Updated: Sep 4, 2022
Events since late 2019 have put the world in a spin. Health and preventative medicine are the headlines. Our way of life here in Australia has changed and we may all feel that protocols in place for physical distancing, increased hygiene standards for public places and restrictions on travel are absolutely justified. Yet, I am unfortunately one of those people who are significantly affected by modern chemical usage, and this has only increased with the pandemic counter-strategies. I experience negative nervous, mental and physical reactions to volatile synthetics. So for me, what will I do to remain calm, sane and healthy? Instead of just 'putting up with it' and popping antihistamines and painkillers like peppermints, I use natural holistic health alternatives at every opportunity and avoid the toxic antibacterial products. Aromatherapy and herbal help is right at the top of my list!
Aromatherapy is powerful medicine. If you are learning about using essential oils, tinctures and herbals, read from a wide source of information. Visit the local library or jump on to a good cross-section of online information. I've put a list of links at the bottom of this article for you to explore.
Below are some precautions you can use to maintain great health and hygiene using all botanical helpers, so while you keep on keeping on, you can be using safe and effective solutions (and if you have any questions please contact me via the website).
Hand Washing without soap
I avoid soaps as they are drying and will strip the skin of its protective mantle. They inherently contain an array of synthetic fragrances, isoproply alcohol (from petroleum), synthetic detergents/surfactants and other irritants. For someone with sensitive skin like me, using them is going to cause me injury. Damaging the skin's barrier can lead to micro tears which potentially become access points for bacteria and viruses. If out in public places, wash your hands frequently with water and carry your own hand drying cloth with you or use the air dryer if available. Then apply an essential oil sanitizer blend. You could choose to dilute one of the full strength Aromablends like 'Rescue' or 'Forest Bather', using a nourishing carrier oil like Macadamia, Jojoba or Coconut (all available from the Base Ingredients page) or choose a diluted blend ready for topical use like 'Abracadabra', 'La Belle Vie' or 'Nirvana' (using one of the citrus oil based blends; 'Bright' or 'Prosper', may cause photosensitivity, so avoid using those during daytime outings). Simply using one of these blends onto wet hands will create an antiseptic cleanser. Applying a protective balm (like 'Au Naturel') will also assist you to maintain a robust skin barrier and repel airborne microbes or those found on surfaces.
Home made hand sanitising wipes
Make a non-toxic pack of hand sanitizing wipes with a packet of bamboo tissues and a ziplock pouch. First, combine 100ml purified water and 25ml 90 proof vodka (available online) plus 3ml of your chosen Aromablend or blend of essential oils like Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree or Peppermint. Shake vigorously to blend in a tight capped bottle, then fill the ziplock until the tissues are damp (but not dripping). Zip it closed and use these as and when necessary. They will keep for approximately 4 weeks or more if you store them in a cool dark place between use. NB: make smaller packs for your handbag or back pack by splitting this blend into several ziplock bags.
Atmospheric cleansing mists
Use a Botanical Essence Mist as an air purifier as well as respiratory cleanser. I suggest using 'Clarity' as it has Tea Tree and Geranium, both powerfully cleansing and sanitising agents. They are also nervous systems calmatives and will encourage your emotions to remain balanced amid distress. You may also find 'Peace' or 'Calm' Botanical Mists useful for both emotions and sanitising.
Diffuse a little Lemon or Rosemary (or both) in areas where you are working. I am using 'Prosper' Aromablend to purify the air as it contains essential oils known to be antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial. It not only protects you, it also increases productivity as these aromas are used to elicit clarity of mind, calm the emotions, induce euphoria and stimulate blood flow to the brain. Another option is 'Burp' blend. This one is my digestive blend to be diluted in oil or food, but the antiviral properties are incredible and I absolutely love the 'lift' it gives to any space! Try it!
Botanical surface cleaner recipe
Wipe down surfaces that are used by more than one person with a dilution of something powerful like 'Fresh Pearl', 'Prosper', 'Rescue', 'Key Qi', 'Forest Bather', 'Buster' or 'Burp'. These are all capable cleansing agents and smell beautiful too (however, always do a surface patch test first...you don't want to accidentally damage the vanity unit). A 100ml bottle of purified water plus 25ml (two cap fulls) of 90 proof vodka, plus 10 drops of one of these Aromablends, makes a suitable hand and surface sanitiser. So for the price of the spray bottle, the Aromablend, plus a little water and sacrificing some vodka for the greater good... you'll get up to12 bottles of hand sanitiser from one of the 6ml Aromablend bottles. WIN! NB: the vodka is to stabilise the water component...not as a sanitising agent (however 90 proof vodka, the medicinal kind used for making tinctures, IS a sanitiser and much less harmful than isopropyl alcohol from petroleum),... the essential oils are the antimicrobial/antiviral active ingredients in any sanitising mist or spray.
