Category Archives: Essential Oils

We read 50 books about Essential Oils. Here’s our top pick.

The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness from Beeyoutiful.com

One of the hardest aspects of trying to be an informed consumer over the past few years has been attempting to determine good usage practices amongst the many (often conflicting) voices in the essential oil world.

Which applications are considered safe, which ones are risky, what oils are appropriate for which ages and in which contexts? How to mix, when to mix, where to slather, breathe, diffuse after they are mixed? Maybe it’s okay to use this or that essential oil, because my neighbor’s friend’s cousin’s daughter did, and it fixed her problem…

These questions (and so many more!) pop up on a daily basis for me, so I’ve spent years reading and researching. I have nearly 50 essential oil books, written by all sorts of experts in their respective areas. The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness from Beeyoutiful.comI’ve read through them all, and followed many experts in social media and on blogs and websites. Out of my personal journey and experiences grew an article with the vital information that I wish someone had shared with me at the beginning of our family’s essential oil journey.

During my own discovery process, the world of essential oils has exploded into the mainstream. There are now many resources available to consumers who, like myself, want to be as informed as possible in how to use these powerful tools.

One of the absolute best of the library of resources I’ve come across in all my years of research is The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness by Nerys Burchon and Lora Cantele.

Combining high-level best practice safety guidelines with user-friendly information and age guidelines, this handy volume also has the bonus feature of more than 450 remedies and suggested uses for essential oils. As helpful as the proactive tips and excellent suggested usages are, the cautions section is just as important to give guidelines on which oils may not be the best choice in various situations.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you want to safely and knowledgeably use essential oils,The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness is a must-have. (As with any of our recommended books, if your budget won’t allow you to purchase it right now, we suggest that you request a copy it from your local library, or perhaps purchase with a friend and split the cost of the book.)

Eager for more recipes and tips on Essential Oil usage? Our email series 101 Uses for Essential Oils is packed with information you can put to use right away!

How-To Tuesday: 8 Ways To Soothe a Cranky Ear

How-To Tuesday: 8 Ways to Soothe a Cranky Ear from Beeyoutiful.com

There is nothing worse than a cranky ear that won’t let you rest… except maybe your little one’s tired, cranky ears. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to watch what they eat, remove food items that seem to trigger ear problems, and make sure they don’t get water in their ears while swimming, it seems that occasionally our little ones still end up bothered by a painful ear.

How-To Tuesday: 8 Ways to Soothe a Cranky Ear from Beeyoutiful.comHere are a few things that have worked in our family to help soothe cranky ears and let us all get some rest!

Important note: If you even suspect the eardrum might be ruptured, do not put anything into the ear and contact your care provider immediately.

1. Slice off the top of an onion and, using the stem and outer skin as a handle, hold the onion up to the offending ear. Typically within a few minutes the discomfort disappears.

2. Good digestion can often help you avoid cranky ears. Our littles take a digestive enzyme and probiotics daily.

3. Eliminate common trigger foods such as wheat, dairy, soy, and sugar from the diet.

4. Try steam inhalation with dried or fresh herbs (remember the nasal passages and ears are connected!). In a large heatproof bowl, place 1 oz of each or some of the following herbs: Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Elder Flowers, and/or Spearmint. Pour very hot or boiling water over the herbs and let steep for 1-2 minutes. As it steams, drape a towel over your shoulders and head, leaning over the bowl to trap the steam and direct it more easily as you breathe. (Be very careful to avoid steam burns!)

5. Sip on some tea made from equal parts Lemon Balm and Mullein. It is yummy and soothing! Add some honey for extra comfort.

6. Use a clean sock filled with uncooked rice and then warmed in the microwave to apply gentle heat to the ear (keep the heat mild; overheated rice packs can irritate and even burn the skin). One of our Beeyoutiful teammates also recently tried this using Coarse Rock Salt instead of rice; the salt seemed to work faster and hold a gentle heat longer, and the added minerals may also be beneficial.

7. Use Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils, diluted with Sweet Almond Oil to gently massage around the ear and neck

Ear and Neck Massage Oil

Mix together in small bottle. Massage around ear and neck. For external use only; Do Not Put This Blend Inside the Ear!

8. For soothing of a very cranky ear, try using Garlic Oil or Mullein Oil.

Garlic Oil

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/8 cup Olive Oil

Simmer at lowest possible heat for several hours. (Do not let it burn!) Strain and store infused oil in a dark glass bottle. Use 2 drops per ear, as needed. Store for no more than one month. This recipe can also be used on the bottom of the feet, spine, and neck to help boost immunity.

Mullein Oil

  • 2 oz Dried or Fresh Mullein
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 oz Olive Oil or other carrier oil

Mix all ingredients in a glass jar and let sit for 1-2 weeks, shaking occasionally. To speed up the process for immediate use, you can cook over the lowest heat possible on the stove for 30 mins to 6 hours.) Strain and store infused oil in a dark glass container. Use 2 drops per ear, as needed. Store for no more than 1 month.

