Posts tagged #natural remedy

The Divine Magic of Essential Oils

Essential oils are amazing! I can't sing their praises loudly enough. If you haven't fallen under their spell and been beguiled by their charm and magic, I urge you to give them a try. They will seduce you into certain moods based on their character and human reactions, or out of other negative moods due to the same alchemy.  It's all quite marvellous when you stop and take a moment and understand how they are made and their value to daily life.

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Essential Oils

100% Natural. 


My first exposure to essential oils was 22 years ago when I worked as a travel agent for Winners. I was working away at my desk and computer  and a lovely ginger-haired customer by the name of Annie noticed I wasn't my usual happy self as we were discussing arrangements for her upcoming trip to California.

"Hey Ally, is everything ok?" she asked with a genuine look of concern furrowing her brow.

"Not really" I admitted "I have a headache but I don't want to take anything" I said while simultaneously rubbing my swollen and heavily pregnant belly. 


"Oh, try this"

 she said as she took her necklace off and proceeded

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 to unscrew the tiny little bottle that was attached to it. "It's lavender oil. Just rub a few drops onto your temples and your headache will subside."

My alice-in-wonderland moment with a lovely and always laughing and smiling bohomenian gypsy

"Wow. Okay. How lucky for me that you have this on you today." I exclaimed as I did what she said and rubbed some into my temples, and on my wrists, and under my nose. I gave her back the bottle and she screwed the lid and put it back on her necklace and then around her head and big shiny hair and eyes and smile. 

"I swear by it. It always helps and it can't hurt.  I get headaches a lot myself and lavender is like a fairy godmother, making it disappear." 

"Thank you." 

"My pleasure. I hope it works for you."

"Thanks. I'll book your Cali trip and come find you with final reservations."  

She left and I concentrated on booking her itinerary as it was a last minute trip and she needed the details confirmed asap. I printed her travel plans and walked it over to her desk in the buying department to get her confirmation that everything looked okay before I printed the tickets, yes, this was back in the day when people needed real airplane tickets to travel and couldn't book it themselves. 

"Hey Alison. How's your headache?" she asked as she saw me approach.

I stopped for a second and realized with amazement that it was gone. Poof! Magic. 

After that though I was too busy having babies and caring for them that I truly didn't give essential oils another thought and it was a time before home computers, smart phones or the internet so...

Lavender field in France 

Lavender field in France 

My second exposure to the magic of essential oils was when my husband asked me to put a few drops of the Eucalyptus oil into the washing machine when I put in the laundry detergent. A friend of his told him this brilliant hack for getting rid of the stinky, sweaty, putrid smells in his workout wear, especially the socks and shirts.  No matter how hot or cold or what detergent brand I used, the stench was never quite eliminated . Guess what? It worked! Fresh! Pleasant even. 

Then, last summer for my birthday my ever so thoughtful sister-in-law gifted me with an essential oil diffuser. I love it! The first time I used it I filled it with water and a few drops of Saje's "refresh" blend of oils which combines lemon, eucalyptus and sweet spearmint. I found myself invigorated while working away near the diffuser and was not only revitalized but also highly productive.  The next time I used it I switched to the "liquid sunshine" blend of  bright citrus notes of grapefruit, lime and a dash of bergamot. How did it make me feel? Lighthearted and cheerful. I was quite impressed with the effects of the essential oil fragrance on my overall mood and energy. So much so in fact that this past year everybody on my birthday gift list has received an oil diffuser and a package of oils. Everybody. I'll have you know that each and every one has thanked me profusely and professes to use them all the time. My son has one in his bedroom at university and switches between a "focus" blend and a "tranquil" blend, depending of if he wants to study or sleep. My mom has her set up in her sitting/reading room and says she most enjoys the "bloom" blend which combines rosewood, ylang ylang and geranium for a fresh and soothing experience. She also experiments with different flower oils she picked up at Winners. My niece says hers is constantly on overnight and provides a calming scent, a faint light and sound that helps her sleep. 

Now I am hooked on essential oils and always looking for new ways I can incorporate their wonderful effects into my life when I'm not hanging out for an hour or two in a small room. 

