Tools for Helping Your Children with Emotions

As a Recreation Therapist and mom to a child with intense emotional challenges, I am a huge advocate of using play based tools to help children understand, process, and appropriately respond to their emotions. Not only is this helpful for the child and those surrounding that child, but it also goes hand in hand with identifying and appropriately responding to the emotions that others are expressing. Here are my four steps to helping children with their emotions, and the tools you need to do so.

  1. Give the emotions a name. Identification is the first step in properly expressing our own emotions, and in having empathy toward the emotions of others. Resource – My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words has an awesome two-page spread that covers a huge variety of emotions so that your child can identify what he or she, or another person may be feeling.childrens-feelings-question-from-bfboc
  2. Work through scenarios, and practice expressing how YOU feel. Children naturally do this through play, particularly through imaginative play like with a dollhouse and dolls. Resource– Create A Story Cards is a beautiful deck of 46 picture cards. It’s an award winning product that has endless possibilities for you to create “social stories” (a therapeutic term that basically means you tell your child or client a story that models the appropriate action that you want them to exhibit in real life), and also for your child to work through their own scenarios, or to be guided with your help through scenarios involving complex emotions or reactions to situations.
  3. Practice working with others. This opens up communication, helps build respechoot-owl-hoott of others, and literally builds the skill of working in cooperation with others. Resource– there are MANY cooperative games on the Barefoot Books website. Pick a topic that interests your children (there is everything from Dinosaurs and Owls, to Chickens and Mermaids available!), and let them play with these cooperative games. They will quickly learn to respect and help each other through the game, because either everyone wins or loses…together!
  4. Target specific emotions. I like to keep a variety of books on hand so that we already have resources available for when they are needed in dealing with specific emotions. You can use these as they are, or as a starter for discussions, activities, and further processing.
    1. Anger – Emily’s Tiger
    2. Grief – The Tear Thief
    3. Being different – The Elephants’ Ears
    4. Fear – A Dragon on the Doorstep
    5. Loneliness – Sand Sister
    6. Selfishness – The Parrot Tico Tango (a singalong about sharing), Ruby’s Baby Brother (about bringing a new sibling into the family), One City, Two Brothers (putting others before yourself), and a lot more once you start digging through the site!
    7. Contentment – The Blue Bird’s Palace

quote-books-are-the-wisest-of-counselors

 

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you, but that purchasing through helps me to be able to continue to bring you great content and to buy the occasional ice cream cone for my children. The opinions and professional recommendations are all mine, and I stand behind them 200%. 🙂 

8 Days of Messianic Hanukkah Devotions with FREE printables!

messianic-hanukkah-devosHanukkah is almost here! It’s a time that our family looks forward to for the fun, the depth, the traditions, the history, the learning, the celebrating, and the honor to God that it brings. Who wouldn’t want to do all of these things for 8 days?!

Whether you grew up celebrating The Festival of Lights, or if this will be your first year, my hope is that you will be blessed and that your preparation will be made easier with the 8 Days of Messianic Hanukkah Devotions here. It is the devotions that I have put together and tweaked over the last few years that my own family uses every night of Hanukkah. It will teach you the history of the holiday, provide Internet links to crafts, activities, videos, and more (all free!), and even provide questions for reflection each night.

The themes that it covers are–

Day 1 Theme: God protects and provides for those who persevere in honoring Him and who fight for justice

Day 2 Theme: why we light the hanukkiah (menorah)

Day 3 Theme: Jehovah Tsidkenu — the Lord of Justice and Rightousness

Day 4 Theme: even a single candle defeats the darkness

Day 5 Theme: God wants us to remember His history

Day 6 Theme: sanctifying our Temple

Day 7 Theme: there is hope for our future

Day 8 Theme: what others have meant for evil, God has meant for good

There are three basic things you will need. The first, is a menorah and candles, the second is to download the Hanukkah Readings and Prayers document* and the third is to download the PDF copy of our 8 Days of Messianic Hanukkah Devotions OutlineBoth of these documents are FREE for you!

Happy Hanukkah!