Important note worth repeating: If you even suspect the eardrum might be ruptured, do not put anything into the ear and contact your care provider immediately. Massages outside of the ear and on the lymph nodes around the ear and down the neck may continue to be helpful, but never drop anything into an ear that has a ruptured eardrum! 

3 Ways to Use Essential Oils for Non-Toxic Spring Cleaning (Plus Printable Checklist!)

3 Ways to Use Essential Oils for Non-Toxic Spring Cleaning (Plus Printable Checklist!) from Beey

Here’s a confession: by this time in the spring, I am about ready to open all the doors and windows and power wash the dust, dirt, and ick of winter away! It is so nice to get the stale air out and the fresh air in.3 Ways to Use Essential Oils for Non-Toxic Spring Cleaning (Plus Printable Checklist!) from Beey

Like many of you, my work schedule is such that massive cleaning jobs usually end up on the weekends. All seven of us end up pitching in to get projects done before we head for the outdoors and eat up this weather!

These tips have become my go-to strategies, and they’re such an easy way to not only freshen up our house but also ensure it smells as clean and inviting as it is.

Make Your Own Cleaners

This not only saves money, but personally selecting the ingredients (instead of trusting a mysterious chemical mixture!) also guarantees that they’re the ones you are confident about using with your family.

Window Cleaner Recipe from Beeyoutiful.comWindow Cleaner

1/2 cup Vinegar (preferably White)
1/2 cup Distilled Water
10 drops of your favorite Citrus or Mint Essential Oils

Mix together in a spray bottle; shake well before using.

General Cleaner Recipe from Beeyoutiful.comGeneral Cleaner

2 tsp Castile Soap
2 cups water
10 drops of Essential Oils of your choice (blends could include Thyme and Lemon, Eucalyptus and Peppermint, Spearmint and Tangerine, or your own favorite combination)

Mix together in a spray bottle; shake well before using.

Scrubbing Powder Recipe from Beeyoutiful.comScrubbing Powder

Baking Soda
Liquid Castile Soap
Favorite Essential Oil (I like Tangerine!)

Mix a little castile soap with some baking soda to make a paste. Add 3-4 drops of essential oil to the paste and use it to scrub tubs or hard stains.

Furniture Polish Recipe from Beeyoutiful.comFurniture Polish and Duster

1 ounce Jojoba Oil
4 drops Lemon Essential Oil
4 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil

Use several drops on a soft cotton rag to clean and dust wooden furniture. Note: always test on a small hidden spot prior to using liberally.

Freshen the Laundry

We typically avoid using perfumed products in our house, but let’s face it: between stinky men, long days in the sun learning to homestead, and kids that play hard, sometimes you just need a little smell-good joy in the laundry room! Optimally, every load would dry in the sun and smell like my childhood, but for the days when that cannot happen, I keep my favorite fragrances on hand to make sure our laundry smells it best.

You can add a drop or two of essential oil to your laundry detergent before pouring it into the washer (except for when washing cloth diapers; skip the oils then). Or do like I do: I use a small rag (cut up holey t-shirts work great!) and put a drop or two of my favorite essential oils on it and toss it in the dryer with our clothes.

My favorite Laundry Aids
Lemon
Orange
Spearmint
Lemongrass
Bergamot

Diffuse Away The Winter Blues 

While I prefer to have my windows thrown open, occasionally the pollen, spring storms, pesky bugs, and fluctuating temperatures make me keep the windows tightly shut! Thankfully, my diffuser brings a little bit of spring inside. Keeping my favorite happy blends or recipes available brings cheer and can help cleanse the house of hidden germs as well.

Recommended to Diffuse during Spring Cleaning

ProMiSe Blend
Cedarwood
Lemon
Any Citrus or Mint

Hello Spring Child-Safe Diffuser Blend from Beeyoutiful.comHello Spring: a child-safe blend for diffusing

Tangerine
Lemon
Spearmint
Black Pepper

Add 10 drops each of Tangerine, Lemon, and Spearmint with 2 drops of Black Pepper for a cheery blend. Diffuse to not only add a bright cheery aroma, but help cleanse the room.

spring cleaning checklist from Beeyoutiful.comFor many more tips and recipes, follow our Essential Oil board on Pinterest. Be sure to get our printable Spring Cleaning Checklist, too! It’ll help you stay on track as you move from room to room in your house.

We would love to hear your favorite recipes and tips, too! Make sure to show us how you are using Beeyoutiful’s Essential Oils; tag your social posts with #BeeYouEOs so we can see.

Ciao! Time to go clean,
Mary

Bee Allergy Free This Spring

This article by Tal Ewing originally appeared in our Spring 2014 catalog.

When you suffer from seasonal allergies like I do, you only want one thing: relief! You want your nose to stop running, your eyes to stop itching, and your throat to stop burning. You want to be able to go outside without having to take a pill or squirt something up your nose that you know is probably not good for you in the long run.

