Tag Archives: The Nature Cottage

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DIY Cleaning: Using Essential Oils

By Susan Hilton RN, MSN and Certified Aromatherapist

Nearly everyone has heard about the virtues of common items such as baking soda and vinegar for scouring and absorbing grease. Adding essential oils enhances a formula’s cleaning value and leaves behind a soothing, natural scent. It’s not just an advertising gimmick that many commercial products contain citrus oils such as lemon or lime—they are natural degreasers and have antimicrobial properties. Using natural products instead of chemical-laden commercial ones makes household tasks almost a pleasure to tackle. I know it’s hard to get excited about cleaning a bathroom, but when you realize that the surfaces are germ-and toxin-free, and the soothing aroma of cedar or lavender lingers, you won’t be able to suppress a smile of satisfaction. And that enthusiasm is contagious—even the kids will want to pitch in!

cleanersMaking your own natural cleaning recipes is not time-consuming or expensive. In fact, quite the opposite is true. It only takes a minute or two to fill a spray bottle with vinegar and water and add a few drops of essential oil. Bingo—instant glass and appliance cleaner! Having done that, there’s one less aisle to visit in the supermarket. Most commercial cleaners are quite expensive. You will save a lot making your own cleaners, plus it’s better for you and the environment. Other all-natural ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, water, and liquid soap are also inexpensive.

Let’s look at some easy recipes that you can make yourself to clean your home.

ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER WITH LEMON
2 c. white vinegar
2 c. water
1 teaspoon natural dish soap (NOT castile soap)
30 drops lemon essential oil
20 drops tea tree essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a quart-sized spray bottle. Shake to combine. Spray and wipe on counters, cabinets, sinks, toilets, and anywhere else.

FRESH MINT WINDOW & MIRROR CLEANER
3 c. distilled water
1/4 c. rubbing alcohol or vodka
1/4 c. vinegar
20 drops peppermint or spearmint essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a quart-sized spray bottle. Shake to combine, and then spray on mirrors, windows, or stainless steel. Wipe off with paper towels or old newspaper for streak-free shine.

SIMPLE CITRUS SOFT SCRUB
1 c. baking soda
1/4 c. unscented liquid soap
10 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops lime essential oil
10 drops orange essential oil
Mix ingredients together to form a paste (add more liquid soap if needed). Apply with rag or sponge, and then rinse with clean water. I especially like to use this on my stovetop and on grimy sinks.

DEEP CLEAN TOILET SCRUB
1/2 c. baking soda
1/3 c. liquid dishwashing soap
1/4 c. hydrogen peroxide
30 drops eucalyptus essential oil
3/4 c. water
Mix together in a squeeze-type bottle, and then squirt into toilet. Scrub and let stand 20 minutes.

DIY TILE AND GROUT CLEANER

½ c. baking soda

½ c. 3% hydrogen peroxide
10 drops tea tree essential oil
Combine all ingredients to make a paste. Use a cloth or sponge to scrub the tile and grout. Rinse thoroughly. You might leave it on the grout for 5 – 10 minutes if it needs extra attention.

It is easy and less expensive to make your own cleaning supplies. You’ll also have more room under your cabinets. I like what Sharon had to say about this, “I started making my own cleaning products recently. I love the money I save, and I love that I’m helping the planet by reusing containers instead of buying new ones. But most of all I love that I know what is in the cleaners and that I’m saving money on such an easy and fun task.”

You can find your essential oils for these products at The Nature Cottage at 21 S. Main Street in Lexington. Contact us if you have questions or need other supplies. 336-843-4297.

BacktoSchool

Using Essential Oils for Kids Going Back to School

By Susan Hilton RN, MSN & Certified Aromatherapist

The summer of 2017 is almost over and school will be starting for most kids in the coming weeks.  I’d like to show parents how to incorporate therapeutic essential oils to the routines you will be creating for your children when school starts back. I’m going to be discussing four routines that will be helpful to get your children off to a good start.

