Sunday, March 21, 2010

Essential Oils: Cold Relief

We continue our series on Essential Oils.  This week Karley Ziegler Mott discusses cold relief and shares some of her all natural recipes with us!

When I'm in need of some R & R, I like to enjoy a milk bath. My favorite when I am feeling under the weather with a cold, congestion, or flu-like symptoms is my "decongestant" milk bath, which can be made in a large jar and refrigerated, or in small jars for one treatment. You can use mason jars, canning jars, or any clean and dry jar. Rinse out those plastics and feel free to reuse it to make this as well.
a milk bath? Milk contains lactic acid, a form of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). It helps to gently exfoliate the skin, and milk will also soften and nourish.
I like to use aromatherapy as much as I can to treat symptoms of stress and illness. It is being used more and more by alternative health practitioners to treat stress when used as a complementary therapy with traditional Western medicine. Of course, I believe in going to the doctor regular and in vaccinations to prevent illness, but I take a holistic approach along with traditional medicine.
This will fill a 4 ounce jar:
Start with 1/4 cup of goat's milk (you can buy Meyenberg Goat's Milk in many grocery stores or natural food grocery stores right in the refrigerated section. I really prefer the fresh version as opposed to powder. Powdered goat's milk doesn't work as well, in my opinion, as the fresh.
You can also use organic whole milk or buttermilk.
I then use 1/8 cup of steeped peppermint or chamomile tea. You can skip this and just use milk if you don't have any handy.
Then add in some fresh or dried peppermint. I use enough to fill a teaspoon. You can use more or less.
Add in about 15 drops of peppermint essential oil, 15 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, and 10 drops of lemon essential oil. All are available at Mountain Rose Herbs or at your local natural foods store. Locally, Wegmans even has most of these in the Nature's Marketplace section.
Gently mix these with a wooden spoon and pour into your jar. You will most likely have room to add more milk before you put the top on.
I let this steep for a few hours. I then pour it under running hot water in the tub & light a couple of candles to soak away my cold symptoms.
This blend will store in the fridge for a couple days.

When you're ready to settle in for the night, I recommend using this homemade congestion relief balm:

Just use this as you would Vick's. It is especially effective when you rub it into your feet and cover with cotton socks. Do not put in your nose or mouth or near other mucous membranes.

This will make enough for about a 1 ounce jar, give or take a bit either way depending on spillage (which I often do).

4 teaspoons of Grated Beeswax (I use a cheese grater for this)
2 t. Shea Butter
8 t. Coconut Oil
2 t. Sweet Almond Oil
Essential Oils Needed: Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lavender, Tea Tree, Sweet Orange

Note: If you do not have these supplies, read on. You can use cocoa butter or mango butter in exchange for shea. As for the oils, you can substitute rice bran, sunflower, safflower, soybean, olive, etc. Hemp Seed and Grapeseed are nice, too.

Melt the beeswax and oils over low to medium heat in a saucepan. Most recipes say you need a double boiler. You really do not to make this project at home.

Let cool for a moment when melted. Now add in your essential oils: 5 to 10 drops of eucalyptus, and up to 5 drops each of lavender, tea tree, and rosemary oils followed by 3 drops of sweet orange or lemon essential oil.

Pour quickly through a small funnel right into your pots. If you do not have one, you can carefully pour using a small pot if you have one.

Let cool. I let these sit for about 3 hours before capping.

Apply to the chest and to the feet? The feet? Yes! Anecdotal evidence suggests that applying congestion relief products to the feet and putting cotton socks over them helps the essential oils to penetrate and do their job more effectively. I do this on my boys and on me and it really helps us!

~As always, seek a medical professional for any symptoms you may be experiencing as I am not a doctor. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or ailment.


Karley Ziegler Mott

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Related Posts:
Introduction to Essential Oils
Essential Oils and Relaxation

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