Bee Allergy Free This Spring from Beeyoutiful.comBut how can you get to a point in your life where you can live without the pills and the sprays? For most of my life, I thought that was impossible. I remember my parents giving me spoonfuls of liquid antihistamines and taking every over-the-counter and prescription allergy medicine on the market. I took allergy shots for almost a decade. However, nothing seemed to work long term, and the more medicine I took, the worse my allergies seemed to get.

When I first met Steve and Stephanie Tallent, they pretty much knew just one thing about me: Tal has bad seasonal allergies. I’m sure that my wife (the beautiful, wonderful Mary Ewing) had told them stories of my sneezing, hacking, and doctors visits, and that I was the perfect person to test a new elderberry product for them.

So, on our first meeting they came bearing a gift of a bottle of what eventually became Berry Well. It was that gift that helped lead me to finding a few natural solutions that have helped me achieve freedom from the pills and sprays. In fact, since that first meeting I have been able to stop all of my allergy medications and find true freedom from my allergies. Here’s how I did it and how you can, too!

Watch what you eat.

This is the part that most of us hate to hear, but it is vital. When I finally realized that allergies are all about inflammation, I started to look for those things in my diet that lowered my body’s natural immunity and caused it to overproduce histamines. I grew up eating the Standard American Diet (SAD). We did not know better, so by the time I met Mary, my diet consisted primarily of peanut butter and jelly, coke, and ramen noodles. (Hey, what’s a bachelor on a tight budget going to do?!) But I was also on antibiotics monthly because of it.

As we began to clean up our diets, we not only focused on eliminating things such as sugar, processed foods, and additives, but we made sure to also replace nutrients that had been missing. The body can only repair itself if given the correct building blocks, so ensuring adequate intake of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, as well as nutrient-dense fresh fruit and vegetables, give the body the proper base for health. Eliminating the non-foods or foods that trigger inflammation in the body decreases the likelihood of over-producing histamines.

Take the essentials.

Be sure that you are getting the essential vitamins you need to build a healthy immune system. I finally realized that my allergies were a symptom of my body’s inability to regulate itself. I started listening to my wife, who encouraged me to take a probiotic, since a significant portion of immunity is regulated by the gut. I began with Tummy Tuneup, alternating with Gut Guardian. I also take Digest Best with my meals; Mary tells me this is because enzymes support digestion which in turn decreases the inflammation caused by poorly digested foods.

My daily regimen also includes SuperDadCod Liver Oil and B-Better to support and fill in the gaps in my diet.I added these to my daily doses of Berry Well, and I began to see a significant decrease in the time I spent dealing with my allergy episodes. This was the basis for my healing regimen, but there are several things that I also use, either when I know I am prone to more symptoms or when I am actually experiencing them.

First, I will add Vitamin D3. I usually consume it in two forms, as D3 itself and also in Cod Liver Oil where it is naturally paired with Vitamin A for an added punch. Vitamin D is a natural anti-inflammatory and also works to boost the immune system. Decreasing the levels of inflammation helped to decrease my allergic responses as well. The added benefit of fewer infections also helped keep me out of the doctors office! Although the spring allows for extra sunlight, I would often have to avoid time out of doors due to higher allergens. But as I took my D3, I was able to spend more time out of doors and naturally get my sunlight as well.

Then there’s a miracle substance called Colostrum Transfer Factor. Colostrum’s active components not only boost the immune system and help make it difficult for bacteria to attach to the mucous membranes, but they also regulate the immune response. This prevents over-production of some of the lymphocytes and T-cells that cause the allergic responses. So taking Colostrum can keep you from getting sick, and makes sure that allergies are not running wild at the same time.

Optimally, we would all have access to raw honey, and pollen too. These help give small exposures to local allergens and gradually decrease the body’s reactions to them. Finding a local beekeeper that has healthy bees and then using a teaspoon of their honey every day can help decrease your allergies. If you do not have access to good quality raw honey, Bee Strong is a great alternative!

When I start to feel like I am getting an allergy attack or a cold, I take an extra dose of Berry Well accompanied by a dose of D3 and Vitamin C. This helps my body boost its ability to handle the additional stress of illness.

Calm your allergies with essential oils.

This was the last step I took, but it has been one of the most beneficial in helping me find true allergy relief. If you suffer from allergies, you realize that you cannot always control your environment. Trees are going to pollinate, flowers are going to bloom, and the house is going to need dusting. There is something that you can do, though, to help neutralize those threats to your body: fight them with essential oils. I use a combination of Eucalyptus, Frankincense, and Peppermint essential oils to calm my body when my allergies begin to flare.

