Sunday, July 28, 2013

Diaper Rash Help

Diaper rashes are something that cause issues for every mom at one time or another.  A couple weeks ago I posted a recipe for my diaper rash balm that works like a charm.  However, I know that not everyone has the desire to be mixing their own lotions and potions, and for that reason I wanted to offer another recommendation for a non do-it-yourself version of a diaper rash ointment that I have found extremely effective.
A while back my little boy Hudsen went from having no diaper rash at all, to a few hours and a few poopy diapers later having a bum that was flaming red and bleeding!  I wasn't feeling well at the time, and had run out of my homemade diaper rash ointment a while back, and hadn't made anymore because I hadn't been needing it.   But suddenly I had a very sore little bum, and a baby that would scream every time he got his diaper changed from the pain.  I had a stash of diaper rash creams that various people had given me for baby showers etc.  I tried everything from the traditional diaper rash creams off the shelf at Walmart, to the natural Burt's Bees balms, but nothing seemed to sooth or heal it up like I was used to with my homemade creams.  I causally mentioned to someone one day that I HAD to get some balm made cause nothing was helping my baby, but I just hadn't felt well enough to make any yet.  She then proceeded to tell me about this cream, that I could get at the drug store next door, that wasn't made for diaper rashes, but worked like nothing else she had ever seen.  Desperate and willing to try anything, I ran next door and bought the only tube they had.
Glancing at the ingredients, I saw it had menthol in it, and thought "oh dear this is never going to work!  His bum is so raw the last thing he needs is MENTHOL on it!"  But, the gal was so insistent that I decided to give it a go.  I had a wash cloth ready and waiting, thinking he was going to scream when I put it on and I would have to immediately wipe it all off.  But to my surprise he cried for a few seconds as he had been doing when I changed his diaper, then stopped.  And every time since then that he has had any type of sudden severe irritation it soothes SO well!

So, that being said, if you aren't in the mood for mixing your own concoctions, but want a diaper rash cream that is heads and shoulders above any other cream I've tried, THIS is the one!  You can get it at some pharmacies, or you can order it off of Amazon.  I've posted a link below so you can either order, or get a good look at the product so you can find it locally!

That's all for today!

Ashley Glassman

Calmoseptine Ointment Topical 2.5 Oz Tube

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Quick Product Recommendation For Moms With Infants Or Toddlers

 Today I just want to do a little product recommendation for Herbs For Kids "Chamomile Calm".
For any of you mom's out there that have infants and toddlers that suffer from colic, sleep disturbances, hyperactivity, or just general kid hyperness (I think I just invented a new word!) I highly HIGHLY recommend this product.  At another time I may share a recipe for making your own version of these drops, but this brand has been the closest thing to the homemade version I used for years, and sometimes you just don't feel like making something yourself and just want to be able to grab something that is ready to use!
These drops are recommended for children 1 yr and older (I have some other tricks for the younger guys) and they really do work wonders on calming the little guys down, or helping with upset stomach.  Chamomile is very calming and relaxing as well as being very soothing to the digestive system.  These drops also contain Fennel, Catnip and a few other calming herbs as well.
Sometimes kids just get worked up, either from fun or because they are upset and it doesn't take much for things to spiral out of control.  My son gets these drops almost every night a few minutes before bed to help him relax and settle down.  The glycerine and fennel make the drops sweet and pleasant to the taste buds which makes it a breeze to get kids to take them.  My almost two year old requests them, and if he is in pain or upset as soon as he sees the drops he settles down cause he knows they will help.  He had pretty severe night terrors for a while when he was about one, and these really helped in the middle of the night to stop the fitful sleep.  He doesn't even have to be awake for me to give them to him.  I put the dropper in his mouth and he starts sucking cause he has taken these, or something similar since he was born.
If your kid struggles with hyperactivity, or bed time is a struggle every night I HIGHLY recommend these drops.  I don't sell them, but you can check them out on amazon via the link below.   They have just been such a great tool for me, especially on nights where mommy is exhausted and the little guy does not want to settle down, I had to share them with you!
Even if you don't have any regular issues with your kiddos just having them on hand for those once in a while situations might be very helpful!
Below is a link to amazon where I order my drops!

Herbs for Kids Chamomile Calm, 2 Ounce

There Is More To Life Than Happily Ever After

The world of essential oils, and natural medicine is quite full of fairy tale type stories.  Women who were sick and tired, and tried this one amazing oil or vitamin, or a certain company's products, and now they feel the best they have ever felt in their entire lives.  Stories of children who are never sick, energy that never runs out, and happiness that flows out like a river of syrup.  Stories like these are meant to bring hope.  But sometimes for me and maybe you as well, they bring a little bit of despair and sadness instead.
While I am truly happy for those who have found perfect health and happiness through essential oils, or other natural products, my story is not one of fairy tale happy endings.  Of trying an oil or herb and then basking in the glow of everlasting good health.  My story is one of constant struggle.  Health issues that no herb, oil, or even traditional medication has been able to cure.  And sometimes in the sea of seemingly perfect faces, and glowing testimonials I start to wonder, is there even a place for me here in this world of natural health and education?  Do I need to have a perfect life, perfect family, and perfect health to be able to help others learn and grow?

