Festive Fall Essential Oil Diffuser Blend

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Happy Thanksgiving week to those in the US! If you’re looking for essential oils to diffuse this holiday, this spicy citrus blend is one of my favorites!

Fill your diffuser with water (as directed) and add:

3 drops Tangerine
2 drops Lemon
1 drop Clove

This blend is safe to diffuse around children two and older, but Clove is not considered safe to use around dogs and cats.

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Choosing the Best Probiotics

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The latest research is showing how important gut health is to your overall health. Did you know that up to 80% of your immune system is in your digestive tract?

There are many benefits to probiotics, like improving digestion and boosting the immune system (especially beneficial during cold and flu season).

But how do you know which probiotic to choose? There are so many options it can be overwhelming!

Luckily, the team at Reviews.com has done the work for you! They looked at over 200 probiotic supplements on the market, and made a list of recommendations based on which strains really work and why. They also included options that target specific health needs, such as recovery after antibiotics and relief from IBS. I was very impressed by their detailed report.

Along with a healthy diet, adding the good bacteria of a quality probiotic can be beneficial to your gut and overall health!

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Essential Oils for Cold and Flu Season

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Just a couple of weeks into the new school year, and we’ve already had a cold make the rounds through the house. If you’re dealing with the same thing, or just want to be prepared, here are my favorite oils to use during cold and flu season.

To help relieve nasal and chest congestion:

Eucalyptus and Peppermint (both in doTerra’s Breathe blend) are the most popular anti-congestion oils, but neither are safe for kids (especially Eucalyptus). Rosalina has similar properties to Eucalyptus, but is safe for children. Cypress would also be a suitable alternative.

For ear ache and congestion:

When a cold strikes, the first thing that I notice is that my ears are uncomfortable. If that’s the case for you or your kids, Ear Ease is a pre-diluted oil that can be used with children 2 and up. (Please follow all safety precautions on the label regarding ear infections and tubes.)

To fight germs:

Cinnamon and Clove are well known anti-germ oils. Is it just a coincidence that they are both popular holiday scents, as well? Cinnamon bark is not safe for use on anyone’s skin, but Cinnamon LEAF can be used in small quanities if dilluted properly. Clove Bud and Clove Leaf can cause skin irritation as well, if not properly diluted.

Unfortunately, products like Plant Therapy’s Germ Fighter blend and doTerra’s OnGuard which are marketed heavily during cold and flu season are not safe for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. And because they contain Eucalyptus, they are not safe for children under age 10. Consider Plant Therapy’s Germ Destroyer as a safer alternative.

I prefer to use my oils in a diffuser, but they can also be used topically, in a personal inhaler, or with essential oil jewelry. As always, follow the safety guidelines for whichever method you choose.

In addition to essential oils, I also boost my immune system with elderberry syrup (which has been shown to reduce the length and severity of illness), and a quality probiotic.

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any essential oil company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Washing Wool Covers (Updated)

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Since I mentioned wool diaper covers in my post on toddler cloth diapering a couple of weeks ago, I thought it might be a good idea to write an updated post about how I wash them.

Spot Treating Stains

 
Wet the wool with warm water, and add a small drop of wool wash (such as Ecover Delicate Wash or Unicorn Fibre Wash) to the stain.

Using your index finger and thumb, gently pinch the soap into the stitches of the wool. (Do not rub, this will cause felting.)

Let sit for approximately 15 mins, then rinse well, and repeat if necessary.

Washing Wool

 
Fill a bowl or sink with lukewarm water, and add a few squirts of the wool wash. I use my hand to swish around the water to create suds.

Turn the wool inside out, add to the bowl, and let soak for 10-15 mins. Come back a couple of times and swish it around a bit during this soak.

Rinse under running water that’s the same temperature as the the water in the bowl/sink (very important, because extreme temperature changes can cause felting!)