During allergy season, we run the diffuser with a base of Eucalyptus almost round the clock (or use Spearmint instead for a child-friendly option). We add to it either FrankincensePeppermint, or Rosemary, just depending on our mood that day! Frankincense and Peppermint both help tremendously when we feel short of breath or stuffy, and Rosemary has been very good for hay fever symptoms. (This bundle includes some of Beeyoutiful’s most popular essential oils for allergies, and there’s even a kid-friendly version.)

There have been times when my allergies have led to slight asthmatic symptoms as well. I used to carry an inhaler, and although I still own one for rescue purposes, I have rarely had to use it because I prophylactically use oils! We keep a small vial of pre-mixed oils that I rub on my chest twice a day when allergies are at their peak.

Allergy Chest Rub for Adults from Beeyoutiful.comAllergy Chest Rub for Adults

3 tsp Almond Oil
10 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
Always make sure to check for sensitivity when applying essential oils to the skin. This blend can be rubbed on the chest and neck as needed to prevent breathing difficulties or help open up the respiratory passages.

Rubbing the feet with diluted essential oils such as Peppermint, Thyme, Rosemary, or Frankincense can also help aid in relief. This can be done prior to bed or after a warm shower.

Sometimes, when all else fails and my allergies are still bothering me, it is time to reach for extra tools. While I still increase my supplements like Berry Well when allergies strike, sometimes I just want to breathe and open up my nasal passages quickly.

Enter the neti pot or similar nasal flushing device! I include sea salt and xylitol in my mix to help soothe my nasal passages. The salt helps to mimic the isotonic fluids present in the nasal passages and decreases irritation. Xylitol helps to eliminate germs and other toxins found in the nasal passages and makes it hostile for them to try to reestablish their reign. This can be used as needed throughout the day. Discard any leftover liquid at the end of each day, unless you add a few drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract to preserve the liquid.

Nasal Wash for Allergy Season from Beeyoutiful.com

Nasal Wash

1/3 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Xylitol
1 cup warm distilled water
4 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional)

Mix well and use nasal washing device to administer as needed.

While I still might have to wear that paper mask when I cut the grass, by watching my diet, supplementing vital nutrients, and using essential oils, I’ve found that my body is healthier and better equipped to handle the allergens that come my way. That’s been the key to achieving lasting allergy relief.

Tal Ewing manages shipping and inventory for Beeyoutiful. He is married to our own Mary Ewing, and is the busy father of their five adorable children. He enjoys sports, outdoor activities, working in ministry opportunities as well as studying theology. He and Mary hope to soon have acreage where they can expand their backyard chickens into a small hobby farm!

Beeyoutiful’s Kid-Friendly Essential Oil Zone

Beeyoutiful not only has an amazing adult team working together to bring great products to you, but we also currently have a small army of kids with us. When we all get together, there over a dozen little ones 10 and under, all playing together and getting into everything.

As you can imagine, we also have our share of sniffles, sneezes, upset tummies, and overstimulated and sometimes even sad littles ones. Essential oils are one very prized part of our toolbox to help support our wee lot.

Beeyoutiful's Kid-Friendly Essential Oils

Step into our world for a bit and see how we use essential oils with our kiddos! (Be sure you’ve read about the things we think you should know before you begin using essential oils for any age.)

It can be hard to know which essential oils are appropriate for these young ages. After much researching and reading, we’re sharing a list of the oils that we personally use in our homes, along with a few tips on how we use them with our children.

Beeyoutiful’s Kid-Friendly Essential OilsKid-Friendly Essential Oils from Beeyoutiful.com


Bergamot

Black Pepper
Cedarwood
Chamomile
Citronella
Clary Sage
Frankincense
Geranium
Ginger
Lavender
Lemon
Myrrh
Orange
Patchouli
Spearmint
Tangerine
Tea Tree
Thyme

We’ve also bundled some of the most popular kid-friendly oils for respiratory support here.

How We Use Beeyoutiful’s Kid-Friendly Essential Oils With Our Children

Calm Down Rub

1 drop Chamomile
1 drop Tangerine
1 ounce Sweet Almond Oil

Gently massage child all over, or focus on applying the blend to the spine, base of the neck, abdomen, and bottom of the feet.Calm Down Kid-Friendly Essential Oils from Beeyoutiful.com

Tummy Love

1 drop Spearmint
1 drop Ginger
1 ounce Sweet Almond Oil

Mix and rub gently on abdomen, back of the neck, and spine, or rub on bottom of the feet during times of nausea or upset tummies.Tummy Love Kid-Friendly Essential Oils from Beeyoutiful.com

Breathe Easy Baby

1 drop Lemon
1 drop Spearmint
1 drop Cedarwood
1 ounce of Sweet Almond Oil

Mix and rub on the chest and over the spine of the child to help support respiratory health.Breathe Easy Baby Kid-Friendly Essential Oils from Beeyoutiful.com

Sweet Sleep

Add equal parts Cedarwood and Lemon to a diffuser. Diffuse at 15 minute intervals as child falls asleep.Sweet Sleep Kid-Friendly Essential Oils from Beeyoutiful.com

How to Massage Your Baby

Mix 1 drop of Lavender Essential Oil with 3 Tablespoons of Jojoba Oil. Make sure baby is lying on a warm and comfortable surface, and that your hands are warm (if you’re cold, wash your hands in hot water to warm them up).