My story is one that began early on with various health issues almost since the moment I was born.  Struggles with migraines, heart issues, chronic fatigue, ruptured disks, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, lyme disease, spinal deformities, bone spurs, and hormonal problems has left me to cope with some serious issues, and some debilitating pain.  I had multiple miscarriages before my beautiful son was conceived, then a tumultuous pregnancy with a host of complications, a premie baby who was extremely sick and spent the first month in a NICU unit almost two hours from our home.  I had a recovery from an emergency C-section that was less than smooth and an infant that would NOT nurse because he learned to suck a bottle with a feeding tube down his throat which made him not able to latch on correctly, he also had to be fed at precise times every night because of his low birth weight and various complications.  Many nights my husband was up with him while I was either pumping trying to keep my milk supply (which didn't last long because of my illness) or I was too sick to get out of bed.
And none of my story seems to fit into a testimony of someone teaching on health and natural medicine!  You are supposed to have a have a healthy life, free of pain, a smooth pregnancy and birth free of intervention or drugs, at home surrounded by herbs and a midwife, an infant that breast feeds exclusively, and a momma free of pain that is able to care for her baby day and night.  Right?  Isn't that the message that is constantly bombarding us from the "natural" word?

So where does this leave me?  Where does this leave US?  Because somewhere deep down past all the flowers and sunshine I have a feeling I'm not alone in struggle against what it seems our culture expects of us.  I know many of you struggle with ongoing issues and problems and feel that somehow there is not a place for you until you manage to "get it together" or "overcome."  That you don't want to share with others about natural things you are doing because you are afraid they will discount everything you say because "well if it worked so well why isn't her health better?"
But I'm here to disagree.  I'm here to say that I do have a voice.  A place.  And so do you!  I many not have the happy ending to my story now or ever for that matter, but I do have a lot of wisdom acquired along the way.  Wisdom that came from sheer desperation!  I may not be able to tell you how to have perfect health and happiness, but I can tell you how to stop a baby screaming in pain more times than not in a matter of minutes.  Not because my health is perfect and I have no problems, but because if my son kept me up crying at night with colic or teething pain and I didn't get enough sleep, my body would get so stressed I would literally be unable to WALK the next morning.  It simply wasn't an option, I had to find things that worked.  I can tell you what oils work, and why.  Not because my life is perfect, but because it is not.  Because I have tried them thousands of times in thousands of situations over many years.   Not because I'm never sick, but because I am!
I have not researched and dug into the natural world the way I have because my life has been smooth sailing, but because I needed something to help me make it through each day.  Or something to soothe the fragile skin of my 46 year old mother who was dying of cancer, or something to ease the pain of my dad's busted up shoulder when he couldn't stop working because they had no insurance when my mom got sick.  My knowledge did not come from a happy place of contentment, but because some days me and my family needed help just to be able to function and preform every day tasks.
Am I an expert?  Nope!  Will I make you promises that these essential oils will "cure" you and leave you healthy and happy?  Nope!  And if you want a forum full of glowing testimonials of miraculous healing, this is probably not the place for you.  But if you are looking for honesty, and help through the bumps and bruises that life brings to all of us, then you have found a home!
I'm not about grand stories, or amazing recoveries, but I am about RESULTS.  I want to share with you what has helped me.  What helps migraines?  Sure it would be great if we never had one again, but here in the real world stuff happens.  So when it does, what will help?  What helps an infants colic?  What eases the pain of arthritis?  What can you do on those days you just can't get yourself out of that funk you are in, and everything seems dark.  We could pretend we never have those days, and we are always bright and positive, but if you are like me... some days are just dark.  How do you cope with panic attacks, sciatic nerve pain, tension headaches, coughs, colds, flu, respiratory infections... the list goes on and on.  Yes it would be great if we all could be so healthy that none of these things ever plagued us.  But we live in the real world here, and crap happens.
 So I want to share with you what I have learned over the years.  Those things that have helped me though this crazy thing we call life.  And just maybe, the struggles and pain I have gone through can help you with your struggles too.

To join me on my essential oils Facebook page, visit me at:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sick Of Conflicting Information About Essential Oils?