 

*please note that I created this document from copy-and-pasting Biblical passages, and what I assume are prayers from Chabad.com years ago. I don’t remember who authored any of it, what versions of the Bible I used, or who created the artwork I put in. I created it for the use of my family, and didn’t think ahead about sharing it with others! No harm is intended, but if you authored any of it, let me know and I’ll gladly credit your information to you. 🙂 

Weekend Sale on the Barefoot Book of Children!

book-of-children

The popular Barefoot Book of Children is on sale this weekend! Grab a discounted copy quick–the sale ends at 8:59am EST on Monday, 12/12/2016! Shipping in time for the holidays is still available, and if you are a parent or teacher, you need this book in your library. I was blessed to receive a copy for free when I became a Barefoot Books Ambassador , and I highly recommend it for every home and classroom.

It’s so important to have literature like this available to your children, because it is diverse and inclusive. Children start to develop prejudices by the age of two-years-old, and one of the ways to help them develop empathy and cultural appreciation is to give them access to inclusive and diverse literature. It doesn’t get easier, more appropriate, or more beautiful than this book!

Inside the hard cover, there are beautiful illustrations from around the world, showing all types of work, living, families, and ways of life in a respectful and appropriate manner. In the back, there are 15 pages of educational end notes! My kids love this book and I am continually having to wipe of residue from the back from sticky fingers because they feel the need to “read” it all the time.

Perfect for ages 3-10, you can read the full description, look inside, and get your copy by clicking here.

Happy Holidays!

How to use essential oils safely during labor and birth

rachel-pregnant-belly

I have such a passion for birth and postpartum. I’ve had the privilege of giving birth to my own children, two via waterbirths where I was able to catch my babies myself, and the last via a home birth, and I have also been able to be the lone person assisting two mothers during their births while working as a paramedic.

As an herbalist, certified doula, Sacred Pregnancy Mini Retreat instructor, and  traditional postpartum care provider, I feel that providing expecting mamas with the information on using herbs and essential oils to assist them from pregnancy through motherhood is extremely valuable. I also believe that it is of the utmost importance that women are instructed on the correct and safe use of herbs and essential oils during these times, especially.

Unfortunately, there is much incorrect information available via the Internet and even printed books, which can cause both harm and a lack of proper effect for the women using these methods. Hence, where I come in! This is the first of what will be a series of educational pieces devoted specifically to pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum to help you know exactly how to safely and effectively use natural plant based tools to assist your well being as you grow little humans, bring them into the world, and then help your own body re-balance itself to a non-pregnant state.

Using essential oils safely during labor and birth

  1. You CAN use essential oils to assist you during labor and birth! Knowing which ones are safe, and how to safely use them is the key here. Having a basic understanding of how they work during pregnancy and birthing is important, so that you don’t get into a situation that you don’t want to be in. Before you begin using essential oils, it’s important to educate yourself on the basics. I offer a free class that is free to the first 100 participants on both Essential Oils AND Herbs– click here to sign up! All information from here on out in this article assumes that you have taken my Essential Oils and Herbs 101 Course or that you have equivalent knowledge. 🙂
  2. Prepare your oils and blends before hand, label them, and have them in your birth bag. My top three essential oil targets are: a labor support blend (overall support for pain, nausea, and emotional stamina), a stalled labor blend (to help things progress if your body is ready), and a bleeding reduction blend (to be used prior to birth, but that can also be applied postpartum).
  3. Work with your care provider. Find someone that is knowledgeable about using natural methods to support labor, and listen to them.
  4. There are various ways to administer essential oils. During labor and birthing, the only ways that I recommend would be topically (diluted appropriately), and on a cloth that the mother can hold near her face to smell (or via personal inhaler).
  5. Do not put oils in the birthing water. Why? Because you don’t want essential oils to directly contact the baby during birth, and you don’t want to risk experiencing a dermal irritation yourself. A great alternative to this, if approved by your care provider, is a sachet of herbs in your bath water.
  6. Do not diffuse oils in the birthing room. Why? Because you don’t want to risk that one of your care providers is sensitive to the oils you are diffusing, and you also don’t want to put yourself in a position that you cannot have the scent removed from you if YOU become irritated by it. When pregnant, it’s common to become nauseous by things that didn’t used to make you ill, and it’s also common to find a particular scent helpful one moment, but not helpful the next. Do not put yourself in a position that you can’t get away from the essential oil if you need to. Using a personal inhaler, or putting the oil on a cloth and holding it near your face so you can breathe it in gives you the benefit of those oils, and also gives you the control to be able to remove the oils from yourself if you need to. Additionally, you don’t want a newborn exposed to essential oils in the air as it can cause respiratory problems.
  7. Do not apply essential oils to neonates or newborns. They do not have the ability to process substances like older humans do yet, and they are at increased risk of dermal irritation and organ sensitivity, as well as respiratory irritation and problems. Essential oils are extremely powerful–that’s why they work so quickly and completely! Imagine your liver not being able to process everything yet, and having those molecules built up in you that you can’t handle! When you apply an essential oil to the skin, it has been shown to penetrate every cell in the body in about 20 minutes, and is detectable in the bloodstream only 22 seconds after application. Wait until your children are older to use essential oils on them. \
  8. You CAN use essential oils on yourself after birth to support you during your third stage of labor (placenta delivery) and in the immediate postpartum stage (to reduce bleeding, assist with pain, help your hormones and emotions balance, etc.). Just be sure to not apply on areas of your body that your newborn’s face would be near.

