ALL-NATURAL BUG SPRAY

HT BUG SPRYMy best friend, Denise, and I have been on a mission to come up with an affordable and all-natural bug spray that works:

  • during all of our outdoor activities (e.g., hiking, boating, horse riding, barn cleaning, and camping).
  • against all of the major pests in our area (e.g., mosquitos, gnats, ticks, horse flies, fleas).
  • on both us, our kids, and our dogs.

It took us almost a full season, and at least three tweaks, but we now have a finished product that we have tested and are very happy with.

NOTE: This is NOT safe for cats. To make for your feline friend, omit the Peppermint and check with your veterinarian.

To make this bug spray, gather an 8 ounce glass spray bottle, and add the following essential oils:

  • 35 drops of a Repellent Blend
  • 35 drops of Peppermint
  • 35 drops of Lemongrass
  • 15 drops of Cedarwood
  • 15 drops of Lavender

Fill the spray bottle with distilled water (will not spread after spraying quite as well on skin) OR fractionated coconut oil (will be a bit more oily on dog fur and hair), screw on the spray top, and shake to mix.

  • For humans: spray onto ankles, wrists, back of neck, and hair every 4-6 hours or as needed.
  • For dogs: spray your dog’s chest, back of neck, back of ears, stomach, and tail every morning and afternoon before letting your fur baby outside.  If your dog is skittish or doesn’t like being sprayed, then spray your hands first and then rub into those same areas. Be sure to keep your hands away from his/her nose since the sense of smell is so much more refined than ours and the scents can be overpowering for dogs. I actually stand behind my one dog and put my arms under her front legs and rub onto her chest so she doesn’t try to sniff my hands…otherwise she goes into a sneezing fit lol. It won’t hurt your dog if this happens, but you want him/her to like the spray, so still good to steer clear!

If you try this, let me know what you think! I no longer use any chemical-based flea, tick, or bug spray on my family…and yet we experience less issues than before. I hope you have the same experience!

Easing Seasonal Discomfort Naturally

Do you want to know what used to annoy me? And I do mean ANNOY me.

Spring Bouquet & ButterfliesYou know those commercials of the gorgeous woman leisurely strolling to a sunny spring window with a bouquet of fresh flowers and throwing open the windows in pure joy because she is FINALLY able to breathe in the fresh, spring air? C’mon, you can picture it right? The birds are chirping, and as she flings open the windows butterflies and sparkles come swirling into her home, wrapping her in a warm, sparkly, spring hug.

Now, I fully admit that this wonderful depiction of springtime joy shouldn’t annoy me. However, when you suffer from seasonal allergies, you don’t see butterflies bearing sparkles; you see well-camouflaged little demons spreading misery-inducing pollen.

Your joy at spring warmth is put on hold while you engage in a weeks-long battle to avoid sinus infections, antibiotics, and steroids. Go for a walk with your kids? NO. That would mean suffering through the next two days not being able to see able to see or think straight.

Ok, yes, this is a bit dramatic. I was going for a bit of comic relief. However, seasonal discomforts can become severe and can ruin spring for many people…or at least put a damper on the festivities. And in many cases, the over the counter medications available don’t provide enough relief.

BUT, did you notice that I used the past tense in my opening sentence? I USED to be annoyed by those commercials?!

By taking action to naturally support my body and regain balance in my digestive system, I have been able to beat my seasonal discomforts down to an occasional runny nose, scratchy throat and mild sinus pressure. And the best part is that now I am able to use wellness products that even kick those discomforts to the curb!

Thank goodness, because I LOVE butterflies. It was quite disturbing when my mind transformed them into evil pollen-carrying demons.

It is highly likely you can enjoy the same results by considering three steps.

1) Balance your Gut: Between 65-80% of your immune system resides in your gut. In order for your immune system to function properly, it needs to be supported by multiple strains of bacteria that play different roles in digestion and other bodily functions. When we choose mostly processed and sugary foods, those bacteria colonies become unbalanced. Bacteria such as candida and H. Pylori can live in that toxic environment and can take over. They excrete additional toxic waste products in your system and can eventually cause a multitude of symptoms such as skin eruptions, digestive issues, inflammation, and eventually autoimmune issues. The best approach is to starve those bacteria and cleansing your system of toxins. The best type of cleanse is a whole-foods-based elimination diet.

