Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Essential Success: Know Your Stuff

   I love that the holistic lifestyle is catching on. I love that people are realizing that the every-day garbage is what's making us sick and killing us. I love that people are realizing they CAN be healed naturally- that their bodies know how to heal and recover if we only just enable our bodies to do so. I love that as a society more and more are coming to realize that we have been equipped with things in nature to heal ourselves without the use of chemicals. I love having this venue for sharing what I have learned and what I am continuing to learn.
Morning study time
   I am also not the only one who loves to blog about holistic living. I follow at least 20 bloggers who write about all different aspects of natural living, gardening, essential oils, frugally natural eating, Paleo lifestyle, and more. There is a whole wealth of knowledge available, and so many writers who want to share how they use it. Unfortunately I have found that there's a lot of misinformation out there. Really well-meaning people are just repeating what they read somewhere that fits into their idea of 'that makes sense' without actually researching it, considering their sources, or fully testing it out for themselves. This past spring a friend who sells a line of "natural" food, health supplements, and skincare products wrote that the soy-based products she sold were hormone-free because they were non-GMO. It was wrong in so many ways, but suffice it to say that scientifically speaking, soy is phyto-estrogen, a botanical(plant-based) hormone that the body can recognize only as a hormone and responds to it identically to synthetic and natural forms of estrogen. This is a problem because of the wealth of information available that proves unnatural (i.e. more than what your body produces itself for its own internal cycles and purposes) estrogens(botanical or otherwise) cause a whole host of severe health issues like breast cancer in men and women, breast growth in men(MORE COMMON THAN YOU THINK!), pancreatic disorders, thyroid disorders, digestive disorders, auto-immune issues, and prevents the body from properly absorbing vital nutrients like proteins and minerals. When I had an email discussion with her about the statement, she said simply that her "upline" had told her that and she believed it was true. I asked if she had researched it. She said no.
   While many sources of bad information may be pure ignorance, others are not. Many purposefully exclude information to support the point they want to make. Some are doing it to sell a product. Some are doing it to promote an agenda. For example, on July 4th this year I was scrolling down Facebook and a VERY popular essential oils blogging group posted an informational graphic instructing readers to dose their pets up with a specific oil blend to help their pets not be afraid of fireworks near their homes, at events, etc. My alert immediately went up because I know the blend well and know that the first three ingredients are citrus, and citrus oils are toxic to many animals, especially cats and birds. I posted along with a link to a well-researched article on said toxin issues, pointing out that it might be a good strategy for some larger dogs, but could kill other animals and smaller or elderly dogs. Within minutes my post was deleted and I was banned from posting on the page. The post they made was never edited to include the safety information.
Thousands of pages of invaluable information 
   When you're looking at holistic and alternative-method information, first and foremost, RESEARCH! When you find a great tidbit of information, look for it in multiple sources. However, pay attention to the way it's written. Recently I was looking for natural flea treatment for a friend whose husband found a sickly, flea-infested, stray kitten alongside the road and was looking to nurse it back to health. I found six articles- SIX!- that were nothing more than an exact copy and paste of snippets of a WikiHow page on the topic, and there were no citations. I'm not going grammar-crazy, my point is that they're presenting identical info they clearly found only at one source and put it down as their own with no further research.
   But I can't hide my inner nerd. I do love grammar. But I also love truth. I am all about sharing facts. If I share something, you can know without a doubt I have both researched it and tested it extensively myself. If there's something some one asks me that I am unsure of I will never lie. I will happily admit I don't know but that I'm happy to find out. I'm a nerd. I love to KNOW. Information- facts- science- they all thrill me. So when I jumped into the full essential oil experience this past winter and started changing my and my family's lives over to more essential oil options, I started to research. I dedicated myself to it in every spare moment I had. I decided that every week I would choose one essential oil and just study it through and through so I could learn as much as possible about each oil and use it SAFELY to its fullest ability. I quickly realized there was a whole lot of that "Copy and Paste" garbage out there, masquerading as multiple information sources. That's when I decided to take the plunge. I talked to the mentors in my life who have been using EOs for decades, and asked what the best source for this information was. That's when I was led to The Essential Oils Desk Reference from Life Science Publishing. A literal text full of exactly the information I wanted: a break down of the chemistry of essential oils, how they are extracted and distilled, why the steps of these processes matter SO much, as well as the details of each oil, its uses, its possible medical interactions, its chemistry, its historical uses, and its cautions.  Everything. This is better than studying in college, because it means EVERYTHING for the health of my family. I know it means just as much for yours, too. So do your research, and don't be afraid to speak up and share facts.


  1. I was JUST thinking about you an hour ago, wondering when there would be another blog post. So did you find a safe, effective flea treatment? Would it be the same for cats AND dogs? Whatcan beused throughout the house to discourage fleas? The EO bug spray recipe; is it a good flea repellant for humans? Hope you are doing well in your FB break.

    1. Thanks for thinking of me! :-)
      In my research I found that that adding nutritional yeast to your cat or dog's food daily is a healthful and natural remedy. 1 Tablespoon to medium and large dogs' food, and 1 teaspoon to cats and small dogs' food daily is a healthful supplement that will keep their fur and skin plush and healthy while also making it an environment and flavor that is undesirable to fleas. It can take a month or so to be fully effective, though, so it's not a quick treatment.
      As for using throughout the house, when we dealt with the issues back in 2008 when we took in a rescue kitten, we mixed 1 tsp tea tree oil with 1 cup of baking soda and sprinkled it on our carpets and furniture, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then vacuum it up and dispose of the contents of the canister(fleas can climb out and flea eggs can continue to hatch). We did this twice a week and vacuumed daily as well and had good success. However, since then I have found out that tea tree oil can be toxic to pets I would be careful. Instead, I would recommend using citronella and rosemary oils for the same purpose as those oils have been shown very effective in the same application. I have also read many places that making a solution of 10 drops of Young Living's Purification(contains both citronella and rosemary) in 2 cups of water spritzed on furniture, carpet, etc, with a spray bottle is excellent as flea treatment and repellent, and as a Febreeze solution, too! I personally have not tried it, though.