Keeping Your Family Healthy with Essential Oils

Germs. They are everywhere this time of year. Sniffles, coughs, sore throats and general congestion. Keeping them at bay can seem overwhelming. With so many drugstore options, and antibiotics being so prevalent, is it possible that there is a better way to keep our families healthy?

As a mom to 3 small children, I know that keeping kids healthy is easier said than done. When Bug was 6 months old, she spent her entire first winter with pneumonia, bronchitis, and ultimately a case of RSV that landed her in a hospital crib for a week. I spent months pumping my beautiful little baby with antibiotics and any medicine my doctor deemed ‘safe’. I was a new mom, and overwhelmed with well meaning family, doctors, the normal holiday chaos, and eventually my own pneumonia that nearly landed me in the hospital. As the weather warmed, and my little one finally fought off the winter illness, I was able to look back on the experience and start to figure out how I was going to avoid such a disaster in the future.

A Better Way

For as long as I can remember, I have been a big believer in the power of nature to heal the body.  Our bodies, at their core, are just a reconfiguration of all the things that make up the amazing planet we inhabit. We have spent thousands of years adapting and evolving, and for the majority of that time, people relied on plants and naturally occurring phenomenon to keep themselves healthy. It’s true that, as we began to try to understand these remedies and medicines, we did not always get it right. Bloodletting, to be fair, was a pretty weird and ineffective practice. However, things like herbal teas, aromatherapy and topical creams and poultices from plants have been trusted forms of relief since the beginning of mankind.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing modern medicine. It is amazing how scientists can manufacture chemicals that can alter the chemicals in a human brain to such an extent that they, at least temporarily, almost make you a different person.  Many people, myself and family included, owe their continued existence to some form of medical research. I do not, however, believe in using antibiotics and the endless aisles of pharmaceuticals as a cure all. While they usually do what they advertise, the effects on your body as these chemicals course through it are not always worth the temporary relief. Antibiotics especially, while they can absolutely save lives, alter the balance of good bacterias and confuse your body’s natural defense systems.

While we had definitely gotten to a point with Bug, after several cases of respiratory infections, that the antibiotics were necessary, I really wanted to find a better way to avoid getting that desperate in the future. I did a lot of research, talked to friends, well-meaning relatives and a few doctors. The reactions I got were mixed at best, but the more I looked into the issue, the more I found myself intrigued by the time-tested, and biologically compatible options of homoeopathic medicines and Essential Oils.

Essential Oils

For thousands of years, people relied on the natural world around them to help with the aches, pains and discomforts of their daily lives (which were, in most cases, a great deal more arduous than our own!). Early peoples discovered that the plants around them could provide relief in many different ways. Some could help simply by breathing in their aroma (citrus, lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint), some could be applied as a salve for burns or cuts (lavender, chamomile, and helichrysum), and some, such as the bark of the white willow tree, could relieve pain when ingested.

These plants contain natural chemicals that interact with our bodies in a gentler way than most manufactured medication. I am more likely to want to use eucalyptus to help relieve my child’s stuffy nose than to rub them down with petroleum and menthol.

Essential Oils are a great way to use the healing power of the natural world, without the old world skills of gardening and foraging.#RMO #NaturalMedicine Click To Tweet

Essential Oils are a great way to use the healing power of the natural world, without the old world skills of gardening and foraging. Not to mention a much quicker option! While the concept of Essential Oils is a great one, it is important to note that not all oils are created equal. The idea of natural medicine is that you are choosing not to add manufactured chemicals to your body. If an oil company is using plants that have been infested with pesticides or is using a chemical compound to extract the oil from the plant, then the oil you buy will be contaminated and will pass that contamination on to your body.

The Right Choice

There are hundreds of Essential Oil companies out there claiming to be the best. Trying to choose one for the first time can be extremely overwhelming… especially if you attempt to get advice from a friend who has been sucked in by one of the multi-level EO selling giants!

While these huge companies seem to be a perfect solution, with their familiar faced salespeople and market saturation, they come with a lot of baggage. There are buying tiers, expectations and pressure to become an active part of their global takeover. When on my search for the right EO company for me and my family, this sort of sale oriented culture definitely did not appeal to me.

Instead, I got online and did some research on smaller companies to see what they had to offer. Later this week I will post a comparison of the brands I found, and the criteria I based it on. The important part is that there was one company that stood out to me above the rest:

Rocky Mountain Oils - Essential Oils for a healthy lifestyle!

Rocky Mountain Oils™ won me over with its excellent value, commitment to quality, clear labels, upfront approach and wonderful customer service. Of course, good policies and helpful service is only one part. I ordered a few oils to start with (Lavender, Peppermint and Lemon) to see if they really worked the way I hoped. I waited impatiently, and was rewarded with quick shipping and oils that exceeded my expectations.

Now, 5 years later, my 3 children have since taken antibiotics 4 times total. We rarely make trips to the doctor that aren’t for Well Visits, and keep very little drug store medication in the house. My fantastic pediatrician has even made comments as to how he’s noticed that out of all his patients, we are one of the families he sees the least. I credit a good portion of our doctor/medicine free existence to the preventative and first aid powers of my RMO essential oils.

If you are interested in a drug free lifestyle for you and your children and want to give essential oils a try, just follow the link below to the RMO website, and see their awesomeness first hand!

Click to visit RMO and see their awesomeness for yourself!

 

Want to learn more? Check out my (In Progress!) Essential Oil Series to find out how I use my Rocky Mountain Oils™ to keep my family healthy!