Please do not choose any of the longer-period juice cleanses. Juicing removes fiber, and your body needs fiber to remove toxins. So, when you juice for long periods, you do force the release of many toxins, but then your filtering organs are flooded with no way to get rid of them.

2) Restore healthy bacteria in your gut: During any cleanse, you should at the very least take a high-potency probiotic. Based on the research and classes I’ve taken, look for a minimum of 8 strains and 50 billion CFU during your recolonization stage (usually 1-3 months). Make sure the capsules are allergen-free, manufactured recently and stored properly: preferably refrigerated to help keep as many organisms alive as possible. If you choose not to cleanse, taking probiotics is still a great way to support your immune system. After 1-3 months at the 50 billion CFU level, you can drop down to 25 billion CFU for maintenance. I use this probiotic with my clients.

3) Choose natural wellness products as your first line of defense: Before reaching for the prescription or over the counter medications, try to go natural. You may be surprised at how well natural methods can work. I have listed these options in the order in which I would follow if my discomfort continued to escalate. My family and many of my clients have reported far better results with these protocols than with the traditional methods they followed previously.

  • To help ease seasonal sinus discomfort, equal parts of lemon, lavender, and peppermint essential oils mixed into a roller bottle blend is highly effective for most, and very easy to use. Apply behind the ears, behind the neck, base of the spine, and/or bottoms of the feet. Do not apply anywhere that will be in direct sunlight for 6 hours after application since lemon oil is photosensitive and will promote burning. This mix is safe to mix in warm water and drink as a tea.
  • To help ease occasional sinus pressure, apply an essential oil digestive blendto the bridge of your nose, above the eyebrows, and/or above the forehead along the brow line where you feel the pressure (we use one that mixes anise, ginger, fennel, peppermint, tarragon seed, caraway seed, and coriander seed oils). Diffuse an essential oil respiratory blend to help keep the airways open (we use one that includes laurel leaf, peppermint leaf, eucalyptus leaf, melaleuca, lemon peel, ravensara leaf, and cardamom seed essential oils ). If these steps don’t help, try applying a drop of frankincense over the bridge of your nose or place a drop under your tongue.
  • To flush out congestion and make your sinuses a less welcoming place for bacteria to grow, use a Netti Pot or sinus rinse (we use Neil –Med).
  • To help support clear sinus passages, especially when trying to support your body in avoiding a sinus infection, heat some water in the microwave or on the stove. Let the water cool some, but ensure that it is still steaming. Add one drop each of peppermint, melaleuca, oregano, and lavender; then breathe the steam in. Place a towel over your head for more effect. I warn you though, wait about 30 seconds before starting to breathe the oils, and start a head length away from the cup. Move closer as you are able to tolerate it. The oils are potent and can cause a burning sensation to already inflamed sinus tissue if you get too close too fast. Breathe for 30 seconds at least 3-4 times each time.
  • To support your immune system in its efforts to fight off any threatening infections, dilute oregano and melaleuca essential oils and apply to the bottoms of your feet morning and night.

For many of my clients, the gift of enjoying spring with their families again was well worth making the lifestyle changes that enabled that outcome. Please don’t let your fear of the unknown hold you in an uncomfortable pattern. You can help your body find relief. I will help you if you want and/or need me to.

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To learn more about the cleanse options, supplements, or essential oils I recommend, contact me using the form below or at alicia@healthytangents.com to request information or to schedule a wellness consultation.

Disclaimer: I am not a Physician. I am a wife, a mom, a certified health coach, and someone who loves learning about natural wellness tools and sharing with others the incredible things I learn through my classes, research, personal experiences, and the experiences of friends and family. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Rather, they are intended to support your body in its efforts to restore balance and maintain health.

Ohhhhh, THAT’S What it’s Like to Smell Again!

I love what I do so much!