In a society drenched with information, why make one more class?  When people can go online and find all the information they could ever want, why did I decide to do a class on essential oils?
Well here is the answer as simply as I can put it.
In my research over the last 15 years,  I found there is a startling hole in the information available online.
Because of the size of some of the multi-level-marketing companies, much of the information put out educating the public about essential oils is written and produced by them.  And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with companies that chose to use the multi-level-marketing framework for their business, the information they put out revolves exclusively around their own products.  Their brand, their blends, their books, etc.   The educational material put out by companies such as Young Living and DoTerra has a consistent theme to it.  And that theme is this "use our oils, and only our oils."  And while I can appreciate the fact that they are trying to make money, it makes deciphering what is promotional material and what is actual educational material quite hard, especially for those just entering the world of essential oils.  The blogs, videos, tutorials, articles, etc. put out both by the companies themselves and their large network of distributors are full of statements such as "Don't try this recipe with any other brand of oils" or "This group is for people using our brand of oils only, do not substitute any other companies oils."  or similar statements directing every reader to THEIR products and AWAY from other similar products.
I have great appreciation for the hard work these companies have put into building a name for themselves and creating an intensely loyal following.  But these statements should be viewed as what they truly are at their core - - Promotional.
I fully understand someone making it clear which brand of oils they used for a particular application, and saying that they cannot guarantee the results with other brands, but the truth is with natural substances you can't guarantee the results even with the brand you are recommending!
I am all about stressing the need for quality practices in an essential oil company, and calling attention to sub par oils and the dangers of using them.  But promoting blind brand loyalty is not something I am interested in.
So this brings me back to the original question:  Why create one more facebook page, one more blog, one more class?
My reason for doing so is that from my research it seems there are only two camps in the business of free information.  The first is the start to finish education that is put out by these large MLM companies.  The educational material they offer promotes essential oils as a solution ONLY for those interested in purchasing THEIR products.
The second is random postings on various blogs, or articles in various forums that offer education unbiased by brand loyalty, but lacking in a systematic format.
I am constantly inspired and delighted by the random articles and blog posts I find with excellent content.  But unless you have hours to spend researching, and the knowledge base already in place to know what information you need to be looking for and then are somehow able to find it and put it in the right order... you are kind of screwed.
And in my opinion this is the biggest reason that those looking into the world of essential oils are very likely to end up becoming a part of one of the Multi-Level-Marketing companies.  They offer support, and a systematic form of learning and educating yourself and others on how to use essential oils properly.  And while these companies may not offer the best value on essential oils themselves, the community and the systematic education provided is something that is invaluable and has not been duplicated elsewhere in the aromatherapy world.  And I believe the reason it has not been duplicated is simple:  These companies are making so much money on essential oils that it is easy for them to offer lots of free information, especially when that free information in generating more sales in oils.  And it is brilliant marketing really!  I mean what better way to increase your sales than to spend large amounts of time convincing all your customers, or potential customers that every other product out there on the market similar to yours is not only inferior, but dangerous!  Brilliant!  But again, it is just that... MARKETING.
So I'm the crazy gal who is attempting to change the current in the informational tide.  To put out quality, systematic free education on essential oils and how to use them without the bias or the strings that are attached when you are promoting a certain company.
Now I want to make it very clear, I am not opposed to Young Living, or DoTerra, or other Multi-Level-Marketing companies.  They have been very successful and have a huge following.  While I may disagree with some of their methods, I have no desire to argue with their success.
My desire however is to create a community that is not centered around one company or brand, or person, but one that is centered around the actual essential oils themselves and what THEY can do for us.  Now do I have certain companies that I feel have quality oils, and certain companies that I feel fall short?  Absolutely!  But the purpose of my educational material is not to promote and sell essential oils, but rather to help educate all different types of people who are using many different brands.  I hope to give you information to help you make YOUR OWN decisions on what methods YOU use, what brands YOU buy, and what information YOU share with others.
If you are currently using Young Living or DoTerra essential oils and having good success, KEEP IT UP!  If you are currently using some small company's oils that no one has ever heard of, and they are working for you, KEEP IT UP!  This group is for YOU!  All of you!  I hope the information you acquire from this group, my classes, my blogs, or other links I share will help foster an atmosphere of true learning and community, and lay down a foundation that will help you along no matter wherever your journey to health takes you!

If you are interested in taking my beginner essential oil class please email me at
To join our Facebook page, visit us at:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Where Do I Start? Part 1: What Do I Need To Get Started?

Essential oils

Carrier Oil

Basic Book

Purchasing a Kit makes it simple

Keep away from eyes

Buy pure because the shelf life will be bad on oils mixed

Shelf life of reg oil vs cold pressed vs carrier oils

Things found in your medicine cabinet and which oils can replace them

Glass vs plastic  Take some pictures

Methods of application

Three common oils and how to use them

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Where Do I Start? A Free Beginners Class On Essential Oils

So you are hearing cool things about essential oils.  Maybe a friend has talked to you about how they helped her complexion, or maybe you've just seen some on the shelves of your local health food store and you were intrigued.  Then maybe you got online and googled "essential oils" to see what you could learn, or perhaps looked on Pinterest to see if there was any helpful information to get you started off in the right direction.  Most likely you were hit with an enormous, overwhelming flood of information.  And not just information, but conflicting information.   One person says this company is better, someone else say that company is horrible.  One person says this is safe, another person says it is dangerous.  And it goes on and on.
And if you are anything like me, after seeing so much conflicting information you started wondering, "is it even worth all the hassle of combing through all this information?  And even if I want to, where the heck would I even start?"  You might then conclude that perhaps you don't have time right now to get into essential oils, maybe you will look into it later when you have more time.
This seven part online course is designed to give you the confidence you need to jump into using essential oils right away, and will hopefully save you from having to spend hours searching, reading, and sorting through the vast array of information online.
What you need to know when entering the world of essential oils is very important.  But almost more important is in what order you need to know it.  Learning the basics first, helps build a foundation for more advanced learning later on, and gives you a framework for future learning to fit into.
Reading more advanced articles and books on essential oil use before you have the basic foundational knowledge to build upon can be confusing rather than educational.  In the same way, debates about brands, chemistry, mixing formula's, and knowing how to properly use oils for different illnesses can seem too overwhelming as you are starting out.   But the reality is, using essential oils is so simple even children can learn to use them safely and effectively.  So don't be intimidated!  With a few basic pointers, a little foundation, and some guidance on where to start you can be using essential oils with great success in a
matter of days!

So a little about me and my background with using essential oils and why I am doing this course:
About 15 years ago I began my journey into the world of herbs.  I was fascinated by the plants themselves, how they grew, what properties they had, and how they could be used for health and beauty.  My passion grew as I cultivated hundreds of herbs both common varieties and very unique ones.  I operated out of a large greenhouse and sold starts to many nurseries within about a 100 mile radios of our farm.  I devoured every book I could get my hand on about herbs, both gardening with them, and using them medicinally, and for skin care.  I branched out into classes and courses, on wildcrafting, survival medicine, and traditional medicine.  As I became more fascinated with using herbs medicinally, branching into essential oils was a natural step.  Once I knew what the properties of each herb was, and how to use the herb medicinally, I found I had all the foundation needed to jump right into using essential oils.  Essential oils carried all the same medicinal properties as the individual herbs, just in a concentrated form, and that was very exciting!
Since then I have been blessed to work with hundreds of people developing products, educating on essential oils and natural skin care, speaking to women's groups and the cancer society, being a guest writer for various publications, working with Dr. Peter Eckhart from C.O. on the effects certain essential oils have on the hormones as well as making a line of estrogen free products for him.   Also during this time I continued my own research and education on natural skin care, herbs, and essential oils.
I am very passionate about essential oils, and proper education, especially for those who are themselves educating other people.  But in my zeal and passion I sometimes jump into my favorite subjects, (chemistry, product reviews, etc.) and forget to address the basic steps involved in getting started using essential oils!  This course is a wonderful walk back in time to the most important questions I had when I was starting out, and the answers I wished had been readily available to me.  My hope is that this series can help you avoid the mistakes I made early on, and not have to put in the hours of research I did to getting some simple questions answered.  And I hope that by the end of this course you will have the knowledge and the confidence to start using essential oils to help you, your family and pets live a happier healthier life.
I am excited for you to join me on this journey!

