20 Essential Oils to Combat Mood and Behavior in Your Home

Essential Oils

{Essential Oils}

Well, we have arrived into the official holiday season, or at least that is what the retailers are telling us….and the excitement has begun!  Yet, it isn’t always good cheer for everyone.

Do the holidays make your kids cranky?

Do your kids become like little Energizer Bunnies from all the holiday excitement that gives you a headache?

Did you, or Grandma or Grandpa Lou give the kids the wrong kind of foods, which only made things worse?

Do your children melt down with anticipation while waiting for Christmas to come?

Do you fear the holidays yourself, and find that it is only filled with dread and anxiety?

Did the stress of money and chaos cause you to dread the upcoming season?

Well, if you are like our family, you may even find yourself nestling down with calming activities until the din of holiday reaches its peak and settles into quiet.  You may not have an increase of holiday activity, but a persistence to shut out those events which cause undo stress, particularly if you have a child who is on the autism spectrum.

There is also another solution!

Did you know that odors and smells can actually affect brain activity?  Further, did you know that if you give a special needs child an essential oil to smell, that he or she will have a calming response if the oil is the correct match for their symptoms?

Of course, there are many, hundreds even, plants, roots and flowers which can be seeped into essential oils.   I have tried to make my own oil, which has worked out okay, but I do not feel that I have mastered the process above and beyond what several companies have who actually make them.  So, I tend to buy my own.

What I discovered about essential oils over the teas and herbs I use, is that I can use a plug-in (You can purchase one for the car too, by the way) in the room, with the right scent, and them smell literally calms my special needs son. I was skeptical and actually turned off once, when my autistic son was throwing a huge tantrum once in public, and a woman walked up to me and tried to stick a vial of essential oil under his nose.  Uh…she would have risked having that oil knocked across the floor, frankly.

She was offended by my polite resistance…Le Sigh!

But, I do see the opportunity to prevent a problem if you find the right match for your child.  Interested?  See if you can match some oils with your child’s emotional, attentional or behavioral needs.

Calming:

Lemon

Lavender

Cypress

Coriander

Ylang Ylang

Antidepressants:

Frankincense

Wild Orange

Grapefruit

Basil

Clove

Geranium

Ylang Ylang

Clary Sage

Digestive:

Lemon

Peppermint

Ginger

Fennel

Cinnamon

 Cilantro

Fennel

One final note is that many of the companies have their own blends of calming, anxiety, stress-relief or even digestive blends.  We personally tend to use Edens Garden oils and blends, but I have also used Plant Therapy, as well.  Both brands are fairly inexpensive, and quite effective.  Some are even organic, which I also like.  {Affiliate Links included}

So, prayers for peace to you and your household this holiday season! There is always hope that we can create an atmosphere of calm for our children.:-)

Also, if you have a chance, skip on over to our new website at Natural Organic Families. We are in the process of a transition to WordPress, so bear with us if something goes a bit wonky;-) There is much exciting change to come!

Blessings to you and your family~Kim

Photo Credit: Anita363 via photopin cc

How to Make a Birthday Cake and Survive the Criticism

Well, if you were wondering where we were last week…

In between the Real Food Con summit videos, I found myself up to my ears with my special needs son’s birthday plans…Let’s just say, it is all he talked about, obsessed and planned for days!

Getting off a gluten and grain diet has left us a bit of a challenge with the birthday cake.  I have always used gluten free grains (except last year), mostly because my brain just could not go there.  I mean, I have had such a flood of information with my son’s syndrome, and his diet, that I grabbed whatever was easy.  Have you been there?  Are you still there?

Don’t worry.  Sometimes we are still there too.

Since I have downloaded a million and 1;-) ebooks for my Kindle Fire, I realized that I had to have at least one recipe for a good cake in those 10+ Paleo cookbooks I read all the time.  And I did!  The cake turned out awesome.  It was moist and the taste was amazing.

The frosting…well, let’s just say I haven’t found the perfect match yet.  Maybe you can share one?

Anyway, here is the recipe, adapted from Paleo A-Peel Apple Coffee Cake from Paleo Desserts and Baked Goods Recipes: For Busy Moms & Dads (You can find it on Amazon):

Ingredients:
1 cup of almond flour
1/3 cup of coconut flour
1 apple, cored and chopped (I did not peel the apple as directed)
3 eggs
1/2 cup of coconut oil (The recipe calls for melted ghee)
1/4 cup of raw honey (He recommends 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup of full-fat coconut milk
2 tsp of cinnamon (I did not have 1/2 tsp of allspice)
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/8 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of vanilla
3/4 cup of chopped nuts (We used pecans)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients, along with the chopped apple.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture stirring well.
5. Add nuts, if desired, and mix again.
6. Grease your pan with coconut oil and then pour the batter into the pan (I use stoneware, so I didn’t               have to grease my pan).

7. Bake for about 30-45 minutes until a knife comes out clean.

I was pleasantly surprised with this cake, even those unnamed people who push away grain free cooking, were pleased;-)

Blessings to you and your family~Kim

8 Reasons to Drink Red Rooibos Tea

Well, we ended up the week with Red Rooibos tea.

I read other people’s experience with it, and I saw it for sale at Bulk Herbs, but I felt like we needed other things at the time.  But, this week we received our Pumpkin Spice tea, which has Red Rooibos as the main ingredient.  I have been feeling pretty puny myself this week (Ahem!), and the tea was just the perfect pick-me-up.

Plus, it is cool and rainy outside….

What in the world is red rooibos anyway?

Well, it is actually a South African bush, with needles that turn red when they ferment.  The bush, which grows all over this area of Africa, and the locals take the needles, bruise them and ferment them.  The end result is a refreshing red tea.  Red tea is better for you than green tea, in fact.