Last night, I met with a woman named Kathy who is allergic to her cats. However, since they are part of the family, she has lived with the chronic sinuses and infections over the past years. Kathy and her mom came to my house, and they were very excited to learn ways to support health naturally using essential oils. Kathy desperately wanted to help support her body’s efforts to handle allergens better. She had been highly congested for months, and was working on another sinus infection. Her chest was tight and wheezy. We discussed some holistic ways to lessen the impact of her allergies that included diet and lifestyle changes. We also explored my essential oil arsenal. Because it seemed like she had the signs of an impending sinus infection, I suggested she follow my 5 Steps to Calm Your Sinuses Naturally, and she returned home with:

  • Samples of our seasonal blend and our respiratory blend
  • Probiotics and pure Olive Leaf capsules from my personal stash
  • Fresh oregano sprigs from my garden so she could make oregano steam

I had to make sure she had enough to carry her over until her new essential oils kit arrives! Last night I received this message:

“Thank you again for all you did for us today and the amount of time you spent answering all our questions. I’m so excited to see how these all work out and hopeful that it will help me transform my body…There are many things I know I should have done in the past from reading up on things, but speaking with you actually gives me the nudge I needed to take action on those things…i.e. weaning milk out of my life, getting cats out of the bedroom. Your time and knowledge was much appreciated. Talk to you soon.”

Then, this morning, I received this message from her:

Had a few minor issues ( think I woke up 2x’s) but not like normal and fell back to sleep fairly quickly. Noticed I could breathe through one nostril fairly well when I woke up the 2nd time. Did not feel the need to hit snooze this AM like I’ve been doing often for the past month. Best nights sleep in a while. Can’t wait for the diffuser!

Yep. I SOOOO Love what I do. It means that everything my family and I have gone through had a purpose…paying it forward ROCKS. I will be even more excited in a few days when she feels even better! These results were after only 12 hours!!!

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To learn more about the cleanse options, supplements, or essential oils I recommend, contact me using the form below or at alicia@healthytangents.com to request information or to schedule a wellness consultation.

Disclaimer: I am not a Physician. I am a wife, a mom, a certified health coach, and someone who loves learning about natural wellness tools and sharing with others the incredible things I learn through my classes, research, personal experiences, and the experiences of friends and family. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Rather, they are intended to support your body in its efforts to restore balance and maintain health.

5 Steps to Calm Your Sinuses Naturally

All six of my family members would end up at the doctor or ER at least once every fall or spring (or both). Every single one of us. Every. Single. Year.

I used to joke that I needed frequent flyer miles because the chronic sinus issues and subsequent asthma or bronchitis attacks were only one of the reasons we frequented the ER. It is always bad when the intake people recognize you by name as you walk in.

BUT, in the last two years, the only one who ended up being seen by a doctor for a sinus-related-issue was me…and it was really my own fault. I was so busy making sure my sick kids were following the protocol I am about to share, that I didn’t make time to do it myself. I ended up with severe bronchitis and spent almost a week in bed.

Lesson Learned.

