Top 3 essential oils for beautiful hair

Essential oils have a wide range of benefits for hair, ranging from cleansing to growth to scalp health. Plus, they can leave your hair smelling absolutely amazing!

Since going “no ‘poo”, I’ve been relying on essential oils a lot to add punch and variety to the mix. And when my hair smells beautiful, I tend to feel that way too 😉

Here are my favourite 3 essential oils for gorgeous hair.

Tea Tree

Tea tree, being one of the most anti-microbial of essential oils, is a great addition to your hair care routine to address dandruff and (for those of you with children, especially) lice.

I add 2-3 drops of tea tree to my baking soda and water mixture to keep my hair super clean.

Geranium

While geranium is a great support in balancing your hair’s natural oil production whether it’s oily OR dry, I mainly use geranium for its super “femme” smell. If you sniff it straight from the bottle, the floral scent can be intense. But, in your hair, I like that it’s strong enough to smell for a long time.

I also add 2-3 drops of geranium to my baking soda and water mixture.

Sandalwood

Sandalwood is my natural leave-in conditioner. After rinsing with water and apple cider vinegar, I run a drop or two of this oil through my hair. It is great for dry scalp and I enjoy the hippie smell. It’s woodsy and earthy with a hint of sweetness.

What essential oils do you love for your hair?

M.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Picture of smoothie

What’s in my smoothie?

I need to preface this post by saying that my smoothie-recipe skills are by no means refined. One thing you need to know about me is I don’t eat for taste (most of the time), I eat for purpose. And that purpose is HEALTH…

So my smoothie recipe is not for every palate. If you’re a crunchy health nut like me, you might think it is delicious! Otherwise, don’t get your hopes up 😉

This is my basic recipe, and it rarely changes:

  • 1 banana 🍌
  • 1 cup pineapple 🍍 or mango 🥭 
  • 3-4 kale leaves or a handful of spinach
  • 1/2 bunch parsley 
  • 1 chunk cucumber 🥒 
  • 1 tbsp goji berries 
  • 3 tbsp hemp seeds or chia seeds
  • 1 tsp spirulina or chlorella
  • 1 tsp Maca or Tulsi
  • 1 tsp bee pollen 🐝 
  • 1-2 cups spring or coconut water 💧
  • 1 tbsp coconut or MCT oil (occasionally)

No dairy… no store-bought dairy alternatives… no protein powders… just simple, mostly unprocessed foods!

What’s in your smoothie?

M.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Essential oils and pets

Essential oils and pets

If you’re in my Rustik Health Education and Promos Facebook group, you might have read my post about the time I sprayed my outdoor cat with doTERRA TerraShield essential oil blend to help repel ticks (and insects in general).

At the time, I didn’t know the blend included catnip… so minutes after I sprayed “Kitterson”, he was licking himself all over! That was a fail.

As an essential oils educator, one of the top questions I get asked is if oils are safe to use around pets. Just Google the topic and you’ll find TONS of controversy and opposing opinions on this.

Here are my favourite sources on the topic to help you form your own opinion.

What a famed aromatherapist says…

British aromatherapist Robert Tisserand is said to have renewed interest in essentials oil when he published his book The Art of Aromatherapy in 1977. He has since written an authoritative book on essential oils safety, done many lectures and presentations, and written multiple research articles.

On his website, Robert Tisserand addresses the issue of essential oils and pets. He focuses specifically on cats, given cats almost completely lack important liver enzymes which support the metabolism of many essential oil constituents. Because of this, cats are at the most theoretical risk of toxicity (it’s much less of an issue with dogs). That being said, he believes a small amount of any essential oil, and a moderate amount of most, will not harm your cat.

A small amount of any essential oil, and a moderate amount of most, will not harm your cat.

What scientific research says…

Ok, well… there isn’t a ton of research on essential oils and pet safety, and that is part of the issue. But one holistic British veterinarian did some great investigating and I recommend you read the article.

Here are the main takeaways I got from it:

  • In cases where toxicity was observed, applications were 5 – 10 times more concentrated than usual.
  • Given the lack of enzymes, one must consider the dose and frequency of essential use with cats to allow for proper metabolism.
  • The quality of the essential oils used matters.

