An Uncomplicated Life Blog

Thursday, December 1, 2016

10 Ways To Use Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is one of the most versatile essential oils! Here's 10 great ways to use it in your everyday life

Lavender essential oil is kinda like the "all purpose cleaner" of essential oils. It has a million uses and I haven't found much it's not good for yet! Most of my friends who are just starting to get into essential oils say that lavender is the first one they buy because it's not overly expensive, the smell is familiar and it's a "comfortable" oil to start with. Given it's popularity, I've rounded up some of the best, less common uses for it! Oh yeah, and I did a little research and found scientific studies that back up my claims on these genius uses for lavender. Just for all you science nerds and skeptics! I've underlined the scientific studies in case you want to jump right to those. You're welcome.

Great lesser known ways to use lavender essential oil on you and around your home

1) Apply it neat or diluted to help fade scars. "Neat" means the essential oil goes directly on the skin; diluted means you mix it with a carrier oil like coconut or grape seed oil. Lavender has amazing calming properties (see number two!) not just for your mood but for your skin too (see number 3!) It's great for reducing redness, puffiness or swelling associated with scar tissue. In fact, French scientist Rene Gattefosse was the first to discover lavender's ability to promote tissue regeneration and speed wound healing after he burned his own arm in 1910!

2) Make your own face wash. I have this DIY acne clearing face wash post that has worked wonders for me. In fact, I used some conventional face wash in the shower because I forgot to apply my blend before getting in, and not only was my face dry all day, but it broke out to boot. Hmmphhff! The lavender in the wash helps heal any former acne scars you have, too, as noted in number 1.

3) Make your own bath salts. I wrote this post on why soaking in bath salts is important, and gave you a super easy DIY to include lavender in your bath salt soak. If you haven't read that one, it's full of some great information and worth your time! There's some actual science based on the nutrition (or lack thereof) we eat and how that affects your health. Most importantly, the post gives you ideas on what you can do about it.

4) Use topically for menstrual cramps. I haven't personally tried this one (because I don't get cramps - please don't hate me!) but in doing my research for this post, all my sources said that topically applying lavender essential oil helps to relieve cramps! It makes sense to me, given the calming properties of the oil. If you have doubts, read number 5 below:

5) Use topically instead of popping pills for headaches. Have a nasty stress headache? Place a drop on each temple and behind the ears and watch it reduce your tension headaches just as well as any over the counter pain reliever. Don't believe me? A placebo controlled, double blind crossover study  out of Christian-Albrecht University in Kiel, Germany found that essential oils were just as effective  in blocking pain from tension-type headaches as acetaminophen (aka Tylenol). Personally, I like the blend of lavender and peppermint when I'm having a headache. Works like a charm.

6) Apply it as a burn salve. Who burned her finger basting the turkey this Thanksgiving? This girl. I knew it was great for scars, and figured the calming properties of the plant would be helpful for a minor burn. I was right! I applied it neat to my burn site and two days later have no more irritation or red mark from the burn. Beauty bloggers/lovers, ever burned your finger or neck with a hot iron? Keep a bottle of lavender near your wands and curling irons!

7) Inhale or diffuse for a mental boost. Get this: University of Miami  researchers found that inhalation of lavender increased the beta waves in the brain. What does that imply? That lavender can heighten relaxation and improve cognitive performance. In addition, an Osaka Kyoiku University study from 2001 found that lavender reduced mental stress and increased mental alertness

8) Use it as a temper tantrum calmer. Whenever Henry is acting out, I pull out my lavender. As soon as I wave the bottle directly under his nose, he calms down. I'm not kidding! He sees me pull down the oils (that I store on the top of the fridge) and he now knows to inhale deeply as I pass it under his nose. Works like a charm, every single time. And number seven proves why.

9) Blend it with other essential oils for a nontoxic bug repellent spray. I've been to the North Woods of rural Wisconsin, lived in Minneapolis, lived in coastal Georgia and I can tell you this: No where and nobody has a nastier mosquito than Texas. They're not as large as in MN/WI but you can't hear them and you can't feel them bite you. All of a sudden, you're just COVERED in bites! Plus, they carry diseases like Zika and West Nile down here. Bottom line: I don't mess around with bug sprays! I need it to work. I need it to work so that my family stays healthy. This blend of essential oils, witch hazel and water worked great - just as good as a DEET-filled store bought brand. We keep bottles all over the house from March through November!

10) Sprinkle it on your pillow to battle insomnia. I apply 2-3 drops directly to my pillow case so that I inhale it all night long.

Lesser known ways to use lavender essential oil that are backed by scientific research and studies

Can we all agree that lavender essential oil has some pretty amazing uses and benefits? And that it isn't just a bunch of new-agey hoo-ha? I hope you learned some new things and plan on incorporating this wonderful oil into your daily life.

