Abundant Health™ Blog

August 17, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Essential Oil Gel Air Fresheners

School is starting up again, and kids everywhere are having to readjust their schedules and habits. A great way to clear the brain-cobwebs of summer is to make essential oil gel air fresheners and place them where your kids do homework.

These essential oils promote clear thinking, alertness, concentration, calm, and memory recall:

  • Lavender
  • Clary sage
  • Bergamot
  • Basil
  • Chamomile
  • Tangerine
  • Lemon
  • Jasmine
  • Vetiver
  • Cedarwood

No need to spray or diffuse oils. These essential oil gel air fresheners are simple to make!

  1. Stir together 1 tsp. polymer absorbent crystals, 1 cup (240 ml) water, and 10–15 drops essential oil.
  2. Stir, and add water if needed until there are no dry crystals left.
  3. Split evenly between 2 mason jars. The crystals will expand.
  4. When not in use, keep lid on to prevent evaporation. When ready to use, place lace or tulle over the opening, and screw on the ring.

*These cute air fresheners are best in small spaces. Over time as evaporation occurs, the aroma will become more faint; simply add more essential oil and 1–2 Tbsp. (15–30 ml) warm water.

August 15, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Essential Oils for Migraines

Many people suffer from frequent headaches, which can make it difficult to meet the demands of daily life. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to this problem. Headaches can be triggered by stress, fatigue, poor posture, allergies, toxins in the body or environment, constipation, hormones, low blood sugar, nutritional deficiencies, and alcohol or drug consumption.

Migraine headaches are a particularly severe type of headache. They are very painful and can be accompanied by throbbing in the head, sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting. Many people who suffer with this recurring condition find it necessary to adjust their schedules around episodes and often are put on medication to treat the problem. However, medications come with their own negative side effects, like liver and kidney damage, without treating the actual cause of the issue.

Some essential oils offer a variety of benefits that may help to relieve headaches and address the symptoms that lead to them. The following essential oils can be helpful in treating headaches by themselves, or you can make a blend of all 4 essential oils added to fractionated coconut oil and rub it into the temples, forehead, and back of neck.

1. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint has a long-lasting cooling effect on the skin, stimulates blood flow, and inhibits muscle contractions. Apply topically to the forehead and on the temples to relieve tension. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to fractionated coconut oil, and rub it into the shoulders, forehead, and back of neck to relax the muscles and improve blood flow.

2. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender induces relaxation and relieves stress. It is an effective sedative and calming agent and decreases anxiety. Some research suggests that lavender may aid neurological disorders. It relieves feelings of restlessness and disturbed sleep and regulates serotonin levels.

Diffuse lavender essential oil at home or in the office to reduce muscle tension, uplift your mood, relieve stress, and help you sleep. You can also apply lavender oil topically to the back of neck, temples, and wrists. Add 5–10 drops of lavender oil to a warm bath, and breathe deeply to relax the body and release tension that can lead to a headache.

3. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil helps cleanse the body of toxins and harmful microorganisms, promotes emotional balance, and acts as a mood booster. It also opens the airways and eliminates pressure in the sinuses that could cause a bad headache. Eucalyptus essential oil has anti-inflammatory effects when used to treat respiratory issues.

Dilute a few drops of eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil, and apply it topically to the chest, back of the neck, temples, and forehead to alleviate sinus tension that could trigger a migraine.

4. Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary has stimulating, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. It improves circulation and has a calming and uplifting effect on the body. It also reduces stress, muscle tension, and emotional triggers that can cause headache attacks and aids indigestion and other stomach disorders that contribute to the development of headaches.

Add 1 drop of rosemary oil to tea, water, or  even soup when a migraine develops.

*When using these essential oils in sensitive areas like the nose and forehead, it’s best to dilute the oil in a carrier oil first. If you use these oils internally, only use 1–2 drops at a time, and don’t exceed a 4-week period without taking a week off from internal use.

