Lavender Essential Oil Uses

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is one of the most popular essential oils, and for good reason! It smells light and floral, is one of the most relaxing oils there is, and is so versatile it’s an oil you definitely will want in your collection. It’s a gateway oil and for good reasons! Lavender is commercially used as a fragrance in many shampoos, air fresheners, and cosmetics so it may be a familiar scent to many people.

Lavender Essential Oil Uses

Lavender Essential Oil for healing skin

Lavender essential oil is used topically (diluted with some type of carrier oil- we like coconut oil) to help heal skin irritations. It is great for healing burns and cuts, and can help provide relief from eczema and acne. Many people add drops of lavender essential oil to their face moisturizer (or oil if they follow the oil cleansing method). I love the smell of lavender in my face oil!

Lavender for stress and anxiety relief

Lavender’s scent instantly relaxes many people. In our house, we diffuse lavender a lot! It can help calm down little ones, freshen up the air, and is very light in scent. I like to diffuse lavender with a drop of patchouli- I think the combo smells so good! I also like to dilute and apply it to feet before bedtime for relaxation. We also diffuse lavender before we go to bed- I believe it makes us all sleep better!  I also mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with witch hazel and water and spray down bedding for a long, relaxing nights’ sleep!

Lavender Essential Oils for Allergies

The other day, my daughter came in the house with hives all over her chest and back after being around the horse. I diluted a couple drops of lavender essential oil in coconut oil and spread it all over her hives! They were gone by the morning! Of course, in the event of severe or anaphylactic allergies, allopathic treatments can be preferred. I personally wouldn’t mess around with essential oils if my little one was having a severe allergic reaction.

Lavender as a natural cure for Dandruff and Psoriasis

Lavender may be helpful in relieving dandruff. I would add a couple drops to shampoo for therapeutic benefits. It’s great for skin, and may help clear up the dandruff and psoriasis naturally without toxic chemicals. Many dandruff and psoriasis shampoos are chalk full of toxic chemicals which get absorbed quickly through skin. When something is applied to the skin, it’s quickly absorbed and makes it’s way to the blood stream fairly quickly.

Lavender for insect bites

We make an all natural bug spray with an essential oil blend that is very effective but there are sometimes we forget to apply before going outside and we end up getting bit or stung by insects. A few weeks ago, I was stung by a bee and immediately went inside and applied lavender oil to the sting. It helped to relieve the pain quickly and reduced the swelling as well. It’s great!

These are some of our favorite ways we use lavender essential oil.  Do you use essential oils in your home and for your family?

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Homemade Stain Remover Recipe

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The other day I ran out of my normal laundry stain remover and had to make some with items I already had on hand. Here’s what I used:

-1 part blue Dawn (I used 1/2 cup of the original that I buy at the Dollar Tree. It is the non concentrated but any Dawn will work)
-2 parts hydrogen peroxide

I put it in my old stain remover bottle, which is dark blue, so that the hydrogen peroxide will still work when I use it on my clothes. You have to keep hydrogen peroxide in dark bottles. I used blue Dawn because it cuts through grease on EVERYTHING, and so far it hasn’t disappointed with removing oil/grease stains on our laundry! The hydrogen peroxide acts as a color safe bleach and helps remove stains. If you would like enzymatic action in your stain remover, you can add in 1/4 cup of Biokleen – Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator. We keep this on hand always. It is very helpful in potty training accident cleanup, and will “eat” many stains.

I’ve tried this homemade stain remover on oil, grease, food, grass, blood, and other stains and it really works very well.  My daughter had a white sweatshirt that got some red juice on it, and I sprayed it with the stain remover and it took it completely away!  I’ve used it in conjunction with laundry detergent made from our laundry detergent recipe and it’s a great combination.

What is your favorite stain remover?

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6 Eco Friendly Alternatives to Bleach

bleach copyChlorine bleach is very toxic to not only people, but it’s also bad for the environment.  Bleach releases dioxins and other chemicals in the air when you wash with it.  It’s not something you really want to have around your house if you can help it.  Unfortunately, many people use bleach as a disinfectant and brightener for clothes, as bleach has been around for many years.  It does work well, but it’s not something I want to use on a regular basis.  Every time I think of bleach and the environment, I think of the coral reefs in Australia that are losing their color.  Sad news!

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to chlorine bleach, and many of them work well to disinfect and whiten whites.  Here are some eco friendly alternatives we use instead of chlorine bleach.

Sunshine.  The sun is a powerful whitener and brightener.  We hang our whites outside to dry.  Not only does it save us from having to use the dryer, which saves us money, but it also will help remove spots out of clothes.  I actually had a colored shirt of Penny’s that was badly stained that I laid out in the sun wet, and by the afternoon the spots were gone!  I seriously couldn’t believe it.  The sun can also help kill germs, which is a nice added bonus.

Peroxide.  Our midwife swears by peroxide, and now we do too!  It actually gets blood out of fabrics without bleaching them.  Sometimes when our whites are looking a little dingy I’ll soak them overnight in hot water, laundry detergent, and 1/2-1 cup of peroxide.  It helps get stains out of Mr. Money’s chef coats as well.  Remember how when you used to get a cut and your mom would pour peroxide on it?  That’s because it helps kill germs too.  Sometimes when our cloth diapers get a little funky I’ll do a rinse with some peroxide and it really helps!

-Seventh Generation Non-Chlorine bleach.  It only contains natural ingredients: natural oxygen safe bleach, oxygen bleach stabilizer, and deionized water.  It is non-toxic, color safe, and biodegradable.  We’ve used it with great results!

Ecover Non-Chlorine Bleach. Ecover non-chlorine bleach is 100% sodium percarbonate, which is biodegradable and non-toxic.  I like that this product does not contain fillers like certain other brands.  When you buy the Ecover non-chlorine bleach, you’re spending money on the product, not fillers.

Vinegar.  We use vinegar in pretty much all of our homemade cleaning products.  I love that it kills germs and makes things feel so fresh and clean.  Vinegar can be very helpful in killing mold in the bathrooms!

Tea tree oil.  Tea tree oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities.  While tea tree oil will disinfect, I don’t think it will help whiten and brighten clothes as well as some of the other options.

These are some of our favorite ways to avoid traditional chlorine bleach. We do keep some on hand for emergencies (you never know when you may need it!) but for every day use we try to skip it.

Do you use chlorine bleach in your house?

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