If you are interested in this free 7 lesson course,  please email me your name and the request for the class material, and you will receive the 7 class sessions via email each day!
You can request to be a part of this free class by emailing me at

If you are reading this blog post after the class is over, no worries!  I do a class every few weeks, so you can email me at the address above and I will put you on the list for the next class available!
All the lessons are sent to you via email, and you can read the the material at your own pace.  There is no previous knowledge required for this class.  It is a basic introduction to essential oils for beginners!

For more information on essential oils and how to use them safely visit my Facebook page at:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cold Process Soap Recipe

For those of you who have been asking about my soap recipe here it is for you!
I usually make about 4 batches at a time, cause I like a larger amount, but I broke it down to a smaller batch size for those of you just starting out!

Basic Soap

3.5 oz lye
10.25 oz water
10.5 oz oil
1.5 oz butter (shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter etc.)
1 oz castor oil
7 oz vegetable shortening
7.5 oz coconut oil

Ok, here are some variations:  If you don't want to use vegetable shortening, you can substitue more coconut oil for it.  Castor oil helps it sudz more, but if you don't want to add that, simply substitute 1 oz of any other liquid oil.  If you want, you can substitute palm oil for the coconut oil, but it makes a softer bar.

Prepare the soap as you would any cold processed soap.  I don't do exact stuff, like temperatures, exact times etc.  If you want more detailed instructions just follow other cold process soap instructions you can find online:
 Here are my instructions:   Mix lye with water, stir and let cool while you melt your oils.  Melt all the oil, butters and vegetable shortening in a stainless pan and heat just until melted.  When oil is melted, and lye mixture is cooled to about the same temp as the melted oil mixture, add the lye mixture to the oil slowly while you mix with a stick blender or spoon.  (Or you can mix it together with a spoon, then pour mixture into a blender and blend on low speed until trace)  Stir or blend the mixture until trace occurs.  This means you stir until you can take a spoon and drip some of the mixture on top of the rest and it stays for a few seconds before it disappears into the pot.  If you dribble some of the mixture on top and you can't see the outline of the drip you need to continue stirring.

After your soap has reached trace, pour into soap molds lined with butcher paper, wax side up.  Cover with more butcher paper, then cover with towels or blankets to keep it warm for 24 hours or until set.
Then remove the soap from the molds, cut into bars and cure for 3-6 weeks.

And that's my basic soap recipe!  I vary this for different things, adding goats milk, doing pure castile soap, etc.  So don't be afraid to play around with it and have fun!

For more information on essential oils, and skin care recipes visit my Facebook page at:

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Recipe: Respiratory Blend

Well Friday is the day I share with you one of my recipes, and today it is for my respiratory blend of essential oils.
There are all types of blends out there for respiratory ailments, and today I am going to give you my respiratory blend.  Actually two!  A simplified version that takes less oils, but still can be very effective, and the full version that contains a lot more oils and packs a bigger punch,
Both of these blends are great for colds, flu, hay fever, asthma, bronchitis, or whatever other respiratory ailment might have you all choked up.

To use, mix a few drops of the blend with a little carrier oil, such as olive oil, and rub on chest, back, throat, feet, or your scalp.  Rubbing a few drops into your scalp and then jumping in a hot shower can really help clear out a stuffy head and the steam can help chest congestion as well.  I also put a few drops on the bottom and wall of the shower, let really hot water run over it for a minute, then adjust to a comfortable temperature and then get in with my little son and let the steam clear his head and chest out when he has a cold.   I've done this with him since he was an infant as he was a preemie with lung issues and it really does help him breathe better, and is great to do right before bed time.  You can also add a few drops to a vaporizer, (something else I have done since my son was born whenever he showed the slightest sign of a respiratory infection or just congestion) or add some to a diffuser to disburse into the air and help clear out your head while you sleep, or during the day if you are just feeling extra stuffy!

Respiratory Recipe #1

25 drops Basil
15 drops Lavender
50 drops Eucalyptus
15 drops Peppermint
40 drops Balsam Fir

This is a great simple recipe that can work wonders on a stuffy head.  I even will put a drop or two on a hot cloth and hold it over my face and breathe in the steam to clear my head.

Respiratory Recipe #2
25 drops Basil
20 drops Marjoram
15 drops Lavender
20 drops Lemon
10 drops Ginger
50 drops Eucalyptus
20 drops Frankincense
15 drops Peppermint
5 drops Myrrh20 drops Juniper
10 drops Thyme
20 drops Tea Tree
40 drops Balsam Fir
20 drops Atlas Cedar

This is a great mixture that has so many properties I won't go into them right now.   If you have the oils, I highly suggest making the #2 blend, but if you don't have them all, the #1 blend is great too.

You can keep both blends in a dark glass bottle until you need them so they are handy and ready to go. Think of it as a cough drop, vapor rub, and immune boost all in one!