I hope that these guidelines are helpful as you prepare for the birth of your baby, and that you can walk into your birth room with confidence!

Join our private Facebook group for more information, tips, and recipes for pregnancy and postpartum at http://tinyurl.com/holisticmamas.

DIY Black Drawing Salve Recipe


Black Drawing Salve is a must have for your home First Aid kit. It’s an awesome herbal product that has a rich history of being used to “draw” things out of the body. The ingredients give it detoxification properties, so it can be used any time that you feel the need to detoxify or draw out something from the body. Safe for all ages and conditions, it is applied to the skin, covered with a bandage to keep it on and from staining clothing. I like to reapply every twelve hours or so until the condition is improved and the body restored to its normal balance.

As for how easy this is to make, I would say that it’s an intermediate herbal project because it requires multiple steps. Even if you haven’t made anything with herbs or essential oils before, this can be a great place to start and will teach you multiple things about making your own natural body care products!

Ingredients
2 TBS Beeswax
3 TBS Cocoa Butter
3 TBS Shea Butter
2 TBS Olive Oil infused with Calendula, Plantain, and Comfrey Root (I will post instructions for making herbal infused oil tomorrow!)
1 TBS vitamin E oil
1 TBS Honey Powder
2 TBS Activated Charcoal Powder
3 TBS Rhassoul Clay
20 drops Lavender Essential Oil (find out how to order the pure and safe essential oil I buy at wholesale prices in http://tinyurl.com/holisticmamas)

Instructions
Put all oils and beeswax together, and melt over medium-high heat until melted. Let it sit (burner off) and cool, but not to point that it’s hardening–generally about 15 minutes. If it starts to harden, just reheat until it’s all liquid again. Add the rest of the ingredients except the Lavender essential oil, and stir well. Lastly, when the mixture is not so hot that it will burn you, but when it’s not so cold that it’s solidifying, add the Lavender essential oil and pour into jars to cool for several hours.

To use, slab enough of the Drawing Salve to create a thick paste on the spot that you want it to work on. Cover it with a bandage to keep it on and to keep it from staining your clothing. Reapply as needed. For external use only. Do not apply to broken skin.

We buy our herbs and butters, etc. from Mountain Rose Herbs . We would love if you would use our link to purchase yours too, as this helps us keep bringing you great content for free! To find out where we buy our pure, therapeutic essential oils at wholesale price, you can contact us directly or join our free  holistic Facebook community.

Let us know how this recipe worked for you, and what you’re using it for!

DIY Summertime Perfect Bath Bombs (LUSH inspired)

It took a few disastrous tries to perfect my bath bomb recipe. I had bomb explosions as my bombs grew…and grew…and grew…in the hours that I left them to try. A few recipes and my own tweeks later (plus a few hours invested in bath time chemistry), *I’ve got it.* An all natural, big, luxurious bath bomb that not only looks good and smells good, but is therapeutic, as well.

bath bombs1

Oh, and they’re hard-as-a-rock. Which, if you’ve already tried making bath bombs, you know that is the holy grail of bath bomb making. Now, before you assume following this recipe will also give you hard-as-a-rock bombs, know that the experience of recipes seem to differ in various geographical locations and also on the humidity level of the day you make your bombs. So if this doesn’t work at first for you, consider that, and make your own tweeks until you also have a perfect hard-as-a-rock recipe. But, of course, I want to know if *this* was also your perfect recipe, too, so let me know in the comments after you make them!