BacktoSchoolCreating a calm environment is the first routine. Going back to school can be challenging for many parents and children. To ease the transition, about a week before the first day of school, start their bedtime routine about 10 minutes earlier each night and wake them up 10 minutes earlier each morning, every day, until they’re back on track. Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) essential oil is probably the best oil for all ages. It is safe to use without a carrier oil and can be diffused or applied topically. A calming bath with Himalayan or sea salts and 4-5 drops of lavender oil can promote a restful transition for going to bed. If needed, lavender can also be applied to the bottom of your child’s feet or a couple of drops diffused in their room for a few hours. Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) is another safe essential oil for bedtime.

studychildPreparing for the day is the second routine. Getting up early after a summer of sleeping late is a hard habit to get used to. Transitioning everyone’s routine as I talked about earlier can help. However, the early morning has its own issues. Diffusing peppermint (Mentha piperita) and orange (Citrus sinensis) or lemon (Citrus limon) in the bathroom or kitchen table is a good way to help everyone wake up and be ready for the day. Peppermint is stimulating and citrus oils are uplifting.

Boosting your child’s immunity (and your own) is the third routine. Children love to share everything including viruses, bacteria, and sometimes even bugs. Using any citrus essential oil will help to boost immunity. However, sometimes we need more potent essential oils to prevent illness and promote healing. One blend that is safe for all ages is Get Well Kiddo. Its ingredients are cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana), lemon (Citrus limon), ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis 1, 8 cineole). All these ingredients have the ability to fight off viruses and bacteria. Ravintsara and rosemary also relieve stuffy noses. Cedarwood helps to relax the body and mind.

For kids aged 10 and older, the blend called Defend can be used. Its ingredients are cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), clove (Szygium aromaticum), Eucalyptus radiata, lemon and rosemary. These oils fight off viruses and bacteria, open sinuses and relieve stuffy noses, and boost immunity. Get Well Kiddo and Defend can be rubbed on the bottom of your child’s feet or diffused. Parents can use them, too.

Head lice is another issue for some children returning to school. Again, kids share everything, including combs and hats. Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil is the main essential oil for this problem. Tea tree oil can not only prevent lice, but it can also kill the eggs. A drop can be massaged into the hair before school. It can be added to water in a spray bottle and sprayed on the hair before and after school. You can use a drop in shampoo. It can also be used to spray beds and other furniture and carpet.

The fourth and final routine is improving concentration and focus. Some children find it difficult to get in the habit of focusing on studies and homework. Spearmint (Mentha spicata), peppermint, cardamom (Eletteria cardamomum), and rosemary are some oils that are known to stimulate the mind, strengthen memory, and enhance concentration. A blend of these oils in a carrier oil can be used in a roller bottle. The child can take this to school and use when needed.

The Nature Cottage has a kit with the oils that were discussed. Contact Susan to get yours before school starts. You can call 336-843-4297 or email at info@thenaturecottage.com. The Nature Cottage is located at 21 S. Main St. in Lexington.

 

HimalayanSalt

Himalayan Salt & Salt Lamp Benefits

Business Spotlight

What are Himalayan salt and Himalayan salt lamps? Salt is one of the substances that our body needs. Salt regulates and maintains our blood pressure. It is also vital for our nervous system. Sodium chloride is essential for brain growth and the development of our neurological functions. Our adrenal glands need salt to function and the adrenal glands secrete 50 of our body’s hormones that we need! We also need salt for our metabolism and digestion.

Himalayan salt is mined from the Himalayan Mountains in Pakistan. It has no environmental pollutants that can harm our bodies. Salt from these mountains dates back 250 million years. Eighty percent of Himalayan salt is sodium chloride. The remaining 20% contains 84 trace minerals that our body needs. Himalayan salt is an unrefined salt and doesn’t contain any of the chemicals found in traditional table salt.

For years, many European countries have used salt mines and hot salt springs to promote a sense of rejuvenation. People rest and rejuvenate in salt mines and caves, in spa-like ambiance in many cases, for periods of time to help aid their mood and overall sense of calm. Why are the salt mines so beneficial? Quite simply, the very dry, negative ion environment of a salt mine is the key. There are many places in America where you can also enjoy salt springs or salt caves. Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia are places where you will find natural salt springs. Manmade salt caves are also located in 57 places in the United States.