The One That Tips the Scales

Once upon a time, many moons ago, when people would ask me how I felt about children I would always tell them I wanted 4 or 5. I knew that was a big number, but I loved kids. They were fun to play with, funny to talk to, and they took naps pretty regularly. I was a daycare teacher who spent my days in a classroom with 12-30 children under 4. How hard could 5 children of my own possibly be?

Oh to be young and naive once again!

Then I had my first daughter. We had our ups and downs, but all in all, I could totally handle it. She wore correctly matched outfits and newborn sized shoes. She got a bath every day and we had a wonderfully relaxing, hour long bed time routine. When it came time for my second daughter’s arrival, I was ready and confident. I could totally have the time and energy to devote to two children! Things were a bit chaotic, but she was an easy baby. We got into a routine, there were baths every other day, clothes that almost always matched, and if I didn’t get very much sleep, it wasn’t such a big deal.

8 months into my journey of two children, I found out there would be a third. I will admit, there was initial panic. I was concerned about things like car space and sharing bedrooms. I worried about how my family and friends would react. I knew that people would be much more judgmental about a third baby announcement. I was right. People all wanted to know what I would do with a third child. They looked at me with something akin to pity. I was confused. Wasn’t I a good parent? My two little girls were sweet, smart, and relatively well-behaved. I kept them mostly clean and adequately fed. Why would anyone be concerned about my ability to add a third to the mix? How much more chaos could one child add to our already toddler filled house?

Turns out that most of those people weren’t being judgy.. they just had 3 kids.

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You see, I have found that three is a magic number when it comes to children. It is the number that tips the scales. I know a lot of parents. I have observed, polled, and assisted them. I have come to the conclusion that, for the most part, you can separate parents into two camps: parents of 1-2 kids, and parents of 3 or more. You can generally tell them apart by their attire. Parents of 1-2 children occasionally have time for planned outfits. Parents of 3+ have a much higher chance of wearing a hoodie and yesterday’s yoga pants, or threadbare cotton PJ pants.

I am by no means knocking being a parent to 1 or 2 children! Parenting, by its very nature is hard, frustrating and tedious as often as it is rewarding and fun. I am not in the habit of putting down any parent who is doing their best to raise decent children!

What I’m saying is those of us who have chosen to push our luck and have a third child (or more) face unique challenges. For example:

  • Two children can play together. In fact, if they don’t want to be alone, it is often their only option. And if they decide they don’t want to play together, they can both choose to play separately. Three (or more) children generally form themselves into shaky alliances. If someone wants a partner in crime/ play they have a choice of playmates. This could naturally sort itself out, but more often than not it results in tears, pint-sized politics, and someone left out.
  • In the car, two children can sit apart from each other, allowing for conversation, but no physical contact. Three children take up an entire back seat. The urge to invade someone’s personal space is far too strong to resist. Also there are only two window seats, which is occasionally catastrophic.
  • When you are out running all the errands that momma’s get stuck with and your children decide they are hungry, a snack can easily be split in half. However, a third of most things is not enough to qualify as a snack.
  • Crossing the street with two children is straight forward. You have a hand to hold on to each of them. However, crossing the street with three children means you have to trust an older child to hold hands with her sister, even if she sees money, trash or a pretty rock on the ground in the middle of the intersection.
  • Little legs get tired. Whether it is on a pretty trail in the woods, the soccer field, or you’ve just walked a little too long in the mall, sometimes they are going to need a lift. Two children can usually be persuaded to take turns and keep moving, and if not, carrying one and dragging the other is a feasible (if unappealing) option. If there are three children, the time between turns becomes far too long, and your chance of two of them continuing to walk instead of teaming up to mutiny are slim to none. [Edit: For those who say strollers are the answer, you have obviously never pushed a double stroller on anything other than a smooth, straight path. And you have definitely not attempted it while trying to keep tabs on whichever child(ren) you have been forced to leave free.)
  • Most people mothers can manage to follow two conversations at once, even if they are spoken with various speech impediments and are hardly relevant. The most skilled of us can even manage to respond to both conversations with appropriately time “uh huh”s and “oh yeah?”s. However, if you add in a third string of chatter, it all just dissolves into unintelligible noise that assaults your ears and steadily grows louder as they all try to outdo the others for a response.

 

3kids

Then there is the issue of logistics. I know that, in reality, 3 children cannot possibly make that many more dishes, laundry and general clutter than 2 children. However, that last 1/3 of mess makes a difference in one persons ability to clean it all up. I imagine/hope that as they grow older, three little girls will be a big help in the daily chore department. However, as I wait for that cold day in hell, I am stuck with three small children who love to “help” with chores. I try to encourage any offers of assistance, and I know they are learning, but these attempts almost always require me to go back and redo them later, and more often than not result in a bigger mess than I started with. Often times three.

There are three times the chance that someone will decide to play in in the bathroom instead of the playroom. There are three times as many random breakable/multi-piece toys that people insist on giving children for their birthdays. Three times the doctor, dentist, and therapy appointments. Three times the classes and activities you are guilted into encouraging your child to participate in.  Three times the chances that you will forget something (or someone!) at any given moment.

Basically it boils down to this: If you are an octopus and can clean/taxi/referee and generally mom at warp speed 24/7, the chances are you are already doing these things with 2 kids. If you are an octopus and actually enjoy the chaos and warp speed momming, than by all means, go for the 3rd, 4th, 16th kid. Just make sure you don’t like to sit down, because frankly, its definitely the third one that tips the scales.