Ingredients:

3 cups Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)
1.5 cups Citric Acid
1/4 cup Cornstarch
4 TBS Coconut Oil
2 TBS Cream of Tarter
1 TBS Raw Mango Butter
80 drops Essential Oil Blend of (adjust if you use different oils than I’m using- note that using a different amount, blend, or brand may lead to a different result for your bath bombs, and the therapeutic benefit will also be different): Wild Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Grapefruit Peel, Mandarin Peel, Bergamot Peel, Tangerine Peel, Clementine Peel essential oils and Vanilla Bean Absolute. This is not 80 drops of each of these oils–I am using a bottle of an essential oil blend that ALREADY blended these various oils into the perfect ratio, and I use 80 drops total out of the bottle. To find out where I get this exact essential oil blend I used for these bombs, to ask questions about this recipe, or to learn more about the ingredients, join my private holistic learning Facebook group at http://tinyurl.com/holisticmamas.

*other ingredients can be purchased through Mountain Rose Herbs (affiliate link-thank you for supporting me so I can bring you more great content!).

Instructions:

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Heat coconut oil and mango butter until just melted.
  3. Stir essential oils into the melted oils mixture.
  4. Mix melted oils into the dry ingredients until well combined.
  5. Overfill each half of the bath bomb mold, pack mold together as tightly as possible. Tap outisdes of mold before separating (some people tap with a spoon, I just use my fingers so I don’t dent my mold).
  6. Place bath bomb on a dry surface to fully harden (may take hours or two days, depending on your humidity level).

To use, fill a bathtub (or a bucket if you just want to soak your feet), drop the bomb in, and enjoy the magic! Be careful getting in and out of the tub as it may be slippery. Also, use sunscreen or avoid direct sunlight for about 12 hours after using this bath bomb as the essential oils in it can make you more sensitive to sunlight. This is safe for older children and adults to use. If you experience a skin sensitivity, immediately discontinue use and wipe affected area with a carrier oil until irritation subsides, then wash with water and soap.

bath bombs2

Benefits:

Obviously, this is going to smell like Heaven, feel super soft on your skin, and nourish your body with the coconut oil, mango butter, and baking soda! The essential oil blend I used is of particular interested because it both cleanses and purifies, but it also impacts your emotional state. It helps reduce stress, uplift your mood, and has energizing and refreshing properties. You can see why I call this my “Summertime” bath bomb!

Since you are now going to be addicted to therapeutic bath bomb making, please do the following things to connect with me so I can teach you more and support you on your journey:

  1. Subscribe to our mailing list! I’ll be using that list to mail everyone my free Holistic Mothering e-course once I finish it!
  2. Join our private group: http://tinyurl.com/holisticmamas
  3. Take my Essential Oils and Herbs 101 Course. It’s online, go-at-your-own-pace, and I currently offer it for free. It’s very important to me that I help you know the most effective and SAFE ways to use essential oils and herbs in your every day life, and this course is where it begins at! Find the link under our “Education” tab.
  4. Have you liked us on Facebook already? Keep up with us! http://facebook.com/lifemoresimplyblog and http://facebook.com/blessedmamaservices
  5. Have you subscribed to our blog in your reader or email? This is different than our mailing list, and you will only get our actual blog posts. Sign up at the top right of this page!

NOTE: this recipe is for personal use ONLY. If you wish to use this recipe in any money-making way (selling the bath bombs created with this recipe, including but not limited to the basic recipe without or with using different essential oils; also, if you are teaching others in any way how to make bath bombs using this recipe), please contact me at lifemoresimply@yahoo.com about obtaining a business-use recipe permit.

FDA disclaimer: the statements made in this blog post are not evaluated or approved by the FDA. Nothing in this post is meant to substitute medical advice and is only meant to be educational. Always consult your doctor in regards to medical needs or changes.

The 10 Facebook Personalities

Facebook.jpg

With the number of people who regularly post on Facebook accounts, you would think that the World of Facebook would be full of posts as unique and diverse as the people posting them. Somehow, though, when people use Facebook, they tend to meld into one of ten Facebook Personalities. Start pinpointing your friends now.

10. The Narcissist. These people comment more than they post statuses. You can spot them because they reply to…a lot of other statuses…and comments…but the responses are always about them, not really too much about the person or the topic of the original post. You post a story? They have a story. You post a question? They have an answer. And a story to go with it. You have a problem? They have had that problem before–and either have a solution or were a big enough martyr to suffer through it. Better than you will, obviously.

