Why I Went Natural & How I use Essential Oils

Let’s talk about going au-naturel!

In this post I will be talking about the ways I modified my everyday life to be more natural and less invasive on my body! When I first started on this little endeavour I never realized the amount of products and things on the market that target people just like me. The mid twenties millennial, eco-loving, trend following, hippie. Now I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a hippie, but I am definitely a self declared eco-advocate, open to trying new things if they are better for me and the environment.

I first realized the effects that harsh chemicals could have on our bodies when I was researching liver issues. I came to realize that our bodies rely heavily on our liver because it cleanses toxins from our bodies. This means that anything we put on our skin, in our mouths or bring into contact with our bodies, will eventually find its way to our liver. Its most crucial job is to take toxins out of our bodies (usually from our blood) and release clean blood back into our systems.

You sometimes hear people apologizing to their liver before consuming a large amount of alcohol. It is true, you should be apologizing to the organ that helps our bodies in so many ways! Our liver is where all the alcohol is removed from our blood, before it is ready to be discharged out of our bodies! What I never realized was how many times a day we should be apologizing to our livers, and our many other organs. Here are only a few of the daily occurrences where we are administering toxins into our bodies, and sometimes completely unaware of it (I know I was)

  1. When we consume alcohol
  2. When we take pain medications like ibuprofen
  3. When we forget to wash our produce before we eat it
  4. When we use cleaning products that are filled with harsh chemicals
  5. When we use beauty product containing parabens and other harmful ingredients.

These are only some of the ways we are unknowingly causing our bodies undo harm and stress. These are also however, the five major things I changed/am working on changing to live a more natural life. We have already discussed alcohol so I won’t harp on about that any longer.

Taking pain medications like ibuprofen

I am the first one to admit that I do not like to feel any pain (who does), but I am starting to realize that their are other things I can do to relieve pain and discomfort. When I was slightly younger, I wouldn’t think twice about taking a Tylenol or Advil if I felt a headache coming on. Oh, and don’t even get me started on an upset stomach or nausea, no questions asked, I was taking Gravol or Pepto Bismol. Now I definitely think twice. What I wasn’t realizing is that after ingesting these things, they were going straight to my liver and probably causing damage.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: I am in no way advising that people should not take medication. If you need it, take It. When I had my wisdom teeth removed, absolutely nothing the oral surgeon didn’t prescribe was going to touch the pain I was in. The liver damage I am talking about is from taking small amounts of ibuprofen etc. for long amounts of time. Why not prevent these things from happening. I have found some great alternatives to these pain medications that truly do work, and I am so excited to share them.

Essential oils

These amazing natural oils are all the rage right now. If you haven’t already heard about them and all of their glory I am truly surprised. For the purpose of alleviating pain, I like to use them as topical treatments. Be sure to test a small amount on your skin to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction. I recommend mixing it with a ‘carrier oil’ like vegetable oil or coconut oil.

  • Tea tree oil on acne
  • Peppermint oil on the temples and back of the neck to alleviate stress and headaches.
  • Eucalyptus oil on the chest for colds and congestion

BONUS:

  • Lavender oil on the temples or sprayed(mixed with water) as a pillow mist to help with sleep.
Click the image to find this starter pack of essential oils here

After a couple trips to the health food store, and many discussions with the professionals there, I have found some great and highly effective ways of treating colds, and upset stomach.

  • Oregano oil with garlic is a great way to battle respiratory viruses and keep the immune system strong during the winter months. (Take in spurts of 1-2 weeks)
  • Deep immune is an elderberry based oil that works similarly to oregano oil, but works taken over long periods of time, to fortify your immune system. Since I am a teacher, deep immune and oregano oil are both staples in my medicine cabinet for me.
  • Goldenseal is amazing for stomach issues and stomach viruses. It works to alleviate bloating and other digestion issues, but will also help if you feel like you are coming down with the dreaded winter stomach bug.
Found at any health store.

Forgetting to wash our produce

The best way to avoid nasty germs left by other people touching your fruit and veggies, is to give it a good scrubbing before you eat it. I am not afraid to use a little bit of soap on them (or vinegar… make sure to rinse thoroughly) to get them nice and clean. We can also remove some of the pesticides used on the produce by cleaning them. This unfortunately doesn’t touch what has reached the interior of the food, but we do what we can without buying organic right?

Using harsh chemicals to clean

Ah… my favourite topic. I am open to any suggestions anyone might have about natural and effective cleaning products, I am always on the hunt. However, I have recently switched from harsh kitchen cleaner to the Method brand, and I’m true fan of the products. I have tried a variety of their cleaners and really like them all.

Found at any grocery store.

I also really love to use essential oils in my kitchen to clean and add a nice fragrance. After cleaning my sink I run hot water and add about 5-7 drops of essential oil. By adding it to the steaming water, it fills to the room with a nice smell. When I use peppermint oil, it moves throughout my whole lower level.

I bought my starter pack of essential oils here.

When it comes to the kitchen, I am afraid to use anything with too many chemicals. We prepare food and eat there! The bathroom on the other hand, gets the full power of bleach! I have yet to find anything that I feel works as well, but I am open to suggestions.

Using beauty products with parabens and other harmful ingredients.

I get it, not everyone believes that the things in our shampoo, body lotion and contact solution can be harmful to us in the long run. It is everyone’s personal choice, but my motto is “I would rather be safe than sorry!” There are so many different natural product lines out there it is insane! I have recently been enjoying the Abba line of haircare products and love them. Again, I am open to suggestions!

Going natural is a personal choice, and a choice that I believe can be taken in steps over time. Like I’ve mentioned, the repercussions of using non-natural products will take a toll on you, but likely in the far future if used over long periods of time. The same can be said about going natural. We may never see a difference on the inside of our bodies if we go natural early and continue in the future, but isn’t that the point? Prevent now and prosper later.

Until next time,

Stephanie