iStock_000041361116LargeAt this time of year, my inbox is filled with questions about how to help the body so it can fight off and keep away sinus infections. So, I will share what we do in our home. First, I will share the steps, then I will share the logic behind why each step is helpful along with some reference links.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Tea: Create a “tea” with 8 oz of water at your preferred temperature, 2 tablespoons of local raw honey, and 1 tablespoon of organic ACV (Braggs or Eden Organics are two great brands).  Or, add the ACV and honey to your favorite tea. Stir, and then drink. You can add two drops of lemon essential oil to help thin the mucous and a drop of a protective blend to further support your immune system.
  2. Netti Pot: About 1/2 hour after you finish drinking your tea, prepare your netti pot. If your sinuses are really bad and you are feeling pressure, dip a toothpick into a single drop of pure Lavender essential oil, and then swirl the toothpick into to the mixture. Use the netti pot at least 2x per nostril, or until you no longer see visible mucous exiting. Neil Med is the brand of netti pot we use and trust; you can find it at most pharmacies. You can also opt for a sinus rinse instead of the pot style. Just be sure to follow the directions and use the packets. They help to match the natural environment in your sinus passages. Regular water will burn and cause further irritation. You can also research how to make your own salt mixture, but I didn’t have much success making my own. The kids could tell the difference.
  3. Oregano Steam: To create the oregano steam, either (1) add 3-4 springs of fresh oregano from your garden, turn down the heat and let the oregano’s natural oils seep in the water until the water turns greenish brown, and then bring the water back to a boil before continuing; OR (2) turn off the heat, add 1 drop of pure oregano oil, stir and give it a minute to diffuse. Oregano essential oil is very potent and if you don’t pause a bit after adding it to the water, it can create a burning sensation inside already inflamed nasal passages. If you choose to use the oil, it is also helpful to add a drop of lavender, lemon, melaleuca, and peppermint.
  4. Apply pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils: For congestion due to virus or bacteria, we apply three essential oil blends: 2 drops of respiratory blend on the chest, 1 drop of digestive blend across the bridge of the nose, and 1 drop of protective blend behind each ear. For congestion due to seasonal or environmental discomforts, we still apply three essential oil blends: 2 drops of respiratory blend on the chest, 1 drop of digestive blend across the bridge of the nose, and 1 drop each of lemon, lavender, and peppermint essential oils behind each ear (you can mix your own oil blend by placing equal drop amounts in a roller bottle, diluted as needed). For young children and for those with sensitive skin, be sure to dilute the oils with a pure 100% carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, olive oil or grape seed oil (dilution chart).
  5. If viral or bacterial, take Olive Leaf Capsules: Just like with some of the essential oils, olive leaf has natural chemical properties that help the body better ward off environmental threats. It is also completely natural with no side effects. My kids don’t love the taste, but they love getting better. For our child who is not yet able to swallow the capsules, we open the capsule and mix the powder into a tablespoon of honey. She then swallows quickly and chases it with water. We choose East Park d’Lenolate Olive Leaf capsules for our family.

This protocol works like a charm for us. In a pinch or at the initial onset, we just gently blow our noses to get as much out as we can, and then follow with the oregano steam/oils. We repeat the steps both am and pm in our home, and then just reapply the oils in the middle of the day.

So why do these steps work?


Apple Cider Vinegar is very powerful at thinning the mucous which will make it easier for you to get the mucous out. Mucous sitting in your sinus passages is a perfect environment for additional bacteria to set up shop. Mixing the ACV with honey not only makes it taste better, but also helps soothe sore throats from the inflammation caused by post nasal drip. You can mix just the honey with ACV and swallow, but the water helps with hydration and thinning the mucous, so at least drink the water as a chaser if you choose this option.


The Netti Pot is the most natural and effective way to flush the extra mucous and the bacteria that may be trying to call your sinuses home. It takes a bit of practice to use it without any discomfort, but once you get the hang of it, most find it actually soothing and can feel it helping. The most important tips for success are to:

  1. Keep the tip of your head DOWN and tilted to the side that needs to drain out. If your head is too level, it may burn some.
  2. Breathe through your mouth as you are pouring the fluid into your nostril. It will not work if your mouth is closed and you are holding your breath.
  3. Remember that if my kids at the age of 2 could do it AND ask for it because they knew it helped; then you can surely figure it out. 🙂

If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to do this, then just gently try and blow as much of the thinned mucous out of your passages before continuing with the rest of the steps.


Oregano supports your body in fighting off environmental threats. It goes into your nostrils with the steam and helps make it a less optimal environment for bacteria to take hold. By clearing as much mucous as you can with the netti pot prior to breathing the steam, you are increasing the chances of the oil reaching any threats that are trying to take hold.


The essential oils we use in our home are extremely powerful at helping the body fight the causes of congestion. Lavender helps calm and sooth inflamed nasal passages, respiratory blend helps keep airways open, digestive blend helps reduce mucous production, and protective blend helps support the immune system so it can fight off the virus/bacteria that may be trying to set up camp. The essential oil blend of peppermint, lemon, and lavender has helped many of my clients ease seasonal and environmental discomforts that were previously uncontrolled. Because natural wellness products are not chemically altered medicines that slow release, you do need to reapply more often. My family is supported with 2-3 applications per day.