9. The Pray-er. This person is actually a gossiper in disguise, and now they are offended because I just called them out. This is the person who posts things like “just saw a lot of red lights going down Main St. I’m praying for those involved. Does anyone know what happened?” or “Passed an accident on 89. Three cars involved, it looked really bad. I hope it wasn’t anyone I know. Praying.” or, one of my favorites, “the power went off at 3am this morning and was off for half an hour. Does anyone know why? Praying it wasn’t anything bad.”

8. The Spy. She doesn’t ever post, except for a few times a year when she updates everyone with photos of her children…and then surprises everyone when a new one is added and we didn’t even know she was pregnant. But she logs on. And looks through everyone else’s post, so stealth like that you forget she even exists. But she is watching you.

7. The Gamer. I don’t really know if you can call them “gamers” (Gamers will probably be mad at this title), but you already know who it is. The person who clearly can’t have a steady job because all of their time is spent sending you Farmville and Candy Crush requests. Even if you don’t play those games. Just. Stop.

6. The Hater. They hate everything, everyone, and don’t give a hoot about who wants to be their friend on Facebook. The honesty is refreshing though, and makes us laugh, so we keep them as our friend because “liking” their posts is kind of like giving ourself a hug since we obviously aren’t standing alone on whatever topic it may be.

5. The Jack-In-The-Box. He always lets us know that Facebook is too depressing or overwhelming, so he is going to take a hiatus from it for a while to compose and refresh his spirit. Or he’s become addicted to it and needs a time-out. You probably won’t notice he’s gone…until he’s back and posts the same thing about leaving again.

4. The Complainer. Life is always crappy. Bad things are always happening. The last three Go Fund Me’s that they posted didn’t amount to anything. This person generally has grammar and spelling difficulties, and it’s like one of those painful situations where you want to look away but you JUST CAN’T. So you watch. And sometimes comment, but your ideas never work. They’ve already tried them. Already failed. Just like everything else in life. Stop asking for ideas, Complainer. Stop asking.

3. The Model (Wanna Be). Selfie. After selfie. After selfie. Probably with some cleavage, taken from a higher angle to give a slimming effect, and probably filtered. Sometimes, they’ll put a kid into the photo to try to throw us off. Nice try. Didn’t work.

2. The Hustler. Except, they aren’t very good at hustling, because they’re still advertising their MLM business to their Facebook population–of which probably 10% only actually see their posts, and half of them have figured out how to tell Facebook to stop showing them Plexus, It Works, and Young Living posts. But who cares? It’s nice to know that some people have been saved from all the problems in their life, and are making seemingly big money while–as they say–just wearing a t-shirt and posting on Facebook. Seems to be against all business strategies (like target marketing and hard work) that I was taught in college, but what do I know. It’s not sad until you realize they are only “friends” with you to sell you something. Every day. In every post. And in every private message. Yay me…

1. And lastly, the favorite of us all…The Lister. They let us know when they got up, how they slept, what coffee mug they used (with photo), the chores they accomplished, what’s for lunch (complete with photo and recipe), when they’re going shopping, where they’re going shopping, what deals they found and how much they spent, what their child’s attitude/accomplishments/clothing/struggles/poop looked like during the day, how many minutes it’s been since they saw their husband, what time dinner’s on the table (complete with photo, unless they’re too burned out to admit they really had frozen pizza), which TV show they’re watching after dinner (and what happened in it), which brand of wine is in their wine glass, their nighttime makeup removal routine (only if we’re lucky enough that day), and then a specific “Goodnight, Facebook!” post to let us know that they will be gone for a few hours, or until they wake up during the night to check on Facebook again and let the world know they’re having trouble sleeping.

…except, everyone reading this thinks you’re the normal one out of your Facebook friends, right? Ask your friends–which one are YOU?!

Facebook Personalities

Fourth Tone Sirens

Nothing like listening to the fourth round of sirens…explaining to my daughter that they’re still going because there aren’t enough volunteers…she asks why I don’t join the fire department, and all of the times I’ve thought about trying to run calls with three kids in tow comes to mind.


I’m listening to dispatch during all of this. It’s a fatal car accident, on the exact route I *just* drove. I got home 15 minutes ago? The sirens started maybe 10 minutes ago? There’s only one patient. EMS still isn’t there.