Use gentle, steady pressure and a calm, comforting voice while touching your baby. Keep continual contact with the baby’s skin. Discontinue massage if you or the baby experience stress or unpleasant emotions; massage should be a tender way for baby and parent to bond and encourage healthy development.

Baby Massage Card from Beeyoutiful.comKnow a parent who could benefit from this information? Want to remember it for later? Use the buttons below to share it, pin it, tweet it, send it!

6 Crucial Things You Need to Know BEFORE Using Essential Oils, Part 2

6 Crucial Things You Need To Know BEFORE Using Essential Oils, from Beeyoutiful.com

Thanks for joining us for Part 2 of this article! Don’t miss the vital information and helpful graphic we shared in Part 1.

 In our last post, we talked about how important it is to put safety first and to respect the potency inherent in essential oils. Let’s continue our discussion with four more areas to consider before using these powerful tools.

3What is good for Peter may be bad for Paul

Especially if Paul is a young child! Appropriate and safe guidelines for use vary widely from one species of plant to another, and even more widely from adulthood to childhood. Please take the time to personally research each and every essential oil you use with your child or baby. There are very, very few infant-compatible essential oils, a few that are considered okay for toddlers, and then the list expands by several more for young childhood. Once a child reaches 10 years old, the list of oils considered safe expands significantly. (Here are a few oils that we carefully use with children in our own homes.)

I can hear it now: some of my fellow mamas are voicing exactly what went through my head when I first read some of these age-based safety guidelines. “Huh… well, I rubbed XYZ essential oil on my little one neat and not only were there no adverse reactions but it lowered her fever, so THERE. This sounds like a lot of paranoia to me!” Please understand this: just because you can use a particular oil on a young child with no noticeable adverse effects the first time (or even several times), that does not mean that it cannot happen at a later time. ​(Remember also that not all adverse effects are visible; for instance, you cannot tell from the outside whether your child’s tiny liver is stressed by trying to process the powerful compounds present in certain oils.)

4Reaction x2

There are two main types of reactions that can happen in response to external use of essential oils and it’s crucial for all users to understand them.

Skin irritation was the only type of potential reaction of which I was aware when I started with oils. This is the type of reaction that one is to test for before using any new essential oil externally. Skin irritations can occur in one individual and not in another, due to individual sensitivities. Skin irritation happens on the first exposure to the irritatant, the reaction is rapid, and the severity will depend on the concentration of the irritant present. The skin responds with an inflammatory reaction.

Skin sensitization is the second type of reaction and it took me years of learning to discover a thorough explanation of what it is. Skin sensitization is a type of allergic reaction. The oil will not produce any irritated reaction on the first patch test, but during later exposures, once the allergen has penetrated the skin, the body’s immune system reacts in an attempt to fight off what it views as an invader. This can result in a rash on the skin. Sensitization reactions can also take the form of inflammation, breathlessness, nausea or headache. It is possible to become sensitized to any essential oil, no matter how pure or safe the particular species or variety.

Sensitization to an essential oil happens most frequently through overuse of a specific oil. This is a good reminder that it is unwise to repeatedly use the same oil (or blend of oils) day in and day out. There is benefit to changing out our oils on a regular basis and making sure they are sufficiently diluted for external use. Both of these strategies will decrease the risk of sensitization over time.

5The Swiss Army Knife of natural tools

Essential oils are so incredibly multi-faceted. They can do it all, and do it with style. These are the primary ways they are suggested to be used.

Aromatherapy includes heat diffusion, cold nebulizing diffusion, steam inhalation, or simply smelling the oil from the bottle or applied on an item in the vicinity. It is generally agreed that aromatherapy is the safest way to use essential oils. But, even with aromatherapy, there are cautions to beware.

External use covers applying an oil directly to the skin, either neat or diluted. There is a wide range of opinion as to what constitutes safe external usage, recommended dilutions, and what health situations warrant external use.

Internal use is by far the most controversial form of essential oil usage, with well-diluted considered the safest form of essential oil internal use. Diluted or not, internal use requires the most research and expertise, and entails the highest amount of risks.

There is a range of risks and contraindications inherent in the available options of essential oil use. Understanding this is an important step in being an informed consumer and moving beyond the naive view that all oils are equally safe and viable options for everyone.

6Why a Company cannot create a well-informed Consumer

When I first began using essential oils, I was very careful to read everything I could that was published by or recommended by representatives of the company from which I bought them. After all, who better to trust than the source of the oil itself?