See the Reference Guide for Essential Oils to learn more about how essential oils can help reduce headaches.

Source: Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2017 Edition, pp. 486–87.

August 10, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Ultra Mini USB Diffuser

Wouldn’t it be great to diffuse on the go? What if your diffuser were more portable and easy to take along to work, school, or even on a drive? It can be with this handy Ultra Mini USB Diffuser.

Using this portable USB diffuser is a perfect way to bring the benefits of your favorite essential oils with you wherever you go. It plugs into any USB outlet, including in your car or on your computer.

It has a decorative design, ultrasonic technology, and power adaptability. The mini diffuser comes with a 48″ extension cord if you would rather operate the unit away from the computer. Depending on the setting, one fill can last up to 6 hours.

Features:

  • Small, portable size and shape.
  • Standard USB port connection or extension cord.
  • Silent operation.
  • Cold-mist ultrasonic diffusion.
  • 2 timer/output settings (continuous/10-second intervals).
  • Long-lasting output (up to 30 minutes continuously running or 6 hours at 10-second intervals).

Available Colors: aqua, green, and pink.

To read more about this great product and to order your own, click here.

August 8, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Unicorn Sugar Scrub

This whimsical scrub will leave your skin feeling soft and smelling delicious! Choose your favorite essential oils to enhance the scrub the way your skin needs it most. Make a larger batch to share with friends. Unicorn Sugar Scrub makes a great spa day gift!

 

Unicorn Sugar Scrub

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Put 1 cup (200 g) of sugar each into 5–7 different bowls, depending on how many colors you would like.
  2. Add a few drops of food coloring into each bowl, mix, and repeat (if needed) until you get the color you want.
  3. Add several drops of essential oil to each bowl, and stir.
  4. Add enough sweet almond oil (about 1/4 cup or 60 ml) into each bowl to make your sugar clump together.
  5. Layer the sugar into your jars, packing it down as you go.

We did 5 colors as follows:

  • Red with cinnamon essential oil
  • Yellow with lemon essential oil
  • Green with lime essential oil
  • Blue with peppermint essential oil
  • Purple with lavender essential oil

 

August 3, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Essential Oil Spotlight: Tea Tree (Melaleuca)

Tea tree (melaleuca) essential oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of myrtle shrubs and trees.

This essential oil has strong immune-building properties. It is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic.

Historically, tea tree leaves have been used for centuries to heal cuts, wounds, and skin problems. The French use it to treat athlete’s foot, bronchitis, colds, diarrhea, flu, and sore throat.

Other conditions can possibly be aided by the use of tea tree essential oil, such as acne, burns, candida, cold sores, digestive issues, infections, and wounds. It is a stimulant and encourages tissue regeneration.

The aromatic influence of tea tree promotes cleansing and purity. It has a fresh, woody, and earthy odor.

It can be diffused or used topically and is approved by the FDA as a food additive when used sparingly.

See the Reference Guide for Essential Oils to learn more about tea tree essential oil and many other pure essential oils.

Source:  Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2017 Edition, pp. 144–45.

August 1, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Kiwi Lime Summer Pie

This sweet and tangy pie is best served chilled on a hot summer day!

Kiwi Lime Summer Pie

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 9″ (23 cm) pastry shell, baked and cooled
  • 6 oz. (170 g) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 3.4 oz. (96 g) box vanilla instant pudding
  • 2 drops green food coloring (optional)
  • 16 oz. (454 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup (94 g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 6 oz. (170 g) lime yogurt
  • medium kiwifruit, sliced
  • Lime Whipped Cream (recipe below)

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk limeade concentrate with the vanilla pudding mix (and add green food coloring if you want). 
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Beat in confectioner’s sugar and limeade mixture.
  3. Spoon 1/4 of the mixture into the pastry shell. Top with a layer of the sliced kiwifruit.
  4. Beat yogurt into the remaining cream cheese mixture until combined.
  5. Gently mix whipped cream into the yogurt and cream cheese mixture. Spoon over filling in pastry shell.
  6. Cover and chill for 8–24 hours.
  7. Garnish with whipped topping, lime, and kiwi, and serve.