If you would like to try the #2 blend, but do not wish to mix up your own, I do have them for sale at Harebrained And Happy, and can mail them upon request.  Happy Friday and happy mixing!

For more information on essential oils and skin care recipes visit my Facebook page at:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Young Living Essential Oils: Answering The Questions

I have written this blog to answer all of the questions I get about why I am not a distributor for Young Living when I am such a HUGE fan of essential oils.  Hopefully this will clearly address the reasons I personally am not a distributor, and do not actively promote YL products.  It is certainly NOT my intention to offend anyone who uses and loves YL products or anyone who distributes them.  My intention is education, and awareness.  You are free to do with the information as you please!

About Young Living:

Young Living is a large distributor of essential oils founded and run by Gary Young.  This company was started in 1993, and has grown from a small company to a multi million dollar dollar business in the last twenty years.  My history with Young Living and Gary young goes way back.  My mom when to visit him for treatment shortly after I was born when he was still just a nobody natural dude down in Texas.  So I grew up knowing about Gary young, and I have used their oils off and on almost since the company first began.  I have more experience with this company, their philosophies, their issues, their oils, and their educational material than any other oil company out there.  (with NOW foods being a close second as far as companies I've had long term experience with myself.)


Young Living offers a very large selection of essential oils, both the basics and the more hard to find oils.

They grow their own Lavender, Clary Sage and a couple other herbs that they then harvest and distill themselves.

They have some fantastic blends that people have had great success using

They have a very loyal network of distributors across the nation, which makes accessing their oils much easier than it used to be when distributors were few and far between.  And you can also purchase many of their oils now too!

They have a lot of educational video's, tutorials, as well as published materials that demonstrate how to use their oils, along with recipes, etc.

Many people have been able to add a substantial amount of income to their family by working with Young Living and becoming a essential oil distributor for them.


When Gary Young first started the Young Living company, I thought that the false information he was putting out in his educational material just came from his lack of experience and over enthusiasm.  But as many years have gone by, it has become painfully obvious to me that there is either still a alarming lack of knowledge about herbs and essential oils from someone claiming to be a "world leader" in this subject, or there is a less than savory motive behind the false information he is promoting.  I don't know which it is.  But I do know much of the fasle information he is promoting boosts his business, and causes blind loyalty from his distributors and buyers.  Some of the false information is just plain bad science, but much of it promotes the false idea that Young Living is the BEST, only pure oil, that they grow all their own plants, tests their oils more than any other company, etc.  And the bottom line is this false advertising pads his pockets.  Here are a few of the quotes that are false from Gary Young, that show a lack of knowledge, or just a willingness to put out false information.

“You see, in the human body we have a substance called blood, and that blood has a very specific purpose. That purpose is to transport nutrients to the cells, to nurture and feed the cells. . . . .When we look at Essential Oils [sic], they have the same role, and play the same function in the plant, as blood does in the human body.”

This statement from Gary Young's book is just false.  Essential oils do not transport nutrients to the plant cells.  Phloem transports nutrients in plants, and xylem transports water.  Only about 5% of all plant species even contain essential oils. The other 95% would not be able to survive if plants required essential oils for nutrient transport!
Essential oils have the purpose of deterring, or in some cases attracting insects, or repelling organisms that might eat or infect the plant. Essential oils do not function as the blood of the plant.  They are actually sequestered away in tiny pockets because they can harm the delicate tissues of the plants leaves and flowers.

“Okay, how many of you ladies have seen a leaf on one of your houseplants torn or damaged? What comes out? It’s a liquid, isn’t it? It’s called the resin by some, some call it the blood of the plant. Some call it the life force of the plant but it’s the same thing, it bleeds.”

Young implies that essential oils run from the injured plant. However, essential oils do not run out because they are contained within special oil glands. The plant sequesters essential oils in these special glands because concentrated essential oils can actually harm plant cells. It would harm, not benefit, the injured plant if essential oils were to run out. The liquid that runs out an injured plant is sap, a mixture of fluids from the damaged xylem and phloem.

"The Egyptian people started collecting essential oils and placing them in alabaster jars".

This would suggest a lack of knowledge of the difference between essential oils and infused oils. We have no historical records that suggest there was any method for distilling essential oils as we know today before about the 1400's.  In ancient cultures they used infused oils, which is an entirely different product, made by an entirely different process, and much less concentrated.

"Essential oils are probably the oldest form of medicine known to mankind. "

Again, this is ridiculous.  Herbs are the oldest medicine known to mankind, not essential oils which did not begin to be distilled or used until the late 1400's.  

"All essential oils are antibacterial and antimicrobial."

This is not the case.  Some essential oils are for sure, but many have little to no antibacterial or antimicrobial properties.

"Essential oils are a complete extract from the plant"

In fact they are not.  They are only one component of the plant.  The essential oil. 

"Essential oils were used in the Bible, by the ancient Romans, By the ancient Greeks..."

Again, since the steam distillation process was not developed or used in ancient cultures, they were NOT essential oils, but infused oils, which is MUCH much different.  

"When applied to the body by rubbing on the feet, the essential oils will travel throughout the body and affect every cell, including the hair within 20 minutes."

I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks something rubbed on the feet can affect EVERY CELL within 20 minutes, including the dead cells, which hair is, is either sadly mislead, or purposely exaggerating to get more business.  There is no scientific evidence to support this statement.  And significant evidence to disprove it.

In a lecture, Gary Young compared the antibacterial properties of some essential oils vs. penicillin, against gram negative bacteria.