Now that I’ve read many more books, scientific studies, and articles written by certified aromatherapists, I feel a little betrayed by the narrow scope of information given by the company I placed my trust in as a fledgling essential oil consumer all those years ago. There was so very much that they didn’t say, and so much they did say that I found out later was not a reflection of what other experts considered good advice.

My perspective has changed and I no longer hold that company completely responsible for my ignorance as a consumer. I know now that the information a company publishes and shares about their essential oils, with recipes, dilution recommendations, cautions, warnings, and benefit suggestions will all be driven by that company’s philosophy, the personal way the individuals in that company use oils, and the training and personal knowledge of the people in the company. It will also likely be heavily filtered and carefully worded due to the legal restrictions placed upon alternative health businesses.

Through the years, Beeyoutiful’s essential oil descriptions have been revised multiple times. Many times, the edits were very frustrating for us to make because they meant removing information that could be very beneficial for consumers to know but that we are not allowed to share based on our best understanding of FDA guidelines. Other times, the edits were made to reflect new information as we learned it about specific essential oils. The most recent round of edits was intended to be more comprehensive of health, age, and pregnancy and nursing precautions.

We’ve shared how our oils are made, and we’re happy to answer your common questions about them. We are sharing, educating, and disclosing everything we can to the best of our ability, and even so our efforts, on their own, will never be enough to make you a truly informed consumer. No company selling essential oils will ever be able to educate you well enough because the restrictions are too great and our knowledge base is not comprehensive enough even if we could write what we wanted without restrictions. We will never be experts on your health history, or that of your children and your family. We will never be your personal healthcare provider. We are here to simply make available the tools we use with our own families, and do our very best to share helpful information along the way.

We carry books about essential oils and freely give reading recommendations for resources that we trust that will help fill in the gaps we know exist between where our product descriptions end and where knowledgable consumerism begins. Please take advantage of these resources! It is so worth it to have a broad understanding of how these marvelous essential oils work, and this knowledge will enable you to use essential oils for the rest of your life.

Missed the important information in Part 1 of this article? Read it here! If you found this information helpful, don’t keep it to yourself! Use the buttons below to share it with a friend, and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram

Marjoram Tips

New to Marjoram? Want to know what role it can play in your house?

– Diffuse Marjoram to help increase clarity of mind and decrease stress, while supporting healthy brain activity.
– Diffuse Marjoram blended with Chamomile (1:1) to encourage a restful night’s sleep. Use with a carrier oil to massage the neck and shoulders for extra relaxation.
– Blended with a carrier oil (3:1) such as our Sweet Almond Oil, Marjoram can be used as a massage oil after workouts, during illnesses, or to relieve sore muscles.

Thanksgiving Joy

Thanksgiving Joy

There is nothing that says holidays to me more than the aroma of spices floating through my busy household. The kids are running in and out of the house with red cheeks and leave sticking out of their hair. Yummy savory meal bubbling on the stove and my favorite warm drink by my desk!

To set the tone in our house, we diffuse this wonderful blend. It is reminiscent of holiday wassails and baked goods!

10 drops of Cassia Essential Oil
10 drops of Orange Essential Oil

6 Crucial Things You Need to Know BEFORE Using Essential Oils, Part 1

6 Crucial Things You Need To Know BEFORE Using Essential Oils, from Beeyoutiful.com

Over the past few years, essential oils have undergone a radical transformation. They went from being the best kept secrets of hippies, crunchy mamas, and alternative healthcare practitioners, and have now burst into the mainstream in a big way. Nowadays, most of us have at least one essential oil fan amongst our friends and family (depending on your social circles, maybe you know more than just a few!). I had no idea myself what essential oils were until several years ago. The few times they crossed my path, the cost and research involved was daunting. (This was before the days of ever-present social media filled with beautiful photographs and easy-to-find recipes, along with bloggers sharing post after post of their top 10 favorite oils and ways to use them!)

But, after a scary episode with our very young daughter having breathing troubles that nearly landed her in the hospital, we broke down and bought a diffuser and some basic oils. That was the start of our learning journey and we’ve been pursuing more experience with and knowledge of essential oils throughout the years since.

We’ve faced plenty of twists and turns on our road, and I want to share with my friends some tips that I wish someone had shared with me at the very beginning of our essential oil journey. These are particularly crucial points to understand if you are a parent making essential oil decisions for young children. 

6 Crucial Things You Need To Know BEFORE Using Essential Oils, from Beeyoutiful.com

Safety First

Essential Oils are incredibly powerful. This is what makes them such marvelous and multifaceted tools, but it’s chilling for me to remember the lack of respect that I had for essential oils when we first began using them. I learned quickly that since essential oils possess highly concentrated amounts of active compounds and properties of the plants from which they are sourced, it is entirely possible to be allergic to an essential oil, or for an essential oil to exacerbate an underlying health condition, or simply be too much for an individual body to handle in specific situations.