It depends on who you talk to or what you read about as to the benefits of the Himalayan salt lamps. Most agree that it’s a huge chunk of salt which draws moisture into it. Once the water vapor comes in contact with the salt lamp, the pollutants are believed to remain trapped in the salt. Since the lamp is heated, the salt dries out and is able to continue the cycle of attracting water vapor and pollutants, releasing the water vapor back into the air, but holding on to the health-hazardous pollutants. There aren’t any scientific studies focusing specifically on Himalayan salt lamp benefits. However, there is good reason to believe that a real Himalayan salt lamp may provide some health benefits given the other salt research out there, as well as many encouraging user testimonies. These include antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, loosening of excessive mucus and speeded up drainage, and removal of pathogens (i.e., airborne pollen). The salt lamps are believed in general to purify the air, ease allergies and asthma, and reduce electromagnetic radiation by producing negative ions to remove the positive ions in our environment. They are also believed to provide a calming effect which can boost mood and promote sleep.

The Nature Cottage has recently opened a Himalayan Salt Therapy Room known as “The Zen Den.” The room contains 20 Himalayan salt lamps in various colors and sizes. We have three treatment options varying from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. The 60 minute treatment also includes a heated or cooled Himalayan neck wrap and a Himalayan salt brick foot treatment. Complimentary beverages and aromatherapy are offered as well. You can enjoy the benefits of the Zen Den by calling 336-843-4297 for an appointment. Individuals and small groups are welcome.

We also sell Himalayan salt lamps that come from the Himalayan Mountains in Pakistan. They all come with dimmer cords which are UL tested for safety. Come in and see the variety of salt lamps that are available. The Nature Cottage is located at 21 S. Main Street in Lexington.

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How To Get Started With Essential Oils – Business Spotlight

By Susan Hilton MSN, RN & Certified Aromatherapist

Essential oils are becoming extremely popular worldwide, but what in the world are they? In short, essential oils are concentrated, liquid plant extracts used for therapeutic and medicinal purposes. They are called “essential” because they contain the essence of a plant, including its aroma and health properties. Since essential oils can be taken from virtually all plants, essential oils come from various sources, including flowers, grasses, fruits, roots, trees, and leaves.

Have you ever thought about using essential oils? Every day, more people are turning to a holistic approach to life. We’re just not satisfied with the ordinary level of care or pat answers anymore. For those of you searching and embarking on a quest to learn more about pure essential oils and how to incorporate them in your everyday life, this article is for you!

essential-oilsThere’s nothing new about the medicinal use of plants. Our ancestors have used plants, seeds, wood, and resins from nature to care for themselves and their families since the beginning of time. Happily, in more modern times we don’t have to forage in the forest anymore because we’re blessed with the convenience of a little glass bottle brimming with pure, healing essential oils. Essential oils are not a cure-all, but you’ll be surprised at just how many issues can be taken care of with high quality, pure essential oils.

From cooking and cleaning to pet care and home remedies, essential oils provide many alternatives to harsh chemical products, allowing you to create the healthy environment your family deserves. They can be used in homemade skincare, bath, and body products to help you radiate beauty naturally. Essential oils also have the unique ability to help relax the body, mind, and spirit, thereby making your life feel more balanced and at peace. Use the right oil, and it can also boost your energy, supplement your diet, or help manage your weight. Essential oils are 50 – 75% more powerful than the herb or plant themselves, so a little goes a long way.

Many people start using essential oils after purchasing a diffuser. Who doesn’t love a fragrant home? When you learn that you can scent your home with something organic and purify the air we breathe or help another health issue, you’re on your way to using essential oils. If you do nothing but diffuse, you can improve your health and your environment.

spavapor2-0To get started, I recommend a short list of essential oils that are the most versatile. They are the oils in The Nature Cottage’s Starter Kit: Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint, and Tea Tree.  Once you start using oils every day and enjoy the benefits of how they make you feel, you’ll soon wonder how you ever got through a day without them. Adding more oils to your natural health kit can quickly become a new obsession.

Did you know that essential oils only stay in your system for about 24 hours? Once they have “done” what they need to do, the body eliminates them. Essential oils are miniscule in molecular size, which means they are absorbed well by the skin – making them perfect ingredients in personal care items intended to heal, soften, and nourish.

Not all oils are created equal though. Just like the food you eat, the oils you use should be as pure and free from extra “stuff” as possible.  If there is an ingredient included other than the essential oil, it is not pure. At The Nature Cottage we only use 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils and they are also certified organic. We also have an RN and certified aromatherapist who can guide you in your desire to start using essential oils. Buying a few good essential oils can save you a lot of time and money, plus they can help you avoid the use of chemicals and other unsavory ingredients in your home and with your family.

Let us help you begin or continue this journey at The Nature Cottage. We’re located at 208 E. Center St in Lexington.