not directly inhale, can irritate sensitive skin
- Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) – Anticonvulsive, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, nerve tonic, sedative, soothing, tonic, warming
*Use with caution during pregnancy, NOT for babies, do not use before/after drinking alcohol
- Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) –
Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiparasitic, strong antiseptic, antiviral, disinfectant, immune-stimulant
* Use with caution during pregnancy, may irritate sensitive skin, HOT oil- use proper dilution
- Copaiba (
copaifera reticulata) – Analgesic, powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, stimulant (circulatory & pulmonary systems)
- Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) – Antibacterial, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, deodorant, diuretic, refreshing, relaxing
* Use with caution during pregnancy
- Elemi (
canarium luzonicum) – Anti-catarrhal, antidepressant, anti-infectious, antiseptic, expectorant, sedative
- Eucalyptus (eucalyptus radiate) – Antibacterial, anti-catarrhal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, expectorant
* Not for use with children under 2
- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) – Anti-parasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, diuretic, expectorant
* Use with caution during pregnancy or if susceptible to epilepsy
- Frankincense (Boswellia
carterii) – Anti-catarrhal, antidepressant, anticancer, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, anti-tumor, expectorant, immune-stimulant, sedative
- Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) – Antibacterial, antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, insect repellent, refreshing, relaxing, sedative, tonic
- Ginger (Zingiber
officianle) – Antiseptic, laxative, stimulant, tonic, warming
* Avoid direct sunlight for 3-6 hours after topical application.
- Grapefruit (Citrus x
paradissi) – Antidepressant, antiseptic, disinfectant, diuretic, stimulant, tonic
* Avoid direct sunlight or UV light for 12 hours after application. May irritate very sensitive skin.
- Helichrysum* (Helichrysum
angustifoliavar. italicum) –
Antibacterial, anti-catarrhal, anticoagulant, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antiviral, expectorant, mucolytic
- Juniper Berry* (Juniperus communis) –
Antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, depurative, diuretic, stimulant, tonic
* Do not use while pregnant or if you have kidney issues
- Lavender* (Lavandula angustifolia) –
Analgesic, anticoagulant, antidepressant, antifungal, antihistamine, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-mutagenic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, regenerative, sedative
- Lemon (Citrus limon) – Antidepressant, antiseptic, antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral, astringent, invigorating, refreshing, tonic
* Avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours after use. Can irritate skin.
- Lemongrass (Cymbopogon
flexuosus) – Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, insect repellent, revitalizer, sedative, tonic, vasodilator
* Can cause skin irritation. Attracts Bees.
- Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) – Antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, restorative, tonic
* Avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours after use topically.
- Manuka (
eptospermum scoparium) – Analgesic, anti-allergic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infectious, antiviral, antihistamine, antiseptic, decongestant, antimicrobial
- Marjoram* (Origanum majorana) – Antibacterial, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antispasmodic, diuretic, expectorant, sedative ,tonic
* Use with caution during pregnancy.
- Melaleuca – Tea Tree (
melaleuca alternifolia) –
Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant,
anti-parasitic, strong antiseptic, antiviral, decongestant, expectorant, immune stimulant, insecticidal, neurotonic, tissue regenerative
- Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) – Anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitumor, astringent, tonic
* Use with caution during pregnancy
- Myrtle (Myrtus communis ssp. Red) – Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, astringent, expectorant, decongestant, deodorizer
- Neroli (Citrus aurantium
bigaradia) – Antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-infectious, antiparasitic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, deodorant, sedative, tonic
- Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) – Anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, stimulant, laxative, tonic
* Not for use when you have epilepsy. Use with caution during pregnancy. Only use in careful/proper dilution.
- Orange* – sweet (Citrus sinensis) – Anticancer, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, sedative, tonic
* Avoid direct sunlight or UV light for 12 hours after topical use.
- Oregano (Origanum compactum, CT Carvacrol) – Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, antiviral, antispasmodic, immune stimulant
* HOT oil – use in proper dilution, not for children under 2. Can cause extreme skin irritation.