Are there any health benefits of red rooibos?

First, red rooibos is high in anti-oxidants.

Secondly, it contains iron, magnesium,potassium, flouride, manganese, zinc, calcium and vitamin C.

It is generally known to be anti-viral.

It is also anti-spasmodic.

It heals skin rashes and conditions, even when used topically on the affected area.

In a Japanese study, red rooibos was also found to be anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-mutagenic.

It reduces excessive fat production and Type 2 diabetes.

It is traditionally known to soothe colic in babies.

Whether you have rain or sunshine, here is a tea for the whole family.  Both of my kids enjoyed the Pumpkin Spice blend.  You can purchase some at the Bulk Herb Store through the advertisement bar at the bottom of this blog.

Blessings to you and your family this weekend~Kim

Resources: Mountain Rose Herbs, Fox News

None of these statements, of course, is supported by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Mom Series: Changing Your Lifestyle

I am running late in writing this post, which was supposed to come out yesterday…

I had to run to the store late the other night for milk.

I forgot dinner and instead ate a half pint of Ben and Jerry’s (Bad Mommy! Bad Mommy!)

I slept horrible after that culinary experience (no surprise there).

I woke up early, so I could pick up the babysitter for a shopping day.

We arrived back to the house only for me to realize that I forgot to eat breakfast (nearly 11:00 now).

I wolfed down a bowl of chicken soup before I left.

The day was a race against the clock, so I picked up a Starbuck’s Skinny Latte.

I shopped all day then dragged myself home to eat a snack at 5:00, having skipped lunch.

At this point, you probably realize why I keep struggling with my adrenals…

Don’t do as I do.  Do as I say!

LOL.  Honestly, I don’t typically have days like this, but yesterday, I did.  With an adrenal crash, I wouldn’t have had the energy to carry that kind of a day out, particularly without food and a caffeine boost.   I typically forget to plan for food during my shopping excursions, refusing to stop for fast food.  You can bet I will be nursing nutrition and rest for the next day or two to prevent any further problems.

Remember the discovery of the Yuppie Disease?  Well, adrenal fatigue is this well-known reason people were literally exhausted (and still are). Although today, more people know how to at least attempt to live and eat their way to health, change does not just come overnight if your body is already exhausted.  Further, sometimes our society does not allow us to easily change our lifestyle, and more often than not, our life’s circumstances are not altered immediately, either.

How do we make a lifestyle change?

If you realize that you show even mild symptoms of adrenal fatigue, that is the time to do something.

Dr. Wilson suggests in his book, Adrenal Fatigue, that if you want to make a recovery, you need to consider 7 things:

Purchase adrenal herbal extracts.  I purchased this bottle, and yes, it truly worked on those days when I needed a good push over the hump. {affiliate link}

Change your diet and eat regularly.  I blogged about this more extensively last week, but eating a healthy, organic, whole food diet free from foods you are sensitive or allergic to.  Eating regularly is a must while you heal your adrenals.  What I did today is not recommended if you are in a full swing adrenal fatigue or crash.  Eating several small meals a day work better, than sticking to the old 2-3 full meals a day program. Most importantly, drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.

Look to the positive.  Some may think this is agony, but looking for the silver lining in every challenge that comes you way, can really help you.  I call it having faith that God will bring a blessing out of even the worst things.  Even the worst tragedy is a reason to overcome.

Mild to moderate exercise.  If you don’t exercise much, try some morning stretches, like Pilates, but get your heart pumping, no matter what you decide, for at least 30 minutes.  Try getting outside for a walk, or if you can’t go outside, find a gym or walk in the mall.  Go for hikes in the park.  Anything to get you moving and release some extra anxiety.  I even sit on a ball while I work at my computer desk.

Mix play and work.  If you tend to overwork, stop.  Try cutting back work hours if you can, and find even a little time in between for some down time to spend time with your family, read a book, take a nap, or take a stroll.  If you can’t cut your hours, take a day off, or grab peace and quite instead of doing extra chores around the house.  I guarantee it, your children will much appreciate your attention in the end, than your boss…or your customers.

Take care of health problems left unattended.  This is a must.  Sometimes when we are stuck on overdrive, our health may be at jeopardy, and it needs to be addressed.  A couple of months ago, I had to have surgery to remove a lump I had had for quite some time.  I can’t tell you how much better I feel with that thing out of my body!

Make a lifestyle change.  This is the most difficult one.  If there is something really stressing you out, and you cannot get it resolved, you must make a change.  You may need to change something about your job, set a new boundary in a relationship, get a babysitter, slow down, or even begin an afternoon nap. Whatever it is, addressing issues in your life creating excessive stress, need to be addressed or let go of.  It will be worth it in the end.

On a personal note:

Not all of these may be issues for you.  Some you may have already altered in your life.  Others may be more of a challenge, but you know you need to do them.

One thing that has personally helped me is living a more natural, organic life.  I generally agree with Dr. Wilson’s ideas.  We have to make changes in how we live, and stop living in the rat race pace.  Changing the way I cook for my family has helped, but also, my philosophy about homemaking.

I buy bulk foods, so I don’t have to run to the store all the time.

I make from scratch anything I can.

I buy and use herbs and essential oils for good health and illnesses.

We try to take walks as much as we can.

We raise chickens for eggs.

We may not be able to change the fact that we have a special needs child, but we can look for creative ways to get respite care, or medical assistance.  We can go to a doctor or a naturopathic physician to address health concerns.  We can watch a movie with our kids, or go for a walk in the park or neighborhood.

No matter what your personal struggles, change is necessary if you suffer from adrenal fatigue.  What do you do to manage your stress levels and health?

Blessings to you this week~Kim
This post does contain affiliate links to Dr. Wilson’s book.