I am going to be an Auntie twice over in the morning! Danica, now two years old, will have a baby brother, Cooper, by about 8:30 am. I am soooooo excited and so ready to see if he is any where as ornery as his Father was! lol
When visiting any Spa, the integral part of the treatment will be some type of exfoliation. While the techniques may vary, the purpose of exfoliation is always the same. First of all it serves to rid the skin's surface of dirt and oil as it rubs off the outermost layer of dead skin cells. The removal of this layer of dead cells enables the skin to more easily and effectively absorb or react to any products used after the exfoliation process. Therefore the second purpose of exfoliation is that it actually prepares the skin for other, subsequent treatments.
It is very important to remember that body scrubbing is NOT facial scrubbing. You need to have appropriate tools for the job, such as; a sisal mitt, a loofah sponge, a stiff, natural bristle brush, and/or an abrasive sponge, a pumice stone and a towel are good to have also. The pumice stone is great for the bottoms of the feet, but not a necessity. Whichever tools you choose to use, make sure that you use your scrubber in a circular motion, beginning at the feet , moving to the legs, the working the hands, arms, shoulders, then down the back and up the torso toward the heart. Apply firm, even pressure but do not apply so much that you irritate or "burn" the skin. As you incorporate a full body rub into your daily beauty regimen (it really should be done daily five minutes is all that you need if done consistently) your skin will build a tolerance to the rubbing and you will be able to apply more pressure, offering a more vigorous scrub. When you are brand new to body rubs, you have to begin by being more gentle in order to avoid abrading the skin.
Body scrubbing helps to stimulate and circulate the lymph fluids, which then help to eliminate the body's toxins. A cool water rinse after the body scrub will further help with blood circulation. After the rinse, pat dry and moisturize if you are not performing another type of treatment. Do not skip moisturizing! As previously stated, after the exfoliation the skin will more readily drink in the moisturizer, making it much more effective at this time than any other. Since exfoliation is very energizing and revitalizing, it is a treatment that is really best suited to a morning regimen.
As with most recipes for body treatments, the ingredients are dependant upon your needs. You will need an abrasive ingredient along with one that will make it easy to apply to the skin. The various oils used should be chosen according to your skin type and any essential oils used should be chosen to maximize the effects that you desire. You can review what the essential oils are used for by reading the archives. All essential oils are listed alphabetically during 10/08 and 11/08.
The next post will review potential choices for the abrasive ingredient in recipes, as well as the various carrier oil choices, along with a few more recipes. Meanwhile, you can find some recipes in the archives for 8/16/08.
As we know, herbs were the first used "drugs". You can still utilize these natural remedies for a variety of maladies. Since many of the recipes I have offered have focused on essential oils for inhalation, today I'd like to discuss some other ways to use herbs, mainly compresses and poultices.
A compress consists of a pad or cloth material(cotton or gauze is the best material choice) that has been soaked in an herbal tea, decoction, or extract and water mixture. After the appropriate tea, decoction, or extract is chosen and made, you soak the pad or cloth fabric in the liquid, wring it out, then apply it to the affected area.
Compresses can be used either hot or cold. If swelling, muscle sprain, or a headache is involved, after it is soaked, place the compress in the freezer until it is cold, then apply it. Sometimes it is beneficial to alternate heated compresses with cold ones to help relieve pressure. Compresses are ideal for treating and helping to heal muscle injuries, wounds, and other external pain.
To know what herbs to use for your ailment(s), refer to herbal or essential oil charts, where the benefits of the products are listed. The herbs can e used as single notes or you can try mixing more than one together at a time if you are feeling bold!
For muscle pains you can try wintergreen, camphor, lemon grass, sage, or eucalyptus teas. For a headache try a cool lavender, chamomile and/or sage compress. For minor wounds or skin irritations, try rosemary, chamomile, thyme or lavender.
While almost like a compress, with a poultice you apply the whole herb to an affected area instead of the liquid soaked fabric. First you must boil the fresh herb (roots can be used too), then you squeeze out the excess water. The herb is then placed on a thin layer of gauze, folded to keep the herb sandwiched inside, then laid over the affected area. The poultice should stay in place for for 3-4 hours, then be replaced with a fresh one if needed. Again, the choice of herbs/roots needs to be researched and well thought out, but a poultice of (either one or a combination of two or more) the herbs rosemary, thyme, lavender or chamomile would make a strong healing poultice.
Chamomile on the skin helps to reduce redness and sooth inflamed skin, as well as being an antiseptic, bactericidal, and mild sedative.
Thyme is reputed to be strongly anti-viral, while also being considered an antibacterial agent and fungicide.
While lavender works well on all types of skin problems, it especially worlds well for healing boils, burns, sunburn, wounds, psoriasis, insect bites, and stings. Among many others, Lavender has the properties of an antiseptic, and an analgesic, an anti-inflammatory, a restorative and a mild sedative.
Rosemary also possesses many properties, but for the purpose of a poultice it is important for its properties of an analgesic, an antimicrobial, an antiseptic, a fungicidal, and a restorative.