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, invigorating
* Do not use for children under 2. Use with caution if you have high blood pressure. Use with caution during pregnancy & while breastfeeding.
- Pine-Antibacterial, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory,
Analgesic, Diuretic, Energizing, Antiseptic, Decongestant, Antioxidant, Anti-Allergen, Anti-Microbial, Antitumor
* Can cause skin irritation in some people. Perform a small patch test before using topically.
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis, CT 1,8 Cineol) – Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-catarrhal, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, expectorant
* Avoid during pregnancy.
Not for people with epilepsy.
Avoid if you have high blood pressure.
- Sage (Salvia officinalis) – Antibacterial, anti-mutagenic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, decongestant, diuretic, disinfectant, contains estriol (
* Avoid during pregnancy. Not for use if you have epilepsy or high blood pressure. Not for children.
- Tangerine (Citrus nobilis) – Anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, laxative, sedative
- Valerian (Valerian
officinalis) – Antianxiety, antibacterial, antispasmodic, regulator, hypnotic, sedative
- Vetiver (Vetiveria
zizanoides) – Antiseptic, antispasmodic, calming, grounding, immune stimulant, warming, sedative, stimulant
* Use with caution during pregnancy
- Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) – Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, disinfectant, diuretic, stimulant (bone), warming
* Avoid during pregnancy. Not for people with epilepsy. Some people are very allergic to methyl salicylate – test small area for skin allergies before using!
- Ylang Ylang* (Cananga odorata) – Antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, sedative, tonic
What’s In My Bag?
What’s In My Bag?
As someone with severe, life-threatening, airborne allergies, I need to carry some things with me at all times. This means that whatever I carry must be light and easily accessed. In addition, I need others to be able to find my emergency information fast. I also need a way to alert strangers to my allergens should I become incapacitated.
Top row, left to right: iPhone, pretty rocks, Vogmask, spare change, checkbook, pens and sharpie, essential oil roller bottles, Badger lip balms, Redmond Bentonite clay, Frozen tissues, hair binder and bobby pins, whipped eczema body butter, and wallet.
Middle row, left to right: allergy alert paperwork, backup star face mask, epi-pen, albuterol inhaler, and coin purse.
Bottom row, left to right: purse organizer, allergy tag, EpiPen tag, purse.
I keep both my lip balm and Cupcake’s lip balm for when she needs it. Next to that I keep my essential oil roller bottles. I usually have a couple more than what’s pictured. I normally carry an anti-anxiety blend, first aid blend, Cat’s sore wrist blend, and Mr. Awesome’s ADHD blend. Behind that, I tuck my tissues into one of the pockets.
My phone has medical alert information for emergency personnel. My wallet has my insurance cards, my ID, my bank card, and membership cards.
I keep both face masks in a zipper pouch to keep them clean and safe from dust and other contaminants. I take them out and use them in dangerous places where I might potentially be exposed to airborne allergens.
I put my checkbook into the other zippered pouch to keep it clean and safe from damage. Yes, I still have a checkbook. The DMV and the kid’s schools are pretty much the only time I ever use it.
The kids and Nate are always bringing me pretty rocks. I stash them in my purse till I get home and put them in little bottles or on shelves. I’m a rock nerd. 🙂
I keep my eczema cream in a little jar. I also keep bentonite clay in a little container for emergency use. Bentonite clay can help absorb toxins, it kills viruses and bacteria, reduces swelling and helps to reduce allergy symptoms from accidental internal exposure(eating allergens by accident). It can also be used for bug bites.
My inhaler has saved my life many times. I’m not a fan of most pharmaceuticals, but when it comes to asthma, I don’t mess around. Thankfully, I rarely have asthma attacks anymore since I cut wheat from my diet.
My epi pen still scares me, even though I’ve had it for years. I’ve taught my family how to use it should I ever pass out.