Monday, November 28, 2016

What I Think When

Real thoughts on real life situations

I've been riding in the front seat of the struggle bus for blog post ideas lately. Normally, I have a running list of about 10 topics that I can write about and I'm thrilled to sit down to write about any of them. But I just haven't had it in me lately. I blame Instagram - that thing is a tremendous amount of work! Now I understand why people ditch their blogs and just run social media accounts. Anywhoo, so I was reading a mom blog group page when I saw they had 101 ideas for mommy blogger posts. I came across this idea and thought it was clever! I don't know about you, but my brain is ALWAYS running a thousand miles a minute. A lot of what I think is wildly inappropriate. So here's a little glimpse into what I think, in various day to day situations.

What I think when...

I drop my kid off at preschool:
"My kid is f*&#$ing so kicka$$! He's the most confident one in the room. Never cries. Follows directions. What a little peach of a toddler, that boy! But ugh... That doesn't mean I want to keep him home with me today. I've got five hours of freedommmmmmm!"

Who wants freedom from this face? I do.

I'm standing in line at the grocery store checkout:
"That person just spent $40 on six containers of coconut water. What the hell is the matter with them? Who likes coconut water that much? Then there's that person in the next line, buying vegan cookies. With some eggs, so you know she's not a vegan. I wonder if she knows that a vegan cookie is just as unhealthy as a regular cookie? Like, you're not going to stay thinner eating that crap just because there's no dairy in it, sweetheart."

I'm stopped at a red light:
"Why isn't there a decent song on the radio?! Ok, let me check Instagram real quick. Oh that's a cute pic! I wanna comment on it... Dangit, light's green, I'll comment at the next light."

I'm cooking dinner:
"I wonder if Henry will eat any of this? Probably not. I'll just give it all to Otto, bless his little heart. He's the only reason I even attempt to cook dinner. I bet he shovels this in his face with both fists! Ugh, why is my toddler such a pain in the rump?" *Note the contrast from preschool drop off

Otto has a judgey face, but he eats without discretion.

I first wake up in the morning:
"No. Noooooooooo! No. It's too early. Why? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?"

I've poured my third glass of wine on a Tuesday night:
"I changed three poopy diapers in 45 minutes and only got a little bit on my knuckle. Cheers to meeeeeeee, world's fastest poopy diaper changer! God, why do my kids poop so much? Why can't they poop for daddy?"
6am on Wednesday morning:
"Good Lord, why did I think three glasses of wine were necessary last night?! Whyyyyyy? I hope my husband made the coffee strong today. Poor decisions, Paige. Poor decisions."

11am on Wednesday morning:
"Whew, just sweated out all that wine in hot yoga! I only got the spins once. Aaaaaaaand, I'm back!"

11:15 on Wednesday morning:
"Crap I spent all my time in yoga. Now I have three hours to do eight hours of work before I go get Henry from school. Why does my laptop need an update right NOW? Ugh! Technology, you're garbage."

1:45 on Wednesday afternoon:
"Dang, I just got a whole blog post written, edited and photographed. Whoohoo! Crap, Otto has a poopy diaper and we needed to leave the house five minutes ago to get Henry from school! Why do these kids always poop when we need to leave the house? Ugh, poop, whyyyyyyy?"

2:02 on Wednesday afternoon:
"Made it just in time! Hey Henry!" *Henry runs to me with his arms wide open for a hug and kisses his brother on the forehead* "Omg, my kids are the best! Henry, you're the best big brother. Ugh, my heart is exploding!"

2:15 on Wednesday afternoon:
*Sniffs air* "Henry, did you just poop? Damnit, why can't you poop at preschool? Or wait until your daddy comes home? Why do I always get the poopy diapers?! Oh man, Otto, you pooped again too? WHY. Is it too early to pour a glass of wine? Oh yeah, it's not even three yet, that's way too early."

What I look like when I actually get a shower.

When my husband comes home from work at a decent hour:
"I know I should cook dinner, but can you watch the kids so I can shower? I haven't showered in four days. There's a forest growing in my armpits. I even embarrassed myself at yoga today."

When I get to take a shower:
"Ahhhhhhhh. I should do this more often. Except Henry would crack his head open jumping off the bed and Otto would stick his finger in an outlet, so looks like I lose."

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Taking the day off to cook, drink wine and kick it with my husband and babies. I hope you all enjoy your time off with your friends and family. I'll be back on Monday with some fresh content, pinky swear! Now, get off the internet and go eat another piece of pumpkin pie - or if you're like me, a second helping of stuffing with gravy! So much gravy. All. The. Gravy.

I typed gravy so much, it got me thinking about what a strange word it is... Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving!