I love shopping at my quaint, neighbourhood organic grocer. One of my favourite things about it is they often have unusual products.
This past week, they had Shiso. The lady working there didn’t even know much about it! She said the local herb farmer likes to drop off “weird” plants ever now and then, and she gets concerned people will be “weirded” out by them. Well, I’m all about weird so I took it off her hands!
Turns out, Shiso is also called Japanese mint. I’ve been topping my salads with it and you can infuse the leaves to make tea out of it. Its health benefits include:
Lots of vitamin C, K and A; potassium; and flavonoids (anthocyanins to be exact).
Helpful for cold symptoms such as a cough.
Supports digestive issues and is anti-inflammatory.
Eases allergies when eaten regularly.
We’ve managed to keep the plant alive and thriving on our window sill. We’ll see how long that lasts…
Next time you see a strange herb at the grocery store, you might want to give it a try 😉
I’ve had sinus issues for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, during sleepovers with friends, they would tell me they knew I was awake the next morning because I would sniffle.
A bit later on, I also developed allergies. Chronic congestion is no stranger to me and I often sneeze for no good reason. Plus, if you knew how many boxes of Kleenex I go through…
Sure, I tried cutting out dairy in the past and that helped a lot. I even have a Neti pot that I would often use to try to get relief but the Bulletproof nasal rinse has made the biggest difference.
At first, I was paranoid I would get some of the mixture in my lungs (because I’m weird like that). However, I soon got used to the feeling of pulling water through my nasal cavities and into my mouth. It was more difficult at first, when I was still really congested.
Plus, lately I was having issues with my eyes but this has helped tremendously with that too. I do the nasal rinse twice a day and the eye rinse once. Plan to keep cutting back as my symptoms continue to improve.
Xylitol is the magic ingredient in this mixture. I ran out for a few days and the effectiveness was seriously reduced. There’s even scientific research on it for you science junkies 😉
(I haven’t tried with the grapefruit seed extract yet; haven’t needed to.)
Once I’m done, I apply super high-quality clary sage and geranium essential oils diluted in fractionated coconut oil. I don’t have science to link to here but it’s backed anecdotally from my aromatherapist course.
Chaga mushroom is a fungus that grows on birch trees. Sounds appetizing, huh?
My parents introduced me to chaga a few years back. They had friends that discovered chaga and started consuming it for the amazing health benefits it offers. They knew this was something that would likely interest me so they gave me some to try out.
It has some pretty impressive health benefits. Here are my favourites:
Slows down the aging process.
Prevents and fights cancer.
Supports the immune system.
My favourite way to prepare this is in the slow cooker, as a perpetual brew – similar to what you can do with bone broth. I put a large chunk of chaga (like the one pictured) in the slow cooker, add boiling water to fill and set it on low. I drink a cup each morning and replace what I take with more boiling water. This lasts me about a week.
I got this idea from one of my natural health heroes, Ange Peters from HOL:FIT.
These friends of theirs also added lemon peel to their chaga tea cup. Back then, I didn’t quite understand why they would do this and my parents simply said it had added benefits. Now, as an essential oils educator, I totally get why you would add lemon peel: d-limonene.
“d-Limonene, a monoterpene, is widely distributed as a natural nonnutritive constituent of a variety of foods and volatile oils, particularly citrusoils. d-Limonene and its derived metabolites have been shown to possess cancer chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive efficacy in various preclinical model systems.” (Source)
I encourage you to replace your cup of Joe one morning and try it out 😉 (or do half and half). Don’t worry, it provides you with a great energy boost!
This is my favourite health snack these days. It looks a little funny and has an interesting texture but I actually enjoy its salty taste. Plus, it makes me feel like a mermaid when I eat it!
“Wakame is an edible brown seaweed or kelp common in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisines.” (Source) I eat it dry as shown in the picture above (although, I’m not sure you’re supposed to so comment below if you know!) or use it in homemade miso soup. I also read you can add some to your bath water for a beneficial seaweed soak! I will definitely be trying that…
This amazing sea plant is so nutrient-dense, despite being low in calories, it helps me feel satiated until I can finish prepping a healthy meal.
But the three main reasons I love Wakame are:
Iodine: this is probably your thyroid gland’s best friend*. It keeps it in balance and is necessary for the release of thyroid hormones.
Magnesium: if you’re not already, you’ll soon get tired of me raving about magnesium! This mineral is necessary for the proper contraction and relaxation of muscles. Plus, it’s been said that people with hyper- or hypo-thyroid conditions are likely deficient.
Fucoxanthin: this is an antioxidant from the carotenoids family. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and even fat-burning properties.
Just don’t overdo it with seaweed. It has super high levels of sodium so, like anything else, moderation is key!
Plus, *some thyroid conditions apparently don’t like too much iodine – normally when it’s in supplement form. Always check with a medical professional if you are concerned 😉
Gosh… you know when you think of something and wonder WHY on earth did it take me so long to come up with this?
Well, this is one of those moments.
Needless to say, I help lots of people get started with or interested in jumping on the essential oils bandwagon. Why? Because we’re one heck of an empowered, health-inspiring bunch.
Unfortunately tho, getting started with essential oils can be extremely overwhelming. Where do I begin? What do I do with allllll of these oils? And, most important, how do I incorporate them into my daily life so I can actually enjoy all of the health benefits this powerful plant magic has to offer?
So, in an effort to remove the dust off any and all essential oils that may be collecting dust in a closet out there, I wanted to share ways to include essential oils as part of a daily routine using the doTERRA Home Essentials kit. The tips marked with an asterisk are ones I use regularly.
One drop of lemon essential oil and a squeeze of lemon in pure spring water.*
Carefully rub one drop of peppermint essential oils on temples or back of neck to get rid of your sleepy face.*
Diffuse lemon essential oil for a pleasant, uplifting aroma.
Add frankincense essential oil to your moisturizer to reduce the appearance of blemishes (and for overall amazing skin).*
Add a drop of tea tree essential and/or On Guard essential oil blend to your toothpaste for oral health.*
Before biking to school with my son, I rub Deep Blue essential oil blend on his sore, growing knees.*
Apply Deep Blue essential oil blend to feet and knees before and after exercise.*
Had a heavy lunch or tried something new that’s not sitting well? Use one drop of ZenGest essential oil blend or massage onto abdomen with fractionated coconut oil.
Add a drop of lemon essential oil to your water.
Breathe in one drop of peppermint essential oil as a pick-me-up and to curb afternoon cravings.*
Diffuse On Guard essential oil blend in the home for a spicy and sweet aroma, and to clean the air.
Add On Guard essential oil blend to a spray bottle of water for an effective all-purpose cleanser.*
Driving a long distance and feeling queezy? Breathe in a drop of ZenGest essential oil blend.
Use one drop of oregano essential oil in place of one tablespoon ground oregano to your favourite Italian dishes.
Apply Deep Blue essential oil blend to hands and feet after gardening.
Rub Deep Blue essential oil blend on lower back muscles after a day of heavy lifting at work or during a move.
After long hours on the computer, try rubbing Deep Blue essential oil blend on your fingers, wrists, shoulders, and neck.
Diffuse Frankincense essential during your yoga practice for a peaceful aroma.
Diffuse Easy Air essential oil blend for clear breathing overnight.*
Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to pillows, bedding, or bottoms of feet as part of your
Add lavender essential oil to bath water or apply to the temples and the back of the neck before bed.
Apply On Guard essential oil blend to the bottoms of the feet of adults and kiddos.*
Massage Deep Blue essential oil blend with a few drops of carrier oil onto growing kids’ legs before bedtime.*
Add tea tree essential oil to bath for an immune system boost.*
How do you integrate essential oils into your daily life?
This is my favourite summer DIY! I keep this handy little bottle in the fridge and spray it on my skin a few times per day, after spending some time in the sun. It contains some wonderful healing (lavender and helichrysum) and cooling essential oils.
The “official” recipe comes from this book, although I tend to eyeball things plus I added some water. I just had a small bottle so I cut down the essential oils to about 15 drops.
25 drops lavender essential oil
25 drops helichrysum essential oil
25 drops peppermint essential oil
Macadamia nut oil (you can use any natural oil)
Add this to your sun safety preventative measures and keep your skin happy all summer 😉
One morning, I was walking by our espresso maker in the kitchen and a light bulb went off in my head. Instead of picturing myself smashing out the coffee grounds in the sink, I pictured myself mixing them with a bit of natural and essential oils.
I had heard of the benefits of using coffee grounds for skin health but hadn’t taken the time to try it out. However, now it’s become a quick and easy new addition to my morning routine: roll out of bed, scrape the coffee grounds out in a glass bowl, squeeze in a teaspoon of jojoba oil and add two drops of doTERRA AromaTouch essential oil then jump in the shower.
“The caffeine in the coffee grounds will dehydrate the skin and the circular motion used to apply the paste will stimulate blood flow, which may result in the appearance of firmer, less dimpled skin.” (Source)
What I love about this is I ALWAYS forget to dry skin brush before getting into the shower… now, it’s not a big deal because the grounds and essential oils help get my lymphatic system moving plus get rid of any dead skin cells. It leaves my skin soft and glowy.
I’ve also used the grounds as a face scrub and it worked well. Just make sure to be extra gentle and be careful not to get any in your eyes!
Next, I am going to try using the grounds in my hair. I’ve been reading how it can enrich brown hair, add shine and stimulate hair growth. You can also mix them with honey for a lip scrub – that’s on my to-do list, too 🙂