Lime Whipped Cream

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream (chilled)
  • 3 Tbsp. (25 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla
  • 3 drops lime essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Whip together ingredients until soft peaks form.

 

July 27, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Essential Oils for Allergies

Allergies can be a real pain. The sneezing, itching, watery eyes, sore throat, swelling, stomachaches, and other symptoms that go with an allergic response can be uncomfortable at best. An allergy is caused by an immune system response to all kinds of things, from food and animals to chemicals, the temperature, and even things as natural as grass and plants. For some people, allergies can be life-threatening.

People who suffer from allergies are told to avoid the things that trigger a reaction—but pollen and other natural allergens can be hard to avoid. Our immune systems can also be affected by processed food and environmental toxins. Essential oils can help boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and decrease the symptoms of an allergic response.

Allergens trick the immune system into thinking something is a threat to the body. The immune system overreacts and produces antibodies, which release histamine and other chemicals, causing an allergic response.

Some theorize that the rise in allergic reactions is due to toxins in the foods and our environment that cause inflammation in the body. If there is already disease or inflammation in the body, the immune system is already overworked and more likely to overreact. If inflammation is treated and the immune system is not over-stressed, allergic reactions decline or may disappear entirely.

Essential oils have a great ability to balance the immune system and reduce inflammation. They help the body detoxify, eliminate free radicals, and fight infections, bacteria, parasites, and microorganisms.

Here are some of the many essential oils that may help reduce allergic response:

Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil clears sinuses and offers relief to scratchy throats when inhaled. Peppermint acts as an expectorant, helping to discharge the phlegm and reduce the inflammation that triggers an allergic reaction.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil opens up the airways, lungs, and sinuses and improves circulation. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. It cleanses toxins and also acts as an expectorant.

Basil

Basil essential oil reduces the inflammatory response triggered by allergens and supports the adrenal glands, which helps balance hormones and distribute blood to the needed areas when the body is exposed to a threat. It also is effective at detoxing and decreases inflammation, fatigue, and pain. It kills the bacteria, yeasts, and molds that can cause an asthmatic response.

Tea Tree

When diffused, tea tree essential oil kills airborne pathogens such as the molds, bacteria, and fungi that cause allergic reactions. It works as an antiseptic with anti-inflammatory properties.

Lemon

Lemon essential oil supports the lymphatic and respiratory systems. It inhibits the growth of bacteria and strengthens the immune system by stimulating white blood cell production. It also can eliminate allergens in the air when diffused.

*Enjoy the benefits of these essential oils by inhaling, diffusing, or adding to a drink such as water, a smoothie, or tea (internal use not recommended for tea tree essential oil). Essential oils can also be applied topically to the feet, chest, back of neck, and temples. For sensitive skin, dilute with a good carrier oil such as sweet almond or coconut oil. When using essential oils internally, only consume 1–2 drops per day for 1 month at a time. Then take a 2-week break before resuming treatment.

See the Reference Guide for Essential Oils to learn more about how essential oils can help reduce allergies.

Source: Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2017 Edition, pp. 372–73.

 

July 25, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Scented Bubbles

A lot of parents are concerned about their children being inside too much. Screen time can easily dominate what used to be outdoor play time. Children need to stay active and engage with nature and their own imaginations for good mental and physical health. If you feel like you’re running out of ideas and money to keep your kids active, sometimes simple things can be the answer—with an unexpected twist. Kids love to play with bubbles. While it’s sunny, add some fun to your kids’ bubbles by mixing in essential oils! They can enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy while playing outside.

Try adding your favorite essential oils to pre-made bubbles or to unscented dish soap thinned with a little water. Reuse old bubble containers and bubble wands, or have fun experimenting and creating your own bubble-blowing devices with items like yarn and mason jar rings. If you’re feeling ambitious, follow the recipe below for some DIY bubble fun!