What do you keep in your purse or bag?
Whipped Eczema Body Butter
Eczema is the body’s warning bell that something is wrong. I occasionally have eczema flare-ups. For me, it means I’ve been exposed to corn, which is something I developed an allergy to about a year ago. It shows up on my right hand almost immediately following ingestion of something corny.
An immediate flare-up is usually hot and painful. It can itch terribly, especially as time progresses. First, I tried coconut oil, my usual dry skin relief. Unfortunately, it was not enough to soothe my angry skin. Looking for something more effective but also allergy friendly and non-toxic, I found Dr. Axe’s recipe.
After making a few jars of whipped eczema body butter, I found that the amount of honey the original recipe called for was too sticky. With this next batch, I’m going to change a few things. I’m hoping that by using a tsp of honey instead of a tablespoon, it’ll be less sticky and more smooth.
Although the original recipe was sticky, it worked wonderfully. I’ve found it soothes the itch and lessens the severity of damage. A little goes a long way. I keep a jar in the fridge for the fluffy whipped texture. I also keep a container in my bedroom and a small container in my purse. At room temperature, the mixture falls flat, but it’s still effective. It works so well, I share little jars of it with friends.
Whipped Eczema Body Butter
1/2 cup raw shea butter ( I use this)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp local honey
30 drops lavender essential oil
8 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops geranium essential oil
3 drops myrrh essential oil
3 drops frankincense essential oil
Blend with a whisk, on low, until shea butter and coconut oil until well combined. Add remaining ingredients. Whisk on medium until fluffy. Use a spatula to scrape sides of the bowl and mix lightly again. Divide into containers and refrigerate.
What do you use for eczema? Have you tried this recipe? Let us know!
Homemade Bug Spray
Homemade Bug Spray
With summer right around the corner, I decided to whip up a batch of homemade bug spray. With 4 little ones, I needed something that was 1.Safe to use on kids, 2.Safe for those of us with allergies 3.Non toxic, 4.Affordable and last but not least 5. It needs to actually work. If it could also not smell horrible, that would be a plus.
I set about my project as I do with most new tasks to tackle, research, research, research. I wanted to be sure that whatever I chose, it would meet all of my expectations above.
I have read a lot of differing information about the safety of using essential oils on children. Some say that essential oils are natural, therefore go nuts! As someone with allergies to a lot of “natural” things, I know that it is better to err on the side of caution. Since essential oils are highly concentrated forms of the original, it only makes sense to me that less is more. After reading about an alarming number of injuries and deaths from essential oils, I knew I wanted to proceed with utmost caution. I joined a few essential oil safety groups on Facebook to learn about what books, websites, and companies would aid me in my search.
I found this awesome site that lists oils that are and are not safe for children:
As with any new product that comes into our house, oils and accessories need to be safe for our unique allergies. I wondered 1. How are they processed 2.What hidden ingredients are there 3. Has anyone else in my allergy group had any reported reactions?
Corn Allergy Statement
This recipe is unfortunately NOT corn free. Thayer’s witch hazel uses citric acid as a preservative. Princess and I do break out in mild hives if applied to the skin, so I try to spray mostly on our clothing, with a light application on exposed skin Since we live in a high mosquito area, a few small hives are preferable to having entire limbs swell up from mosquito bites. Thankfully using this has not created any breathing problems, but we will always stay on alert for safety since the severity of allergens can change at any time. I’m, hoping to learn how to make my own witch hazel in the future.
This is a no-brainer for me. If it has ingredients I can’t pronounce, it’s off the list. I believe part of why I am allergic to so many things and have been so sick in the past is due to the fact that I have been exposed to too many toxins. I want to decrease the bucket load of toxins for my family and me.
We live in Minnesota so we get a lot of mosquitoes. I need something that I can afford to use a lot of.
Let me break down what making homemade bug spray costs for you. I’m using Young Living, and also NOW for the prices.