Here’s the real deal about safety and essential oils. It’s tempting to think that because they are ​pure and natural​ that they are of course also ​safe and gentle​. This is not always the case! (Hemlock and cocaine are also ​pure​ but nobody would call them ​safe!). Unfortunately, there is enough conflicting and even flat-out dangerous information out there to sink a ship.

Personal responsibility as a consumer is a big deal. Here at Beeyoutiful, we advocate for informed consumerism in all of life. In some areas, the stakes are relatively low and the margins to live and learn are pretty generous. However, because of their sheer concentration and potency and how they can be so easily (even accidentally) misused, the stakes with essential oils are substantially higher.

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Respect the “essential” part before the oil

A little part of me cringes when I think back on my early enthusiast days as I gleefully squealed to my friends that “I use my essential oils for EVERYTHING!” Because they are indeed so useful for oh so many things, there can be a huge temptation to get into the habit of thinking, “Oh I have an oil for that!” or “Hmm. Wonder what I should do for this situation… let’s try some oils first.”

It is crucial to take the time to be an informed consumer of essential oils. Essential by definition means (in this context) the purest, most concentrated extract possible. Find out the reasons that even some experts are hesitant to use them in any form except aromatherapy, and only with very select oils for children under 10, 6, and 2 years of age. Learn why some experts recommend a minimal dilution. Learn about each individual oil that interests you. If you understand the philosophies the experts use, you will be able to decide when you’ll want to apply caution, and in what situations you might personally be comfortable with a more aggressive approach.

Oils are amazing, incredible tools. We use them daily, if not multiple times per day in our household in a wide variety of ways. But I no longer reach for oils first when I face a health situation. Or even second. And often times not third or fourth either.

Why? Because they are the superstars, the power-houses, the strongest natural medicine available. Essential oils may possess the key component that could make all the difference in a serious situation, yet they are also a choice that can often represent the most potential risk. A lot of us essential oil enthusiasts are guilty of bringing our super-powerful oils to a situation where something a lot less potent would work just as effectively with less risk of complication or adverse reaction. (Ever hear it said of an overzealous person that “he brought a gun to a fistfight”? Don’t be that person!)

This chart is a helpful visual to represent the degrees of potency and risk of adverse effects available to those of us who prefer to use tools from nature to support health and healing. You might be surprised to see that essential oils are ranked right up at the top, just under over-the-counter mainstream medications.

Risk of Adverse Effects: Guide to Natural Remedies from Beeyoutiful.comContinue reading Part 2 where we consider four additional crucial things you need to know BEFORE using essential oils. Was this post helpful? Share it with a friend who needs to know this important information!

Red Raspberry Leaf: A “Miracle Herb” for Women

Red Raspberry Leaf: A "Miracle Herb" For Women from Beeyoutiful.com

This information originally appeared in a slightly different format in our Winter 2007-2008 Catalog.

My greatest passion in life is experiencing the birth of a child with parents who love children as much as I do. As a Licensed Midwife, it has been my privilege to advise many women during pregnancy, and to be present at thousands of births. I take it upon myself to care for my clients before, during, and after the birth, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Red Raspberry Leaf: A "Miracle Herb" For Women from Beeyoutiful.comFor thousands of years, midwives and Chinese herbalists have used herbs with very good results. This fact is not lost on the current medical community, as many of our allopathic medicines are derived from herbs.

As a midwife and herbalist, I use herbs constantly in my practice. I have found that certain herbs contribute significant amounts of nourishment necessary to our bodies. I believe that the female body was designed to give birth, and that with proper nutrition, it can usually do what it knows how to do, without much intervention.

I had one client who was worried about having her fifth baby. After a few prenatal visits, I was puzzled about her concern. I was thinking, “Fifth baby, what could she be worried about?” After some coaxing, she finally admitted that it was the after pains that had her concerned about her birth. Apparently the after pains were so incredibly intense after her fourth baby that she was not at all concerned about the act of actually giving birth to number 5, but was fearful instead about the pains to come later.

Now that I knew what was troubling her, I suggested that she increase her intake of Red Raspberry Leaf. She was skeptical that this would help, but was willing to give it a try. I advise all of my clients to take Red Raspberry Leaf through pregnancy, and I explained to her why.

The Woman’s Herb

Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) is a widely used herbal tonic that is especially beneficial during pregnancy. Brewed as a tea, taken in capsule form, or as an infusion, Red Raspberry Leaf is one of the safest and most commonly used tonic herbs for women wanting to get pregnant or for women who are already pregnant.

Taking this herb helps facilitate all the functions our bodies do for us on a daily basis. This is why Red Raspberry Leaf is considered a ‘tonic’ herb; it tones and supports the body in general. Red Raspberry Leaf tones the uterus, improves the quality of labor contractions, improves quality of sleep, decreases feelings of anxiety and nervousness, and decreases constipation.

It also contains the most easily assimilated form of calcium. Because Red Raspberry Leaf has calcium that is so readily available to our bodies, and most of us have a calcium deficiency, many people notice a change in how they feel right away. Since osteoporosis is related to a lack of calcium, daily use of Red Raspberry Leaf is highly recommended for all women.