Just make sure your brand is pure, therapeutic grade (tested to ensure 100% purity and potency). You will not get the same results with food- or fragrance-grade essential oils. I personally did alot of research before choosing the brand I use, and learned that in our country, an oil labeled 100% pure may only contain 5% of the oil labeled. I trust the brand we chose, please be sure to choose one you trust as well.


Olive Leaf is very effective at helping your body kick infections and viruses quicker, and at fighting them off if taken at the first sign of symptoms. We used this even before we found essential oils, and we continue to use it when the cause is viral or bacterial because we feel it is an effective extra support and there are no side effects. Not all Olive Leaf is created equal though. We trust the East Park brand I linked to above.


There are many other helpful herbs and oils for congestion such as onion and grapefruit seed extract. We have just found this protocol and it works very well for us and for far less cost than conventional options, so we are sticking with it. I hope you have as much success in your home!

What protocols do you follow in your home to fight congestion? Please share in the comments below.

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To learn more about the cleanse options, supplements, or essential oils I recommend, contact me using the form below or at alicia@healthytangents.com to request information or to schedule a wellness consultation.

Disclaimer: I am not a Physician. I am a wife, a mom, a certified health coach, and someone who loves learning about natural wellness tools and sharing with others the incredible things I learn through my classes, research, personal experiences, and the experiences of friends and family. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Rather, they are intended to support your body in its efforts to restore balance and maintain health.

Get it Off Your Chest

Have you ever wondered where certain phrases come from? I do…often. I sometimes like to geek out on searching the internet for the origins of phrases such as “…apple of my eye,” or “…on cloud 9.” This week, I am fairly certain I figured out what it means to get something off your chest.

iStock_000022711821SmallA dear friend of mine’s parents, sister, and aunt were in a car accident. Her aunt was killed. Her mother spent hours in the police station trying not to cry over the loss of her sister because she was in public. Then, she went home and tried not to cry over the loss of her sister because she wanted to be strong for her niece, nephews, and children. She ended up being admitted into the hospital for chest pains, with everyone worried that it was a sign of a missed injury. Luckily it wasn’t. I believe it was the way her sorrow and stress manifested in her body, since she had felt the need to keep it all wrapped up inside.

Stress is a silent killer. It inhibits your body’s ability to function properly in many ways. It also causes very real physical symptoms…especially when you hold it in and do nothing to help your body release it. If you try and suppress your true feelings or desires, you are highly likely to feel it in your body, possibly your chest. You may feel a tightness, pains when you breathe in deeply, or random shooting pains that mimic heart attack symptoms. You may feel like you cannot take a deep enough breath.

How do I know?

Last week both our dog and I had anaphylactic allergic reactions that we spent days overcoming (luckily on different days or our dog Bailey would have been out of luck). Then, I worked three days straight at our local festival, by myself, educating people about natural healthcare. Although this was fun stress, it was still stress. Our bodies don’t differentiate between good and bad stress: the effects are the same.

As I was tearing down from the festival, my husband had a freak accident in our home and ended up badly cut and bruised, with an injured arm and a concussion.  Today, when I was trying to work while caring for my kids and husband who is now on bed rest, I got something in my eye. It appeared to have cut the top layer of my eye open, leaving a flap that covered my vision if I looked to the right. Thankfully, after another trip to an emergency provider, it turned out to be just a topical allergic reaction that caused that layer to swell and loosen. When I turn my eye, the loose covering bunches over my eye.

Amazingly, I am feeling pretty well in spite of my stress-filled week. But, it isn’t always this way. Often when life gets like this, I get that same pressure in my chest. But, because I knew I was under a large amount of stress, I have been taking steps to ensure I could get it all “off my chest” and continue functioning.

So, how do you get it off your chest?