Wash again if needed, and gently squeeze (don’t twist or wring) out the extra water after the final rinse.

Dump the soapy water and rinse the bowl or sink prior to lanolizing.

Lanolizing

 

** If your child is potty-trained or your using wool over disposable diapers, you can skip this step, because you don’t need the wool to be leakproof. Skip ahead to drying the wool.

Make a lanolin mixture (emulsification):

Heat a mug or small bowl of water. Add a teaspoon of solid lanolin and a few squirts of wool wash or baby wash. Stir until the water turns milky white.

Or you can skip all of that, and use E-Muls Pre-Emulsified Solid Lanolin, which is lanolin that’s already emulsified for you!

Refill your bowl or sink with warm water. (I actually use a gallon sized Ziploc bag for easy clean up!)

Add your lanolin mixture or E-Muls (following the instructions on the bottle). The water should turn cloudy.

Put your clean, rinsed wool in the bowl/sink/Ziploc bag, and soak for at least 30 mins. I tend to do it overnight, but only because I forget about it. Haha

You do not need to rinse following the lanolin soak.

Dump the lanolin water out (preferably outside, as it can clog pipes over time).

Drying Wool

 

After the wool has soaked in lanolin (or been rinsed completely, if you’re skipping the lanolin step), squeeze out the extra water, and roll in a towel or add to a SPIN ONLY cycle in your washer to lessen drying time.

Lay wool flat to dry in a well ventilated area, preferably on something like a sweater drying rack that will allow air to circulate around the wool. Turn the wool occasionally (front, back, inside out) as it’s drying. Do not dry directly in the sun or over a heater.

{This post contains affiliate links for Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Cloth Diapering Your Toddler

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It’s been a long time since I posted anything about cloth diapers, but yes, we are still using them! My youngest son is almost 20 months old now, and gone is the epic cloth diaper stash I had for his older brother. This time around, it’s all about being functional, not fancy!

Our current daytime stash is all cotton fitted diapers, and we cover them with either a Thirsties Duo Wrap or Sloomb wool (ok, that part is kinda fancy).

Flushable diaper liners or a Spray Pal with a diaper sprayer are also helpful at this stage…for obvious reasons… ūüėČ

We are not using cloth at night anymore. Disposables are just working better in that long 11-12 hour stretch, and I’m ok with that. He’ll probably start potty training sooner than later, anyway.

{This post contains affiliate links for Kelly’s Closet and Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Essential Oil Basics: Part 5 – Essential Oil Use for Children and Pets

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Using essential oils around your children and pets should be done cautiously. In this post, I will be discussing 10 common essential oils and their usage around children, dogs, cats, and other small animals.

 

10 Common Essential Oils

The oils we will be discussing in this post are from Part 4 in this series.  (Please see that post for more information on these oils and what they can be used for.)  The Latin names are in parentheses/italics. Please be sure to verify the Latin name on the products you purchase, because the common names may be very similar!

 

Children

It is not recommended to use oils on or around babies under 6 months of age. Using child-safe oils in a diffuser is the best option for children 6 months to 2 years. Topical application with a .25% dilution is ok for children 2-6 years. Please see Part 2 in this series for more information.

Safe Oils:

  • Frankincense
  • Grapefruit
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Tea Tree

Oils to Avoid:

  • Clove
    • Do not use topically on children under age 2
  • Eucalyptus
    • Do not diffuse or use topically on children under age 10
  • Oregano
    • Do not use topically on children under age 2
  • Peppermint
    • Do not diffuse or use topically on children under age 6

In Part 3, I mentioned a couple of my favorite blends that are not safe for use around children.  Here is why they are not, and some acceptable alternatives.

Breathe (due to Eucalyptus and Peppermint) – Sniffle Stopper

On Guard or similar blends, such as Thieves and Germ Fighter (due to Clove and Eucalyptus) – Germ Destroyer
 

Dogs

Before I list the oils that are safe to use around dogs, please remember the following:

1. Do not add essential oils to your dog’s food or water.
2. Avoid using essential oils with puppies under 10 weeks of age.