It’s a rollover. The patient is pinned. I’m listening to it all unfold. I’m sitting in my home. I think of all of the calls I’ve run as a medic that people were pinned under cars. I think of the fatal accidents…too many to remember all of them, but I do remember being very good at getting a pulse and blood pressure back…at least for long enough for the family to say goodbye.


Did you check for a pulse? Did you just assume because he or she is pinned? Why the heck aren’t people there yet?


What training do the police who keep arriving on scene have? Why is no one there yet?


The fire siren stopped. They’re toning out mutual aid because I guess we can’t fill a truck? The next town is responding. Finally. Someone. It’s fire, and they’re told to bring stabilizing equipment for the car…but now they’re waiting because they need enough people to fill a crew.


Who is in the car? Is she young? Is he old? Is anyone near that person, or are they all keeping their distance? It just happened. There might be a chance for revival.


I could have been there right now. Maybe just to hold another hand and pray over someone as they pass from this life into another. But maybe also to save a life.


I don’t know how to respond to my daughter. Everything about who I was, I’ve given up. Someone’s got to take care of the kids, and fire scenes, car accidents, rescues, and EMS calls aren’t exactly the best places to bring children…although I’m wondering if I’d still be first on scene even with the time it would take me to load everyone in the car and drive the speed limit. I can’t work a regular job because, well, the one who’s asking these questions has some really significant special emotional needs and I have to be available. 24-7.


So I listen. My heart burns. I want to cry because…somehow, I managed to come out of working a decade in EMS still caring about people dying under cars.


I don’t answer her, because I don’t know what to say. No one’s life is more important than another’s, yet I feel like that’s how any route in this conversation will end.


It’s about thirty minutes into the call. I think EMS just arrived…or maybe it’s the mutual aid firetruck. I can’t tell. I don’t know the truck numbers here.


I don’t know what to say, my dear child. I could tell you that I’m not responding to this call because I can’t take kids with me and I always have kids with me. I could tell you that I’m not because I can’t drive an hour to take a refresher course and get my paramedic card back. But…I can’t tell you any of these things.


Instead, I tell you that when you guys are older, you can join the fire department, and we’ll all run calls together. This satisfies you, and you go back to watching your movie. All while the scanner keeps playing, and while my mind drifts to what a long night the folks two turns away from where I’m sitting have ahead of them.

Myths about choosing an Essential Oil company

essential oil buying myths

You’ll find that routine essential oil users have a preferred brand–sometimes two in case their favorite doesn’t carry or is out of a particular oil they want. Most of these people will spend hours sifting through information and clever marketing in search of the best essential oil distributor.

Things you should care about:

  1. Purity – it shouldn’t contain synthetics, fillers, or “cheaper” oils that smell the same as what’s on the label (i.e. you don’t want to buy cinnamon only to discover it’s cassia)
  2. Quality – it should be grown, harvested, and stored correctly so it’s medicinal value is as high as possible
  3. Reputation – what are the third party, non affiliated testing labs finding? Is this company respected in the professional aromatherapy and herbalism world?
  4. Sustainable Practices – essential oils are harvested and processed all over the world. We are either going to help others or hurt others with our purchases of oils, so you want to know that your company is dedicated to sustainable and responsible manufacturing of oils, both for the environment and for the communities involved in growing, harvesting, and producing these oils.

If you focus on those four areas, you will be well on your way to feeling good about your essential oil purchase. There are some myths though, that can get confusing.