8oz Bottle $2.00
15 Drops Lavender Essential Oil at 9 cents a drop $1.35YL or >2 cents a drop $0.23NOW
15 Drops Cedarwood Essential Oil at 5 cents a drop $0.75YL or >1 cent a drop $0.13NOW
10 Drops Geranium Essential Oil at 17 cents a drop $1.70YL or >3 cents a drop $0.28NOW
20 Drops Vanilla Essential Oil at 10 cents a drop $2.00
Young Living does not sell vanilla essential oil because vanilla is not an essential oil. I instead used the price for the vanilla oil I got from my local health food store.
4oz Witch Hazel $3.03
4oz Distilled or Boiled(and Cooled) Water Free!
This ends up being $10.83 for the first bottle and $8.83 for each refill with Young Living.
Or $7.67 for the first bottle and $5.67 for each refill with NOW.
For a price comparison
Burt’s Bees Outdoor all Natural herbal Insect Repellent 4oz bottle $13.50= $27.00 for 8oz
Honest Co Bug Spray 4oz $11.69= $23.38 for 8oz
BabyGanics Shoo Fly Deet Free Natural Insect Repellent 2 oz $4.99= $19.96 for 8oz
So there you have it! Homemade bug spray wins the price comparison again!
I sprayed the kids at the beginning of mosquito season as they went out to jump on the trampoline at dusk. They came in with one bite on one kid. Earlier this week we had a bonfire. Cupcake and I stayed out the longest. I sprayed myself an average amount of spray. I was wearing a skirt, so my legs were pretty exposed. I did get one bite on my foot and after that, I made sure to spray my feet too. I didn’t get another bite after that. I was lying in a lounge chair and I saw several mosquitoes fly around me and close to my skin before changing their mind and flying off. Incredible! I’d definitely say that it’s effective!
I read that adding vanilla oil increases the duration of the effectiveness of oils. In bug spray, the longer it works, the better!
What is more comforting than not being eaten alive? Seriously, I have been bug bait my whole life, mosquitos love me. I’m so happy I’ve finally found something that works!
I was worried the smell would be gross after mixing everything in the bottle. It’s actually quite pleasant. It smells better than all of the chemical ones I’ve been using my whole life.
First Homemade Bug Spray Attempt
Ultimately, I decided to give one of the oil blends from this site a try:
After assembling all of the supplies, I waited anxiously for my daughter to arrive home from school. I promised her we would make the first batch together. I had everything set up and ready to go on the table and I pretty much sat at the table waiting for her to walk through the door so we could play. Ahhh, big kid toys are just as fun and exciting.
We started by dropping oils into our bottle, stopping to smell each one as we went. Cat helped me count in case I lost my place. I had already boiled and cooled the water before she came home, so we added that in and topped it off with witch hazel. After we shook it up we both excitedly took a whiff of our new concoction and grimaced. It didn’t exactly smell awesome. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t very pleasant either. Oh well, it is supposed to repel bugs after all.
Next time, we are going to try lavender scented witch hazel instead of aloe vera. I believe this might have contributed to the weirdness.
Homemade Bug Spray
15 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
15 Drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
10 Drops Geranium Essential Oil
20 Drops Vanilla Essential Oil or 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract*
4oz Witch Hazel
4oz Distilled or Boiled(and Cooled) Water
Add Oils to bottle first. Add in water next, then top off with witch hazel. Test a small area of skin on each person before using liberally. Spray on clothes and especially ankles and wrists for adults. With small children, avoid spraying hands or near faces to avoid accidental ingestion or rubbing eyes.
*Vanilla oil is not an essential oil
Thank you for reading! What do you use for bug spray? Have you tried ours? I would love to know how it works for you!
As always, this is not medical advice. Please consult your own medical practitioner for any health-related concerns. Everything shared in this blog is based on my own personal experiences and are what we do for our family but may not necessarily work for yours. Please do your own research to find out what works best for you. An informed and educated choice is always best! 🙂