Safe oils:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Grapefruit
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Roman Chamomile

You can use these oils topically to help with ailments such as arthritis (lemon), skin issues and flea control (lavender). Oils MUST ALWAYS BE DILUTED (using a 1-2% dilution) when applying topically as a remedy, because dogs are more sensitive to smells than humans.
 

Cats

There are no safe oils for cats. Diffusing essential oils with cats around is highly discouraged (and NEVER put them on their fur) due to the possibility of liver failure. If you choose to use a diffuser with a cat in your home, please do so in a room that your cat cannot enter. You should be fine using any oils topically on yourself, as long as the cat doesn’t get any on their fur, their paws, or in their mouth.

Of the ten oils mentioned above, these eight are especially dangerous to cats and should be avoided at all costs. There are many others that are not included in this list. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree

 

Other Small Animals

No essential oils should be used around small animals (birds, rabbits, hamsters, fish, etc.) Do not diffuse or use cleaning sprays with EOs in a room with a pet in a cage or tank.

 

Obviously, this is not a complete list of oils that are safe or unsafe around your children and pets.  Feel free to comment below with any questions about a specific oil or blend, and I will be happy to help!

 

Check out all of the posts in this Essential Oil Basics series:

 

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any essential oil company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Amazon Prime Day 2017

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Amazon Prime Day 2017 is tomorrow, July 11th…but the deals start tonight (July 10) at 9 PM EST!

Here’s what you need to know:

1. If you’re not already an Amazon Prime member, get a free 30-day trial!

2. If you’re a student, you can get a 6-month trial of Prime Student, AND a 50% discount if you decide to renew!

Watch the Amazon Prime Day page for all the details and deals! Happy Shopping!

{This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Essential Oil Basics: Part 4 – 10 Popular Essential Oils and their Uses

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

In my last post, I talked about my personal favorite oils and blends. This post will cover 10 popular essential oils (single oils, not blends), and what they can be used for.

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)

Scent: warm and spicy, often used in holiday blends

Uses: cleaning, aching joints, relief of occasional toothache (adults only)

NOTE: only use a max dilution of 0.5% for topical applications, do not use with children under age 2

 

Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus globulus)

Scent: medicinal, clean

Uses: respiratory problems, congestion

NOTE: Do not use with children under age 10

 

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)

Scent: woody, a bit spicy

Uses: anti-aging, may reduce the appearance of scars, immune support

 

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)

Scent: citrusy, a bit sweet

Uses: mood booster, brightens dull skin

NOTE: Grapefruit essential oil is phototoxic and can cause severe sunburn or blistering when exposed to the sun. If using this oil topically, do not expose your skin to UV light for 12-18 hours after application.

 

Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia)

Scent: floral, fresh, sweet

Uses: promotes relaxation, relief for bruises, cuts, and itching

 

Lemon(Citrus limon)

Scent: citrus, fresh

Uses: cleaning, immune support, mood booster

NOTE: Lemon (cold pressed) essential oil is phototoxic and can cause severe sunburn or blistering when exposed to the sun. If using this oil topically, do not expose your skin to UV light for 12-18 hours after application. Steam distilled lemon (pictured) is preferred for topical use, since it is not phototoxic.

 

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

Scent: intense, herbal

Uses: cleaning, immune support

NOTE: Do not use with children under age 2

 

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Scent: fresh, cool

Uses: headaches, congestion, promotes energy

NOTE: Do not use with children under age 6

 

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Scent: sweet

Uses: promotes relaxation, eases soreness

 

Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)

Scent: clean, medicinal

Uses: skin care (acne), disinfectant

 

In Part 5, I will go further into safety information about using these oils around children and pets.

Check out all of the posts in this Essential Oil Basics series:

 

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any essential oil company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

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