By avoiding toxic chemicals you avoid placing your body under extra detox stress, and by using natural products you give it a helping hand to do what it does best. By avoiding panic and hysteria you won't buy in to the fear regime that's affecting everyone. Distress feeds ill-health...so 'don't feed the distress'; it bites.
With Autumnal chill in blissful display, the sniffles and coughs start to appear. Why? Tis the 5th Season; explained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as the week(s) or seasonal 'episode' between seasons, and a time of imbalance. TCM dates back over 3000 years. It's pretty well documented and proven, and one of those wells of gold that I dip back into regularly to reset, repair and maintain balanced health. In SE Queensland, the seasons are almost indefinable. Maybe we have a cold snap to hail the entrance of Autumn; maybe we have a deluge or dry spell. Sometimes we have both, but in any case, it is an episode that can lead to a significant change in the temperature and humidity, which our lungs are the first to notice. That's why respiratory health is usually the first thing to falter during a 5th season episode.
Drink detoxing teas and herbal blends that fortify your immune system. A healthy and maintained immune system is far better protection against viruses than any quick-fix-knee-jerk-reaction product or pharmaceutical. I've been using 'Sweet Devi' blend as it contains Ashwagandah, Liquorice Root and Cardamom for all-over tonic support and extra help for the respiratory system. You can also use 'Epic Red Chai' which contains Rooibos and Honeybush for respiratory fortification, and it's caffeine free, so you can sip it all the way up to bedtime if required. Another not so well known respiratory assistant is Sweet Orange Peel, used in TCM specifically for lung health. You'll find it in 'The 3PM Glow' blend with White Peony leaf and Rosella.
For daytime energy I return to Jasmine Green Tea in the form of my 'Divine Green' blend, with Rose Petals and Vanilla Pod. Green Tea is the cleanser and detox super hero, used in TCM as a basis for good health. Never brew your green tea on boiled water, only warm water, as this will enhance the nuances of taste between various kinds of green tea, keeping it fragrant and delicious not bitter or unpalatable, and, it will maintain the best of the antioxidant qualities of this incredibly health-giving drink.
All the Herbal Teas from Magic Earth Mumma are made with 100% Australian Certified Organic and Wildcrafted ingredients, packaged to order when bought from the website.
Sleep your way to the best health ever
Then at night I want to get the BEST sleep I can, so I switch to 'Bliss&Flow' after dinner. One small, strong shot of this at 7pm will have you feeling sleepy by 8pm. This blend contains nerve calming and sedative herbs to allow the body to prepare for sleep. When I feel tired, I rest and allow my body to unwind before even attempting to sleep (of course, no TV/movies, no social media, no upsetting conversations...just quiet). Avoid blue light from any devices after sundown when you are trying to reset your circadian rhythm and get your natural melatonin levels synchronised.
You can boost your herbal therapy by using a diffuser to vapourise a sleep helper like 'Astral Traveler', 'Forest Bather', 'Abracadabra' or 'LaBelleVie', or simply dab a little onto the corners of your pillow case and inhale them as you rest and sleep. Insomnia is a torture for anyone going through it (and usually for their partners and family too). Sleep deprivation has a cascade effect on health and well-being that can take months if not years to repair, however introducing just one or two therapeutic helpers can make immediate change for the better. It takes a collection of therapy and life changing steps to create positive change and encourage longer sleeping episodes. Don't give up!
We are all getting through this very new way of living the best we know how. With the introduction of stricter hygiene protocols for public spaces we see the unfortunate rise in chemical usage. So while we benefit from the health improvements we can also be encouraged to be pro-preventative medicine by taking better responsibility for the convenience of having good health and accessing botanical, gentle, kind and considerate ways, of maintaining our personal and spatial hygiene.
I hope you can find your way to peaceful and restorative practices, that build your Qi, and encourage others to do so too.
Excerpt from the SKINCARE BASICS EBOOK, available to download from the website here.
Julia Lawless ‘The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils’. A good beginners guide and must have for the shelf of anyone interested in botanical therapies.
Kurt Schnaubelt ‘The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils’. The master of groundbreaking research and clinical Aromatherapy used for alleviating medical conditions and general therapy.
AromaticStudies.com/blog (The New York Institute of Aromatic Studies)
Progressive educational resources for anyone wanting contemporary knowledge based on traditional methods. Uses holistic methods of evaluation and use of essential oils and botanical ingredients.
A treasure trove of up to date and referenced information about individual botanical ingredients.
Touted as ‘Essential Oil Education You Can Trust’, this world renowned aromatherapist guru has the research to back up the text (just like Schnaubelt and Edens Botanicals ). Use this if you prefer | want | need a more academic, clinical view of aromatherapy.
A wealth of information for anyone concerned about the potentially harmful ingredients in everyday cosmetics and personal care products.