Scented Bubbles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Vegetable Glycerin
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Castile Soap
  • 15–20 drops essential oil of choice (lemon, peppermint, and lavender smell great!)

Instructions:

  1. In a bottle or jar, mix water and glycerin until combined.
  2. Stir in castile soap (be gentle to prevent foaming).
  3. Stir in essential oils.
  4. Let sit for 1 hour before use for the best bubbles.

Get outside with the kids, and have fun playing with bubbles and breathing in the fresh air enhanced by the aroma of essential oils!

 

July 20, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Rosemary Beef Kebabs

During the summer, grilling outside is a good way to enjoy the weather and keep the house cool. This recipe is a delicious blend of spices and essential oils that really enhance the flavor of the meat. Enjoy these kebabs with a tossed salad, watermelon, and something cold to drink!

Rosemary Beef Kebabs

  • Servings: 6–8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. (1 kg) beef tenderloin, cut into 1 1/2″  (4 cm) cubes
  • 1 large red onion, cut into chunky pieces
  • 2 green or orange bell peppers, cut into chunky pieces

Dry Rub

  • 2 tsp. (6.5 g) garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (3.5 g) ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) allspice
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Marinade

  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup (240 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (240 ml) red cooking wine
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. (4.5 g) sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. (1.5 g) fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil
  • 1 drop coriander essential oil

Instructions

  1. Prepare 6–8 skewers. If using wood skewers, soak them in water for an hour before using them to prevent burning.
  2. In a bowl, mix dry rub spices, and then coat the cubed meat with it.
  3. In a large dish, combine the marinade ingredients.
  4. Add the spiced cubed meat to the marinade, massaging it well with your hands. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
  5. Remove the meat from the fridge 1 hour before grilling.
  6. Heat your gas grill to high.
  7. Prepare your kebabs. Slide the meat, onions, and bell peppers onto the skewers, alternating until you run out of room (about 4 pieces of meat per skewer). Set the extra marinade to the side.
  8. Place the kebabs on the grill for about 8 minutes, turning once midway through. Baste meat with some of the marinade while the kebabs cook.
  9. Remove from the heat. Wait 5 minutes before serving.

July 18, 2017
by Abundant Health™
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Essential Oils for Hair

Hair can be damaged by the weather, hard water, and your daily styling routine. If you color, blow dry, curl, or straighten your hair, there is a good chance that it is damaged. Many of the shampoos and conditioners available at the store may smell good and initially make your hair feel soft, but ultimately dry it out, depriving it of elasticity and shine. Dryness will cause hair to become brittle and dull and break off.

 

Essential oils can restore luster and strength to your hair. Also, essential oils are all-natural and don’t contain dangerous chemicals, making them better for the environment and your home than commercial hair products. In addition to essential oils, you can also use all-natural vegetable (carrier) oils to nourish your hair. Here are just a few oils that will improve the health of your hair and scalp:

Moisturize

Soften 

Shine

  • Chamomile essential oil
  • Lavender essential oil

Increase Growth

  • Cedarwood essential oil
  • Clary sage essential oil

Strengthen

  • Geranium essential oil
  • Rosemary essential oil

How to use essential oils in your hair:

  • Add a few drops of an essential oil to a quality, natural shampoo or conditioner.
  • Make your own moisturizing shampoo with essential oils.
  • In a 2 oz. bottle, mix several drops of the oil combination of your choice into 2 oz. (60 ml) of a carrier oil like jojoba. After you apply the oil mixture from the scalp to the ends, cover your head in a towel or shower cap. Wash out after 30 minutes, or for very damaged hair, leave it on overnight and shampoo in the morning.

When using oils to repair your hair, always wash them out completely. If left in too long, they can make hair limp or oily.

See the Reference Guide for Essential Oils to learn more about how essential oils can improve the health of your hair.

Source: Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2017 Edition, pp. 483–84.

 

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