  • Get moving: Exercise is a great way to manage stress levels and release pent up emotions. I made sure to join my neighbor for our morning walk in spite of all the craziness.
  • Nourish your body: When you are under stress, it is extra important to nourish your body properly. Eat whole, unprocessed foods. Avoid processed sugars. Choose whole grains and limit them to less than 2 cups per day. Eat a rainbow of vegetables throughout the week, and ensure you are getting enough healthy fats and protein. Most importantly, fight the urge to bribe your stress away with junk food. The comfort provided only lasts a few moments and will actually make your physical symptoms worse.
  • Support your body: Your body needs certain nutrients to deal with high levels of stress hormones. You may need to supplement with extra B vitamins (especially B6), magnesium, and omega 3 at a minimum. You may also use essential oils to help your body calm, to work toward homeostasis, and to combat fatigue. I use a grounding blend and a tension blend of essential oils to help me stay calm and level emotionally and physically, and I use peppermint mixed with grapefruit or wild orange essential oils to give me extra energy. Everyone is different, but through trial and error, you will find what supports your body best.
  • Listen to your body: When you are under a lot of stress, you need to listen to your body. If you are tired, find time to rest, even if only for 15 minutes. If you need to stop holding up the world for a minute, ask for help or take a break. If you need to cry, then cry. Yes, I am talking to you men too.
  • Take care of you: Carve out at least 30 minutes to take care of yourself each day. Read that article you have been dying to read or treat yourself to that thing you have been wishing you had time for (e.g., painting your nails, going fishing, hiking your favorite trail).  Play your favorite playlist while driving in the car and sing like no one can hear you.

Of course, if you are feeling chest pains and are not sure what they are, GO TO THE ER IMMEDIATELY. If it turns out that all is well with your heart and it is likely stress-related, then I challenge you to make YOU a priority, and to go get it off your chest!

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To learn more about the cleanse options, supplements, or essential oils I recommend, contact me using the form below or at alicia@healthytangents.com to request information or to schedule a wellness consultation.

Disclaimer: I am not a Physician. I am a wife, a mom, a certified health coach, and someone who loves learning about natural wellness tools and sharing with others the incredible things I learn through my classes, research, personal experiences, and the experiences of friends and family. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Rather, they are intended to support your body in its efforts to restore balance and maintain health.

Tune-Up Your Gut!

ImageFor some reason, it is easy for us to accept that our vehicles need an oil change and a tune-up once in awhile, but it is very hard for us to think of our bodies in the same way. But, I see the concepts as very similar.

For example, gas that is riddled with too much water causes damage to our vehicle’s fuel injection system and results in anything from sputtering and lowered fuel efficiency, to a complete breakdown. Why then do we fight against the idea that what we put in our bodies could also cause damage over time?

Up to 85% of our immune system resides in our digestive system. Good digestion requires a delicate balance of differing bacteria that work together to aid in digestion, support proper immune function, and assist with toxin removal. If we regularly put in “bad gas,” which includes highly processed foods riddled with genetically modified ingredients and synthetic preservatives, large amounts of processed sugars and bleached grains, or synthetic pharmaceuticals such as Tylenol, antibiotics, or antacids…then that “bad gas” can allow the wrong bacteria to flourish and can damage both the beneficial bacterial and your gut walls.

The following table illustrates why restoring our vehicle after exposure to contaminated gas is similar to choosing a whole food cleanse to restore healthy digestive balance after exposure to tainted foods and medications.

Steps to Restore a… …Vehicle After Bad Gas Exposure …Body After “Bad Gas” Exposure
1 Clear the bad gas from the System Clear the “bad gas” from your body
2 Flush the fuel system to remove any buildup of remaining water than can cause further damage Flush your digestive and filtering systems to remove any buildup of toxins that can cause further damage
3 Replace the filter(s) Replace the healthy bacteria in your digestive tract
4 Add good gas back in Add healthy, whole foods and natural healthcare/cleaning products back in
5 Add an additive to your gas to help remove any remaining water, to protect against future water buildup, and to increase overall fuel efficiency Add targeted supplements or complementary healthcare therapies to keep your body in balance so it can do its job and protect against and heal from illness and disease