Going natural isn't just for bath and body, it can be for the household too! Here are some easy recipes to help with the household chores. These natural cleansers will help you clean your home without hurting the planet, while the aromas of the essential oils will help to make the chore of cleaning more pleasurable.
ANTIBACTERIAL BATHROOM CLEANER
2 tsp Tea Tree essential oil (EO)
1 tsp Peppermint EO
2 Tbs. (or more) of unscented liquid soap
1 Tbs. white vinegar (optional)
1 cup baking soda
Measure the baking soda into a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Add approximately 2 tablespoons of liquid soap (either regular dish washing soap or a natural brand of liquid soap such as liquid Castile soap). Mix well to create a paste-like consistency. If you need more liquid soap to get the correct consistency, add it a little at a time until the mixture is like a paste, pliable but not soggy. Once you have a consistency you feel like you can work with, add the essential oils and mix well again. Add the vinegar lastly, which helps to boost the cleaning power. To use, scoop out a little of the cleanser and use a sponge or rag to gently scrub tub, shower and sink surfaces. A little goes a long way, and the antibacterial effect of the tea tree EO offers extra peace of mind.
Mix all ingredients together and mix well. Shake before use. Use this spray on counters, cutting boards, the dish rack and more. It can also be used as an air freshener and even on furniture that you want to keep cats off.
1 tsp Lemon EO
1 tsp Litsea Cubeba EO
1 tsp borax
2 cups distilled water
1 cup Liquid Soap (unscented)
Place all ingredients in a plastic spray bottle and shake well before each use. First spray the surface, then use a soft cloth to wipe clean. Use this to spray to wipe clean all non-wood bathroom and kitchen surfaces.
BATHROOM ANTIBACTERIAL AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
5 drops White Thyme EO
10 drops Citronella EO
5 drops Eucalyptus (Globulus) EO
5 drops Sage EO
5 drops Cinnamon Leaf or Cassia EO
10 drops Lavender EO
10 drops Bergamot EO
10 drops Tea Tree EO
5 drops Lemon EO
500 ml distilled water
This air spray is refreshing and will keep your bathroom clean, killing bacteria and viruses. Mix all of the ingredients together and put into a spray bottle. Shake well before each use and spray it every day to keep your bathroom smelling fresh and clean.
WOOD FURNITURE POLISH
Depending upon the level of need and your time available, you can either melt some candellia wax and add a few drops of lemon or orange essential oil for scent, and use this to rub onto your wood surfaces, then buff to shine....
Or just take
1/2 tsp Lemon EO and add it to 4 fl oz of olive oil. Place this mixture into a small bottle and apply it with a soft cloth to your wood furniture, buff to shine. The olive oil will feed the wood, while the lemon will offer a great, fresh scent.
Every month most women must cope with the uncomfortable cycle of life. Those that do not must cope with the unbalanced hormones of menopause. BTW, are you catching a commonality here? Men stration, Men opause, lol. Anyway, Here are some helpful recipes for that time of the month, or when there isn't a time of the month!
Mix the essential oils into the orange flower water. Place in a spray bottle, shake well and spray into the air. If you cannot get the orange flower water, you may add 15 drops of orange EO to 120 ml of distilled water and use this instead. This mist is intended to remedy your mood and make PMS symptoms more bearable.
Blend the essential oils with the carrier oil. Mix well, then use to massage into the lower back. Use a firm, circular motion for best results. This massage remedy is meant to help alleviate PMS ailments.
Blend the essential oils into the carrier oil. Mix well. Massage this ointment into the neck and the shoulders, or the full body. You may also delete the Apricot Kernal Oil from the recipe and then use the remaining ingredients as a bath blitzer, in a vaporizer or in an oil burner to help uplift your spirits and reduce or alleviate the symptoms of PMS.
This mixture will uplift spirits and refresh you, and is especially beneficial for those going through menopause. This mixture is best utilized in an Aromatherapy lamp, an electric diffuser, or a light bulb ring. You can also just add a few drops of the oil mixture to boiling water, for a quick and easy way to diffuse through a room.
Mix the oils together and place in a dark-colored glass container. Store out of the sunlight. Use a small amount of this mixture to gently message into the abdominal area. You may eliminate the carrier oil and use the essential oils for a bath blitzer or in a diffuser for aromatherapy.
Mix all the oils together and place in a dark-colored, glass bottle. Store out of sunlight. Use a small amount to gently massage into the abdominal area for relief of symptoms.
This mixture is intended to balance male energy and prostate function for men, balance female energy and alleviate hot flashes for women.
Mix all the oils together well, then massage gently onto the abdomen.
****As with any new product, or products containing essential oils, always perform a patch test before using on large areas of skin. Essential oils are volatile and extremely concentrated. As a general rule, they are not to be used directly on the skin, but should be diluted in a carrier oil. To perform a patch test, simply rub a small amount of the products on a small area of skin. Wait 24 hours to check for a reaction. If there is redness, itching or swelling, wash area with soap and water and discontinue use.