Beeyoutiful’s encapsulated organic Red Raspberry Leaf is easily absorbed by the body. All the necessary trace minerals and vitamins your body needs to easily assimilate the calcium are already right there, occurring naturally in the herb itself. Almost every trace mineral that our bodies use is available in Red Raspberry Leaf. This means no one in a lab had to figure out how to formulate something that might work as well as the real thing!

How to Use Red Raspberry Leaf

You can drink 1-6 cups of mild-tasting Red Raspberry Leaf tea per day, hot or iced. Or, you can take one to four capsules per day. Use more in the second half of the day if you tend to have trouble sleeping, since Red Raspberry Leaf encourages a deeper, more restful sleep.

It is almost impossible to overdose on Red Raspberry Leaf, but if you take very large amounts, you may experience either very loose stool or constipation. Either is a sure sign that you have more than reached your body’s threshold for calcium levels. Just back down on your dose by one or two cups of tea or one or two capsules, and your bathroom habits should return to what is familiar to you.Recipe: Nourish & Flourish Tea with herbs from Beeyoutiful. com

Tea recipe: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried Red Raspberry Leaf and steep for ten minutes. Steeping longer than ten minutes will only make the tea bitter, not stronger. For stronger tea, use more in the tea bag or tea ball. Sweeten with stevia, honey, or a bit of rapadura

I like to add Nettles, Alfalfa or Spearmint to my Red Raspberry Leaf tea. This combination makes for a very toning tea. Nettles has every trace mineral our bodies need and helps build up red blood cells as well. Alfalfa helps blood to clot well and prevents unnecessary blood loss. Spearmint is soothing to the stomach and adds a bit of flavor to these herbs for a little more punch to your tea.

Not up for making a tea blend yourself? Try a prepared version of Pregnancy Tea. Or if you’re just not a tea drinker, try Beeyoutiful’s encapsulated organic Red Raspberry Leaf. Try one to six capsules per day, based on comfort and bowel tolerance.

Pregnancy and Red Raspberry Leaf

In addition to many vitamins and minerals, Red Raspberry Leaf also contains an alkaloid called fragrine which lends tone and strength to the uterus. There are several schools of thought on the subject with conflicting information about the use of this herb during pregnancy. (Talk with your care provider about what’s right for your body and pregnancy!)

Many clinicians advise drinking one cup of Red Raspberry Leaf tea per day in the first trimester and 2 cups in the second trimester, then switching to an infusion (a stronger tea) for the third trimester to ensure a strong uterus and prevent miscarriage.

Other clinicians suggest that frequent use (3-4 cups per day of tea, or 1-2 capsules) just during the third trimester is beneficial to the uterine and pelvic muscles.

And finally, some clinicians advise not using Red Raspberry Leaf in the first trimester, particularly if you have a history of miscarriage. Some midwives in the U.K. claim an increase in early miscarriage rates associated with women who have used Red Raspberry Leaf, and it’s been noted that the herb may cause minor spotting in the beginning of a pregnancy.

What Red Raspberry Leaf does not do is start labor or promote contractions. It is not an emmenagogue (something that promotes a miscarriage) or an oxytocic herb (an herb or chemical that promotes uterine contractions). It does strengthen the pelvic and uterine muscles, allowing you to feel healthier throughout your pregnancy, and allowing labor and the muscles involved with birthing to be more relaxed and efficient.

Contact your midwife, herbalist, or physician for personalized input about your use of Red Raspberry Leaf. Do the homework yourself to feel good about your decision to use or not use this herb, and when to use it during pregnancy. This advice is good for any decision you might be facing about your pregnancy options or your own health and welfare in general!

Worries Put To Rest

Well, my anxious client faithfully took the Red Raspberry Leaf in the higher amounts we discussed for her. Her birth experience went so smoothly that I almost missed it! She felt just fine at her 24 hour check up, too, but said that the next day would be the real test to see if the herb had helped. I told her to call me if she experienced any after pains like she had in the past, and then scheduled a routine five-day postpartum check up.

I never received any phone calls from her, and wondered if she was going to tough it out rather than call. That was in my mind as I rang the door bell on the day of my visit, hoping to hear good news, yet fearing I wouldn’t. My face split into a huge grin as my client all but tap-danced to the door to let me in! She couldn’t stop telling me how great the first few days after the birth had been, and how they’d been nothing like her last postpartum experience.

My client was so excited that she wanted me to promise that I would tell every pregnant woman of this “miracle herb” that made all the difference for her. So, this is me keeping my promise and telling all of you this “big secret” to feeling good during and after your births! Red Raspberry Leaf truly is a miracle herb!

Written by Jenny West, LM, CPM, HBCE, TBMP, CST, CH; a midwife/herbalist who has been in practice for 18 years and delivered over 7000 babies.

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