Consider tuning-up your gut if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Irregular bowels (e.g., bloating, diarrhea or constipation)
  • Pain or discomfort after eating
  • Difficulty in reaching or maintaining an alkaline state
  • Eczema, Rosacea, hives or other skin rashes
  • Sensitivity to strong scents, skin- or health-care products and/or foods
  • Severe seasonal/environmental allergies
  • Strong cravings for sugary foods and/or empty carbohydrates
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Concentration issues such as poor memory, general ‘brain fog,’ ADD/ADHD or lack of focus
  • Irritability, moodiness, anxiety or depression
  • Reflux or heartburn

Please be sure to work with an educated healthcare professional if you decide to proceed. If you want me to, I will work with you to choose the best approach to incorporate into your lifestyle and support you along the way. But, regardless of whom you choose, please be sure that they are recommending a whole food approach and that, if recommended, supplements and essential oils are certified pure, all natural and free of common allergens.

Important: Beware of juice-only cleanses especially ones that include supplements or essential oils to help with cleansing. Your body needs fiber and protein to effectively eliminate toxins. If you speed up toxin removal, but do not provide what is needed to remove those toxins, you will feel worse and could get very ill. Juice cleanses for short periods of time without the additional use of supplements or essential oils are still considered beneficial.

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To learn more about the cleanse options, supplements, or essential oils I recommend, contact me using the form below or at alicia@healthytangents.com to request information or to schedule a wellness consultation.

Disclaimer: I am not a Physician. I am a wife, a mom, a certified health coach, and someone who loves learning about natural wellness tools and sharing with others the incredible things I learn through my classes, research, personal experiences, and the experiences of friends and family. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Rather, they are intended to support your body in its efforts to restore balance and maintain health.

Lessons Learned During My Hiatus: Essential Oils ARE Essential

Essential oils ARE essential. Well, at least in my book…and in my kids’ books…and in my husband’s book. Why? Because we just watched our daughter recover from challenges that were plaguing her for over a year in less than a month. If you had watched her transition, you would think they were essential too.

Our daughter, Jaylee, started confiding in us in May of 2013 that it was hard for her to fall asleep; and that once she did, “something” was waking her up.  After she woke up, she felt like her heart was going to stop, like she couldn’t take a breath in, and like she had to go to the bathroom so urgently she was unsure if she would make it. She also admitted that it had been happening for some time, and that it was making it hard for her to stay awake at school since she wasn’t sleeping well.

IMG_1179 I wrote about the challenging path we traveled to get her correct diagnoses in a previous post. She was/is diagnosed with:

  • Non-obstructive Sleep Apnea, which basically means that something was altering her breathing patterns and waking her during sleep cycles where she shouldn’t be waking, but that it was not caused by the traditional airway obstruction.
  • Benign Occipital Epilepsy of Childhood, which means that she was having seizures in her sleep that were not causing damage to her brain. Children generally present with this around the age of 7, and then usually outgrow them in 1-3 years after they begin. The general thought is that it has to do with growth patterns and the brain’s inability to keep up. There is a possibility they could be related to Jaylee’s drug exposure in utero.
  • Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, which means that Jaylee’s internal clock was misfiring, and she had a hard time falling asleep before 11 pm, and a hard time waking up and focusing her brain prior to 11 am.

We were told that our only two choices were to try powerful anti-seizure and sleep medications that have a host of potential side effects, or to wait the seizures out and hope they were the only cause of the sleep apnea. There wasn’t even a moment that we considered the medications. The seizures were not damaging her brain so there was no long-term risk, but we were still frustrated since the “episodes” were causing Jaylee a lot of anxiety and frustration, as well as making it harder for her to succeed in school and gymnastics…not to mention the stress it was causing us as a family since she was impossibly grumpy and moody most of the time. The only thing we were willing to try was Melatonin at 6pm every evening in an effort to help her fall asleep earlier and faster. It made her tired earlier, but didn’t seem to help with anything else.