Just last week I was cooking bacon in a pan on the stovetop and as often happens, some bacon grease splattered onto my bare inner arm. Ouch! That's a sensitive area and the sting of the burn was lingering. Then I remembered that while researching this article I read that Lavender oil can reduce the pain of minor burns. I quickly rooted in my handbag and put a few drops on the burn area and I am not kidding you, the pain completely disappeared. Wow! Lavender oil is also a natural antibacterial agent so now I always carry a small bottle in my purse in case of small cuts or burns, headaches and it even helps with other minor skin irritations (read pimples). 

Some benefits of other oils are:

JASMINE OIL :  is a popular natural remedy for improving mood, overcoming stress and balancing hormones. 

YLANG YLANG OIL : it is extremely effective in calming and bringing about a sense of relaxation, and it may help with releasing feelings of anger, tension, and nervous irritability.

NEROU OIL : it has a sweet and intensely floral aroma. Will help fight lethargy, depression, anxiety, and stress.

The above certainly can help combat a variety of menstrual cycle related woes. 

Some wonderful blends that also help during menstruation in particular are lavender, clary sage and rose to reduce the severity of menstrual pain and slightly different but equally effective a blend of lavender, clary sage and marjoram can reduce the duration of menstrual pain. 

One of my oldest friends swears on a combination of lavender and peppermint oil, mixed with almond oil and rubbed onto her abdominal area to relieve both pain and intensity of menstrual cramps. 

I highly recommend you try a few essential oils out, either in a diffuser, rubbed onto your skin or even when washing your clothes to appreciate the amazing benefits they possess. 

Stay tuned to this space to see how I am incorporating essential oils with the Female Empowerment Bracelet in a fun, and even more empowering way!


10 Foods That Fight PMS


PMS doesn’t have to be a terrible time.  There are proactive things we can do to diffuse  our anger and frustration.  Among them is giving ourselves space, time and love.  There is no shame in being a human woman. Taking time away from helping others, to instead nurture and care for ourselves is easier to do if you acknowledge the importance your mood has on everyone around you.  As the saying goes “Happy wife, happy life.”  I know I am never in a bad mood alone, I bring a few innocent bystanders (read husband and children) down with me. Diet can also play a key role in combatting the exhaustive symptoms of PMS.

Here are the top 10 foods that will help alleviate PMS traits.

1.  Chocolate.  Yes!  There is a good reason why we crave the sweet stuff at this time of the month; chocolate releases endorphins that reduce anxiety.  It also is laden with magnesium which reduces water retention and lifts our mood.  A few pieces of dark chocolate are all you need to receive the health benefits of this lovely food.

2.  Broccoli or Kale – Calcium rich foods without the dairy. Doctors think that in the week leading up to their period, many women  have abnormally high levels of a substance called the secondary parathyroid hormone in their body. This hormone can cause a long-term imbalance in the body’s calcium levels and lead to an increase in PMS symptoms.  Foods high in calcium can decrease PMS symptoms.

3.  Bananas – Vitamin B6 has been proven to reduce water retention, breast tenderness and moodiness.  Go bananas.  Have it with oatmeal in the morning to kick start your day in a positive way.  Munch on one at snack time for a healthy and helpful treat.

4.  Pineapple – This tropical fruit is full of manganese, which research shows increases serotonin levels which acts as an antidepressant.  Bonus?  It also decreases bloating.

5.  Almonds.  Vitamin E helps alleviate many PMS symptoms including breast tenderness and soreness and lowers depression and irritability.  Other foods containing high levels of vitamin E are asparagus and avocado.

6.  Salmon.  Omega 3 soothes cramps and dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain).

7.  Turkey.  The magic ingredient of tryptophan battles irritability.

8.  Pumpkin Seeds.  An allstar snack due in large part to the magnesium which calms bloating and L-tryptophan which battles irritability.

9.  Greek Yogourt.  Calcium eases PMS and the probiotics can ease tummy woes.

10.  Sweet Potato – Loaded with vitamins A and D to combat deficiencies that lead to oily skin and acne.

I think I’ll run to the grocery store now, for the sake of heart and home!