Penicillin isn't used to treat gram negative infections because it is not effective there, so what point is he trying to make?  Just to build a false sense of security that essential oils are better than penicillin?  If the motive is truly enlightenment, then why not use something that penicillin is currently being used to treat?  Instead of "stacking the scales" in favor of the essential oils.

And I could literally go on, and on, and on, and on.  The amount of false information put out by Gary Young is staggering.   Now I want to address some of the false advertising.  

"We offer a "Seed to Seal" guarantee with our products.  This means that every oil from the seed that is planted, to the ground they are planted in, to the growing process, to the distillation is free of pesticides and chemicals."

Well, I would love to believe this, but it is impossible.  Because young has a few, (yes I said a few) farms that grows plants, such as lavender and clary sage they imply over and over that they grow ALL their plants.  They show pictures of them in their lavender fields, while talking about ALL production of oil, they show lavender while they talk about how they grow all their plants.  But the fact is they don't grow all or even most of their plants.  Not even close.  Many of the oils they offer grow in random corners of the world, where they own no land or distilleries.  As one example, they harvest balsam fir from northern Idaho.... they did not plant the trees, or carefully select the soil they were planted in.  These trees were there long before Young Living was even a company, much less started harvesting them.  So this "seed to seal" guarantee is a false, hollow promise that is impossible for them to fulfill.  Only the plants they grow themselves could possibly hold up to this standard.  But not only are most of the oils they offer not grown by them, they are not distilled by them either.  They are distilled by the handful of distillers that distill all the other companies oils as well.  And for example, Sandalwood is only grown in 3 places in the world.  So everyone's sandalwood oil is coming from the same 3 places place.  Now of course chemicals can be added for dilution that affects the quality of the oils, but that is an after the fact addition.  I am simply addressing their promises of how "they" grow their plants, when "they" in fact do not grow most of them at all.

"Gary Young invented a new system of distilling essential oils that is a low pressure, low heat distiller that preserves the medicinal properties of the plant"

The truth is low heat and pressure distilleries have been used by others for many years.  

I told you this would get long...  I could keep going with quote after quote from Gary himself, his company, and their distributors. (which of course is not the fault of the company, but with this many distributors saying the exact same thing it makes me wonder what they are being taught.)  And some of these quotes may not seem that important, and you might be wondering why I am bothering to address them at all.  But my point is simply, if you are really one of the most educated people in the world about essential oils, and your entire company is built on being the best, and is a "world leader in the research of essential oils",  and you simply want to help people get well, then wouldn't you put out accurate information?  Not faulty information that some random red head in Idaho can dispute?  Again, I don't know why false information like this is being put out, but it raises significant red flags in my mind and makes me question motives.

Now as far as my experiences with the actual OILS from Young Living.

As I said, I have used them off and on for years.  Partly because they offer some hard to find oils, partly  because some part of me thinks they "have to be better" than other brands if they are so expensive, and partly because every few years I want to try them again to see if anything has changed or improved.  And here is my experience: (please don't shoot me I know this review will not be popular with a lot of people!!)

First the good.  I think they have had some great success with blends.  I believe it is their blends that make such loyal customers because people have seen results that they love and this makes them believe everything the company offers is sound, quality, and that the information they put out is solid.
That being said, I have consistently found a chemical overtone with their oils.  The first few times I thought it must have just been me, or a bad batch or something, but over and over again it is there.  Particularly with some of the more expensive oils.  I can't smell some of their single oils for any period of time without getting headache.  Now I know this is subjective, as smell can be deceiving, but keep in mind I've been doing this for over 15 years and have smelled a lot of essential oils, and fragrance oils, and the only other oils I have had instant headaches with have been ones I already knew contained synthetic fragrances.
Some of Young Living oils have been wonderful, and I have enjoyed using them very much.
However, I have done some side by side comparisons with Young Living oils and other oils, being used for the exact same thing, and on Young Living's oils there has been a consistent a lack of strength when compared to other brands, or at the least, they are comparable to much less expensive brands.   My tests have been on the exact same person, for the exact same ailment, used over a period of time, and much to my surprise, the Young Living Oils came up short, or at best equal with brand that cost MUCH less.  I honestly thought they would come up at least a little better, since they are so much more expensive.  It seems that with that much cost involved they would surely show more strength and medicinal qualities.  But in my experience this has not been the case.

The last thing about their oils is the price, in my opinion the product just doesn't warrant the high prices.  And just as with DoTerra, much of their cost I think can be attributed to the fact that the company is an multi level marketing company that pays distributors for multiple levels up on every purchase, pays for retreats, conventions, etc.  Nothing wrong at all with the multi-level marketing model, it works great and can be a fantastic if you desire to make a business!  But it does increase cost of the products.  People that like to tell you that the MLM model does not increase cost because it is simply another form of advertising are both correct and incorrect.  If a company is going to spend millions and millions of dollars on advertising, then no, an MLM model would probably not increase the cost of the product.  However, all of the other essential oil companies I usually work with do little to no advertising.  They are merely wholesale distributors to stores only, and it is the stores problem to do the advertising.  Thus the company saves vast amounts of money, and that savings is able to be passed on to the customers.  The companies I work with are usually small, and employ relatively few people, and do little advertising, so of course they are going to be able to offer oils at a lower price than a company that is paying all of it's employees as well as thousands of distributors.   Many people also site that Young Living offers a "wholesale" price if you sign up, so you are getting a huge savings, but I can assure you as a store owner for many years, their "wholesale" prices are no where near the discount of true wholesale, but are just a discount to provide incentive for people to sign up as distributors.  Which of course there is nothing wrong with, but it is not the great savings many believe it to be.  And I do not at all believe that the MLM model of marketing is bad or a scam, but as I discussed in my DoTerra review, I do not believe it always offers the best value to the customer either.