And here is where my friend Debbie Burns comes in. I had met Debbie when studying to be a Health Coach, and she had been the one to introduce me to essential oils back in September. When we became aware of Jaylee’s issues, I had decided to take a hiatus from health coaching and felt I didn’t have time to learn about the essential oils I had just purchased. I felt that I needed to focus all my spare time and energy on helping Jaylee, and if I am honest with myself, I think I was skeptical that the oils would make any difference. I had bought them intending to make my own cleaning and skin care products, not to use them as part of our healthcare toolkit.  But, when Debbie found out about Jaylee’s diagnoses and heard how frustrated and overwhelmed I felt, she came to my house to give me the gifts of an aromatherapy touch technique that supports the body in dealing better with pain, stress, and immunity. She also gave me a resource book on essential oil usage, along with encouragement to look up how the oils may be able to help my daughter.

Those gifts changed our lives.

The aromatherapy session completely reinvigorated me…and I mean the way that a week-long vacation, by myself, on a deserted island that just happened to be equipped with a memory blocking device would reinvigorate me. She left, and I dove into that book. I just had to know how and why I felt so much better. I mean, if they helped me that much in one experience, maybe they COULD possibly help my daughter.

Breathe_15mlLavender_15mlI didn’t have all of the oils recommended for her conditions, but I had most of them. We started that night with this protocol:

  • Two drops of lavender on each side of her pillow and on her favorite stuffed animal’s head  (she turns from side to side, and I didn’t have a diffuser, so this was my workaround), and two drops rubbed into the bottom of each foot
  • PastTense_RollOnThree drops of a respiratory oil blend rubbed into her chest, and a little under her nose
  • A drop of tension oil blend rubbed behind each ear, and two drops rubbed into the base of her hairline at the back of her neck, layered with 1 drop of frankincense.

days-2Two nights later she had one of her “episodes,” but she said she didn’t feel as scared when she woke up, and that she was able to get right back to sleep after she went to the bathroom. She also had an easier time waking up then she had prior to the oils.

days-14Two weeks later, she was managing to fall asleep by 9pm instead of 11pm, she seemed rested in the morning, and she only had one episode that week compared to the 3-5 per week she was having prior to starting. Jaylee also started bringing her pillow out when she said goodnight so we could put the “sleep oils” on it. She wasn’t about to go to sleep without them.

days-21Three weeks later, we started to realize it had been a week with no episodes, and she was sleeping through the night. She was a happy, well-rested child during our annual Christmas vacation trip.

days-28The following week she didn’t have any episodes, and she hasn’t had any since. Watching her health improve right in front of our eyes was one of the best Christmas presents EVER.

The neurologist was very happy to see she “outgrew” the condition faster than usual, and seemed sincerely intrigued by my belief that the oils deserved the credit. In her defense, she did not dismiss the idea as she was aware of their proven effectiveness in some cases, though she also was not willing to give credit. 🙂

Jay-NikaSo, what about side effects? Oh, there were many. Let me name just a few:

  • The horrifically grumpy morning diva is gone and has been replaced by a cooperative, happy girl (well, most mornings)
  • Her math grades have improved drastically (math was the first class of the day, and therefore those grades had suffered the most, even though math is Jaylee’s favorite subject)
  • She looks forward to going to bed and no longer finds every excuse known to man to delay laying in a horizontal position
  • She was able to avoid her asthma medications almost all winter (the respiratory blend supports overall respiratory health)
  • She is far less anxious and reactive in unexpected situations (both lavender and the tension blend help with calming anxieties in addition to providing neurological support)
  • She is performing much better in gymnastics due in large part to having more stamina and breath control
  • I now have new tools that I am excited about incorporating into my health coaching work

I don’t know about you, but those are side effects I will happily live with.

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To learn more about the cleanse options, supplements, or essential oils I recommend, contact me using the form below or at alicia@healthytangents.com to request information or to schedule a wellness consultation.

Disclaimer: I am not a Physician. I am a wife, a mom, a certified health coach, and someone who loves learning about natural wellness tools and sharing with others the incredible things I learn through my classes, research, personal experiences, and the experiences of friends and family. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Rather, they are intended to support your body in its efforts to restore balance and maintain health.