There are a few oils that make the list as contraindicated for cats – but truly remain listed as contraindicated for almost all of the aromatherapy world. 

However, there are a few oils you would definitely want to avoid using around pets but these are the same oils you want to avoid yourself: Bitter Almond, Boldo, Calamus, Garlic, Horseradish, Mustard, Sassafras, Wormseed (Chemopodium), and Pennyroyal.

What the largest essential oils company says…

I know what you’re going to say.

Of course the largest essential oils company in the world is going to say oils are safe to use around pets. They want to sell more oils. And to that I would say the largest essential oils company in the world would not have become so if it was harming pets left, right and center 😉

Here is a great one-pager from doTERRA with tips on using essential oils with animals.

Do you use essential oils around your pets?

M.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Dehydrated juice pulp crackers

Hassle-free dehydrated crackers

Since upgrading to a better juicer, I am obsessed with making dehydrated crackers from the dry left-over pulp. I used to be intimidated by this but I gave it a shot, was quite successful and eventually developed my own recipes.

And by “developed my own recipes”, I mean I looked at different recipes online, got inspired and just wing it each time… I literally mix and match random ingredients, and eyeball the quantities.

Combine any of the following in a bowl:

  • Dry fruit and vegetable pulp (mostly vegetable)
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dab of hot sauce
  • Sprinkle of nutritional yeast
  • Drizzle of tamari sauce
  • Seeds (sunflower, sesame, etc.)

Then, I flatten the mixture with my hands on parchment paper. I pop the tray back into the dehydrator and set the machine to 118F. I leave it for 4 hours, flip the cracker and then dehydrate for another 4 hours.

They don’t really look appetizing but they are a great replacement for the processed corn chips I used to dip in hummus or guacamole. Plus, they are raw vegan approved 😉

Do you have any dehydrator cracker ingredient ideas for me?

M.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Best summer detox foods

It’s summer up here in Canada so fresh fruit is the only food on my mind! When the sun is scorching, what better food to bite into than ripe, sweet and juicy fruit of any kind…

In general, fruit pack a powerful detox punch. Here are 3 fruits to focus on if you are looking to help your body cleanse and detox:

Grapes

Apparently, the “grape detox diet” is a thing. You’ll find all sorts of stories about it by researching online. It usually calls for only eating grapes for extended periods of time (AKA a mono-diet).

Eating only one fruit in this fashion can certainly help detoxify by virtue of removing a huge burden from the digestive process. At this point, I can’t see myself trying or advocating a grape-only diet but I totally see why it’s a worthwhile indulgence.

Grapes are an excellent source of flavonoids and resveratrol, which support cardiovascular health, have antioxidant activity and demonstrate some anticancer effects.

Tip: grapes are often a heavily-sprayed crop. Although more expensive, it is totally worth buying organic if you have access and to truly support detoxification.

Berries

Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries… there are so many good things to say about all the different types of berries!

The dark-coloured berries are renowned for their super high antioxidant levels. Did you know that, according to ayurvedic tradition, the red-hued berries are powerful lymph movers?

“The primary function of the lymph is to remove cellular waste while circulating the immune system throughout the body.” (Source)

Unlike the blood, there is no “pump” in our bodies to circulate the lymph. So on top of deep breathing, rebounding, drinking plenty of water and etc., make sure you are consuming the right foods!

Watermelon

This is definitely the fruit of the season. Is there anything more refreshing than watermelon on a blistering summer day?!

Since getting a new juicer for my birthday, I’ve been juicing watermelon every morning and consuming a good 20 ounces. It is full of pure water to help you re-hydrate, contains an important antioxidant called lycopene and is also a powerful diuretic.

Natural, food or herb-based diuretics are valuable detoxification tools as they help the kidneys filter and pass more urine. This is one of the ways you remove waste products and excess fluid from your body.

Tip: add a drop of doTERRA lime essential oil for extra detoxifying power.

What is your favourite summer fruit?

M.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

How essential oils work

This is by no means an exhaustive explanation or list of how essential oils work for the mind or in the body. But it gives you a general idea of what these amazing plant essences can do for you!

Here are 2 easy-to-remember ways essential oils work to positively impact your health:

Olfactory System

The most simple and popular way to use essential oils is by inhaling its beautiful scent. Okay, some of them don’t smell that great…

But remember! Regardless of what you think of the smell, that powerful aromatic compound is passing through your nasal cavity, getting picked up by your olfactory receptor sites and directly affecting the limbic area of your brain.

That means, you can use essential oils to positively impact your mood, enhance your memory and help manage your emotions. I love diffusing a citrus oil in the morning to take the edge off grumpy people and then a woodsy oil in the evening to wind down before bedtime.

Even though you’re just breathing it in, some of the essential oil components also get into your blood stream through the small capillaries in your lungs.

Passive absorption

Another way to use essential oils is topically. Essential oils are teeny, tiny molecules that easily pass through your skin. Some are said to even be able to pass through your blood-brain barrier!

They are so easily absorbed that your body doesn’t need to break down, convert or take up any energy to use them.

Although essential oils will make their way throughout the body, applying them topically can help you target a particular area of interest. I love rubbing them on my neck when I’m feeling tension, on my tummy when it’s causing issues or on my joints when they are sore.

What’s your favourite way to use essential oils?

M.

Ready to start using essential oils as part of your lifestyle? Learn more.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Super green and clean laundry routine

IMO, the easiest place in your home to eliminate toxic chemicals is your laundry room. And, it really doesn’t have to be complicated at all!

I literally only use three simple ingredients: soap nuts, vinegar and doTERRA Purify essential oil. No mixing required! Plus, two tools: a muslin bag to hold the soap nuts and dryer balls. Occasionally, I will use doTERRA OnGuard cleaner concentrate to remove tough stains.

To wash, put 4-5 soap nuts in the muslin bag and put 4-5 drops of essential oil on the bag. Throw this in the washing machine tub with your dirty clothes. If using the concentrate, apply to stains as soon as possible after they happen and let sit at least an hour before washing.

To dry, put 4-5 drops of essential oil on each dryer ball and throw into the dryer tub with your wet laundry. And that’s it, folks! The smell will be super light and clean.

The bottle of essential oil lasts me about two months and I’m only halfway through the 1 KG soap nuts bag I bought 6 months ago. I’ve had the dryer balls a good two years and they are getting quite tired… Buy the biggest tub of vinegar you can find and it will last you a few months.

So not only is this the purest way to do your laundry (and very minimalistic!), it’s also super cost-effective. You don’t have to worry about any of these products touching your skin or going into the earth.

Give it a try and let me know how you like it 🙂

M.

PS – If you need help getting the essential oil and concentrate, send me an email or comment below and I’ll hook you up.


My natural home birth

My natural health obsession reached a peak when I became pregnant with my son. I was well on my way before then but the responsibility of creating another human being really kicked it up a few notches!

I knew right from the get-go I didn’t want to give birth in a hospital setting unless there was some sort of medical emergency that required it. And my health philosophy is all about being super (and borderline obsessively) proactive to avoid medical emergencies. When it comes to my health, I never leave anything to chance.

An acquaintance of mine that had gone through a couple of natural home births recommended I start drinking red raspberry leaf tea even before I became pregnant to improve fertility and especially during pregnancy to strengthen my uterus. I did this regularly before and throughout my pregnancy. In doing your research on this herb, you’ll see that conventional medicine says it can cause miscarriage in the first three months. If you read carefully, the research tested the isolated active component and not the whole herb. Be aware and do what feels comfortable and safe for you.

From a food standpoint, I avoided the usual list to steer clear of but on top of that I completely eliminated coffee and even chocolate. My boy didn’t even get chocolate cake on his first birthday… I made him “chocolate cake” using carob. I told you I was crazy right? I’m a lot more nutritionally lax with my son nowadays but it was really important for me to get him started right. I was also drinking a lot of fresh, homemade green juices.

It goes without saying I went the midwife route. I also hired a doula and took hypno-birthing classes. These are non-negotiable in my opinion. I have no doubt that the affirmations and visualization I learned to do through hypno-birthing were a big factor in my success and positive birth experience. I actually hate that as women we’ve been made to feel disempowered and scared of our own bodies when it comes to birthing. These exercises helped me ignore the fear-mongering that surrounded me.

In addition to mental exercise, physical exercise was a huge part of my pregnancy. I was doing spinning classes into my 8th month and my last gym workout was 4 days before I gave birth. I worked with the amazing Sarah Zahab to get the best pregnancy workout for my needs. I also religiously did my Kegels and deep squat stretches. Giving birth was probably the toughest workout I ever did and staying in shape throughout pregnancy was definitely one of the best decisions I could have made.

I really wish someone would have introduced me to the power of essential oils back then. High-quality mandarin and lavender are amazing health and mood supports during pregnancy. I’m certain I could’ve reduced a lot of discomfort with oils and I can just imagine how amazing it would have been to have a diffuser going during labour.

I rarely go into detail about how wonderful and empowering my birthing story was because I know that’s not everyone’s experience. However, I decided to share some of the counter-culture things I did to help others who want to follow this path and hopefully make a small impact in the birthing experience of these women.

We are STRONG. We are POWERFUL. We were MADE TO DO THIS. Please don’t ever let anyone take that belief away from you…

Sounds crazy (and by now you know I am crazy!) but I would totally give birth again tomorrow. Unfortunately, having another baby just wasn’t in the cards for me.

I would absolutely love to hear the positive home birth stories of other women! Feel free to share with us in the comments below and include any unconventional things you might have done during your pregnancy 🙂

M.


My jade roller experience

I should first mention that I’ve had a love affair with jade for a long time. The colour is amazing and I’ve been lucky to be gifted beautiful jade jewelry over the years.

I’m not big into gemstones and crystals but I vaguely knew it had powerful healing properties. When I heard about jade rollers, I decided to take a deeper look. Turns out, jade is considered the stone of eternal youth. That statement in itself was enough to capture my attention!

The whole premise behind the jade roller is to apply pressure up and out across different areas of your face to increase circulation and lymph flow, smooth out wrinkles and give your skin a nice glow. It doesn’t take much more than two minutes to do so and I can attest to the glow!

To use, keep your jade roller in the freezer. The cooling sensation feels nice and can also help with any puffiness you may be experiencing. Prepare your skin by washing it and then applying a natural oil. I make my own skin oil and I’ve posted a couple of recipes here and here.

I highly recommend you use only the BEST essential oils as essential oils easily penetrate the skin and many can go into your cells… plus, the jade roller will further help enhance absorption. For good health and longevity, it’s extremely important for you to keep your cells healthy and toxin-free as much as realistically possible. Reach out to me to get started with the best essential oils and find out more here.

Wash your jade roller with mild and all-natural soap after each use, then put back in the freezer. And voilà! Repeat daily, morning and night.

Have you tried jade rolling yet?

M.

 

 

 

 

 


What’s in your product: body spray

doTERRA "Beautiful" body mist

My favourite “pure-fume” scent.

Perfume was definitely one of the first things to go when I started removing the toxins from my self-care routine. That was years ago and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve been settling for smelling like the essential oils I add to my all-natural deodorant, which is not a bad thing at all 😉

Lately, the fad seems to be body mists. You can smell massive wafts of it walking by certain stores in shopping malls. Problem is, along with the pretty smell, you can usually also smell the synthetics they carry.

Remember: it’s been said that your body absorbs about 60% of what you put on it. Plus, the particles you breathe in go directly to your brain…

In this blog post from the “What’s in your product” series, I cover the doTERRA Spa body mist which happens to include my favourite-smelling essential oil blend. It rates super low according to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database. Here’s the EWG scale:

EWG-scale

And here are the ingredients plus how they rate on this scale:

  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: used to moisturize and replenish the skin. Scores as a 1 on the EWG scale.
  • Coco-Caprylate: acts as skin conditioning agent and scores as a 1 on the EWG scale.
  • Octyldodecanol: fragrance ingredient that rates super low as a 1 on the EWG scale.
  • Citric Acid: I talked about citric acid in my last post in this series. It’s also used in food products so I found it surprising that it rates as a 2 on the EWG scale. This is still relatively low.

The rest are natural oils, essential oils and extracts. So, needless to say, I now have a pure-fume body mist back in my self-care routine! I also love keeping a bottle in my gym bag. In addition to just smelling good, the essential oils in this mist have the added benefits of being uplifting, calming and confidence-boosting.

You can feel (and smell) good spraying this body mist on your skin!

M.

You can always email me at rustikhealth@gmail.com for more information about these products or join my community and get some delivered to your home 😉