I didn't even touch on all the claims they make about their oils.  The FDA has cited them multiple times for going over the line on claims that aren't tested or proven.  Or ones that have been tested in a lab, but there isn't evidence that the oils actually work the same way inside of our body.  Now of course I don't put much faith in what the FDA says or doesn't say.  But people try to compare the fact that they have so many more claims associated with their oils that other companies do not have, so they must be better, or other companies would be able to make those claims too.  My point is just that other companies are staying within their legal limits by NOT claiming grand things about their oils.  They are protecting themselves legally, this does not mean their oils are any less medicinal or healing.

My conclusion:

So, to sum it all up, while they do offer some great blends, great business opportunities, and a wide selection of oil, I can't in good faith recommend a company that shows in my opinion a lack of honesty, either by claiming more education and credentials than you actually have the knowledge to back, or by simply being willing to put out false information.  And, with all the false educational information that they are putting out , what's to keep them from putting out false information regarding the quality of their oils?  Especially since there is no governmental oversight on essential oil production, and no one looking over their shoulder making sure what they are claiming is true.
Now I have no doubt many people have gotten fantastic results using Young Living oils, but this does not mean they are superior in quality than other oil companies.  They could very well have achieved the exact same results with another oil company (and many have.)  The fact that Young Living spends so much of their time making sure people only use "their" oils, and even on blends and recipes warns consumers away from using any other brand of oil because they are ALL inferior in quality to YL oils, makes me suspicious.  People were having great results using essential oils long before YL came along.  If their oils are so superior in quality won't they speak for themselves?  Why do you need to scare people into using your brand by telling them every other brand is polluted?  I do agree that the quality of oils is important and that many are diluted with chemicals, but I prefer a company that quietly produces great oils, rather than setting themselves up as the only pure oils in the WORLD.
Now I want to be clear I am not trying to cast a bad light on any of Young Living's independent distributors, or anyone that uses young oils.   I am simply pointing out the "mother company" has some significant issues.  I know some fabulous distributors that have a wonderful heart for helping people and bringing solid information and good info.  And people are getting healthy and happy from using Young Living products.  And that is fantastic.  Essential oils are wonderful, and powerful, and I have no doubt people are having success using YL essential oils.  However,  I am being asked about MY opinion of the company, or why I don't promote, or distribute Young Living Products, so this blog post is addressing that, for those who are asking me.
I just prefer to put my money into a company that has higher standards about honesty, and being careful to not exaggerate claims, or embellish the facts.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ear Oil Recipe

Today is Wednesday, time for another recipe!

Ear ache oil recipe
This is my recipe for ear oil.  It isn’t like the ear oils that they sell in health food stores, this is an ear oil that actually numbs the pain of ear infections, or swimmers ear.  The oils are also great for helping to kill infection or bacteria that may be lurking in you, or your kiddo’s ears as well, but shouldn’t be relied alone to treat an actual infection.  The thing that makes this oil invaluable, and different than any other ear oil I’ve seen on the market is the clove oil.  Ear infection pain is so miserable, for adults and children alike.  Did you know that clove oil is the active ingredient in the numbing gel that dentists use before they work on your teeth?  Yep, it’s so effective that the medical community even acknowledges it’s numbing powers!   I have used this ear oil on my little boy many times over the years, and never had it not stop his ear pain.  He even learned at a very young age that me adding drops to his ears helped, so he would lay really still with his head on my lap while I filled up his ear and let it sit for a few minutes.
Many ear drops tell you to add a drop or two to the ear canal, but I have never found this to be effective.  I always fill the ear canal up with oil, let it sit for 2-5 minutes, (or with an infant until they seem to have some relief from the ear pain) and then dump it out.  Wipe the ear, but leave any residual oil in the ear canal, it will coat it and help prolong the relief.  If for any reason the oil does not stop the pain, you can add a few more drops of clove oil to the mixture, and repeat.  This recipe is MUCH stronger than many other applications that use these oils, but in my experience the concentration is needed for relief, and is used on a very short term basis, usually with only one or two applications.  Don’t use this oil repeatedly to try to prevent ear infections, kill germs etc.  This is for pain ONLY.  Don’t be afraid to use it, but don’t use if flippantly either.  It is a 2% dilution of clove, if anyone wishes to know, plus the other oils.  Typically clove is used at a 1% dilution or less, but for this application I recommend the 2% for adults.  The dilution rate including the other oils is approximately a 5% dilution.  The changes for children, cuts that dilution in half, or by a quarter depending on the age of the child.

Numbing Ear Oil
Adult Ear Oil:
1 Tbsp olive oil (or another heavier carrier oil such as sweet almond, avocado, or if you don’t have these you can use plain vegetable oil)
6 drops of clove oil
2 drops tea tree oil
3 drops frankincense
3 drops lavender                                                                                                                                                                     (See below for dilution ratio for infants and children)
As I said, this is quite a strong mixture and is designed for numbing a severe ear ache, not continuous use.  Always test  this oil on the inside of your wrist for at least 12 hours prior to use to make sure you have no reaction to any of the oils.  I always recommend spot testing it on a child’s wrist  BEFORE you have any ear problems, so that you don’t have to waste time when they are in pain and the occasion to use this oil arises.  Do NOT EVER heat up or even warm up this mixture.  It is to be applied at room temperature, warming will increase irritation, and can exaggerate the symptoms of an ear infection.  If you have any concerns you can always dilute the mixture further.
Mix the oil and essential oils together really well, then you are ready to put in in an achy ear. If you want to make up a batch ahead of time, store it in a dark bottle in the refrigerator away from the light until the need arises.  Bring the bottle of oil to room temp. before applying to the ears by placing the bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. (not too long you don’t want the oil to get hot.  Just room temperature.)