  1. Myth: Essential Oil Grades Fact: There are none. Essential oils are unregulated, therefor, there is no agency setting forth a standard of “grades” for essential oils. There is no A-B-C-D grades, no “therapeutic” grade, nada! Anyone can label their oils “grade A” or “therapeutic” or “pure”. You can’t rely on this title to tell you what’s in your bottle.
  2. Myth: GCMS reports are available. Fact: You need to know what you’re looking at. I do like when companies are transparent with their testing results. However, unless you are a chemist specifically trained in aromatherapy, you probably aren’t going to be able to really translate these reports into useful information. Some companies won’t release their reports for this exact reason. Others, I suspect, won’t release them because they aren’t positive that the GCMS results are good, or who knows, maybe they don’t even have test results! When a company does have GCMS reports available, though, you need to make sure that they have one available not for every oil, but for every batch of oil. There will be slight variations between batches of oils. If they aren’t available for every batch, you can assume that having the GCMS reports available is more a marketing ploy giving you a false sense of security rather than the company actually being transparent with their testing results.
  3. Myth: Independent lab testing results don’t matter. Fact: Yes, yes those results do matter. I have seen people argue that it doesn’t matter how many times their company’s oils test positive for synthetics or other problems when a non-affiliated lab tests their oils, because they are only going to trust what their company tells them directly. I don’t even feel a need to comment further on this. Let’s just leave it at: if multiple labs are finding problems with a company’s oils, do not buy their oils. Common sense.
  4. Myth: The FDA says my company’s oils are safe for internal use. Fact: The FDA doesn’t regulate essential oils. I see people misunderstand what the FDA designation of “Generally Regarded As Safe” (GRAS) means, and so they in turn state this myth. This topic is a separate post, really, but just know that the FDA is not affiliated with any essential oil company, they do not regulate any essential oils, and they have never stated that any oils are safe for internal use, nor that any oil company is better than any other company…because they don’t regulate oils!
  5. Myth: Because my oil company puts “nutritional information” on the oil bottles, that means they are better than other oils on the market. Fact: anyone can put nutritional information on their bottle if it’s a GRAS designated oil. I imagine most companies don’t do this because some people use the GRAS designation to imply you can use the oils as a nutritional supplement, and I’m pretty sure doing that will increase your company’s insurance costs. Some companies are okay with that, other companies are not. It *is* nice to know how many mg of therapeutic quality are in a given drop of essential oil if you are working as a clinical aromatherapist or herbalist, though, so I really appreciate this information! …but it does NOT mean that oils with nutritional information are a “higher grade” than one without that information.
  6. Myth: If it’s a MLM, I can’t trust the oils. Fact: MLM’s are just like any other company, they just use word of mouth to market rather than advertisements to market. You need to look at it like any other essential oil company and ask yourself the four questions in the beginning of this post. My favorite essential oil company is a MLM!
  7. Myth: Cheaper (or pricier) equals better oils (or more honest company). Fact: quality oils will cost more because it costs more to ensure correct growing conditions/harvesting/storing/testing/etc., but that doesn’t mean that just because an oil has a higher price tag, that it’s a more quality oil. Only testing can determine that! On the same hand, just because a company offers cheaper oils, doesn’t mean that company is “being more honest” by having lower prices. Maybe they have figured out how to cut cost, maybe they aren’t getting the best oils (plants grown in different areas or harvested at different times or grown in different ways will vary DRASTICALLY in therapeutic qualities), maybe, maybe, maybe! Before you look at price, really look at the four things in the beginning of this post. Additionally, I have noticed that some “more expensive” companies will offer deals, discounts, or buying programs that even allow you to buy at a discount and then give you product points back for your purchases. This changes the price point entirely. Where I buy my oils, for instance, I get around a 25% discount, and then I get 30% back in products points, and I get everything I spend in shipping back in product points when I order every month. Ultimately, this means if I buy $100 worth of oils, I only end up in effect paying $52.50 plus tax. Big difference.

 

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Latest Blog Posts

Welcome back, Feedburner readers! Here’s a recap of the latest blog posts that happened since I moved my blog to WordPress–that you unfortunately missed out on until now. 😦 Check them out and enjoy!

What’s More Important Than The Gorilla: in light of the child-gorilla-zoo incident, how it took over social media, and what’s more important than that. And oh, yeah, a recap of the fun things that my children somehow manage to do even though I watch them closely in public.

Easy DIY Felt Breakfast Food Tutorial: You won’t believe how cute and easy it is to whip up a felt breakfast buffet for your kids! Pancakes, butter, syrup, eggs, and bacon. Perfect for your child’s next birthday or just because!

Why I Put “Mother” On My Resume: Why I put the job title of “Mother” on the work history part of my resume, and why you should, too.

Flag Day Activities You Can Do TODAY!: Originally written to give you easy peasy activities you can do without prep, you can use these for July 4th, too!

10 Essential Oil Hacks for Busy Moms: Everything from grumpy kids to faking a clean house. Here’s your guide to making your life easier (and smell better).

Here’s to the Forgotten Dads: a tribute to the dads who have lost a child during pregnancy, at birth, or any time after.