For Children
add an extra 1-2 TBSP of oil to this mixture BEFORE using this on young child.  Their skin is much more sensitive, especially the delicate inner ear.  If your child does not receive relief, try a slightly stronger mixture.  I have used this, or variations of this recipe for years, and have never had a child complain of any discomfort, so don't be scared, but each child is different, so watch and listen.

So why did I choose these particular oils for the ear oil?  Well, for one IT WORKS!  But beyond just that, here are some of the properties of each oil that make it ideal for ear pain.

Clove: is excellent for infections, pain.  Eugenol is one of the main chemicals found in cloves, and is used in medicines as an antiseptic and a local anesthetic.
Tea Tree: is high in terpinen-4-ol which is responsible for most of it’s antimicrobial activity.  Tea tree oil is antiviral, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and antibacterial.
Frankincense: helps the body both fight against, and prevent infections.  It has antiseptic and disinfectant properties, as well as helping reduce inflammation, easing irritation of skin and membranes, as well as reducing pain.  It is also great for calming anxiety, which if you are anything like me, severe pain of any kind can bring on a wave of anxiety, so I added this oil to our blend for a little extra calming.
Lavender: is a wonderful antiseptic, pain reliever, great for burns or highly irritated skin. (ie. a very sensitive and angry ear drum or canal)  It is also very calming and soothing to the central nervous system.

Always educate yourself on the uses and potential hazards of using any essential oil BEFORE you use it!  This post is not intended to diagnose, or treat any illnesses.  Do not use this mixture on an infant under the age of 1 before discussing it with an experienced aromatherapist, who can go over any specific risks or concerns regarding your child.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons... A Closer Look At Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon is something that pretty much everyone is familiar with in one form or another.  Lemon in your water, lemon cake, lemon cleaner, lemon candy.  The abundance of lemons make it an essential oil that is easy to come by, not very expensive as compared to some of the other essential oils, and quite safe to use as well.  It is a great oil to use if you are just starting out, because there are a lot of ways to utilize it in your every day life, and you don't have to worry too much about if you are using it "correctly."  Just try it, and see how it works for you!

The main chemical composition of Lemon oil in it's pure unadulterated form are as follows:  a-pinene, camphene, b-pinene, sabinene, myrcene, a-terpinene, linalool, b-bisabolene, limoene, trans-a-bergamotene, nerol and neral.
Is that enough to get you snoring?  Well here is a quick overview of what properties these chemical components of lemon mean to you!
Lemon has antibacterial properties, making it useful for relief of cold symptoms.  It has astringent and antiseptic properties making it very useful for oily skin.  It has mild "bleaching" properties, and can be used to lighten age or sun spots on the skin, clean stained hands, or help get stains out of clothes.  Because lemon oil comes from the peels of lemon, it has a slightly bitter taste as opposed to the tart taste of lemon juice.  

Here are 5 of my favorite uses for lemon oil!

1. Helping your laundry smell fresh, and eliminate odors.  

Simply drop 10-15 drops of lemon oil right into your washer for fresh smelling laundry with no fabric softener!  Because pure lemon essential oil is actually not an oil at all, and will leave no oily residu you don't have to worry about it staining your clothes in any way.

2. Mouthwash

Lemon oil can be used for a fabulous mouth wash.  Just add a couple drops to 1/2 cup of water and gargle.  The disinfecting properties of lemon are great for killing germs in the mouth and neutralizing bad breath too!  It can also help soothe a sore throat and calm a cough.  Lemon oil helps fight against bacteria and viruses too!  Not too many things do both, but lemon sure does!

3.  Lemon Helps Renew Energy

For a quick refreshing energy boost, add a couple drops of lemon oil to a glass of water and drink up!  (make sure you have a high quality 100% pure essential oil with no chemicals or fillers added)  For a little extra boost you can add a drop of peppermint oil to the glass too!

4.  Lemon May Ease Anxiety

According to Ananda Apothecary, scientific studies have shown the anti-depressant qualities of essential oils, especially lemon oil and lavender oil.  The study was with the inhalation method.  So if you are feeling a little blue, diffuse some lemon oil.  Try putting a few drops in a diffuser, A wax melting pot, a candle you already have, or even putting a drop in your hands, rubbing them together and then breathing deeply 8-10 times.

5. Lemon Oil For Skin And Hair

Lemon oil can be great for oily skin and hair.  One thing to keep in mind when using lemon in your hair, is that if you go out into the sun the lemon oil might react in a way that lightens up your hair a little.  If applied in the right manner it can make for some good highlights!  But if you don't want any lightening, you better not use lemon in your hair if you plan to be going out in the sun right after!  Lemon oil helps fight agains dandruff and fungus, and on the skin it helps regulate oil production and kill bacteria on the skin that can cause acne.  Put a drop or two in your face wash, or a drop in your face lotion to help regulate oil production, and even skin tone.

So there you have 5 great things you can try using lemon oil for!  It's easy to use and very safe as well.  Here are a few cautions to keep in mind with lemon oil.


Lemon oil is non-toxic.  When applied to the skin it can increase photosensitivity, so it should be avoided topically on exposed skin for 12 hours before going out side.  Some sites suggest lemon oil should be avoided during pregnancy, but the only reason for this is because of the extra skin sensitivity during pregnancy that some women have that can possibly be aggravated by lemon oil, especially when  exposed to sunlight.  So it can be used during pregnancy as long as caution is used on exposed skin with no harmful effects whatsoever.

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